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There was a time when it looked as though Hayden Panettiere was poised to become one of the most bankable stars of her generation.

But in recent years, headlines about the actress have centered less on her career than on her tumultuous personal life.

Most recently, Hayden’s legal battles with her abusive ex made fodder for tabloids and gossip sites.

Prior to that, Panettiere was at the center of controversies stemming from her messy split from boxer Wladimir Klitschko and her decision to send her daughter to Ukraine to live with her father.

Amid the worrisome reports from Hayden’s personal life came rumors of erratic behavior on set and allegations of substance abuse.

Now, the actress is opening up for the first time about her struggle with addiction.

And Hayden seems to very pleased to report that after eight months of in-patient rehab, she’s sober for the first time in her adult life.

Hayden Pic
Photo via Getty Images

“I was on top of the world and I ruined it,” Panettiere said in a new interview with People magazine.

“I’d think I hit rock bottom, but then there’s that trap door that opens.”

Hayden says that despite the dark places that her relationship took her at times, she has no regrets about the life she’s lived or the decisions she’s made.

Hayden Panettiere image
Photo via Getty Images

“This hasn’t been easy and there were a lot of ups and downs,” Panettiere said.

“But I don’t regret even the ugliest things that have happened to me. I feel incredibly accomplished. And I feel like I have a second chance.”

Hayden revealed that her battle with addiction began when she was given “happy pills” as a teen ahead of red carpet appearances.

“They were to make me peppy during interviews,” Panettiere recalled.

“I had no idea that this was not an appropriate thing, or what door that would open for me when it came to my addiction.”

Against all odds, Hayden’s career continued to thrive despite her addiction.

Hayden Panettiere Hair Change

“My saving grace is that I couldn’t be messy while on set and working,” she recalled of her time on the NBC superhero drama Heroes.

“But things kept getting out of control [off set]. And as I got older, the drugs and alcohol became something I almost couldn’t live without.”

From there, Panettiere landed a role on the ABC primetime soap Nashville.

Her pregnancy was written into the show, and her character’s struggles with addiction and postpartum depression mirrored the battles that Hayden was waging in her own life.

“I could relate to a lot of those storylines like the alcoholism and postpartum depression. They hit close to home,” she told People.

Around this time, Panettiere’s relationship with Klitschko began to crumble.

Hayden Panettiere is Pregnant!

“He didn’t want to be around me,” she recalls.

“I didn’t want to be around me. But with the opiates and alcohol I was doing anything to make me feel happy for a moment. Then I’d feel worse than I did before. I was in a cycle of self-destruction.”

Following their split, Hayden’s alcoholism worsened, and she made the difficult decision to send her daughter to live with Klitschko in his native Ukraine.

“I would have the shakes when I woke up and could only function with sipping alcohol,” Panettiere told People.

Hayden Panettiere Baby Photo

“It was the hardest thing I ever had to do,” she said of the decision to surrender custody. “But I wanted to be a good mom to her — and sometimes that means letting them go.”

Hayden says that it was only after she was hospitalized as a result of her alcohol intake that she recognized the need to sober up.

“Doctors told me my liver was going to give out,” she recalls.

“I was no longer a 20-year-old who could just bounce right back.”

Hayden Panettiere Nashville Benefit African Childrens Choir
‘Nashville’ star Hayden Panettiere performs during ‘Nashville for Africa,’ which benefits the African Childrens Choir on February 15th, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Hayden says her sobriety requires daily effort — but those efforts have already yielded tremendous rewards.

“It’s an everyday choice, and I’m checking in with myself all the time,” says Panettiere. “But I’m just so grateful to be part of this world again, and I will never take it for granted again.”

These days, Hayden is nearly one year sober, and her career is back on track with a role in the next installment of the Scream franchise.

We wish her all the best in her continuing recovery.