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Janet Devlin: I had a definite problem with alcohol at 18

The former X Factor star said she struggled after she appeared on the show.

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Janet Devlin (Ian West/PA)

Janet Devlin (Ian West/PA)

Janet Devlin (Ian West/PA)

Janet Devlin has revealed she battled with alcoholism while still a teenager after appearing on The X Factor.

The Northern Irish singer was just 16 when she auditioned for the ITV show, eventually coming fifth in the 2011 series of the talent competition.

The 25-year-old told ITV’s Loose Women: “I moved to Sheffield on my own and I was 17, and in those days life was so hectic and it was amazing but, at the end of the day, when you get home you’re on your own in an apartment in a different country where you know nobody, so it was very isolating, and when I was in social situations I did turn to alcohol to give me a bit of a confidence boost.

“I would definitely say at about 18 I had a definite problem.”

Asked when she realised she had an issue, Devlin said it was because of the “failed suicide attempt”, adding: “I don’t know the exact moment when it got really dark but I pretty much just woke up one day with a bottle of gin under my pillow.

“Every day before going to work I would have to get drunk, at night I would have to get drunk, it really quickly went very downhill for me.”

Asked if her family knew about her attempt to take her own life, Devlin said: “My family didn’t know at the time and most of them were never planned.

“My poor mum was always just waiting on that phone call to find out when I finally was gone.

“I love her to pieces and I’m so glad every day that I’m not causing her the same pain.”

Discussing how she finally got sober, she said: “It wasn’t really my choice, I tried loads of times to get sober and nothing was really working, but my mum flew over to help me out because I had gone missing for three days again.

“She came and walked me to a doctor’s office, walked me to this clinic where they try to get people sober, and they had no slots left so somebody slipped me a card for AA and that is when I went and it just changed my life. It was like the first day of the rest of my life.”

PA