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!

Monday, July 21, 2008

What now?

Part I
GOOD AFTERNOON ALL. The druggie part of today's post lies herebelow in italics. {CORRECTION: IT WILL BE ADDED TOMORROW}... I would strongly advise caution ~ or simply not to read it ~ to anyone in recovery whose poisons were heroin or crack or the so-called speedballing mixture of the two...

I never know quite what to say or what not to say when it comes to my drugs
but they are, for better (hey what am I saying: for WORSE!), still the central axis of my life and despite what steps I may have taken away from the most intense times now past, the obsession is very much still there (under, perhaps, an occasional virginally pure-seeming layer of thin snowfall)... very much still my addiction.

Recently I feel I've hardly discussed anything else.

I feel I've come close to, and perhaps have been circling, some kind of turning point or crux.

Remember when I described a day things got so bad I actually felt REVULSION and AVERSION in place of what ordinarily plagues me:~ a near-constant magnetic attraction (for ever there, only to be activated by a simple suggestion, or an image, or a thought. (Hence my warning hereabove to those walking the thorny path to freedom: be careful of part II!)

Looking back over my life ~ the recent years of shadow ~ a shameful near-relentless emotional carcrash of a life plays out before me. Interviews by those who have put out memoirs of their own drinking and/or drugging or the books themselves, have freaked me out. I know it's hardly a competition, but I've reached the stage now where my own experiences are so much darker and more sordid and more despairing than anything these people have seen fit to reveal. Most of them seemed to hit a supposed "rock bottom" (I use inverted commas for I never felt any solidity below my feet there, merely the unbearable crush of the mega-gravity of an emotional black hole where everything's so intense it's become unbearable. I have come time and time again to such states where I just cannot go on. Just want to die. And yet on I have dragged myself ~ on and on in the dark. On despite teh soul-destroying gravity and depravity. And I've carried on using. Barely ever have I denied myself when I really "wanted" to use. I do methadone days now because I cannot bear returning to the chaos of hitting up morning, noon and night, hitting up for breakfast, to eat and to sleep... never feeling any confidence my raging need was going to be fulfilled, never knowing for sure where my next hit was coming from and yet knowing beyond any shadow of doubt that within little more than eight hours of the last one I'd start to need it. I crossed so many barriers and bridges on the Way Down, gave up so completely the remaining semblences of dignity ~ that I just do not know how I can do whatever it takes to fight out of this, get out of this. Break free. I ahd so very many aversions, self-warnings, self-cautions to break down to get here, that once the transgression's accomplished, my only refuge from the shame of knowing how polluted I am has been drugs, more drugs and more of them. I still hate myself even when I'm high. But when I'm low I can't live at all. And I don't live. I barely survive. I need to learn so desperately how...

I need coping mechanisms so bad. One at a time, as I cast the old echoes of my former life off, as I slithered ever lower down the pit, so I lost nearly everything.

Now I just want it back.

What do I do?
I'm asking: does anyone really know?
What ~ please ~ what on earth do I do now?
Somebody help me, please!

Thorn Birds the love theme as played out on "the beach scene"...

The book was a massive international hit when it came out in the late 1970s. The only romantic novel I have ever managed to read to the end...

Then the TV adaptation starring Richard Chamberlain as the Priestley Lover, was a huge success when broadcast in the early 80s.

How many of you remember this, the Love Theme music...?

All these years later and still it has not gone out of my mind!


Eileen said...

Man, your post wrenched at my heart. I wish that you were over here so that we could make a plea to that TV show Intervention and have them come wisk you away to an expensive rehab facility so you can get the help that you so desperatley need.

Do you have family or any straight friends that you can turn to? Are there any places that you can go to in England that will work to get you off the drugs and help you out psychologically? The two most definatley go hand in hand.

I am sorry, I don't have any answers for you neither do I have any frame of reference for addiction. I hope someone out there can offer you some words of wisdom.

Gledwood said...

Thanks for the answer anyway...

family they have troubles of their own and by no means the money for posh private treatment... also I've shown myself expert at running out the door whenever the whim took me previously and I'm definitely into PLANNING it next time (didn't know where I was going to go/what I was going to do after I got out last time... which is a big deal as I was in a codependent type relationship the counsellor there said YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP and yet she would not recognize, would not see anything was amiss...

I don't think we have that Intervention show... though it may well be on satellite/cable

hey what we are supposed to be getting on Sky satellite channel 800-&-something is a Recovery Channel... I would get a dish just for that! How amazing would that be if they did manage to put it out!


sally in norfolk said...

wow the thorn birds i loved the too and have it on DVD please take care x

sietske said...


I've been reading your blog for a while, but never commented, but having read this entry, I feel the need to say something. I'm not an addict myself, but my partner is an addict, and I have been with him when he was using, and also through his ongoing recovery - it has been a bumpy road. I suppose I can also imagine a bit the kind of environment that you are in, as well as the services available to you, because for the worst years of his addiction we lived in East London (moved away now, thankfully) - and it was awful. The local services were basically set up to fuel his addiction, and so many times I felt that we were written off by hospital staff and outreach workers, etc. That no matter who we begged for help, no one was willing to take a chance on us.

Anyway, as I read your post, I was thinking about Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative, one of the most basic premises of which is that because human beings have the ability to reason, it is never acceptable to use them as the means to an end. I know that as addiction takes hold, the addict reaches a procession of crossroads about whether to honour his own intrinsic dignity, or whether to use his body and his life as a means to an end. I watched my partner break through these barriers of degradation, to get used to ignoring the quiet voice inside that told him that it was wrong to treat himself with such violence.

In order to get on with his recovery, he had to retrace those steps, to re-learn how to honour himself, and to develop a strong enough sense of himself as a worthwhile human being that he could hold onto that knowledge even through his ambivalence about recovery - and there is ambivalence. You will need to think about this too, Gleds, to re-visit those choices that you made along the way and to develop a sense of yourself that is grounded in an understanding of your intrinsic dignity. You have to figure out how to think of yourself in a way that allows you to nurture yourself (physically and spiritually). Addiction is about violence and misery and self-loathing, but you are much more than that, and you need to figure out how to honour the whole of who you are.

On a more practical note, it is very, very hard to make a real change when you are constantly surrounded by people who are using. For years, my partner only had friends who he related to through getting high. When he went into recovery, we moved, and although we didn't move because of his recovery, it ended up being a great thing because he was away from his dealers, drug buddies etc, and he could develop sober friendships for the first time in his adult life. I know that you might not be able to just pick up and move, but if you are serious about cleaning up, you will need to re-examine all of your relationships. They will change when you are sober.

Finally, I think that a desire for heroin becomes a proxy for anything else that you may be feeling, and your relationship with heroin becomes a proxy for all other relationships. Part of recovery is about understanding your feelings for what they are, and learning to deal with the complexity.

I know that none of this really helps much, but I want you to know that it is possible to come out the other side, that you can learn to lead a different kind of life. I have seen it, so I know that it is possible. It seems to me that you are on the cusp of letting it go, of starting to re-build.

Be gentle with yourself, but also be tough.


Baino said...

Gleds Sietske has said it all but I think there is much to be said for leaving the environment you're in. Don't wait to hit rock bottom I know you have moments where you want to shake this thing off however short they might be. I often wondered where your family was. My brother in law's brother managed to get clean by moving back with his parents (at 40 I might add) they supported him, he moved from his addictive circle of friends and religiously followed his methodone program . . he's been clean for 3 years. Please seek out help don't wait for it to come to you. Here's a start http://www.drug-rehab.ca/londonrehabcenter.htm
or here http://www.ldan.org.uk/

Puss-in-Boots said...

Oh, Gledwood, your heart felt cry really distressed me. I wish I could give you some help, but I don't know what I could do. I'm glad you wrote about it, though. I'm a firm believer that putting things in writing can quite often clarify the way forward. I hope this is the case for you.

Please know that I am thinking of you and sending healing your way.


Anonymous said...

I've been having a horrible day of cravings myself. Some days it seems like everything is just screaming at you to pick up your works, but I try to focus on the fact that it will pass. Haha, I don't know, it seems like everyday is just like yesterday, and no matter how long I leave between using I always run back. I haven't taken a shot since January, but that doesn't seem to matter. This really isn't any help, I didn't read the second half of your blog cause you said not to (figured that it probably wouldn't help my mind set). I don't know, I just felt like saying something, it feels like I'm floating alone out here sometimes. I'm pretty young and I've kinda already fucked up my life, but I'm working on it. That's all you can do. Stay strong and try to focus on the future, I know it's hard, but you gotta at least try. = )
I wish you the best.

Bimbimbie said...

Hi Gleds, I'm so pleased Sietske and Baino have been able to give you some
constructive advice from their family experiences. Your case worker seems to be seeing things clearly with you can you perhaps print this last post out for her to read?

Perhaps she can help you with your wish to teach English TEFL and get you in touch with the right people to get the certificate you need.

Gleds, be kind on yourself, Smiles x

Anonymous said...

Hi Gledwood. Your words, "What do I do? I'm asking: does anyone really know? What ~ please ~ what on earth do I do now? Somebody help me, please!" are the strongest I have read on any blog or anywhere. You have strength and hope Gledwood. All has been recommended above in comments. I wish you the VERY BEST in taking the practical steps advised. Always thinking of you...

Monogram Queen said...

I am so sorry you are in a bad place Gleds. Eileens post was very good.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I join the others in sending you good thoughts and encouragement. Sometimes you have to be willing to accept help and not try to do it all yourself. I have not done drugs but I have known the downward spiral of depression. For me, personal resolve to get better, and support of friends and the unconditional love of God were the vital ingredients. I do pray that you will find victory and peace.

Eileen said...

Post Script:

I don't know much about addiction (cigarettes aside) but I have been in dark places before. I wasn't able to find a way out until I learned how to release the guilt that I was carrying around and begin to love myself again. I think that using drugs to the degree that you do is just another way of cutting yourself up because you feel so horrible about where you are. Sietske's words are gold, your envrionment is crucial to your recovery, you are what you eat etc. If your whole world is centered around drugs and the type of life that it brings with it, it is harder to be able to keep your neck above the water.

In the mean time, you seem to have many people of sound mind here in your internet community that are routing for you to get yourself out of this mess, that must count for something.

P.S.S: I got a C average in my Intro to Psych course in University so don't listen to me ;)

Gledwood said...

What can I say?
Thank you for that!

I wasn't sure, when I asked, that anyone could say anything... and yet you did...
So thank you all again...

Whitenoise said...

Gled- keep going to NA. There are good people there who have already blazed your trail, you only need to follow them.

Good luck, buddy.

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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