The SHAIR Podcast

Kiné, now 25 years old and 4 years clean takes us through 6 years of drug and alcohol abuse.  She started out from the age of 15 drinking alcohol and smoking weed on the weekends and by her senior year in High School is consuming drugs and alcohol daily.   

Barely Graduating from High School Kiné moves to Oakland to start college.  Now free from parental supervision she goes completely out of control adding cocaine and ecstasy to her roster of drug use.  With limited funds to support her ever expanding drug addiction Kiné and her gang of misfits “the Hippie Mafia” start shoplifting alcohol at the local grocery store and selling the bottles on campus to pay for their drugs. 

She completely fails her first year in College so her parents cut her off financially and she is forced to move back home where her shoplifting and drug abuse elevate to yet another level.  Realizing she can no longer deny her addiction she makes a pact with her boyfriend to stop drinking and seek recovery.  It’s an intense and inspiring journey, join us now!

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SHAIR – Sharing Helps Addicts in Recovery

Here are Kiné’s SHAIR Podcast interview highlights and suggestions for the Newcomer:

Clean Date: June 19, 2010

Tell us about how your life is today. Your hobbies, what you do for a living. Take us into your normal daily routine, including recovery.

Kiné: Okay, I lead a very busy life these days. I work full time at a marketing agency and then I actually run an online company in my spare time. I’m very, very busy on that front, but I’m also super active in my program. I go to I would say 2-3 meetings on average a week, which is about right for me and I also have a sponsee that I work with and I have a sponsor that I work with of course. I do a ton of service work. I’m part of a really fun group called Whiskey Paw and basically we…

“O” Whiskey Paw?

Kiné: Yeah, it stands for the Washington State Council of Young People in AA and we do all kinds of different service hoping to carry the message to the alcoholics who still suffer, young or old, but of course we have a specific audience of young people in the program.

How old were you the first time you drank or used drugs and more importantly, how did that make you feel?

Kiné: I was fifteen years old and one day. I remember because it was Friday and I turned fifteen on Thursday and I decided I wanted to try it for the first time. 

What was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?

Kiné: Well when I first made a decision to stop drinking, like I said, I didn’t have any support so it was really my association that was keeping me from staying sober. My friends that were still drinking and using, that was the big reason, but another thing, when I got into early recovery, even though I didn’t go back out, was that I had really big reservations about being too young, or just that I was too early in my addiction to quit. From the outside, it didn’t look that bad. I had heard all of these other people’s stories and just didn’t really have a ton of consequences comparatively to other people I heard talking about their sobriety. I always wondered if I was too young or it was too early to quit. Maybe I could go back out and drink another year or two. 

At what point did you have a spiritual awakening, that ‘aha’ moment in recovery when you accepted that you were powerless over drugs and alcohol, but for the first time had developed the hope that you could recover?

Kiné: I think for sure when I lied about taken that Vicodin and then came clean about it and everyone still loved me. I just got that unconditional love and support from fellowship and that’s where I was really able to turn over like now I’m sober and now I see how bad my addiction is because when I took that Vicodin pill, I didn’t think it was relapsing. I didn’t think it was bad because I didn’t get high from it, but my body was so programmed to just put into my body whatever it saw whether it was a drug or a drink and so that taught me how insidious my disease is and that I really do need to work the steps and I really do need to protect myself from that and so I just became super willing and I think that was probably my first spiritual experience, hard to say.<

Do you have a favorite book you would recommend to a new comer that you read in early recovery?


The Big Book Anonymous

The big book! That’s the only book. The Twelve and Twelve, but the big book for me when I read it I am half African and half white so I am a woman of color in my twenties when I first got sober and I could not believe that I identified with so much in this book that was written by a middle aged white guy in the forties. It was probably a different socio-economic status. It just boggled my mind how I identified so much with it and so that book came alive for me and my sponsor would read the book with me so she would have me read and then I would call her or we would get together and then we would re-read the part that I read and already highlighted and she would ask me “what did you highlight? What did you think about it” and she just helped that book come alive for me because, there’s a lot. If you read one paragraph and there’s so much in one paragraph and so she would stop and talk about her own experience with different parts in the book and I really appreciated that. She made me do the work first. She would always want me to read it first, highlight it first, think about it first so that when we got together, I had something to say too and it was awesome.

What is the best suggestion you have ever received?

Kiné: I have two. Stick with the winners and listen for the similarities. Listen for the similarities obviously is one that everyone does. I ended up taking it one step further, which is to identify with the differences. Being new and young and not having a lot of those yets, I had to believe that other people’s story would be my story if I ever went back out. I had to believe it. When I hear you or anyone talking about some experience that I’ve never had, I automatically say “that could be you girl if you ever get a cute idea about your only having a phase or whatever. That will be your life if you ever turn back”.

If you could give a new comer only one suggestion, what would that be?

Suggestion’s for the Newcomer!

“ Keep coming back”

Kiné: Keep coming back. It’s so cheesy, but I mean keep coming back no matter what. I know people that kept relapsing for five years in the room and now they have twenty years sobriety so I think sobriety is available for anyone who is willing to do the work and I don’t know what it takes for any one person to get sober, but I have to believe that through all the stories that I’ve heard it’s possible for anyone.<

Of all the meetings you have attended anywhere in the world, which group is your favorite and where is that group located?


City Young People – Seattle, Washington on Tuesday nights at 7:00

Thanks again for your SHAIR Kiné!

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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.