Romano said that she got exposed to nightlife at a young age, and at 16 years old, she tasted her first drop of liquor.
"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,” Romano continued. “What was happening was I was learning how to have fun as long as alcohol was involved."
Romano said that she would continue drinking to get “buzzed,” and it got to a point where she didn’t know exactly how much alcohol she was consuming a day.
The Bucket List Bistro star eventually reached a state of depression and started taking a low dosage of antidepressants even though they didn’t work on her because she “couldn’t stop drinking.”
Romano explained that alcohol created "the perfect formula for somebody to stay down."
"Having alcohol in my life influenced a lot of the negative thought process that I had,” she said. “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.”
"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," Romano added.
"I didn't really have any goals. I didn't have any dreams. I didn't have a lot of feelings,” she said. “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."
It wasn’t until Romano became pregnant with her first daughter, Isabella, that she decided to quit drinking. Her little girl “changed everything” for her, and now Romano isn’t looking back.
"I can see the benefits of not drinking and being sober. I look younger; I feel happier — obviously, more consistently," she gushed.
"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."
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.
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