During her time in WWE, Eva Marie was one of the most polarizing figures in the entire company — perhaps the most divisive Superstar of the era. She was one of the main cast members of Total Divas from its inception until the end of season six, when her real-life WWE suspension was part of the reason for her being written off the show.
In actuality, Eva Marie was off WWE television entirely from her suspension in August 2016 until her official release, almost exactly one year later. While she did appear on episodes of Total Divas during that time, both she and WWE kept relatively mum about the situation, and she began focusing on outside ventures, including her acting career and launching her own line of clothing and accessories.
Since leaving WWE, she’s had nothing but good things to say about the company, but has made it clear that she is no longer going to be involved with professional wrestling. But many people don’t know about her life prior to being in the public eye, and she is now opening up about the long road she’s had to take to get to where she is now.
In a new essay written for InStyle, Eva Marie (now professionally going by the name Natalie Eva Marie) talks about her struggle with alcoholism and where life took her prior to her success.
Here’s a portion of that essay:
I’m an alcoholic. I have relapsed, destroyed relationships, hurt my family, and disappointed myself numerous times. I will be an alcoholic for the rest of my life. The fact that I have been sober for almost five years doesn’t mean that I am “cured,” it doesn’t mean that I had a drinking phase in my 20s, and it doesn’t mean that I can have a few drinks now and again or just drink in moderation. There are no shades of gray when it comes to alcoholism—it’s black and white. Either I am an alcoholic or I am not. Working a program doesn’t mean my past magically disappears and everything is fine. Unfortunately, nothing of note in life is that simple or easy. Yet the road to my recovery did start with a very simple admission: I am an alcoholic. And admitting that truth saved my life.
[ … ]
Before I started working my 12-step program, my mind was a mess, my life was a mess, and I’d hit rock bottom. I served three months in jail for repeated DUIs. I didn’t have a license, I didn’t have a stable job, and I was living in an apartment that I could only afford due to a heavy discount my landlord offered me because a murder had taken place there between the previous tenants. That’s what my life looked like right before I started down my road to sobriety.
It’s commendable and important that she is being honest about addiction, and helping to encourage others to seek help. The entire essay is worth your time if you want to head over to InStyle and check it out.