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There was a time, not all that long ago, when every new headline about Hayden Panettiere offered some depressing reminder of how far the once-promising actress had fallen.

After rising to fame on network TV dramas like Heroes and Nashville, the actress experienced years of turmoil during which she struggled mightily with substance abuse and mental health issues.

Thankfully, these days, Hayden is sober and in the process of rebuilding her life and career.

In a new interview on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk, Panettiere opened up about how far she fell during her darkest years and how close she came to losing her life.

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Hayden Panettiere appears on the new episode of Red Table Talk. The actress opens up about a painful chapter in her life. (Photo via Facebook)

At the height of her addiction, Hayden lost custody of her daughter Kaya, who now lives with her father, boxer Wladimir Klitschko, in Urkaine.

Panettiere assured fans this week that Kaya, now 7, is safe and well cared for, and that Klitschko is a stellar dad.

She said that as much as the current situation pains her, she realizes that a combination of postpartum depression and self-medication left her incapable of being a mom in the early years of her daughter’s life.

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Hayden Panettiere is now sober after several tumultuous years. (Photo via Instagram)

“I went to treatment the first time when my daughter was about 4-months-old because I was leaning on [alcohol] and it was just making things worse,” Hayden recalled on Red Table Talk.

“I remember being curled up on the floor, just sobbing and just knowing I didn’t feel good about my body either and I had to go back to work 3 months after my daughter was born,” she further explained.

Hayden says the situation was made worse by the fact that she was expected to return to work on Nashville just three months after the baby was born.

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Hayden Panettiere stands on a red carpet in this photo and smiles broadly for the camera. (Photo via Getty)

“When the baby’s out and it’s gone and it’s leaving you with a body that’s not familiar with you and shoving yourself in Spanx in the fittings and being told to lift your chin because of the double chin, it just took my confidence,” she said.

“I felt really, really insecure. I didn’t want to be working and looking like that.”

Panettiere went on to detail the ways in which years of alcoholism wreaked havoc on her body.

“I turned jaundice at one point, yellow eyes, went to a doctor and they said if you don’t stop right now you’re heading toward a liver that’s not going to heal itself anymore,” she said.

Hayden Panettiere attends the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix’s Blonde. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

“I looked up liver transplants and they give you only five years. And who wants to give a liver to somebody who’s an addict? To have a death sentence still there and only five years to live, that was terrifying.”

These days, Hayden has turned her life around, but she says she’s still haunted by the consequences of her past, particularly her distance from her daughter, and the criticism she’s received as a result.

“The idea that I’m a person who would just easily throw out my child, give away my child,” she said.

“I felt horribly guilty, but at the same time I was trying to tell myself, ‘If I’m not okay, if I’m not good, I cannot be the best mom to you,'” Hayden continued.

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Hayden Panettiere posed with Wladimir Klitschko and their daughter, Kaya. (Photo via Instagram)

“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 try to work on myself. For her to go and live with her dad,” said Hayden, who added that it “wasn’t fully my decision.”

Panettiere went on to explain that Klitschko is an “amazing father,” but confessed that the two of them do not always see eye-to-eye with regard to the best way to raise their daughter.

“Signing those papers giving him full custody was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. In a country where her uncle is the mayor and they are icons over there,” she explained.

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Wladimir Klitschko and Hayden Panettiere attend the Ein Herz Fuer Kinder Gala 2015 reception at Tempelhof Airport on December 5, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo via Getty)

“It’s a country where it’s very male dominated, so there wasn’t a heck of a lot I could do. I understand he thinks he’s doing the right thing,” the actress continued.

“He’s a fantastic father, he really is, but I don’t think he fully grasps that as she gets older … kids need their moms.”

Here’s hoping that Klitschko is aware of Hayden’s progress, and that the two of them will be able to work out a more mutually beneficial arrangement sometime soon.