Staying True to the Path of Sobriety

Having had a difficult childhood, Osman fell into bad company as a teenager, stumbled into drugs, and has since been fighting addiction over the past few decades. After an awakening moment of self-realisation while at HCSA Highpoint, he is determined more than ever to stay clean and lead a simple life.
Five years ago, Osman decided to quit drugs for good and pursue a renewed life of sobriety. At that point, he had been in and out of prison and Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) for most of his life. 
Growing up, he recalls having a tough childhood as he was brought up in a household with 6 other siblings. At the age of 14, his mother passed on, leaving his father with no other choice but to send his children to Malaysia to be cared for by their grandparents. 
“No one really looked after me,” he recounts, sharing that the grief of losing a parent and having to face the reality of his father’s decision to remarry eventually led his teenage self to act out. Osman went from smoking to drinking, and then finally to experimenting with different drugs. He was 17 years old when he was incarcerated for the first time for stealing.  
The next few decades would see him getting into brushes with the law and having multiple relapses: “I was in and out (of prison) every six months. I would go out (released from prison), then a few months later I would get caught again.” 
As a result, the relationships he had with his siblings and relatives were affected, which led to further isolation and seclusion of Osman.

“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.”

The turning point came in 2021, when he was referred to HCSA Highpoint Halfway House (Highpoint). Introverted and quiet by nature, Osman was originally skeptical of the rehabilitative support that was given to him, but under the constant guidance and care of the case workers and counsellors, he soon started to open up about his personal struggles in his life.

“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.”



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