HAMSTERS & HEROIN: Not all junkies are purse-snatching grandmother-killing psychos. I'm keeping this blog to bear witness to that fact.


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I used to take heroin at every opportunity, for over 10 years, now I just take methadone which supposedly "stabilizes" me though I feel more destabilized than ever before despite having been relatively well behaved since late November/early December 2010... and VERY ANGRY about this when I let it get to me so I try not to.

I was told by a mental health nurse that my heroin addiction was "self medication" for a mood disorder that has recently become severe enough to cause psychotic episodes. As well as methadone I take antipsychotics daily. Despite my problems I consider myself a very sane person. My priority is to attain stability. I go to Narcotics Anonymous because I "want what they have" ~ Serenity.

My old blog used to say "candid confessions of a heroin and crack cocaine addict" how come that one comes up when I google "heroin blog" and not this one. THIS IS MY BLOG. I don't flatter myself that every reader knows everything about me and follows closely every single word every day which is why I repeat myself. Most of that is for your benefit not mine.

This is my own private diary, my journal. It is aimed at impressing no-one. It is kept for my own benefit to show where I have been and hopefully to put off somebody somewhere from ever getting into the awful mess I did and still cannot crawl out of. Despite no drugs. I still drink, I'm currently working on reducing my alcohol intake to zero.

If you have something to say you are welcome to comment. Frankness I can handle. Timewasters should try their own suggestions on themselves before wasting time thinking of ME.

PS After years of waxing and waning "mental" symptoms that made me think I had depression and possibly mild bipolar I now have found out I'm schizoaffective. My mood has been constantly "cycling" since December 2010. Mostly towards mania (an excited non-druggy "high"). For me, schizoaffective means bipolar with (sometimes severe)
mania and flashes of depression (occasionally severe) with bits of schizophrenia chucked on top. You could see it as bipolar manic-depression with sparkly knobs on ... I'm on antipsychotic pills but currently no mood stabilizer. I quite enjoy being a bit manic it gives the feelings of confidence and excitement people say they use cocaine for. But this is natural and it's free, so I don't see my "illness" as a downer. It does, however, make life exceedingly hard to engage with...

PPS The "elevated mood" is long gone. Now I'm depressed. Forget any ideas of "happiness" I have given up heroin and want OFF methadone as quick as humanly possible. I'm fed up of being a drug addict. Sick to death of it. I wanna be CLEAN!!!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Boo-Hoo... I'm Scared!

FEAR. YES! FEAR AND SHEER TERROR!! It's the lifeblood of addiction. If we weren't so terrified by the sheer looming drop into the seeming void of life without drugs ~ trust me, addicts to heroin, crack, drink and any other head-in-the-sand substance would tend to show far more willing to give it up.

Perhaps I ought to scrawl out several pages of deep psychological reasons WHY all this? Why why why?

On the face of it (from an outsider's point of view) heroin addiction, for example, seems very straightforward. You just stop taking the drug, feel a bit fluey for three days and then you're fine, right?

Well that's not right. As anyone who's had the flu, which is pretty much anyone, can tell you, however horrible you feel it's a pretty self-contained condition cushioned by sleep.

Opiate withdrawal is anything but "contained". You become fretful, hyperactive. Typically you don't sleep at all for days on end. It feels nothing at all like flu, though an unempathetic doctor may fixate on certain similarities, like feverishness, sweating, running eyes and nose, etc. But the actual experience of "cold turkey" is nothing like flu at all.

Another myth: it is not over in three days. It takes about a week to be over the physical syndrome, but residual anxiety and insomnia take a month or more to pass. This is far outside the junkie's 24-hour scope of survival, so of course it feels like an eternity and they can't cope.

The deeper you get into addiction the more you lose certain strengths and skills the rest of the population take for granted. The attention span is fractured. Sleep gets scattered all over the place. Food is utterly unpalatable without heroin. But crack causes extreme anorexia ~ so somebody on both will barely eat at all.

Heroin kills pain, both phsysical and mental. It's the strongest painkiller there is ~ as is testified by the fact that in the handful of countries where it is licensed for medicinal use (including Britain), it's the analgesic of choice in terminal cancer and other dire conditions. In the beginning, once initial distractions like nausea and skin-itching are pushed to the side, heroin flushes its users full of sensation and enchantment. By this point the experimenter will typically have tried pretty much everything else going, but in comparison to these substances, the effects of heroin feel totally natural and not forced. Heroin is a deceptive beast.

As time marches on and use of the drug becomes constant and relentless the enchantment fades to dust and all you know is that taking heroin feels far better than going sick without it and quite a lot nicer than methadone. And so continues a twilight state of living that can go on for decades. Nothing is really done or achieved. Periodic crises are averted with great effort. But most of life feels too great a task to take on. Heroin, once a great antidepressant, now leaves you in a continuous state of low grade misery.

So what's stopping me or anyone from taking that final leap into the dark?...


This was considered too strong for British TV, even after nine pm:

I know this is a corny choice of song, but it's what came to mind... When this came out I thought "bloody hell ~ same look, same sound; do something new, Lilly"... but I really like this ~~



Jeannie said...

I think fear makes us and keeps us from doing all sorts of things. I understand completely - even though I'm not an alcoholic, I like a drink and to think about NEVER having another one makes me want one NOW. The same with food and dieting. The same when I did smoke. It's very difficult to work up the courage to finally decide and 5 times harder to actually follow through for the amount of time necessary to have your body adjust and then to fight your mind after that. I think that's why rehab may be helpful - you are voluntarily putting others in charge so you can't back out.

Akelamalu said...

The only drug I've ever given up is tobacco and that was hard. I can't imagine what it's like taking other drugs daily for years but I think giving anything up is down to just how much you want to do it. Basically it's up to you isn't it? If you want it bad enough and get the help you need you will do it. I hope you do m'dear. x

Liz said...

Catching up.

Bashful died?! I'm sorry. Poor you.

I love gregorian chants.

digital radio is groovy. Radio 7 I like.

Fear is there to be defeated. you can do it, gledwood. We believe in you.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Poor Bashful and poor you, Gleds. Fear is a terrible thing that can literally root us to the ground. But you WILL beat it, Gleds.

Syd said...

There are days when the fears are behind me and I'm moving forward. And then there are other times that it makes me crazy. Luckily I have more days without the fear than with.

Mario said...

Thanks for the comments. =]
If I may be completely honest with you I think you should consider getting help from a recovered addict and share this.

Smack Happy said...

You have such a way with words - you hit the nail right on the head.

I am harsh jealous of your ability to express just what you mean without mincing words. You are truly gifted - I really hope you write a book.

Puss-in-Boots said...

D'you know Gleds, your very graphic description of being on drugs and coming off them would have given me the heebie jeebies about taking them, if I was so inclined. As I'm not, I'm really glad of that fact.

That Keira Knightley ad against domestic violence was shown here and I just happened to be up and watching the tv at that time. It made my blood curdle. Unfortunately, there's too much of it...read my current post.

Bimbimbie said...

If only it was possible to wave a magic wand over you Gleds and swap your drug addiction to one of konditorei.

Fear's a funny thing, it can keep us safe from potential dangerous situations (so long as we run the other way) or it can hold us back from moving forward when we don't have enough faith in ourselves*!*

Gledwood said...

They say you only need to face up to a fear ~ well and truly ~ to defeat it. And this is true, SO LONG AS THE FEAR IS GROUNDLESS. Once I tried to face up to my fear of going back into education, having been sick, pushed myself too hard (nobody else was pushing me) and pushed myself into a breakdown.

Now I have learned to look a little more closely at what the fear is OF.

Having said that, addicts are of course terrified of the unknown, as we all are. It's just that for them the "unknown" tends to constitute ordinary life!!

I never drew the connexion between Keira Knightley, domestic violence and drug addiction but there IS a parallel. The drug hurts you, you keep going back. It makes you feel better for a while...

Yes I would love to write a book. Only I'm too tizzyheaded at the moment to get it done...

Baino said...

Gledwood I'm with Annie, it's so difficult. I fight with a few demons but nothing as obsessive as heroin. The thing is you can get help. I doesn't have to be a painful ordeal or so I've heard (and I've told you about my relative). But it isn't an 'easy' path. I've often said to my kids that if I was ever diagnosed with a terminal disease, I'd try it . .nothing to lose etc. but it's the FEAR that stops me for now. Please, you should be more fearful of taking it than giving it up. We're barracking for you down under . . have a go at rehab . .proper medicated rehab that minimises the pain . . .we're very fond of you . .really! And that book . .if you're not tizzyheaded you have the skill and experience to write a blockbuster . .really!

Faith friend


Gledwood said...

If you had a terminal illness they might well give it you in hospital anyhow... did you ever see the Aussie film about a 40 or 50 something woman dying of cancer with several grown up children. She goes a bit wild with her slightly wayward sons, zooming around in opentop cars, swigging out of the morphine bottle (they all do)... as her son reads aloud from a Jaquie Kennedy biography..? It's quite good.

I haven't given up on the book idea at all. It's slightly gone to sleep...

Unfortunately it always felt that the bridges crossed on the way "down" were a bit irrevocable, that I would never be the same again. Somehow that makes trekking back so much harder ...

Gledwood said...

The film:

It's called Soft Fruit ~ (1999)...

Brad Exford said...

Hi Gledwood,

I'm a new follower of your blog so I thought I'd post a comment by way of an introduction.

Many years ago I too was a heroin addict. I was on it for six years but have now been clean for 11. I achieved that by leaving my life behind (for 'life' read 'existence') and moving to a city where I only knew one person who put me up. I went cold turkey on his sofa. No methadone, no counselling or rehab, I just did my own programme.

I echo your sentiment 'feel a bit fluey then you're fine.' Nope! After the physical shit, when you think it should get easier, that's when it starts getting really hard. You start to think 'I've got rid of the habit, I can have a bag now. Just have a dabble.' Let's be clear.....there is no such thing as a dabble. You dabble before you get the habit, but not afterwards. Anyway, I'm digressing.......before I got into smack I vaguely remember having problems. Then I got on the gear and I thought that was my only problem. I thought if I got off the smack I'd be fine. How wrong I was. Cos when I did, all those problems I'd forgotten I had came back. I had to deal with them, and that's hard.
Reality hits you in the face and makes you realise why you decided to be a heroin addict.....cos let's face it, life is hard. I think your fear is fear of reality.....am I right?

Anyway, I'm gonna leave you now. If you're interested in finding out a little more then check out http://junkiesvoice.blogspot.com/

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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