Strung Out: Erin Khar
What happens when your life spirals out of control within your own mind and you lock yourself inside a world that will take you away from reality. Difficulties arise, expectations of you are high as you try to live up to what others expect if you and yet even though you are more than you realize, you keep climbing higher and higher within your own imaginary ladder trying to please everyone but not seeing you as the person you really are. This memoir is a heartfelt story of the downward journey that led the author to take a deep-sea dive into the dangerous world of drug addiction. Opioids are sold everywhere on the street, drug dealers sell them for profit or even as this author did taking pills from her grandmother’s expired bottle if Darvocet and when visiting others including friends searching their medicine cabinets for good pills to help her escape herself.
Let us start from the beginning when her son asks her if she ever took drugs. A difficult question and answering it would start our journey along with Atticus until the final revelations that Erin finally makes about herself, those that she allowed to control and dictate her life, her relationship with her parents, friends and finally taking away the drugs and realizing the gifted person she is.
Learning more about her relationship with Ted and the final scene where they come to terms even though it’s traumatic, she finally gets counseling , tries dealing with each parent and yet the anger within her festers and controls her actions and words. Meeting Ian was a turning point but alienating herself from Ellen who stuck by her through everything lets you know that in a sense all Erin wanted is her own happiness and never saw what her actions did to others.
Throughout the memoir we meet many of her friends, casual acquaintances, men she had relationships with, Vincent who seemed to play an important part on and off but throughout she couldn’t not harbor her anger, fears and each time things got too difficult she resorted to drugs to help her escape. Even the brief time with her parents did not change her and her father’s way of giving her presents or money did not and would not take the place of a real conversation or hug. Then Vincent shows up at her mother’s and the harsh realities come to light learning about her drug addiction. Rehab was next and she vividly describes her experience, feelings and then John the group counselor revealed said something that finally awakened her .
Things get more tense as she enters her room at rehab and instead of seeing a whole person, she sees herself like a fractured mirror at different ages. As a child scared and running from the monster, she thought inside of her. She wanted to tell this child it was not her fault. She did not make herself a monster she could be loved. Revealing! All she wanted was acceptance and love the love she tried to give others but did not believe she would ever be loved, and it broke her heart even more. As a teen she ran from herself and wanted her to slow down but could not . As engaged to Vincent no more she was feeling sorry for herself and buried herself in sorrow. Then an older man named William said the words that she finally heard.
Her life seemed centered for a while and then she met Jack and drugs became her line of defense again even after her parents went to help her friend Milo get straight. It is as if she could not handle life without getting high, seeing the real world and facing her problems by finding even with help solutions. It is as if asking for help made her vulnerable and weak. Told in the first person and in a timeline, we see her from the start until she finally realizes where she wants her life to go and in what direction.
Ups and downs and different excuses for using drugs but at the basis a poor self-image, not believing in herself, always looking for love in the wrong places it’s as if the wrong guys were the right ones because she didn’t deserve better. Even hating Jack and pawning items for drugs she was so addicted not just to drugs but to failure and failing herself even though she was capable of more.
Like a rubber ball that keeps bouncing up and down but has no real direction and when caught or tried to catch falls and rolls away as does Erin’s fortitude to stay clean until she had no choice. Married to Michael was this the right decision but a miracle of life might change her direction and give her a path to love and security.
Some endings are new beginnings and the right person can make all the difference and the write words can give you the path you need to rise above yourself doubts and help others just by being honest, sharing your story and telling the world it’s okay to make mistakes, opioid addiction is serious, more help fir people is needed and a general awareness is still vital as parents, educators, doctors, therapists and more need to understand the seriousness of what it means to be Stung Out.
For the courage you have shown to write your memoir
The love of your parents and close friends that stood by you
I know that now you no longer see yourself as a fractured mirror
You see Erin the writer, wife mother and survivor
When you see yourself, you can honestly say this is Erin
This is Me!
Thank you for giving me the honor of sharing your story with hopefully more readers.
Friendships that she lost, others that remained steadfast and a new outlook on live all because of one precious son, Atticus and the courage she had to tell him the truth about her journey allowing herself to take a huge deep breath and a son who truly respected and loved his mother. From drugs, to getting her college degree to understanding herself from the inside out, Erin Kahr has truly come full circle by sharing her story in this powerful and heartfelt memoir.
So many lessons to be learned about love, friendship, family, understanding, self-esteem, self-worth and most of all the true meaning of Love and loving you for who you are right now.
Fran Lewis: just reviews