AE: Taking control of your life and getting sober was your arc this past season. What was the catalyst for such an enormous life change?
RK: I have to say, the show was a real blessing. I turned 29 when we began filming and had no
idea what I was really doing with my life. I knew I was cheating myself on life, and having a camera crew following me around meant the whole world would see that I was ignore my big issues by hiding behind the party. As I got older, it got worse, but this last year it was
out of control.
Dating Kelsey, someone a lot younger and immature,
it made it OK for us to both be drunks. One week in, I had gotten black-out drunk during filming and did something I did not
remember. And I was not OK with that. Kelsey did not hold me
accountable for anything, so I lost myself in this mess. It was not her
responsibility to recognize I had a problem. It was mine. That next morning, I knew I was done! I had
to stop drinking and I was going to allow Showtime
to document it.
What I didn’t know, was how good my life could get once I cut out the drinking. I got healthy. I work out everyday. I’m closer to my real friends and family. I got out of an unhealthy relationship. I took charge of my life and started a company. I created a jewelry line with my business partner, Vanessa Salazar, called Hija Por Vida (“Daughter for Life” in Spanish, for our parents) for Love and Pride. I also created a fashion blog, www.tenderomi.com, and I have my own line, Casa Por Vida. I could not do any of this if I was still drinking. Regardless what people may say about me, I am proud of myself.
Photo by David Hiesler
AE: Getting sober meant the demise of your relationship with Kelsey. What was it like to see that play out on TV?
RK: It sucked. Kelsey and I had a very emotional and life-changing relationship. To jump in almost a year into it, is not showing the audience the full picture. They edited us and since it’s hard to show all the back stories to every fight, you get this chopped-up version. A relationship like ours had too many layers for a one-hour episode to fully capture.
RK: When I sobered up, I realized we wanted very different things for ourselves. I am not
the first to date someone for all the wrong reasons. But I learned about myself, and I learned exactly what I want, and don’t want out, of a relationship. I was beyond unhappy at the end.
It’s very clear when I watch the show now. If I ever need a reminder why
I changed my life, it will be on a DVD for me.
I would have left her sooner but I was trying to not put Kelsey through
all that on television. In the end, I couldn’t keep going, filming or not. Breaking up with
her was a huge part of me moving forward in my life. Kelsey came off like a victim and there are, for sure, Team Kelsey fans out there. I care for Kelsey
and wish her all the best in her life.