Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Let's toast to 2015...or not.

"Hi, my name is Karyn and I'm an alcoholic. "

I can't tell you how terrified I was the first time I said that. I still get butterflies 10 years later. For those of you that are shocked at that confession, don't feel bad that you didn't know. No one really knew unless I told them or they saw me out drinking...which a lot of people in Kona did...

I remember the first time I took a drink. I was working late at the theater and a bunch of my friends had been pressuring me to drink with them after work. I was in a weird place emotionally. I was pretty messed up actually. I can't think of one particular instance where I made the decision to drink. It was 100 little things that built up to the decision. My first drink was sitting outside of Makalapua theaters with people I thought were my friends, sipping on a Corona.

The stupidest thing is that I didn't even like drinking in the beginning. People that LOVE beer or alcohol in general are CRAZY. It does not taste good or rather I should say it is DEF an acquired taste. Despite this fact, I didn't care. The more I drank, the better I felt... actually, the more I drank, the less I felt. Feeling less meant I felt better. And just like the decision to start drinking began with 100 little things, the path to alcoholism were little "mistakes" that built and built this dependence. A dependence on something that was illegal for me to drink, and against everything that I was raised to say no to. It started as just something I did for fun. Something I did to forget my problems...but they were all there when I was sober, only they were magnified by about 20 now because of all the issues that came with drinking.

I read an article today called, "10 Things I Don't Miss About Drinking" and I can honestly say that every one of them except the one that didn't pertain to me (hangovers...I don't know if I can actually get them) are TRUE! Drinking was a mistake that I wish I could go back and just erase. It got so bad that I would take alcohol to school and work just to get through. I was always in some form of drunkenness. I hated beer and would just have people buy me the hard stuff...and I have an alcohol tolerance that you wouldn't believe. Haha.

It all came to a head when a couple things happened. The first is that my brother and his new wife and baby moved in with us. I don't think I ever loved a baby more than I loved my nephew Keala. He was the first and I loved him so much. The second thing was that I decided to drive home drunk. It wasn't any different from any other night driving home. I was plastered (as usual) and started on my way home. Driving drunk in a town where you know all the cops and they all know you from when you were a kid is an interesting thing. I had been stopped so many times before and warned to pull it together. No one ever gave me a sobriety test or even made me get out of the car.  Anyway, back to the story--I had decided to drive home.

I should not have been on the road. I drank an entire bottle of vodka, half a bottle of tequila rose, a bottle of peach schnapps, and just for kicks 3 or 4 beers. I was buzzing, and I remember feeling buzzed, but pretty clear comparatively. I hopped in my car and started home--which was only about 10 mins away. The next thing I remember is swerving to miss a car. I spun out and the other car spun out. It was around 2 or so in the morning and no one was on the road (thankfully). I got out of my car and stumbled over to the other car to make sure they were okay. I heard the baby crying before I got all the way across the road. The mom (still don't know her name) was crying and came to meet me in the middle of the street. She saw how wasted I was and started yelling at me. Her baby was sick or something and she was on her way to the hospital. The last thing she needed was a drunk idiot killing them on the way.

I felt pathetic. Pathetic isn't even a big enough word. I felt like nothing. Worse than nothing. When did my life become this? I remember crying and saying I was sorry over and over again. I got in my car and went home. That night I decided to stop. Why did I even start in the first place? I felt so stupid. I was better than that.

Ten years. It's a long time to be done with something. Quitting drinking was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And I'm still working at it everyday. Some people think that it's just quitting and then you're finished. I wish it was like that. I may have stopped drinking cold turkey, but the addiction was still there. I still think about drinking when things get hard. For a while I used other things to take the place of my addiction...none of which were healthy or good for me. Swapping out one addiction for another is like using a different brand of cigarettes. You're still smoking, it's just a different brand. I was still an addict, I just moved through different things to be addicted to.

Addiction is so weird. It can manifest itself in so many ways. Eating too much food, not eating anything, sex, exercise, media consumption (you know, like video games, TV shows, etc) ...we can get addicted to so many things in so many ways, but the root of it is the addiction itself. It spreads its tentacles through you until it controls what you say and do. You lie and manipulate your way through life to get what your addiction is. I know I've hurt so many people with mine. I've spent the last ten years trying to pay for what I've done. I'm trying to get to a place where I feel...forgiven. Not really by any deity or person in particular. Mostly I want to forgive myself.

Who knows when that will happen. The cool thing is that I think living a life where you are trying to be the best version of yourself and trying to make up for all your faults and shortcomings isn't that bad of a life. It works for now.

Thanks for reading my story. Hopefully it can help you with whatever you happen to be dealing with. If not, I hope you still can deal with your issues with a little more grace and confidence.

Here's to 2015. It's going to be amazing...because we make it that way.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The ones you hate

I don't really hate anyone on this planet (or off this planet...since I haven't met anyone not of this world). Hating someone takes too much energy. I'd rather just empty my life of people that don't make me happy than spend any energy hating anyone.

That being said, this is the best website I have ever seen. I have a couple people I would love to send these to. That is all.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Hello people in the blogosphere.

First of all, Happy New Year. It's been a crazy 2014. Let's make 2015 memorable as well, shall we?

Today I had a pretty long conversation with a co-worker and friend of mine. While we were talking I had an epiphany. Well, I knew it, but the conversation we had made it more poignant.

Struggling in life makes us appreciate what we have.

As one of my favorite movie characters (bonus points if you can name them without looking it up) says,
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!

I've gone more than a few rounds with life. 30 years of #thestruggle and it legit takes everything I have some days to make it through. Despite what some people think, life hasn't been easy for me. Everything I have achieved...everything I can do...everything I am is due to working my butt off and more than a little faith that the Lord will provide.

Life can be tough. More for some than others. Life can grind you under its heel until you call, "Mercy" and will still not let up. Life gets so hard sometimes that people shut down, shut off. I've seen it happen. I've seen the light go out in people's eyes when they are too tired of fighting. I've seen the toll giving up on #thestruggle can take.

Life will knock the living daylights out of you and not blink twice. There may be times that you might want to give up. There may be times that you'll want to check out and never look back. Don't do it!

Life can be hard, but it is also beautiful, joyous and fleeting. Seize every moment! If you're feeling like you want to give up or surrender, get back up and keep moving forward. No matter how small the step, keep going forward.

I know how hard life can hit you. I've been down for the count more times than I've liked. The measure of your character is getting back up and moving toward the goals that you want to achieve. You probably are like me and never seem to catch a break. Well, the one thing I can guarantee you is that #thestruggle is your chance to prove to yourself what you're made of.

I think sometimes I forget that being perfect and never getting knocked down isn't reality. That failure is okay. I forget that everyone is struggling and that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have. Life can catch you in the jaw and knock you out. Get up, grab life by the throat and go after what you want.

This year is just beginning, and I feel like it will be one of the best yet. I might get knocked around...but I'm not giving up and neither should you.

Something for the road: