Skip to content

Stories of Lakeside

Choon Lye 4

Choon Lye

I got to know Choon Lye when he was assigned as my supervisee. He’s 66 years old, reserved but friendly once you get to know him. He served long prison sentences for repeated drug offences and is estranged from most of his family. But I’m glad he’s humble and open to counselling. We built trust and rapport over our monthly sessions, where I could hear his heart on the challenges he faced in a difficult journey of recovery.


Each time he was released from prison, he would have a relapse. 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. Eventually, experience taught him he could not sustain this journey alone. Choon Lye acknowledged his vulnerability to loneliness, emptiness, and past hurts that would trigger him to use drugs to cope. Having personal determination and resolve is important, but it’s easy to succumb to addiction without strong after-care support from the community.  

I found out that he became a Christian in 1994, and rediscovered his faith while attending chapel in prison. Since he was eager to attend church, I connected him to a community of peers who shared the same faith. I was amazed at his energy and enthusiasm. How delighted he looked as he sang the songs he knew and chatted with friends his age! At a cycling and lunch outing, he was happy to find ex-offenders he could relate to. He had waited so long to share his life with others. Now, he has even cut down his smoking to half a pack a day.  

Choon Lye told me: “I must continue to walk into the church on Sundays. I will be strong in this community, which is my support and protection. And when I have recovered, I want to go back and strengthen those who struggle and help them to recover too. My life is of value and has a meaning and a purpose.”  

Other Stories

View All Stories