“I (already) had a history of being a bad guy. They wondered why I didn't want to change until now, even when I'm so old.”
“They always supported us by organising activities to keep us busy and occupied,” he shares, adding that the staff were also always open and ready to extend a listening ear to the residents there.
It was also at Highpoint where Osman had an awakening moment of self-realisation – he acknowledged that his entire life had been spent, or misspent, in prison. He said, “Despite my age, I was still healthy and quite all right, but I thought to myself, how long do I want to live like this?”
Now, at the age of 67, Osman is contented with living a simple life, having taken up a job as a janitor with a cleaning company. Despite the physical nature of his work, he expresses his gratitude for the flexible working hours, and adds that the people at his workplace are friendly and good to him.
Having spent most of his life in prison, battling drug addiction, and committing multiple offences – Osman is now adamant about staying clean. However, he admits his desistance journey is a constant daily battle. In spite of the challenges, he is determined to stay drug-free and crime-free, adding, “You start the first smoke and it will be the end of it.”
When asked to share a piece of advice to someone who is also struggling with an addiction, Osman states that choosing the right company of friends is important: “Try to get friends who will keep you rooted in the right things. It’s important to have friends who will encourage you to take up hobbies, or to improve yourself to be better. The ones who support you will keep you on the right track.”