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, April 27, 2009

Dealers Dealers Dealers (Rant) & Peas Pobble Piri Piri

SO IT IS quarter to eight pm on Sunday. NOBODY has any heroin.
Those that do cannot get it together to sort out cars. I got so wound up I bashed away at every phone number I had (bar one or two). I have quite a lot of numbers representing 10 different businesses. And not one of these people can get it together to either be somewhere when I come or deliver!

The most businesslike tale of drug dealing I ever heard comes allegedly from New York City. Of course New York has been a homeland of hard drugs longer than practically anywhere else in the Western World. Heroin didn't come to London till the 1960s ~ up till then Paris was the major hub of European narcotics distribution ~ not Amsterdam, as today.

Anyway this was the story. You went up to a certain apartment building where you encountered an empty bucket dangling by a long long string. Into this bucket you put your money and yanked it (I expect ~ so the folks on the other end knew they had a customer) then up up up the bucket would go, presently to come down again bearing the exact quantity of heroin paid for.

I can just imagine what the neighbours might have said "Did you see that bucket going up every day full of money?"

"No! But did you see that one going down full of drugs?"

IT'S MONDAY AFTERNOON and by now I'm feeling better. I didn't even put down yesterdays morosity to Unsacred Sundays ...

Today I got paid and as well before visiting my dealer I went to the butchers and Morrisons (formerly Safeways) the supermarket. I had assumed the halal one on the corner would be cheapest for diced meat. Wrong! Today I got beef cubes, £3 worth at £2.10 a LB. With it I made a very pleasant peas pobble piri piri stew with dumplings; (serves 2) here's how:

There are three ways of making a stew in my opinion. Three textures. When I told a certain friend I was "learning to make stew" I got back the reply: "Anyone can do that," and maybe they can, but mine are a million miles from dead bits of lamb floating in leek-and-potato gruel. I learned to cook vegetarian before I ever handled meat, so mine's properly spiced. I don't bother adding potatoes as I far prefer bready-carby dumplings. Yumm...

Texture is really important in cookery. Industrial manufacturers of prepackaged food call it "mouth feel". In a stew with baby potatoes a nice point of contrast can be established by the addition of tinned water chestnuts and halved button mushrooms along with tiny dumplings. All four have a similar white appearance but ever so different "mouth feel" ...

A standard beef or lamb stew would be all cubed, ideally with the meat cubes slightly larger and more prominent than the veg.
Or you can do one with meat cubes contrasting against a background mush. This is really nice if you want lots of dumplings
The third way if peas-n-pulse pobble-bobble. A really nice consistency as below:

Serves 2-3

~300g cubed beef. I cut the cubes myself into 8 or 10 bits the size of board games dice
~1 large onion, diced
~1 tsp garlic paste
~5 or 6 closed cap mushrooms cut into 6es

I fried in a wok; transferred to med/large saucepan for part 2:

After about ten minutes boil by adding
~1/2 can chopped tomatoes
~about 1/6th of a 500g jar Ragu original. I always used to assume the ultra-tomatoey flavour of Ragu and the like came from dodgy industrial process, until I realized each jar contains something like "150g tomatoes per 100g" ie to make yourself you'd need to bake several cans of chopped tomatoes in an open casserole dish for several hours. And you still wouldn't save any money at min. 35p a tin tomatoes and £1 a jar Ragu so I buy it predone. But if you're against this I understand your opposition. It makes a far nicer tomato additive though than plain old tomato paste. Now add:
~half a tin Dunns River mixed beans/peas: red kidney, black eye, gungo
~1-1.5 tsp mixed MILD curry powders, jerk and cajun seasonings: turmeric, mustard, fenugreek, chili, cumin, cayenne, ginger, allspice, cardamom, pimento, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, cloves, oregano, sage, thyme, marjoram, bay...
~2-3 tsp paprika
~1 tsp mixed herbs: parsley, sage, marjoram, thyme, oregano, basil
~0.5 tsp extra thyme
~0.5 tsp honey mustard
~1 tsp tomato ketchup

~1 tiny carrot, diced and fiercely boiled with water added in last hour (coz I 4got to put it in far earlier!)

Cook in a covered pan, stirring occasionally. Add fresh boiling water as/when necessary. Verge towards too much water rather than not enough. Dumplings need it. Uncover pan and boil off any excess after dumplings done.

Dumplings: 2 parts selfraising flour to 1 part vegetable suet. Add pepper to taste.
Ensure a good 2 inches hubblebubbling water clear for dumplings to form in lovely baroque bready crags

In last 15 minutes add 2 handsful or about 2/3 coffee mug full of frozen peas and ensure they boil up nicely. The peas add a lovely flavour.

The extra flour from the dumplings usually thickens what surplus juice remains, but if your stew's still too watery, boil off any excess by removing the lid. Stir well to prevent subterranean sticking...

PS: My robos really like frozen veg straight from the freezer. Of my Hamsta MCs, Trotter Donkey seized on a frozen pea just now and scuttled off gleefully like an ecstatic furry hippo ...

FILM: Cockatiel Jailbreak ~ The Squarkshank Redemption
I got this from the blog Cute Overload that I follow...


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Radiators off

FINALLY I FOUND THE KEY to turn my own blazing radiators off. My home is fairly clean, though scattered with stray dumpling flour. The schizophrenic next door claims the landlord was seeking me on Friday. Why can't these people leave notes like ordinary human beings. The register I signed days ago is still on the wall full of my initials.

I don't know what I am supposed to write? What can I say. I only feel like death and death warmed up.

The more I think about where I've been and where I've come from the more angry I get. Living in a yard deep of rubbish obsessively collected. Sleeping on the floor, living like a wild animal, paranoid, convinced I was being spied on by miniature alien-cams. Hearing voices all the time. And all through this my idiot dolts of drugs workers took my dire physical state (I was literally falling apart on my feet) as a kind of normality. My mental state was bearly even glimpsed. When the shrink said I had been "paranoid and psychotic" I was still far too paranoid to pass on this info to somebody else. I lost out on over a year's state benefits I'm still entitled to due to "feelings of unworthiness".

Short of a miracle I will never be better than I am now. Which is not that good. Now I have to go it's a blue and white sunny day and it's making me sick.

This is from Ireland: bull in a supermarket

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Furry Friday-Saturdays: BADGERS

BADGERS are the most exotic, rarely-seen medium size/large mammals in Britain. Though they ramble through many a suburban back garden in the dead of night, most folks have never set eyes on one of these shy and reclusive creatures:

They live deep under ground, rarely emerge during daylight hours and detest being spotted:

They eat sloppy stuff like slugs in the damp of the woods:

The babies are cute:


Here's badgers filmed deep in their set in Kent, which is South-South-East of London...

(Baby) badger and otter. The otter is bigger than the badger:

This is an Indian "honey" badger vs Indian cobra. It must be HUNGRY:

Friday, April 24, 2009


I AM CAUGHT BETWEEN DUMPLINGS AND UNREALITY. Well that and chili con carne with pharts ... In answer to your questions: Bashful Trotter Donkey bites me with expressions of gleeful intent. My fault for giving them a taste for roast chicken bones as babies. Now my fingers make excellent robo-chew-bones for the trotters ...

Re psychiatrists and the "they don't care whether you're raving mad" quotation from Maple Syrup, my never-listen Drug Worker, that appointment's separate from the "let's point and probe and dig around to isolate your legion insanities" appointment the Operative threatens daily to have made...

This is about all I have to say for tonight. Presently I'm perfecting chili con carne dumplings and must reveal these need a good two inches clear of bubbling water in order to form properly, breadily ~ and not as mere glutinous balls of glob. OK then!! Back tomorrow, Folks!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Domesticated Condiments

THE CHILI CON CARNE WAS OK, except for the windy diarrhoea I gave myself by undercooking (slightly) the red kidney beans. This despite following all instructions to the letter and obeying minimum boil time limits...

So I was thurping and trumpeting away all night, then I woke up in a shower of pure lights of unbeing (so to speak) and decided to clean my house all anew. It is now shining like the operating theatre on ET's intergalactic spacecraft.

Oh and as for condiments: I'd run out by this morning. No black pepper even. So irritatedly I whizzed round the supermarket, having to ask the old grannies who worked there (at least the ones who looked like they spoke English) where's black pepper? where's vinegar? mayo? Atora (dumpling suet)? etc etc and a shower of other items that make plain food more bearable. Then shelled out about £3.80 on nothing.

I had to go to a drugs clinic appointment. I don't know why, but I hate these more and more every time. Next visit is to the Chief Head Shrinker and I'm trembling in trepidation. Maple Syrup my worker reassured me it's ten minutes of blabber and he's not interested whether or not I'm barking mad.

As I "intimated" previously I'm terrified of being labelled bipolar, having had something like a nervous breakdown every single time I've made even a halfhearted effort at detoxing. One of these lovely, fun times seemingly met the DSM IV criteria (as used by American Headshrinkers) for a mixed mania-depression episode. No wonder I felt so lovely throughout that experience.

Trotter Donkey says hi to everybody. She bit me and ran off yesterday then MC Carrot Nose glared at me from under the porch of the chewed-out Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers emporium in which they sleep... Their water bottle ran out a couple of days ago and I couldn't find tape to restick it. Which meant having to hold up said bottle as robos emerged like furry hippos to gluckle away at said bottle two-at-once, which always looks entertaining. When "Baby" Itchy was alive they used to drink three at once in a Furry Trinity, which looked ever so sweet... Only this time they totally ignored said watery condiment until I bothered to call them and then two gremlinous racoon faces appeared. They stared and stared up at me as I continued to talk rubbish. Which I found dead flattering. Then Bashful bit me and scurried off ...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chili Con Carne

I FOUND an (undamaged) packet of red kidney beans on the street. Obviously it had fallen out of some Guardian-reading, round glasses-wearing bicycle-riding Labour voter's shopping (not that I'm prone to stereotyping) and I decided to make the most of it. So these unattractive, hard pulses have been languishing on my shelf for nearly a month. And just when I felt like eating them (because the cupboard was otherwise bare: I'd even run out of tea, milk and sugar) I found you had to soak the blighters overnight before consuming. Dur! I do remember this from uni days when my socialist friends collected weird things in teacups on the fridge, but always thought then, as I do now, why not just buy 'em tinned~??!?

So having turfed said beans into one mug, which they rapidly outswelled, then into two mugs I was greatly "appointed" to find a full-on recipe for chili con carne on the packet's side. I spent £12 on two burgeoning bags of shopping at Morrisons this morning, forcing myself to stock up on the less convenient (ie not ready in 2 minutes fresh stuffed pasta type stuff I'm prone to) comestibles like brown pasta twirls (I cannot handle spaghetti after a bad experience) and brown rice. Isn't brown supposed to be better? It's certainly going to make everyone think I'm anti death penalty (which I'm not: I think rapists, murderers and paedophiles should be put out of their misery).

For my carne I bought the slightly pinker minced (ground) beef at £2 for 800g. I always thought supermarkets were dearer for meat ~ they always used to charge double for pie steak (when they bothered to stock it) and lamb chops. Grew up a bit lamb chopped out and so nowadays go for any other cut. Neck was cheap and nice ~ but then again the supermarkets never stocked it cubed, which I, coming from Blunt Knife Land found greatly inconvenient.

I can't even parrot out this recipe I'm about to travesty, though I can say it requires something like tinned tomatoes or Ragu base (got both), garlic (tubed far out-conveniences fresh bulbs, which dry out and stink out my fridge before I ever remember to use them...) and mushrooms and onions and broccoli, all of which my refrigerator's soon to be replete with.

Isn't my life fascinating! Gotta go before all the frozen crap I bought thaws out ~ cheery-bye!

PS here's a baby robo with a baby ruby-eyed "normal" (Syrian) hamster. The robbie baby isn't that much smaller than full-grown, but the Syrian will grow to four times that size

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hamsta Rap!!

THIS MORNING I DECIDED TO HAVE A POKE THROUGH my personal hip hop stars' home with a view to filming a piece for MTV's Cribs show, so sneaking up to their tank, I stealthily removed the wire excercise wheel from atop their bedroom and then picked up the long and narrow Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers box in which they sleep. And behold! Because they'd chewed out the floor, straight off came the entire roof!! And there stood MC Carrot Nose and MC Trotter Donkey looking surprised! MC Carrot Nose simply glared at me balefully as if to say "what do YOU want? Coming in here? Raising our roof off. Prattling away in that stupid squeaky voice that sounds nothing at all like a Mongolian miniaturized hamster's... Then MC Little Trotter Donkey bit me and ran off and the spell was broken. That whizzy Nokia camera phone I found has broken anyhow so I don't know how I'd get them on MTV Cribs..? I was thinking next time round they'd go well between MC Hammer's bankruptcy house and Missy Eliot's vulgarity-fest (replete with bedroom-parked red Ferrari, converted to double bed...

What a gorgeous day today is! Blue skies... golden sunshine... An excellent backing for my new run at life. Finally I have resolved to tackle my background and my mess in an adult, grown-up-some kinda way. Wish me lots of luck for I'll need it. But while we're waiting for that, here's some musical entertainment:~~~

ANYONE HEARD OF the UK's hottest new talent show find, the "frumpy" meister-chanteuse Susan Boyle? "Discovered" on Britain's Got Talent, 40 million ++ hits later ... WHY OH WHY OH WHY do these eejuts who place youtube recordings specify "embedding disabled by request"? Here's one we CAN see:

LIZA MINNELLI. "LOSING MY MIND" I like her voice (better than her Mum's), and apart from her celebratory performance opposite Dudley Moore in Arthur II: On the Rocks this is the only piece of Ms Minnelli's work I actually know...

Here's the official promo video for this Pet Shop Boys-produced track:

PS: Illustration ~ my Hamsta Wrapper ~ MC Carrot-Nose...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Furry Friday/Saturday: Red Squirrels!

THROUGHOUT THE VAST majority of the UK our native, dainty red squirrels are the stuff of mere folk memory, having been supplanted years ago by the artificially introduced, more vigorous and assertive North American grey. Apart from in children's books, I've only set eyes on these once, in Regents Park, by London Zoo, when I was about 8 years old.

When I came back to said park and perused zoo entrance, grey squirrels were everywhere and nary a red one to be seen...

They are smaller, far redder, and have tuftier ears:

I take it this one's in winter coat (look at those tufts!):

Don't they have massive paws:

Here's a baby, whose tufts haven't grown, digging up intellectual nuts:

Friday, April 17, 2009

MC Carrot Nose

I AM BEING SUED BY THE COUNCIL TAX! A notice to appear (not a summons as they proclaim in blazing red writing that I need not attend (probably don't want me too ~ speeds up proceedings). I can't believe this is happening as I've only been there 4 months, have STILL yet to receive an Accommodation Charges Payment Card or any payment slips and yet they're taking me to court over a silly council tax bill I should get near-95% rebate on. The money they're demanding is about £395 ~ but if the figures are right from the last place, I should owe about £40 tops.

I went straight down the Council where the lady told me I am STILL NOT ON THE COMPUTER. No payment card will be forthcoming. The computer has me still resident at my last address. This despite my having written to head of section detailing my move and written again to Income Recovery politely demanding said payments card. "So how did I get this council tax bill at my new place if the computer thinks I'm still resident at the old one?" and the Countermeister said "because your landlord informed us you were living there" (at the new address). DUUURH!! I kept quiet but shall thoroughly enjoy detailing this farcicality in my official letter of complaint.

Anyway, the nice lady did get my court date cancelled (by a "note" on the system). Handed me a Housing and Council Tax Benefit application form (which I thought I hadn't needed to fill in: nobody told me so before. In fact when I asked the Head of Section whether or what else I needed do (because my name wasn't on the system at my new address ~ therefore officially I didn't exist, yet of course I do (though I sometimes wish otherwise) because the landlord and council were refusing to communicate with each other; the landlord refused to give me proof of tenancy. I can't remember their excuse but I just wanted to flee from their offices and so took it and did.

I am STILL officially nonexistent. "But I've been signing a register" (for emergency accommodation dwellers) and am on the landlord's and your computer system!" I countered.

Except apparently I'm not. I am used to living in a surreal paisley-patterned world peopled with hamsters talking in turnip accents, and so did not dare disagree. I have run out of (decent) food by the way and have obscene cravings for more diced beef piri piri dumplingated casserole ...

Nice Lady spent ages tapping in "notes" to the system. And now I have a Housing and Council Tax Benefit Application form I ought, apparently, to have filled in MONTHS AGO (I'm not happy about that). And I need proof of residency from the landlord (that'll be fun, trying to get that) and proof of benefits from the DSS or Jobcentre Plus as they're (perhaps) now called. Oh no, the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions ~ what am I saying...?) As I sheepishly admitted to Nice Lady this might take some weeks to sort out as I do believe I omitted to inform the Benefits Agency (their 3rd name) of my move. "I wasn't feeling very well," I claimed.

Well I wasn't. O I hate all this. And how come loads of others who aren't even in the same dreadful pickle as me get SOCIAL WORKERS to help them out? Why do I not qualify? I want a bloody social worker to do all my forms for me. What do I not pay my Council Tax for~??!?


And now on to matters smoother: I am determined to become an MC Hammer (oo: no, I mean Pee Pee Daddy/whatever his current monicka)-style hiphop Impressario. I will specialize in ripoff perfumes and unimaginative streetwear. I shall put my hamsters as Lil Kim/Queen Latifah/Missy Elliot-style rappers. I've already got names and stage personas sorted. Spherical shall be MC Carrot Nose; Bashful's new name is MC Little Trotter Donkey ~ isn't that cool?? In fact I think that's a name so wonderful I might use it myself when my 70th birthday approaches and Grandad and the Smurfs record release time comes due. I shall instead be MC LITTLE TROTTER DONKEY and rap in a posh voice about the horrors of ready to wear clothing, flying commercial (ugh!) and having to mix with the rifraff of the world and other people like me. I don't know. I need my theme, man. Gotta stream da theme; know what I mean..?... I did some work on a hamster gangsta rap earlier it goes something like this:

Don't gimme no jip cause I'm nibblin' seed
I ain't shottin' crack now 'cause I'm shottin' weed
Oregano man. You put it in your curry.
Trot to the toilet and hurry-hurry-hurry...

OK it needs some work, but imagine how entertaining MC Carrot Nose and MC Little Trotter Donkey shall look in their first video. I want it done in the style of Lady Ga-Ga's Poker Face ....

And now PIRI-PIRI: I must go! I've a manic casserole-craving...

BTW talking of maniacality ~ thanks for the comments re yesterday. Though I DID notice my experience of withdrawal seemed to be different, I'd always told myself "well everyone feels horrible in detox" and so didn't worry about it. Also severe insomnia and some degree of agitation and depression, anxiety etc are ordinary features of opiate withdrawal ~ and so I assumed mine were normal. It's only when I compare the intensity of physical to mental withdrawal experience that I realize my symptoms were 95% "psychiatric". + agitation, depression, etc are a matter of degree. Mine were very extreme.

From what I found out on the subject there's no question I'm on a "bipolar spectrum" (so are loads of people). I would have said I was cyclothymic in temperament (that is: subclinical bipolar) or mild bipolar. To cut a blabbersome story short, this IS important because it impinges on any psych meds I might take. I cannot tolerate a lot of antidepressants because they make me agitated and/or "high". Last time on mirtazapine I was hyper enough not to bother going to bed for the best part of a week. Then I came crashing down into depression worse than ever before! I was having random hallucinations (faces in the grain of the wooden fire door; dead body in the bathroom mirror) ~ I was convinced these were down to alcoholic DTs and didn't recognize I was "depressed" till afterwards. I believed I was "hitting rock bottom as I was spiritually bankrupt". That mirtazapine (Remerol/Zispin) disagreed with me so intensely that by the end (5 weeks to 2 months into taking it) I was so physically ill I just had to stop taking it. Then amazingly I felt better. It was my old Drugs Worker who pointed all this out. "Stop taking the pills!"

Anyway cheerio I must dash. PS: any ideas for the first Carrot Nose and Little Trotter Donkey music video?

TALKING OF "WRAPPERS" ~ HERE'S that Eminem one you might have heard of, y'know the one featuring Amy Winehouse, Sarah Palin et al...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


THE FOLLOWING is a mess. To be frank I don't feel like posting it but am doing so as I'm too tired about it to care. This is not my hypochondria: it's the result of my consultation of the mental health Operative in 4 hours of interviews. I don't care whether I do or do not have bipolar, it's not going to make any difference to me what label I get. A diagnosis is not a medal of honour to sport with pride, though more than one nutter I've met seemed to see their personal labelling this way. The following issues all came up during my recent mental health assessment with the Operative, who will pass on the details to the Psychiatrist so for once I get a proper evaluation instead of someone judging me as an apathetic junkie and ignoring 15 years of prior psychiatric history. So here's how the post started:

YESTERDAY'S non-post wasn't meant to be quite as childish as it might have looked. It was just that my brain was overloaded with things I had read/seen/might say/couldn't summon so I just gave up.

Presently as well as not feeling particularly fine due to no heroin and only 100mg methadone (I still don't feel right) though I have to say I don't particularly feel the "need" for a hit right at this moment.

What's bothering me is that I busted myself for having had what the Operative seems to see as some kind of "manic" episode when I was attemtpedly detoxing cold turkey some years ago. I could kick myself: I had assumed we were on safe ground and that what happened to me happened to everyone. Though one point that forever confounded me were the tales and representations of sick junkies lying in bed for a week. There is no way I could have done that. I suppose I did realize there was something wrong some time back when, leafing through an old depression book, I chanced upon an appendix listing DSMIV criteria for a "mixed bipolar episode" and realized with horror that's what (perhaps) had happened to me. Then I read at the very bottom some wording like: not caused or sustained by any underlying organic factors and I thought A-ha! That can't be it then as drug withdrawal is surely an "organic factor". Here are the DSM criteria for mania with my comments see what you think. "Mixed episode" means mania and depression simultaneously.

Put in druggie terms, my experience was like "bad speed". I.e. speeding out of my head and yet suicidal. Though I have to say I was going way WAY faster than I've ever gone on speed... The experience went on day and night for eight days until basically I used heroin. All agitation and a worsening constant anxiety ceased; then I felt depressed for weeks on end.

Manic Episode

DSM IV Criteria

A) A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week (or any duration if hospitalization is necessary)
(Elevated for brief periods. Most of the time I was depressed, suicidal, anxious, terrified etc.) But unlike any ordinary depression my mood was EXTREMELY volatile. Swinging all over the place very rapidly...

B) During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree:
1) inflated self-esteem or grandiosity no way ~ depression
2) decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep) managed 4 hours flat on massive doses of sleeping pills, woke with a jolt feeling horrible
3) more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking my mind was full of such negative ideas I didn't want to express them
4) flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing yes: racing so fast I felt like I was flying/lost track repeatedly of my thought process
5) distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli) definitely: could barely focus for 30 seconds on anything
6) increase in goal-directed activity (at work, at school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation pretty extreme agitation: couldn't stop pacing the entire time; walked five miles right in middle of full detox
7) excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments) no because depressed out of my head

OK so four symptoms: racing thoughts, severe insomnia, distractability and extreme agitation (totally unable to keep still almost the entire time for eight days)

C) The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode

D) The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning or in usual social activities or relationships with others, or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features. wasn't working; social functioning yes: this was one of very few times I felt bad enough to loose my ability to keep up even a veneer of social nicety

E) The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication or other treatment) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism) I would say yeah they are (so this wasn't it) but you could argue withdrawal is indirect as the drug's NOT THERE

Note: Manic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar I disorder.

OK here's the criteria for depression:

Major Depressive Episode

DSM IV Criteria

A) Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure

Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations

1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood. very much so
2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others) no interest in anything, except pacing back and forth and glimpsing horrific passages in Revelation with my shot attention span
3) significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains. barely any appetite at all but didn't weigh self
4) insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day max 4 hours' sleep even on sleeping pills
5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down) extreme agitation of mind and body all the time; unable to keep still or focus on anything
6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day yes despite feeling so hyper I was utterly exhausted
7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick) very low self-esteem
8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others) extremely
9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide suicidal thoughts x100s per day ~ with specific plan

B) The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode they might

C) The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. yes

D) The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism) I assumed this proviso got me off the hook, but I'm not 100% sure

E) The symptoms are not better accounted for by Bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation. no bereavement

And finally: criteria for mixed bipolar episode

Mixed Episode

DSM IV Criteria

(Note: this is often referred to as "rapidly cycling bipolar" - but technically Rapid Cycling refers to at least 4 episodes in the previous 12 months that meet criteria for a Major Depressive, Manic, Mixed or Hypomanic Episode, and the Episodes are demarcated either by partial or full remission for at least 2 months or a switch to an episode of opposite polarity - e.g., Major Depressive Episode to Manic Episode)

A. The criteria are met both for a Manic Episode and for a Major Depressive Episode (except for duration) nearly every day during at least a 1-week period. yes for manic, definitely for depressed

B. The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning or in usual social activities or relationships with others, or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features. yes impairment

C. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or other treatment), or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism) again not really sure, the Operative didn't seem to think this criterion counted as my experience was markedly different from the normal writhing in bed of heroin detox

Note: Mixed-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication,, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder

These are the ordinary withdrawal symptoms from heroin/methadone, as listed on the drug abuse info cards dished out by Havard Medical School in the States:

Early Signs (8-12 hrs): Diaphoresis, nausea, yawning, lacrimation,
tremor, rhinorrhea, irritability, dilated pupils, resp. rate, pulse>90
Severe Signs (12-48 hrs): Insomnia, elevated T,P,R,& BP, nausea,
vomiting, abdominal cramps, chills, diarrhea, muscle twitching,
dilated pupils
Course: (1) Heroin: onset in 8-12 hrs, lasting 5-10 d, untreated.
(2) Methadone: onset in 24-48 hrs., lasting 2-4 wks.
• Methadone-maintained pt - confirm dose w/methadone clinic.
• Analgesics: pt is tolerant to opioids - analgesic Rx required for pain
management. Methadone maintenance pts. may require higher
than conventional doses or increased frequency to attain analgesia.
• Expect coping problems: Don’t dwell on dosage with pt.
• Monitor pulse, respiration, pupil size.
Acute Medical Adm:
Dose (inpt.)
• Untreated street addict: @ signs of w/drawal. Rx 20 mg po.
• Known heavy use: 30 mg po: Increase 5-10 mg q 2-4 hrs. to
stabilize. No more than 40 mg in 1st 24 hrs.
• Avoid doses >40 mg qd. unless enrolled in a licensed methadone
program or inpt. > 4 days.
• May use Clonidine 0.1mg. po tid with methadone or alone for
short stay patients.
• If NPO: ½ daily dose IM, divided q 12 hrs & restart prior full po
dose as tolerated.
Course: Onset 30-60 m: peak levels 2-6 hrs: duration 24-36 hrs.
Side Effects: Reduce 5-10 mg prn lethargy:
• Taper: If 1-14 d s/p admission, 10-20% qd. Expect distress.
Discharge planning: initiate as quickly as possible.

Bear in mind I was coming off "cold" ~ ie total cold turkey with no methadone help at all. In fact I flushed my methadone down the toilet in order to get on with detoxing as quickly as poss.

Severe insomnia, depression, anxiety and agitation are all normal in opiate detoxification and to be expected.

What happened to me, however, appears to have been far more extreme than the average experience.

As for the severity markers, by day 5 I was well enough physically to go visiting relatives. Just had a bit of chills left. But without going into protracted detail, mentally totally unable to cope.

I had taken antidiarrohea meds, anti-emetics and anti-cramp meds and I did have sleeping pills.

My main physical withdrawal symptoms were: extreme sweats, especially night sweats, hot and cold flashes. I was lucky to get no cramps, no diarrhoea, no running eyes and nose (which I'm not prone to anyhow). Which may all sound a bit weird but bear in mind I'd been using only 0.3g daily by skinpopping. Average British street purity is around 40% so that would be up to 120mg diamorphine a day daily for 6 months, with broken history of regular heroin use extending back eighteen months before adn irregular use 2 or 3 years behind that.

The most farcical thing was, all this happened in front of my family. It wasn't "flu-type symptoms" that busted me, or sweating (that only happened ultra-heavily at night) but my extreme restless agitation and highly "labile" (variable) mood and shot to pieces attention span. I was behaving in a totally out of character way. What happened to me went FAR beyond ordinary anxiety/depression (which I was more than familiar with by this time) ~ as I say, this felt like "bad speed" but far more extreme than anything speed or coke's done to me. I was going extremely fast ~ felt more than anything like I was on bad acid. Difference being bad acid wears off within 24 hours tops. This went on and on for eight days, day and night, ceaselessly. And stopped when I used heroin again. Even then my mood failed properly to improve. Though the agitation and "mania" ceased, i was left depressed out of my head, even when high on heroin ~ and of course my tolerance had reset to zero so heroin back then was full-on strong.

OK I do apologize for the scattershot nature of this post. I didn't really want to tell the story of this nasty episode from beginning to end. It was one of the handful of all time WORST experiences of my life. By any normal standards what happened to my head was EXTREME. Basically I felt like I was having a breakdown; there were times in that week when I really did lose it.

Now I'm wondering whether anyone reading this who knows anything about bipolar/psychiatry/etc can comment or remark on anything the above brings up for then..? I've not yet had the chance to be grilled on this by the psychiatrist and feel a lot of apprehension on what label I might get. Bear in mind I've also overreacted to antidepressants on several occasions ~ gone into "hypomanic" type states. And in the year before my addiction really kicked in was getting regular mood swings from frequent depression to mild bouyand sustained euphoria with overconfidence and a mild version of those mania symptoms I lacked during the detox episode because of feeling so mentally lousy. Those swings were short ~ only a couple of weeks usually ~ but long enough to "fulfill" the lovely DSM's criteria, which again fills me with stress: what does this really mean..?? My detox episode is by far from my only "bipolar" type experience. The Operative focused on it because it was the most extreme. I'd be most grateful for anything anyone's got to say.

Right I've got to go this is tangled enough. Sorry for the mess. I really have not the energy to hack this around so please make sure if you're answering you've read through thoroughly.

Cheerio, everybody. Back tomorrow!


Maybe this
should be my new anthum: "I want to live, not merely survive; and I won't give up this dream of life that keeps me alive..."

Duffy: Diet Coke Ad

Robbie Williams ~ Feel

This one made me cry during one of my far too infrequent sobriety attempts.
I got too much life, running through my veins, going to waste...

Non Post

OK this is a non-post because there's nothing to say.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Heroin Doesn't Get Me High Anymore But I'm Still Cleaning My House

I HAD MY LAST shot of heroin and it was no good. Not that it was weak: it was sticky and dark and full of da chemical business but it's not doing the business for me so I'm dropping it. Fortuity has done me a favour in making this easier, I'll explain this later in the week. Heroin and I should have parted ways a long while ago. It does nothing for me except make me feel tired. The joy in it's all gone. I don't care for heroin any more.

I focused my attention today on cleaning my house. This time I cleared out my bedroom, where a pile of detritus had built up by the door. Old cups, papers, pens, biscuit wrappers and everything concealed under a fresh bedsheet. Things had gone seriously downhill like I can't explain. I wrote to the council, who've put me on the Council Tax computer asking now I'm surely on their system, could I please have payment card or counterfoils for the weekly accommodation charge I'm surely supposed to pay here. That's the bill I was told "not to worry about" because as far as the System was concerned I did not exist. My life is Twilight Zone enough without my nonexistence causing additional strife. I'm off to the photocopier, 10p envelope shop and post office with that one as soon as I'm done here. Then I'm supposed to be attending an antidrugs group I don't really want to go to but perhaps I'll feel better afterwards.

Ta-ta everybody: how was your day?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mood Swing Misery

I SPENT THE ENTIRETY OF LAST WEEK feeling good enough I actually thought, Depression is gone; it is a thing of the past ~ and how ridiculously over-confident I was getting. I won't dare say what I'd planned on posting this morning.

But no. No depression is far too good to be true. So after a series of wobble-wobbles, several half-baked resolutions (that now sound too naive to print) and a severely disrupted sleep cycle I wake up this morning in sickness and misery and WHAM! it's all come back. I must've slept 16 hours out of the last 24. I feel physically ill. I don't think this is at all interesting; personally I am bored to death by my own life, but this is what's happened so it's what I have to say.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Piri Piri Explosion!

I NEVER GOT A CHANCE TO DUMPLINGIZE the last stew because I ate the entire lot while it was mulling overnight (y'know to let spices settle in). Anyway I've done a repeat performance today only without baby potatoes, which you don't need, carbs-wise when you're intending to saturate the pan with humungous puffing dumplings. They're so nice you end up eating more and more dumplings and barely bothering with the stew (well I do).

Anyway here's my recipe as performed this morning:

Serves one because I gobbled up so much of the ingredients last time. And speaking of ingredients they are:

About 1/3 lb cubed beef. I always cut the butcher's cubes into thirds when I get home. It makes the chunkiness go further.
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large spring onions, chopped right up till the leaves start getting too manky for human consumption. Dice through the onionier white sections
About 5 large field mushrooms, alternately quartered and sliced
Small selection of frozen carrots, broccoli, cauliflour selection
Cooking oil
Spices: curry powders, jerk seasoning, cajun seasoning, paprika. If you don't have such an exotic mix you can use just paprika and chili. Go easy on the chili though

Oil saucepan, put on med-hi heat, add beef cubes and fry till "sealed in" (ie grey all over), then add onion, fry a further 2 mins now reduce heat a bit, add mushrooms, fry a further 2 mins. Get all your piri piri spices and add in the following proportion: one spoon mixed total of curry/jerk/cajun spices to one spoon paprika. If using just paprika and chili then make the balance at least 90-10 with 90 on paprika's side.
Now chuck in chopped spring onion, fry up a bit.
I had to transfer to a larger pan a third way through the following and had to add more oil.
Once you've got these ingredients sizzling merrily add about a coffee mug full of freshly boiled water then add the frozen veg and put a lid on the pan. I always verge towards too much water as too little will get horrible burnt bits at the bottom. You can always boil off any excess simply by returning heat to max and removing lid for a few mins.
Cook for at least an hour and a half on as low a heat as you can muster.
In last half hour add frozen peas if desired.
Make up dumpling mix (self-raising flour, Atora vegetable suet and water with a tad salt and pepper). Check there's at least an inch of water depth. Chuck in 10 or so pingpong ball sized dumplings. (They swell massively).
My top tip: every time I do this I fret that I've delivered a spices overdose. And I never have yet. Although massively too much paprika is too much and frankly unnecessary.

Now I have to rush and get back to much bubbling piri piris.
Piri piri means some sort of African chili. I use the expression rather loosely, as you might have guessed.

I got the obsession from a certain Domino's Pizza advert:

OT Quartet: Hold That Sucker Down
This was once voted the bestest dance track of all time:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Beef Entertainment Piri Piri Madness Casserole!

I'VE BEEN MANIC SHOPPING up town and got all the ingredients for diced beef in spices piri piri all-entertaining casserole with seasonable vegetables complete with Gledwood's Own Dumplings (TM). Excellent stuff! Must fly before the ingredients go off...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

No Wonder She's Tubby!

MY LOCAL SHOP is selling the type of McVite's digestives manufactured for overseas markets. The packaging's all in Turkish, Albanian and Arabic and you can just about find English by turning upside down and putting a microscope next to the barcode. The white chocolate-like coating is actually strawberry yoghurt "with real fruit pieces!" ~ as goes the declaration in a plethora of Middle Eastern languages.

I gave the Trotters a bit of one of these. How cute they looked craning necks as to say "what's the old dinosaur up to this time?" and eyes looking especially beady. So I lower said biscuit. Without ceremony Spherical grabbed it and scurried off to her side of the Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers box (I only buy this stuff to give them somewhere to live!).... leaving Bashful high and dry biscuitless and forlorn. She didn't even bother to follow. Probably has been on the receiving end of Carrot Nose's viciousness one too many times. When I gave her a piece of her own I noticed she scuttled off as far away from Spherical as she could trot (all of 10 inches). O it's a weary life being a dwarf Mongolian hamster. No wonder they only live an average two months in the wild...

I MET A KINDLY THUG at drugs drop-in service
who informed me of the horrific Easter Weekend to come. I can't believe I was oblivious. I don't believe in the paganized brand of supposed "Christianity" propounded by the Counterfiet Church in Rome and so my eyes are shut to images of Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs. Although I love the cute carrot-gnawers and adore Easter-egg chocolate. If I were going to have a pet though I think I'd go for a chinchilla. I always think they resemble rabbits from Mars... I saw one getting its teeth clipped on Rolf Harris's Animal Hospital. It doesn't hurt. But you should have seen how the tubby little critter screwed up its cone-nose as if to say: "Where have they GONE?!?"

I got given a free 49p Cadbury's Creme Egg whilst passing a paganized Afro Carribean church en route to my dealer t'other day. I luuurve the fondant fillings, doesn't everyone agree. Though I can't imagine they'd be a success in the hotter territories of the world. Without the severest air-con you'd end up with a shelf-full of foil-squashed chocolate ooze...

NOW I'M TRYING TO LIVE HEALTHILY: putting back a £3 875g "Rocky Road" family chocolate-caramel-fudge cheesecake and scurrying off with 6x "whitefish" fillets (they mean pollack) and Iceland's own industrially crisped diddly roasting potatoes. By the way if you want to piri piri these and are not in possession of Cajun seasoning, I did 'em first time round with 90% paprika 10 or even 5% chili powder mix. To this I added MSG and salt. They crisped up really nicely and I think the flavour might better suit the average western palate. Lots of paprika's essential as it crisps up something lovely and makes a fantastic vehicle for "chili delivery" as htey might say int' indoostrial crisping factori.

Right! Yer idle!! Hey my floors are dazzlingly... well lacking in cobwebs, fagash residue, dropped frozen peas &c &c. Quite unbelievable!!

So now I'm off home with pollack fillets (twice as many (but 2/3 size: I did notice that) as cod) and a curbungction of diddly tomatoes and lemon to make fish and diddly potatoes go wonderful..!


Samuel L Jackson gives dramatic licence to classic song lyrics:

Here's the original. Joe Dolce, 1980. ~Anyone remember this? Shut Uppa Ya Face!
I remember it because it was on Top of the Pops the night I refused to go to Cubs because the other kids were teasing me because my hair was falling out. 8 years old and under such stress. I got taken out of classes and a kindly lady came to see me at school. I now know she was probably a kiddie psychologist or the like. All she asked me was "were things happy at home?" and I replied: Of course. What else was I meant to say with my Mum sitting there? And how was I to know what was and wasn't happy??

I love Leona. She's sweet. Here's the unknown Leona Lewis on the X Factor talent show. If you've not seen this and can even vaguely tolerate this sort of thing you want to see this because this performance is outstanding:

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Blue Skies!

IT'S A GORGEOUS DAY TODAY AND I'VE BEEN CLEANING MY HOUSE! At long long last. And doing things and addressing things that have gone too long unadressed and undone because I was wallowing in an apathy of ordures, as the French charmingly call their shyte.

Yesterday I had the final consultation in my mental health "probe" (to use Sunday newspaper language). As I told the Operative, I finally wish to address my "issues" in a grown-up way that was not possible previously when I was too para to throw my problems on the table without feeling outmanoevred ~ even checkmated ~ before I even started...

I have two appointments, possibly with two doctors though one's the Shrink. I told the Operative of many of my tangled jangling past of unusual experience. Now the Operative's going to give the Shrink a summary before I go in. So for once I might get a proper assessment instead of a doctor barking up the wrong tree and me too eager to flee out the room to bother putting him right. I always felt whatever I said, whatever I did, circumstances would conspire against me and thwart my efforts at tidying my mess up or building any future. This was another fuel to my Great Apathy.

My Worker was all aglow with praise at my transformation but there's still such a lot of transforming left to do. Today I've to get on with cleaning my house. It's gone scuzzier than I realized, when I suddenly see it through "normal people's" eyes. Then I have to clean up my SELF. And then build a future. Not much to do then.

S i l v i o B e r l u s c o n i y e l l s a t B a r r a c k O b a m a
d u r i n g B u c k i n g h a m P a l a c e p h o t o s h o o t : ~
f a b u l o u s l y f a m o u s e n t e r t a i n i n g f o o t a g e
o f t h e v u l g a r I t a l i a n P M b e i n g p u t i n h i s p l a c e . . .

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Piri Piri Potatoes and a Half-Baked Novel

I MADE A PETTY IMPULSE PURCHASE last week! The first one in about ten years (not counting food, drugs, drink or necessity-type items). There I was queueing in the post office (that means standing in inexorable, interminable life-drainingly long line to you Americans. Of course we're queueing next to numerous novelty stationery items and had ample opportunity to examine them, being stood next to them so long. My eye was caught by a tiny notebook, I think it's A6 size which is smaller than I usually like ~ but it was covered in circular holograms of the most amazing motion, like a symphony of ever decreasing circles. Or increasing ~ depending on which way you hold it. "If only I could bring this back to the time of the Pharaohs this would be worth more than the finest jewels," I mused. Then I thought "well you could bring it with you if you went travelling to remote parts. Shark-spearing locals might swap it for a gobstopper sized blue pearl or something..." I looked at the price. About £1.29. Up to that point it hadn't even crossed my mind that I might buy it. To me, things in shops are like museum displays. I never want them because I never even consider them on sale to me. This is one of the many petty bridges I feel burned, or steps taken down to the stygian depths of addiction that separates someone like me from someone like most of you. Something I'd not usually recognize in day-to-day droning dullardness because I'm so used to it I forget, but it puts you and me in totally different worlds...

Anyway I bought the notebook and was nagging at myself early this morning (having woken up at the cheery hour of 4am) on having got nowhere with this book I really do want to write. Seriously it's an A1 idea, I just couldn't muster the joy to get it going. Because it's based upon actual events I'm constrained as to the course of the story, though how I plot the novel and the characters I people it with are of course entirely up to me. We're talking ancient history so I have pretty much carte blanche how I tell it. So I'm thinking, I need to put in this and that and this perspective and that happening. Then I realized if I ignored what I "think" I should put and plan out scenes I want to write instead not only will I have more fun, but I might get a better book out of it. So that's what I did and it seems to be working. In fact I came up with a slapstick comedy scene set in the dungeons that wouldn't otherwise have festooned my brains in 1,000,000 years ...

Righty-ho on to the potatoes. It was Sunday night and I was penniless and totally unappetized by the nearly-empty frozen veg packets and Iceland diddly crispy potatoes. The vinegar had nearly run out. There was no butter for my green beans and worst of all I had no Bisto gravy to slick all over it. Inspiration struck and I piri piri'd my potatoes with Schwarz Cajun seasoning mixed to two parts paprika and a generous couple of pinches of the salt/MSG mix I vandalize my food with every day. Anyway this sprinkled liberally over said diddly roasting potatoes, the potatoes being turned and resprinkled at ten minute intervals, made them gorgeously piquant and crispy. They were a bit like the wedges you used to get at KFC 25 years ago, when they also did black cherry flavour milk shake...

Righty-ho now before I go just to make it clear yesterday I was not slagging off the idea of working ~ whether 9-5 or any other hours. What I was getting at was that you can be spiritually dead, creatively bankrupt, ambitions unfulfilled and all that whether you're working or not and occasionally I realize this and don't feel quite so bad. But as I was saying yesterday, I never envisaged a life of idle wasting and hate living it now. Most of my life "goals" are what you'd call career-oriented. There are loads of things I've always wanted to do, including: become writer of popular novels of worldwide renown; get bit part in French film; design a board game; design a gameshow and get it on TV; make a "grandad and the singing gnomes" type novelty techno record if I ever live past 70; become an internet cook; set up and run a picture library and design, produce and sell a range of novelty hamster homes the like of which nobody has ever seen because they're so amazing... and so on and so on. So there I'm not lacking in ambition I'm just manured in a morass of drug-addicted apathy I cannot seem to clamber out of so what am I going to do? It's all down to me it's all down to me I know. That's what makes it so scary!

Monday, April 06, 2009

I Look Like Jerry Springer!

MY FRIEND MOTHER HUBBARD tidied up my hair, which I cut off Saturday in four hacks of the nail scissors. It had grown into a longhair gormless hippie-curtains look that really didn't suit me. Made me look like that old wino in Shameless more than anything... I don't regret cutting it one single bit (not like I thought I would). The asymmetry is gone, but I'm thinking when I do get it cut next time I might go for an asymmetric style. Let's face it, that's about the last chance I'll get before I'm too old for that kinda thing... Looking down at the long haircroppings I'm surprised what a rich-'n'-shiny chestnut brown they are. Precisely the sort of colour you'd find on one of the darker dye packets. When I was little it was so light it went almost white in summer. Now I think of it as "mouse". I don't know whether to leave it be colour-wise or else go for blond (dead easy ~ it still bleaches naturally in the sun ~ that streaky surfer look ~ and would be fairer if only I'd not kept it covered practically 24-7 with a hat because I hated that longhaired non-style so badly). Now I look something like Jerry Springer, though I have to say every time I stare at it in the mirror I'm telling myself this is too long. The only shade I can think of is dark red. I'm just not 100% sure. I don't want to go round looking like a heroin-addicted lesbian...

I'm getting more and more wound up these days. I woke up this morning at 7am which was exactly an hour and 20 minutes earlier than convenient for me. I was in a sweat and feeling weary, ill and cold. I drank all the methadone I'd saved for this eventuality and yelled and threw the measure across the room. I'm getting more and more wound up lately and wish there was some way of loosening up. As I said last post I've found myself screaming and banging my head on the wall and I can't forget it because there's a horrible mark in the cheap plasterboard where I'd smacked it so...

Mother Hubbard let me bury Itchy in her garden where various people's ashes lay "at rest" (so she says) and various cats. I helped her bury the last one. He was a beautiful ginger tomcat who ruled the local streets. Her husband says he's found him roaming the mainline railtracks, which are the best part of a mile away. He mee-yaowled at him, hopped up on the platform and accompanied him home like a dog... She gave me all tissues and a paper bag to put Itchy in but in the end I trowelled out a hole a few inches deep and put her straight in. Why pad her out and make a great mound out of it? I put her straight in the earth, the way I'd like to go. Hopefully nature will take its course as quickly as possible.

Both had a good look at her and were amazed at how tiny she is. Itchy and Bashful are both like that, not round like "proper" roborovskis (as Spherical is) but more bullet-shaped like babies. They're hardly short of food, but nothing I've tried ever seemed to build them up. They stayed tiny and Baby Itchy was tiniest of all... I've been told they were probably "runts". Poor swines!

I've already had half a gram of heroin this morning and done most of the food shopping. One glance in the mirror ten minutes ago and I looked mashed out of my head. That's the great thing about junkie semi-retirement and using in "moderation": my tolerance has dropped over the years. I'm constantly telling myself I'm too old for this, and weary. But somehow the balances are still weighted on heroin's side. I'm still telling myself it won't always be that way...

I'm scared I'll get more tired and older and pass the age Jerry Springer is now and still have achieved nothing worthwhile in life. Strange: I think back to when I was young and full of daydreams and plans (for better or worse I never distinguished the two). Never once in a million years did I look forward to a life of doing nothing.

Even though I always wanted to be rich and successful (was the only one in an entire careers class who ticked the top-end box when asked how well we wanted to do in life; the other boxes staggered down progressively past "comfortably off" and obscene mediocrity) I never ever fantasized about having riches I'd not won fair and square (unlike the dreadful youth of today). It wasn't so much status I was after as security ~ though I'd always wanted to achieve my "full potential". I daydreamed recurrently about "business ideas". It was the doing I dreamed of, and doing more and more and more before I died. Never lazing around ~ in luxury or in squalor. I always used to have a sense of time running too rapidly by and knowing I'd have to rush to get my ambitions completed while time was still on my side. It wasn't just drugs that knocked me off course. There were years of misery and exhaustion when I was variously diagnosed with CFS and depression.

I still have the special feeling today, but its muted by the haze I live in and I've lost confidence in getting the cooker cleaned and the shopping done before my head's done in ~ let alone achieving these ambitions to rock my people's world with stories bursting out inside me I'm still desperate to tell...

OK well that's about that for today. I "must rush to catch the post" as I'd say in a letter to my late Gran. Cheerio folks; Godwilling I'll be back for yous all tomorrow...

Robo-pixx: Bashful and Itchy look/-ed like these bullet-bodied juveniles; Spherical resembles this white-faced full-bodied "specimen" who possibly has packed pouches...

PS: top ~ that's what "him from Shameless" (Frank Gallagher) looks like (so did I):

This tune goes around and around in my head...

I love the voice and her; but I wish she'd do a u-turn from the Aguilera/Carey route and do more stuff that shows off her talent better:

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Hair Cut!

HERE'S the Furry Friday on Saturdays bit:

I WAS SO DEPRESSED THIS MORNING I was yelling and screaming and banging my head on the wall. So I got a pair of scissors and did something I'd been meaning to do for years: in 4 cuts I hacked all my hair off. It had grown long, straggly and horrible ~ a look I used to like and, for a brief time in my late 20s believed suited me in an Interview with the Vampire kinda way. More recently it's only been long because I lacked courage to cut it ~ in other words it was the tired kind of style many people end up with by default. I never mentioned I was a long-hair here because I hated it and it didn't even suit me any more.

Although my hair does look like it was hacked off by a mentally ill person (it needs some finishing off) the style where I left it long enough to sweep backwards seems to suit me. I know this looks a bit aristocratic, but chavvy fashions just do not suit me. Even when I was so incredibly dirty because I just was not looking after myself at all, people still thought I was posh ("too posh to wash") or "from a rich family". Which amuses me and winds me up by turns because I simply am not...I am blandly middle-class down through 300 years of ancestors ~ probably just like the rest of us.

Poor Baby Itchy. Of all my hammies to go, why did it have to be her? I was very upset when she died because she was so tiny and cute. Between my assuming she'd escaped (because I emptied out their tank and found only two) and then discovered her looking extremely unkempt beneath the water bottle was less than 24 hours. Many a time I've seen what happens when hamsters get old. They progressively lose muscle tone, reduce activities almost to nothing, spending all their time in bed, they get more and more scruffy because they're too sick or weary to wash. And then within a month, they die. Itchy was a more extreme version of this: she'd lost so much weight her backbone stuck out like a piece of wire. Her eyes were half closed. Half-asleep all the time, she weighed next to nothing. She sat quietly in my hands or hobbled across my furry sweater.

The day afterwards I had to go out for an antidrugs meeting so I left her. Luckily she was alive when I got back. I made a cave with my hands to keep Baby Itchy warm because her sisters, bright-eyed and eager trampled back and forth all over her when I hovered overhead bearing biscuits. But nothing would make Itchy eat. Not soggy biscuits, flour, nothing. Wouldn't even sup water. By evening she was so light that probably a hummingbird would have tilted scales against her.

I put her back in the nest supposedly so her sisters Bashful and Spherical could "say goodbye". But they seemed more intent on eating the chocolate remains from around her mouth! And promptly ignored her.

Next morning I fished her out, but was horrified to discover a dark patch ~ greeny-black, underneath just beneath where her bellybutton would have been. I don't know what on earth it was but I'm glad she wasn't left any longer with the others. Quickly I grabbed everything from their tank, put them in their diggery and bleached the tank. Spherical and Bashful weren't too happy about losing their old (cardboard) toys but it had to be done. The wheel's still there.

It's Itchy's funeral today. She's been tied inside multiple carrier bags inside a huge jar somewhere safe and Mother Hubbs said it was OK to put her in their garden where three people are buried (as ashes) and innumerable cats.

Thanks for all the sweet messages. I tried my old email by the way and it is working, so I dunno why some of yous got messages bounced back..?

Right I'd better ping now, Roborovski style. Have a charming weekend...

I really wish they'd put something at least half-decent to watch, movie-wise on television:~

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

RIP Itchy

SHE'S GONE. I didn't want her to get trampled so I held her in my hands and she died around 8 o'clock last night.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

The purple headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Itchy was the one half-asleep:



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