The reality TV star, 23, was seen making an emotional exit from the ITV2 show last week, after four years on the show. And today she admits she left because of her rekindled relationship with Joey.
In an interview with today's Sunday Mirror (6 April), Sam admits she put her love for Joey first.
She says: "It was Joey or the show and I chose Joey. I've spent time apart from him and I've spent time really ill. I realise now what is important and that's health, happiness and my love for him. It was hard to leave TOWIE but I'm not risking those things any more."
After months of speculation about their on-off relationship, Joey recently confirmed the pair were back together by posting a cosy picture of them together on Instagram.
While fans were delighted to see the pair back together again, it seems no one is more pleased than Sam.
The Minnie's Boutique owner tells the newspaper: "When you live out your relationship on a TV show, you lose sight of how much is real and how much is for the cameras. That's difficult. There was always someone willing you to fight or make up because it makes good TV.
"Being ill was the wake-up call to do what makes me happy – that's being with Joey without the cameras."
Joey, 23, and Sam got engaged and split up last year on camera.
After leaving TOWIE and finding success away from the show, Joey got back in contact with Sam when he heard about her illness during her spell in Celebrity Big Brother and subsequent diagnosis of Crohn's Disease.
Last week, Sam admitted she was "disappointed" with her final TOWIE scenes.
Tweeting after the episode aired, Sam said: "Can't believe my last ever scene was cut down .. I said some lovely things to & about everyone over the last 4 years.. Very disappointed."
Do you think Sam Faiers was right to chose Joey Essex over TOWIE? Tell us below!