Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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Latest! dropping into the depths of low life – Substance Abuse

I never imagined that i could stoop so low.

In fact though the signs had been coming… lethargy… depression… sloth… desire… craving … covetuousness … envy… all these point towards the gradual degradation towards the lower lifeforms where immediate gratification and sensual satisfaction take paramount place and higher ideals like transformation and enlightenment and contentment take back seat.

It started last month. I came under fire. Like silver under the refiner’s fire, i was crumbling and and deconstructing. I had a lawsuit, a divorce and two law society complaints raised against me.

In trying to raise cash for the divorce settlement, many things had to be relinquished. I had to cut my attachment to idle equipment lying around… summoned the courage to say goodbye and summoned the strength to cart them off to the dealer friends for consignment sale.

Then things got a little better. Like a rubik’s cube that needs some space and progress to set things right. My purification was gaining momentum.

Why do i call it purification? This is because though i have always conceded that any form of attachment is bad, I have always allowed myself some degree of room for indulgence. Until now.

Things have come to a head where, i cannot help be forced to let go. Finances and the need to raise money aside, i also needed to clear my mind. The state of a person’s surroundings and relationships is a reflection of the state of a person’s innermost issues, thoughts and wants.

How do you explain 3 bikes the garage? That indulgence was easily rationalised: one needed repair (Shadow 400 Class 2A) , one was functioning properly (Bajaj Pulsar DTSi-180 Class 2B) – at least, and one was an ideal (CB750 RC42 Class 2) an objective which needed to be worked towards.

BUT when there are 8 amplifier systems staring at you in the face at one point of time is there something wrong? There must be.

That prompted me to look at it hard. Then i realised. Attachment to things, material or otherwise is bad. Relationships, partners, image, public persona, reputation, two wheelers, handsome amplifiers all are the same. They serve to distract you from what you really are.

The only one probably attachment which is not bad is probably the one to my dog. My dog is pure and real. Genuine joy upon seeing me come home. Genuine expression of submission and surrender at every greeting. Contented with a good pat on the head, scratching behind the ears and on the snout. Nothing comes close to that kind of innocence.

I had then set about an exercise of letting go. Relinquishing objects and artifacts. Valuable or otherwise. The room cleared up abit. I felt a little better. Then it went on. I accepted an offer of $2700 for the CB750 RC42, the shadow 400 was scheduled to go to the workship if not sold. For a moment the garage looked empty. Like an old steam powered train churning back to life, everything moved forward. There was so much of relinquishment and surrender that everything became cleaner, clearer and less encumbered.

I moved from having no room in my room to getting some room in my room to getting good room in my room.

And then there was space.

And within that space, there was time.

At times, time seemed to flash by. At times, time stood still.

In moments alone on weekends, i face that space, and the time that stood still. Then there was the emptiness.

And that emptiness gnawed at me.

I decided that i should try my attempt at facing that nothingness and emptiness with everything i could muster. This translated to solitude on weekends, I avoided involvement and socialising and meeting friends. It became almost impossible for anyone to get hold of me.

Then i realised between that bed and the wall and the window was SPACE. AND That SPACE was all i had. AND That SPACE was freedom.


Then something changed inside. I developed a taste for something new. It came in the form of white powder and black powder. Heat had to be added and time taken to savour it.

I have had friends and associates hooked on it for a long time. I never gave it a try thinking that it was beneath me.

But the process of shedding possessions and denial and relinquishment and surrender took me to the point that i decided to give it a try.

Maybe it was because of the emptiness. Maybe it was the need to cling onto something – a crutch.

Out of nowhere came the urge to try. I decided to try it.

I tried it once and i was hooked. It started with one shot per day. Then two. Then three. Then four.

On some of my bad days, it was six per day. I had to have a shot before i could sleep.

I had to have a shot in the first thing in the morning before anything else. It is only with the 1st shot of the day does that 2.4km track seem surmountable.

I then felt a little ashamed of myself. This is substance abuse. This is something which should not have happened. 13 years of Taekwondo training brought me to believe in myself. Now, 8 years out of training and i am into substance abuse. That’s how far i have fallen.

As i am writing this post, i am gulping down another cup. Black Nescafe coffee with two scoops of Nespray milk swirling in hot water. This must be the ultimate.

I am fighting a losing battle. My addiction gathers momentum as the containers are being emptied. This addiction also brings me to the depths of pridelessness and deparvity. I fear for the worst forms of deprivation as levels in the container drop with each cup. AND I am reduced to begging my mother to get more of the stuff when she goes shopping.

One teaspoon of Nescafe coffee plus two scoops of Nespray milk is my latest addiction.

Unknowingly, in pursuing simplicity and frugality, i have slipped on the slippery slope of austerity and i have unwittingly plunged into the depths of the cheap and low life.

At this rate, and the depths which i have gone, there seems to be no possibility of a return.

At approximately 20cents per cup, this was CHEAP. AND This makes $2000 used amplifiers and $1600 used  motorbikes seem like a luxury.

Undeniably, this is the ultimate manifestation of my low life. To be engaged in substance abuse.

And in doing so, i did another first, I never thought it could be so cheap.

Contentment in a cup? I never thought i could be so cheap 🙂


October 21, 2009 Posted by | Life | 1 Comment