Michelle Heaton packed “heels and a going-out dress” for her stay in rehab.
The Liberty X singer checked into the Priory clinic to tackle her alcoholism in April 2021 and she admitted it was a “real culture shock” in her first few weeks because the reality of living with other addicts was much more difficult than she’d expected.
She told OK! magazine: “It’s not exactly a hotel. I remember packing heels and a going-out dress as I thought surely we’ll go out for one meal. But obviously not. It was a real culture shock.
“The first week was very difficult. Everything was coming out as I was sobering up – it was awful, it was painful.
“You’ve got that pain that you’re missing something, that you’re mourning something. I was mourning drinking.”
As part of her recovery, Michelle’s husband, Hugh Hanley – the father of her children Faith, 11, and eight-year-old AJ – had to write a letter detailing how her addiction had stolen her from their family.
The businessman found the exercise “really tough” but knew it was the right thing to do.
He said: “That was really tough. I felt like I was kicking my loved one when she was down because the purpose of the letter is to show them things they’d done that may have upset you when they were an addict.”
Michelle has kept the letter and it serves as a reminder for how far she’s come.
She added: “It was heartbreaking to hear. At this point I was sober and it was read out by a fellow in the programme so I could really acknowledge what was written.
“I realised what chaos I’d brought on my family. In addiction you just don’t see it.
“I have that letter beside my bed today and when I read it now it affects me in a different way and confirms to keep doing what I’m doing.”