As Captain Sandy confronted Travis Michalzik about his drinking in Monday night's episode of Below Deck Med, she opened up about her own past experience with alcohol abuse. "The only place I'm coming from is compassion because I've been there. It's addiction," she told Travis. "Sometimes I just wish I could have a glass of wine, but it's like I can't stop with one. I would have the whole bottle, then another one, then another one. It got me nowhere. Or, sometimes, incarcerated."
The Below Deck Med boss went on to describe how abusing alcohol impacted her life. "Alcoholism runs in my family. When I add alcohol, I cannot predict my behavior," she said in an interview during the episode. "As a result, I would get in a car and drink and drive. I was always in the hospital. I woke up one day and said, 'I want it different.'"
Nearly three decades ago, Captain Sandy decided she would never drink again. "I haven't had a drink in 29 years," she shared. "It's because someone had a conversation with me the way I did with Travis, and it changed my life."
Since then, Captain Sandy has used her own experience to help others overcome their demons. "In my career, I've helped many people who have drinking problems. I'm one of those people. And I grew up in a state where, at 17 years old, you could drink. And we had drive-through daiquiri bars. You could drive through, order your daiquiri, and drive away," she said in the Below Deck Mediterranean Season 4 After Show, which you can view, above. "I kept getting arrested, drinking and driving. And then one day, I finally woke up and said, 'I want off the merry-go-round.' And then I reached out for help. So when I smelled alcohol on [Travis'] breath, we started talking, and it was such an organic, beautiful conversation. I just wanted him to know that I'm here, and I could help him get help if that's what he wanted."
Watch Captain Sandy and Travis open up more about their heart-to-heart in the above clip.
See what's coming up on Below Deck Med Monday at 9/8c, below.