Since 2009, Vijay Vikram has lent his voice to various TV promos, corporate videos and radio spots. However, his life was starkly different a few years ago, when he was addicted to alcohol. He was so moved by the Alcohol Abuse episode that he felt compelled to share his story. Here it is.
"It was in 1999 when I first had beer. I was 21 and this was first time I was having alcohol. I wanted to be an army officer then. I passed the written exam a number of times but whenever I went for the interview, I got rejected. As a result, I started drinking a lot; alcohol became a part of my life. I was still lucky enough to finish my MBA and get a job. This was in 2004, a time when my hands would shake if I didn't drink. My day started and ended with alcohol.
In 2005, the inevitable happened. I was diagnosed with severe pancreatitis and renal failure. I had a 20% chance of survival. After repeated dialysis, my kidney started functioning and other organs began responding. I was discharged after 45 days and it took me another eight months to start leading a normal life. At times, I felt like ending my life because of the excruciating pain. But when I thought of my family, I wanted to live just for them.
I started working towards rebuilding my career and got a job in Mumbai. I landed my first assignment as a voiceover artist and instantly took to it. I quit my job and by 2009, I was working with some of India's biggest TV shows—Bigg Boss,Dance India Dance, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Nach Baliye and MasterChef India to name a few. I aim to be a sports presenter and actor in the future.
I have been alcohol-free since 2005 and love my life and family. I salute Satyamev Jayate for the initiative it has taken, and watching the episode gave me the inspiration to tell my story to the world.
To those who are battling alcoholism and depression, I want to say that nothing can stop you from living.
This too shall pass.