(Names changed to protect identities)
This is the true story of Ankit, who fought adversity and overcame addictions of the worst kind.
His life seemed like a dream come true
Ankit was a young ambitious boy of 24 when he came to the big bad city of Mumbai. He had just completed his MBA degree and gotten a job during the campus recruitment. He was now part of a big financial conglomerate and had started climbing the corporate ladder. The newfound independence and glittering life of the city was exciting for this small-town boy and he loved every minute of it.
Then he met Akanksha and his life changed. She was everything he had dreamed of, beautiful, smart, witty and compassionate. The attraction soon changed to love. He wanted to get married, but she hesitated. She was from a different caste and knew the furore this news would cause. But Ankit told her they would convince her parents, love would withstand all.
However, when her parents got to know, there was a huge uproar. No amount of reasoning with them helped. Akanksha was torn between her family and her love. Every day was an emotional turmoil for both of them. She realised that even if she defied her parents and got married, it would be a sore point with them her entire life and they would never accept Ankit.
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Then it all became a nightmare
He was devastated at her decision. He looked at it as betrayal. While he was ready to fight the world for her, she wasn’t. Ankit fell into deep depression. He did not know how to deal with life and became a loner. One day, Ankit realised that alcohol helped dull the pain. He started drinking every day after work. At times, he would drink till dawn, sleep for a few hours then get up and go to work. His sloppy appearance earned him a strict warning from his boss, but he paid no heed.
Then he discovered that drugs could help take the edge off alcohol and he would look fresh even if he had spent the entire night drinking. Soon he was sucked into the vortex of alcohol and drugs. He would be in the office every morning and even manage to do his work properly. Once back home he would start his drinking, then do drugs.
Drugs and drink to dull the pain
His friends dwindled, his account balance took a hit and his personal life was in shambles. It had been 3 months since Akanksha left, when one day Ankit got up due to a shooting pain in his stomach. It was too intense for him to ignore and he finally went to a doctor.
The doctor ordered a few tests and then gave him the bad news. It was time to pay the price for the intense abuse he had put his body through. Lack of proper food and alcoholism had ended up giving him an ulcer and damaged his liver. He had to get off alcohol immediately and also stop substance abuse. It was like a wake-up call for him. He understood that he needed to get his life back in order. He came back home and threw away all the bottles of alcohol as well as drug pouches.
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The difficult steps of de-addiction
As in every addiction, it was difficult at first. He had to fight his addictive habits daily. He started working late to avoid coming early and resisting the temptation drink. At times, his feet would take him to the wine shop but he would drag himself away from there. He went through withdrawal symptoms which were both physical and emotional. He would have blinding headaches or nausea, some days he would shiver uncontrollably, but he braved them all. The most difficult battle was the one that raged within him. His mind would tell him to have a drink, what harm could one drink do, just to soothe the pain. On those days he would call his parents, to hear their voice, which would strengthen his resolve. A day without alcohol or drugs was a day of victory.
The drugs were more difficult, but he started attending an anonymous help group to get out of the habit. He was assigned a program friend who helped him detox over a period of time.
Then one day a friend suggested yoga to him. That was another turning point in Ankit’s life. He started yoga and followed it religiously. He also learned meditation and breathing exercises. Ankit taught himself to still his mind and focus on just one thing. Slowly his withdrawal symptoms receded.
He had gained a new direction in life. He started reading self-healing books and attended Art of Living and Vipassana courses.
Life is looking up once again
It has been 3 years since Ankit left alcohol. He has also met another girl. They are still dating, but there is strong possibility that she is the one. At times, life can get you down, things may seem bleak. Ankit chose to be beaten down for some time, but then he chose to fight back and won the war.
In the end, we always have a choice. It depends on us to make the correct choice which helps us achieve our life goals. It may not be the easiest choice, but it will be the right choice.