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Amanda Davis, part 2 on CBS46: ‘Being an alcoholic is not all that I am’

Sharon Reed and Ben Swann introduce part two of Amanda Davis' story on May 18, 2016. CREDIT: CBS46

Sharon Reed and Ben Swann introduce part two of Amanda Davis’ story on May 18, 2016. CREDIT: CBS46

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Thursday, May 19, 2016

In her second part of a three-part series on CBS46 about her alcoholism and depression, former Fox 5 anchor Amanda Davis related how she was able to turn denial about her addiction into acceptance.

She started off about her car accident in November 12, 2012, the head-on collision that hurt another person. “My car didn’t just spin out of control,” she intoned, “my life went along right with it.”

Davis spent two months hiding in bed, filled with shame and guilt. She met with a psychiatrist Tommie Richardson and was diagnosed with clinical depression. For a moment, she felt better because she could see “light in that dark tunnel.” But then anxiety took over. “There’s the stigma,” she said. “I got to keep this quiet.”

A summary of part one of her report from Tuesday.

She repeated what she said Tuesday night: she didn’t think she had a drinking problem. She just thought she had “a low tolerance” for alcohol.

Davis returned to church and reconnected with God and her Christian faith, attending Cascade UMC. She received therapy for her depression. She retired from Fox 5 after 26 years. She was acquitted of her DUI. “I found new purpose,” she said, “new support and love. Things were looking up. I thanked God.”

Last June, CBS46 gave her an opportunity to return to TV with its “Just a Minute” commentaries. The night before her first commentary was to air, she decided to celebrate, going out to watch an NBA championship with friends. But on her way home, “blue lights came on. It finally clicked. I’ve got a problem. I said it. I knew I had to get help. But first, I would have to face the public again. And there was no one to blame but myself.”

She then spoke with anchors Sharon Reed and Ben Swann again live. She felt she was turning her life around but hadn’t dealt with some underlying issues.

“I never confronted the feelings that were hurting me,” Davis told them. “I was very upset about the break up” from a long engagement. She didn’t focus on the bad parts of that relationship, just what might have been.”

She said she fought her second DUI from 2012 because she didn’t think she had a problem at the time. (Her first one was from the early 1990s.) “I was trying to protect myself,” she said.

But Davis said she owned up to her third DUI. “I plead guilty,” she said, receiving probation and community service. “I took my punishment. I take full responsibility.”

She said she also had to get over the shame and the disapproval of the public.

“There are enough people to point fingers at you and say you’re a bad person. You’re the one who has to live with yourself,” she said.

When asked if she would ever drink again, she honestly answered that she didn’t know. “I know I can’t drink normally,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong per se with alcohol. It’s legal. It’s only the abuse of alcohol that’s the problem. People relapse all the time. I don’t plan to relapse. But if I do stumble, I know how to get back and start over. And I feel good about it. And I know I have friends and family and most importantly, I have God on my side. I know I’m going to be okay. And being an alcoholic is not all that I am. There is so much more to me.”

Part three will air Thursday during the 11 p.m. news. She will talk about her treatment last year and how valuable her mother and daughter are to her.

The videos will be available online on Friday.

She spoke with Ryan Cameron, Wanda Smith and Maria Boynton yesterday morning. At the five-minute point, Wanda especially goes deep with Amanda about her addiction.


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