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TV star tells story of drug abuse to ‘full house’ at SSU – The Collegian

TV star tells story of drug abuse to 'full house' at SSU“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with the least I’ve ever had. Life feels full again.”

TV star Jodie Sweetin talked to a full house in the Satellite Student Union Thursday night to discuss her life in front of the camera and her life of substance abuse.

About 500 people showed up to see the Full House star talk very casually about her life on the TV show and what happened after – and the crowd loved it.

During a Q&A period after her talk, she was asked to say her character’s signature catchphrase “How rude” – which she did – and the crowd erupted in applause and cheers.

Sweetin was born to a drug-addicted mother who was serving a sentence in LA County Jail. Her father, who was serving a prison sentence, was stabbed to death in a prison riot when she was 9 months old. Family friends took care of her as a baby until she was adopted a year later.

Sweetin spent eight seasons portraying Stephanie Tanner on ABC’s Full House in the 80s and 90s. After the series ended, she said the loss of everything she’d grown used to for eight years felt like a death to her as a teenaged girl.

Full House ran from 1987 to 1995, and it was a part of ABC’s flagship TGIF programing.

In order to not feel the pain of the loss, she turned to alcohol and eventually hard drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine.

“What I realized is I took those skill of pretending and acting along with me throughout my whole journey of my life,” Sweetin said. “This time, I started pretending that I knew how to act – how to have friends – how to be normal. And inside, I was alone and scared, and I had all these feelings that I had no idea how to deal with.”

She said she had trouble coping with her new reality and integrating into real life.

“I started getting really depressed, but I couldn’t talk to anybody because I thought if I talked about how I was feeling, that something was wrong with me,” Sweetin said. “But inside I felt alone, and I felt ashamed, and I felt scared.”

She said she was trying to figure out how to feel comfortable in her own skin, so she turned to alcohol at 13. She described herself as a “blackout drinker” and did everything she could to not remember what was going on.

She got sober and relapsed several times over the years. She’s been through two marriages, had a daughter, and now she’s engaged again.

Sweetin, who has been sober more than five years now, went to college to get her certificate in drug and alcohol counseling. She tours the country to speak at colleges to tell her story because she said that if you tell your story, “it no longer owns you.”

“I hope the students walk away tonight feeling a little bit more connected and a little bit more like they have important stories to tell, too,” Sweetin said before her talk Thursday. “If they can go out and share their stories and help other people and be of service to others, I think that’s the most important work that they will get to do. I hope that when they leave tonight, they feel like they can share the struggles and triumphs that they’ve been through with other people.”

Now, Sweetin and company are back on the small screen because Netflix revived the series 2016. Now called Fuller House, the show follows Sweetin and her Full House costars in a mirrored sitcom of the original series with three women raising children where the original starred three men.

Season one is already on Netflix, and season two hits Netflix on Dec. 9. Sweetin said each episode is holiday episode.

Sweetin’s talk was sponsored by University Student Union Productions, the Student Health and Counseling Center and Bulldogs For Recovery.

After receiving a grant from Transforming Youth Recovery in 2015, Fresno State launched Bulldogs for Recovery, which includes resources such as Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) meetings and Bulldogs for Recovery open meetings.

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