Vidur's Story

Hi, I’m Vidur Parashar, 42 & a bit, & I live in New Delhi, India. I’m a recovering addict with a heavy substance history of 24 years, from when I was 14 years old until about 4 & 1/2 years ago, which is since I’ve been sober – November 14th, 2018. As with all addicts, my usage started with pretty much anything & everything there was access to, but once things petered out, the REAL dysfunction became Cocaine & Alcohol (In ANY Particular Order). I had an idyllic childhood – beautiful, really – born to 2 of the most loving, caring, & perfect parents one could dream of. Though born in India, we moved around a lot because of my Father’s work, & so we grew up in Hong Kong, Toronto, back to Delhi, & then London, UK, for University…Curiosity, followed by healthy amounts of trauma/loss/grief, which led to my struggle, beginning with my father having a massive heart attack on the squash court while I was on my way to follow after him for my own game. He was DOA at the hospital, but because the cardiologist was his closest friend in the world, acceptance to him didn’t come easy; Hence the vivid memories of watching him trying to revive/resuscitate Pa in the ICU while I lay on the ground crying & praying at the same time still haunt me on pronounced thought. This was April 24th, 2006, & I was 25 years old. Three years later, my brother was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia), & despite our best efforts, we lost him within a year, on March 25th, my niece’s birthday. Failed businesses, relationships, & pretty much anything I touched, falling to pieces, left me wondering if I was the problem – But that’s where the real issues began. My mother was diagnosed with Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, a rare congenital heart defect, for which ONLY a heart transplant would keep her alive. (I have the same condition, dormant, yet prevalent!) Fortunately, a few years later, we got a donor’s heart, & we were lucky enough to get 5 & 1/2 years more with her when she finally passed at the beginning of November 2018. Of course, in between all of all this, I had blamed myself for pretty much everything, becoming the victim, & hence my behavior became cyclical, & of course, usage spiraled; Multiple rehabs, AA, NA, & of course, interventions from every which way, including my wedding being called off a month before its scheduled date – yet nothing seemed to work…For about ten years, my consumption patterns were ridiculous – ranging from between 4-6 bottles of vodka/whiskey, with around 4-6 grams of blow – of course, and about 16 different self-medicated pills of all kinds, EVERY NIGHT. This led to isolation, countless suicide attempts, multiple seizures, etc. Which furthered my Mother’s condition, leading me to believe I was not only slowly killing myself but her as well; yet caught in this vicious cycle, I was unable to save either of us, leading me to believe that I was the catalyst in her eventual death. And, of course, further victimization. In early November 2018, I don’t remember cremating her, performing any of the last rites, or anything. I was 122 kilos, after having played four sports for the country, & 6 sports for the state, yet, I had allowed myself to balloon out into being physically unrecognizable, but what’s worse, behaviorally, as well – mowing over friends & family in my wake. I was diagnosed with 3rd stage Liver Cirrhosis, & given 3 months to live…I had a choice to save myself, FOR MYSELF – finally or continue down this path of destruction for another three months. At that point, well, the end was inevitable. Eleven days after Ma passed, I went to my final rehab – the only one of my own volition. (In India, as illegal as it is, you can be subdued physically/medicinally & forced into rehab against your will, only to be let out upon the consent of your family, whom you have NO access to, basically meaning you’re jailed & stuck in there) It was an 18-month program in this isolated place outside of Bombay, & I left in 2 months & 3 weeks – humbled, grateful, & MOST importantly, self validated. (Caveat: I leave out much of my story before this since it revolves around further trauma, tragedy, death, grief, victimization, & ZERO gratitude for anything…) I don’t subscribe to AA/NA, or any of the fundamentals of any of the multiple rehabilitation programs I have been to; I DO, however, follow a disciplined routine that involves yoga, sport (of calibre, once again!), exercise (I’m back down to a respectable 76 kilos), & ensuring that I am NOT afraid to be around my old life, not scared of it, not scarred by it; More-so, enthused by it, where I thrive off of people’s energy, allowing me to be out partying till the wee hours, around any & all kinds of substance, without a single craving/withdrawal yet, touch wood. I chant first thing in the morning, exercise TWICE a day (yoga, sport, calisthenics, & some MMA only – NO gym); I run multiple businesses, some thriving, touch wood, some start-ups; I love to travel, eat well, & live well – I’ve been too close to the edge NOT to. I have MULTIPLE therapists for catharsis when I need them; They’re my family & friends with whom I love spending time with. I am married (yes, to the same gorgeous woman I was engaged to, Sohila!), have two beautiful baby girls, Aashti & Indrani, & I am FOREVER grateful to all those who supported me through this 24-year-long journey, & continue to do so – & yes, to MYSELF (with humility) – because ONLY I know what it’s like to be me, to wake up every morning, reminding myself that I have a disease that I didn’t ask for, yet am conditioned for a relapse beyond my control, & must go through each day as a new one, knowing just that…I often say that it’s not WILLPOWER that one needs in situations such as these; Willpower is TRANSIENT. It’s the WILLINGNESS NEVER to go back to the place I was, for I know the destruction & devastation I caused, albeit unwillingly; & THAT is something I could never live with again, hence, hopefully, since it’s based off of desire; Willingness is permanent.
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