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The Man, His Drink and The Gutter; My Struggles With Alcohol

He aced in his high school finals with sterling grades, and his dreams transcended the African borders. His future seemed as clear as an Artist’s impression. He saw himself at a global scene, maybe a Tech whiz at the heart of The Silicon Valley. He flew to USA and enrolled for a Bachelors degree in computer Science. That was to be the starting point in his success trajectory. But life happened and he dropped out. He was out there in the streets of USA. A bitter disappointed soul. That’s how the bottle happened. It happens to most of us, only the difference here is, he is coming out, owning up his past and thrusting himself into the uncertain future with a clear head.

 

He wrote to me some time back and from this story you will immediately know that he writes brilliantly. It was a personal letter addressed to me, and after reading it several times we got back to talking. I believed his story can change a life, make an impact, and even trigger a change in the course of someone out there battling the same problem. He agreed to me publishing this story only on condition of anonymity. The words are his. The story is his.

 

Guys, I present to you Martin(not real name)

 

Olathe, Kansas. Midwest-USA

May, 17th 2011. @ 8.38p.m.

A man  slumped behind a wheelchair was being rushed into hospital.

Olathe Medical Center.

The man was of average build. Dark skinned. In his late twenties but wore a face that screamed;

‘Lord Jesus, I am in pain here. PLEASE SAVIOR, save my ass tonight!”

Well, as the man got wheeled into the emergency wing, both his eyes were shut. His elongated and bony fingers both cupped around his jaw line.

Two-hours-prior, the man had been caught up in some grizzly bar brawl and on that fight he had been messed up. Messed up pretty bad. Left with scars. Heinous scars.

Let us go back to how it all started. The shattered face.

At around 5.09p.m. The man had just clocked out from work. However, instead of him heading home, he had gone straight to the pub.

Eric. You see, the man was quite the alcoholic. However, underneath all his drinking, he had somewhat managed to convince himself that, his alcoholism was in check. That it was contained. So on that self-LIE-basis, the man had always drunk and drank himself to oblivion.

*******

Two hours into his drinking spree, a man named Jacob found a seat next to him and in no time the two seasoned tipplers were both knee-deep into a conversation.

7:24.pm. The man was tipsy. Way over the line tipsy.

He had downed eleven beers and knocked back five shots of vodka.

7:30pm. The man settled his account, got into his automobile and he drove off. However, he nosed his jeep wrangler straight into darkness.

Straight into the heart of it.

No seat belt. No headlights on.

About a half an hour later the Man was being pulled-out from underneath his mangled vehicle. Single handedly, the he had managed to wrap his car around a light pole. So deathly was his accident that on impact, his jeep wrangler had been reduced to scrap metal.

On being pulled out, the man was interrogated by the Sheriff and was found out to be intoxicated.

“He has a fractured jaw and a right dislocated shoulder blade.” The paramedic on location bellowed as he strapped a B.P monitoring instrument on the man’s upper left arm.

On the sheriff’s computer data base; the man had multiple arrests warrants but all his summons were issued by various court marshals from different states.

Unarguably, the man’s misdeeds were endless but of paramount importance was the fact that, he had to be rushed to hospital.

8.38p.m. The man was slumped behind a wheelchair and he was being wheeled into Olathe Medical Center.

The sheriff and paramedics?

Well, they too were hot behind his steel wheelchair.

*****

Anyway, ironically, the man on that steel wheelchair that night was me.

I go by the name Martin and I stand at 5.’9.” so I am long limbed.

Eric, this read is a brief walk into my life and it’s based around the time when I used to struggle with alcoholism.

Every account here is truthful and every notion is based on actual facts.

(Haya stay with me , I am heading somewhere with this one.)

Okay, wacha ni endele.

*****

On that fateful night, the only thing I recall is that stagger I made into the jeep wrangler.

The rest?

Well, to date, I still cannot fathom what transpired.

Anyway, later that night, I woke up at 12.32 a.m.

What jolted me back to reality was the transparent IV line that ran from the back of my hand to the suspended tubing that stood adjacent to my bed.

The myriad of machines hooked on me also brought the picture closer home, but nothing could have riveted reality closer home than Sheriff Hopkins walking in on me. That moment there took the trophy home. Not even the catheter tubings inserted in my jugulars could have caused such an eerie feeling.

I literary felt like crawling up the walls.

Well, after the pleasantries, Sheriff Hopkins dove straight into the matter. For starters, the sheriff began by reading me my Miranda rights.

As if the ridicule was not enough, the sheriff assured me that, after my treatment, some serious jail time awaited me. On his statement, out went my thoughts of a warm, alcohol powered, and sympathetic, home-coming party.

However, before the sheriff strutted out, I meekly managed to ask of him, ’what were my charges?’

On an ear to ear smile, the sheriff lightly took out a small ledger book from his shirt pocket and after he had loudly sighed; the following were his remarks.

“You seem to have little problems with the law young man.” the sheriff hummed while his eyes darted back and forth on his small -ledger-book.

“To begin with, you vandalized state property.”

“A light pole.” The sheriff sighed.

“But for crying out loud, who in God’s name plows right into a light pole?” The sheriff continued then he loudly laughed.

“Anyway, you managed to plow the street light right in the bull’s eye. You are quite the marksman eh?” the sheriff roared.

“Anyway, off the bull’s eye. Sir, you are booked in for vandalism. It is a class B misdemeanor.”

“Are you a Christian sir?” the sheriff chirped like a bird.

“I believe so!” I annoyingly barked.

“Hypothetically speaking, say the tide were to change and for some ludicrous reasons I found myself in your shoes, I’d be on my feet as of right now dancing to Christ.” the sheriff stated.

“And why would you be dancing for Christ?” I chaffed.

“You missed the felony charges by a thread line; that’s why.”

“Talking about dancing, do you fancy to dance?” the sheriff asked on a flat mono tone.

“Aha! I do” I nonchalantly answered not knowing where the sheriff’s question was heading.

“Okay good! Good because; the state of Missouri also wants a piece of this action after we are done with you. Remember the traffic violations, those dating back to 2008-2009-2010? Remember you never appeared in courts for those. Sir – as of now, consider that goose fully cooked and deep fried. After the state of Kansas gets done with you, we shall extradite you and your shuttered jaw to Missouri and trust you me, in Missouri, the judicial system shall make a mockery out of you. The law honchos shall make you dance in their courts.” The sheriff stated on one swift breath then he broke out into a smile.

Just when I was getting the hang of my predicaments, the sheriff continued,

“Dance in their courts, got it? Like dance and courts, got the pun? You did? Okay good!” The sheriff bubbled out then he laughed.

“Stay put. I shall come and get you and your jaw shortly.” Sheriff Hopkins howled then he quickly paced out.

*****

As I sat there in a whirlpool of thought, it out-rightly dawned on me that, ‘my goose had been cooked.

May, 18th 2011

I began serving time behind bars. I was inmate 11100***1 at Johnson County Corrections Center. The center is located in Kansas City, Kansas.

While at Johnson County, I did two months and during my incarceration I only saw the sun twice.

I was taken for a medical evaluation and then later extradited to Morgan County Corrections Center. The center is located in the heart of Missouri.

In Missouri, I did ten months. Therefore I missed out on summer, fall and winter.

In fact, I celebrated Mashujaa Day, Christmas day and New Years all behind steel bars.

 

March, 12th 2012. (The following year.)

I was released from incarceration on “Good behavior.” (My papers read.)

However, I had nowhere to go.

Apparently, the state of Kansas had confiscated my apartment and everything in it for rent arrears. Sweet-baby-Jesus this was some serious setback.

Erm, since I had nowhere to go, my next best alternative was to make the streets of Missouri my home and I did.

The first few months of 2012 found me sleeping underneath bridges and when the temperatures dropped significantly and it got too bloody cold to sleep underneath bridges, some other homeless Kenyans and I would hurdle up in carton boxes and we would end up sleeping in Missouri’s downtown parks.

Anyway, some few months later, I got wind that, there was a homeless shelter on the other side of town and on June, 13th 2012. I made one of the homeless shelters in Missouri my new found-home.

Nevertheless, life at the homeless shelter(s) did not come as a safe haven. No! It was brutal. It was hard and it was always mind boggling.

During the 6 months I was homeless, day in day out, the grim reaper used to visit the homeless shelters and on most days he could play ‘picky picky ponky’ on us and leave with a soul of one of us. A ‘family’ member.

Life at the shelters was a constant reminder that, “Uncle Death was always but a hear-skip away.”

Other than Mr. Death, I was constantly in running ins with the gang bangers, alcoholics, the pushers and drug dealers, junkies and the likes. To be frank, it’s only through Gods grace that I made it out alive from that lifestyle.

Moving on swiftly, one summer in July, I landed a job in one of the construction firms in River bend, Missouri.

God knew I needed the job. So, on a silver platter HE blessed me with the opportunity.

From August 2012, through January 2013. I saw it prudent to work off my tail bone and I really worked round the clock to see myself out of the Missouri streets.

February, 5th 2013, after I had amassed enough air-fair for a one way ticket, I left the United States and I jetted back to Kenya.

But like on anyone’s case, anyone jetting back home from abroad, genuine expectations from family and friends were at an all time high.

I honestly had to explain my situation to family and friends and the narration about my life’s mishaps were quite a humiliation.

February, 18th 2013 – to present; I have been running a small-sized-family business but the family business is nothing modest or exquisite.

It is just a kiosk.

A plain old KIOSK and it leans heavily to the side and it leaks.

You see, whenever it rains; the rain drops splutter on the floor, on the sugar cane, on the salt bags and sweet-baby-Jesus! Everything gets messy.

Apparently, I am nowhere close to where I intended to be, but every day, I always attend to the shop and to personal matters on a positive mindset.

Ahem* (confession time)

Well, from the time I jetted back from the Unites States until now – my good God knows that I have stumbled and fell enough times but I have always had my faith in him and banked on him.

2014 was particularly a bad year for me because eerm, earlier that year I found myself getting back on the wagon.

You see, in the past 11+ years, alcohol had always been my biggest hurdle to over-come. Therefore, when 2014 began, I was on a high horse in regards to kicking my alcoholic vices to the curb.

However, somewhere along the lines (sad to say) I relapsed and the biting feeling that I was at it again sent me more frustrated. I felt worthless.

 

However I was determined to kick the habit and eight months later I managed to get on my feet. It’s been a hard painful journey since then, but I am glad I have been sober ever since.

It has been two years now on a clean slate. And the feeling is completely out of this world.

 

Well, Of late, I have been having this desire and drive to team up with an NGO / an Institution / a rehab center / with a counselor or with any faculty that tackles issues of alcoholism or drug abuse and this is why I saw it wise to write to you and share this personal story.

Well I might not have certificates or University qualifications to back me up as a drug counselor or a medic but I do believe that – in regards to my case- experience has taught me well.

Apart from my life’s ordeals, I have also gone through A.A meetings.

Gone through rehab(s).

Gone through hell and made it back.

I am a winner!

However, of paramount importance is the fact that, I have also gone through the whirlpools that an alcoholic or drug user goes through.

Anyway, I would like to team up with you on this drug, campaign front and the reasons as to why I am more than willing work with you is because,

(a) I do believe I can effectively assist in spreading the word out to the masses out there about the perils of drug abuse.

(b) I am a talented writer. Therefore, your institution or firm can use my skills or expertise on your webpage or on your Facebook account. (i.e I can be writing or documenting the recovery process that an addict makes and afterwards, I pen out a story based on the addicts recovery journey)

(c) I noted that we have the same zeal. The same energy and the same outlook at life and therefore I do believe we can work together and from that mindset, this is why I wrote to you.

I write to ask if in your office, in your rehab or at your endeavors you might need an extra hand.

If you do, kindly do consider me for employment or for any task.

Any position. Any training. Any procedural tact will highly be appreciated.

Kindly do reply or get back to me.

Looking forward to hear from you.

Sincerely.

Martin.

 

P/S

I wish I could get Martin the job he so badly needs. I can’t make him promises for now. He is in his 30s, married and  looking out for his family. He does not choose and is willing to take up any modest job to bring the basics to the table. He is one competent driver with a valid drivers license who doesn’t mind thrusting himself in the jungles and cities behind wheels. He loves driving.  You could be out there, reading this and somehow you know of this opportunity in your circles that fits this brother. Kindly reach out and contact me at ericndungu00@gmail.com. Alternatively text/call this writer on +254726276765. Till the next blog, adios.

 

 

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