Hayden Panettiere has been working hard on herself.
There was a time — not all that long ago — when it seemed that every headline about the actress was related to some new scandal in her tumultuous personal life.
These days, however, Panettiere is making news because of her efforts to reclaim her life, her career, and her family.
Hayden is sober now, and she’s been speaking candidly about the addictions that nearly claimed her life.
On an episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk that’s set to premiere on Facebook today, Panettiere discusses for the first time one of the most painful consequences of her battle with substance abuse.
Hayden’s 7-year-old daughter Kaya currently lives with her father, the boxer Wladimir Klitschko, in Ukraine.
In a preview for the episode, Panettiere said that one of the things that hurts her most is “the idea that I am a person who would just easily throw out my child. Give away my child.”
She continued, “The comments that people made, and assumed about my situation with my daughter were just so off and heartbreaking.”
Hayden revealed that she had no choice in the matter, given the severity of her addiction, and she did not even realize that she was on the verge of losing custody until it was already too late.
“I was trying to tell myself that if I’m not OK, if I’m not good, then I cannot be the best mom to you,” Panettiere said.
“I was going through such a hard time that I knew the most unselfish thing I could do was to make that hard decision and just try to work on myself,” the actress continued.
“She was almost three, and it wasn’t fully my decision. In fact, I didn’t even know it was happening until she was already over there.”
Hayden went on to reveal that her addiction had become a life and death struggle by that time.
“I would have the shakes when I woke up and could only function with sipping alcohol,” she said.
“It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. But I wanted to be a good mom to her — and sometimes that means letting them go.”
Hayden recently told People magazine that she “never had the feeling that I wanted to harm my child, but I didn’t want to spend any time with her.”
Hayden added that after years of near-fatal alcohol and opiate abuse she is now sober and committed to making up for lost time.
“It’s an everyday choice, and I’m checking in with myself all the time,” she explained.
“But I’m just so grateful to be part of this world again, and I will never take it for granted again.”
Hayden went on to reveal that as difficult as things have been, these days she feels nothing but pride in her achievements and optimism for her future.
“I put a lot of work into myself and I had to be willing to be incredibly honest,” the actress said of her decision to seej help.
“This hasn’t been easy and there were a lot of ups and downs, 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.”
We wish her all the best as she continues to move forward.