NEWS
12/12/2011 08:11 GMT | Updated 13/12/2011 07:46 GMT

Girls Aloud's Sarah Harding: 'I Was A Mess Before Rehab'

Sarah Harding has opened up for the first time about her messy pre-rehab life.

The Girls Aloud singer was known for her love of the party lifestyle but has revealed her boozing got out of hand after the break-up of her relationship with then-fiancé Tom Crane.

Amidst rumours of rowing about her partying, Sarah and Tom called off their engagement in September.

Soon afterwards, Harding checked into rehab in search of treatment for depression and alcohol addiction.

Speaking to Hello! magazine, Sarah explained, "I was so down but I just tried to keep busy and, to numb myself, I was drinking more. It was my way of escaping.

"One minute I was deliriously happy, to the point of hysteria, and totally in denial about my problems saying, 'I'm fine, I'm fine'. The next it hit me - and when it did, it hit me hard."

The tipping point came when Sarah's Girls Aloud pals Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts invited her for dinner the day after a heavy night out.

"I wasn't in a good state at all," Sarah told the mag. "I was very hungover. But the first thing I wanted to do was open a bottle of wine. I know they were really worried about me."

She went on, "The day I left for rehab, I was such a mess... I was crying hysterically. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, terrified - my emotions were all over the place."

With a stint in rehab under her belt, Sarah hopes to make a fresh start, and added, "I've turned 30 now and, although there will always be a bit of the rock chick in me, I'm trying to embrace my softer and more feminine side."

There had been rumours that Sarah has reunited with her ex Tom, after they had 'heart-to-heart chats' during her stint in the clinic, with a source telling The Sun they were trying again as "they feel like they've been through too much together to let it go."

Despite this, Sarah told Hello! that she didn't think they had a future together.

"Our lives had started to go in different directions. We'd become like passing ships. As far as our future plans were concerned, I didn't see how it would work."

Since leaving rehab, Sarah has been pictured with a mystery man, who she was spotted holding hands with on a walk near her Buckinghamshire home last week.

Could this be the start of another romance for the Girls Aloud star? Watch this space...