20/20 co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas is speaking out about her drinking problems in her first TV appearance since being released from rehab.
In an interview with Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos she let it all out.
"I am an alcoholic. It took me a long time to admit that to myself," she said.
He said, "You and I have spent literally hundreds of hours this far apart, anchoring live television. I would have never guessed this in a million years."
Vargas replied, “It is a staggering burden to walk around with. You become so isolated with the secret, so lonely."
Vargas says she suffered from panic attacks her entire life. The pressure to be perfect drove her to drink.
She said, "Wine was my go to drink. A lot of wine. I started trying to control it by making promises to myself. I'll only drink on weekends. I'll only have two glasses of wine a night. I won't drink on nights before I have to appear on Good Morning America, but those deals never work."
She said it all came to a head when she actually showed up drunk to do a 20/20 interview.
Vargas said, "On a Saturday afternoon I showed up to do an interview and I went to get out of the car, I realized ‘Wow, what am I doing? That is when I realized I needed to get help."
She said that incident forced her to admit she had a problem. The 51-year-old newswoman looked rested and healthy following several weeks of treatment.
"I am really ready to get back to work," she said.