Meredith Phillips, who starred in the second season of "The Bachelorette" in 2004, has revealed her long struggle with alcoholism.

"For years I'd wake up every day feeling like I was hit by a truck," Phillips, 39, told People magazine, describing daily blackouts and downing more than 20 bottles of wine a week. "But I realized I was going to kill myself," she said. "There wasn't another path for me other than to stop."

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Former model Phillips -- who had been third runner-up on "The Bachelor" season four, starring Bob Guiney -- said she began her heavy drinking while in college and was even getting drunk during production of "The Bachelorette." But now, more than 150 days sober, she says, "I'm finally starting to live my life again."

Equities researcher Ian McKee proposed to her on "The Bachelorette," but they announced their breakup in February 2005.

She went on to become a cookbook author and had a long relationship with filmmaker Fritz Manger, appearing in his direct-to-video 2010 movie "Re-Cut." Phillips married her high school sweetheart Michael Broady in 2011.