Mandela tells of 17-year battle with drugs
Author and social activist Zoleka Mandela has revealed telling details about the humiliation her drug addiction has caused her family and how she hopes her story will help other recovering addicts.
Mandela, who celebrates seven years of sobriety later this year, reflected on her 17-year battle with drugs and alcohol.
"I had my first drink at the age of nine. By the age of 13 I was an alcoholic and a cigarette smoker. That led to experimenting with marijuana at 13, then laced weed, ecstasy, magic mushrooms, CAT, heroin, prescription drugs and a decade-long addiction to cocaine that gave me the high I was looking for," Mandela said.
She has openly documented her battle with drugs in a book, on her blog and on many social media platforms.
She said that when the high wore off she became suicidal and depressed.
"I became violent and emotionally abusive towards others, participated in criminal activities."
Even though she has turned her life around, she said the pain she caused to those close to her was irreparable.
"I may be well into my recovery but the actual damage, humiliation, disrespect and pain I have caused my family and children remains irreparable."
Although she cannot change the events of her past, Mandela said she hoped her journey would help people to make the right life choices.