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How I broke the yoke of addiction

 Nicole Nyammo overcame addiction and depression to follow her dreams (Photo: David Njaaga/Standard)

It all started with a cigarette, a bottle of beer, maybe a shot of whisky and before she knew it, Nicole Nyammo, sunk in an addiction that wasted away all her youth. She shares her recovery journey.

I come from a wealthy family. I tasted alcohol, which was readily available at home, when I was seven years old. I don’t recall us going to church at all but coincidentally, I went to Loreto Convent Valley Road and Loreto Convent Msongari where I got to learn more about Christianity and God.

My sister and I were daddy’s girls. He would give us a car and money once in a while to go have fun in their absence. Every time we left home for the club on Friday evenings or Saturdays, he would tease us and tell us not to forget to reciprocate by buying a drink for any man who offered us a drink. I think I had the best parents then compared to many of my friends who didn’t enjoy the freedom my sister and I were enjoying.

I wouldn’t consider my parents’ marriage as the best, they had quite a few challenges but despite all that, I looked forward to having a family of my own by getting married to a guy who would treat me the way my dad treated us.

Unfortunately, I ended up dating the wrong men which affected my self-esteem and in search of a solution, I started using marijuana, alcohol, cocaine and heroin.

In 1988, my parents sent me to the California State University Dominguez Hills in the USA to study Business Administration. As was my habit, I got in the wrong company and this was the beginning of a life I never thought I would have, having been brought up by a man who taught me so much about life.

First abortion

I met a Swiss national after a short stay in the US, we fell in love and life was good, or so I thought. I got pregnant and this was his cue to end the relationship. Being in a foreign land and a student, I had no choice but to procure an abortion. I also didn’t want to disappoint my parents who had such high expectations for me.

After the abortion, I sunk into depression that I have battled it for 27 years now.

As the aftermath of the abortion took a toll on me, I decided to follow my Swiss boyfriend to Switzerland thinking that maybe we could work out our differences and pick up from where we had left. Things took a turn for the worse as he was no longer interested in me. Three years down the line, I packed my bags again and came back home a broken woman.

I managed to transfer my coursework from California State University to the United States International University-Africa (USIU) where I graduated in 1994.

I wasted the better part of my youth trying to fit in. The depression couldn’t let me keep a job. I got sacked as soon as I got employed.

Second abortion

In 1997, I procured my second abortion as my mother didn’t approve of the father to my unborn baby because of his tribe.This time, I also tried to kill myself and ended up in ICU at Aga Khan University Hospital.

The year 2016 has to be my worst year yet as my mother succumbed to cancer. This was like opening a healing wound once again and I hit rock bottom. My only solution was alcohol and any other drug that numbed me out of reality.

I quit alcohol and smoking about two years ago with the help of my doctors and a psychologist I have been seeing for the last few years. I have also been putting my creative juices flowing through writing and I have managed to put together a book titled Living Human Document on drug and alcohol abuse. I am telling my story to show others going through similar addictions and abusive relationships that they too can chose to live a different life and follow their dreams.

I still haven’t given up on marriage and having a family of my own. I know my Mr Right is somewhere and when the right time comes, he will locate me, my age not withstanding.

If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?
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