"I kind of lost myself for a little bit," the reality star, 25, said on Tuesday's Today show, while discussing her new book Sliding into Home and how she once experimented with drugs as a teen and also became a stripper.
"I wasn't a druggie stripper. I was a very good person doing it. [But] I was kind of still embarrassed about it," she clarifies.
"I always knew that it was wrong. [But] the drugs and everything, that's what found me and accepted me," she says, explaining that her behavior came from a painful place when she had to cope with her father leaving the family.
After trying drugs, Wilkinson realized she was "that tomboy, I'm that kid that loves sports. That wasn't me."
Deciding to get back her life wasn't a swift decision. "It took a while," she admits. "A good couple of weeks to think about, okay, the time is coming. I don't know when yet. [But] this isn't me."
A few years later – and her Playboy Mansion days and sex tape scandal behind her – Wilkinson now says she finally feels "safe."
"I've been through a lot. I've gotten through it," she says. "I'm home, where I've always wanted to be."