I slept in taverns and neglected my baby
Drinking alcohol that started as stress relief after Desideria was left by the father of her baby, turned into an addiction that she battled with for many years.
Her partner left home to look for a job in Johannesburg and never returned home or communicated with her.
"I left the place where we had lived and went back to my parents' house with our baby who was three years old at the time. To shift my focus away from the disappointment, I started drinking alcohol heavily. I would leave my baby alone in the room at night and go out and drink. My mother
and my brothers always complained because my baby cried the whole night while I was away. I did not care what they said and continued drinking and leaving the baby alone. I always slept over at taverns because I was too drunk to walk home at night. I was also violent when I was drunk and was often wanted by the police for stabbing people with bottles," she said.
Desideria later moved in with her cousin who lived in Johannesburg. She dated someone and got married the following year. When her husband cheated on her, her addiction worsened.
"I drank so much that I became sick and lost my mind. I was also diagnosed with pneumonia and spent a week in hospital. I started attending services at the Universal Church with my cousin because I feared alcohol abuse was going to cost me my life. I became serious about my life and surrendered everything to God. The following year I was able to quit alcohol and went back home to my mother and my daughter. I have been free from alcohol addiction for ten years now. My daughter saw a change in me and she started attending services with me," said Desideria.