Jodie Sweetin is grateful for her sobriety.
The former “Full House” child star’s struggle with addiction has been well documented over the years. In 2008, the then-26-year-old got sober and later became certified as a drug and alcohol counselor.
“How do I manage my own head that is just loud and negative and awful to me sometimes, but nobody else can hear it? You’re stuck in it,” the 39-year-old told Allison Kugel for the newest episode of the “Allison Interviews” podcast.
“The thing about anxiety is, people think of panic attacks, but there can be a raging screaming voice in your head all the time that you just can’t get quiet,” the actress reflected about getting sober. “You just don’t want to listen to this voice, and especially when mental health wasn’t talked about, it’s worse.”
“Having that wiring in your brain, something switches on when you’re an alcoholic,” the mom of two continued. “It feels like there is never enough. I can’t ever fill this hole because there is a bottom missing in the cup, and I just keep trying to fill it. I think that is something I’m really grateful for now, is the de-stigmatization of talking about mental health. That was my whole journey through sobriety.”
Sweetin noted that she was determined to turn her life around. Sobriety is not a simple fix, but rather an ongoing work in progress.
“A lot of it is really looking at yourself and what are the things that I do, or behaviors that I’m trying to use to cope with my life?” said Sweetin. “How do I do this better? How do I interact with people better? How do I hold myself to a higher standard? How do I go back and make some of those things right so that I can alleviate that shame and terror that comes with all of it? Then, how do I go about life, not creating those situations for myself in the future? That is a huge part of it.”
“I’m always very honest that, for me, medication has been key,” Sweetin shared. “Otherwise my struggle was so bad I wasn’t getting out of bed. Now that I know when I need to speak up for myself, even into my 30s, feeling like I needed some therapy and I probably need a psychiatrist for some meds, and all of these things to start taking care of myself.”
Sweetin admitted that, like for many, 2020 took a toll on her mental and physical health.
“I lost almost 37 pounds during [quarantine], because I’m a stress starver, and not in a good way,” she explained. “I just stopped eating. I couldn’t keep food down. I’ll be really honest about it; the pandemic was not good for me. I have severe anxiety and depression anyway, so it really didn’t do any favors for my mental health. I really struggled with it, and for me, it was a time of feeling really out of control. I can’t imagine how it affected people who were working on the front lines.”
But life has gotten sweeter for the star and her family. She credited her longtime love for being supportive over the years.
“I think as my girls have gotten older, and my boyfriend and I have been together for four years now, and he really did an amazing job with it all,” she shared. “At first, he and I had a long-distance relationship. He was in Brooklyn, and I was here in LA for 3 ½ years, and so it was slow and it was nice. He was very good at letting them warm up to him and not having to force a relationship. I think that is the hard thing as a mom. You’re thinking, ‘Everyone just gets along. I really like this person.’ I’m not sacrificing my kids, but how do I make everybody happy?’”
When looking back at her past, Sweetin said she has zero regrets about launching a Hollywood career at such a young age.
“… I started working when I was 3, so it’s just always been what I know,” said Sweetin. “I think there is almost more of a shock when it happens to you a little later in life when you’ve spent your entire life being normal, and now you’re like, ‘What the hell is this?’ When you grow up with it, it’s just par for the course.”
Still, Sweetin said the tabloids have continued to be an ongoing problem for those in the spotlight attempting to give their children a sense of normalcy.
“I was attacked as a kid in the tabloids,” she said. “I can’t stand tabloid magazines or even social media these days. I think anyone who goes after these kids, whether it’s how they dress, or how someone is parenting them, when they are out in public, leave them alone. That just happens to be their parents. They didn’t ask to be given all this attention. Back off or respect when the parents say, ‘Please don’t photograph my kid. Don’t put pictures of them in magazines.’ People should respect that.”
Sweetin has kept busy pursuing acting over the years. From 2016 until 2020, she reprised her role of Stephanie Tanner in the Netflix reboot “Fuller House.” The original series aired from 1987 until 1995.
She has maintained a close bond with her co-stars. Some have wondered over the years how she managed not to crush on John Stamos, who played Uncle Jesse.
For Sweetin, the answer is simple.
“People always asked, ‘Oh my God, wasn’t John Stamos so cute?’” she said. “I’ve known John since I was 5. I’ve seen him roll into work in old T-shirts and sweatpants with holes in them, and not looking all that cute. He was always just John to me. I know him too well to think he’s hot. He’s a big dork and I love him. You get to know people so well that you’re like, ‘Oh my God! No, no, no,’ when it comes to that stuff. I know he is good-looking, but I’ve seen some things, and that would be like having a weird crush on your uncle.”