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Sara Haines Hit 'Rock Bottom' and Struggled to 'Get Back to Myself' After Daytime Show Cancellation

"It was a haul to kind of find myself again," Haines said on Monday's episode of the 'Behind the Table' podcast

Jenny Anderson/ABC via Getty Sara Haines
Jenny Anderson/ABC via Getty Sara Haines

Sara Haines is reflecting on the dark times she experienced behind the scenes on, and off, The View.

The daytime co-host, 46, appeared on the Behind the Table podcast on Monday to talk with executive producer Brian Teta about the ups and downs of her career in daytime television. Haines said that the two years she was not on The View and the cancellation of her show with Keke Palmer and Michael Strahan were low points for her.

“I was in a dark place and when you’re depressed, you can’t distinguish reality from your created narratives,” she explained.

Lou Rocco/ABC Michael Strahan, Keke Palmer, and Sara Haines
Lou Rocco/ABC Michael Strahan, Keke Palmer, and Sara Haines

Haines said that her time on Strahan, Sara and Keke was tumultuous because of what she was experiencing mentally. When the pandemic hit and the show got canceled, Haines said she was mourning “the dream I’d always had.”

“Working with Michael Strahan and eventually Keke Palmer, I miss them all the time,” she revealed. “The laughter, the joy, even the staff. But the show didn’t really have a chance out the gates. We fumbled, all of us, through the whole thing.”

She continued: "Meanwhile, I got through finding out I’m pregnant unexpectedly and really dropping into a depression, having major postpartum depression as I tried to race back and save a drowning ship, which was our show, six weeks after having a baby.”

Related: Sara Haines' Three Kids and Husband Surprise Her on ‘The View’ for Her Birthday in Adorable Moment

Haines admitted she “was a wreck” and “really shocked” that the show was ending in 2020, despite knowing it hadn’t reached its full “potential.”

"I was mourning. It was the dream I’d always had," she explained. "Out of the gates, it almost never was that but I was so determined not to fail and not to let go, that I was being dragged behind a car, metaphorically."

As she grew emotional, Haines explained her tears on the topic were "because I so vividly remember how invisible I felt" and how "what was playing out in front of me and some of the storylines [in the press] weren’t what was happening [behind the scenes]."

"My friends that did my hair and makeup, they remember vividly, I don’t remember many days where I wasn’t crying in my dressing room," she added. "It was a rough time and again, no shade to any of the people. I worked with some fun, amazing people and we had a lot of fun."

<p>Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty</p> Whoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines and Ana Navarro on 'The View'

Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty

Whoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines and Ana Navarro on 'The View'

When she was asked to return to The View, still during the pandemic, Haines said she was "so grateful to be called [back] because you don’t get two chances unless you’re Joy Behar."

Still though, she felt like “a shell of myself” compared to when she was co-hosting years before and struggled to return, especially with expectations she placed on herself that she didn’t think she could meet.

“I was so tense that day that I didn’t know if I’d remember how to do my job,” she confessed. “I had become really invisible in those two years in my own mind, through the depressions and stuff. I couldn’t have even told you what my talent was. I didn’t even know how to do what I had been paid to do for years."

Related: Sara Haines Asks Her Husband About Chores After Sex: 'He Got What He Wanted, I'm Gonna Get What I Want'

She cried to Teta as she recalled "shaking" the entire first day. Looking back, Haines said she values the relationships she built with Palmer and Strahan, and the skills she took away from being on their show, because it helped her feel secure in her return to television.

“It was a haul to kind of find myself again,” she said. “I would never trade what happened because the valleys and the low points, one, are not all bleak and terrible and there were so many amazing moments.”

“All of that and the skills it brought with me because having hit that dark place myself, I almost came back with a little fearlessness,” she added.

<p>Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty</p> Keke Palmer and Sara Haines

Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty

Keke Palmer and Sara Haines

Haines also noted that once she found her grounding, she felt better than ever. She even said people complimented her newfound strength and resilience.

“I think a lot of that came from hitting kind of a rock bottom for myself professionally,” she explained.

When Teta noted that The View has now been No. 1 for four seasons, and credited Haines for her participation in it, she responded that she likes to “tell myself that too.” She added that her confidence has returned and she no longer looks back at the dark times with disdain, but rather thankfulness for her growth.

"How lucky am I though? That stuff doesn’t line up in this business, and to go through all of that and then not know what was next or coming?" she said of The View. "It’s so amazing. It has range, it has perspective and different points of view and such different life perspective. Where we all come from, our experiences, it is a great table."

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ABC News' Behind the Table can be listened to wherever podcasts are streamed. The View airs weekdays on ABC (check local listings).

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