Christy Carlson Romano didn't let alcohol get the best of her.
In a new YouTube video posted to her channel Tuesday, the 37-year-old Even Stevens alum said she got exposed to nightlife at a young age and started consuming alcohol at just 16 years old. Noting her longtime struggles, she said drinking "almost ruined my life."
"The thing is that once you lock in a habit, a habit can become something that becomes a part of your personality, especially when you're young," she said. "So what I wasn't realizing was that I had a little bit of shyness from being sort of an awkward preteen and tween. What was happening was I was learning how to have fun as long as alcohol was involved."
Romano clarified that while she wasn't "waking up and drinking," she had become a binge drinker. The YouTuber said she eventually hit a point where she would sleep until it was time for her to go out drinking again.
Romano reached a state of depression, which she said was a result of her drinking — since alcohol is a depressant — adding that it creates "the perfect formula for somebody to stay down."
In order to turn things around, Romano explained that she participated in talk therapy and briefly took a low dosage of antidepressants. But the medication didn't work because she "couldn't stop drinking" since it was "so embedded" into her daily life, she said.
At one point, she said she reached a place where she was unable to quantify how much alcohol she had consumed per day and was drinking to the point of "getting buzzed."
"Having alcohol in my life influenced a lot of the negative thought process that I had. I wasn't understanding my self-worth, I wasn't very accountable for my actions, and I was quite numb about what I was doing to people," she said.
"I wasn't thinking clearly about the future. When I was drinking, I was never thinking about being a mom. In fact, it was the furthest thing from my mind. I could barely take care of myself," she continued. "I didn't really have any goals. I didn't have any dreams. I didn't have a lot of feelings. A lot of those things were just pushed down. Alcohol kept pushing them down for me. It wasn't helping me. It wasn't giving me anything I could grow from. It was a bad presence in my life."
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Romano chose to quit drinking when she learned she was pregnant with her first daughter, 4-year-old Isabella. According to the social media star, becoming pregnant "changed everything."
Though Romano — who also shares daughter Sophia, 2, with husband Brendan Rooney — isn't currently in a 12-step program, she revealed that she has attended several years of Al-Anon meetings. Now, she prefers to drink alcohol-free mocktails when she goes out.
"I can see the benefits of not drinking and being sober. I look younger, I feel happier — obviously, more consistently," she said. "I can grow and learn more about myself and my emotional journey. I can do so much more. It's a better way of life to not have alcohol in your life."
Romano has been candid about her sobriety in the past. Recently, she reflected on being five years sober on TikTok. She opened up about the milestone as she lip-synced the lyrics to "Know Yourself" by Drake, "I've been running through the six with my woes."
"Graduated from [an] IVY league [school], sober for 5 years, have 2 daughters," the text across the screen read.
Romano further addressed her sobriety in the post's caption: "#DeepRealization. Life hits you hard sometimes…"
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.