Eva Marie was recently interviewed by Vox Media’s Ariel Helwani, where she spoke about her struggles with alcohol addiction and her road to recovery.
“I think that’s one of the things I’m most proud of. Another reason that I came out publicly on Total Divas season one [was] just because I really feel when you have something that you might be ashamed of or you might be embarrassed by or whatever, you take out any of the power of anybody else when you speak about it first. So I really wanted to speak of that pretty quickly just so that way nobody could beat me to the punch per se. Once I did, there were so many people that reached out to me just saying thank you because either they’re struggling with addiction or it’s in their family or their boyfriend, cousin, somebody closely related to them, and for me to be able to kind of showcase that I work at this thing every day. That’s why in life my motto is ‘one day at a time’ because I work a 12-step program, I have a sponsor, I sponsor other women, I go to AA meetings. I’m really open and honest about it because addiction is real and I have to work through that every single day. I celebrated eight years [sobriety] in March. It’s something I used to be ashamed of and didn’t wanna like tell anybody about, but now it’s one of the things I’m very proud of because without my sobriety I wouldn’t be sitting in this chair talking to you. I wouldn’t have an amazing husband, a beautiful marriage, and be on SummerSlam. I would not even have this job if I wasn’t sober and working a 12-step program. So it’s one of those things that I definitely when I can shout it from the top of my lungs because it’s given me everything.
I’m Mexican-Italian, so it was a very strict household. I’m the youngest of all boys, but the moment that I left my parent’s house to venture into college and things of that nature, that’s when things started to unravel and get out of hand. It was like ‘no curfew, oh my God, I can do this, I can do this.’ I first got sober at 23 because of my oldest brother, he got me sober and I look up to him to this day. Wrecking cars, getting DUIs, and going to jail. Those aren’t normal things, especially not how I was raised and I knew that I didn’t want to be that person. I think that was one of my really low moments, but I had to fall a lot more to figure it out, to actually make the decision. The ultimate thing is so many people can steer you in the right direction – parents, brothers, sisters, your family – but if you’re not willing to put in the work because that’s the thing, it’s so simple to get sober but it’s so difficult at the same time. That’s why they say it’s a simple program but you gotta put in the work because it’s hard. So I got sober at 23 and I had three years of sobriety and I guess I decided to take over the wheel and thought that I was in control again. I was like ‘I got this, I was young, no biggie, I’m fine.’ I called my sponsor, I said ‘thank you so much, I love you.’ Normal things were coming back to me, a driver’s license being one, being a normal member of society was starting to happen and I was like ‘I’m good.’ Then as soon as I decided to do that I kind of stopped doing what I knew was working and that’s when things got out of hand again. Then I got sober again at 28 and now this is my second time and hopefully the last time because it’s hard making it back.”
Marie also spoke about her time in jail.
“You would think that would be my low moment and totally be like that was my aha moment and when I got out I was sober and everything was great, but it wasn’t. After that experience, your mind forgets and you think that you’re a normal person, but that’s not normal behavior. So I tripped and fell a couple more times and then I finally got sober at 23 after that stint. I did the jail time just because I love my parents so much and I appreciate how much they have done for myself and my brothers in the sense of my mom’s from Mexico, my dad’s Italian. Talk about blood, sweat, and tears for the American Dream and to give me and my brothers everything they never had. I couldn’t just pay a fine and go move in with mommy and daddy. No way. That was just not gonna happen, so I made sure I finished college, graduated, and then went and turned myself in so I didn’t have to pay a fine.”