Hayden Panettiere has been through an awful lot in recent years.
Fans looked on with grave concern as Hayden battled alcoholism, survived an abusive relationship, and lost custody of her daughter, who then went to live with her father in Ukraine.
Earlier this year, just as it was beginning to look like the actress’ luck finally turned around, tragedy struck.
In February, Hayden’s brother, Jansen Panettiere, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 28.
At the time, there were fears that Hayden would relapse, but thankfully, it seems that hasn’t happened.
In fact, Panettiere covers the new issue of Women’s Health, and she explains in the accompanying interview that she’s never felt better physically.
She also speaks quite candidly about the fact that her drinking brought her to the brink of death.
“My body was like ‘enough,’” Hayden recalled.
“I hit 30. My face was swollen. I had jaundice. My eyes were yellow,” she contonued.
“I had to go to a liver specialist. I was holding weight that wasn’t normally there. My hair was thin and coming out in clumps.”
Hayden says she drank for many reasons, but looking back, she realizes that her substance abuse was largely an unhealthy way of reclaiming her independence.
“I was being told how to be and how to live by so many people in my life, I wanted certain decisions to be my own and no one could stop me,” she told the magazine.
“What I put in my body was like an act of defiance. Some people work out. I wish that was my coping mechanism.”
In the end, of course, Hayden realized that her addiction was unsustainable, and with support from family and friends, she was eventually able to get sober.
“Alcohol makes you feel better in that moment but it makes you feel so much worse the next day . . . and then you do it all over again,” she recalled.
These days, Hayden’s acting career is back on track and she recently made her long-awaited return to the big screen in Scream VI.
“It was daunting, honestly,” she recently admitted to Entertainment Weekly.
“I was worried I couldn’t act any more. I mean, I took four years off. I had to remind myself of what I could do and make sure I could still do it.
“This was the best first movie back I could have dreamt of. It was like coming home.”
With any luck, this is just the beginning of a glorious comeback for this beloved star.