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Hayley Holt on how alcoholism masked her deeper personal issues - 'Most of the reason you drink is resentment and fear'

Hayley Holt has spoken frankly about how resentment and fear were the root causes of her past alcoholism.

The Breakfast presenter spoke to Jehan Casinader in the first episode of TVNZ's new mental health panel show, The Inside Word. Source: TVNZ DUKE

The TVNZ1 Breakfast presenter touched on the lessons Alcoholics Anonymous imparted to her on Duke's The Inside Word program last night, and how drinking masked deeper personal issues. 

"What you learn in AA is most of the reason that you drink is resentment and fear, the two main reasons," Holt said. 

"Everyone, people, organisations, life, the world. So you write all of these resentments that you have and you go 'these guys, it's all their problem, everyone's an arsehole apart from me'.

"But then when you work through all this resentment you go 'there's a pattern here and it's me'."

Holt said she realised one of her own deficiencies was a tendency to be easily influenced by others.

"Mine was I don't stick up for myself, or I don't set my own boundaries, or I'm a yes person and I resent people who say 'OK I'll take what you're giving me'," she said.

"It's about finding your own power."

Holt went on to describe how, in 2013, she failed an on-air drug test while presenting a radio show on More FM.

Angry that the stunt had been broadcast, she decided to get drunk one night, before hosting her early-morning radio show.

"I blamed [my] work… so I decided to get drunk and go on air, and show them just how resentful I was."

The fallout was highly publicised, and Ms Holt said she sat in her house for about three days, "hiding from everything, [while] drinking".

"That wasn't the only rock bottom I'd had. I'd had many, many, many times where I should have gone, 'Hey, let's look at your drinking'."

Her biggest wake-up call came after a decade of heavy drinking.

"It took me watching my friend giving up drinking, and seeing the difference in her - that made me realise 'Wow, this might be the answer'."

The Inside Word airs Sundays at 9pm on DUKE. All six episodes are available now on TVNZ OnDemand.