By T. Omugor
I was reading an article on the effects of smoking and taking in harmful substances and I can only be grateful to God I don’t have any of those. I was an extremely intelligent girl in school, my teachers and family would say I was a gifted child. The sky wasn’t even my stepping stone at the rate my brain functioned.
At the time I wrote National Common Entrance I was number three in the whole nation and my parents actually expected more because they knew what God had bestowed upon me. When I got into secondary school, I was still doing well but I had become a ‘Gucci girl'( a clique in school). We were among the funky/cool/popular ones. In most sets, there’s always that clique. We hung out together, partied a lot and became very unserious with my academics.
By the time I was leaving school, with all my truancy and misbehavior I nicely got 4Ps and 4Fs. That could never get me into any institution. Before then, I went for the holidays in Kano to stay with my older sister and so when I heard my result was out, I bluntly refused to return to Lagos because I knew my oldest sister who had slaved to send me through school will reset my brain with a few strokes of the cane.
So somehow I read and wrote my exams again and passed. Then I mixed with a few friends. I got curious about cigarette smoking and then I became worse than the people I learnt from. I have always been a happy person, so partying was inevitable. I got into drinking as well, and then heavy drinking. I stopped going to class mainly because I was either tired from partying hard all night or hung over from excessive alcohol. Inevitably I dropped out of the first University. I remember a time where I woke up in the morning on the street with the sun shinning so bright over my head. I somehow gathered myself and went to another University where I finally managed to graduate.
I remember eavesdropping on a conversation my friends were having about buying me a birthday gift, and one of them suggested a roll of cigarettes and the rest of them were in agreement and trust me, I was happy and thought they were the most thoughtful people I had ever met. That would save me a large sum of money because of course that was what I did with all my cash.
I moved to Abuja and met a new set of friends who were into substance and prescription drugs and I got sucked in so fast. At that time, my sister had opened a travel agency which I was managing and I contributed largely to the shutting down because I continued in my destructive ways of substance taking, heavy drinking, smoking and partying and I mismanaged the agency because I was always hungover and coming in very late.
At the time, I had an ambition of making sure I had #1200, which would buy me my fix for the day. After taking that, I would become totally useless to myself and unproductive and that was how I lived my life until I became very unhappy with my life style and became very lonely.
One day, I ran to the only friend I could run to and she introduced me to a woman who I opened up to and that was the beginning of my walk to freedom from the chains of drugs. I dedicated my life to Christ and since then miraculously my cravings disappeared . It has been 5 years and I’ve never ingested any of those things I thought I couldn’t live without.
I am now so passionate about helping people especially women get out of addiction, I am an inspirational speaker, I have a blog where I reach out to young people and women. I try my best to make sure I talk about it every opportunity I get so young people can learn from my story of how I wasted productive years in addiction.