alcohol1

Drinking buddies told me huwezi wacha pombe – Man’s journey to sobriety

 

He is three years and nine months sober now, but getting there was a struggler he put in a long twitter thread.

He began saying

Juzi I shred about how I struggled with alcohol for over 10 yrs with a promise to give my story. I have tried my best to answer almost every single question. I believe my experience with the disease and how I coped will help someone. A thread…

So, my drinking career (it honestly felt like one) begun sometime in 2008 when I was in military school. I had access to very affordable alcohol. At that point, I was young, fit and my body could cope with the booze. I noticed that I was drinking more than usual around 2010.

I missed work so many times and got reprimanded for it. This got my family’s attention and they were very concerned and worried. I barely ate well and it showed on my wrinkled eyes. At some point, I was introduced to a psychiatrist. I didn’t last two sessions.

In retrospect, all along, I don’t think I was ready to stop drinking. It’s almost impossible to help someone who’s in denial or who’s simply not ready. Niliwekelewa mpaka mikono kwa kanisa but nothing could separate me from the bottle.

I resigned from the military because dismissal was inevitable if I stayed on. I went on to lose two very good jobs after that and squandered large sums of money within very short periods. I placed alcohol above any other important thing in my life. My jobs, my relationships….

In 2015, I checked into a rehab after suggestions from family. I was three days sober when I got in. I underwent a six week programme and although I’d relapse six months after getting out, that period spent in rehab gave me some very important tools that I abide by to date.

I forgot to mention that I was a binge drinker. I’d go for a week, two even, without drinking but once I hit the bottle, it would be three to five day binges, the longest I did was about weeks. This meant disappearing and not picking calls. I’d only speak to my drinking buddies.

 

Alcohol affects the drinker and those close to them. The emotional torture on people close to alcoholics is immense. It is important to have a supportive family if you are struggling with alcohol or any other drug. I am blessed because I had a great support system in my family.

n the 10 years I drank, I tried a couple of times to quit. I was met with “wewe huwezi wacha” “tumekupea wiki mbili tu”. I was still hanging out with the same people I drank with. I patronized the same joints. I’d move from where I stayed and immediately get new drinking buddies

 

This is the most important thing I learnt; if deep down, and after soul searching, you are not ready to stop drinking, not even the most expensive rehab will save you. You can lie to everyone around you but you cannot lie to yourself.

I joined the Alcoholics Anonymous programme that I learnt about in rehab. I engaged people who had gone through the same struggles as myself. I attended AA meetings, read AA material, moved out of the country to get away from people, dropped my drinking friends…

I made a conscious decision to quit alcohol. It was not easy and it’s still not easy. I am now more self aware, I keep my feelings in check, I literally live one day at a time and try and do the next best thing. You know what the most beautiful thing is, anyone can recover.

Anyone can turn their life around if they choose to. Recovery is however very selfish and requires one to put themselves and their focus on getting better above anything else, including your loved ones. Otherwise, ni kazi ya bure tu.

If you have someone close to you struggling with addiction, do not give up on them. It is hard but keep trying. Show them love. Do not enable their addiction but be kind to them. They are fighting a spiritual battle and I promise you, no one wakes up and decides to be an addict.

I will seek permission from my counsellor in rehab to share his number. I will also make it a personal responsibility to find a good rehab that I can recommend.

I pray that everyone dealing with any form of addiction will one day find peace and get better. And to their families, I pray for strength and patience as you support your loved ones.

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