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People would ask me, why are you exposing yourself? I am sick of the fact that people think it’s just actors or Whitney Houston. When I go into an AA meeting, there’s like one other actor. People will say to me, “Oh my god, my brother’s in so much trouble, let me tell you what he did yesterday.” I’m like, “I don’t need to hear it: he’s just an addict.” And they’re like “No, but he’s really bad.” No, he’s just an addict. So there’s a story behind why the book is called , and how you got sober. Then something happened while I was in the hospital—my dark night of the soul. It seems like to me that we are a community and they are our children. In five years, that’s who the grownups are going to be. No one knows you’re an addict, you don’t have to tell the story. It is your neighbor, it’s your postman, it’s your son, it’s your daughter. I suppose if people followed accountants around with cameras, they’d say, ”Why are there so many accountants addicts? That’s kind of what the first chapter in is about—I’m not trying to take the piss out of anybody, but you know, everybody is an addict in some way. You were taking a lot of Vicodin and other stuff while acting in a play in London, and your stomach basically exploded. It was New Year’s Eve, and there were fireworks all over the city. She's even had to wear a neck brace around set.a note posted Tuesday to her Twitter account." data-reactid="22""I've been really really sick since September," she shares in a note posted Tuesday to her Twitter account."It's an inflammation of my skeletal muscles," she elaborates to omg! "A pain is something people can understand, but it's not pain; I just couldn't lift my arms, and I could barely walk."The brutal honest truth is that around early September I was having trouble walking up stairs. "Remini would be joining the "The Exes" for a multi-episode arc, playing Stuart's (David Alan Basche) recently divorced sister from Staten Island.Within two weeks I was at a screening of a film that I'm in and I couldn't walk up the five stairs to the stage [to talk with the crowd]. Although Kristen's character (Holly) will overlap for a few episodes with Leah's character (Nicki), it's clear now that Leah was brought in to help during Johnston's recovery. Ambition is one of life’s greatest painkillers, because when you are ambitious you are driven. So when happened overnight at age 27, my ambition was ripped away from me. It’s more about learning and trying to be a better person, and making enough money to have a kid, because I want to buy one you know. I wanted to be an actress and I wanted the lights, and I wanted people to applaud. There was no moment of sitting and thinking and asking myself simple things such as what do I like and who am I?
As her drooling pit-bull Pink dozed placidly beside her, Johnston described coming clean about her addiction (on no less), her regrets about a youth lost to drinking in Wisconsin, and her work with a new foundation, SLAM (Sober, Learning and Motivation), that's lobbying New York City to open a sober high school. We know now that kids who start drinking in high school are exponentially more likely to have a lifetime problem than those who delay until 18 or 19. I was nervous and talking for the first time about my addiction. ” It was a school night, and people were like, “ummh...” and I was like, “Come on! Johnston, 46, will be taking an upcoming two-episode break from her hit TV Land show, "The Exes," as she continues recovering from her recent diagnosis with an auto-immune disorder, which she's only now speaking about for the first time."I was vacationing at the Mayo Clinic in November for two weeks," she explains."I've finally been diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder, where your immune system starts attacking healthy tissue.We recently taped her as she read her book to a rapt audience of recovering addicts at an event hosted by Joe Schrank: Addiction in the media tends to have a pretty familiar story arc: hero falls from grace, hero learns a lesson, hero never does it again and everybody loves hero. We used to let kids drink in the basement and take their car keys, but the truth is…Well, again, we’re alcoholics, so for us there is no such thing as a sane glass of wine or a beer at any age. You admitted on the David Letterman show that you took Suboxone to treat your pill addiction. And I was saying that I’m from Wisconsin, so I drank because that’s what you do, and I got a lot of shit for it because I guess it’s offensive to Wisconsin, but it’s the truth. Kristen Johnston: And then hero writes a book about it! No, really, I think one of the biggest things is that most people write the book after they’ve had the arrest, or the DUI, or the public shame, and it’s the mea culpa moment. First it was stomach-bursting—and the agony, the true agony, of that, and there was the shame and the loneliness. You grew up going to a Catholic school and were the rowdy, loud girl. Do you think that was the impetus of your addiction? It helped shaped my—I hate to say just addiction—but shaped my fucked-upness.
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If you've read Kristen Johnston's 2012 memoir "Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster," you know that she's an actress who knows a thing or two about perseverance.