Back in 2004, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" told the story of Sarah Kohl, an Illinois mother with a drinking problem. Kohl let the world see her struggle, picking up a 12-pack of beer after dropping her daughter off at preschool and revealing her often intoxicated thoughts in a video diary. After admitting she was an alcoholic and checking herself into rehab, Kohl returned to "The Oprah Show" later that year, appearing happy and healthy. "I couldn't have done it without you, girl," she told Oprah back then, giving her a hug.
Fast-forward nine years.
It's hasn't been an easy path for Kohl, she admits on "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" Even her second "Oprah Show" appearance had its challenges. "It really wasn't about me. It was about trying to prove myself to my family and my friends," Kohl says now. "On the outside, it might have looked great, but I wasn't taking good care of myself on the inside... I just didn't feel comfortable in my skin."
Not only was Kohl uncomfortable, but she says that the stigma of her public alcohol abuse also affected her children -- her son's friend wasn't allowed to come over anymore -- as well as her teaching job. "The school district where I worked, I feel like they did not want me," Kohl says.
Still, Kohl says she stayed sober for a while, attending meetings and making every effort to live a healthy lifestyle. After about two-and-a-half years, however, things began to change.
"First, I went through a real shopping addiction and got myself into huge trouble financially," Kohl confesses. "Then I got into a relationship that was very toxic."
Kohl's behavior led her to relapse. "I was still very self-destructive," she says. "I started to drink again."
Her turning point came in the form of what Kohl describes as a nervous breakdown. "I got to a point where I was at my very lowest and I checked myself into the psych ward in town. I just said, 'I can't do it anymore,'" she remembers. "I told them I just wanted to pull in my garage, shut the door and it will be over. My kids will be better off without me; they won't have to deal with this drama... The guilt and shame were keeping me really sick."
While in the psychiatric ward, Kohl was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. "The meds worked quickly," she recalls. "Something in me really shifted... Something self-destructive in me started to be quieted."
In the video, Kohl also describes what life has been like since her diagnosis and how she and her children are doing today.