I’m back!

So…I have taken a 1 year sabbatical from blogging to find my passion again and I’ve recently started to feel the faint stirrings of that. Or maybe it’s just an urge to share my inane thoughts with you all. Haha. Since then, many things have happened. I shall try to condense and distill them in point form.

Gym

1. I am into the fitness lifestyle now

Those who follow my personal Facebook will have no choice but to see this, as I’m fond of posting gym photos to my timeline. I do it several times a day even, since my workout routine is 3 hours per day, 9 days out of 10. It’s been more than a year now since I’ve joined the congregation of the Church of Iron and my gains has been coming along. I like being buff. I enjoy displaying my beautiful body and getting compliments, so remember to give me some. Thanks.

2. I have quit drinking, smoking and recreational drugs

This is somewhat related to 1. I have gotten many puzzled questions about this. Did I find God? Did I have a near death experience? Maybe got arrested again? Some other close call? No, no, no and no. I just decided I wanted a change. It’s that simple and boring. I feel that these things usually are. True change comes from just wanting a change, nothing too dramatic. I think change that is derived from those sensational life events tend to be short lived. I even quit Suboxone (my maintenance opiate medication) and benzodiazepines. I really mean no drugs anymore. Suboxone (buprenorphine) was really hard though. Couldn’t sleep for 2 weeks, felt like shit, will tell the story some other day. Been clean ever since. I also stopped drinking. No reason, it’s not a religious or moral thing, I just don’t feel like it anymore.

3. I am single now

Again, no surprise here for people following me on FB. Things didn’t work out and I have been hitting the Tinder scene for a while late this year. Nothing promising from Tinder, although I did have a few hook-ups. Including with a girl half my age! Oh boy, do I want to tell you all that story someday. Hehe. I’m so happy I still have it. Whatever it means. Also, since I’m kinda jaded with the Tinder scene now, I’ve taken to asking people from Facebook for dates. So don’t be surprised if you suddenly get a message from me asking you out for lunch or dinner. It’s coz I find you attractive and I’ll like to know more.

4. I have a cat

I recently got myself a cat. Her name is Chika. A friend of mine told me the stray she’s taking care of has a litter and I picked one. I was initially apprehensive about having a feline companion in my place. Sounds like a lot of work. And responsibilities. I wasn’t a huge fan of either. However, I am really glad I have her. She’s one of those friendly cats. To me anyway. Waits for me when she hears my key in the locks coming back. Sleeps between my legs at night. She’s always beside me. Her warm and furry presence soothes me. I love my cat. Best thing I did this year.

5. I moved into my own place

I bought a condo in USJ and have been living it it for almost a year now. I’m still very behind in furnishings, the only area I can call fully furnished is the kitchen. I cook my meal prep so having a working kitchen is important. The living room is empty. I haven’t even taken off the plastic the contractors put over the living room air con coz I’m always in my room. It’s nice to have my own place though, and I got it for 380k, which is 20k cheaper than the market price. The best thing is it’s above a mall so grocery shopping and gym is just a lift ride down.

I’m struggling to find new things to talk about and since my musings have veered into cats and condos, I should probably stop. I’ll try and update more frequently now.

Sarawak State Elections 2016: Voting at N54 Pelawan, Sibu

Sibu Voting

I don’t know what you’re saying but I agree with everything.

I’m back in Sibu for the Sarawak state elections! I just bought my ticket a couple of days ago. To be honest, I didn’t feel like flying back to vote. There’s been a lot of talk of “political fatigue” and I think that’s the general feeling among the masses. The people aren’t swarming the polling centers like the “Chinese tsunami” last election to protest against the government and the love affair with the Opposition might have plateaued.

Sibu Elections 2016

Whatever the reason, a lot of people aren’t making the effort and spending the money to come back to vote. I felt the same but at the last minute decided to shell out the cash for a plane ticket to exercise my right to vote.

Sibu Kampua

I am privy to a rather interesting political Whatsapp group and despite not contributing much, I read every single post. These are a bunch of diverse people from traditional media journalists to ex-political party members from SUPP, a BN offshoot in Sarawak.

I heard someone mention that this Sarawak state election is a referendum for Najib. I was quite surprised since I have never thought of it that way. I think a lot of people like me don’t see it that way. Instead, we see it as a referendum for Chief Minister Adenan. These are two very different people.

Sarawak State Elections 2016

I’m an Opposition supporter. I vote DAP (Democratic Action Party) every single time. I come from a middle class Christian Chinese family in Sibu, Sarawak. To make parallels with the political scene in the United States, I would be considered as a WASP – a rather conservative voting bloc. I go to the BERSIH rallies. I told my better half that I come from a Chinese majority town and even she was surprised when I showed her the official government census data from my area.

I vote in a constituency known as N54 Pelawan and out of the eligible voters, a staggering 91.2% is Chinese. The distant second is Malay AND Melanau combined for just 4.9%. This is often refered to as the “Muslim” voting bloc but that isn’t entirely correct coz a lot of Melanaus are Christian. Ibans constitute another 3.1% and the dreaded term Others come in at 0.8%. These figures aren’t representative of Malaysia as a whole but it’s fairly accurate for Sibu.

Sibu Church

What surprises a lot of first time visitors is how many churches we have here. We don’t have a lot of mosques – they’re all tucked away in kampungs and such, but there are many churches in town. Sibu is an overwhelming Chinese majority town and a sizable portion of the Chinese are Christians. This unusual quirk is due to the person who first came to Sarawak (he was a Christian evangelical) but that’s history, what is interesting is our demographics now.

Anyway, as I was saying, I (and I bet a lot of others) see this election as a referendum for CM Adenan and to be fair, he seems like a great guy. I can’t deny that he has done a lot for Sarawakians. He has also stemmed the worrying trend of Islamic extremism by keeping a ban list of extremist preachers and passed a controversial law which allows Muslim converts to revert back to Christianity (in the landmark case of Roneey Anak Rebit).

This has endeared him to the local Christian Chinese community and he was also the first to open the civil service to UEC holders (a Chinese examination). The latter doesn’t really affect me since I’ve studied in New Zealand ever since I was 15 and graduated from Australia (this blog started in Melbourne), but it’s nice to know he’s looking out for everyone. He has also pushed for greater Sarawak autonomy and rights. By most accounts, he’s doing a stellar job.

I certainly think so.

(Please don’t lynch me, fellow Opposition supporters)

Sibu Voting Center

However, I was also talking to some older people today and they all saw it as a referendum for not Adenan but for Najib. That makes it an entirely different issue altogether but the problem is, not many people see it that way. I certainly didn’t, and I think that’s one of the greatest successes of the PBB political machine. They have pushed the man Adenan so much that a lot of people (myself included) have divorced the national issues with Najib from the Sarawak state election.

…and that’s dangerous coz if BN does well here, they’ll have the confidence to call the general elections sooner.

Vote

Despite what I personally think about CM Adenan, I feel like it’s healthy to have a strong Opposition and that’s why I will always vote for DAP. It’s not coz they have a realistic chance of winning – it’s about not giving the current government such free and unchecked reign.

DAP

I voted for David Wong Kee Woan (DAP).

You can have your cupcake and eat it too

cupcakes

Waiting is something I’m traditionally very, very bad at.

I think most Aries do not wait. It’s just not in our dictionary.

(we leave that for the other star signs)

I could eat the batter of the cupcake. However, won’t it be nice to wait until the cupcake is done?

I have run out of analogies. Honestly, today has been one of the most emotionally draining experiences I’ve had.

Emotional highs and lows – it’s like the roller-coaster ride from hell.

It’s the constant “What if” game:

What if I didn’t see you today?
What if I have behaved differently?
What if I made you less nervous?

Well, you get my point – Would things be different?

There’s honestly no answer to that. Time only flows in one direction (unless massive breakthroughs are made in fringe physics) so a better question to ask would be:

Am I happy with this?

It’s a bitter-sweet answer. I keep thinking of The Longest Line (it’s a NOFX song) where the lyrics go “I think of Chinese food when I think of life. It’s sweet and sour.”

I’m happy and sad at the same time.

However, if that’s what I’m feeling, I can’t imagine how you must feel.

You must be feeling a million times worse.

I know it can’t be easy.

I really hope I can be there for you. I really hope that I can earn your trust. I hope for a million things but above all I hope that you’ll give me a chance.

I’m sitting here eating your cupcakes and I couldn’t bear to eat the last one, not knowing when I’ll see you next. They’re delicious (no chocolate chip “surprises” inside smirk).

love

I have three cupcakes. They’re all packed nicely into a 3-cupcake box and I didn’t even throw away the paper on the two that I’ve eaten, knowing that you put so much effort into making them, and knowing that it’s handmade by you.

I *do* think you’re worth the wait.

We’ll do it right. :)

Listening to: Alanis Morissette – Head Over Feet

You can’t control what people think, you shouldn’t control what people say

accident

Barrack Obama said that in one of his addressed to the UN where mentioned he has become used to people calling him appalling things every day. While I won’t dare to equate myself to him, it generally applies to everyone. I have an anecdote from my very first (and expensive) private rehab where I spent 28 days.

The psychologist told me before I left not to expect people playing kompangs (a Malay drum usually used for celebrations) to herald your new found sobriety. No one is going to believe you.

A lot of ex-addicts get snared by this apparent “lack of support” and relapse due to the mentality that “Well, if no one is going to believe me anyway, I might as well go right on doing drugs.

What has that got to to with anything?

It has got to do with everything.

espresso

I’ll like to thank all my readers for being supportive throughout my Project Listen campaigns. There’s a handful of naysayers (but that’s to be expected, and coming from the same IP, disregarded by me) but the point of that lesson is learning how to believe in yourself!

That is the true path to recovery.

That is the only way to become a better person.

You don’t rely on what others think or say for your self-confidence – that is the worst thing you can do. Just believe in yourself and want to be a better person.

…and that is my journey, from my darkest days of drug addiction, to facing the skeletons in my closet and my journey to become a better person.

Of course, it takes a long time (nay, a lifetime) to become a better person but I wanted to start anyway coz every journey begins with a single step. I have taken enough from the ones dearest to me. I have lived life to the fullest extent. Now it’s time to give it all back.

arguing

I could have just written about anything mundane, but I choose to write about the most difficult parts of my life and how I’m changing it. I firmly believe in the reach of Project Listen and I hope that the experiences I’ve been through could be of help in some way to someone.

Thank you again for sharing my videos, it was hard doing them, it was a decision that I made and I’m glad I did it.

home

One last note – if there’s any of you out there stuck in the depths of drug addiction, know you can set yourself free, but only if you choose to. If any of you are in a spot coz of unwanted pregnancies colliding with religious beliefs, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

josiah

Finally, cherish your family and those dearest to you for they are the ones who stay when everything else goes to shit.

Love,
Huai Bin
sixthseal.com

The long journey to finding myself

journey

I’ve written about the struggles that I’ve been though and put my significant other (at that time) through when I’ve had an abortion.

It was hard, but I wanted to tell the story, to let it reach out to as many people as it can, so perhaps it can help some.

I’ve also written about my previously estranged relationship with my parents and how it’s always true that blood runs thicker than water.

I think I’ve lead an extraordinary life and I’m glad I’m still alive to write about it. I’ll like to thank you all for sharing my video stories and the kind (and also not so kind) comments. Life is worth living, you go through it and become a better person if you’re willing to change for the better. Cheers!

The Prodigal Son

I wrote this for Project Listen a while back and I’m re-posting it on my blog so it can be kept as an archive. Cheers to my family for enduring me all this while and I’m glad I have a chance to make it all right.

family

I’ve always felt that I haven’t been doing much for my family. I’ve put them through a lot – it all started when I went to New Zealand as a permanent resident to do my high school in Christchurch. I was 15 then and quite very extremely rebellious.

The freedom I had there pushed my rebellious nature to new heights, and I got involved in drugs, gangs, etc etc – basically your “regular” teenage rebellion multiplied by a billion in intensity.

reverse mohawk

That was more than 15 years ago and although I came to my senses I still never quite bonded with my family, creating more burden and causing more stress instead of what I was supposed to do as a filial son.

I can safely say that during my career as a professional human lab rat, I’ve tried more drugs that the vast majority of other users, sourcing for not just common drugs like heroin and methamphetamine but exotic research chemicals like 6-APB, UR-144 and 5-MeO-MiPT which most people have never even heard of, much less tried.

drugs

I was arrested for drug possession when I was 24 and appeared on many newspapers, some with extremely detailed information about me, which must have caused my parents a lot of grief. I’ve also went through rehab three times and been hospitalized countless times – overdoses, ICU admissions from permanent renal and liver damage, suicide attempts during psychotic breaks.

It was chaotic.

night out

I’ve never felt that I’ve contributed much to the family and I was never really close with them even as I got older. I was in Sibu for a period of time and even then I’m always out with friends when I’m back home for the holidays and coming home just to sleep. I’ve even brought girls back in the middle of the night for noisy drunken sex and wake up the next afternoon to shower together…

…in my parents house!

I never thought of how disrespectful I was being.

I never though of how much I hurt their feelings.

I never even communicate much with them – most of the conversation goes one way – with me talking about the latest exotic drugs I’ve tried, the inevitable escapades with police that I’ve gotten away with, the girls that I’ve fucked.

I never really listened to what their needs are. It took me a loooong time before I started becoming more attuned to their needs. I’m ashamed to even put a year to when I stopped. I shudder to even think about what I’ve done now.

…but like the Biblical story, my parents have always been believed in me despite my numerous flaws and downright disgusting behavior.

My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010 and it was only then that I understood what family meant. The way our family pulled together to support her as she went through multiple surgeries, radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions taught me what being related was all about.

I’ve always thought of my mom as a nag, and didn’t spend much time listening to her at all.

mom

However, since the diagnosis, it just struck me how fast the years fly by and how little time we actually have together as a family unit.

I regret not spending more time with my mom, and I started to realize that the “relationship” that I have was basically non-existent – I was just being selfish.

I started to really spend time with my parents at that point. Instead of just gaudily flaunting my sexual exploits, I started to listen more to what they have to say. I developed a genuine interest in their life and well being.

cancer

Hell, I even start to worry about them.

I talk to them more instead of the obligatory weekly check in phone call to make sure I’m not dead or in jail.

I listen and try to get them to talk about their problems.

lung cancer

We eat together when I’m back home instead of me heading out which sad to say was common until as late as 2008.

I lounge in the living room after and chat about everything – news, politics, religion – with my parents instead of skipping out and coming home drunk in the middle of the night.

I understood the importance of just hanging out with my family – listening instead of just talking, helping out with chores at home, comforting my mom when she’s throwing up.

It’s made us into a better family unit.

birthday

I just received a birthday card from my parents (it was somehow lost until a few days ago) and it nearly brought tears to my eyes when I realized that they’ve mailed me one every single year without fail while I barely remember their birthdays.

I am truly ashamed of how I’ve behaved and I’m trying my level best to be a better son now. I visit my mom in Singapore more often, where she’s having her treatments done. We all chip in to help – not just financially but emotionally.

I really want to save up enough money to bring my parents for a trip around the world.

simple meal

They’ve worked hard in raising us and my dad still works hard and I think it would be the least that I can do. I’m actually being extremely frugal right now – limiting the times I go out, being careful with spending, saving up money so I can help out with the medical bills and especially to let my parents visit the world.

They’ve always saved up for our education and it’s time for us to give back

Not because of some attempt to seek forgiveness for past transgressions.

Not because of my ongoing mother’s fight against cancer.

Not because of guilt.

It’s because I want to, out of the love I have for them.

parents

I want them to know that someone cares, someone always will, and that someone is FAMILY.

A spoiled brat

lost

That’s what I would call myself in hindsight.

It may sound like exaggeration but it’s really not. I told them when I was in high school in New Zealand that I could support myself financially (through criminal enterprises), that I’m legally an adult there (almost 16) and I was free to do whatever I wanted.

I even said I wanted out of the family.

It took a major crisis that made me reevaluate how my relationship with my parents go and what a shitty son I am.

I’m glad that that’s all in the past and I’m really enjoying a great relationship with my parents now.

Blood runs thicker than water, after all.

The elephant in the room

elephant in room

I had a rather funny encounter during the weekend. A friend of mine walked over to the table I was at before unwittingly (and in total innocence) launching into a hearty and cheerful greeting of congratulations.

That’s it.

The proverbial elephant in the room which we were trying all night to tiptoe around, careful not to nudge it lest it wakes from its fitful slumber, while talking amicably about other stuff; has been disturbed.

My friend just sauntered in and casually pulled its trunk.

Ever had something like this happen to you before?

It was so totally unexpected that I was tongue-tied for a moment before I had a laughing fit. Heh! She didn’t know about the faux pas coz she was truly happy for us.

Sometimes, you just have to laugh. I spent a good minute in loud, teary eyed, belly shaking mirth. I can’t remember laughing this much for a long time.

It is indeed the best medicine…I’m still smiling about the unwitting and good intentioned encounter today. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. It’s pure and purifying – better than a fistful of antidepressants in therapeutic value.

Thanks Aud! :)

My dirty little secret

pregnancy

I’ve only told a few people about this. I think I can count the number of people who knows on my fingers, until now that is. I denied it ever happened at that time, but I feel that writing about the experience can be a catharsis of sorts, and it has helped me grow and improve myself in a lot of ways.

I’ve had an abortion before.

Well, not me per se, but it was a result of my actions that led to the D&C.

That’s a nice, clean, and neat clinical term which stands for Dilation & Curettage – a medical procedure that is commonly used here for first trimester abortions by widening the cervix and surgically removing the contents of the uterus i.e. the fetus by scraping or scooping it out.

I won’t name any names, this is a highly private matter and although a lot of people go through abortions everyday and think nothing of it, I felt that this had an impact on me as I went on a bit of a self destructive rampage after that.

I was brought up as a Christian and even though I’ve moved away from the church at that time, something deep inside me still tells me it’s wrong to take a life. I’m actually pro-choice, people must have the individual rights to choose.

This is just my personal experience and opinion.


Video from Project Listen

Well, the video above is about me talking about the abortion, which has shaped me into who I am now. I’ve quit drugs and for a few years was extremely promiscuous which thankfully didn’t cause any problems health wise.

I was looking through the photos from that period and honestly am horrified at what I’ve done and the sheer amount of sexual partners I’ve had. I’ve deleted incriminating photos but I remember faces from benign photos but not their names.

I don’t regret the experience, only the people I’ve hurt.

The reason I say that I don’t regret the experience is that it has slowly made me into who I am today. I don’t have sex unless I’m in a proper relationship nowadays. It’s a conscious decision I made last year and although the first relationship after that was a disaster (the girl dumped me), I still feel that honesty and transparency is the basis of a healthy relationship.

monster

I know people will judge and gleefully try and make me into some kind of monster but I don’t care coz that isn’t true now. I won’t be defensive about it and start saying stuff like “Judge not lest ye be judged yourself” coz I understand that some people need schadenfreude – to derive pleasure from other people’s suffering.

I understand that all too well, and I guess that’s why I don’t bother defending myself against the various (and sometimes utterly ridiculous) rumors about me. I’m a better person now and although that doesn’t change what I did in the past, I’m trying my best to make amends.

I’ve been doing that since last year and I’m much better off for it. I’m more sensitive and attuned to the needs of others and I’m not a player anymore.

I am still learning to be a better person. It’s kaizen – continuous improvement – and something I’m striving for every single day.

The truth about a 2008 post

truth 2008

It goes without saying that some of the stuff I chuck into the Satire/Parody category are oblique references to the truth. Here’s a prime example. It’s an open secret, just like the veritas (how ironic) “guest author” posts back in the days.

I didn’t expect so many people to take it seriously and I formulated a response that was approved by my girlfriend at that time. It wasn’t the truth.

I guess I’ll have ED from now on.

Veritas means truth in Latin. Here’s the truth.

I’m truly sorry about what happened.

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