‘I’m addicted to saving people!’ Loose Woman’s Nadia Sawalha on the ups and downs of being a ‘rescuer’

Loose Women’s Nadia Sawalha has revealed helping husband Mark Adderley through his alcohol addiction has given her a desire to rescue other people.

Nadia, 55, made the admission during the daytime panel show where she was discussing news that Jennifer Garner was still supporting ex Ben Affleck as he combats alcoholism.

Speaking about the impact of helping Mark stay teetotal for 15 years following his rehab stint, Nadia said she has been ‘diagnosed’ as being addicted to saving people.

She said, ‘When someone has got sober it has become part of your life. Every day it’s part of our lives. When he went into rehab, as the partner every week you have all these sessions and they [professionals] said there is rarely a relationship between an addict without the other person being a rescuer. When I look back into my past relationships almost everyone has had serious problems.’

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She continued, ‘It really made me think. Over and over again it’s the same. It’s because my eldest sister Dina was painfully shy as a child and I used to love looking after people. I got this label with people that I would sort it. That became my shtick.’

But Nadia also acknowledged the downsides of being the rescuer: ‘I thought that was the best thing about myself. Actually what you’re doing is avoiding yourself and you’re not having to question your own stuff.’

Even a hero like Nadia needs a hero…

In the past Nadia has spoken about her own addictions, sharing that she’d struggled with binging and compulsive eating.

In 2017, she told Best magazine: ‘It’s what I call “emotional eating”. You can be addicted to anything – alcohol, sex… But people don’t seem to agree that you can be addicted to food.

She added: ‘I am happy now but every day I meditate and exercise – I have things in place to help me stay on track.’