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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KICC CEO Nana Gecaga marks 22 years of sobriety

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s niece and KICC chief executive Nana Gecaga is celebrating 22 years of recovering from being an alcoholic.

She says this is one of the most important milestones in her life.

Nana, who has been vocal about how alcoholism ruined her life, says she is proud of herself as she has remained committed to sobriety.

She wrote on Instagram, “22 years of being sober. I just want to thank everyone who has played a role in supporting me to get this far. Lastly, I want to thank me, myself and I. I have to give credit where it is due.

“I’ve remained committed to my sobriety, I’ve put it first always and been very proud of where I have come and where I’m going. It takes courage to go against the grain and it takes humility to not only realise you have a problem but then commit the entire rest of your life to change it for the better.”

In a past interview, Nana admitted that she used to drink up to a crate of beer and a bottle of hard liquor in one sitting.nanagecaga

Her love for alcohol blew up some of her dreams, one of which was to become an athlete.

Nana took the step to take it slow at the age of 21 after living in the UK for over a decade.

She added that the bold move did not come short of challenges, revealing that she lost friends.

“The one thing I can say to them is, tomorrow is another day and try to live or get to that day and never be ashamed or too proud to ask for support. Kenya has a lot of support and use it.”

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I wasted away in alcoholism – Chief Justice Maraga confesses

Chief Justice David Maraga has advised the youth addicted to drugs to seek divine attention and expert help.

While launching the Drug Awareness Campaign on Saturday at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Maraga confessed that 20 years of his life were wasted as he wallowed in alcoholism.

“I was baptised on October 30, 1965, when I was still in primary school but I got into bad company in high school. I started drinking even on credit,” Maraga said.

The CJ said he was still a drunkard throughout his undergraduate programme and a great part of his legal career.

Having gone back for his master’s degree 34 years after his undergraduate, Maraga slowed down ambitions to alcoholism. He is now a staunch Seventh Day Adventist.

“For more than 20 years, I mark-timed except in providing basic necessities. I would go home at 3am and ask for dinner. My wife would ask me if it was really dinner or breakfast I was asking for. I would not have been Chief Justice if I had not given my life to Jesus Christ,” he said.

Attributing the erosion of societal values to the love for money, Maraga urged university students to be alert in the fight against drug abuse as the society currently accommodates drugs traffickers who easily access drugs.

“For the love of money, the drug barons are availing the drugs to the society and as a result, drug abuse is among the key challenges in the country,” he said.

It is consuming young people and destroying families, especially the youth between 25 and 35 years who are in their prime and could be relied upon to secure the country’s socioeconomic prosperity.

CJ David Maraga

The chief justice decried that in spite of the existing legislation geared towards curbing drug trafficking in the country, the menace is still appreciating.

In his speech, Maraga revealed the consequences of drug and substance abuse among the youth.

These include diminishing academic performance and suicidal tendencies, material deprivation in families and unemployment, poverty and emotional and psychological breakdown.

Maraga, therefore, called on the public to “unite and help drug addicts who need societal love and support in order to successfully detach from addiction”.

He also urged students to preserve their esteemed status of being university students and be role models to other youths.