The premiere episode of Chozi, featured the life of Bernard who experimented with drugs and alcohol -– and almost lost his life.
What started off as an “innocent” pastime with his friends, led Bernard down the rabbit hole and sink deep into the abyss of addiction.
His journey with addiction not only saw him quit university in his third year, but it also ruined a lot of relationships and good opportunities. It even reached a point where he was chased from home. Going to family gatherings was hard for Bernard because he would see how everyone else had progressed in life-and how he had nothing much to show. This added to his shame and -perpetuated-his increase- in - alcohol consumption as a defense mechanism to numb the reality.
Here’s how fans reacted to his story
Bernard’s family tried to help him get his footing by getting him jobs, but he never showed up. His parents then decided to set up a business for him but that didn’t even last a year. With no money left and no source of income to -leverage off, he now had to find other ways to support his addiction. He started selling household items and even went as far as selling his clothes, down to his own belt.
Soon, his health started deteriorating. He started experiencing major alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations, shaking and confusion -which affected his normal day-to-day functioning. His health worsened to the point whereby he couldn’t eat without having a drink and when he did, he would throw up.
There was a time where he vomited a lump of blood and instead of rushing to the hospital, he decided to keep drinking. “I told myself that if it was my dying day, then I would go out in style,” Bernard narrated.
As the addiction progressed, he started experiencing hallucinations which came only when he wasn’t drinking, so to calm all the demons down he felt he had to drink.
The turning point
One day, Bernard was so weak that he was unable to go down his apartment stairs and even had to send for alcohol, to stabilise. -It was at this point that he was jolted into reality and made to realise that this was no way to live and death would come sooner than later.
Bernard finally decided to do something about his addiction. He sought his family’s help who in turn took him to rehab where he stayed for three months. He made progress, recovered and even took further steps to stop his addiction. He decided to pursue a course in addiction counseling and is now a fully certified addiction counselor.
For more of these real-life stories, catch Chozi every Sunday at 8pm only on Maisha Magic Plus, Channel 163.