LaLa Kent will never forget the pain of losing her father.
In April 2019, the Vanderpump Rules star said goodbye to her dad and shared on Instagram that her world had “crumbled.” As a way to get through the grief, LaLa said she began drinking non-stop from morning until night.
“It was how I was coping,” the Bravo star exclusively shared with E! news. “When I went on the full on binge drinking for I believe it was three or four days straight, I just woke up with that feeling of being out of control, not knowing what I did, just the guilt and the shame and that was the moment I said I’m taking my life back. I’m not living one more day this way.”
Now, the 32-year-old is celebrating three years and 11 months of sobriety. She’s also marking National Recovery Month by sharing her story in hopes of inspiring those in need.
Before, LaLa said she would go out for a night on the town and be unable to remember what happened the next day. But now, as a mom to 17-month-old Oceanthe reality star says she is “present for every single moment” of life, including all of her daughter’s milestones.
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“The fact that my child will never see me in an altered state, that’s just amazing,” she said. “I get to sit here and just remember her hands or the first time we went to a barbecue and she got in the pool. I remember every detail.”
She also said she’s more alert when she films Vanderpump Rules. According to the Bravo star, she takes a beat to listen and isn’t “so quick to go in.” At the same time, if someone says something that she doesn’t agree with, “I’m popping up.”
“I do have this internal battle all the time because my line of work doesn’t represent what my program represents,” she explained. “I’m going into this environment and I am speaking my truth, but at the same time, I go into these rooms where it’s all about becoming a better person. It’s a conflict.”
In the past three years, Lala said her past and present co-stars—including Stassi Schroder, Katie Maloney and Scheana Marie—have been supportive of her sobriety.
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“It’s nice when people take a step back and realize, ‘Wow! Lala goes into every moment without any liquid to calm her nerves,'” Lala shared. “I would say those three have been incredible since I started this journey.”
Earlier this month, Stassi and Katie joined Lala as she was honored with the Spirit of Sobriety Award from the Brent Shapiro Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to save lives through awareness and effective programs that incentivize kids to abstain from drugs and alcohol.
While she was the honoree for a special evening, Lala said the high school students working on their own sobriety deserved credit at the event.
“We all say that the youth are our future,” she said. “I really look at them differently, especially since becoming a mom. I don’t know any other foundation that exists who does what the Brent Shapiro Foundation does.”
Perhaps the youngest member Lala hopes to leave an impression on is her own daughter. As Ocean grows into a young girl, her mom hopes she knows that women have all the power in the world.
“If you want something, you could most certainly get it,” she said when recalling the advice she passes on. “The hardest thing I ever did in my life is the proudest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I hope that when she grows up, she sees that she can truly do anything in the entire world.”
And when Lala begins to think about what her dad would say about her progress, she can’t help but light up.
“I know that he’s just beaming up there,” she said. “Even though I miss him so much, he’s doing work for me up there. The blessings that have come into my life since my dad has been gone, I will say I thank him pretty frequently.”
(E! and Bravo are part of the NBCUniversal family)
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