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


Gledwoods deutscher Blog

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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, October 05, 2009

A (Deutschsprachig) Literary Day Out!

I DIDN'T GO INTO TOWN and buy the German news magazines this morning... that's because I blew all the money on drugs instead..! No! I'm kidding ~ I rang University College London (the most central London college (of high repute) ~ it's in Bloomsbury, near the British Museum. Bloomsbury is the nearest London has to the Left Bank in Paris... stately, (relatively) quiet. And a profusion of mature trees dropping conkers on yer 'ead up just about every road)... I rang UCL and asked the Students' Union whether they had a bookshop where I might pick up secondhand coursebooks. The nice lady said, "No dear. But there is a Waterstones on Mullet Street. Most people go there."

It took me five minutes to figure out that the road in question was actually called Mallet Street, and when I called in there was no shortage of coursebooks in every subject imaginable from Japanese to medicine. I kept myself firmly focused on German.

I've never seen new and secondhand books sold together; but because they're a university branch, this Waterstones did indeed stock used volumes as well. They had the best selection of German literature I've seen anywhere in a long while. (A far better range than our local library stocks, for sure!)

They'd sold out of big secondhand dictionaries, but I did get some works by Goethe.

When I was paying, the assistant asked, "Are you a student?" (Because they offer a 10% discount on production of valid ID.) I said, "No, but I'm hoping to become one." She said: "That's what I like to hear!" And then got very helpful when I asked where else I might find an old dictionary, giving detailed directions to Skoob Books, which I hadn't been able to find anywhere near Holborn tube (where they used to be). That's because they'd moved to a place called The Brunswick Centre.

I hadn't felt at all sure of finding a decent second hand dictionary and had set out this morning fully expecting to pay £35 for one. So imagine my "appointment" when I found a 1997 Oxford-Duden for just £15.

All in all I spent £27.50 on books. These were:

Thomas Mann: Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice)
Holderling: Dichtung; Schriften; Briefe (Poetry, Writings, Letters)
Franz Kafka: Die Verwandlung ("Metamorphosis")
Goethe: Faust I; Iphigenie auf Tauris; Torquato Tasso; Das Märchen

I did the Kafka as an A-level set text... In fact of the three books we studied in German, "Metamorphosis"/Die Verwandlung was the only one I got much of a handle on ~ and that was mostly thanks to my trusty Penguin Classics translation! Perusing it on the tube home, I was pleasantly surprised at how much of the original I can now understand... I don't know what's happened, but my reading comprehension is now better than it ever has been ~~ and I achieved this purely by reading texts that appealed to me, listing every word I didn't understand in an exercise book... Maybe my brains were too crowded out with school-school-school when I was younger. I don't know. But at this rate I might actually be able to read the stuff I've always dreamed of reading ~~ without any recourse to a translation...

So all in all a very intellectually rewarding excursion!

And now I have to go the irritating computer's about to time me out ... but

Goethe ahoy!!


Barbra Streisand was on Jonathan Ross's chat show last night...

I wonder if this was a homily to that Argentinan singer who just died(?), but I love this kinda music:

Mercedes Sosa! That's the name ... Dead at 74, highly-strung tunes... in the style of "If you go away" as sung by Babs above ...

Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jaques Brel ... no wonder it's good: it's French!


Baino said...

Glad to see you making a habit of Sunday excursions Gleds, Remembe when you used to hate Sundays! Quite a cache you managed there, enjoy!

Reeny's Ramblin' said...

I would love to scour the book stores in London...

Good to hear you are out and about enjoying yourself. Don't be a stranger!

Jeannie said...

I think it's fantastic that you are pursuing languages. You really can't go wrong. I'm feeling like I really should get back to the Spanish - you're an inspiration. BTW - how do you pronounce Goethe?

Mizpeh said...

Hallo Gleds

Schön zu sehen, verfolgen Sie Deutsch - wunderbar!

Ich dachte, Sie könnten daran interessiert zu wissen, dass es eine Facebook-Gruppe namens "Gledwood Crew" werden. Hier ist der Link: --



molson said...

You sure have a lot to see and do in London there Gledwood. Nice to see you have found some pleasant distractions from everyday existence. I sure could use a few good distractions. Not much happening here in the village right now and winter is coming on. I feel the snow will fly early this year. That reminds me, I have to find my gaiters for hiking in the snow. Snow in the boots is never a good time. Oh well tramping through the snow should be as much fun as reading German books don't you think?

Maybe I should start a second photo blog for all my non-Colorado hiking adventures. I just have to think up a catchy name. What do you think Gledwood?

Bimbimbie said...

Haha*!* You almost had me tut tutting and shaking my head at your opening line. I love second hand book stores ... new book stores too, but I like a book bargain. Glad you went away with a few and that you actually had someone nice and friendly helping you out. Smiles*!*

Anonymous Drifter said...

I absolutely loved Kafka's Metamorphosis.

Gattina said...

I wish you good luck with Goethe, that's what I had to read in school ! Would never read it again. Thomas Mann is OK, but Kafka is very black and depressive ! Nothing to read on a bright lovely day !
But congratulations for your choice, these are books quite difficult to read even for a German !

Sarcastic Bastard said...

You are one of the funniest people I almost know. You blew all the money on drugs. That made me laugh.

Love you,


Gledwood said...

BAINO: this was Monday but I spent the Sunday reading intellectual books as well ;->...

REENY: there are gerzillions of them. Only problem being they tend to be dotted around a massive area but the best ones are real treasure-troves ...

JEANNIE: in English "Gurter" ~ rhymes with Frankfurter

MIZPEH: was-facebook-crew-Ding? Dass muss ich ansehen gehen. O fuck that's shyte grammar already... (or is it? I wouldn't know...)

MOLSON: "In the West Village" ... I saw a Disney film about a man on a scientific expedition to Alaska ~~ can't fit most of the equipment on the rickety old plane so it gets dumped... then HE gets dumped in the icy wastes with no way of knowing where he IS, let alone how he might get back to civilization. I missed the last bit bc I had to go pick up methadone from the chemists haha!

Gledwood said...

BIMBIMBIE: what WAS my opening line? I've 4gotten now...

DRIFTER: I hated it at first ~ thought it was pretentious rot. (Not my choice of book and there were only 2 in the class, so a bit of democracy wouldn't have gone amiss!) Then I got into it and really loved it. Which is one thing I'm glad of at school. Finding new things I didn't think I'd like.

GATTINA: I love Faust. All those rhymes! Shakespeare hardly ever rhymed... I don't know about Thomas Mann, but the Kafka I did like once I got used to it ~~ the language isn't half as difficult as I remembered... don't know if that's bc I know what's coming next ...

SB: not long ago I WOULD have blown all that dough on drugs without a second thought ...

Gledwood said...

BIMBIMBIE: o yeah!

Liz said...

Sounds like a great day out! Daughter went to UCL - for three days. Hated it - well, mostly london - and missed boyfriend so gave up.

Gledwood said...

3 days??!? Bloody hell! I can imagine being terrified in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham... but not London, the statliest city in these wee isles!



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