Courtney Baron, Founder of Revitalizing Hope, featured Kari as an example of a woman that overcame her problematic drinking. You can read Courtney’s blog post below and be sure to check out her page at https://www.revitalizinghope.com/
THE BACK STORY
When Kari was just seven years old, she experienced a question that is unusual for a child of that age. The question was, “Is this all there is?” She knew this was not a common question.
Kari wondered if life was really this lonely and empty. A profound statement for a 7-year-old. That was also the same year she declared to her mother that she would become a cigarette smoker. And so she did but waited until she was a bit older, at age eleven.
As time went on, her life was more of the same. Kari never felt the excitement of life. Sure, some special moments stood out, but for the most part, she dreaded school and everything to do with extracurricular activities. Not because she wasn’t interested, but because she felt as though she wasn’t welcomed. Kari had zero self-love or self-acceptance. That would stay with her for several years.
When she met her now-husband, she finally had a glimmer of hope. He treated her with so much love and respect, something she had never experienced previously. He treated her like a queen, even calling Kari his “Queen.” They went on to have two sons, both in which she has so much pride and joy.
THE CYCLE BEGINS
As soon as life became stable and things were going well, Kari got a job in the restaurant business. She loved it! The tips were fantastic, and the nightly social life was precisely what she was looking for in her life. Kari was a bartender and server before accepting the role of the Food & Beverage Manager at a country club. Her love for fine exquisite wine fast became an obsession for Kari. Anything wine she adored, including Italy, Napa Valley, and wine corks.
When Kari’s husband commented on her daily ritual of one glass of wine with dinner, she snapped back at him saying, “everyone drinks in Europe so it’s fine!” Her quick temper in defending this daily habit slid under the radar for a few years after she left the restaurant business for a life in the medical field. She hid all vices, including the fact that she was an off/on again smoker.
After moving to another state in early 2011, Kari’s wine habit had grown to more than just a glass or two of wine every night. The stress of the move, the new job, the new city, all took a toll on Kari. She was happy to have another fresh start but found her life wouldn’t be perfect in another town like she had hoped.
Kari was still searching for the next best thing. Having her glass of wine was a way for her to deal with the stress and overwhelm. Nobody knew her secret, not even her husband. He knew she drank most nights, but he didn’t know how much. That she kept to herself, she also kept her question of “is this all there is” to herself. Nothing was satisfying to her soul. Sure, there were a lot of beautiful things in her life (husband, kids, health, family), but at her deep core level, she felt empty.
After several more years, Kari finally reached her enough. She was tired of being tired. She was done with the lying, the hiding, the scheming, the planning, and the energy it was requiring keeping her wine habit a secret. Kari never experienced a rock bottom, DUI, or any loss due to her drinking so she didn’t identify with being a serious problematic drinker or an alcoholic, but knew she needed to do something.
The only recourse she was familiar with was a 12-step program. So, she went to the meetings, got a sponsor, read the big book, and did the steps. It worked until it no longer worked. Kari felt as though she wasn’t true to herself when she was urged to say, “Hi, I’m Kari, and I’m an alcoholic.” Those words were not edifying to her soul. They were tearing her down instead.
Kari identified with being a “gray area drinker”; one that is not an alcoholic but more than a social drinker. It was at that realization that she left the traditional program and set out to find something better.
What Kari found next was a life full of self-respect and self-love. Instead of being obsessed with all things wine, she became obsessed with all things self-improvement, spirituality, and the study of neuroscience. She felt uplifted, energized, and was now asking, “what more to life can I discover?”. For the first time, Kari was excited about life. This was the breakthrough she had been searching for since age seven!
The main factor of this transformation happened when Kari decided to work with a life coach. That experience became the pivotal change she needed; so much so that she became a certified life coach to provide the same life-transforming expertise to others.
Kari now teaches overwhelmed and stressed out high achievers how to find peace, joy, and balance in their lives without using numbing aids, like alcohol so they can live their best life NOW instead of just getting by until the “one day” when they are happy. She offers 3 & 6-month coaching programs in addition to workshops, seminars, and lunch-n-learns to corporations.
Kari supports the non-drinker, sober-curious, and mindful drinkers with her private Facebook group, Question the Drink℠.
Her dream of creating her drink line, called GrayTonic, is a goal of Kari’s. She also has intentions of writing a book, creating sober events nationwide and uniting the sober movement to influence restaurants and society. Kari wants nothing more than the awareness, inclusion, and acceptance of those choosing not to drink. As one mom stated, “It’s the only drug that we have to apologize for not taking.”
Kari celebrated her 3rd sobriety anniversary this past August, and she intends to remain sober tomorrow and the day after that. She also successfully quit smoking almost a decade ago. 😊