Prisoner's Blues

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Last Saturday, March 3, 2007, my good friend, Inmatez Wife published a poetry from inside a prison called The Cell. It was nicely written by Edward Moody. It a gruesome tale what prison can and will do to you if you happen to be their unwelcome guest. Something clicked, (for God sake, it's not AdSense!) something clicked on my mind. I remembered something I really wanna forget but reading Inmatez Wife's post brought it back alive!

Please don't get me wrong. I never ever blamed N for bringing it up. I told her that I gonna post a story about prison's life. These last four years I tried to live an honest life and I got a confession to make. I've never tell a soul before except my beloved parent that I'm once a guest to my Government's hostel. Hostel? Did I say hostel? Nah! I was once incarcerated in a prison. That's my dirty little secret!

How do you like that? I hope nobody gonna shut me out after this. I've sinned my friends but I paid my debt to society in two long years in a 6x9 prison cell with two others inmates. Can any of you imagine how the three of us living in harmony, sharing a bath and toilet with just a tiny weeny partition just enough to cover your eyes what's come out while you squat down using the only toilet?

Recovery in Prison

Interlude: Wanna see more pics? Please join me on a Blog of Recovering Friends having fun with photos every Thursday @ hAAlf-nAAked Thursday.

Prison's pic are courtesy of
Prisoners Dot Com.

I was sentenced to a prison for three long years for possession. Actually I was tired, tired of smoking drugs. My life have turned upside down because of it. I preferred to stay in prison. I thought I could quit smoking if I went to prison. That's why nobody knew I was caught by Narcotics Officers. I knew my parent would do anything to keep me out of jail. I wrote to them only after I was sent to prison.

Prison's life was alright once you got the hang of it. We started the day early. My cell are opened at 5:45 am. We marched out to squat for head-count. Prison called it 'muster' for head-count. I don't know whether it's an English word or not. 'Muster' is definitely not a Malay word. We then sing our heart out the National anthem, 'Negara Ku' as in my country.

After Negara Ku and a word or two from the Officer in Charge we dispersed to get our two pieces of bread and hot drink without milk! When your freedom and menu are taken from you, you make the best out of everything possible. That two pieces of breads are like tasted like pizza and nothing was left, not even to the birds! After breakfast we went to our separated ways.

For us freshies, we got to do PT (physical training) and marching just like the army. At first I thought they are sending us to Afghanistan to join the Mujihiddin. Our PT and marching could put the regular army in shame. After years of smoking and lazying around, I was in bad shape. And I was still in withdrawal even after a month without drugs. Bear in mind, I was doing it cold turkey. No medications for me, not even aspirin. I was really in bad shape and I got extra special treatment for being bad. They don't gave a damn whether you're still in withdrawal and they took pleasure to give us addicts more pained, physically and mentally.

During those early days as a prisoner, after PT, I can't even walked straight to do another head-count. That was for eleven o'clock muster and getting ready for lunch. What? Lunch at eleven? Yep! We had our lunch at eleven. Our menu changes everyday. It ain't from Hyatt or Hilton's kitchen but it was the best. That's why until now, I would never ever throw my foods around or played with it.

After lunch, we stayed inside our cell till 2 o'clock for another 'muster'. After muster, unfortunately for us freshies, we have to do another PT and marching under the hot sun. After a week of PTs and marching, I began to like it. My muscle started growing and I began to develop a six-pack on my abdomen. Rocky Balboa or Rambo would be ashamed to see me!

After another muster at four, we were given our dinner. Usually I kept my food in my cell. I don't think I'm that crazy to have my dinner at four thirty in the afternoon. There will be no food until the next day. No, no, no, it was better to keep it in my cell and ate my food around eight just like regular normal human being! Usually in he afternoon, I played football or volleyball.

We had our last muster at six before they closed our cell for the night. I learned a lot while in prison. I'm able to adjust myself in any situation. If they wanted me to do Rock and Roll, I gave them Rock and Roll. They wanted me to twist, I twisted. They wanted me to sing the blues, I shall be the bluest man alive. The keyword were "act as if". I can be anybody you wanted me to be. That's important when you're in prison.

Prison are the same everywhere. If you have a husband, son or friend who's been thrown into prison in the past or so, I suggest that you printout this Prisoners Handbook and sent it to your love one.

My friends especially Malaysian will be in total shocked to find out the truth about me. After admitting I'm an addict now I'm exposing myself as a convict. Here they called me as "Banduan" as in convict, another type of people, (especially Malaysian) they despised! I wonder what they gonna think of me now? I've already got the title of "sampah masyarakat" as in the scum of the earth. What will they called me next?

It's ok, as Louis Armstrong said, "What a Wonderful World. And my dear, dear Sista in Swing, SCoUt taught me, Adonai Li Velo Eerah (God is with me. I shall not fear.)

Before I forgot, they let me out after two years for good behaviour.

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Natural History of Heroin Addiction and Adjunctive Drug Use

Research Report No. 16, 1988


The study aims to document carefully the complete addiction history of a sample of opiate abusers in Malaysia. Further, it examines the use pattern of the various other drugs prior to or subsequent to opiate use. It also attempts to ascertain the rationale for their use and their efficacies in their expected roles.

This research report presents the main results from structured interviews of 249 opiate addicts (97.6% heroin), coming from the street scene, from treatment centers and from prison in the larger Penang area. The bulk of the present sample was aged between 25 and 35 years, the median age for first heroin use being just below 20 years.

Two years after first heroin use, 95% of the users are addicted. Heroin use is mostly preceded by the use of three other habit forming substances, nicotine, alcohol and cannabis. These substances continue to be used as adjunctive drugs after establishment of heroin addiction. Once heroin addiction is established, two further adjunctive drugs enter the scene.

Opium has a double role, first as an equivalent for heroin in pleasure giving, and second as an aid to "kick the habit". The latest adjunctive drugs that enter the heroin scene are the class of benzodiazepines. Their use starts 3 to 6 years after heroin use. They are mainly taken to enhance the euphoria derived from heroin and in a minority of cases for "therapeutic" purposes (to combat withdrawal symptoms and sleeplessness). Moreover, their street price is low.

Among the seven benzodiazepines used and abused by this sample of heroin addicts, Flunitrazepam was the most frequently used. The study concludes that heroin is the primary drug problem in Malaysia. Benzodiazepines cannot be considered as primary drugs of abuse. Their increasing use in the later stages of heroin addiction is partly explained on economic grounds. By eliminating the heroin problem by prevention, the problem of adjunctive use of benzodiazepines might disappear.

More reports to be published.

Research report are copied, courtesy of
Center for Drug Research, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

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What A Wonderful World
by Louis Armstrong

I see trees of green........ red roses too
I see em bloom..... for me and for you
And I think to myself.... what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue..... clouds of white
Bright blessed days....dark sacred nights
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world.

The colors of a rainbow.....so pretty ..in the sky
Are also on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
Theyre really sayin......i love you.

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
Theyll learn much more.....than Ill never know
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world

(instrumental break)

The colors of a rainbow.....so pretty ..in the sky
Are there on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
Theyre really sayin...*spoken*(I ....love....you).

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
*spoken*(you know their gonna learn
A whole lot more than Ill never know)
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself .......what a wonderful world.

Lyrics courtesy of Lyrics Freak






What A Wonderful World
By Louis Armstrong
BestAudioCodes.com


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28 Comments thus far...

SCoUt said...

Selamat Petang, Noor Azman! But I guess for you it is still Selamat Tidur!
This is an amazing and very important post, my friend. We all need to tell our stories so that others can identify, lose some shame, and still others will perhaps learn not to judge so harshly.
"sampah masyarakat" is what many people think of heroin addicts here, as well. It has come to be a badge of honor for me, of sorts. I have learned to reclaim that label, in a way.
You have suffered much, grown much, and now you offer so very much.
Thank you for showing me a little more of your life.
Love to my Sultan of Swing,
Scout

SCoUt said...

I also have personal experience with the article you posted. I got into benzo's while a heroin/methadone addict, too. It was for the very reasons that article listed.
More Peace,
Scout

nawwaa said...

Hi Noor, thanks for stopping by even if Daave did send you. LOL
Look forward to hearing from you and getting to know you. Your blog is cool. A lot on it, but its interesting and not a waste of time to read.

lushgurl said...

HI Noor, I respect you even more today. To me there is no shame from being in prison, a lot of us probably should have gone(myself included, I just never got caught).
They say that for an addict who is not in recovery the end will always be the same "Jails, institutions, or death".
I am so glad that you chose recovery ,my friend, otherwise we never would have met!

Scott W said...

Lots of us go to prison. The lucky ones get out and get into recovery. You are one of the lucky ones. No shame there.

Inmatez Wife said...

Noor, I am so proud to call you my friend. You showed such bravery in letting your story out. There is nothing to be ashamed of, you did your time, and that is it. Look at who you are today--and be so very proud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael said...

Hi Noor,
My brother has been in prison and a psychiatric unit for he is now diagnosed with schitzophtrenia (probably brought on by having to put up with me)
I have been in the police cells a few times for various things which mostly centred around me being drunk at the time.
A facinating post Noor, I really enjoyed reading it - it sounds so complicated being a heroine addict with all these different chemicals u need to take, er benzodiazo what, like I said my demon was drink and cannabis, I could escape to a wonderful world with these where everyone worshiped me.
Great post Noor!

vicariousrising said...

Hello Noor. What a poignant and amazing story you tell about your experience in prison. And you tell it in such a matter-of-fact way... meanwhile, my jaw is still on the floor. Holy mackerel, what you went through. It is terrible that you have to suffer with negative labels after what you have gone through when you are an example of success. And that you have retained such a kind, strong spirit is all the more remarkable for it.

I am amazed and quite humbled by you and your experience. I feel honored to have been able to make your acquaintance.

~Judith

vicariousrising said...

Oh, and I LOOOOOOOOVE Louis Armstrong and the song Wonderful World. :)

Anonymous said...

I bet you apprecate the times you can be alone. PT and marching, rough way to learn self confidance. I remember it all to well. You seem to have had a very positve attitude and still do. It will serve you well. I had a heavy opium commitment, I was shooting, going cold turky for me was a drop in the bucket for what you did. Your muscles may be tougher, but I see something even tougher :)

With deep regards
postpaleo

Michael said...

Me and Claire (Squeaky Chair) are getting on really well, last night we talked till the early hours.
My first 5 hours of giving up smoking is done feel really weird.

I bet cold turkey is really bad in it makes stopping smoking a breeze

NMAMFQLMSH said...

Wow thank you for being so honest. You are a new you now! And by the way...that is my all time favorite song!
JJ

Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

This is from Sharon's Journey.

Hi, I hope I have the right person. Thank you for leaving a comment. You're right, it is a gift. I couldn't find where to leave comments on your post. So,
I'm emailing you. I haven't read all of your post, but I will, it sounded very interesting. Your comments made my day. First one's I've had for months. I
would love to leave comments on your blog. Thanks again for your comments. By
the way, I am feeling much better.

Most crimes are committed while under the influence. I myself have been in jail a number of times. The only reason I didn't go to prison was, 1. I had a caring & good court appointed lawyer, & 2. The times. It was in the times before the justice system started cracking down on crimes, addiction, alcoholic related crimes, & women. I was lucky, I should have gone to prison for the crimes I committed, that's my dirty little secret.

I'm emailing you because, (I'm sorry for this) I still can't find your comment subscriber, or whatever you want to call it. You have a fun website! All kinds of cool information. I checked out sober musicians, not that I am one, but I love music.

Good for you, for finding so many ways to carry the message. Love your website! It's fun, & full of good information, & cool stuff. I will use some of your links. Hey, I got another comment, it's picking up!

msb said...

Hi Noor,
glad to know there is recovery in your country. Sad to hear your jail story but isn't it wonderful we never have to live at way anymore? Thanks for dropping by my blog.
msb

sharonsjourney said...

Hi Noor, You have a kind & gentle spirit. Thank you for your comments. As you can see, I found your comment! Yahoo! I wanted to add that, all the trouble I got into with the law was while I was 'under the influence. I used alcohol, & every drug there is, I was a needle user, I still have some shame about that one, so I need to talk about it. It's so good to be in recovery, I'm so glad you are, & that we met. Thanks again for your support.

Love, Sharon

recoveryroad said...

Hiya

I hope you are well today, my friend. Thinking of you.

I still have trouble posting to your blog. :(

Hope this one makes it okay.

regards and warm wishes from London

have a clean and sober day

Kenny

lushgurl said...

UMMMM...Noor???
I've noticed you have time for blog-stalking, but no new posting for US???
Hope everything is well, my friend... HUGS

Meg Moran said...

Noor, what courage and honesty there is in your post. You know I believe in sharing our stories so that we can help one another...You did that in a deep profound way with this post. I know that your God was with you in that cell and was making plans for you to reach out to hundreds (maybe thousands) of suffering people with a recovery message. Thank you for being willing to suffere through whatever it took to come out alive and well with a spirit of recovery. You are a true friend in the Sunlight of the Spirit.

Christine said...

we are as sick as our secrets I've heard. Its good to come clean. Its good for others to know where the disease could take them. Merely my opinion.

My son went to jail in 2000. I'd hoped it would scare him straight. He called me crying everyday to get him out of there somehow. His Dad bailed him out.

Thanks for being here Noor

Kerry Dale Hancock Jr said...

Death By Meth

today I have met my match
piece by piece I was broken down
now I am tormented by failure and wrath
and my will power is no where to be found

the wounds have forever scarred my soul
with the bitter taste of death
because everything I cherished most
fell victim to my addiction to meth

in complete ignorance I made the awful choice
to smoke that demonic pipe regardless of the voice

that so strongly told me not too
but I thought I had the power to overcome
realize once this drug has got you
a slave to misery is what you become

i write every word in agony
i am scared to sleep or rest
because then I must face reality
i chose death by doing meth

family has become memories
just pictures of my past
i am now my worst enemy
my reflection is broken glass

clouds shadow my every breath of life
i cannot find the words to describe
the aches and pains I endure inside
and all I can say is why

oh, how sad it really is
to watch a Godly man be destroyed
Lord have mercy on my kids
three beautiful girls and a handsome boy

to all that I love I leave you with this
please forgive me for my weakness
that real love I will always miss
I give you these words with a hug and a kiss

By: Kerry Dale Hancock Jr

I don't think I will ever forget the very night I wrote this poem. It was my fourth or fifth day being up without sleep. This was not out of the ordinary for me now it was my routine. Stay up for endless days then sleep then start over. Like other nights this was going to be the night I took my life and ended the horror I created. Right before I wrote this I was in a room with two other people and I was looking at before and after pictures on the Internet of people that have been on meth for awhile. I remember sitting in the chair in front of the computer crouched over the desk with a meth pipe in my hand taking hits. The other two people I was with wanted to inject meth from a needle so I left the room and sat in the next room. It was then on the recliner next to the front door that I wrote this poem and reflected on the demon called meth.

Every word in this poem had so much emotion behind it. I will explain a couple lines that some may not get at first. When I say "my reflection is broken glass" I am referring to another name for meth. Meth holds many names such as speed, glass, go fast and there is more. So what I am really saying is I have become meth. The next line is "clouds shadow my every breath of life." When you smoke meth it is called blowing clouds and when you are addicted to meth then all you do is snort, smoke, inject or eat meth. Sad but true. What this really means is all I do is smoke meth which means I was addicted.

I could write so much more but this is what I want you to know. If you are addicted to meth or know someone who is then never give up hope and I will tell you why. If you will just find a reason or help that person find a reason then the fight against addiction has started. Here is the trick to making it really easy to do. If you make Jesus Christ your reason one day at a time then I promise it will be a piece of cake. Do not think about being clean and drug free for a year or two or three. Only think about today if you want to make it anywhere. Let God give you His strength each day if you want guaranteed results. If you do it your way you may get somewhere but you will end up nowhere. Become an addict for Jesus so that when you do stumble you will just start over and get back on track doing what you were doing right just like the addict for meth will start their routine over and over.

Lord Jesus thank you for loving us all enough to deliver us from this demon called meth. Give us the wisdom and knowledge to surrender all and allow you to put us in peace and fulfilment in Christ. Lord I ask that you will give us mercy and grace against meth and all its evil doings. I know it is destroying men, woman, children and families across the world. May this distraction be cast aside so that our eyes will focus only on You Lord in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN.

Glory to GOD,

Kerry Dale Hancock Jr
messenger in CHRIST

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mary Christine said...

Noor,
I am so glad you shared your story here. There is such tremendous freedom in speaking our truth.
And about Daylight Savings Time... we set our clocks ahead in spring and then back in the fall. So tomorrow morning, I will set the clock ahead an hour. It is a pain, but is supposed to save energy.

Shannon said...

I definetly dont think you have anything to be ashamed of. Look at you know and where you came. I never was in prison, but I grew up in a group home, several of them all through my youth, and too became easily adaptable in any situation, you had to, so you would survive.

I pray you have a great relaxing weekend with your family Noor

Shadow said...

hey! you are so honest. thanks for sharing that. maybe we can all get there some day. i take my hat off to you. p.s. glad to see you haven't 4gotten about the 6 weird things list....

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Morning Noor!
cool post!
Yep. There are plenty of crazy people out there unfortunately!
I'm just sitting in my sunny kitchen, with a hot mug of STRONG tea, and the cat, listening to Ajahn Munindo do a dharma talk on Conscious Contentment. its quite cool!
I found it here http://www.dhammatalks.org.uk/munin.php
Anyway. If it helps, I (and VERY well people that I have met, receive stinging critisicm from people who are on a different wavelength.
Its very difficult not to take 'life' personally, but I suppose it's like detaching with love. Understanding that there will ALWAYS be difficult and poisonous people, who try to attack us. Unfortunately, it is unrealistic to expect everyone to understand why we do things. I have tried to help some women who concluded I was being harmful to them?? Its just one of the things that happens when you deal with disturbed and sick people.
I think you are doing a GREAT job. Just keep doing what makes sense to YOU, and don't worry what OTHER people think is 'right'.
Right I'm off! Keep up the good work!

TherapyDoc said...

Noor, you make this a wonderful world. Your friend's quote, HaShem (we say Hashem or AdoShem, somehow is a tradition, HaShem li vi' lo irah, G-d is with me, I have nothing to fear, is a great mantra in any language, no?

Michael said...

There's nothing bad in admitting to your friends that you have taken drugs. If they are your friends, they will help you instead of forgetting you.

heroin addiction treatment-mike u.

ArahMan7 said...

Hola Michael,

Thanks for your comments. Really appreciate it. I only wish there are many more people like you in Malaysia. With the title like a drug addict who have spent times in prison, I felt like an outsider - an outcast in my own country.

Anyway, thank you for coming and comments.

Greetings and lots of love from Malaysia.

~ ArahMan7

junayad khan said...

Hi, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this post. It was
practical. Keep on posting!
http://awaremed.com/addictionrecovery

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