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Former Bachelorette Meredith Phillips Shares Her Battle With Alcoholism

May 23, 2013 12:31 PM by Megan Thompson


Remember Meredith Phillips? If you are a Bachelorette fan you probably remember her, she was the star of the show back in 2004.  Meredith seemed like the girl next door, a natural beauty with a down-to-earth personality – not a person who would become addicted to alcohol.  Meredith Phillips is now six months sober and is opening up about her battle with alcohol and sharing why she finally stopped drinking.   

Meredith was originally part of The Bachelor, but didn’t receive a rose from Bob Guiney.  But like most fan favorites, Meredith returned as the star of The Bachelorette determined to find love.  At the end of the season, Meredith found herself engaged to Ian McKee.  But like most love found on The Bachelorette the couple didn’t last much after the taping of the show. 

Years later, Meredith is now opening up about her problems with alcohol.  The former reality star admits to drinking more than 20 bottles of wine in a week and blacking out often.  “For years I’d wake up every day feeling like I was hit by a truck,” Meredith shared with People Magazine.  So what caused Meredith to stop drinking?  “I realized I was going to kill myself, there wasn’t another path for me other than to stop,” Meredith says in her interview.  This girl next door is now six months sober and is finally starting to live her life again. 

What do you think about Meredith Phillips sharing her story about her alcoholism?  Let us know your thoughts, leave a comment below.

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Photo Credit: ABC


Topics: ABC Reality TV Shows, The Bachelorette |

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27 Responses to “Former Bachelorette Meredith Phillips Shares Her Battle With Alcoholism”

  1. pat Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    congratulations to Meredith!

    Whoever wrote this article knows nothing about addictions. “Meredith seemed like the girl next door, a natural beauty with a down-to-earth personality – not a person who would become addicted to alcohol” Addiction is a disease, much like diabetes or cancer. Would you say “she doesn’t seem the type to be diabetic or have cancer?”

    No one chooses to be an addict.

    Again, my heartfelt congratulations to Meredith. One day at a time.

  2. Jlynn Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    It’s been nearly 4 years and a million tears, I lost my best friend of 30 years to Cirrhosis of the liver. All of us knew she drank a lot, but as a high functioning alcoholic, managing to keep a beautiful home while working 40 to 60 hours a week, and ALWAYS being there for everyone else, her illness followed by death, shocked me to the nth degree. At one point when she was at her worst, I asked if she’d die for her children and she answered with an emphatic yes. I then asked why she wouldn’t live for them. Shortly thereafter, she went on the wagon, but eventually fell off, AGAIN. People were not sympathetic to my grief, because the general consensus was, she committed suicide.
    Blessings and peace to Meredith, and if her admission saves even one life, it was well worth it, and who knows whom she touched, by sharing her story.
    May she find the strength and support to carry on, One Day at a Time!

  3. Stef Campbell Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Thank you Pat! I thought the exact same thing. You must also be a friend of Bill W.

  4. Kat Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Dear Megan, the statement you make “Meredith seemed like the girl next door, a natural beauty with a down-to-earth personality – not a person who would become addicted to alcohol.” is obnoxious and ignorant. Perhaps instead of writing articles, you should spend some time reading. You should read up on alcoholism and addiction in general. In brief, what you will find is that it is primarily thought to be a disease, and one with strong genetic components. Your sentence seems to imply that since this girl is so down-to-earth, she couldn’t be an alcoholic. FYI, the connection between a person lacking goodness/morality was put by the wayside some 50 years ago. You may want to take this article down before you insult more people as you have done with me. Also, you’re a crappy writer, you may want to take Creative Writing 101 or some such class at your local community college. Thanks!

  5. Kat Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    oops just read the comments, I see my need to comment immediately meant I dint see I was beaten to it! And Jlynn–I am sorry for your loss. It’s a tragedy all around, and having lived on both sides of the fence (I’m an alcoholic recovering and lost my sister to the disease) it’s really amazing the amount of judgment and lack of compassion still around in 2013. Along with the judgment is a minefield of ignorance, and it also amazes me how people are staunch in their beliefs, even when they aren’t backed up by any actual knowledge other than their own mean-spirited, small-minded bigotry.
    I hope things get easier for you. If you have never visited an al-anon meeting, you may find some comfort here in sharing with others and knowing you are not alone.

  6. Anne Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I do not agree with Pat – people do not choose to get diabetes or cancer – AND NOT ALL people with diabetes or cancer smoke or do things increase their risk…sometimes it is bad luck or genetics.

    People CHOOSE to lift the glass, the bottle, or the can to their lips to get that buzz – to get the liquid courage that alcohol provides. Their dependence on alcohol is due to their own actions…I think what the author intended for the reader to conclude, is that from all outward appearances, Meredith seemed to be a woman that had no issues with substance abuse, and lead a life that seemed “picture perfect”. No one would have guessed she was suffering from alcohol dependency. The pain and suffering of alcoholism was not apparent.

    Meredith is to be commended for taking charge of her life. Maybe by her sharing her story, she will give others that suffer the same way in “silence”, with courage to face their addiction and work towards sobriety.

  7. Brenda F. Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Merideth is a remarkable young lady that is fighting for her life ! Or she has found a power greater than herself that has placed her in a stage of neutrality towards alcohol, in other words, she is at peace with her disease!! More people need to speak out about their alcoholism for their are millions in the world that are afflicted. By Merideth breaking her silence, even gives her much more defense against that 1st drink. Way to go Merideth!!

  8. Trent Black Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    It is an addiction. There are tons and tons and tons of addictions. YOU DECIDED TO CHANCE BEING AN ADDICT THE MINUTE IT WAS STARTED. But, it can be stopped. She stopped it. It is very hard to stop, but it can be stopped. They started the addiction the day they put the cigarette to their mouth or started drinking. Nobody forced them. Nobody made them. They did it themselves.

    When it comes to cancer, I don’t run to the store and buy a bottle of CANCER. I can’t stop the Cancer by not buying cancer today. How dare you try to put them in the same classification.

  9. REC Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I admire Meredith’s courage in opening up about what she has gone through. Many people share this disease, and by being forthcoming about her experience she may help others. My father was an alcoholic for many years. It destroyed my parents’ marriage and eventually destroyed his health.

  10. Janice S Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I think it is great that Meredith has decided to open up about her addiction. It may make it a little more real to those who think that alcoholics are skid row bums. Actually, most alcoholics live functional lives but sooner or later the consequences catch up and we can no longer function as we once did. Addiction is not a choice, none of us really recognize the point when we went from social drinking to addiction and those around us usually recognize it long before we do anyway. I am a recovering alcoholic myself and quitting was the hardest thing I have ever done. My life today though is better than it ever has been because of my commitment to my recovery and AA.

  11. Matt M. Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I have struggled with alcohol abuse most of my adult life, and have struggled to maintain sobriety. I was sober for 4 years, relapsed and within 6 months was charged with DUI.
    I have now been sober for 2 years, and as Merideth, my choice simply was….. do I want to live or die?

    So many people think our choice to drink or not to drink is just a matter of willpower………not so with a true alcoholic.
    We have lost all power of choice, and if not treated via a 12 step program and treatment options, so many people die or drink themselves into oblivion.

    I am sooooooo proud of Merideth, and I will pray each night for her continued sobriety.

  12. Otis Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Nobody likes a quitter. Lets go get drunk sometime sweety

  13. Mal Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Wonderful comments from all the women. There is no type of “look’ for someone that suffers from addiction. The images of homeless women have been replaced by a First Lady of the United States and CEO’s of major companies. In the entertainment industry, more people are struggling than not with addictive behaviors. What is so wonderful about Meredith, is her courage and honesty. More TV personalities should follow her example.
    Women in recovery are very strong spiritual beings. Their wisdom comes from their suffering.
    I am blessed to have 24 years personally.
    Wishing Meredith every success in her recovery.

  14. bella Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Yes. She knew she had a problem and she is dealing with it. But don’t you think that on the Bachelor/ Bachelorette Shows that they drink wine throughout every activity? You rarely see anyone on that show without a glass of wine in their hand. How did she ever handle that? Maybe the reason the relationships on that show don’t work is because everyone is plastered.

  15. Sandy Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Anne, just b/c you can pick up a drink or two and stop, does not mean everyone can.
    I am recovering for over 5 yrs. I wish it was a choice. My DISEASE took my father and several other family members.
    It is today, but in the depths of my DISEASE, there was no choice.
    I love that Merideth shared her story, but unless you’ve been there, you cannot make any judgements.

  16. Teri Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    It helps when you open up and people see you for who you are….
    And, what you are is beautiful….and truthful…and you will make it darling.
    Substance abuse is horrific.
    One day at a time…sometimes a moment at a time.
    God bless you. xo

  17. Tom Murray Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Bless your soul young lady but please do some reading up on a topic/subject before making a comment that could adversely or negetatively affect someone else. If I had a choice I would have stopped putting the bottle to my lips or the straw to my nose long before the Good Lord stepped in and helped me get to the place I needed to be before I killed myself. Alcoholism/Addiction is a terminal disease and the only known reprieve is for 24 hours based on your Spiritual condition. I’m sure you meant well but the facts speak for themselves, pick up a copy of the “Big Book” better known as Alcoholics Anonymous and enlighten yourself.
    God Bless you

  18. Dee Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    @Pat. I do not agree with you, addicts do have a choice. Tell my 11 year old son who started having 4 insulin shots per day, that his illness is the same as an addict. If he did not take his insulin he would die, he has no choice, an alcoholic can stop drinking, admittedly with help, my son does not have that choice, he will always need insulin shots!

  19. Lynn Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Anne, you are correct that many people use a number of ways to comfort themselves, lifting a glass, lifting a fork, gambling, sex, shopping, etc. They CAN be addictive. Many people do these activities without problems, they can control their behavior, perform the activity appropriately without causing pain, problems or even disruption to their lives or health. Others become addicted because of a genetic pre-deposition or other reason. I have several family members who are alcoholics and many who are not. Thanks to Alanon and AA! Bless you, Meredith, for coming forth with your story and giving others hope.

  20. C. Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    WHO really gives a damn????? Really????? Get over yourself already!!!!!!! MANY other people have problems much worse than you that they cannot CONTROL-GET REHAB OR AA and quit with the “poor me crap”!!!!

  21. alethia galla Says:
    May 24th, 2013 at 2:21 am

    Six months of change is still a critical stage. She can go back to her ways. We need to observe her if she is consistent for three years and have totally changed her whole lifestyle.

  22. Michael Y Says:
    May 24th, 2013 at 2:27 am

    Anne’s initial comments are symptomatic of why it is so difficult to address addiction. People moralize and stigmatize the disease and those that suffer from it.

    People think it is a matter of choice. Would that it were only that simple. People do not simply choose to throw away their lives, their money, their relationships.

  23. Meredith Says:
    May 24th, 2013 at 4:53 am

    Congratulations Meredith! I admire your strength and courage to embrace sobriety AND go public and possibly help others. While the author of the article shows a lack of personal understanding of the disease, in doing so, she points out how the general public still views alcoholism…that it’s only a matter of choice (not true, in my opinion) and that good looking, successful, otherwise appearing morally responsible people don’t become alcoholics (also, clearly not true).

    I see Meredith’s revelation as similar to Catherine Zeta Jones going public with bipolar disorder. Mental illness is an illness, as mentioned above, like any other genetically predisposed disease and like addiction. Both mental illness and addiction appear to others to be a person unable to control themselves or help themselves. The only crime, in my opinion, is not reaching out and asking for help and being willing to accept the help.

    These women opening up about their struggles (and successes!) hopefully helps normalize these diseases(wow-if it can happen to them, maybe it can happen to me) and can give others the courage to reach out and seek help for their own issues.

    I very grateful have 29 years sobriety and very sadly am watching my brother not be able to figure it out and quit drinking. It is a cunning, baffling, powerful disease.

    Thank you Meredith for your openness and honesty.

  24. Doug Says:
    May 24th, 2013 at 5:17 am

    As a happy and daily recovering alcoholic myself, I commend Meredith on recognizing that 20 bottles of wine per week is just not “normal”, and that perhaps she’d been bitten by the inability to control her drinking. It takes a lot to come forward about it, and to have the past she does in the public spotlight, makes her journey to 6 months sober even more admirable. Awesome I say.

  25. jean Says:
    May 24th, 2013 at 5:42 am

    Anne: You clearly are not educated on alcoholism.
    I too think the article could have been written in a more tactful manner in regards to the “you would have thought” wording.
    Merideth, good for you! Joining the bravest/strongest of people is truly something to be proud of! The gift given is something only alcoholic’s/addicts can understand. Stories like this make my heart glow! “Keep it simple”! Thank you for your “service”! You go girl!

  26. Jennifer Says:
    May 24th, 2013 at 6:18 am

    I am glad to see so many comments. A few I do not agree with. Alcolism is a diesease, no one want to be one. Will power is not what causes the problem, An alcoholic cannot have one sip, that is where the disease kicks in. Like a broken switch in the brain the person cannot stop…it has nothing to do with will power, the craving is like a an itch that your body wants you so badly to scratch. If you do not believe this go to an A.A meeting and tell the variety of people (black, white, hispanic, lawers, docters, constuction workers etc..) that they just are weak willed. These loving and kind people will calmly explain to you that it is in fact a disease just like cancer and diabetes and they never asked to have it. That is why we go to meetings and are very quiet about it. We are made to feel so much shame. People do not want to share that they have a problem with non-alcohlics for fear of being judged. If people could be a little more sympathic to this horrible and deadly disease then more people could and would come get the help that might save them and their families. Please don’t judge us for being alocholics. I am glad when people are brave enough to come forward with this and are willing to take the wrath from people who do not understand what it is really all about.I pray for all alcoholics daily that they can and will stay sober.

  27. Patrick Says:
    May 24th, 2013 at 7:40 am

    This is addressed to “Otis,” who commented on here. Otis! I was thumbing through the dictionary today and I searched for the meaning of the word “otis.” It said a genuine a–hole, rectum, wise-guy type of person who pokes fun at serious subjects to gain self confidence and draw attention to one’s self! I lost a son to booze and it still hurts everyday I think of my great loss to me! I will pray you never lose a loved one to alcohol! I think this young woman who stopped this “killer” battle with booze should be “thanked” many times over for telling her story. She is one of the few that can pull this off! My heart goes out to her! I am very glad and proud of her! Otis, have you ever thought of being in the circus? They have a need for “CLOWNS” like YOU! Alcohol KILLS!


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