I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Certified Addictions Professional. I have been in practice as a therapist for over 10 years working for private hospitals, substance abuse treatment agencies and public mental health institutions. I specialize in helping people to effectively deal with destructive-dysfunctional thought patterns and behaviors related to alcohol/drug use, repair broken relationships and regain trust of loved ones. I also assist with stress management and empower people to lead active lives in the family, workplace, and community.
One of my recent projects that I am particularly proud of is writing and publishing an addiction self-help book How To Stay Sober, which is the outcome of my year-long professional quest for a new addiction treatment model that will allow people with alcohol and drug addiction recover and stay sober without relapsing. A staggering 50% to 90% of people relapse within a year after successfully completing a treatment, and it’s always been very frustrating for me to watch them and their loved ones suffer when they do. Therefore, I spent about five years researching, analysing, and testing different treatment methods to identify a model that will not only get the addicted person to clean up, but also will give them the skills they need to stay sober long-term.
Where are you from?
The first thing you may have noticed is my last name Nzuzu. Let me tell you the story behind my name. I grew up in Zimbabwe and Nzuzu means mermaid. In the late 80s I moved to Manchester (UK) where I lived, studied and worked. Before moving to the United States in 2003 I was a management consultant in Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe for both government entities and private commercial companies. In the United States I completed a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling at Springfield College in Tampa Fl and went on to study for my PhD in psychology at Capella University. Once I graduated with my Master’s degree, that was all that the state of Florida required to get me licensed as a mental health counselor, but I knew in my heart that my standards are to be the best of the best; and that is why I spent four years studying for a doctoral degree at Capella University since that extra qualification would give me everything I needed to serve my clients.
Why do you write?
Over the years I have seen many alcoholics and drug addicts move in and out of treatment programs without being able to overcome alcohol and drugs. This book was written for people who have a desire to be sober but have run out of their options. It is a life line to those people who believe that they have tried everything but nothing works.
What do you write about?
I write about health, healing and wellness.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I have not identified my writing style yet but I tend to write as if I am having a conversation with the reader.
What are obstacles that come in the way of writing?
Sometimes no inspiration and motivation do write even when the ideas are there.
What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?
Many people have told me that my work has changed their lives at a time they had given up trying. Others have said that my work has helped them to look at their problems with hope, expectation and anticipation of getting better.
How long have you been writing?
Over 30 years but all of the writing consists of unpublished short stories and essays as well as auto-biographical material.
When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
I realized that I have the gift of reading and writing when I was in grade school. I have boxes full of unpublished short stories and essays on human behavior and organization performance.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I don’t have a writing schedule. I make notes as the ideas come to me and after sometime put together those ideas into book pages.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I love describing real life experiences based on my observations and people’s responses during conversations. I like my writing to be as close as can be to lived experiences.
How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non)
I didn’t intend to write a book . It started as notes of interesting issues and observations over a 3 year period. It was in year 4 of writing the notes that I saw the possibility of converting them into a book
Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
I really don’t have any advice for new authors because I don’t know where they are at and what their needs are. I didn’t start of as intending to write a book. I was recording my observations over the years and after sometime I realized that they formed a coherent pattern of messages which I can put together into book to help people with alcohol and drug problems.
What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?
How to Stay Sober is a book about healing, hope and living life again to the full. The greatest struggle was finding a way to convey the message in a manner that brings about healing, wellness, health and wholeness to my readers. I wanted to show the reader that both the addiction problem and its solution are inside the addict and not external. Sometimes, it was tempting to write in a judgmental, criticizing and blaming style—my fear was that this approach would offend the people I am supposed to help. So, I struggled to show that the alcoholic and drug addict are their own worst enemies without pointing fingers. I had to find diplomatic ways to show that they persevered in self-abuse and overseeing their own misery and suffering.
What do you think makes a good story?
To be a good depiction of reality and less fictitious.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family don’t understand the complexities of writing, publishing and marketing. They are supportive but they often don’t know how to fit in so they end up being there but detached.
Do you see writing as a career?
I write if I think that I have an answer to some important question of life or a message to address a need of specific target group of people.
Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?
The book seeks to convey the message that recovery is possible and always available. The major ingredients for sobriety are motivation, a clear vision, and honesty. Recovery is possible when you need it and seek it from inside the heart. You can live a life free from alcohol and drugs but you have to cherish and embrace the new life and give up the old one. Your willingness and commitment to becoming brutally honest with yourself are key to successful recovery. A desire without willingness to change will remain just that, a desire and nothing else.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I knew that I have writing creative ability by the time I completed high school and I was 18 years old.
1 – Book Website: — https://how-to-stay-sober.com/