Girls Aloud star was using alcohol as 'escape' from depression

Sarah Harding "cried hysterically" on her way to rehab.

Sarah Harding "cried hysterically" on her way to rehab.

The Girls Aloud singer felt "ashamed" and "embarrassed" about visiting a US treatment centre in October to seek help for depression and alcoholism, but it was her bandmates who first made her realise she had a problem.

She said: "The day I left for rehab, I was in such a mess. I've been told by those close to me that was when I hit my worst.

"I was crying hysterically. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, terrified - my emotions were all over the place."

Speaking about seeing her bandmates Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh for dinner after a drunken previous night, she added: "I saw Nicola and Kimberley for dinner. I wasn't in a good state at all - I was very hungover. But the first thing I wanted to do was open a bottle of wine. I know they were really worried about me."

The blonde beauty's drinking escalated out of control when her relationship with former fiance Tom Crane began to take a turn for the worse.

She explained to Britain's HELLO! magazine: "Our lives had started to go in different directions without us even realising and we'd become like passing ships.

"He had his career, I had mine, and somehow they didn't seem to marry up. As far as our future plans were concerned, I didn't see how it would work.

"I was so down but I just tried to keep busy and, to numb myself, I was drinking more. It was my way of escaping."

Sarah – who checked out of rehab last month – believes she has turned her life around and is confident she can cope in social situations without alcohol.

She explained: "I’ve turned 30 now and, although there will always be a bit of the rock chick in me, I’m trying to embrace my softer and more feminine side. I’ve realised I can socialise without booze."

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