Mark (1/4)

Was great to meet Kiki in the Hostel in Mount Manganui beach, NZ. It’s always a pleasure to connect with people and possibly encourage others through my own life experiences and I’m honoured that Kiki has found mine of interest to you.

So where do I begin?!

I guess I can say that I have been blessed with a second and even a third chance at life.

I have often found myself forgetting to be thankful for all the good times and it takes hard times to remind me of just being open to enjoy this beautiful thing called life.

Sometime you never really know how much you have until you are about lose it all and this is definitely what happened to me.

I’ve had a very different background to most people I know. Growing up in Asia with a Caucasian Father and Chinese Indonesian mother was interesting at the best of times. Maybe it was because we were always moving around from country to country in Asia when we were younger I never really felt grounded anywhere. Once my parents decided to settle in Indonesia I really wanted to fit in and always seemed to have an infatuation to want to be part of the cool group and be well known. As I grew into my late teens I had a dangerous curiosity and what some might call an obsession to try and use hard drugs. So by the time I was 15 I was dabbling in all sorts of things I shouldn’t have.

I think I’ll begin this story of when I was given my first chance.

At the Age of 14, mostly by sheer coincidence, I was found by a recruiting agent at a modelling competition. A friend of my mother wanted me to participate in the competition and I thought why not give it a whirl. As luck would have it I won the competition and was able to start to build a modelling and acting career for myself in Indonesia.

Modelling was a good source of income for a teenager and I soon found that I had a chance to expand into TV acting so I never looked back. I could not help but want to be accepted by the “IN” group of the party scene so after a while I found myself doing everything I could to be a part of them.

If there is one big lesson I’ve learnt in life it’s if you do not set a plan or target of what you want to achieve in any career you are bound to fall over sometime and that’s exactly what happened to me.

After a few stints of doing TV series that I regarded as stupid I found myself getting bored and actively looking for any excuse to get high.

It was the raging 90’s. Hard drugs were starting to flow into the country in vast quantities and it became the cool thing to do amongst all well off campus students. Ecstasy and Cocaine were seen as the classy drugs to be on in the early 90’s but it wasn’t long before Heroin came on to the scene. I’m unsure why but it quickly became a very popular drug to use once you had your come down from all the uppers everyone was taking but worst of all is that I found I was totally into the high and while I was just smoking it I seemed to be able to keep on top of the addiction for the most part.

As with most drugs this did not last for long. I quickly fell the wrong group of friends and into the rabbit of addiction.

When I started to inject it was when I lost all ability to free myself. It was not long before I was completely caught up with all my Junkie friends and losing touch with how far I let myself get sucked in.

“Show me your friends and I will show you your future” I can’t really remember who said that quote but it really nailed the truth home for me.

If you hang around long enough with the wrong people you are bound to start doing what they do period.

I am the perfect example of this! Doing TV acting and trying to be a campus student but hating what I was studying I started to do even more drugs. At the time was my only escape. It wasn’t long before my life was out of control and I was spending every waking moment thinking of how and where to get my next fix.

For five long and painful years I was a total drop kick Heroin junkie

Most people had written me off and my mum and grandmother were basically the only ones who believed I could stop and overcome my addiction. On my grandmother dying bed she grabbed my fathers’ hand and told him to have faith in me and I wasn’t even there to say goodbye I was so strung out. I believe if it wasn’t for my mum and my grandmother I definitely wouldn’t be here today.

I had tried numerous times to clean myself up. The longest I ever got away was 10 month and the only way for me to clean up was to get away from it all. I ended up having to go to a completely different country so I could break off all connections with old drug buddies and habits

Fortunately I had a good friend in America and was able to stay with him for a while so I decided to go see my best friend in the states.

As long as I was clear of all my old junkie relations I was able to stop using heroin and come off my addiction. Because I didn’t hang out with anyone who was a user but by the time I got back to Indonesia the temptation to meet up with old friends and habits was too strong and I ended up using again within less a month.

My girlfriend at the time had given up on me because of my heroin problem. She told me very bluntly and rightly so, that if I couldn’t get clean than I would amount to nothing! In the nicest way she told me that I was a loser and I hated her for it.

This was the hard truth but I was not at all prepared to hear it. I told her in a rage of anger I would show her that I’m not a complete loser. I was so upset with her that she could even think of me in those terms but looking back on things I know that she was only talking the truth and it hurt!

With that of course things started to spiral out of control again and I ended up almost killing myself overdosing.

After numerous attempts of trying to ween myself off and quit I had finally come to the end of my ability to cope. Mum recommended that I get away from it all again.

She reminded me that I was fully able to quit when I didn’t have my old hang out spots and friends to go to.

She told me “go somewhere and stay there until you feel comfortable enough to enjoy your life without the need for heroin. I was lucky enough to also have New Zealand residency and it seems to be a fairly clean country to start over. So in my final attempt to clean up I decided that was the best option.

I really only had three options

1.) Continue using heroin get caught and go to jail.
2.) Continue using heroin and kill myself through an overdose or other means

Or

 3.) Leave the country and clean up my act

I decided the third option was the best so I packed my bags and made a firm decision New Zealand was where I would clean up. It has not been an easy journey but I am happy to say I haven’t touched heroin for over 6 years now and counting.

To achieve this kind of success I really had to cut off all relations, social media accounts, everything. I completely deleted everyone out of my life that had anything to do with heroin (which was virtually everyone I knew) and started a new chapter.

It was my last chance and I was determine to beat it.

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