“So what made you suicidal?” “What were the details of your inner voice or what visions did you have when it felt unbearable?” These are some of the thought provoking questions that were warmly asked by a Facebook friend on a recent post after briefly writing about a certain phase in my addiction to DRUGS. There was a time I was depressed and suicidal but my family and friends could not detect the signs. I suspect it’s because I didn’t fit the profile of how a DRUG addicted, suicidal and depressed person should look or act. I honestly don’t blame them for not taking note, because I worked incredibly hard to ensure that I appear functional and “normal”. I would maintain a constant smile on my face. It was not just a coping mechanism, but also a strategic and form of disguise to conceal the core issues that kept me awake at night. All this hiding of suicidal thoughts aggravated me to self-medicate with DRUGS as an attempt to escape my sad reality.
Depression and Suicidal Phase
When I was younger I had great ambitions for success and naively believed that I would become a successful Hip Hop artist. When I reached my late 20’s it became clearer that my rap career was not going to materialise despite the tremendous effort I put in over the years. Worse, I had no formal work experience. All this slipped me into severe depression that would eventually lead to an intense DRUG addiction. I felt like a complete failure and that feeling evolved into deep sadness. It was a pain which lasted for an extended period of time and impacted my mental state and emotional well-being. This was the case until one day, a then close friend introduced me to DRUGS and it would take another 7 horrific years, before I could admit to myself that I had deep-seated issues that required professional help.
At first, the DRUGS had a healing effect and they felt like a perfect solution to my problems. But as I developed a stronger dependency, the feelings of ecstasy and euphoria turned into hell and darkness. And as I got entangled into the clutches of addiction, the dependency intensified leading to suicidal ambitions, but to mask how I was really feeling I kept a smile on my face. Getting Back To Normal. 7 years later, after using and abusing a variety of DRUGS, I surrendered defeat and realised that I was fighting a battle I could never win. I had now reached a point where I could no longer hide my addiction. The impact of my DRUG use had revealed itself through dramatic changes in my physical appearance and my life as a whole had become unmanageable. However, I cannot take sole credit for my recovery. My recovery was a consequence of ongoing family intervention efforts, love, support, coaching, and therapy. And it would take willingness, patience, commitment, and God to make it all possible.
Gugulethu ‘GK’ Khoza is recovering addict who has turned his life around and will regularly share his experiences to inspire and help young men recover from addiction. More of his stories to follow.