Capital FM presenter Fareed Khimani has opened up about how he was introduced to and came out of his drug addiction.
He shared the story on Engage Talks which is a platform where people share their life experiences to inspire others.
His story touched on how he agreed to go through rehab in South Africa, relapsing and coming home to find his wife had left along with the children.Capital FM presenter Fareed Khimani in studioFile
Khimani’s was introduced to drugs while in college abroad, where he would take alcohol during parties. After graduation, he got a job at a high-end club in Atlanta, US, which was known for its nightlife.
His shift would start at 6 p.m. and end at 4 a.m. the next day. In Atlanta, he made a name for himself and was one of the best barmen in the town. Working 10 hours was exhausting and he started using cocaine to cope with the long hours.
He then came to Kenya to work as a radio presenter, which provided a very potent environment for his party lifestyle.
“We never paid for drinks, we were invited to the best parties, exposed to the best drugs and I didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately for me, the wheels began to come off around 2016 and 2017 when I stopped being accountable, stopped working hard, stopped being able to follow through.
“I couldn’t take myself to places and meetings. It was depression mixed with substance abuse,” he explained.
When Khimani’s life started to deteriorate, he checked into a rehabilitation facility in South Africa. On the 18th day of his stay there he was positive that things were going to turn around for him. However, he found out that his wife had left for Switzerland along with their two children.
“That completely broke me. In the middle of my rehab doing something that I thought was going to keep the family together and getting an email saying ‘we’ve gone’. At that point I thought, that was it,” he narrated, adding that he had chosen to leave the facility.
After hours of talking to his counselLors, good sense prevailed and he decided to continue the treatment. Not only did he stay for the required 28 days, but he also hung on for another week.
When Khimani finally flew back to Nairobi in April 2018, he walked into his three-storey house and found all his three vehicles but his family was missing. He sat in his son’s bed and cried. He thought to himself “What was all this hard work for? I had the shell of what appeared to be a good life.”
At that moment, he realised he had never held his 4-month-old son sober. “I had so much anger, so much resentment and animosity for my now ex-wife but it was probably the best decision she ever made in hindsight. I had put them through hell in my 10 years of active addiction.”
In December 2019, while on a vacation in Hawaii, the radio presenter started crying tears of joy in what he termed as a spiritual awakening. He went on with counselling in Hawaii and after coming back to Nairobi, he started the recovery steps all over again.
“I started the steps again; acceptance, admission, handing over and powerlessness. Those were the first three which are very easy,” he recounted.
Step four was the hardest since it involved soul searching and making a moral inventory of himself. In it, he wrote all the transgressions and remorseful situations he had done as well as things that had offended him. He filled an A4 workbook in about three weeks.
He read the information to himself after which he felt the burden ease off his shoulders. He called one of his mentors and read the book to them. Again the feeling of a burden falling off his shoulders came back.
Khimani then wrote down values which he would live by moving forward; honesty, truthfulness, faithfulness, to be a good husband, father and son, to be empathetic and accountable.
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