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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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!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Part 11: From Bad to Worse

LIBRA AND I remained together for over a year and a half. Which is pretty good-going
, considering that, despite my declarations that we could have gone on indefinitely, our relationship was quite obviously (in hindsight) nowehere-bound. But we stayed together, as I say, for the first year and a half of my addiction.

In this time pretty much all aspects of my life began to slide. First went my finances. The next thing to go was my housing.

Now I'd found my room in London thanks to the personal recommendation of a uni friend to a landlord who rented out a great many rooms in house shares across the local area. Not only did he charge a really reasable rent for the area but literally all was included in this - the kitchen was the best I've ever seen in a rented house. We had two bathrooms between seven of us (when he could have converted one into an extra moneyraking bedroom). Whenever anything needed doing, the workman, with whom we were on first name terms, was there usually the same day to fix it. My landlord seemed to specialize in taking in school and university leavers, artists, musicians, people starting out on all manner of careers; people launching themselves into life. In finding this room - a quiet room, one floor up at the back of the house - I had most definitely landed on my feet!

And I'd remained there a long time. I'd already been there four years when I first met Libra. As for the first year of our relationship I managed not even to "perpetuate a facade of respectability", as I was going to put it. Heroin-taking aside, I was indeed respectable. For instance, Libra actually said I was physically the cleanest person she'd ever been with. Which is so ironic considering the future course of things...

As I've said, the habit didn't really "take off" so to speak, until a year into mine and Libra's time together when I went to my family's tried to come off (well did do the entire week's "cold turkey" - only to relapse pretty drastically afterwards.) Then, faced with th eneed to earn my own money I took up begging. Took to IV injecting. Trebled my drug-intake if not immediately my habit within a week.

Of course, it is not possible to beg on the streets a couple of miles from your home without being spotted and news of your situation spreading out far and wide. I knew that all my old friends "knew" about my altered situation. But my old phone had been disconnected (thanks to a £70 bill I couldn't pay). Many had already moved on anyhow. And the rest I purposefully avoided. Financial destitution and heroin addiction and easy friendship no longer seemed to mix. If I did see them, I was convinced I'd end up sooner or later asking for money and this was unthinkable. I cherished all of my friendships. So I made a studied mve deliberately to distance myself from everyone I knew from before. That way, when I came out of what I'd still convinced myself was going to be a shortly-to-end predicament - I could pick up these friendships once more with little or no damage done. All would be fine. Well, that is what I hoped.

So what of ocurse happened was I found myself a whole new crowd on the streets. All of these people were like me. Middle class kids who'd found themselves addicted to heroin, and unwilling to fund the habit via crime, turned to begging - not only to buy our drugs, but also to eat.

I had Libra saying for up to two weeks at a time. Once a month or so I'd go back to hers for a week or so. While we were at mine we spent hours not coming out of my room. It turned into a mini opium den.

Somehow I think I've already mentioned Libra and my parting... but I'll repeat the bare facts. She eventually got "clean" on Subutex (buprenorphine) - the highest dose they'd ever given out at her clinic - so typical of Libra. She got about 28 miligrams which is more than double the dose I was eventually prescribed when I went on it ...

Libra and I inevitably grew apart after this. I suspect that she'd actually found someone else. My every instinct screamed this out at me. But she was in Norfolk; I was in London. I had no proof. The weeks she dumped me I'd been crossing the road when I got hit by a truck. This not only broke my shoulder but clonked me on the side of the head. Which knocked me into a ketamine-like hyperspace. Stcuk in dreams I couldn't break out of, I remember eventually waking puzled not to be in bed but on a roadside with a worried-looking driver breaking out of a phone call to assure me "the ambulance was on its way" ... Try as I might, the dreams snatched me away. And I was in this limbo-state all the way to hospital where amazingly I passed the concussion test and was patched up and discharged. I spent the next week barely knowing where I was and it was in this state that Libra dumped me on the phone.

Now I was alone I let one of my best freinds, who was homeless, come into my room from the streets. My landlord hadn't liked Libra very much but once this new move of mine came to light - harbouring the homeless in a petty bourgeois house! (petty, in so many words being the operative word for that house!)- this was beyond the pale. My days were seriously numbered.

To cut a long story short, my addiction to heroin was eventually well and truly found out and I was chucked out. My landlord's conscience was "clear" because my name was down for rehab at a date soon to come up.

This was a situation I pulled myself out of as soon as I plucked up the courage. And the drugs clinic actually had the cheek to try and bully me back in there! (Unlike in America where rehab does seem to be pretty much forced on certain people, the British attitude is generally that you go for yourself when and only when you are ready. What is the point in tryint to force someone? If their heart's not in it to start with, what hope have they of seeing the course to the end?

So I pulled out of rehab.
The clinic cancelled out all methadone on me.
And I was homeless.
How lovely. All at once. But I was saved from this situation for the first - but by no means the last - time by the kindness of a stranger.

More about that tomorrow ...


Sean from DocintheBox said...

Man, that's a powerful story but living in that culture, you know what I mean when I say it’s not an uncommon one. Just usually not that well told. It’s a world that runs parallel to the one that normal society lives in and it’s hard to get out without making a clean break.

gledwood said...

that's true enough!!

Daniel Thompson said...

Wow, your blog discusses some serious and interesting subjects. I find it to be educational and insightful.

I don't know if this will interest you, but you are hereby tagged for the Mutation Meme, if you wish to participate. You can read the rules here.
It's not too hard because one of the rules is you can change the rules.

Steph said...

What an awesome post.Thank you for sharing something so personal.

I'll be back ;)

Liz said...

Your story of how such a decline came about is incredible. We see it happens to people but maybe don't understand how: you're making it easier for any of us to say, 'there but for the grace of God.'

LittleJen said...

What a great post, enjoyed reading, ty for adding me to your list a fill very priveledged.
Have a great week.

Puss-in-Boots said...

I find it amazing that you can write all this down so clearly, yet at times the drugs must have been fogging your mind something chronic.

Anyway, I was pleased to see you had visited and left a comment today. It's always nice to see you.

Take care and don't let the turkeys get to you...

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. I've now added you to my blogroll.

Mousie said...

go on, speak up, write, take out of your head and heart everything that hurts...
take care dear,
love from Mousie
ps: thanks for tagging me, I'll use it in my French blog...i'll let you know...

Ellee said...

You must have thought things couldn't get worse when along came your Good Samaritan, I look forward to reading about it later.

RAFFI said...

dooood, that was deep. how bold and courageous you are for sharing such personal info. i feel like i'm reading 'the basketball diaries' x10. you should seriously consider writing a screenplay.

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

gled i keep reading in your comments how brave you are to tell your story and you are, my friend. but to me it sounds like sharing at an aa/na meeting. where you can pour your heart out in a safe place. you know? be well and don't pick up! keep writing. it's cathartic.

smiles, bee

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you again for your honesty in relating your tale, Gledwood.

IVY said...

on the edge of my seat gled..

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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