Emily Weir, star of Home and Away, has opened up about her years-long battle with ‘crippling anxiety,’ which led to alcoholism.
After she began having panic attacks as a teenager and thought she had no other way to cope, the actress told Who magazine that she used wine as a crutch on a frequent basis.
Weir, 31, is now sober thanks to counselling and AA meetings, and she wants to tell about her experience in order to ‘raise awareness’ about addiction.
‘The more you bring fear and addiction to light, the less power they have,’ she remarked.
‘It’s not easy, but I hope that by speaking up, anyone else who is struggling realises that these difficulties can and do affect anyone – and I’m passionate about bringing attention to something that affects so many of us.’
Weir initially started having anxiety and panic episodes when she was 19 years old, shortly after her parents divorced.
She suffered “what was practically a nervous breakdown,” but had no concept what anxiety was at the time because it wasn’t widely recognised.
Weir admitted that she turned to alcohol to cope and became’reliant on liquor’ before being compelled to face her problem after ‘one disastrous night gone too far.’
With the support of AA and counselling, she has since learned to manage her addiction.
‘I consider myself quite fortunate to have found the assistance that I required,’ she said. ‘There is no right or wrong method to go about this for everyone,’ says the author, ‘but I am fortunate to have found one that works for me.’
In 2019, Weir scored her breakout role on Home and Away as restaurateur Mackenzie Booth.
She has previously appeared in the 2003 television series The Sleepover Club.
Weir once said that being cast on Home and Away was a “dream come true” for her.
‘It was like winning the lottery for myself and my entire extended family,’ she told Stuff in New Zealand.
‘Home and Away is still watched by my family. It’s known as Homie. Everything shuts down when Homie is on. You are not permitted to make any phone calls or do anything else.’