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, December 22, 2008

Cured My Illness

I CURED MY ILLNESSS YESTERDAY by borrowing £20, going out and scoring off a different dealer. Miraculously all aches, pains, sweats, sneezes etc etc went away. I think I had indeed been under the weather anyway but a very mild state of withdrawal was compounding the issue. Compounded because it was Sunday, methadone running out. I loathe Sundays anyway... I was craving "B" all day... and so finally I got it.

I was going to try writing a post explaining the hows and wherefores of heroin because a lot of what it does seems to be counterintuitive to the ordinary person's way of viewing it. Even addicts of other drugs seem to exist in a different orbit to heroin. I remember a friend who had been in a rock band and made enough money to go nuts on cocaine for more than a year. He told me "you can't keep chasing that original high: it won't come back"... but that's not what heroin's about. It's not about excitement (that's what crack's for). Heroin blunts life's sharp edges, makes life feel manageable. The more you get into heroin the more you rely on it utterly to cope with the most basic functions of life like getting up in the morning, sleeping at night and even eating. When my habit was really bad I had great difficulty shovelling any food into my mouth unless I had a hit right beforehand (or was already stoked up enough to be stoned). The fact that I put on weight vastly during this period is testimony to how much of the heroin I was actually taking.

How on earth my eejut drugs worker, who knew all this (or should have known if only she'd asked because I was hardly keeping the extent of my habit a secret) thought I could possibly be ready for rehab when I had issues like these around the drug I have no idea. She was a famously crap worker anyhow...

Anyway life's sharp edges. They were just about all I could feel yesterday. And I had sweating bouts the like of which you would never believe. Before I got into heroin I never had problems with heavy sweats... the only exception being when I was certifiably ill with flu-type viruses. (I remember being confined to bed for a week with one bug... this was just at the time when my life was tipping down the turning point from some kind of even keel to the swirling lavatory bowl of drug addiction... I got hit by a virus of some kind and it slew me. I remember when I finally recovered enough to clamber out of bed at several days' end, the sheets swere covered in brown puddle-marks, as if someone had spilled bottle after bottle of white wine into them...

... heroin plugs into fear. It works at a "deeper" level than you'd credit unless you know an addict intimately. (why else would the habit be so exceptionally difficult to break..??) Sick or strange as this may sound, the state that heroin induces is the nearest thing most adults will ever experience to being held like a baby and gently rocked to oblivion. Just like an infant the addict comes to rely utterly on such attention. Being without heroin is a terrifying crisis situation comparable to those rare occasions (surely it's happened to us all) when, as a small child, we've inadvertently wandered off in the supermarket and lost contact with Mummy. The absolute panic is viscerally real.

Yes I know it sounds weird making these comparisons but I was musing this yesterday, trying to find something that might give ordinary people a tiny insight into the mindboggling power of this addiction. As I say it works at a deep primal level, replacing some of one's natural coping mechanisms with the glories of a foreign chemical. As soon as the chemical is withdrawn mind and body go into crisis, bereft. Suddenly there is nothing to hold on to. Without realizing it, heroin rather than any healthy sense of balance, has become the bedrock of all our stability in life. (Of course it's also the very thing making us unstable and that's the irony of drugs, heroin in particular. Your best friend is also your killer. Your soothing balm is your destroyer. When you take heroin it does not feel like a nasty substance. It doesn't even feel powerful. It feels soft and fluffy and mild. Its true effects are subtile and pervasive. In the beginning, heroin gave me effects that other people seem to get cocaine. Only the effects lasted longer than four hours from a single dose worth only a few pounds. Suddenly I had an amazing sense of confidence. There was nothing shaky, hyped=up or paranoid about the high. I felt unambushably serene... All my ills physical and mental were miraculously remedied... Suddenly life felt do-able. It's because of this all-encompassing way that heroin gets relied upon that heroin withdrawals are such an all-pervasive horror. Medical texts say silly things like "the patient should be reassured the withdrawal syndrome will not kill him and will pass within a few days" (in otherwords, Nursey: be patronizing and dismissive!) Trust me, if only the withdrawals could kill then suffering them would be a far more comforting process.

And there I think I might stop this splurge about drugs drugs drugs otherwise I might go on and on for ever...(!)

I hope YOUR weekend was a little more successful than mine. My only achievement this week has been finishing the shorthand manual I went back to (been working through it for years ~ wanted shorthand originally to be a journalist, but the fascination stayed with me even when I didn't need shorthand. The secret symbols in their cursive hooks and tangles fulfilled in me a need to doodle. I can just about take dictations at 80wpm though I need more practice to write outlines neatly at that speed. 60wpm I can do easily but then again I can type 60wpm without batting an eyelid (one word a second: I don't know whether that sounds fast or slow...)... anyway I'm going to have to go. And I bet I'm gonna wanna delete all this come tomorrow (if not just ten minutes' time)... it's all too much babble...

Sorry for that. Hope you're having a pleasant Yuletide of the Season's Greetings Ahoy Malarky!!!


Lucinda said...

I don't know how to respond to this. I feel like saying, "I agree with what you're saying," is just dumb because it's obvious that I am going to. I keep thinking back to things, and how drugs, specifically opiates but others as well, have changed my perspective. They gave me stability and control when I had none. They also took it all away. It makes everything I don't want to deal with disappear or appear in a way that I can handle. It makes me feel good, all over, and my arthritis ceases to exist. As some say, it really is the ultimate salve.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is: yes. Not that you needed to hear that. = )

Puss-in-Boots said...

I read your post, Gleds, and found it utterly terrifying. You're right, people like me, who haven't a clue about using drugs, have no idea what it's like. Anyone reading what you've described, if they had an ounce of sense, would run a mile from drugs. But there are always, always those who say "it won't happen to me".

I think it takes a lot of guts to put up a blog, such as you have, and strip drug addiction down to the bare bones. I feel for you and the countless others caught in this trap...but I would have no idea what I would do if either of my kids or any one of my grandkids had become caught up in the evil web of drugs.

You're very articulate, Gleds, and I think you could make money out of writing...

Janice said...

Hi Gledwood,

I've heard this for most of my life. I'm not addicted but I have been around those who are.

I'm sorry you felt ill enough to fall off the wagon again. The drug is a laying bitch, and you don't need it, it is what is keeping you ill. I know you feel well when you take it but that's the lie that it tells you.

Be strong the next time you hear its siren call.

I think you are strong enough to go sober.

Have a Merry Christmas and happy New Year!


Gledwood said...

Lucinda: You haven't got a habit (yet) have you? Please don't get one... Re arthritis if you've got it that young you've got the really horrible type by the sounds of it. I'm sorry. You know Curt Cobain had v similar issues with physical pain and heroin (his was stomach pain)... Can't they give you painkillers that are better? Don't American drs hand out that "oxy" stuff like sweets? They say 5mg of that is equiv to 3mg diamorph (if I remember rightly)... which makes it really strong (stronger than morphine)... Please take care of yourself...

Pussinboots: yeah but I end up whitewashing even in a subtle way when I have used and people assume I have not it's been getting more difficult just to say it...

Janice: I shall TRY!

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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