Lost in a bottle

Sometimes life lets us cross paths with people who have had better experience with the ugly. I know we all like to brag among ourselves on who is more bad ass and take credit as the one who has seen it all, sadly enough this isn’t true. I have had my share of experiences with diverse people but had I to write a memoir about the ones who strike me, I would probably state that she makes the list. To the eye that sees she’s just another regular chick: fly, cute smile and a figure to kill for but to the eye that perceives her eyes speak volumes about what she knows that she wishes she could tell and hasn’t found a chance yet. She probably doesn’t know as much cos she’s had first hand experience but perhaps cos she knows someone who has. I guess we’ll never know lest she tells it all to us. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the lady who you will only know of cos of this piece but no name to boot. *whispers* I suspect she is CIA and you know the drill, if she tells you who she is she would have to kill you.

Here she goes….

Everyone has that harmless habit that they indulge in. It’s always harmless and perhaps tricky because you quite never know when you are going overboard. Even when overboard no one freely admits because admitting deems us weak and no one really wants to be seen as weakling by our peers, the people who we admire and possibly seek their approval even when the approval is as useless. I should know these, I struggled to be acceptable for a while, to be able to fit in and eventually when I could fit it no more I drowned my imaginary insecurities in alcohol. I have absolutely no excuses for the things I have put myself through because all I simply had to say was no to another round of drinks my friends offered or simply reject the callers in my phone book whom I had long certified belonged to the drinking buddies category. Those people whom as the name suggests only look for me when it’s time to hit the pubs which was usually between Friday through to Sunday and long before that days rolled into each other and hitting the pub on a Monday did not look so bad anymore I mean I will just hang around here and just wait for the traffic to ease up…. see it was that harmless really.

The road to soberness is such a hard task more so when our form of relaxation involves binge drinking staggering from one weekend to the next one and a party is remarkably fun when there is alcohol and scantily dressed campus chics nursing their drinks and failing miserably at their attempt to smile and act hot even when the weather is clearly freezing . I always partied hard ,woken up to strange women in my bed and once or twice found myself in even stranger beds but at that particular point I always thought to myself why fix what is certainly not broken, you are probably thinking I was in denial and you are right as well. Mondays found me passing by those seedy joints for a shot of this or that and maybe that’s the point I should have paused and thought hard because from there it all went downhill quickly. Everything spiraled out of control. had huge debts including servicing a car loan for a car I was not even using to discussions with my boss bordering on all my missed deadlines and increased absenteeism. My boss a very nice chap covered for me and even made excuses to cover my drunk ass in the attempt to man up and start cleaning up my mess.

Eventually it became an open secret that I am the chap who cannot handle his drink. I still hanged out with my friends who never made an attempt to help me get help. Not that I expected them to do so. I suppose they used me as a yardstick to measure themselves. Probably gave them a sense of false security to know that they had not yet hit rock bottom or maybe provided some twisted and messed up inspiration for them to drink with reckless abandon in an attempt to forget that they were headed in the boat I was currently rocking. My boss is the one who came to my rescue. I hear you silently asking where was your family well they were long gone. No one really wants to hang around the brother who borrows your laptop ad never brings it back and attempts to get it bore no fruit because the laptop was long sold to repay some mysterious debt. I do not blame them they really did try to hang around and when they got tired of walking in egg shells they eventually began whispering behind my back not that I was least bothered by this behavior the only person who I felt I had let down was my mom I could see the hurt in her eyes and I stopped dropping by to see her altogether.

My boss called me into his office one morning. Before going to his office I passed by the gents to splash cold water on my face in order to appear more alert. When I go to his office he did said nothing but handed me a brochure and asked me to read it and get back to him. When I turned to leave he told that was the only way he could help me because it was no use talking about job at that point in time. I did not need anyone to the tell me that was my last chance to try and make something out of my messed up life. Friday 13th June 2008 my boss drove me all the way to a place known as Asumbi Treatment Centre in Homabay. Asumbi treatment centre was my home for three months. Before I was admitted he had to sign in writing that he was a family member and he had agreed to support my treatment, nice guy God bless his soul. In between the administrative procedures no word was exchanged maybe as there was nothing left to say and I suppose it was his way of saying coming here does not make me less of a man.

The 1st month was the hardest and loneliest period in my life. We were not allowed any contact from the outer world not that anyone was about to surprise me with a visit but it would have made me sleep better knowing I still had minimal contact from the world I left behind. The second month was relatively easier I made few friends and even though we looked fairly normal at a glance there was no doubt as to what led us to that particular place.

Butterflies are God’s evidence of second chances, that remains the most important lesson I got from Asumbi Treatment Centre. I had new dreams and aspirations and most importantly I was a changed man. Starting over was not so hard mostly because I had my former boss watching my back he got me a different job from what I had and which did not require much vetting mostly because he had whispered to his contacts who I was .I changed my number changed my friends and changed houses everything that comes with trying to acquire a new identity. Somehow nothing stays a secret for long in this town, soon old friends began calling asking If we could meet and catch up. I never honoured any of those place meetings because rehab was not a place I was in a hurry to go back to. But I never turned anyone away who was on the path to self destruction I made it my business to try and get them to get help because admitting you need help does not make you weak it makes you a stronger man for speaking out. I guess we all would do well to remember the famous pig song whose first stanza goes:

’twas an evening in october,

i’ll confess I wasn’t sober,

I was carting home a load with manly pride,

when my feet began to stutter and I fell into the gutter,

and a pig came up and lay down by my side.

Then I lay there in the gutter and my heart was all a-flutter,

Till a lady, passing by, did chance to say;

”You can tell a man that boozes by the company he chooses,”

Then the pig got up and walked away.


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