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Archive for July, 2007

Confessions of a Drug Addict

The following is an interview with a 19-year old former drug abuser. His name has been concealed to protect his identity. He is currently staying at the Hiding Place, a halfway house for reforming drug addicts. This is his story in his own words.

I was helping out with my parents then; working the night shift. In the day time I had nothing to do, the whole day was free and I was bored. Slowly my friends introduced me to it (drugs); they asked me to have some and try it; just try it … just minor drugs, like marijuana and pills. I was curious … this was something new to me, you see. Since he was my friend, I trusted him. You know, I thought he buay hai wah (will not harm me. Until one day, someone gave me heroin, and I started to feel this was even better. I began to get addicted to it.

My parents caught me three times. The first time they forced me into withdrawal by locking me at home. After that withdrawal period, I was a normal person again. And then not long after that, I started to get back again. Got hooked again. The second time I tried to quit by myself. My cousin helped me by taking things like opium to subsidise the heroin. So I managed to quit. Not long after, I got back to smoking again. This third time, my parents had no choice; they could not help me. They did so much, but then I still go back to drugs. Slowly, gradually, my parents phoned my probation officer and he recommended me to come here (Hiding Place).

I knew that drugs could harm me. Three times I quit and yet I went back, knowing that it would harm me. My parents were very sad about it. I know that it is a torture. My parents kept telling me to be a good boy … and my parents would tell me to be a good boy but yet I still went back to drugs. Everytime I was out of drugs I had to steal and cheat. Even my friends were scared of me when they saw me. Sometimes I even stoke my home appliances when I didn’t have money. I would shout at my sister, take money from home … break the drawers, everything. Do anything to get money; knowing that that was harmful to me, and yet somehow I kept going back to it again and again.

Getting heroin was quite expensive … $20 for a small straw. In one day I needed to take at least two straws. In the initial stages, we could still work and earn the money. Slowly when we were more addicted to it we tend to neglect our work. When we have the opportunity to get a lot, we would take it and sell. We take it as a kind of lifestyle where we sell and earn the money. If not, we would cheat, steal, do anything to get the money for drugs.

Previously I used to go out in gangs. We took pills, stole and then we would go out and beat somebody up. Take money from them. Every time we go out and we have nothing to do … we like to chuay tai ji(looking for trouble). One big group of friends together, we are not scared. Somebody stare at us or what, we would go and find trouble. Then sometimes when we don’t have money we would beat somebody up and then bedek bedek (pretend to) say “why you looking at us?”

If you don’t have the drug, the pain is quite inexpressible. You feel very uncomfortable. You yawn a lot, tears come out, you feel like you’re having a fever, you feel hot, you cannot sleep, cannot do anything. Once you don’t have that thing to settle down, you won’t think of working. You’re completely strengthless. Now I am 56 kg. When I was smoking, I was 44 or 45 kg.

Down here (The Hiding Place), they don’t give you any medicine for subsiding the pain. It’s just a normal ‘cold turkey’ without anything. After 10 days, it will be okay … my appetite will slowly come back and I can sleep. During those ten days of ‘cold turkey’ treatment, I cannot sleep.

I slowly learned more about God. Not long after I decided to give my life to Him. Since then, I have been here for over two years. God is really good. I think for me, I would say that only when we come to God and when we come to know Jesus then we can be totally free from drugs. Sometimes these thoughts (of taking drugs) still come back. But I am sure that as I continue to follow God, He will see me through. Right now, I have the opportunity to go back to my studies again. I can go home leave twice a month for a day, unescorted. My parents are very happy.

I don’t want to waste any more of my time. Before this, I ran away from home several times, once for six months. At first I was on probation for housebreaking. After that, some years later, I went into drugs. Most of the time I didn’t like to go home. I always stayed outside. I would even sleep in the void deck and go back the next day. From the age of 12/13 years, I started to do a lot of bad things. So many years have passed already … I don’t see any point in going back to that type of lifestyle again.

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There were about 30 students in a language centre. They were all working adults. At their first class, the students were asked to introduce themselves and why they enrolled for the course.

Next each student was asked to read a passage. The passage ran like this:

My mother went to a hotel near the airport to see a friend, Mrs. B. Rampa, who had flown in from Singapore. After not having seen each other for three years, they went to the hotel lounge to chat over a few drinks.

It was early afternoon and there were no other customers except for them and a Japanese tourist. They were each warming a bar stool and chatting away when the Japanese tried to get flirt with them.

He said: “Ladies, let me buy you both a Johnny Walker, eh?” My mother said: “Beat it.”

Embarassed at being rejected, the Japanese suddenly bared his teeth like an animal and growled. Then he used foul language on the two women. At that moment, a security guard appeared and asked the Japanese to leave.

As he was escorted out of the lounge, he threatened to complain to a big Press at the rude treatment. There was peace in the lounge again and my mother and Mrs. B. Rampa giggled like little girls.

When one of the students, a salesman read the passage, it sounded like this:

My mudder went to a hot-tell near the airpot to see a fliend, Mrs. B. Lampa, who had flown in from Singkapoh. After not having sin each other for tree years, they went to the hot-tell launch to chat over a few dlinks.

It was early afternoon and there were no udder customers except for them and a Jarpenis tourist. They were each warming a bar stool and chatting away when the Jarpenis tried to flood with them.

He said: “Ladies, let me buy you both a Chuni Walker, eh?” My mudder said: “Bit it.”

Embarassed at being rejected. The Jarpenis suddenly bared his tit like an animal and glowed. Then he used fowl-language on the two women. At that moment, a security guard appeared and arsed the Jarpenis to leave.

As he was escorted out of the launch, he threatened to complain to a big breast at the root treatment. There was piss in the launch again and my mudder and Mrs. B. Lampa giggled like litter girls.

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Troubles

Here is something for you hardworking people to think of.

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: (a flat tire made him lose an hour of work & his electric drill quit) his ancient one ton truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

“Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them.

Then in the morning I pick them up again.” Funny thing is,” he smiled”, when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”

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A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. In a specific point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one, who got slapped, was hurt, but without anything to say, he wrote in the sand: “TODAY, MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE“.

They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who got slapped and hurt started drowning, and the other friend saved him. When he recovered from the fright, he wrote on a stone: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE“.

The friend who saved and slapped his best friend, asked him, “Why, after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now you write on a stone?”

The other friend, smiling, replied: “When a friend hurts us, we should write it down in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness get in charge of erasing it away, and when something great happens, we should engrave it in the stone of the memory of the heart, where no wind can erase it”

Learn to write in the sand.

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The Healing Poison

A long time ago, a girl named Li-Li got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn’t get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law’s habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly. Days passed days, and weeks passed weeks. Li-Li and her other-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish.

All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing the poor husband great distress. Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law’s bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it.

Li-Li went to see her father’s good friend, Mr.Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr Huang thought for a while, and finally said, Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you. Li-Li said,

“Yes, Mr Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do.”

Mr Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs. He told Li-Li,

“You can’t use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. Every other day prepare some pork or chicken and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects you when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. Don’t argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen.”

Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law. Weeks went by, and months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law and treated her like her own mother. After six months had passed, the whole household had changed. Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn’t had an argument in six months with her mother-in-law, who now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with. The mother-in-law’s attitude toward Li-Li has also changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter. Li-Li’s husband was very happy to see what was happening.

One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again. She said,

“Dear Mr Huang, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law! She has changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her.”

Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head.

“Li-Li, there’s nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her.”

MORAL : Friends, have you ever realized that how you treat others is exactly how they will treat you? In China it is said : The person who loves others will also be loved.

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I was sitting on a beach one summer day, watching two children, a boy and a girl, playing in the sand.They were hard at work building an elaborate sandcastle by the water’s edge, with gates and towers and moats and internal passages.Just when they had nearly finished their project, a big wave came along and knocked it down, reducing it to a heap of wet sand. I expected the children to burst into tears, devastated by what had happened to all their hard work. But they surprised me. Instead, they ran up the shore away from the water,laughing and holding hands, and sat down to build another castle. I realized that they had taught me an important lesson.

All the things in our lives, all the complicated structures we spend so much time and energy creating, are built on sand.

Only our relationships to other people endure. Sooner or later, the wave will come along and knock down what we have worked so hard to build up. When that happens, only the person who has somebody’s hand to hold will be able to laugh.

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Unconditional Love

A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home from the war. He called his parents from San Francisco.

“Mom and Dad, I’m coming home, but I’ve a favor to ask. I have a friend I’d like to bring home with me.”

“Sure,” they replied, “we’d love to meet him.”

“There’s something you should know the son continued, “he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mind and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live.”

“No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us.”

“Son,” said the father, “you don’t know what you’re asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can’t let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He’ll find a way to live on his own.”

At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn’t know, their son had only one arm and one leg.

The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don’t like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who aren’t as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are.

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