Iconic EastEnders star Charlie Brooks says she has quit drinking alcohol after she hit rock bottom and a drop in self confidence.
The TV star – famous for playing Janine Butcher on the BBC soap on and off since 1999 – quit the bottle 12 months ago, and says she has seen only positive benefits ever since making the decision to live a sober life.
Charlie saw her confidence hit rock bottom two years ago when she struggled to pull in work and was approaching her 40th birthday – which arrived earlier this month.
The star also struggled with parenting as her daughter, Kiki, navigated her teenage years – but Charlie says everything has turned around since deciding to live life with a clear mind.
She told Fabulous magazine: “It’s been a wobbly road, because I love to drink! I’m very sociable.
“But it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Drinking stopped being worth it for me. It made me eat s**t food and the hangovers were taking forever to recover from.
“I have quite an overactive mind and it was easy for insecurities to creep in.”
She continued: “Being sober means I feel awake now, like I’m listening and paying attention.
“And when opportunities present themselves, I’m not afraid to follow them and to be brave, because I believe in myself and I know that it’s all going to be OK. My confidence has come back in bucketloads.”
As well as continuing to act, Charlie has also set up her own business where she offers acting training.
Charlie went on to explain her relationship with her daughter – who she shares with ex-boyfriend, 53-year-old Ibiza nightclub owner Tony Truman – has also vastly improved.
She explained that they would often clash until she realised her daughter was just trying to discover herself – and says taking a step back and just listening has been key to building their friendship.
Charlie last played Janine in EastEnders back in 2014 – and the character was last seen escaping off to Paris after getting away with murdering Michael Moon.
It was announced earlier this year that Charlie’s character will be returning to Albert Square this year as part of a “huge storyline” – the details of which are being kept tightly under wraps.