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Leading up to her arrest, Tatum says she was feeling lonely and disconnected. "I felt hopeless. I had some pain. These are all irrelevant if you're staying sober, because death happens. Life happens," she says. "I had just lost connection with people. I let this pain problem that I had just…I don't know. I swear to God. I had things going on, but I don't know. That's why it's such a baffling disease."

At the time, Tatum was also grieving the loss of Lena, her dog of 16 years, but she says that's not a reason to relapse. "We all lose our dogs, and we stay sober. So clearly I had lost my connection to any 12-step program, to people I was going to meetings with, to my sponsor," she says. "I didn't know that I had cut off, and I was trying to figure out my will. [I] was trying to manage my day, my pain."

As anxiety built up, Tatum says she began to tell herself that she was a worthless failure who had nothing to live for. "These are the things that crop up, and then I have the trigger that goes, 'Well, then throw it all away. Why don't you just throw it all away? Plus, the pain might go away.'"

Tatum believes she abused alcohol and drugs because she struggles with deep-seated self-hatred. "It's really destructive," she says. "And I've had a lot of destructive consequences."
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FROM: Tatum O'Neal Speaks Out About Her Drug Bust
Published on September 12, 2008

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