Sarah Harding addicted to sleeping pills

'I was addicted to sleeping pills': Sarah Harding battled prescription drugs as well as alcohol before her stint in rehab

They say the first step to recovery is admitting the problem; and Sarah Harding has confessed she was addicted to sleeping pills.

The problem escalated beyond her control and she was forced to spend three weeks in rehab to wean herself off of Zopiclone and alcohol.

The Girls Aloud star, 30, suffered in silence for four years as she endured a journey of what she describes as 'going to hell and back'.

Getting back to her best: Sarah Harding pictured for the first time since she revealed her terrible injuries

Putting the past behind her: Sarah Harding was seen shopping in London following her appearance on the front of The Sun newspaper

Sarah told The Sun: 'My drinking was out of control and I was addicted to sleeping pills. It was an awful combination.'

She also alluded to tragic Amy
Winehouse, who died last July after she was found with more than five
times the legal drink-drive limit in her blood.

Sarah says her problems began soon after finding success with the band: 'It was trying to maintain that f****** image that got me in all this trouble.'

Soon she was drinking a bottle of wine for breakfast, which resulted in erratic sleeping patterns and her love/hate affair with Zopiclone.

Zopiclone is reportedly one of the prescription
drugs found in Heath Ledger's home after he died from an overdose of prescription drugs.

Covered up: While she showed off her injuries in the papers yesterday, the singer kept her bruises under wraps in a long sleeves and large sunglasses

Covered up: While she showed off her injuries in the papers yesterday, the singer kept her bruises under wraps in a long sleeves and large sunglasses

Covered up: While she showed off her
injuries in the papers yesterday, the singer kept her bruises under
wraps in a long sleeves and large sunglasses

Retail therapy: Harding was spotted stocking up in upmarket Selfridges

Retail therapy: Harding was spotted stocking up in upmarket Selfridges

When Sarah split from DJ fiance Tom
Crane in September, her drinking became difficult to manage as she was
'isolated and depressed'.

After realising she was on a downward
spiral and going 'off the rails', she checked herself into a rehab
clinic in Cape Town in October.

It was here she met new boyfriend Theo De Vries.

Yesterday, Harding stepped out for the first time since revealing she suffered several injuries during a violent fight with her former fling.

While
she chose to show off her bruised arms and face in Wednesday's papers,
she kept them under wraps in a long-sleeved blouse and oversize
sunglasses for a shopping trip to indulge in some retail therapy.

Sarah wore a pair of black leggings with lace detail down the side of the legs,a cream patterned blouse and boots.

The blonde star appeared to be wearing quite a lot of make-up which she finished off with some lip gloss.

Shocking: The 30-year-old described the violent fight between her and her ex-boyfriend in detail during her tell-all interview

Shocking: The 30-year-old described the violent fight between her and her ex-boyfriend in detail during her tell-all interview

It was a stark contrast to her
appearance on the front of The Sun yesterday where she appeared
bare-faced with her hair tied back.

Speaking for the first time, Harding went into detail about the incident with her boyfriend of three months.

Looking at the image on the cover of the newspaper, it seems Harding's altercation with her boyfriend of three months was in fact very physical.

'He grabbed me by my hair – throwing my head on the floor. We were struggling,' she recalled.

'While he had me by the hair, he was pulling me across the floor. He was dragging me around.

Glum: Harding was collected from her home earlier in the day for her outing in London

Glum: Harding was collected from her home earlier in the day for her outing

'He
was smacking my head on the floor. He bit my ear. And when I kicked him
to try and get him off me, I got his nose and he was bleeding.'

The singer also claimed Theo smeared blood all her face during the incident.

Her allegations come after De Vries accused her of biting him and throwing an ashtray at his head.

Harding arrived back in the UK bandaged up after catching the first flight home from Austria.

'He's a scumbag': Sarah Harding claims that she was defending herself from Theo De Vries after he dragged her across the floor during their fight in Austria

'He's a scumbag': Sarah Harding claims that she was defending herself from Theo De Vries after he dragged her across the floor during their fight in Austria

She had been staying in the Hotel Schloss Matzen with her boyfriend when things took a turn for the worse.

Harding explained: 'He was goading me. The abuse carried on and on till I'd had enough. He got so horrible I threw a coffee cup at him. It missed.'

Harding claims she was defending herself during the incident after she decided to end her relationship with De Vries – and admitted it probably wasn't the best idea to date someone also
battling an addiction.

And she is particularly annoyed that the incident led her to break 90 days of sobriety, tempting her back onto the bottle.

She
admitted she found him 'lovely' when they first met, but things rapidly
went down hill during their holiday when he apparently
started drinking.

Where it broke out: The singer claims that she fled the Hotel Schloss Matzen because things with De Vries weren't right but had to return after her flight was cancelled

Where it broke out: The singer claims that she fled the Hotel Schloss Matzen because things with De Vries weren't right but had to return after her flight was cancelled

Harding realised that her and De Vries were not compatible and claims she left the hotel early to fly back to the UK.

However, when she couldn't get a flight, she ended up returning to their hotel and that's when the fight took place.

The
pop star added that she thinks the reason De Vries was so angry is
because he could tell she still had feelings for her ex-fianc Tom
Crane.

'I think he knew I missed Tom, because I do – desperately,' she said.

'I think in a way I was on a rebound. I think that p***** him off. I called him Tom a few times by mistake. He hated that.'

'He wants to kill him': Harding claims she has spoken to her ex-fianc Tom Crane since the incident and he feels very strongly about it

'He wants to kill him': Harding claims she has spoken to her ex-fianc Tom Crane since the incident and he feels very strongly about it

Harding also revealed that she has been in contact with the DJ since the incident, who 'wants to kill' Theo.

Although she admits they still care about each other, she insists 'we are just not right for each other at this
point in time'.

Harding
stated that she wishes she could 'do something' about the incident, but
that it will cost a lot of money as it would have to be a civil case.

Both her and De Vries face assault charges due to both of their allegations and injuries.