Escape from Drunk Bitch Mountain

Love or loathe Bravo’s hit reality television franchise The Real Housewives, there is no denying its impact on pop culture. If you’re unfamiliar (then you’re probably better off), the show focuses on the real lives of  pampered housewives. Much of the conflict on each version of the show- from New York to Beverly Hills- arises when the ladies get together for drinks and the claws inevitably come out after the chicks dust several bottles of white wine.  Now, cast member and former child star Kim Richards from the 90210 version has completed rehab and if I were her, I wouldn’t come back to reality TV.


The story of Kim Richards very public battle with alcoholism has been covered a lot by sobriety bloggers lately -most brilliantly by Psych Central, by the way. I think Kim’s story is one those of us who have been there can identify with, even if the rest of her life seems totally foreign. Kim starred in Disney hits in the 1970’s like Escape to Witch Mountain, has been married several times and is the aunt to Paris Hilton. Her day-to-day and growing up in front of cameras are things I can’t identify with. However when Richards is shown on television these days she’s slurring into the phone, missing planes, lying about why she’s late and erratically screaming at people. That’s a life I know all too well. Like Richards I had a group of people I partied with and drank with and hid things from. And like Kim I verbally attacked people when I was intoxicated, I had a bucket of excuses as to why I could never do what I promised and I had to eventually face the music. The word is that Bravo forced Richards into rehab so could hang onto her job. That never happened to me and I never went to rehab. I was told if I wanted a sliver of a chance at sobriety, I had to change my playground, my playmates and my playthings. As painful as it was, I had to leave my whole life in order to really give sobriety a shot. It seemed like I would never have friends again and the loneliness would kill  me faster than the drink ever could. After 20 years of daily drinking and using, I had to submerge myself into a new sober way of life because any semblance of my old drinking days would have trumped my new existence. Regardless of how hard it was, sobriety had to become my job. But that’s me. I’m not Kim Richards and I don’t know what it’s like to try to stay sober while being in the spotlight and under a microscope.

In an interview for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion show, Richards is still holding grudges, still blaming others and still, from what it sounds like,living like she did before she went to rehab. Except she’s sober. And again, I get it. Recovery is no picnic. But all anybody, famous or not, needs to do to stay sober is honestly try. Hopefully, Richards will allow herself to do just that.

8 thoughts on “Escape from Drunk Bitch Mountain

  1. Just wanted to let you know I’ve been enjoying your posts. (sounds like the begining of a spam scam) No actually, as a fellow recovering drunk, I appreciate your honesty and humor. My girlfriend watches all the Housewives of Various Vapidvilles as I stare at the computer desperately trying to tune them out. I too found myself uncomfortably relating to Kim as she missed flights, reaked havoc, and slurred over her breakfast. Got a nice dose of humility.

    • Hey! Thanks so much. Yeah it totally puts “what it was like” right in your face when you see it right there on TV right? I like Vapidville, btw. I think I used to live there. I may have even run for mayor of Vapidville.

  2. You’ll have my vote. Hey, my substance-abuse intuition says that there was something a little more going on there than just booze. Her eyelids hung at a “pillish.” half-mast. She acted a little Xanaxy to me. Maybe using the booze as a little kicker, if you will. Just a hunch, honeybunch. Ok, awaiting your next piece. Onward and upward.

  3. Ah, great post again. And I look forward to reading your thoughts on Whitney. So dang sad. So not surprising. And yes, I am making assumptions I shouldn’t. Truth is, I dread the next however many weeks of speculation and rumors. With Amy Winehouse it ran the spectrum only to end up where a lot of us thought it would: she drank herself. to death. Hope life finds you happy, joyous and free today, Sean. You bless my life. Heather

    • Thanks Heather. Yeah. I’m making assumptions about Whitney that I shouldn’t either. I guess it’s impossible not to. But if she did overdose or drank herself to death, I hope there’s an honest conversation about it. We gloss over the gnarly truth of the matter that this disease kills when it goes untreated for long enough. So sad and like you said so not surprising. Hope you have wonderful day too. We’re the lucky ones for sure. hearts, Sean.

      • I agree. If there was some psycho murderer out there killing pilling at the rate drugs and alcohol do, we’d all be in an uproar. Instead, it’s like, “Yeah, saw that coming.” I wasn’t gonna post about it, but it also feels weird not to. So maybe I’ll just do a Sunday post today and go back to regular tomorrow. Just a few words. Love having a bro in this with me. H

  4. yep. another great post.

    I had to move away from my friends to get clean too. I ended a 5 year relationship because my girlfriend wanted to keep drinking and doing coke and I just could NOT stay clean in that. She did not have a ‘problem’ (I really don’t think she did. Denial?) I had to leave and that leave taking was SAD SAD SAD. I don’t regret it now. I wonder if I could have found words to explain to her why I NEEDED to quit. hindsight.

    I am happy now, you know, mostly, and things happen the way they happen.

    I still can’t be around heavy users or sloppy drunks. Well, any drunks. My Alco-Dar goes off when I am with someone who drinks a ton even if they can ‘handle their booze’. I could Handle Mine too. yeah, right.

    It was lonely at first to lose friends and a lover BUT here I am: alive.

    there you go.

    thanks for writing with such honesty…


    • Thanks, Jen. I’ve met folks in “the rooms” who stay with heavy drinking husbands and wives and friends. So it is possible. But it doesn’t really seem like the easier softer way either. It’s especially hard to leave when your crew co-signs your shitty behavior. And mine certainly did that. When I got sober they wanted nothing to do with me. I don’t blame them. I was a drag. My life was real and it was messy. Who wants to be around that? But 3 years later I have folks in my life who want me to be sober and happy. What a difference!

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