Kristen Casey is a true survivor. In this honest and frank conversation, Kristin discusses her relationship with Eagles Legend Joe Walsh and how their love was destroyed by their addiction. Kristen saved her own life by getting sober and now helps others.
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Today’s interview is with Kristin Casey, a writer and recovered alcoholic and addict. I’ve been reading her memoir, Rock Monster: My Life with Joe Walsh, and it’s an amazing read.
Sex, drugs and rock and roll was the perfect descriptor of Kristin’s life. She and Joe Walsh, guitarist for The Eagles, were the picture of a classic dysfunctional relationship – totally in love but terrible for each other.
You can be in love and also just be completely incompatible and terrible for each other at the same time. – Kristin Casey
But Rock Monster goes beyond their romantic relationship. It’s a story of Kristin’s battle with her demons and how she finally found a path out of addiction.
Kristin remembers from a very young age feeling less than and like she didn’t belong. A difficult relationship with her mother compounded her negative feelings toward herself and she coped with it by dissociating from her emotions. Then, after her first experience with alcohol left her feeling like she finally found the secret to life, she fell into a pattern of self-medicating to feel normal by the young age of 15.
By 17, Kristin was so desperate to leave home that she put off her dream of moving back to San Francisco and started college in Texas. That’s when the drugs came into the picture and within 6 months she was spiraling.
After drugs came into the picture, by the second semester of college Kristin had lost her job and her scholarship and dropped out. Not sure what to do next, she started stripping to make rent. But what started simply out of necessity, turned out to be an empowering and validating experience. The downside was, she was constantly surrounded by alcohol and without anyone carding her, her intake tripled.
A few years later, Kristin started getting a handle on her drinking, was developing her identity, got back to being an A student. That’s when she met Joe Walsh and fell in love immediately.
I found a lot of different ways to avoid stepping into my life and taking ownership of my life and my decisions. – Kristin Casey
Kristin believes that the fact that Joe was dealing with addiction itself wasn’t the problem. She believes the reason she fell prey to the pitfalls she did was her habit of wanting life to make her decisions for her and her unconscious decision to embrace a new identity of “the rock star’s girlfriend.”
With the two of them in full-blown addiction, being a great match wasn’t enough. Within six months of moving in with Joe, Kristin had burned a hole in her septum, switched from using coke to smoking crack, and ended up outpacing him and going completely out of control.
My identity was so demolished and non-existent by then because I based my whole identity and sense of self on being Joe Walsh’s girlfriend and fiance. Once it was over, I was like a vacuum. I was nothing. I didn’t even exist. – Kristin Casey
Joe and Kristin’s relationship eventually ended with Joe getting into sobriety and Kristin’s addiction spiraling. That’s when she hit her rock bottom, trying each day to drink herself to death.
These worst days would end up being the trigger for Kristin to start to think seriously about getting sober.
Kristin’s journey to sobriety wasn’t an overnight one. Grudgingly going to meetings, led to skeptically trying the steps, but slowly breaking through her resistance became what is now over 24 years of sobriety.
If you had told me how great my life could be, I never would have believed you. – Kristin Casey
Kristin’s journey is such an inspiration and I highly recommend you check out her book. We get into the details of her journey to addiction and how she turned her life around in this interview. Enjoy the episode!
About Kristin Casey
Kristin Casey is a writer and recovered alcoholic and addict. Her memoir Rock Monster: My Life with Joe Walsh documents their tumultuous six-year relationship and drug-fueled, train wreck breakup. She’s survived numerous addictions, clinical depression, a suicide attempt, the panhandle of Texas, and seventeen years of Catholicism.
Her writing has appeared in the Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, The Fix, The Nervous Breakdown, From the Asylum, $pread, and elsewhere. She writes about addiction, dependency, sexuality, and relationships. She resides in Austin, Texas, and works in the field of sex therapy as an intimacy coach and IPSA trained surrogate partner.
Connect with Kristin Casey
- Kristin Casey’s Book | Rock Monster: My Life with Joe Walsh
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