If you ever turned on the Disney Channel between 2000 and 2010, then you’re well familiar with Christy Carlson Romano from the hit series ‘Even Stevens.’
While her co-star Shia LaBeouf continued to live (and struggle) in the public eye, Christy stepped back from the spotlight a bit — but that didn’t mean she didn’t struggle.
In a new essay for Teen Vogue, Christy opens up about her private battles dealing with fame at a young age that led her down a dark path.
“I grappled with depression, drinking, and more, desperate to find fixes for how I felt,” she writes.
“It’s hard for people to understand that oftentimes child actors appear to have an inflated ego to make up for the fact that they have no idea who they really are underneath it all, a defense mechanism that many young people are familiar with. I have two friends from my earlier Disney Channel days who died by suicide. You can search their names, I am sure, to try and find some sense in their deaths, but you can never understand what was going on behind closed doors. And though I might not know their exact struggles, I do believe I have an idea of how being in the spotlight can warp your sense of reality.”
Despite her setbacks, Christy’s story has a happy ending. After 10 years of struggle, she went back to school and met her husband. They now share two kids and Christy says she “rewrote the end of her script.”
“I haven’t had a drink since before my first pregnancy and am going to continue to abstain from alcohol so that I can continue to make clear-headed decisions that keep me on the right path. All that matters now is my amazing family. When I look back I can see that it’s all I ever wanted. I’m also in control of my career. The beauty of the entertainment industry today is that you can create what you want to, a privilege that we didn’t have when I was coming up. With YouTube and the other social media platforms, smart, savvy people with talent can do it all themselves. Even those who are established are crossing over into making content this way because there’s no red tape to cut through, myself included.”
Christy is now preparing to launch a new YouTube series Christy’s Kitchen Throwback on June 27 where fans “will get to see a new side of me where I’m geeking out over kitchenware and cooking themed dishes with everyone from fellow stars of the ‘90s and aughts to some of today’s biggest YouTube personalities.”
To read Christy’s essay in full, click here.