It is with sadness that I inform you of my inability to make it a fifth year of sobriety. If you had been following my posts the entire year, you’d have found that it wasn’t a cozy one for me, but gladly none of the challenges was directly responsible for the tergiversation of my sobriety vows. In fact, in all I never considered a recourse to alcohol either as solution to the myriad of challenges accosting me or as a means to help me forget them. The forces that compelled me to take my first sip of a high alcohol containing-colorless liquid in August were Lords Temporal, and to refuse would’ve been tantamount to a disrespect of their office and position, especially considering that my mission was one for fence-mending with implications that will outlive me.
That shouldn’t have been an excuse to continue though, as it could’ve passed like the passover wine which by faith I’m compelled to partake of only but once annually. The second time, a few days after the first, I must confess, was as a result of a craving, as I whiled away time awaiting a crucial business meeting and it was big time. I figured that there was no point re-breaking a cracked egg shell without a bang, but I knew to stay within limits to avoid repeating the mistake that led to my going sober in the first place. It was quite heartwarming to feel the frothy stout on my lips, then taste the bitterness, as it mixed with my saliva then down my gut. I could feel those chemicals accelerating to attach to the appropriate site on the cells where they could be maximally utilized. My enzymes appeared not to be able to contain their joy, when I supplied them roast corn as fodder to metabolize that great product by the hand of the legendary Arthur Guinness, indeed beer never tasted so good.
Since then, except for one other time when I actually bought myself a small bottle of stout while enjoying “Isi-Ewu” (Goat-Head Periperi) at my favourite joint one Sunday evening alone, I hadn’t spent money on alcohol. Interestingly, free alcohol have been finding its way to me, from one event to the other I attended over the period since August, and during visits to see friends many times without them insisting, but me just feeling to let my hair down a bit. I just wanted to reexperience what it felt to drink, and to see if much has changed, especially with my beer brand, and a coterie of wine brands, bottles and “times”.
Having found that nothing has changed, seeing that the contribution alcoholic beverages make to Nigeria’s economy, even via Value Added Tax (which even the northern states where the strictest form of the Shari’a is practiced, and consumption of alcohol highly prohibited, have not considered it Haram enough to reject proceeds therefrom), continue to increase exponentially, I’ve gone on to invest by buying the very pricey shares of the two major beer manufacturers in Nigeria at the stock market, as there seem to be no sign that Nigerians are willing to let up or are going to lose their thirst for alcohol anytime soon. Making you wonder who consumes the large volumes, that enables the profits made in the industry in a country that touts itself very religious with some Christian denominations outlawing alcohol consumption, like their Muslim counterparts.
Though I don’t drink any of the products made by the Nigerian Breweries, it was with sadness that I received news of the fire that gutted a section of the Orile Iganmu factory of the company, thankfully with no life lost but with no hint as to what actually caused the fire outbreak, besides speculations by eyewitnesses.
It is my view however, that despite the recession Nigeria is currently experiencing, operations at that site will soon be restored (from the profits from what apparently was a good year), hopefully better than ever with the opportunity to restructure provided by yesterday’s unfortunate incident. As for me, pressing PLAY on sobriety after this hiatus remains the only option, having discovered that I hadn’t missed much been sober, hopefully to never again slack, and no better day than to do this than on the anniversary of the day when I initially made that decision five years ago. Wish me luck.