How Sleep-Deprivation Almost Completely Ruined My Life and My Amazing Recovery Story
Muguka, or Jaba has become the ideal meditation and creativity drug of choice for millions of the youth in my country. These disenfranchised, and mostly, unemployed youth line up in packs and droves on the streets, from as early as 10 AM, every single day, to purchase this sleep-altering CNS stimulant. This gateway drug is chewed and enjoyed by Kenyans from all societal echelons: From the folks plying the commuter vehicles doing it openly, the government officials chewing it after-hours, to the students partaking it in their campus hostels and, the Jua-kali industry artisans who insist on grabbing a bag of this productivity-enhancing herb before getting their lunches, the list of abuser's goes on and on to infinity ad-nauseam.
In my country, these chewing sessions often extend into the dead of the night as the revelers exchange smokes and share tots of cheap, hard liquor. This drug is common in the East African nations of Kenya, Yemen, Somali, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.
I first experimented with the herb while at campus. By my sophomore year, the rigors and strains of the endless assignments, quizzes and exams in my engineering course had taken their toll and I was flunking most modules. Then, some comrades introduced me to Muguka. True, the herb helped me to stay up most of the night and complete my never-ending assignments. Today, kids as young as 14 are already hooked on the sleep-altering drug for the same reasons.
Of Terrible Hangovers..
The only drawback of using the concentration-improving drug was that there was no off switch. You ended up moving in and out of REM sleep the whole night long unless you consumed vast amounts of liquor. What worried me the most was how smoking cigarettes and marijuana as you chewed felt as tasteful as a cold beer on a hot summer afternoon.
Click here to learn about the effects of this gateway drug.
By the time I graduated, I was dead-hooked to chewing the sleep-alleviating herb, cigarettes and, to alcohol as well, but at least, my parents and everyone else, were proud of my first-class honors engineering degree.
Soon after interning for a local IT firm as an entry-level system analyst, I got poached by a Canadian firm as their Web Development consultant. After a year, my investors bought to my patent-protected idea for a ride sharing apps for motorbikes and other unconventional forms of taxis commonly used in developing nations like, in this case, my country, Kenya.
Coding for the front-end and supervising work on the apps back-end was no walk in the park. But at least I had the ever-reliable Muguka. To make it even better, this time around, I had the finances to fund my so-called productivity hacks, five times over.
The app development protracted and by the time, one year later, we got to the beta-testing stage, I was already a father battling to save my struggling relationship. My girlfriend vehemently detested my sedentary lifestyle. I stayed up all night, most nights, smoked incessantly, drank daily and chewing muguka was the norm rather than the exception.
My lengthy nighttime Skype conversations with my Indian software developers and with the Canadian angel investors often carried on into the wee hours of the night and this deeply bothered my daughter and my wife. Out lights remained on the whole time. Time for intimacy was completely lacking. Eventually, we parted ways and she took off with our loving daughter.
That separation broke me into a thousand and one painful pieces. The pain is still all-too real to this day. Without realizing it, I’d slumped into clinical depression and my zeal to finish the ambitious app quickly fizzled away. I quit working and soon got replaced. I found myself homeless and living on the wild streets. My health took a heavy beating. I lost many pounds, aged significantly, and I was always falling sick with flues, chest infections and from stomach illnesses.
The repeated lack of sleep combined with the poor diet and constant drug abuse effectively robbed me of my confidence and self-esteem. My anxiety levels went off the charts. It took the lucky chance encounter with a visiting volunteer Harvard-trained psychiatrist,however, to bring me back from the deep of the abyss.
The Harvard psychiatrist and I struck it off immediately. He was mighty impressed that during his presentation, no one in the audience asked anything relating to his topic on how there exists a link between the immunity system and the mind, apart from me. Afterward, we sat down in the make-shift clinics and as I was leaving I had with me a 90-day dose of Buspirone and fluconazole or Lorazepam anti-anxiety tablets.
Sleep Better Tips
Asides the magical mind-calming tablets, the mental specialist recommenced staying away from caffeine, alcohol, the amphetamine-based herbs, and from cigarettes during my recovery period. He insisted on a need for a stricter sleeping timetable. He advised me on the need to sleep in completely darkened rooms for quality and healthy sleep, as well. Most importantly, the Korean doctor helped me to open up my heart to God for a lasting solution to my life’s woes. I got saved thereafter and joined the psychiatrists church where I serve as an active drug addiction counselor to date.
Call to Action
Today, my Muguka addiction is a thing of the past, thank God! My message, however, to the millions of promising youth in my nation still grappling with Muguka addiction, is that it’s not worth it. It’s not worth chewing the herbs in the name of, momentarily, improving awareness, productivity or creativity if it is at the expense of destroying everything you hold dear in your life, like your career, your family and your sanity, in the long run. It’s about time the Kenyan government intervened to curtail this pervasive drug culture lest they want to lose these promising youth to this potent gateway drug known as Jaba or Muguka.