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!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Most Popular Trotters!

MY HAMSTERS GOT way more Youtube hits than the 10 or 20 I was expecting: 78 HITS in 24 hours! Whether these came mostly via my blog (which gets a goodly number of hits nowadays, however most of them are image searches and people googling stuff that really has little to do with "me"). The number of "real" hits: ie people who know me or people looking for a smackhead's blog, cannot number, I reckon, more than 70 on a very good day. In fact I suspect the figure's closer to 25 or 35 a day... So where on earth these hamster hits came from I'd love to know...

Now finally I have a proper "dual diagnosis" assessment interview booked with the nut-nut nursey, plus I'm due to go to an official drug service dual diagnostic group session.

Basically I've been forced into attending these groups with names like relapse-prevention etc etc. They used to do what they called a "crack workshop", which I did visit on a few occasions, but had to keep my mouth shut. Everyone else made out they were the type who'd go kamikaze on the supermarket for one £10 stone... would smoke crack before getting heroin, even if it meant being sick and "prang" (rattled and paranoid) and penniless and "clucking" for a hit of "B" (brown heroin). Situations I would never in a million years get myself into. I learned long long ago that heroin had to come first at all costs. No matter how much I'd rather be doing something else, whether that meant smoking crack, watching television or eating because i was starving, rustling up heroin money took priority. So entrenched was this in my mind that I don't remember EVER over the 10 years of my addiction being sick for heroin without having money to pay for it. Or being in possession of methadone or "DFs" (dihydrocodeine pills) or something that would cure my sickness, however unenthusiastic I might have been about taking it.

I'm not saying for a minute I never went gear-sick. I was sick loads of times. But it always came down to the dealer dillydallying over time, or it being night and my dealers only served up during daylight hours. (Loads of dealers work through the wee hours, mostly supplying the late-night crack market, but I never rated their wares when it came to heroin...)

I need to see a psychiatrist about these longstanding mood problems of mine. In dealing with psychiatric doctors, nurses and drug workers, generally I've taken the line of least resistance, never mentioning anything unless specifically asked. Never making any suggestions. Treating appointments on a get out the door as quick as you can basis... This has led to some pretty major misunderstanding, I have come to realize, having googled personal experiences not mentioned to such "professionals".

I really need to fess up the severe problems I've had from antidepressants. They either don't work. Or make me feel so weird I'm hallucinating. Or make me hyperactive enough to have been called "bipolar" on several occasions.

In fact it is the dreaded "bipolar" word I've long avoided even going near in conversation. My googling leads me to suspect I might be what they call "bipolar ii" (severe and milder depressions and mild mania) or "bipolar spectrum" (not clinically bipolar but closer to it than most people. It's the fact that those who've accused me of being "hypomanic" were folks with 1st-hand experience of the illness that makes me slightly worried. Also my depression fits to a T the so-called "atypical" depression "bipolar ii" sufferers typically get. That is depression with severe over-sleeping, rather than insomnia. Over-eating. A "reactive" mood rather than a depressed flatline (ie I usually can cheer up to an extent no matter how bad I feel. The problem is the depression crashes back over me within minutes of these little lifts... and so the misery goes on. The other aspect was something they called something like "hyper sensitivity to personal rejection" which I only get when depressed. It means I get into a real tailspin over small issues of friendship... and blah blah.

The nut nut nurse told me opiates make powerful antipsychotics, which is something a few of us knew anyway. E.g. one of my best friends claims to have come off years of lithium (again for bipolar, of course) having switched to heroin and methadone. I myself noticed my moods, which were up and down in and out like the tides of the sea before I got into daily heroin, were flattened out for years and still are far flatter than they were. Here's a link on the issue:

Methadone has potent mood-stabilizing, antipsychotic properties.

And another one:

Antidepressant-induced hypomania.

Oh I don't know where I've meandered to in all this chat. I hope today's navel-gazing isn't TOO annoying, but I've issues I need to face up to, but never do. I've made myself an expert at under-carpet-brushing. When I'm in appointments I just want to run out as soon as possible, and so anything not strictly on our "agenda" gets studiedly ignored...

The crux of my situation is that for YEARS, since childhood I've had ongoing (but episodic) depression problems. I don't feel I've ever had a proper diagnosis despite quite a few encounters with psychiatrists. Over most of the time I've kept this blog I've been depressed either mildly or more severely. It's just lovely definitely NOT to be down and to be normal ~ like I am this week. The senior groups worker came running up to me yesterday saying "I heard you're giving out loads of positive energy ~ and I see it too". See. This is the real me. But so so many people THINK they know me, yet have only ever seen the depressed me. THAT is why I really feel this issue needs "addressing" properly. Then, who knows, I might have a real "crack" at normal life!!
Right I'm going to shut up now.

I started a new "6 degrees of separation" blog hop
this afternoon. (Though it's FAR more than 6 skips most times till you find someone you know.) Starting by googling "fruit shortcake blog" (always include blog in the searchwords), you get to a random blog. You could even use a newspaper/something to find random words to google. Find a blog you don't know and following the comments jump jump jump between blogs till you find a blogger you know! Doing this can lead to the most wondrous places... wondrous faces...
Starting at spluch.blogspot...
I never knew Niagara falls froze over in winter! Here at davehartland.blogspot are the most amazing photos of said phenomemon...
OK so far I've done about 8 hops and am nowhere near anyone I even vaguely know... stopped at Aaron Lundberg's blog "assessing the impact"

PS DOES ANYONE ever click on BloggerGoogle's "blogs of note" as trailed on the signing in/out screen?
I only had done a couple of times, until the other day my friend Mousie's blog Plumpiemousie came up. Plumpiemousie happens to be the very first blog I ever visited after getting online. Plumpiemousie is where it all began!
Here's a pretty amazing photo blog of London I found: Fresh Eyes On London


Jeannie said...

So, am I hearing then, that you have been self-medicating for all these years with heroin and methadone (whether or not you realized it)? Maybe? So if they have a better drug for you perhaps you could get totally clean - except for that "other" drug. I wonder why it is that doctor approved drugs are clean when you can be just as dependent on them. Are the side effects less? hmmm

Gledwood said...

O yeah self-medicating? Definitely. that's why I never really thought I was "abusing" drugs, as I was using them for what I always considered "valid reasons"... hmmm %-/...

Fractalmom said...

I suppose, you are NOT the typical junkie, so perhaps you are self medicating.

i know this will sound weird as hell, but have yourself checked for ADHD.

most untreated ADHD (your mind actually works overtime, on up to 7 different tracks, sort of like a music mixer in a studio) leads you right down the road to insanity, and many junkies turn to heroin to slow down the tracks in their mind which won't EVER stop.

funnily enough, it could be that simple for you. not for most junkies, who choose heroin and all that goes with it..

fuck. none of this made a bit of sense anyway did it?

aaron said...

thanks for visiting the "States"

david mcmahon said...

Interesting that hamsters brought so many hits. Say hi to Plumpiemousie for me.

Thank you for the visit and comment - yes of course I remember you. I'd never forget anyone in BlogLand.

Baino said...

Sounds like a start Gleds as long as you're a little more 'forthcoming' with information. Amazing re the hamster hits, clearly there are more fans than you thought! I wish I had time to play the six degrees thing. Maybe on the next wet weekend. Good luck with the nut nurses . . hope you get a pretty one!

Syd said...

Hamsters are hits. Anyway, I hope that things get straightened out with your diagnosis. I've read that over 50% of alcoholics/addicts are bi-polar. That's a huge number.

Zen Wizard said...

Keep up the therapy. Maybe it's not supposed to be "fun"--or even "pleasant."

Gledwood said...

Fractalmom: of course it made sense. Yes I am very ADHD-ish... you're talking about playing music whilst watching TV and reading a poetry book, sipping a cup of tea and a hot chocolate you nearly forgot about and talking on the phone at the same time..? That's me on "form"... maybe I do have that. I know there's been "something" going on that's not been named:~~ so maybe it is called that.

Aaron: you're welcome. Glad I came... bloghoppetteering, as I say!!

David McM: hey I definitely remember your portrait... you're the guy who had the novel published by HarperCollins India even though you live in Australia. How funky is that!!

Gledwood said...

Baino: I'm running out of time too. Literally: my internet a/c's running dry! Yes I'm going to try and be straightforward with them (for once). I find being forthcoming really difficult, the more depressed I get the more I feel unworthy of anyone's attention, the more I tend to explain it away... only to snap out of it weeks or months later angry because yet again I've slipped under everyone's radar and it always seems to be up to me to self-diagnose. I'm not a dr. I know when I feel unhappy but not all unhappiness is called depression is it? So it all gets piled under my "addict" label and they wonder why I'm so incorrigible...

Syd: really that many? in which case I must be. ooer...

ZenWizz: keep it up?... well I start it properly next week. O I see what you mean?... no those groups are hardly fun. I often pretend I've an urgent appointment just so I can fly out the room the very second it finishes and before the mixed junkies (never as junkified as me, unfortunately) can turn on me with comparisons, questions etc etc %->...

kellylebelly said...

this all sounds kind of familiar to me...
I knew full well I was self-medicating before heroin. I was on anti-depressants (Lustral) for 2 years beforehand after being diagnosed with clinical depression.

The anti-depressants is just the tip of the iceberg. My analogy; anti-depressants help you keep your head above water, psychotherapy helps you learn how to swim.
I've been through so many different types of counselling:
> the best being Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with the Crisis Intervention Team at the Royal London Hospital (whitechapel). I was sent there after a suicide attempt, feels like thats what you got to do to get help - DON'T, i'm not advocating suicide here.
(I was only using recreationally at the time and wasn't that impressed by heroin).
> The worst was actually at a Community Drugs Team place. It felt like Oprah Winfrey type thing, especially when she asked me for a hug at the end each session. Yuk! Felt I knew more than her about psychology. Couldn't take it seriously.
That's been part of the problem, the help that's available (free/cheap) tends to be people who've done a quick course in counselling. I wanted someone with medical training, neurology as well as psychology NOT some kind of earth mother/agony aunt.

Keep trying though, it's not easy but it's worth sorting. I have to get on to the waiting list with Mind. Don't know if you've tried their website or helpline. www.mind.org.uk

chin up! pets are great stress relievers as I'm sure you know.
I got my cat for that reason and because I wanted the responsibility for something else (especially as an addict). If it came to a choice between a bag of b and my cats' food, my cat wins everytime.

Terry Wright said...

Howdy G.

The methadone blues can be intolerable sometimes and I suspect it is why most people relapse.

I was diagnosed with bi-polar but I was so unconvinced I rebooked another shrink through my doctor just to prove I wasn't. He said I have dysthymia which still doesn't fit for me. My symptoms are so contradicting that I can't find a classification for myself. When I have to tell someone I have depression, they just glaze over with a bored look. When I used to say I had bi-polar, the world would stop. It seems that depression is so passé these days. As you have alluded to, it's easier to avoid situations where you have to tell anybody anything.

kellylebelly said:
"That's been part of the problem, the help that's available (free/cheap) tends to be people who've done a quick course in counselling. I wanted someone with medical training, neurology as well as psychology NOT some kind of earth mother/agony aunt."

How true is this!!!

Talk soon.

Heroinhead said...

Another Smackhead blogger... We'll soon have an army! I'm from shepherds Bush, London but am living in Lyon, france after transfering my script here. That worked for two months, and as soon as I could speak a little french I was back scoring. Have a look at my blog.... mail me a bit about yourself.


Take care, Shane

Akelamalu said...

That's great that your hammies got so many hits on Utube!

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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