Addicted to heroin at 14, Jix Sze is now rehabilitated and an author and professional consultant at 60
Words by Felise Seah | Photos by Jix Sze
At 60-years-old, Jix Sze makes a living by being a professional training consultant. He didn’t get here so easily though, he says it was through grit, perseverance and a strong faith in religion.
Although behind every success story lies a buried past that most would rather not speak of, Jix Sze was receptive to shedding some light on his wild past with vice and secret societies.
As a teenager, Jix Sze was the antithesis to being calm. “I was hyperactive, short fused, and had a fiery temper. I also never liked studying in those years,” he says. Jix Sze was also affiliated with friends who were members of secret societies and pseudo street gangs although he was not a gangster. He was simply drawn to the 70s hippie culture of smoking pot, drugs, dressing trends, etc.
Jix Sze recalls first experimenting with MX pills and marijuana, he then progressed to heroin and became an addict at 14. “I knew I was addicted to drugs when in my daily life I could not live without it,” he shares. He took on odd jobs and even robbed off the streets in order to fund his addiction. It eventually led him to peddle heroin.
When Jix Sze was 19, he sought help from a halfway house for his addiction that helped him keep the addiction away for two weeks. He left thinking that he had the power and confidence to fend off any temptations or prevent a relapse, but all it took was a phone call from an old friend to yank him back to his malicious heroin smoking pill popping habits. Since then, Jix Sze’s relapse got increasingly perilous and his consumption became heavier.
In that same year, he was arrested for purchasing heroin from an undercover anti-narcotic officer. Jix Sze was locked up in a police station cell incarcerated and he even underwent a urine sample testing before being released later that night. He was asked to return seven days later for the result of the test. Jix Sze was in mental distress as he came to a realisation that the fate of his future would be living in a dark and deplorable cell. Hamstrung by the lack of solutions, he made a deal with God to turn his urine test result negative and walk a new life next to God.
“Seven days later, I got my urine test result and it miraculously turned out negative. I was stunned by the result, but I told myself, I must believe that what I had asked for has really happened and it is real. That was the defining moment of my life and will forever be,” he shares.
After Jix Sze’s turnaround with delinquency and addiction, he had to work as an odd job labourer and an office-boy, as he was only PSLE-certified and was poor in English then.
His latest achievement to date was attaining a Master’s Degree in Training and Development from Griffith University in Australia when he was 58. Apart from being a professional trainer, he is also the author of Chasing the Dragon Out - a book that entails the ordeals and hardships that shaped him into the person he is today.
Asked if he has any regrets, he says: “Yes, those seven years of delinquency and drug addiction was a wasted opportunity for a meaningful development in my life that can never be re-lived.”
Since that defining moment, Jix Sze never stopped reflecting on how it was just like a cliffhanger. His path in life could have gone either way - between the continuation of his past life or the beginning of a new life.
As an adolescent, Jix Sze might have been misguided, lost his bearings a little but his defining moment unfolded an opportunity to transform and walk a new path in life again. He was offered a life line from being entrapped in a despairing cycle with a reason to inspire people’s lives with his own narrative.