The star is opening up to PEOPLE about her struggles

By Emily Strohm
Updated October 05, 2016 06:19 PM
Credit: Donna Svennevik/ABC

It’s not an easy subject to talk about, but Elizabeth Vargas hopes to help others by sharing the details of her “deeply personal” struggle with addiction.

“I think it’s important for any person to own their own story, the good parts and the bad,” she tells PEOPLE.

“I first started to wonder if I had an issue, so I read other people’s books, and they helped me enormously. It’s very scary to put it out there, but if I can help one person feel less alone, then I’m really happy about that.”

Vargas will release her first book, Between Breaths A Memoir of Anxiety and Addiction in September.

And as far as the writing process, the 20/20 anchor says there were plenty of ups and downs.

“Partially therapeutic, at times painful, and yet also, at times, very liberating,” she says. “This was about admitting what I did, what I suffered with, and how I overcame it,” she says.

Vargas checked into rehab for alcohol abuse in Nov. 2013 then returned less than a year later to be treated for alcohol dependency.

“I am really lucky, and every day I realize that more because I see so many people who don’t have family and friends who stood by them, or employers that gave them another chance she says. “I am extraordinarily blessed.”

Vargas’ next 20/20 special about a secret network of people who take the law into their own hands and hide children that they believe have been wronged by the family-court system airs April 8 on ABC. “I’ve been working on it for months, she says. I’m very excited.”