Why Rachel Uchitel Left – and Returned to – Celebrity Rehab
07/29/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Now that she's back, a source close to the N.Y.C. nightclub hostess tells PEOPLE why she ditched Rehab – and why she quickly came back.
"She did this TV show to show who she is. She feels that then if they hate her, she’s okay with that," the source said. "But she’s not okay with them creating a character for her to play and represent. She’s not the things say. She wants a chance to prove that. She’s trying to focus on what's going on there and take rehab seriously.”
Uchitel left the show temporarily because "the demons from her past became too much to deal with," the source says, but she returned after realizing that "she is part of a group and the group needs to know they can count on her for their sobriety."
Former Hills star Jason Wahler, singer Leif Garrett, former model Janice Dickinson, socialite Jason Davis and Party of Five actor Jeremy London are also set to be on the show.
According to a source close to the show, Uchitel wasn't gone from production for very long. "It was like she walked out and came back," the source says.
"It's very hard stuff dealing with past trauma," the source close to Uchitel says of her recovery process. "Being forced to look at it hurts."
A rep for VH1 and Dr. Drew had no comment.