My name is Reba and I’m an addict in recovery. Once an addict always an addict, and when I watched the ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ this past season I noticed that Kim Richards, who admitted that she was an alcoholic, acted angry like I did when I was practicing my addiction. It was not only the anger, but it was the lying and the screaming which made me take a deeper look—I recognized my addictive behavior in her actions. I lived that way for over for 7 years. So with Kim, denying that she is drinking again, I watched this reality series and thought “she’s lying,” because that’s how I acted and I lied about nearly everything. In fact, that’s what we addicts are really good at—lying. I just watched Dr. Phil, who interviewed Kim Richards, and she finally came clean about her sobriety and the reason she started to drink again, citing the nasty tweets about her behavior, but most of all she was concerned with “what will people think”. Again I saw my old self in her as that was my problem too. I cared more about my appearance to the world than anything else. It took me a long, long time to feel ok just as I am and not what I think others want me to be. My heart goes out to Kim Richards, her family, and to anyone currently struggling in the throes of addiction. I sincerely hope Kim can get back on track with her recovery and finally learn to love herself for exactly who she is.
I wrote a lot about how my addictive behavior manifested, the ways in which it threatened my career and how I got sober in my book, Nearly Famous: Tales From the Hollywood Trenches. I have been blessed to stay clean for over 25 years and my life has changed beyond my wildest dreams, but the biggest gift I got was that I no longer care what you think of me. I just celebrated a big birthday, and it is wonderful to look at life knowing that you don’t have to love me, because today I love myself.