A Journey of meth addiction and Recovery with Tue-Si Nguyen

A Vietnam Podcast Season 10 welcomed Tue-si, a recovery advocate and former crystal meth addict who has overcome addiction and is now the COO of a digital marketing agency. 

Tue-Si Nguyen shared his journey from crystal meth addiction to recovery, resilience, and self-forgiveness. Despite facing health challenges and hospitalization, Tue-Si emphasized the importance of courage, support systems, and taking responsibility.

His story is a source of motivation and advice for those struggling with difficulties. See his transformation from addiction to CEO, highlighting the power of resilience and self-growth, I believe you will get some good advice!

Key Takeaways:

1. The importance of seeking support and surrounding oneself with non-judgmental individuals during recovery.

2. The need for self-forgiveness and taking responsibility for one’s actions in the healing process.

3. The role of trauma in addiction and the courage required to confront and define one’s traumas.

4. The value of implementing healthy routines and finding alternative coping mechanisms.

5. The ongoing nature of recovery and the acceptance of potential setbacks or relapses along the journey.

Tue-Si’s Struggle with Addiction

Tue-Si’s battle with addiction began in 2017 when he was offered crystal meth at a party. He initially resisted, but after another encounter with the drug in Canada, he became hooked. or Tue-Si, the drug offered a liberating escape from inhibitions, allowing him to shed layers of self-consciousness and embrace a sense of freedom he had craved. 

However, this freedom came at a cost. It also showed a darker side of him that had been hidden for years due to his insecurities and fears. 

He candidly reflected on this period as simply “bad,” a time characterized by relentless drug use that gradually eroded his well-being. The highs provided temporary relief from underlying insecurities and fears, but the lows plunged him into a cycle of dependency that seemed insurmountable.

His rock bottom was in 2019, and he came to Vietnam with the will to die. However, something shifted within him. He began to realize the consequences of his choices. Building on the foundation of taking responsibility and prioritizing his mental health, he found the courage to confront the gravity of his situation. 

“When you’re at rock bottom as a drug addict, you’ll know. Cause, as I explained it, there is that choice that you have to make. And when you’re ready to look up, then I have plenty of advice.”
– Tue-Si on reaching the turning point in addiction.

The Importance of Getting Insurance and The Healthcare System in Vietnam

I mentioned the importance of health insurance, especially for foreigners. I shared my own experience at a government hospital in Hoi An. I acknowledged my privilege of having insurance, which granted me access to prompt medical attention when needed. In contrast, many Vietnamese locals and expatriates without insurance may face challenges accessing healthcare, relying on government hospitals that may not always meet the same standards as private facilities.

Tue-Si reflected on his journey outside the conventional healthcare system, particularly in Vietnam where he lacked insurance. Despite the challenges, he expressed gratitude for the life-saving care he received during his critical illness. He contrasted this with the hypothetical scenario of facing similar health issues in Canada without insurance, acknowledging that such circumstances could have been dire. 

I made an episode about health insurance in Vietnam with the Vietnam Is Awesome Podcast, check it out!

Building New Habits: Your Pillars of Recovery

Recovery is a journey, and establishing healthy routines is like building strong pillars to support you along the way. These routines create a sense of stability and predictability, which can be especially comforting when facing cravings or triggers.

Tue-Si explains his need for a small dose of daily intensity to manage cravings. Crystal meth addiction stemmed from this desire for intense pleasure. He found healthy alternatives like ice baths (5 minutes daily) and intense breathing exercises (10 minutes daily) to replace the negative highs. These practices provided a mini-high that helped him resist cravings. 

For Tue-Si, ice baths offered a sense of accomplishment, resilience training, and a wake-up call. He emphasizes it’s a personal choice and may not work for everyone.

Offering advice to addicts is difficult. He emphasized the importance of a strong support system with people who listen without judgment. He also acknowledged that relapses happen, but building healthy habits is key to long-term recovery.

Understanding Trauma and the Path to Healing

Today, we often hear the word “trauma” tossed around, sometimes losing its true meaning in everyday talk. But Tue-Si’s honest story of fighting addiction brings this word back into focus, showing us how deeply it affects real people’s lives. His journey reminds us that trauma isn’t just a concept; it’s a heavy weight that shapes our lives in big ways.

Recovering from trauma isn’t simple. It takes being aware of yourself, being kind to yourself, and being strong. Tue-Si’s journey shows us how brave you have to be to face deep wounds and start healing. By admitting the pain of past hurts and getting help, people can start to heal and move toward discovering themselves again.

Reflecting on his own struggles, Tue-Si emphasized that it wouldn’t have taken much to prevent his health crisis and that the solution didn’t require anything extravagant—just courage and reaching out for help. In recovery, having a strong support network isn’t just helpful; it’s essential. It’s about finding people who understand without condemnation, and who offer empathy and practical assistance. For Tue-Si, this network included friends, colleagues, and healthcare professionals who helped him through his recovery journey.

Support and Non-judgmental individuals in Recovery

In the conversation, Tue-Si emphasized the crucial role of having a strong support system during recovery from addiction. He highlighted that recovery was not a solitary journey and underscored the importance of being surrounded by individuals who offered non-judgmental support. According to Tue-Si, the right support system comprised people who were willing to listen without shaming or judging, regardless of how broken or illogical one’s experiences and emotions might have seemed.

This supportive environment was essential because it allowed individuals in recovery to express their deepest pain and vulnerabilities. Tue-Si pointed out that simply being heard and validated could be profoundly healing. He stressed that true support came from those who could sit with you through your pain, acknowledge the depth of your struggles, and offer empathy rather than quick fixes or judgmental advice.

Tue-Si’s insights revealed that the presence of such supportive relationships could make a significant difference in overcoming addiction and building a healthier, more resilient life.

The Power of Vulnerability and Self-Forgiveness

Central to Tue-Si’s story was the theme of vulnerability and self-forgiveness. As he dealt with the consequences of his past actions, he showed how important it was to own up to one’s mistakes and seek forgiveness, both from others and from oneself. Tue-Si’s journey highlighted the importance of humility and self-reflection in the recovery process, showing that true healing began with honestly facing one’s past.

By embracing vulnerability and learning to forgive themselves, people could free themselves from the shame and guilt that often came with addiction. Tue-Si’s story was a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the possibility of redemption, even when facing huge challenges. By embracing vulnerability and learning to forgive themselves, people could free themselves from the shame and guilt that often came with addiction. 

Conclusion

Tue-Si’s story was a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the possibility of redemption, even when facing huge challenges. 

By sharing his experiences, Tue-Si provided valuable insights and motivation for anyone struggling with their own difficulties. I hope you have found some inspiration in his story! For more powerful narratives and insights, follow A Vietnam Podcast for future episodes.

“When you’re at rock bottom as a drug addict, you’ll know. Cause, as I explained it, there is that choice that you have to make. And when you’re ready to look up, then I have plenty of advice.”
– Tue-Si on reaching the turning point in addiction.

Leave a Comment