Kicking an addiction is very difficult. It becomes near impossible when it involves substance abuse like dangerous drugs and alcohol. Government spent millions on prescribed drugs and therapies to help addicts deal with withdrawal symptoms, and help them psychologically, emotionally and spiritually blend into the society again.
Here is a story of kicking an addiction of a different kind; without regulated rehab, without prescribed drugs. This is a story set in the remote area of Malaysia, about a man kicking his drug habit without him knowing it; sub-consciously!
1970s: Kids’ Zone. He was a very quiet and soft spoken boy. He was a total opposite of us. Probably because he was the youngest hence manja, or he thought we were crazy with our screaming, fighting and running around; or maybe he was just shy as we only met very seldom. Once a year at least, for Eid.
1980s: Teenage Years. We received news of him in prison. It was DADAH abuse, Malaysia’s public enemy number One. From then on, prison was like his second home. His sentence was always minimal as he was just using. It was the time when there were a few government rehab centres, no Methodone Replacement Therapy yet; nor Cure & Care. A rather bleak future for addicts.
1990s: Youth Movement. We always wondered what would become of him, his future and all; when all of us were in the midst of embarking the next phase of our lives, i.e., continuing our studies. He would had been like us, but his bad choice of company, sent him spiraling into an abyss.
Late 1990s: The Routine. Visits as usual but learnt not to ask when he was not present. When he was home, we continued where we left off and he was always himself; quiet and soft spoken.
2004: The Stroke. His mother suffered a severe stroke and was bed ridden. There were only 3 sons; him being the youngest. The two elder ones were working elsewhere and with families of their own. As it was their mother’s wish to be at home rather than moved to her son’s place; he was chosen to take care of her — amidst wild speculations from the villagers.
2014: The Funeral. He continued caring for his mother till she passed away. He did a brilliant job and earned respect from the local government doctor who came periodically to check on his patient. His mother was always presentable; and without the common bed sores. That put a stop to all the villagers’ prejudice and tongue wagging. I guess his tender loving care for his mother had put them all to shame despite his history.
After his mother’s death, again there were speculations of him going back to his old habit as there exist a void in his life. We had faith in him and prayed that he would be okay. Occasional checks and random calls were made. He was just lonely, otherwise he was fine! Phew!
February 2015: The Invitation. We were happy and relief but curious. We anxiously waited for April.
April 2015: The Wedding. I for one, would not missed it for anything in the world! It was a very joyous occasion and the villagers were all there to celebrate! Good spread of food too! Hehehe…
To my congratulating him, he sheepishly replied that it was a bit late to settle down at 54! Who’s to say? Hehehe… Everything works out fine, for everyone. For all it is worth, it was perhaps his mother’s dua or even his! As long as he is happy, we are happy too.
The story ties in nicely with what I learnt in Pak Firman’s AMC class. It all begins in the brain. Without proper guide and control, the mind sets it all. We need a change of perception to change our lives for the better.
He changed his, towards DADAH; replaced it with the caring of his mother. Now it is being replaced with caring for his new family in Johor. All the dua-s, faith, time, patience and support are paid off. We wish him well.
May the force be with you, Fiza!
P/S : The timeline is the writer’s own.