From the years 2006-2020, I battled alcohol addiction. I grew up with a dysfunctionally alcoholic mother who I lost to the same in the year 2005. For the next fifteen years, I found myself battling alcohol addiction which left me depressed, jobless and homeless. I know the monster that substance abuse is and I have seen and experienced first hand of what it can do. 

Admitting our weaknesses and flaws are the bold first step that we take on the journey to freedom.

Rebecca Makyeli

Addiction refers to a complex condition manifested by compulsive use of a substance or engagement in an activity despite its harmful consequences. When the person ingests the substance or engages in the activity, it can be pleasurable but the continuation of which interferes with ordinary responsibilities like finances, work, relationships and health.

Addiction is a form of mental bondage spurred on by a number of different factors, the most common being a result of subjecting oneself to dysfunctional coping mechanisms to alleviate stressful situations. As human beings, every decision we make is driven by a certain need and, whether we are aware of it or not, the vehicle through which we fulfil that need will either be beneficial or destructive to our wellbeing. 

Take it from King Solomon, the wisest king who ever lived : “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Our lives are a direct reflection of our thought patterns and by readily, a bound mind produces a bound life, while a free mind produces a free life.  Alcohol, narcotics, gambling, pornography and other objects of compulsive behaviour are not the problem but are just symptoms of a much deeper-rooted psychological issue. 

Breaking free from addiction is never an easy process because the subconscious mind, which is the body’s gatekeeper, is designed to keep the familiar at work. This keeps the body in survival mode and anything that comes against what the subconscious mind knows, it considers a threat.  This is the reason why many people have found normalcy in chaos because it is all their mind is accustomed to. A mind that is accustomed to chaos cannot comprehend clarity and will resist it the minute it manifests. The journey to freedom may be difficult but not impossible to achieve. 

Here are three keys that helped set me well on the path to freedom

1) Make the sincere acknowledgement that you need help;
The first step to freedom was acknowledging that there is a problem and that it needs to be resolved.
Many people remain in denial and justify their habits because they have become a part of their lifestyle or because the habits have not began to exhibit any negative effects that are adverse enough in their life for them to take action.  Whatever is not acknowledged can never be addressed. Admitting our weaknesses and flaws are the bold first step that we take on the journey to freedom. 

2) Seek the appropriate help;
Once acknowledgement has been made, it is now easier to get one the help that one needs. 
With substance abuse, it is recommended to have one see a medical professional like a psychologist or counselor in order to diagnose the effect of the addiction on the person and accord them the appropriate help which can include counseling, therapy, medically assisted treatment, rehabilitation and others. These can vary according to the severity of the effect of the substance on one’s health and general wellbeing. 

3) Embrace the new;
A new mindset requires;
New people – One of the reasons that many people relapse during recovery is loneliness. Usually on our healing journey, after you have made the resolve to stick to sobriety and pursue freedom, we tend to miss the old company that we used to keep and go back to being influenced by them. I found immense support on my journey by attaching myself to a local fellowship that guided me in prayer and Bible study. If your friends really want to support you, they will respect your decision to pursue sobriety. Any person who knows your history and still tries to persuade you to engage in a harmful activity is not your friend. A great support system can be any recovery group that provides psycho-social support. It is important to surround yourself with people who have a similar belief system and are committed to the same cause of staying free like you are. 

Rebecca Makyeli

New places – You cannot heal in an environment that made you sick. It is not possible to have a freedom mindset in an environment of bondage. It could be your home, your workplace or even your neighborhood. In more ways than one, our decisions are influenced by our surroundings and the activities that take place there. As a person, you’re either influenced or doing the influencing. If your environment is highly suggestive of or rife with any activities that are harmful or detrimental to your healing process, it is highly recommended that you remove yourself from it. 

New activities – Keeping your mind busy is a very effective way of distracting yourself from cravings and triggers which may creep up occasionally, leading to a relapse. What is it that you can do effortlessly? What do you do that makes your heart leap? It could be reading, writing, playing a sport, going to the gym, baking – ANYTHING! 
Consider picking up a hobby and intentionally develop it or even sign up for a class to become even better at it.

As I write this, I am celebrating three years of total sobriety. I am an author, a public speaker and an internationally certified life coach. Freedom has a price and comes at a cost of discipline, commitment and an intentional focus on renewing one’s thought process. Change your mind and you will definitely change your life. 


Rebecca Makyeli is an author, speaker and certified life coach inspiring transformation in people to pursue their life purpose.  She dedicates her time to addressing addiction awareness as well as mentorship for teenagers and young adults in the areas of personal development. For more about Rebecca, visit


  1. Guest Blogger - Rebecca Makyeli Reply

    Thank you for the opportunity to share. May shackled be broken and chains undone. 💫

    • Amen to that! Thanks for being my first guest blogger Kye. Lovely to connect again and well done on your achievements!

  2. Tina Simbo Reply

    Such a brilliant piece. Heart-felt, insightful, informative! Thank you

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