HAMSTERS & HEROIN: Not all junkies are purse-snatching grandmother-killing psychos. I'm keeping this blog to bear witness to that fact.

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DIARY OF A SLOWLY RECOVERING HEROIN ADDICT

I used to take heroin at every opportunity, for over 10 years, now I just take methadone which supposedly "stabilizes" me though I feel more destabilized than ever before despite having been relatively well behaved since late November/early December 2010... and VERY ANGRY about this when I let it get to me so I try not to.

I was told by a mental health nurse that my heroin addiction was "self medication" for a mood disorder that has recently become severe enough to cause psychotic episodes. As well as methadone I take antipsychotics daily. Despite my problems I consider myself a very sane person. My priority is to attain stability. I go to Narcotics Anonymous because I "want what they have" ~ Serenity.

My old blog used to say "candid confessions of a heroin and crack cocaine addict" how come that one comes up when I google "heroin blog" and not this one. THIS IS MY BLOG. I don't flatter myself that every reader knows everything about me and follows closely every single word every day which is why I repeat myself. Most of that is for your benefit not mine.

This is my own private diary, my journal. It is aimed at impressing no-one. It is kept for my own benefit to show where I have been and hopefully to put off somebody somewhere from ever getting into the awful mess I did and still cannot crawl out of. Despite no drugs. I still drink, I'm currently working on reducing my alcohol intake to zero.

If you have something to say you are welcome to comment. Frankness I can handle. Timewasters should try their own suggestions on themselves before wasting time thinking of ME.

PS After years of waxing and waning "mental" symptoms that made me think I had depression and possibly mild bipolar I now have found out I'm schizoaffective. My mood has been constantly "cycling" since December 2010. Mostly towards mania (an excited non-druggy "high"). For me, schizoaffective means bipolar with (sometimes severe)
mania and flashes of depression (occasionally severe) with bits of schizophrenia chucked on top. You could see it as bipolar manic-depression with sparkly knobs on ... I'm on antipsychotic pills but currently no mood stabilizer. I quite enjoy being a bit manic it gives the feelings of confidence and excitement people say they use cocaine for. But this is natural and it's free, so I don't see my "illness" as a downer. It does, however, make life exceedingly hard to engage with...

PPS The "elevated mood" is long gone. Now I'm depressed. Forget any ideas of "happiness" I have given up heroin and want OFF methadone as quick as humanly possible. I'm fed up of being a drug addict. Sick to death of it. I wanna be CLEAN!!!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Part 4

WOW: AND TO THINK I WAS DETERMINED, when I started out with this tale of mine, to fit the entire thing in one posting! I'd have been here 24 hours! Telling this story, seriously, has been so knackering... It seems to go on and on, twists an dturns. Times I was nearly clean as a whistle. Times I was dirty as a sewerage treatment facility's inflow pipe ...

Anyway; just to flesh out a point I touched on yesterday. About whether addiction can occur in a day. No it cannot. Even crack they used to say it could hook you in three smokes (why three specifically?). A psychologist in one of the Sunday papers theorized that the high of crack is so intense (way more intense than heroin, because the cocaine "rush" is somehow super-compressed, hitting the brain in a whirling, swirling tidal wave). This, they said, leaves the brain with an "engram" (a kind of peak experience memory) so powerfully compelling that the desire is inevitably to go on repeating it over and over ...

I still say that if you can only resist these thoughts they will flee from you.

This is the hardest post in this story because here I'm meant to explain how on earth I managed to go from dead square and "straight" to heroin addicted and homeless. Just bear in mind that by now, as a casual user of heroin, I was approximately halfway along that road. But heroin doesn't tolerate "casual" users very readily. A week on heroin might well be followed by a weekend of upset and tears. Another thing I failed to realize until years later was how, for example, the afternoon I resolutely decided long sleeved teeshirts were not for me because I was always too hot or too cold in them... was actually an afternoon's culmination of five days' heroin smoking "chasing" the fumes from tinfoil. My discomfort was actually the very mildest of withdrawals.

Straightforward peer pressure was not really a factor. To my straight mates no drugs were really desirable. My clubbing friends despised heroin. The addicts I knew had no wish to see me get addicted. Some would lie to me "I don't know anyone here, I score at home" (several miles away) ... and so on... I'd always been someone to keep various groups of freinds separate from one anther - most especially where drugs were involved. Water and oil do not mix. So most of my using of heroin was done alone and in secret. From the very beginning I was taking introductions to the dealers rather than relying on others to score for me. Which gave me, of course, immediate access, eventually, to a host of names.

In my flirtation with hard drugs I'd already witnessed vididly the misery and squalor in which these addicts lived. I'd seen houses in which every door had been broken by police and the walls torn open. I'd seen the tantrums, tears and misery of junkies. Though I've mentioned the inverted kind of glamour kids might perceive somehow hovering around this grungy life, I knew the realities of loneliness and cold and insecurity these people fended on a daily basis. They really were no advertisment for addiction. The heroin itself did seem somehow glamorous, perhaps because it was forbidden fruit. Knowing it could kill only added to its allure. In fact, the first time I ever tried to buy it I was suicidal. Handed over £50. And two days later got my money back to great disappointment. Because the man couldn't find it. To get heroin you need the right connexions. I collected these contacts scupulously, making multiple copies of phone numbers in the back of books, et cetera. Merely being able to get my hands on this stuff made me feel somehow special. Heroin made me feel good and sometimes fantastic. Heroin addiction, on the other hand, was absolutely terrifying. I built up huge barriers against it, always willing to suffer agonies of depression and mental defeat for a few days rather than continue using in comfort. These defences took quite some knocking down. I was often in a nihilistic enough frame of mind to play with death. But addiction was another matter entirely. That was a living death; a fate worse than .... no way!

What changed was one sullen Sunday. I'd been debating whether or not to score. I had money, yet I resisted. I had been plotting where my life should be going and heroin had no part in that plan. Money, success and leaving the country, however, very much did. Despite this, I'd been fighting all day the urge to score. I had money; I held back. Eventually I went on a lonely, despairing walk up the locla high road and past all the darkened shops. Something caught my eye by the bus stop. It was actually lying right in the furthest corner of the side of the shop: a packet of something that looked like red sweets. I did a double take and picked it up. It was not a packet of sweets.

At home I unwrapped about three and a half grams of white heroin and another seven grams of brown. (I know the weights because I later wrapped the stash in envelopes and plonked it down on post office airmail scales!)

I kept my mouth firmly shut and, to cut a long story short, despite my every best intention to do otherwise ~ used up the entire lot in just over a month.

When all that stuff was gone, I was reduced to scoring on the street. I spent £10 one evening and £20 the next. This cannot go on, I told myself, and ofund a friend with a script who sold me descending daiy methadone: 20, 19, 18 mg and so on down to five. The night after five milligrams I went to a huge all-night party, and of course got EEE'd out. Afterwards I was so exhausted that I sweated out the dregs of my habit while I slept the party off. And that was that. Kicking the habit seemed easy. I didn't quite realize then how habits come by degrees.

After my first skirmish with addiction I kept heroin very much as a once-a-week treat. But I'd drink methadone ~ enough to get stoned ~ another once or twice a week.

When, at the end of a long, stoned summer, I went to stay with friends in Norfolk I was struck by a strange virus. The symptoms weren't altogether unfamiliar. Feeling too hot; too cold. Severe night sweats. Aches and pains. Diarrhoea. During this sickness I met a girl with a ten-year heroin habit and stayed over. I was ill all night. She insisted I was "sick" (ie in withdrawals). In Brit junk speak "ill" usually means unwell as it does to normal people, e.g. with an infection; whereas "sick" means "clucking" (a word that made me laugh my head off when I first heard it) or strung out ~ ie withdrawing. I didn't agree with her but went along with the diagnosis because it meant an excuse to use. Next morning, thanks to my £10 and her dealer's wares, all symptoms evaporated. "Gear does make you better," I reasoned. It is, after all, the best painkiller in the world.

To cut a long story short: I'd found myself two partners at once. Her name was Libra. Its name you're already familiar with ~ good old heroin.

22 comments:

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

keep writing. it seems to be helping. my son was in rehab recently. the ones that are 30 days are mostly just to grab insurance money in my opinion. i am a big believer in n/a and getting a sponsor and the 12 step program. any interest?

smiles, bee

zen wizard said...

Whoa--you should write a book about this stuff!

gledwood said...

I did get a sponsor about coming up to 2 years ago... he was a nice guy ... only problem was he was "only" about a year or 2 clean... still had issues... was v flattered to have been asked... but I realized we were at crosspurposes quite a lot and my enthusiasm waned... this time i'm looking at non 12 step rehabs bc i want to see what other approaches they have...

gledwood said...

thanxx zen wiz i might do ...

wow did u realize u just commented at about precisely the same moment i just did? bc your comment wasn't there 1 second b4 ...!

although the clock claims differently. but everything's going pretty pair shaped this evening...

righty-ho i'm off to sleep...

TOM said...

Gledwood, I hope you can walk away from this, you are a god writer and your stories , some parts of which sound a way to familiar in terms of my own life, might help someone choose heroine as there life partner..

TOM said...

okay, I meant good writer...Not GOD

TOM said...

Damn, why doesn't blogger give us a chance to edit...I'm tired and apparently daft...your stories could help someone know better than to choose heroin as their life partner!!

RUTH said...

It must have been traumatic writing all this Gleds and reliving what brought you to the point in your life that you've arrived at now. I hope in some slight way this "revealing all" will give you the strength to show heroin the door.
Rx

mutleythedog said...

I hope you keep telling this as it is Gledwood, you are saying important and valuable things.

Alexys Fairfield said...

Gledwood,
After having a former roommate who was a junkie and witnessing her downward spiral, I know what you went through was not easy, but I am glad that you seem to have come through it. Stay well.

Puss-in-Boots said...

Gleds, that has to be the scariest thing I've read. I just hope that writing all this down really helps you.

Take the rehab...you never know, you may discover the strength to stay off the drugs this time.

All the best to you, Gleds, and thanks for sharing your journey. It may wake someone up, one day.

Audrey said...

I read your story Gledwood and always feel there is a Gledwood that wants to rise above the s**t that heroin has brought despite its blinding charm and promise,the impermanent false sense of peace and calm and new heights.

If I would wish you anything it would be that through expressing your experience and reading the responses you discover and really desire to give that part of Gledwood the chance to claim with both hands the life thats waiting for you, truly deserved, not easy, a true challenge but worthy of every ounce of determination youve got x Auds

Audrey said...

Also that you do find the approach that works for YOU, then the true voyage of discovery begins x

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks for sharing, Gleds. It was seductive, entrancing and it made you think you could control it. I think all of us get into trouble when we are lulled into thinking we can control a situation when we really can't. But now that you know its tricks, you can beat it. I hope you will get the help you need to beat it. You could give so much more and get so much more out of life if you were free.

Akelamalu said...

When you get clean you should have all this published, it should then be given to all 11 year olds ready to go on to senior school so that they will be aware of the dangers of drugs. You would make the perfect counsellor once clean because you know what drugs can do.

Wayward Son said...

In many ways your journey is so different and in many ways it is quite similar to mine. (though vastly different substances) I totally understand the thought that being clean is becoming much more attractive than the brief respite that being high will bring. It took a while for that to fully sink in for me. First intellectually, then emotionally. After that I decided that being clean was worth the try.

I am going to suggest that you find a way to believe your plan for your recovery will not only work but that it will be "approved". If at first it isn't, approach the same people from a different angle. Get knocked down again? Try again. If you keep coming back to them with same plan you desire, they will eventually see you have the tenacity most don't to fulfill that desire. (you'll also show yourself the same tenacity) If you make yourself believe it will work, it will and on all levels. Wear them out. Out last their objections. They will have to acquiesce eventually. That's just how it works.

Even Rupert Murdoch still has to hammer away at his goals. Against much resistance, he is trying to buy The Dow-Jones, who owns The Wall Street Journal, the last semi-independent voice in news here. Oh well, there goes the fourth estate in its entirety. But the example he sets in getting what he wants is a good one to follow. Just don't try and rule the world.

I'm keeping up with the story here.

WS

Oceanshaman said...

I'm in the program, gled, I've worked the steps, and I'm living in 10, 11, and 12 . . .

Keep and open mind with the whole thing . . .

I'm a hippie child with eastern leanings, which wierds some out where I live locally . . .

But I like my exotic, ancient, all-encompassing higher power, and my strange ways of approaching this, though unique, are helping me stay sober . . .

Find YOUR way to sobriety . . .

AintNeverScared said...

OMG, our similarities never end, those of our stories especially! My life was the same way (I'm getting scared now, because I don't wish to end up addicted or homeless...I've been one once already!). I always had friends who would use together but would keep ME out of it for whatever reason, like I was too "good and pure." Had to make all my own connections and resources. Everything in secret.

AintNeverScared said...

I've now finished the entire History, through part 5. This post does present a problem -- it's always hard to maintain TWO relationships, one with your drug and one with your partner. Even if the partner loves your drug too. I have been thinking about that recently as a motivator to fight off these recent slip-ups due to some recent access.

Diesel said...

Man, this was amazing.

You don't know how disappointed I was to find out that "scupulously" is not a word, though. Seriously, I looked it up. I was like, damn, that's going to be my new word! I thought it meant "sneakily" or something.

I guess you meant scrupulously. Oh well. Spell-checking would prevent any future letdowns of this sort. :)

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I WANT OFF METHADONE AS QUICK AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!

METHADONE ~ A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH







Heroin Shortage: News

If you are looking for the British Heroin Drought post, click here; the latest word is in the comments.







Christiane F

"Wir, Kinder vom Bahnhoff Zoo" by "Christiane F", memoir of a teenage heroin addict and prostitute, was a massive bestseller in Europe and is now a set text in German schools. Bahnhoff Zoo was, until recently, Berlin's central railway station. A kind of equivalent (in more ways than one) to London's King's Cross... Of course my local library doesn't have it. So I'm going to have to order it through a bookshop and plough through the text in German. I asked my druggieworker Maple Syrup, who is Italiana how she learned English and she said reading books is the best way. CHRISTIANE F: TRAILER You can watch the entire 120-min movie in 12 parts at my Random blog. Every section EXCEPT part one is subtitled in English (sorry: but if you skip past you still get the gist) ~ to watch it all click HERE.

To See Gledwood's Entire Blog...

DID you find my blog via a Google or other search? Are you stuck on a post dated some time ago? Do you want to read Gledwood Volume 2 right from "the top" ~ ie from today?
If so click here and you'll get to the most recent post immediately!

Drugs Videos

Most of these come from my Random blog, which is an electronic scrapbook of stuff I thought I might like to view at some time or other. For those who want to view stuff on drugs I've collected the very best links here. Unless otherwise stated these are full-length features, usually an hour or more.

If you have a slow connexion and are unused to viewing multiscreen films on Youtube here's what to do: click the first one and play on mute, stopping and starting as it does. Then, when it's done, click on Repeat Play and you get the full entertainment without interruption. While you watch screen one, do the same to screens 2, 3 and so on. So as each bit finishes, the next part's ready and waiting.

Mexican Black Tar Heroin: "Dark End"

Khun Sa, whose name meant Prince Prosperous, had been, before his death in the mid 2000s, the world's biggest dealer in China White Heroin: "Lord of the Golden Triangle"

In-depth portrait of the Afghan heroin trade at its very height. Includes heroin-lab bust. "Afghanistan's Fateful Harvest"

Classic miniseries whose title became a catchphrase for the misery of life in East Asian prison. Nicole Kidman plays a privileged middle-class girl set up to mule heroin through Thai customs with the inevitable consequences. This is so long it had to be posted in two parts. "Bangkok Hilton 1" (first 2 hours or so); "Bangkok Hilton 2" (last couple of hours).

Short film: from tapwater-clear H4 in the USA to murky black Afghan brown in Norway: "Heroin Addicts Speak"

Before his untimely death this guy kept a video diary. Here's the hour-long highlights as broadcast on BBC TV: "Ben: Diary of a Heroin Addict". Thanks to Noah for the original link.

Some of the most entertaining scenes from Britain's top soap (as much for the poor research as anything else). Not even Phil Mitchell would go from nought to multi-hundred pound binges this fast: "Phil Mitchell on Crack" (just over 5 minutes).

Scientist lady shows us how to cook up gear: "How Much Citric?" Lucky cow: her brown is 70% purity! Oddly we never see her actually do her hit... maybe she got camera shy...

And lastly:

German documentary following a life from teenage addiction to untimely death before the age of 30. The decline in this girl's appearance is truly shocking. "Süchtig: Protokoll einer Hilflosigkeit". Sorry no subtitles; this is here for anyone learning German who's after practice material a little more gripping than Lindenstraße!































Nosey Quiz! Have you ever heard voices when you weren't high on drugs?

Manic Magic

Manic Magic

Gledwood Volume 2: A Heroin Addict's Blog

Copyright 2011 by Gledwood