This is a shock.
Everybody knows Sandy Yawn as the strict but loveable captain on Below Deck: Mediterranean, however, before she was successful in the yachting industry she had a challenging life as a teenager and young adult that was caused by a tough home life, coming to terms with her sexuality and addiction.
In a new interview with The Cheat Sheet, Sandy opened up about how she was a "major" addict and alcoholic in her early life:
“I was a mess. By the grace of God, I’m alive. No matter how much money you have, it’s not going to save your life if you are an addict or an alcoholic. And I was a major addict and alcoholic.”
Sandy's mother was an alcoholic which didn't help the problem because it caused her to always want to get out of her house as a teen. On top of that, Sandy was also coming to terms with being attracted to girls, which in the 80s was taboo and terrifying for anybody to go through alone. She also opened up about how her father left her mother when Sandy was eight due to her excessive drinking:
“It was hard to watch. My father left when we were eight years old. So we would spend the summers with my father and he was normal. He didn’t drink. He just couldn’t take it anymore and I didn’t blame him.”
Running away from her problems at home caused her to fall into the wrong crowd at school and self medicate with drugs and alcohol. School also was challenging for Sandy and while she liked the logic associated with algebra, she said she only enjoyed the social aspect of school:
“But I wasn’t popular and I was always a mess. And yeah, school was scary. I could understand algebra. It was formulas. My brain is a formula brain. I’m a logical thinker. For me that was logic.”
In addition to her hard family situation, being closeted and having trouble at school, Sandy explained she was "always" in jail for drinking driving as a result of her addiction and was bailed out all the time. She clarified she's not a convicted felon, however, her life could've been completely different if she accidentally killed another person on the road.
She decided to speak out to help young people watching her and let them know they can turn their lives around too. At 17-years-old Sandy was court-ordered to "detox" from alcohol after an arrest for drink driving and by 25, Sandy pulled up her bootstraps and decided to pursue a career in the male-dominated yachting industry and never looked back. Can Sandy write a book because I would read it cover to fucking cover.
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This is the first time Sandy has ever addressed her addiction publically and it's shocking to me. In my mind out of any Bravolebrity, Sandy would be the least likely to have a struggle with addiction but it just goes to show alcoholism can affect anyone, it's just about how you turn it around and this only adds to Sandy's inspirational story. If you can come back from addiction, you can really come back from anything.
Thoughts? Sound off in the comments!