In a new essay for Teen Vogue, the former ‘Even Stevens’ actress further advises others to have a clear understanding of their personal value before taking a plunge into the showbiz.
AceShowbiz -Former child star Christy Carlson Romano has come clean about her secret struggle with alcohol, depression, and self-harming after finding fame as a teenager.
The actress shot to stardom as perfectionist Ren Stevens alongside Shia LaBeouf in hit Disney show “Even Stevens” in the early 2000s, and she went on to make network history by becoming the first person to feature in three projects simultaneously, thanks to her other shows “Cadet Kelly” and “Kim Possible”.
But while her career appeared to be on the rise after “Even Stevens”, behind the scenes, Romano’s lifestyle began spiralling out of control.
“While many witnessed my costar Shia LaBeouf struggle publicly, I have largely suffered in silence,” she writes in a new essay for Teen Vogue. “I am not a victim, but I have never been perfect or pulled together as my reputation or the successes of my young adulthood might suggest. During a period of time in my life, I grappled with depression, drinking, and more, desperate to find fixes for how I felt.”
Romano took a break from acting to pursue her studies, but she soon realised her fantasies of college life didn’t compare to her actual school experience, which left her feeling like a misfit. She eventually dropped out of university and returned to the spotlight on Broadway, while away from the stage, she drowned her sorrows in booze.
The actress, now 35, tried to ease her private pain with forms of self-harm, but she could never bring herself to do any real physical damage: “I tried to scratch my skin with my fingernail because I was too scared to use a knife,” she confesses. “I chickened out and honestly felt like I had failed some important race to win the trophy for ‘most tragic beautiful girl”.’
Romano eventually forced herself to get her life back on track by enrolling in New York’s liberal arts school Barnard College, where she received her degree in Film Studies and met her now-husband, Brendan Rooney.
They wed in 2013 and are now parents to two young daughters, and Romano has been sober since 2016.
Sharing a few words of advice for others having a tough time in the industry, she concludes, “Anyone reading this, or anyone who decides to go into the entertainment business (including my daughters, should that time come), know this: having a clear understanding of your personal value helps to positively shape everything you do. If you don’t, if you aren’t careful, you just might end up getting what everyone else wishes for but wondering what you want yourself.”
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