I Have My Life Again
I was born in Kinshasa, Congo, and raised between Congo and Brussels, Belgium.
Before I started doing drugs, I had a “happy princess life,” as everybody would say. I was pretending to be fine and was physically surrounded by my family. But my reality is that deep inside I was completely broken and I was extremely lonely. I didn’t feel loved or protected by my loved ones.
My last good memories before drugs were the time I was living with my mom and stepdad, brother, and sisters living the happy stable family life. My stepdad was an amazing man. He gave us all the stability, love, and care we needed. He was a brilliant and really positive father figure for me.
I started using drugs at age 13 with friends in Brussels. They were friends I met in my town when I started going to secondary school. At that time, I made bad friends near the metro stations. We used to hang out late after school and met up with the kids from different schools in the town that’s where I first got introduced to weed. Later on, I was sent to boarding school. There I got introduced to alcohol, weed, XTC, and speed. And then I tried mushrooms with my cousin one day. Then I did cocaine after being sexually abused. After that, I was stuck with coke and champagne, and vodka for 20 years. Cocaine and alcohol have been my drugs of choice.
Drugs and alcohol stole 25 years of my life. They lied to me, telling me that I was strong. But all the while, I was too weak to confront every event that had occurred to me. They were an escape for me. They stole my childhood. My innocence. All the joy I could have had. My stability. My consciousness. My mental, physical and spiritual health. They confused me. I lived in a chemical haze for all those years. It made me live while being lost. While looking for myself forever and not knowing who I was. They made me lose a chance to have a real stable professional life. They stole my most beautiful relationships. My marriage. The time I should have given to my daughter and my loved ones. They stole the other kids I could have had. They had put my potential to be a successful aligned and rich woman on sleep mode.
When my sister died in May 2020, I went back deep into alcohol and cocaine use for a year, until I realized I was actually weakly walking on a path to suicide. I was tired of being a slave of drugs. I was tired of confronting life’s challenges. Tired of being and avoiding pain instead of facing it and being brave enough to go through, learn from it, and grow from it.
I heard about Narconon from my best friend Wissam. He was doing his program in Copenhagen while I stayed with his son. He told me how powerful the program was and wanted to offer me the program. So a week later, I flew to Narconon and started. He offered me a new life.
When I arrived everybody was very welcoming. It was a big family. The withdrawal staff took very good care of me. It was very inspiring to have the mentorship of another student, Robert, who was at the end of his program. Everything in this program is made for you to feel good and comfortable at this big recovery house. We even had our “French” lounge with my French Narconon “brothers”!
Firstly, Narconon made me go from being a long-time drug addict to being a drug fighter activist and speaker, and ambassador of Narconon and Drug-Free World. It made me realize how much drugs are society’s #1 enemy. I take this fight very personally as drugs have stolen too much from me. I don’t want them to steal that much from the current and next generations. Secondly, the program made me go through my deepest wounds and confront them. Go through them for the first time in my life. I cried a LOT. But it has been so releasing. Thirdly, it made me face myself, I realized who I was and what my life purpose was. Sobriety gave me my life back. My mental health and physical health. And this gives me the possibility to reach every single one of my goals now!
I loved graduating. My graduation has left a positive impact on my mind. It was my first diploma since primary school! It will only be the first diploma of a long list as now as there is so much I want to learn about. Now I know I can make it till the end. Start something, change and end it.
I am currently building my online leadership coaching platform while studying how to become a recovery coach and add that to my coaching platform as my specialization starting in 2023. I’m also working with Narconon and Drug-Free World on organizing conferences and in the meantime, I’m speaking to drug addicts and families to get them to Narconon.
“My real diploma is in helping others get off drugs. Helping others matters more than a piece of paper to me.”
My best accomplishment in the program is going from broken addict to a free drug fighter and recovery coach and Narconon and Drug-Free World supporter. I would also add that I now have more pride in encouraging new students going through withdrawals, than in receiving my graduation certificate. My real diploma is in helping others get off drugs. Helping others matters more than a piece of paper to me.
My relationship with my family is complicated. It will take the time it needs. And it’s for my best because this is a precious moment that I’m going through. I need some time alone to educate myself, start my new business, help addicts, and focus on building the new me to reach all my goals.
What I love most about living a drug-free life is being fully in present time, conscious, having my mind clear. Being able to see everything clearly, focus, feeling strong mentally. I love waking up early and being able to enjoy life with my kids, being about to take care of them. Being with them in the early morning. Dropping them of at school, working, and then picking them up. Doing homework. Cooking. Eating with them. Speaking with them play. Being present. Just simply that. And now that I have the power over my mind I can do anything I want on earth. I can create everything for me, for my loved ones, and for society.
I would tell those struggling with addiction how beautiful living sober is. I’m there for them, to listen to them, and help them get ready for detoxification and rehab, because living in present time and being free is so precious.
Vannah M., Narconon Europe Graduate