Dickson Migiro

   225    
3

I’ve known Dickson Migiro for many years. We were once young lads working as feature writers for ADAM Magazine…good times, those. Dicky is one of those guys who leaves a lasting impression on everybody he meets; charming, engaging, irreverent, funny and smart. An uber bullshitter. Still, Dicky was always the heart of the party and over time he became what a flame would be to a moth; you stepped too close you got charred. While the rest of us might come close to the edge and step back, Dicky would happily plod right on. His debauchery knew very few bounds with his biggest Achilles Heels being alcohol. He was up to his chin in that stuff. It consistently brought down everything around him like a house of cards but he ploughed on because Dicky was always assured of nine lives. Consequently, it was always prudent to have him at arm’s length. He was too intense. Too unhinged. He was like a strong medicinal dosage; strictly take one tablet a month, anymore and no one would be responsible for what harm may come to you, least of all himself.

The past year or so we lost contact, an occasional phone call maybe. I saw him once running around town with some flashy loaded Sudanese chaps then he sort of went under the radar. But like a bad penny, Dicky always turned up. Sure enough, last week he called me out of the blue; “Biko, I’m in Kilimani, are you in the office?” He swung by in a flowing Kanzu and that big Dicky smile. It was great to see him, his cheeks had filled out nicely. He had a sparkle in his eyes.

He said he had quit booze. “No shit,” I said cynically. He said he was turning his life around. That he was Muslim now. Then he talked about his past; a deep hole of hurt, confusion, mayhem and addiction. Powerful shit. As he spoke I opened a fresh Word-doc on my laptop and told him, “Why don’t you write that story down, 2,000 words maximum?” For the next hour and half, we sat in silence, the only sound in the room being the incessant pecking of the laptop, a drumming tale of the devils he triumphed over, the demons he once danced a merry tango with. When he was done he was at 4,000 words. It was beautiful and honest and haunting. I sent it to my unpaid copy editor, Vicky, who I asked if we can chop it off to at least 3,000 words and she said, “Let’s not.”

Dickson stands here in his nakedness not because we are better than him as men – because we aren’t – but just because he’s passed the point of judgement and is staring at redemption.

But before I let Dicky grab the oars of this vessel, I’d like to wish one lady a happy birthday. Happy Birthday Naomi Njoki Ngugi of LLB – Kenyatta University, now working at William and Co Advocates in Nyeri. Your pal, Claire Muriuki, inboxed me saying that you two have been great and dedicated fans of this blog since you were in Form 2 in 2011 (gulp) and that it would absolutely make your day if I threw in birthday wishes here. Well, Happy 20th Birthday (I can’t believe there is someone actually turning 20!) and may your 20’s bring joy, and well, moderation.

OK, without any further ado, Gang, meet Dickson Migiro.

A Drop of Love:

The conversation began in that kind of roundabout manner that we are all familiar with. The setting – my cousin’s house; the topic of conversation – as yet unknown. I had braved a special kind of Nairobi traffic to get here. That unnecessary jam caused by overlapping cars. The one that makes you want to come out Transformer-style and mow all the useless drivers to the ground. The only thing that had kept me sane was the bottle of Absolut that I had in the back seat. From time to time, I would take a sip, feeling the liquid sear my lips then my throat and finally exploding in my tummy. It felt good. It felt comforting, it was vodka. And vodka was my sanity.

I was ushered into my cousin’s place by a house girl. She smiled and asked if I had eaten. I said I had, which was a lie and she said my auntie was sitting in the living room. I walked in, auntie was holding her grandchild in her arms. The little tot was the definition of ‘sleeping like a baby,’ and slept through most of our initial conversation. She called out to the house girl to make me tea, got up and took the sleeping baby upstairs. I sat there in the living room looking at everything and nothing. Citizen TV was on. Lillian Muli was talking about something. All I wanted was another shot.

My Auntie came back downstairs, went into the kitchen, served me a mjengo portion of ugali, coloured greens (sukuma wiki) and beef stew. She plonked it in front of me, sank into a leather couch and commanded ‘Eat.” I did. I had to. Ever since my mother died when I was 20, she had become my mum. I ate, she watched me in silence. My time in the British Army had taught me that chow time was chow time. I forced myself into chow mode and ate in record speed. I took my plate to the kitchen, I have never been one to be waited on, washed my hands and had a drink of water wishing it was a shot of something more fiery.

I walked back into the living room, squared my shoulders and mentally prepared myself for the talk. I knew my Auntie, she would not have summoned me if it was not important. “I would like to talk to you Dicky,” she began. “I have spoken to everyone and I mean everyone in the family and they have all concluded that you are a lost cause, but I said I would like to try one last time.” She fixed me with her no nonsense look. I squirmed. This was going to be painful. She began as always with stories about her and her late husband, my uncle, and the fights that they had had over alcohol. She then broadly pointed out each member of the family who had been partaking and the long term effects it had on them, their work, family and friends.

Now I really needed a drink. “Pombe haiwezi kukusaidia. Mimi ninataka kukuja kukuvisit lakini siwezi kuja kwa nyumba yenye sijui kama nitakupata ama sitakupata. Na nikikupata, sijui uko kwa state gani,” she went on. I went into screen saver mode. She talked and talked and I made all the right sounds and acknowledgements. All I could think about was when I could get out and take that much needed shot. Absolut was calling my name. It would be rude not to answer. She was interfering with my drinking time. I began to feel anxious, perhaps I would pass by my dealer and get a few rolls of weed on the way home. That might calm me down. These were the thoughts rolling around my head.

“You are not always going to look this handsome!” That jolted me. What? What was she on about? “Yes. I said it. You are not always going to look this handsome. You are not always going to be this young. The girls who you hang around are all going to realise, sooner rather than later, who you really are, and none of them is going to want to be with you. That is why your wife left you, and you will not keep a woman if you carry on going the way you are going.” She ended this part in a slightly raised voice.

What? How had I, the most promising member of this family, ended up here? When had the rain started beating me? Where had the fork in the road come?

Nine years ago, I had landed back in Nairobi from a rather stressful London sojourn. My journey had taken me from a little known camera and edit assistant at Level One Productions, then owned and run by the amazing Moses Nderitu to one of the most prestigious production companies in England, Tiger Aspect, in SoHo Square. I had walked into their office one Wednesday afternoon, and after a three hour chat in an edit suite, I was offered what was supposed to be a one week gap filler. I didn’t leave for three and a half years. I ended up directing and producing some amazing award-winning shows.

With sheer grit, determination, hard work and an element of luck, I had taken on London and won. Sometimes I would walk down the street from Angel, my tube stop to Gibson square where I lived and marvel at where I was. This young man born in dusty Maralal had finally arrived. Or so I thought. I counted amongst my friends Rowan Atkinson, Michael Curtis and Peter Bennet-Jones. For those who do not know, Rowan Atkinson is Mr. Bean and Richard Curtis wrote Four Weddings and A Funeral and all the movies where Hugh Grant plays the most adorable bumbling Englishman. As for PBJ, he was the most amazing man I have ever had the pleasure of working for.

In a tragic twist of fate, the man responsible for getting me into Tiger Aspect, Charlie Forman, an Anglo-Ugandan raised in Eldoret, plunged into depression. It got so bad that he kept asking me repeatedly if I would finish the job if he attempted suicide and failed. Inevitably, he checked into the Priory, a kind of rehab for celebrities and wealthy people. Thousands of pounds later, he was not getting any better. So his parents entered stage left and convinced him to move to Kampala which is where they were living at the time. Their argument was that Charlie was born in Africa, he loved Africa and should come back to Africa so he could learn to love life and himself again.

I remember the last day he was in London. We got drunk in the afternoon. I brought my one year old daughter Imani along to say goodbye. She caused some problems of her own. SoHo Square pubs are not child-friendly. In fact all of London is not child friendly. But that’s neither here nor there. So Charlie sat there with his dad, we downed Shandies and then they were off to Heathrow and Africa. Two weeks later, Charlie convinced his cousin to lend him a motorbike and at 150 clicks per hour, he rode straight into a concrete wall. He was buried in a sealed coffin.

After that, life at Tiger Aspect was never the same, Charlie’s death deeply affected me; my marriage began to unravel. My wife hated Charlie, blamed him for taking me away from her. Hatred is even worse in death. I plunged into depression and for the first time in my life began to drink rather heavily and more frequently. The love he had shown me had been unconditional. He was a fellow African, or at least that is how I viewed him, and we were facing big bad London together. In the summer of 2006, I threw in the towel and came back home for good.

Nairobi has always been this place bubbling with possibilities, full of people with big dreams and the local TV market, even though it was not quite your BBC or Channel 4, was promising. The fact that it was home was comforting and there were some bright sparks working hard at trying to make the industry better. I was chomping at the bit to be part of that change.

In that strange way that brings about creative enterprise, I began looking for investors to set up a kind of ‘Time Out’ Nairobi. In 1999, way ahead of my time, I set up Kenya’s first entertainment website Kelele.com. And interviewed the likes of Nameless, Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Redsan and Atemi. The social ‘What’s Happening?’ ‘Society’ genre appealed to me. I was all about experiences, taking gulps of Nairobi, one at a time. That’s how you devour a city like Nairobi. Then I ran into an old Nation buddy Oyunga Pala who in my absence had built quite a brand for himself with his Mantalk column and was headhunting for a fresh new, bold magazine.

Adam. By Kenyan Men. For Kenyan Men. Enough said. I loved it from the get go. Short sharp staccato stories about my people. Not one to do things in half measures, I plunged right in. The running joke was that I penned a cover story on Chris Foot under the dubious headline International Man of Mystery. On the social side of things, I began to be invited to more events and parties. Everyone wanted the Adam crew around them. And that is when my relationship with alcohol deepened and got more layered. We were now swimming around in the free booze.

There was the perfect drinking day. Done right, it was like a magic trick. The emphasis as always was on distraction. A chilled white at midday under the blazing sun hobnobbing with diplomats made you a great conversationalist. One who would surely be invited to the next party and the one after that. Birds of a feather, nudge nudge wink wink, cue prolonged guffawing. Gin and tonics for sundowners which in practice began at 3pm, even though I knew they should begin at 5ish.

Then refreshing glasses of Tusker that went down even before a function had formally began. The serving staff were now on a first name basis and knew to serve you with a fresh glass each time, so no one could see that you were already on your seventh. Cue top-shelf single malts unveiled with much fanfare and witty impromptu speeches.

Everything was going swimmingly well, all covered under a beautiful alcoholic haze. Then two things happened. The first was the 2007 post-election violence, the second was the global credit crunch. Post-election violence brought with it a hoard of international press baying for editorial blood. BBC lifers who had been pitching story ideas about Kenya and getting turned down flat for years, now had stories that had legs that could run and run. I jumped on the bandwagon and earned more money in two months than I had earned in a whole year. I learned that the adage, if it bleeds it leads, was sad but very very true.

The global credit crunch had a different effect on Adam. The parent company Naspers in South Africa suffered serious loses in the international markets and they sent in a mortician by the name of Cobus Heyl. Luckily for me I jumped before I was pushed. The money from PBS, Channel 4 and BBC went to alcohol. I didn’t buy clothes or furniture or a car or anything I could see, I just drank it all. Heck everyone was having a post-election fling, mine was with alcohol.

Then I jumped, literally, from the frying pan into the fire. I was head-hunted by The Star as the Society Editor. This meant I had an open invitation to every party in Nairobi. From Jomo Gecaga’s champagne filled private residence to SK Macharia’s Ndakaini ranch, it was party season galore. All day, every day. Most diplomatic functions in Kenya, for some reason, happen at lunchtime. So I would be standing at one of these on any given day of the week, red wine glass firmly in hand pretending to listen keenly to the keynote address. If I was lucky, Michael Joseph would roll in with his bar on wheels, a private stash of very good red wine.

And then I would stumble into my cab and head back to the office in Lion place and somehow manage to churn out copy. I read some of those stories today and cringe with embarrassment. I became the poster boy for the Star Newspaper – I was at every function, every launch, damn I even did birthday parties. Slowly but surely, alcohol began to take a grip on me. I began to drink more and only hang out in places that had alcohol. My integrity went out of the window but my copy was still pretty good so I got a pay rise and a car. Suffice to say I lasted less than a year. I crashed the car while driving drunk, proceeded to storm up to William Pike, the MD, and demanded that he fix it. When he protested, I dropped the car keys on his desk and walked out on my career.

Various people approached me like Patrick Quarcoo, whom I respect, Caroline Mutoko who knew me from my university days, and gently tried to pry me out of this grip of alcohol. But I would not have any of it. I could not see that I was a slave to alcohol. My resignation party was at Hidden Agenda. I spent more than I would like to remember and if my friend Dorothy Oliech hadn’t intervened I would have bought the whole bar drinks. What nobody knew at this point is that my long-suffering wife, having tired of my antics had left with my babies and I was terrified of going home to an empty house.

As luck would have it, I was head-hunted, again, by Nusu Nusu productions run by Mark Moss who was and still is, the best DOP in Kenya & whom I knew from my Level One days and Fareed Diamond Khimani, whom I had worked with at Radio Africa and loved his wacky sense of humour. So it seemed a natural fit. I could definitely get on with this gang. My interview was conducted in Mombasa aboard the Tamarind Dhow awash with vodka-based dawas. Let me state here that I love TV, I have always loved TV and I just cheated on her with print. So it felt right to be back doing what I loved. Being where I belonged.

TV production takes a long time. You get great stories but it is time intensive. There is no way around it. Evenings began to fill with functions as Mashariki Mix, the magazine show I was producing picked up. Before I knew it I was back in the regular haunts, the last man standing at any bar. The only thing that would tear me away was if the bar became a cash bar. We had some pretty tough accountants so it was not easy to drink on the production budget. But I found ways. I compromised. I cajoled. I promised anything for free drinks. I basically became a prostitute for free drinks. I began to rate events depending on the availability of a wet and open bar. That was my SI unit.

The pivotal point was a trip to Malindi. Driving a rented car, high off my head, I crashed into the bush at Garoda resort. With it crashed my burgeoning TV career. I got out unscathed but in a bizarre twist, my local fixer called the office and Fareed and Mark promptly fired me. In hindsight I completely understand their reasoning. At the time, it was all wasted on me. Water running off a ducks back, I was back socializing in Nairobi. It was not long before the British Army came calling. That stint was an eye-opener. My role as communication officer was to help the Army shift attention away from sensitive stories. I did the complete opposite. I actively leaked information to the very correspondents I was supposed to block.

In between our two offices, one in Nanyuki and one in Nairobi, I disappeared as if in a puff of smoke. I was so good, my commanding officer had no clue where I was. Wherever he would be, I would be at the other end. Six months later, a lot of talk and tankers of subsidized alcohol later, I had nothing to show. I was graciously shown the door. I now had no job, nothing to keep me from drinking until, well until my body couldn’t take it anymore. I would wake up with hang overs so severe I was catatonic. I could barely move, eat or drink anything. A situation myself and Edward Kwach, – someone who should read this article a few times – called ‘lying in state.’

For the next two years, life was one big party. I lied to everyone, my family, my friends, my partner. No one knew where I was. I was like the Ghost in the Darkness. Down and down my life spiraled into this insatiable vat of alcohol.

You know that look that people give you when they are not quite sure how high you are, but they know you are high? The once over? The double-take that girls who once fawned over you now give you? Followed closely by the ‘he is not going to hug me smelling like that,’ look of dread? That look of concern that is quickly masked with a smile that doesn’t quite reach the eyes. That look that says, ‘I know you can do better, but I do not know how to get you to where I think you should be.’ I got those looks often. Those looks became my friend.

Then I met her.

We always used to make fun of Uncle Chris as we affectionately refer to him, Chris Kirubi to the rest of you, as he would always try to slice girls off us. But for once he came through. On the 25th of November 2014, Uncle Chris made an introduction at the Belgian Ambassador’s residence that was to become my final turning point. Life as I knew it changed for good. An angel walked, rather was ushered, right into my life. She didn’t give me that double take. She didn’t seem phased by me and she was courageous enough to come out to Emmanuel Jambo’s birthday that evening at Slims. Something happened when she came through that gate at Slims. I felt excited but I didn’t want to show it. I walked her up the stairs and paid very close attention to her every word. I didn’t feel the urge to drink that night. It was like the Sicilians say, I was struck by a thunderbolt.

She made me realise something. That I was worth it. That a sober me was still ten times more interesting than a drunk me. When I was with her, I didn’t have the urge to drink. She doesn’t drink at all. That helped but it also raised questions. Why was I able to remain sober with her whereas there are some people who just made me want to drink? What was it about her? The more I thought about it, the more intrigued I became. Her love for me had somehow filled a gap that was previously occupied by an impostor. Let me try to explain it.

If you break both your legs today and go into Nairobi hospital, because of the pain, chances are you will be given a shot of diamorphine. Diamorphine is heroin. Yes, that stuff that comes from the poppy fields in Afghanistan. After you are discharged, normal people will not run out to find the nearest heroin dealer. Why? There is a story we tell ourselves about addiction. A story that once you try a line of cocaine, you never go back. That one hit of heroin and you will sell your grandmother for another fix. But this story like most bush telegraph stories, only part of the story and not the whole story.

I find that people who have a healthy work/life balance, who occasionally like to have fun but are surrounded by loving family and friends tend not to become addicts. And if they do, a curious thing occurs. They get a new set of friends, their cocaine crew, or ecstasy girls, and if you are rolling your eyes at the mention of drugs, go to any club in Westlands and see if you cannot score anything in ten minutes flat. They change their friends because the new crew is all united under one banner. Drugs.

What we human beings search for is connection, acknowledgement and support. If we fail to find that in our normal interactions with fellow human beings, we look for it elsewhere. The son of a prominent politician who was a close friend overdosed in a brothel in Lavington on coke. Why would a seemingly happily married man end up next to a virtual stranger with his veins coursing with laced coke? Because drugs and alcohol love secrets. You have your peddler who no one ever meets. You score drugs and keep it to yourself or share it amongst their trusted inner circle of ‘friends.’ So you and the booze or the drugs and the ‘friends’ have a bond of brotherhood. An island of us-versus-them. One that over time makes you believe that the one true friend you have left in this world is cocaine or your favorite whiskey.

I say this as a person who has been there. It is time to act. Not in the way that I have seen being championed by the women of Nyeri. Or by that crazed Moses Kuria egged on by Jubilee bigwigs. Or by Governor Kabogo almost torching himself. The flames and anger that are directed at legitimate businesses like Keroche Breweries are not the solution. Alcohol has existed for millennia. And I think it is safe to say, it will survive the current siege it is under. It has survived such misguided policies like prohibition, it will survive like a cockroach after a nuclear meltdown. You can reduce the flow, but you will never stop it. I think it is safe to say the industry will outlive NACADA.

So what then is to be done? We all know it is hard to love an addict. But believe me that is what they need most. If you their spouse loves them; that is all the strength they need to overcome it. If you their family members push them away; you are helping the drink demons succeed in convincing that person that the only thing they have to turn to for solace, for a bond, the only thing that is a constant in their lives as they lose their families, fortunes and children is the drink. The drink takes over and occupies that place that love, family and spouses used to occupy. There is a fight for that man or woman’s soul. If the spouse gives up, the colleagues at work walk away & old friends turn their backs, the alcohol wins.

All the effort that is being spent on destroying factories and setting ablaze illicit brews should instead be transferred much closer home. If you want to help an addict, help them stay in touch with society. Take them to the mosque or to church. Give them access to their children. Pay someone to give them a job. Give them somewhere to be and something to do. Trick them into exercising so they can trigger an appetite. Don’t lecture them, Love them. It is the only thing more powerful than addiction. I know it is hard to love an addict, but that love is what will make all the difference between them getting home or lying dying in that brothel terrified that you will not open the door, or let them in.

As I sit here in Jackson Biko’s office, at his desk, writing this story from his laptop I have been sober for three months and counting. I have not touched a drink. I have not been to an AA meeting, I find them pathetic. I joined the Islamic faith and it has kept me going. Support has come from the most unexpected quarters. I am a reformed man, I have a different spring in my step. I might falter and stumble as life has a way of throwing you curve balls. But now I know what my problem is and I am looking onwards and upwards. As for the girl, she is still by my side. I will keep you posted kama tuna harusi ama hatuna.

My blog – Mokaya Migiro

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

3
225 Comments
  1. What a story, what a confession! Biko, thank you for providing an opportunity for before to open up. You are doing justice to society and generosity to humanity. Your calling is amazing. God keep your ink flowing!

  2. wow! Just like the *fat Chero* , you will make it . And just know that one more person knows what it means getting love from unexpected quarters.

  3. ….I dont comment….I really dont…all I want to say is, she is a keeper….keep her. I wish you well on your journey Dickson…the best is yet to come. keep the faith.

  4. Waaaah such an inspiring message….your story should reach the general public. Probably through the TV or the newspapers. I too concur than burning factories and booze will not help an ounce. Alcohol is a virus that mutates when it comes to availabitity. Bonga poa na Unyee ureplace Jaguar kwa hiyo Board ya NACADA. hehehe

  5. Ahhh, confused! Is it the Muslim faith barring you from drinking? Anyway,there are facts right there. Happy birthday to njoki.

  6. Wow! How can one life be so eventful. Very inspiring! You get knocked down but you get right back on your feet. Nice Read. All the best in your reformed life. 🙂

  7. Awesome story Dicky… Its great, and inspiring too, how you disentangled yourself from booze. All the best man. ION… I remember that Kings Day at the Belgian Embassy… you were with Uncle Chris and the Kiambu Senator Wamatangi.

  8. Wueeeh. Couldn’t put it down till the very end. Very brave for Dickson to lay himself out bare, despite probable criticism to those he failed, those he portrayed a life of ‘happiness’ to, his family….Barave.
    Godspeed.

  9. What a touching story!

    The only way to solve a problem is first to accept that there is a problem. I’m glad you did. And I admire that lady who accepted you when everyone else chose to look the other way.

    Biko,thank you for letting us know this story.

  10. This is a moving real life account, I know Migiro from way back when he was at the Star. Soldier on brother, you have made the right turn. Your story tagged my heart and i believe it will touch as many who are struggling with addiction!

  11. This reminds me of De Profundis by Oscar Wilde; “The gods had given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease…I surrounded myself with the smaller natures and the meaner minds. I became the spendthrift of my own genius, and to waste an eternal youth gave me a curious joy. Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in the search for new sensation. What the paradox was to me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in the sphere of passion. Desire, at the end, was a malady, or a madness, or both. I grew careless of the lives of others. I took pleasure where it pleased me, and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber one has some day to cry aloud on the housetop. I ceased to be lord over myself. I was no longer the captain of my soul, and did not know it. I allowed pleasure to dominate me. I ended in horrible disgrace. There is only one thing for me now, absolute humility.”

    2
      1. Anjichi,
        And General Zod ALWAYS quotes this profundis, ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.
        Dicky, you will overcome the demon drink bro.
        For every void vodka fills, it opens a chasm.

  12. Alcohol has a winning ego ,will always survive ’cause the flow will always be there.True ;connection, acknowledgement and support is what should be going on more than the pouring and setting ablaze.These alcoholics are now going for cannabis and others into depression.
    Great insight Dick.

  13. It’s been 4 years and counting since I last had a drink. Like Migiro has stated, my sister Carol showed me love, took me to church,bought me lunch on countless Sundays. Indeed Love does conquer…

    1
  14. An uplifting confession. Though love is gentle, it surely is a trustworthy remedy for most of the “ills”.

  15. I Don’t agree that the crack down hasn’t helped. There are people who were ready to quit (alot ) and needed just that little push. The availability of alcohol made it hard for them to quit if the government maintains the pressure we will see reduction in the number of alcoholics.

  16. This is a very interesting and touching piece. I never get enough of these articles. Keep them coming jathurwa

  17. This has to be the most honest albeit intense post that I have read in this blog. God grant Dicky the strength to keep on being sober. No need to shun the addicts; just a little love .. Spread it!

  18. This mini memoir reminds me of a book i read called a million little pieces by James Frey..his sentiments were close to yours on addiction and overcoming it and the struggle.but i also do believe in one taking the first step in accepting they have a problem and also the willingness to get and accept help.and its good to read that you are well aware you are an addict and have the desire to stay sober.but i pray that you are doing it mainly for you and not because of your special girl,that to me seems dangerous, But hey, am do addiction expert.Good luck Dickson!We shall cheer you on….

  19. As I read this beautifully written article, a few questions came to mind:

    1.) What happens when he and his girlfriend break up or start having issues? What will he depend on then? His sobriety is largely dependent on the love he received from this lady, but the relationship is new and thus the feelings still fresh and exciting. what happens when real life kicks in? Will he be able to handle the disappointment? Has he put her on the pedestal and will he be able to deal with the reality of a flawed human being?

    2.) Don’t rehab facilities advocate for tough love and sometimes putting distance between a loved one and the alcoholic in order to expedite the recovery process? Where does one draw the line between tough love and support?

    3.) The gentleman seems to infer that he remained an alcoholic because he did not receive a lot of support or love. That seems an unfair claim even though I don’t know him or those that claim to have loved him. When is it essential to take responsibility for our mistakes and not use others as a crutch? Does alcoholism work that way?
    I speak from ignorance having never known any alcoholics or people suffering from addiction, therefore what may seem offensive, may be due to my lack of understanding.

    I am really rooting for this stranger. Hope he makes it!

    1. I have lived and interacted with addicts and I will try and answer your 2nd and 3rd questions.
      2nd- Tough love never works! Never ever! Tough love to an addict is a form of major discouragement. And those who reform after being shown tough love do it to prove you wrong; not because you gave them tough love. Unconditional love is what works. Loving an addict even when they cannot lift themselves from the floor for being too high is what works. But scolding them in the name of them taking advantage of your love for them will just push them away.
      3. Addicts claiming that lack of love is what pushes them more and more into drugs is not a way of them blaming others for their own mistakes. It’s a way of them reaching out as if saying; if only you could show me the slightest sign of love maybe I could be a better person. Love makes an addict want to change; because they know that there will always be someone who notices their slight efforts to become better and compliment them. they will want to change for that person. Addicts reach a point where taking responsibilities for their own mistakes is meaningless to them. It doesn’t make sense at the time. Unconditional Love is the only thing that makes sense.
      To try and answer No. 1
      A recovering addict lives in the moment. Whatever works for him he clings onto it. The lady is his source of inspiration and the reason why he wants to change. So far he has succeeded. And even if things between him and her go wrong some day (which I hope not), he might still want to remain reformed for her; because she was the only person who loved him when no one else did.
      I have lost a close person to drugs and his last words were; all I ever wanted was unconditional love and understanding. I took this as a lesson and applied it to 2 other close people who were deep addicts; One has fully reformed and the other one is making huge progress.

      PS: That’s a very inspiring confession Dicky! You are brave and salute to the lady for giving you unconditional love.

      1. I totally agree with you Naomi. We are currently working towards that on & for someone – family. Sorry forthe losing a friend; and well done for standing in the gap as well as making a difference.

        Dicky, all the very best. Thank you for sharing your story.

      2. Very well said Naomi. But some addicts are difficult. Very difficult. They push people away. If yoyou try call them they will not pick and thats when you manage to go through since their phones are permanently off. You send them messages you receive insults. How do you show love to such a person.

        1. Unconditional love is loving someone even when the least deserve it. Most addicts are hard to love, but love them anyway.that’s what makes the difference.

    2. I think sometimes, one is just so glad that you can stand today that you don’t think about tomorrow. He will stand in time, enough to handle any changes. For now, let him take one day at a time.

    3. I think your points are valid and well articulated. However,the point Dicky made about a good work life balance and support from family and friends suggests he didnt have strong religious or cohesive family upbringing. Perhaps there is a story behind the story. Dicky is a smart guy i think the problem was foundational. His achievements masked the deeper issues of loneliness and depression…my two cents:) kudos to Dicky for sharing the naked truth and Congratulations for staying sober 3months

      1. I agree with you Kwame. Most addictions arise from poor foundations or childhood traumas. Besides, addictions, we also have narcissists who become that because of childhood experiences. Hope someone can write about as well.

  20. Awesome. I was at Dick and Katy’s wedding in Karen. Later heard he went to London till about two years ago when we met a function where he was now on TV. So so happy that the devil and his drink are being kicked in the shin. As for ‘lying in state’ I have a story of my own…Congrats Dicky and hold tight brother

  21. WoW! Did I just read 4,000 words without taking a breather. Am inspired and grateful for this piece Dicky/Jackson. It all boils to love and family. Thank you for this.

  22. I ran into Dickson a few weeks back on a certain TV set, and, not to sound callous, wondered – haiya, he’s still around?
    I had heard of his legendary drinking, and often just watched from a distance, silently judging. But in the back of my mind, I noticed that he walked and looked sober this time.
    Thanks for opening up, and keep fighting the good fight.

  23. I first met Dicky in 99 just after my High school and we (my cousins, brothers) all admired his charm, social skills especially with girls: very generous at hooking us up of course….
    He always had complimentary tickets and knew what was happening and where though through to 2008 I never saw him driving.
    He has a shorter big bro who always used to check up on him…

    Anyway as we advanced in life, it was baffling how his had stagnated despite all his connections…
    Now that am married I realized life is not a big party, time waits for no man and opportunities come and go but live on to those who maximize positively

    We have so many Dickson’s I hope we all play part in being our “brother’s” keepers

  24. this is beautifully sad, because at the end there is hope.
    It goes to show we can come out on the other side of the demons that torment us

  25. Dicky, dont brush off AA. it helps. hope the quitting is for you not for the girl. wishing you Godspeed.

  26. For me,this has hit deep and sometimes we do learn from the mistakes of others.I was expecting to laugh my butt off instead i got a dose of reality.We might falter but we must never give up.Thanks to you Biko and to Dickson,we never fail Unless we Give up on God.Stay strong,iv learnt From you and i hope i will always remember this.

  27. Thanx for sharing . Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness , All the best …

  28. Thank you Dickson for sharing your story. Love can never be too much to offer. I’ ll try love the addicts in my life more.
    All the very best on your sobriety walk.

  29. Dickie, the Lord or is it Allah? keep you and your pen and the lady. Great way of giving back by sharing this; even though I miss you covering my functions, you are now in a good place. Inshallah
    Biko, *Hugs*

  30. Dickson,
    No. You can’t just end this story like this.NO WAY..
    How has the lady been an influence in your life.
    .details please.. Again ..congrats to her for saving a writer like you and giving us a chance to savor your story. Yours is a story of chances..of a man
    who blew his chances with the bottle but gained it all again in the end albeit soberly.
    I wish you the best in your lifes journey..harusi utupe soon..il cook biriani for free

  31. wow as true as it gets ….(the drinking part) ….hey bro congratulations and yep in the same boat too 3months and counting…and yes it only comes from inside you..cheers to the now potent drink I enjoy “pure distilled water”

  32. Bravo! There is hope…always! A riveting read..made me sit up and truly smell the coffee…and the greatest of this is LOVE!

  33. Biko, lets say, Fridays, be Dicksons day. They way we have Chero on Thursdays. The gang needs more of this bana. Inspirational stuff ai seh!

  34. Amen to the big story.
    Dick, am praying for continuity, and hoping you remember your creator, while you still have breath.
    Biko, am still praying, for when you will start Preaching
    Keep it up…you are heading there….
    Unconditional Love, is the key, and that’s what you are offering now….the Spirit is willing.

  35. I have to admit this is the best read EVER on this blog. Thank you Dickson for Opening up. I am OFFICIALLY your number 1 FAN.

  36. Dkny, a good one. Hit a resounding note . It did. Lots of learning curves to negotiate for all and you. Take heart.

  37. Such an inspiring story.I stand as a witness and I know that God truly redeems for free…if only we ask of him,I thank God for you Dicky I pray that your sobriety lasts for ever and that you keep writting and ohh that you keep the girl ; ) Biko I thank God for you as well..may God continue to bless you and set you on higher grounds.

  38. u will make it Dicky.my uncle quit like u.he just woke up 1day n decided he was done after going to the lowest level of chang’aa.he was an alcoholic for kitu 20yrs. he has now been sober and productive for 4yrs.you will make it

  39. Interesting, yes. Inspiring, no! All addicts need is a lot of love?? Have you ever gone beyond yourself and tried to listen to your spouse, family and friends’ side of it?? So what they should do is be more selfless as you become more selfish?? What about what they need?? Did you provide that?? So you found love and conquered the addiction?? Lucky you. Your kids, whom you barely mention after conquering the addiction must love that story I’m sure. Nothing inspiring here. People like you usually have people who loved them enough to help them. But people don’t save you,, You just found sb you loved enough to quit for maybe but don’t say you hadn’t been getting enough love before.This was an annoying post to me. To me, you’re just someone focused only on your needs. But it’s good you quit your addiction tho’

    1. I totally concur Nimmo. The guy has been utterly selfish. And I agree. What impact has his actions had on his children / his wife? He has swiftly moved on to another relationship; it’s all about him. Abysmal.

    2. Nimmo, an eye for an eye results in a blind society. Selflessness means that you never expect anything back for your selfless acts. And that attitude you take is what keeps countless people addicted.

      1. He might have reached here due to selfish reasons but I really hope he gets in touch with his inner demons.I hope he leans to love himself and not place all his ‘eggs’in one basket so to speak.
        It sound like everything might crash around him the moment his saviour becomes fallible.

    3. very true Nimmo..i totally agree, his chidren are no doubt scarred in one way or another due to his absenteeism…I feel his selfishness as well, you are luckily to have found someone who gave you a chance, but what about alll the people you put through hell, ur wife? dont they mean anything now that you have a fresh catch?

    4. My thoughts exactly. At no point does he sound remorseful for his failed marriage. Its almost like hes blaming his wife for not being loving enough.Trying to play victim while all along his wife and kids were the victims. Very selfish man

  40. Your story is a great inspiration and gives hope to those in
    all sorts of addictions. Glory to God, with Him all things are possible.

  41. Dickson

    Thank you for sharing your journey.S
    Sending you all the love in my heart today. I have watched you in various stages of your struggle and I am willing to be part of your help from unexpected quarters. Love and Love and more Love.

  42. I am a ‘silent’ avid Bikozulu blog reader but this deep confessional has prompted me to express my appreciation for this awesome blog site. Thank you Biko! I live with Alcoholism in my family and it breaks my heart every time you reach out to ‘slow down the train before it wrecks’ and they lash back saying they are not out of control as they are not loosing their jobs or getting broke. I have a friend who calls them ‘working alcoholics’. I will not give up on them though. Bless you Dickson as you clearly have more than nine lives and I pray for your strength to love yourself more and make it right with your children as being a sober and loving father may not make you feel like you were struck by a thunderbolt but I bet it will give you constant contentment.

    1. Njoki, I know what you mean by working alcoholics or as I refer to them “functioning alcoholics”. Substance abuse is hard to understand because there are those who lose everything or come close to it, and there are others who somehow manage to hold things together even though everyone can see that there is a problem. It is definitely hard to help someone if they do not want to accept that they have a problem

  43. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,you already made the step towards the right direction,keep moving Dickson

  44. I also think you quit because you met someone you love enough to quit for.you were loved by many,your aunt for example but you didn’t care enough to quit for them.they loved you how much I don’t know but loved they did.

  45. That was an awesome read.You are a brave man indeed and for what its worth you write beautifully.Do you have a blog or a column somewhere that we can be reading?

  46. This, for me, was a very insightful read. My father is an alcoholic and I’m one of many people that have given up on whether he will ever get over his addiction. When Migiro says that what they need is unconditional love, that is tough for me to process. We have given all we can give to the point of being unable to give anymore. And the selfishness of an addict drives you to a point where you say enough is enough, and you have to decide whether to stick by the addict and let them drag you down whatever hole they’ll lead you to or walk away. I chose to walk away. I hope dad finds the unconditional love that will convince him to leave the bottle like you have, if that’s what it takes, because that love can’t come from me anymore. Also, I think your story would be complete if you told us about the hell your behaviour put your wife and kids through, rather than gloss it over. Your story is inspiring to addicts and those that may not have had to directly deal with the hurtful consequences that direct dependants of addicts have.

    1. Missy, Your situation is my own. You can only do so much,and when you eventually walk away, then your heart is at peace knowing that you did your best. Only they, can love themselves enough to want better. Its defeatist for alcoholics to say they are alcoholics because they weren’t loved enough.I agree its selfishness. Period!

  47. Very powerful read. I lived with an addict and I agree that love is the way out. However, love runs out and tough love checks in. Once that is gone, patience leaves right behind it. Dick did not beat his problem because somebody loved him. He beat it because he became aware that he had a problem, and became willing to put up a fight. Glad he beat it and hope he is able to stay clean and mend his broken relationships.

  48. Those are nine lives kweli. What?! True resilience! I’m glad the editor kept all those words in. I hope you have/can restore a relationship with your kids, they need their Daddy. Mad respect for your woman, may your love win. Thank you, Biko, another very very sobering piece (we all know a few people like that who we struggled to love through their weakest point).

  49. Dicky inspiring read. Lots of lessons learned. It’s amazing what people go through and in our ignorance we are unable to help but stand to judge. May you fight you addiction and get to keep the lady.

  50. Reading this post on a Wednesday morning has opened my eyes. LOVE is everything and it works everywhere. Booze is and will be there, but love fades, so we should show the addicts that they are still important in society. This shall make them reform for they do not want to disappoint the loved ones. GREAT PIECE DICKSON and Thanks Biko for giving him the chance to introduce us to his struggles.

  51. Excellent piece!

    Best wishes Dickson in this new phase of your life. When we meet at the next BBQ (which is another skill you have), I’ll thank you and congratulate you

  52. congratulations on your new way of life. Believe me, you made a decision to change on your own, love might have played a very small role in it. My father is an alcoholic and no amount of love, prayers, alcohol related illnesses has been a turning point for him. The thought of the life he lives literally makes me shed a tear every time. I desperately wish that the government’s crackdown on ilicit brews works…. i really do. I wish you all the best.

  53. WoW.. Mokaya… I never missed an edition of ADAM magazine… Yiubguys made it happen.

    I’m so proud of you for sharing your story… And glad that Vicky didn’t edidnt edit it…

    My powerful take out is…. ‘ I know it is hard to love an addict, but that love is what will make all the difference between them getting home or lying dying in that brothel terrified that you will not open the door, or let them in.’

    But I also pray that you find it in your heart to forgive your wife and kids and more so ask them for forgiveness coz they also did not know how to deal. (That is if you haven’t done so already) . This way, you all re able to start afresh in your own personal ways…

    Thank you for being man enough to share your story and letting the world in..

  54. How on earth could you Biko think if editing such a nice article? Biko hayo ni mapepo!!.. But thanks to Vicky we got it raw…. The way it is hehe…. Thanks Biko!!!

  55. powerful story there,keep going!…i just never get enough of your articles Biko…and for you to incorporate others is just wonderful…

  56. I’ve read this blog religiously for the past 5years and I’ve commented only a handful of times. Today i have to say, I am inspired…in more ways than one. I wish you well Dicky. Na niitwe harusi tafadhali.

  57. Profound story Dicky, keep going you’ll make it. I’m sharing this link with my bro Njogu, your friend from campus days.

  58. Wow! Biko… you’re bringing people out of the woodword in a great way. So can Dickson get a column… a man who is a recovering alcoholic, an Islam convert, who is falling in love can teach us all a thing or two about redemption.

    Dickson, I’ve known you only as a party arnimal for so long, so reading this has made me cry & cry so very early in the morning in my office. The last time we met at Monikos I wasn’t sure you remembered me but glad that you did. I’m happy to hear you are well.

  59. I have never quite heard addiction described this way. Yet it encapsulates exactly what an addict needs: unconditional love.

  60. Alcohol addiction is an ugly thing, I have watched it destroy even love. Please win this fight, for you first, for your kids, for your love and for your dreams. Make time and have a candid personal conversation about your ex wife…make an honest apology, your addiction impacted her too.

  61. Very Moving story.They say to know the road ahead tou must ask people coming from that side. I hope and pray that everyone with this problem will get to read this and come out victorious on the other side.
    My only concern however is that Dicky should be careful not to make the Girl her reason foe turning around. The bible warns ‘Cursed is he who put his trust in Man’
    Should she decide to dump you you might slide right back and we wouldn’t want that now, would we? Get yourself a good Church and new set of friends who will support you all the way through. I am praying for you to overcome it all.
    Great piece once again Biko.Bless!

  62. May ALLAH guide you to the straight path…. A must read for addicts. The piece has touched many aspects and not only alcohol addicts.

  63. Moderation has always been trick. Islam will keep you away from the bottle and strengthen your will too.

  64. @ dicky good that uncle chris’s hook up has had a positive effect on you. just wondering, ever thought of going back to where it started, Charlies death…. what was it about that loss that triggered your depression?? What is it about loss of love that makes you so vulnerable? I wish you well…

    1. You have a point. His mom died when he was younger so Charlies death may have been a trigger. A lot of people treat depression with alcohol or other vices. Even being a workaholic is a symptom of something deeper. A key answer is filling that void with the one thing that we need to connect with the most. Our creator. Only God can fill that void that no worldly thing can fill. May God guide you through your recovery.

  65. Men i remember your days as a BATUK PR guy at Nanyuki, by then i used to write for the local newspaper Laikipia county Times, and you tried to get me a job as a fixer to one some correspondent working for the independent newspaper, what shocks me after reading this is that at that time one couldnt tell you were in deep shit.

  66. A thought-provoking, soul-searching and a certainly-gripping article. Quite an eye opener and an evocation of hope.

  67. That’s some scorching openness there my brother Dicky, you have made it easy for many to speak out and seek help- but most importantly, you have changed the attitudes of many who have ignorantly pushed away colleagues, friends and family members who just need nothing but a shot of their love to stabilize.

  68. Inspiring and deep. It takes great courage for this level of vulnerability. I have known someone who was a functional alcoholic [nearly drove me there too…]and it is hard.
    I should not but I will: Those asking if you have gone back to the people that stood by you and you probably hurt while you were drinking – it takes time. It will take his healing. His healing will heal the other people.
    It is crucial that there is closure with the people in his life that he has hurt. But baby steps please.
    AA will give you the steps. The steps work. Work the steps. I have seen what a difference they can make. Be blessed.

    1
  69. I’m one of your avid readers, in K’la Uganda. This is indeed a dauntingly honest piece. Kudos to you Dicky, Lord knows it takes gold-plated balls to bare yourself to the World. I’ll pray that Almighty-above grants you the strength to overcome the urge.

  70. Fuck alcohol. I read Migiro in ADAM and the guy could really write.

    Good thing once a writer,always a writer and the best ones always had their vices.

  71. the loudest message here is that he found sobriety after literally a lifetime despite the questions y’all might want to pose… and that is journey that many only dream off… a step in the right direction..
    I honestly hope Edward Kwach read this

  72. Dickson I am so proud of you. This us by far the most amazing read in years.
    Having known you for years and even drunk from the same pot in most of those parties, I am so happy for you. Congratulations for your special bird too. When I meet you next, I will hug the hell out of you. Muuuuah!

  73. I remember Dickson’s highs and lows as The Society Editor at the Star. I know how candid this piece is. The guts it took to say it all. This assures me that Dickson will pull through.

  74. This piece by Dickson, is gut-wrenching as it is inspiring. It shows one can walk through alcoholism and come out on the other end… i just wonder to myself what happened to Imani and his other kids? Where are they? How’s this account unraveling in their little minds? worried about his daughter.. that is the unsaid bit.

  75. that is a really inspiring story n you such a good writer too. a friend of mine is going through similar alcohol issues and as you said the love is what really works as anaimporove at a high rate… thanks for sharing

    1. He is only three months into sobriety. Maybe he needs time to make things right.And making things right with family takes time and lots of courage. Dicky I wish you well and Godspeed

  76. And I thought journalism as a career is as interesting as hitting on a female politician.This looks like buckets of fun,cant wait to graduate this coming December and start chasing stories,fine tripled distilled whiskey and the coterie of fine mamas,(tiptoeing out of the office where am slaving as an intern(production)and heading to Uchumi in Ngong to grab a can of Bavaria or maybe the cheapest whiskey they have ..

  77. Is this the same guy we were giving a hand in “GIVE A GUY A HAND?” because if it is, we are winning the war. Such a great piece I wish Dicky the best in life and may that Lady love him for the rest of his life.

  78. Jackson, thank you for this article, its vulnerable, its real, many can relate.
    Dickson… Last saw you in 2010. I’m so sorry for what you went through but I’m so glad that you’ve met people who is there for you, that is EVERYTHING! Onwards and upwards Mr. :). XO

  79. Takbiiir!Allahu Akbar!welcome to the Islamic faith my brother.May Allah( s.w.t) guide you and increase your Imaan(faith).

  80. Thanks Biko for sharing a story of one who has prevailed over the ‘dragon’
    Dickson needs to consider AA, alcoholism is a complex issue, he’s off on a great start but the steps are tried and tested and proved.One needs support from those who have been there..
    Lastly, Not to burst his bubble or anything,(yet here I am with a shiny new pin) his new love has not seen him at his worst… He should anchor his sobriety on a stronger hangar.

    1
  81. Addicts of the world unite! Can we now have a piece from the other side of the street? Those who were abandoned or dumped and had their faces spat upon despite the love they offered?

  82. My friend and I have this to say:

    Good read but not enough to get moved by it. I appreciate that he kicked his drinking habit but narrowing addiction down to lack of love is too simplistic. My very close friend worked in a rehab facility and she tells me, many addicts in fact started on that road to addiction because they had too much love, walipembelezwa. Notice even in his story, he mentions all the people who tried to encourage and love him, his aunt, his wife, his workmates who took notice of his struggle with alcohol and tried to get him to get help. Was that not people understanding and loving him regardless? He also says we should get addicts “something to do” his exact words being ” pay someone to give them a job”. But he himself had a job when he started drinking and even deep in his alcoholism he still managed to be offered jobs.
    Yes, compassion is important when dealing with addicts. But addiction is far much deeper than that.  If all he needed was someone who would love and not judge him, he didn’t have to wait for a beautiful woman to come along, he had his kids. Children love unconditionally. Those should have been his reason to kick his drinking problem a long time ago. If all it took was finding a non-judgemental person to understand you, many mothers and wives have played that role and still sons and fathers drink on. He had his wife and kids for that kind of support. I hope he stays alcohol free, but he’s not being honest. He told a seemingly touchy story without revealing anything. The yarn is too well spun. The demons that addicts fight, that’s what he needs to admit and maybe then he will be free. I hate to be negative but he’s not out of the woods yet, until the day he tells the story behind the story.

    1
    1. Each one of us knows someone struggling with alcohol,its a subject that touches on everyone.I know so many people who struggle with the addiction but sadly most of the time I dont know how to help or what to say and i think more people need to come out and talk it out.Different methods work for different people…maybe this girl was a wake up call for him she didn’t necessarily stop the drinking.Alcoholics lack strong will and maybe what he means is you just need a little nudge and someone to tell you its going to be fine.Most people think tough love is saying you will die is you go on drinking,this alcoholics know that already and its the least of their worries – My two cents-

  83. What a story,what an experience,its so surreal.
    The events covered in the story are on point and current.Lovely work.I will keep reading your stuff keep’em coming.

  84. All we need is someone that gives you that unconditional love and you can change your life not to let them down.. nice piece

  85. Those who laugh the most, weep the most(some). Outside, nothing but charm, inside cold and shattered. But when the pretense fades away and their inner person is brought forth, society wastes no time forgetting the charm, the good old, cold Tusker days. We may argue, that ones a person becomes an addict, he r she becomes stubborn and push people away. If you stop being ‘friends’ with an addict due to such a feeble reason, then you are more pitiful. I stand by Dicky, all they need is love. Love in full measure, not the kind where you smile on their face and rant and rant behind their backs, not the kind where you are their ‘friend’ for others to see or the kind you ‘reminse’ after their death, rush to post a condolence message on social media ranting about your ‘friend’…(and the many more examples you are aware of). I chose not to question what will happen when the girl leaves (God forbid though), because why the worry? The future matters but not in all aspects of our lives. Sometimes it is way better to just PRAY,LIVE and LEAVE worries and pessimists behind. Dicky, i wish you the very best and God’s favor. Oh and love, love and love.

  86. Great piece about what he’d want us to believe. It is loosely based on a true story. Much of it is make-believe. You owe it to your kids to come clean. Then write the WHOLE story leaving nothing behind once you fully recover, one year from now. Most of us will still be here waiting, God-willing. I have a feeling the next version will have a twist, be longer and compelling.

  87. Wow! What a read.
    Alcohol is a solvent, it dissolves everything-family, career, love, morals name it. You will make it through and godspeed in your future endeavors

  88. That’s a great step you have taken. You only left with one more task before you even think of harusi. Check on the wife of your youth and your kids too.
    Ask for forgiveness and build a strong relationship with them. They will bless your next life.

  89. O how I hope that your new found love is not your new addiction Dickson! How I hope you understand that your alcoholism couldn’t have been easy for your wife to deal with. I wish you a full recovery. YOU got this.

  90. Sobering read.
    I hope you make it. The fiercest battle is always with your self and what you want but don’t need. Fight on, you will win.

  91. Amazing story. Indeed it takes a special kind of person to share a story such as this with everyone. All the best in your journey Dicky!

  92. after reading this take me to church started playing in my head…goes to show you only need that one person in your corner and no solution can be found at the bottom of a bottle other than those thrown to sea..

  93. It is hard to love an addict. It is an exercise that needs mounds of hope borne of love itself. At what point do we stop loving, or how do we keep at it. When you are more focused on how hurt, offended and betrayed you feel, and just can’t seem to shake it off.

  94. Your story has made me shed tears… you’ve spoken the truth! Love an addict, don’t lecture them. Should also apply to victims of depression
    Biko, story much appreciated! Please keep having such stories!

  95. I like the story told by Dickson himself. Classic case of guys who have nine lives and not 2nd chances but all the chances. I can only imagine how alcohol addiction not only hurts the addict but also those who love them. Very emotive topic. We need to be more in formed and knowledgeable on how to handle alcoholics.

    I wish Dickson all the best in his recovery journey. The gray areas in the story are gnawing at my curiosity. The girl. What did she do different?

  96. Haiya, people think unconditional love is jumping in after a drowning person in an effort to save them, but instead allowing them to push you down further into the water, so that they can come up for a breath of fresh air as you drown. Unconditional love is knowing when to draw the line and walk away.

    Using some girl as a crutch is not a long term solution. He used the guy in London as a crutch and look how things went when he couldnt receive what he says was unconditional love.

    The fact that he went into long laborious details about his partying days, and barely spoke about the pain, disappointment and the concerns raised by his loved ones during those times kills the authenticity of his “reforms” for me.

    I wish him well on this journey. I dont know why recovering alcoholics refuse to acknowledge in their tales the pain they have caused in their wake; the abandonment their kids and spouses feel, the exasperation, the frustration, the confusion, the utter despair etc

    All we ask is for acknowledgement and a show of remorse (maybe). We are always ready to forgive and welcome you as the long lost son was welcomed

    1
  97. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen. That’s the paradox of Alcohol.

  98. I saw this when I was working at a popular Bank in Awendo but was nursing a bad hangover.Am now reading it in Nairobi after I resigned due to alcohol related issues.am touched man,and the name is very familiar

  99. I have known and worked alongside Dickson since around ’98. I have seen him go through ups and downs. Having lost my father and only sister to alcoholism this story touches me deeply. I am SO PROUD of my brother ‘Dicky Dirks’ as we call him. His life has just begun….. God speed!

  100. Interesting and compelling story. But as someone has said up there, simply attributing the addiction to lack of love (which he actually did not lack since he had his family and friends) is taking too simplistic a view. Also, an acknowledgment of the hurt and devastation he caused his wife and kids would have been great. Finally, what will happen if things don’t work out with this magic love that he’s met? or when the initial magic wears off as its meant to?
    I do wish you well in your recovery Dickson. But do take the time to really examine yourself and change yourself from within because thats where true change comes from.

  101. Inspiring story right there, I just wish it was accessible to more people out there; like on the daily papers. Wish you well Dick and may God keep you and that special woman strong and blessed.

  102. Just a coupl’a things here real quick:

    1. Dickson a day at a time is the goal,keep at it.

    2. The part about broken legs, diamorphine, and love as conquer are lifted ALMOST verbatim from a TED talk on addiction.

    3. It is very easy for an addict to need unconditional love but realise that the people on the other end of the addiction are hurting as much as you are; i should know,my brother has been one for too many years now. Drawing that line between enabling an addict and loving them through it all,in my opinion, is still a very necessary tool for recovery.

    That said,i truly wish you the best.

  103. I hear what you are saying Ythera because as one who has seen an addict move from bad to worse, love conquers for some but not others

    Also, i feel a bit cheated coz as i’ve mentioned in my main comment, Dickson has quoted from a TED talk presenter almost verbatim about the broken legs and diamorphine,the paying someone to give addicts a job,and loving them unconditionally. I’m not judging but i do have to wonder if he’s merely quoting the talk or believes that stuff.

    Plus you’ve said it,he did have peeps who loved him and too many jobs – didn’t stop him from drinking……so i’m confused here

  104. I read this at home, bored with the flu. As I lay there I was counting how many strings I had to tie before I could kill myself at the end of the year. Its given me hope. I still don’t know if I will still slit my wrists but now maybe I can stop and think