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!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Furry Friday on Saturday 1

HERE'S A CAPYBARA, largest rodent in the world... and strangely (though you'd never see this from photographs; they always seem to accentuate robo-tubbiness) the body-shape's pretty similar to Itchy and Bashful's (Spherical's far too fat to look like that...)

I've given up looking for a robo-picture that shows the resemblance in any meaningful way, but perhaps you can grasp it from this (exaggeratedly small measurement: they're about twice the dimensions given 1.5 to 2 inches)...

Have a furry weekend, y'all!!

Doesn't it sing like a sealion... (or something...)

A tame one, in someone's personal pool. How entertaining:~

Bordering on animal-cruelty, in my opinion...
Here's some Japanese people getting awfully excited 'bout their swimming "hamustaa"

Friday, January 30, 2009

What's Wrong With Me~?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? It's a highly pertinent question: I'm the only person I know who can sleep quite adequately most of the night, then (wishing to avoid the drug dealers of the day, admittedly) remain in bed and slumber the entire day through past nine a.m. and through to five!

This happened to me ~ yet again ~ today. And I was not out of it; I was not stoned. I drank 50mg methadone around five or six in the morning, which is a morning's supply (I save a bit on for the evening). Methadone, when you're a terminal junkie like me, does nothing to "intoxicate", it merely holds you "normal" ~ the idea being that no heroin is required. Though because methadone does not intoxicate lots of people on the programme do itch for something more and frequently find themselves using heroin on top. It's a depressing game and one I'm tired of, hence my casting around for some distractions that might carry me further from the drugs "scene", which is what I hope I might get from this novel scenario stewing inside me.

I've had all sorts of advice that's basically along the lines of not putting the cart before the horse, not worrying about what you're going to write next, get this one done first... which is all fair enough except I want to make a career out of this if I can and I know well enough what the publishing business is like. If you hit upon a bestselling idea they're going to push for more more more of the same. It's for this reason ~ not wanting to be known as a druggie writer ~ as much as anything else that I'm so happy with my present concept. It has nothing at all to do with drugs... And I'm far happier with fiction than autobiography (remember those memoirs I was (very slowly) attemptedly churning out those months ago. No matter how hard I persisted I never felt the idea catch light. Plus I had reservations about putting my own life in print. I didn't think it was fair on family or friends (who had been thrown into the blurriest focus possible)... and also, as I say, wishing to make a career out of writing and knowing the way the business views things, if I'd have made a name as a writer of misery memoirs, misery memoirs part 2, 3, ...10,427 would be demanded of me. Interesting my story might be but it does only really cover ONE book. There's far more commercial potential in fiction and that's always what I'd wanted to do: write the type of airport bestseller that has you so spellbound if you're not careful you'll end up missing your flight!

I'm adding great ideas by the day to my notes. Soon I'll be ready to tackle chapter one (again). The first version was so terrible an eight year-old child could have done better. I'm going to shut up about novelisteering now. For writing IT is my focus; not writing about it~!

Also: talk about "Glass Half Full" but have I set a Blogger record for losing the most followers? Nary a day goes past, after gaining one or two, that suddenly I'm one or two down ~ or the number of followers remains the same, only their faces are different! What's happening here? Am I honestly boring or offending people in such droves? Should I post about alpine rockery shrubs and daisies? I already to a Furry Saturday: maybe it's my roborovski hammies and harvest mice that are turning people off!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

BEING AS THERE'S not a lot to say today I'll post about what pudding I ate last night... Now you'd think this was a state secret, for it's not on their website, but the frozen food chain Iceland are doing a yummy caramel apple cheesecake for £2 and boy! ~ is it a cut above the run-of-the-mill cheap-an'-chavvy tucker they usually stock. The photo isn't actually Iceland's own (hey maybe it is a state secret: I feel a Terry Pratchett=style international thriller coming on here). Anyway, unless you're diabetic go out and buy one. If you are diabetic I can't think of a more beautiful way of committing suicide...

Finally I did put pen to paper concerning my Great Novel to be. Being as I have written (attempted) novels before, I can say I know something about the working arrangements that suit me and writing into the dark I absolutely hate. Not that I'm unwilling to improvise, for that's the very stuff of fictional life, but unless I've planned out where my story's going on a pretty blow-by-blow basis I find myself constantly grinding to a halt.

So what I'm doing is dividing my story into about five books. The actual number's immaterial for it's book one that matters now. This I plot out into five or ten chapters. Chapter one I need to note scene by scene what happens, how etc. This isn't my writing out a book in note form first; it's purely meant to be a guide to spur me onwards when I do write it. Not knowing how to say something's is a problem I enjoy deliberating upon; but not knowing what I'm supposed to be saying ~ that really has me stuck and lost. Hence the forward planning. It always worked in the past and shall work again.

"Inspiration" or at least a measure of self-belief and excitement is crucial at this stage. But as Anthony Trollope, I think it was, famously stated: "I only write when I feel inspired. And I make sure inspiration strikes as I sit down to write at nine o'clock every morning!" If you can't push yourself on to work, no matter how discouraged, flat or lost you might feel, you ain't never gonna finish a novel. It's just too much of a gargantuan task to rely on feeling "inspired" every day to get started! Hence my pre-planning. Am I making sense here?

I wish I could tell yous all what I'm writing about, but this is a tale from the past with the bare facts dictated by history, the drama fleshed out by me...

... and now I must begone! For this internet caff's closing. Night-night y'all...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fish Fingers Sandwiches, A Clean Wok and a Novel New Turn ...

THANKS TO MY NEW OBSESSION with fish fingers sandwiches, my wok, which was already resembling a Hiroshima artifact, became burnt so deep, carbon on carbon, you'd half expect, on excavation to find Viking or Roman jewellery buried underneath.

I followed your advice and smeared on neat sodium bicarb and this, scrubbed, soaked, left and smeared on again etc produced within an hour a wok which, if not exactly new looking, is at least respectable. The old version was so dirty it looked like if you'd only added seeds and fertilizer you could have grown tomatoes out of it...

Talking about archaeological digs, I did some online excavations to find out who had given to who from who from who from who and so on that Honest Scrappin' Award before it came to me via Janice and Merle (and it's now come back to me again so watch out: none of y'all are safe!)

I had been put onto this quest by seeing again at the weekend the Will Smith film Six Degrees of Separation. If you've ever tried bloghopping sideways blog to blog to blog (start with a friend who receives lots of comments from people you don't know and negotiate your way via each new blog's comments. I leave a Hansel & Gretel style sugar-trail of hellos as I go, at least in the interesting ones but if you can't be bothered with this you can hop via their blogrolls... If you've never done this, I'd heartily advise you give it a try someday it's fascinating the new territory you can discover. E.g. the Honest Scrapper Award came to me via a succession of general witty text funny photographs type blogs ~ then all of a sudden I'm in recovering alcoholic land for many blogs in a row till all of a sudden we round a sunny corner into an endless slew of young family with baby blogs... and here I got lost (and I'd love someone to explain how a ward received on 2 December last year was given by someone who only got it a week later...??!? The trail became so nonsensical I gave in... however if anyone does know where the honest scrapper award came from and who originated it, I'd be fascinated to hear the full details from you!!

Where "six degrees of separation" (if you don't know the theory, it says that nearly all of us, in the industrialized world at least, are connected by no more than six degrees of friend-of-a-friendship)... a theory that I've found to be true in blogland at least because if you do hop at random via the unlikeliest blogs collections you can find I guarantee you ~ it might not happen within six, but you're almost certain to find this within twelve ~ glance down each new friend of a friend's and-so-on's comments and I guarantee you, very soon ~ it's happened to me every time I've tried this ~ you'll find a familiar cheery avatar face within 6 shakes of a roborovski's tail, I promise you..!

You can read about the origins of the urban myth/academic theory behind "six degrees of separation" here.

Last but not least my life's rounding a turning point. I cannot explain how or why or any wherefores but I know. If I don't make a move now I seriously will lose out.

I know what I have to do. I've to take up the project that's been festering inside me, longing to burst out ~ my intellectual novel! Forget "clean". "Clean" is meaningless in a vacuum. I'm into filling the void: then I might have something to launch into if/when/however/(somehow) I do finally at last manage to leave ALL these drugs behind...

... Anyway, to this end I purchased 1xA4 refill pad 200 sheets ruled feint and margin; 1xA4 refill pad 100 sheets totally plain; 1xartist quality 0.5mm fineline pen, carbon black, waterfast/lightfast (I need waterproof ~ you would not believe how many litres I've spilled over my intellectual manuscripts in the past...

... now I've no excuse not to get scribbling ~ hurrah!! The novelist in me rejoices!

The novelist in me quakes in fear at having been cornered, exposed and put on the literary "spot", but hey: life's about challenge...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I got three second hand books for £2.45 just now: Margaret Thatcher: The Downing Street Years (hardback) (don't think I'll be reading this one page by page but the lady at the counter said, "well you never know till you try it" ~ a motto for life, that.) The other two were Kitty Kelly on Frank Sinatra His Way (I know he had a thing for hanging out with the maff, but I'd love to find out just how sinister that man actually was) and a historical-meets-present-day (Da Vinci Code-style) tie in, The Last Secret of the Temple by Paul Sussman.

A member of my family very kindly sent me a whole load of shorthand print-outs, Mr Gregg's 1929 Anniversary manual. Online aficionados all say 1929 is the best version of Gregg shorthand.

The doodling is a way of spending nervous energy as much as anything else. My goal is to write shorthand as fluently as longhand: imagine how quickly I could knock out that novel of mine then~!!?! To help with this task I raided the local Ladbrokes of about 150 free pens. Well they owe me something back, the amount of money I've wasted in their betting shops. (£1, £2 a time, I hasten to add. I may have the odd "flutter" ~ as they call it when the royal family engage. Have you noticed the way the Queen never "knocks back booze" but "has a tipple" hmmmmmmm... yeah I may have the occasional flutter but I'm not stoopid ~ one vice is enough for me... Having said that, I've never been one for "tippling" ~ knocking back the booze is far more my style!!

The "Dilaudid" hydromorphone polymer implant I mentioned trialling yesterday isn't a cut-and-dried situation by any means. I've not been offered a trial at all. What I was trying to say was, I've found out this new therapy is available for junkies and those in chronic pain where a polymer implant, loaded up with Dilaudid, is slotted under the skin and stitched in. This is highly reliable, giving no initial surge and not, apparently, tailing off too badly either. In other words you get the intended dose on a constant daily basis for up to three months. I'm interested because I don't think methadone's "personality" really suits me. The "hold" it gives is nearly always thinner than it's supposed to be, and far from blockading any of heroin's effects, when I've been on my methadone dose alone for a few days I actually become more sensitive and less tolerant to heroin. Which is not really what's supposed to happen...

If I want to engage in any trials it will be up to me and my worker to find them and hustle to get my name considered. I think I should be a prime candidate because nothing I've tried has worked for me ~ not the way it's really supposed to work. I know a lot of that is down to me, but at least if I do get to try this, I'll be doing it by my own volition...

So wish me luck with the quest for I've nary a clue where to start seeking...

... oh and one last (very mundane) thing. Does anyone know how I get seemingly chronically burnt-on carbonized ashiness off my "nonstick" Ikea wok? I haven't dared use the rough squiggly side of washing-up sponges (are they safe?), nor have I gone anywhere near bleach, clothes washing powder or any other tricks I've been told. I've soaked in hot soapy water but to no avail. And being as Teflon seems so incredibly sensitive to anything that might scrape it off I've no idea what to do to declag this pan. Advice: please!

PS: Of course that woman's not really banging up gear in her forehead; she's taking Botox!

See how they do the robo-kissy-kissy "thang" just about every time they come face-to-face...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Comatose Sleep... Poked with a Chopstick

I ONLY DRAGGED MYSELF OUT OF BED yesterday for some basic home comforts, before pinging quickly back for hibernation. Friends had finished; there was a documentary on Channel 5 about how tribesmen of European descent found themselves interbreeding with Tibetan and Siberian stock in Central China in ancient times, living lives considered important enough for mummification... Yes it was one of those mysteries of the "how did a blond person get out here" type programmes with no real answers but very good for dunking Hobnob creams to...

Not very much of yesterday comes back, for all I really recall was being averse to the calls of drug-dealers (and the phone did ring a couple of times)... and crawling back to bed and sleeping... and sleeping... and sleeping some more... and waking finally after three o'clock in the morning having slept perhaps some twenty hours out of twenty-four yesterday. I'm glad I missed the day. At least no drugs was an achievement. I topped up on methadone twice while I drowsed, but awoke not eletrocutedly panick-stricken I need gear! but sweating and cold, a full sign of not having used and, despite my having scrupulously dosed precisely as prescribed and cautiously avoiding all and anything else, my minor dalliances of the past week swept over me in sweat and charged me interest in those little shivers. I don't know what else to go for.

A little research of mine has implied there may be some other options hitherto unexplored re opiate substitution therapy. One would involve a hydropmorphone ("Dilaudid") implant, slotted under the skin like a doggie's ID-chip this would leech out a semi-synthetic opiate, about the same strength as diamorphine if not stronger, by constantly skinpopping me night and day for a month. The principle being that with this reliably topping me up, no chance of missed or lost doses and a more heroin-like effects profile, my treatment might be more effective and more controllable. I'm determined this time to put my hand up to go on clinical trials for this thing. I've been mentioning for years I'd like to trial a new treatment and have been consistently ignored. This time I shall make sure that does not happen. I think it's about time some druggiedoctors listened to me for a change...

I played a furry trick on Baby Itchy Roborovski earlier today by sneaking up on the Trotters as they dozed in their nest and poking in a chopstick. Itchy was curled up alone and I provided verbal sound-effects as she span round, violently to nibble at her sides: "Oh no I'm having an itchy moment. Aaargh! It's the mites ~ they've come back!! Oh no I've got an itchy bum now, oh dear..." No wonder my next door neighbour gives me the weirdest looks whenever we pass in the hall...

I hope you all had a merry itchy harvestmousey weekend, y'all with no 20-hour bouts of sleeping as I might do. They say it's a hard knock life and all (Mother Hubbard's granddaughter watched that film Annie about 25 times in the space of 3 weeks when she was three...)...

... which brings to mind that Austen Powers rendition of the Musical Standard. Have an Entertaining Week, y'all...(!)

Dr Evil (& Mini-Me) Hardknock Life...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sloomy Gloomy Rainy Sunday

IT'S A RAINY SUNDAY with repeats all over the TV and I didn't want to get out of bed except a craving for a cup of tea and cig with new vanilla Hobnob creams dragged me to the shops. Basically I can't wait to get back to the safety and shelter and my half a bottle of methadone left. I'm avoiding the world today!

Here's a tune that keeps going round my head:

Richard Marx: Hazard

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Furry Entertainers

I SAW A GIANT TUBBY SEWER RAT AMBLING UP THE STREET AT 5 in the morning when I was out on a chocolate-sugar and milk hunt... the perky eared swine crossed the road at his own, extraordinarily slow, pace right in front of me, so I went to the kerb, knelt down and said "hello you great fatty!" in the stupid voice I reserve for furry animals. He gave me the most disappointed glance, then pinged back across the street and back to the bushes, where he'd been gathering birds' eggs or something...

Because it's the weekend I'm up to furry animal posting. To the left you see Reggie Rat's lookey-likey. To the right my namesake creature. If I had to be a rodent, I would be a harvest mouse. These are even tinier than roborovskis. Slightly longer in body-length they can be, but they're of far more slight a built, and hence designed for mousey-mountaineering. And it's definitely the climbing thing that appeals. I have seen these close up in a wildlife park. They were given a large indoor enclosure with wheat stalks and shrubbery they can climb with ease... Somehow I find the idea of abseiling among the blackberry bushes whose berries are bigger than me extremely entertaining ..!

If I had to choose any animal of course I'd be a bird (how imaginative: yes)... namely a seagull. I know the watery view's relatively boring, but you do get to wheel and glide over land (and that's half the fun of being a seagull: the effortless style of flight)... also you get to travel, plus I just luuurve fish anyway... so nary a lifestyle adaptation to be made, eh?!?

Last but not least we have pictured here the English water vole (better known as a water rat to you Wind in the Willows readers...) He's a tubby squeaking aquatic type of mega-mouse with the best doggie-paddle I've ever seen (and I have seen one doggie-paddle right past me down a fast-flowing stream when I was a kiddie...) Water voles are endangered species... and being that hamsters and voles share a genus/phylum/darwinian species compartment and I was born in the year of the water hamster or water rat... so here below, without a doubt is the embodiment of my Chinese star-sign. Ta-daaaa!!

This is sposed to be about the illusory nature of modern mores and existence... It's very Lily...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Things About Me You Probably Guessed Already...

Merle and Janice have given me an award!
Thanks Merle in Melbourne Down Under and Janice in Southern California for the Honest Scrapper Award. I am to reveal a collection of facts about myself so here goes.

~ I have given up smoking crack. Or injecting it. Or "speedballing" it. And have kept to this resolution for three weeks in a row now ~ wahey!

~ I only really got addicted to heroin aged 28!! I had been messing about with it "casually" for a few years before that. And I never took any illegal drugs till I was 19.

~ I made up for lost time by dropping acid within a few days of my first spliff. I didn't realize I was taking 4 at once and blew my head off.

~ 2 of my acquaintances have been murdered. Both with knives.

~ I once spent an entire night tripping stuck in the nasty nursery rhyme:
Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle;
Mix it up and make it nice:
POP! Goes the weasel!

And all the acid-spangled long night through that over-inflated weasel was just about to get it with the needle.

~ This might be the night I had a Strawberry Fields moment all of my own. The man at the 24-hour garage had decided to rearrange the biscuits displays, which were scattered wildly about the floor... so in my brainfrying state it was Custard Creams Forever..!

~ It is impossible to calculate how much heroin I've taken in my time, but in the last 8 years it's 1.2-1.5 kilos at the very least. (Yeah, and I feel so clever and proud...)

~ Roborovski hamsters (pictured) are the smallest, fastest and least amenable to taming of any hamsters. And I have three...

~ I can do typing 60wpm (actually it might be faster; I've not timed myself in years) and shorthand 70 wpm (not bed considering I learnt out of a book) ~ yeah, because I so want to be a secretary. (No journalist actually.)

~ My True Ambition is to be a pop-fictionalist writer of bestselling novels. I have an idea fermenting inside me that Jeffrey Archer would kill for.

~ I don't go in for best friends, or favourite this or that; but, as would-be novelist I do admire Jeffrey Archer. His plot-driven short stories are some of the best of our time. I know from his Prison Diaries that he has an empathy for my ilk of problems and found himself living some of the circumstances they can lead to...

~ I have never been inside and don't ever intend to go.

~ I once got so bored of television I lived without it for about 2 years!

~ I was born in the Chinese year of the "rat or any other cute 'n' furry rodent such as hamster", 1972, hence my obsession with all things beady-eyed, cheek-pouched and wheel-running like robbies and harvest mice among many others. Technically I am a "water hamster".

... and that's about all I could think of as I trawled round Morrisons for cooked chicken thighs and basmati rice...

I hereby pass on this award to: Noah from Oklahomah, USA who blogs frankly about life "using", Lucinda from New Jersey, who's given up opiates already aged 17, Melody Lee from New Mexico who's pulled herself a good deal onto the straight and narrow but will always be cool as strawberry icecream, Bimbimbie who blogs the parrots cackling and cawing wild in her garden in Queensland, Australia and Whitenoise, a real live Canadian commercial airline pilot!

Criteria of the award are to link to the blogger who gave it you, post a collection (ideally of 10) honest things about yourself and to pass on the award to as many folks as you please...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Fix

I HAVE TRIED TO FIX MYSELF IN COUNTLESS WAYS; and I'm not just making tawdry puns about drug-injections. Recently I took to viewing videos keyworded "heroin" on youtube. Some of the best embeddable ones you'll see scattered about here. I think it's in the Khun Sa link I gave a couple of days ago, there's footage of Thai and European/Western ("farang") addicts at the famous Tham Krabok monastery near Chiang Mai where patients are given vomiting drinks and told how to restructure their lives. One among them told how he'd injected his savings then his car then a house. (I know someone who smoked nearly an entire house (as crack) and injected the rest (as heroin) in little more than a year...) This particular man said he spent every day using telling himself it was going to be the last.

Contrary to what you might assume (as a nonuser), once heroin's got you, when you're clean and basically tilting downwards towards withdrawal your only fixation's going to be getting getting getting your heroin. Once you've the luxurious swirl of opiates in veins and brains THEN thoughts turn to the terrible habit that's gripped you and how you really must do something (this or that, whatever the newest thing to do happens to be). But that's the luxury of being high and a vast step removed from truly feeling the realities of any situation.

A good illustration can be found in the Carlos and Dadinha vid. You needn't watch far. Just a couple of minutes into it you'll see her swaying on a mattress declaring "we've lost everything". Look at it and see how little she appears to care. That's heroin in a nutshell. A drug for those who wish not to care...

This is why heroin addicts find it so difficult to stop and stay stopped. Other drugs might be far more exciting and intense in their effects. There is nothing very exciting about heroin, even at the start. What it does best is kill pain, give confidence and knock off life's harsher edges. Heroin becomes a very mundane part of life ~ almost like having a cup of tea. The hits mark punctuation points in the day. The eventual effects are subtle, so subtle you might easily say living with them is a bore. The problem is, living without them is agony.

I don't know whether I really am ready to stop, even now. Still not sure.

Burma's Heroin Trade video

Here's the Wat Tham Krabok official site...

... here's the Wikipedia article that (strangely) suggests the Thai Govt suspect the place of being a centre of international narcotics distribution... well clickit and see...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I wrote out an explanation

I WROTE OUT AN EXPLANATION for what I was doing, why last night... I am not in the mood to post it. It needs tidying up and I'm not in the mood for flicking back and forth between notebook pages jiggling words, honestly. I've been miserable all day and all I want to do is sleep. Nothing's connected with nothing. Nothing leads to nothing. Nothing's ever enough...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Drugs Telesales

THE DEALERS HAVE BEEN HAMMERING at my phone this morning all declaring "mine's pukka ~ proper sizes ~ I've got both ~ etc etc". I get barely half an hour's break before someone else takes up the cause. Already I'm a fifth of a gram heavier and £7.50 lighter. Someone else wanted me to test his batch and give marks out of ten ~ for free, whoopee!! ~ and sounded really put out when I gave it a six. I was being diplomatic: actually it was closer to a four-and-a-half...

I promised myself I would not waste any more time and energy negotiating a drugs drought, which is what appeared to be happening. Though 150kgs, if I got my sums right, would last the UK's estimated 300,000 heroin addicts a mere one or two days. Even if that seizure was bound for London alone (it was discovered in East London: Forest Gate) then London would surely have got through it within a week...

I've a new drug worker whose foreign name I still cannot recall ~ sounds like Maple Syrup or something. Throughout our inaugural chat she kept huffing "you must address this" and "I am not at all happy about that" and "why are you drinking so much again?" (ten cans a week even though they're high alcohol 7.5% cyder hardly makes me alcoholic of the year. I'm not that much outside the recommended units guidelines and at least I was honest enough to fess up. If she's going to jump on everything I say and criticize I'm just going to feed her porkie-pies... which isn't really going to help either of us.

I walked away feeling she was determined to break me. Mild mannered I may be, but anyone who knows me well will agree that I can be extraordinarily stubborn and will not be pushed around by someone who's working for the satisfaction of their own ego (as I began to suspect she might possibly be...) I will not be "broken" by anyone...

Then again, on waking at the lovely sociable hour of 4:30 I got to musing, "maybe I want to be broken just this once..." broken and fixed up again nice and clean and normal and recovered... Perhaps, just perhaps this drugs worker might be able to help me in that. But "at the end of the day" (as the massively over-used saying goes) any change I achieve is going to be all down to me. To sort out. To stick with. And to force through... As an old university friend of mine used to say, who sadly had an eye condition which was going to result in almost certain complete blindness within a matter of years: We're all alone in the dark...

Do you like my new antidrugs videos, kids?

Here's one I got labelled CNN from America...

THIS IS NOT what heroin does to brain and body. How can I say that? Because millions of people have been given heroin ("diamorphine") in British hospitals~ and survived without their shells broken. It's the most effective painkiller there is.

But the rest of this commercial, in my opinion, is pretty much bang-on.

Have a look at my Price of Heroin clip (top of sidebar, can't miss it). Why on earth that girl weighs just over 4 stone I've no idea. Heroin doesn't do that... maybe she's heavily into crack, which really does wipe out the appetite... maybe she's anorexic... maybe she's HIV... maybe all three, who knows. I just know documentary-makers love showing an oversimplified gloss on the subject. But, as the saying goes, if that film keeps just one child away from drugs then it's surely worthwhile...

I found a fascinating documentary about the famous or infamous Golden Triangle opium Lord Khun Sa ~ which means Prince Prosperous. The journalists went right up over the border into the Shan Province where he's de-facto monarch, looking after his people, as he'd put it, with his own 20,000 strong army. I love the sinster Buddhist-chants motif they bring up whenever they want to evoke "scary"! Sorry the twonk who loaded this up specifically had "embedding disabled by request" (why do people do that?) but click here and you can see the half hour Burma-thon in its entirety...

PS I'VE still not given in on my "no more crack" resolution... wahey!!!!

PPS Amazing garden pictures alert. In my bloghop today I encountered this blog with flowery-leafy-traily snaps of the grounds at Whitworth Hall Co Durham...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Inconvenient Sunday

I HATE SUNDAYS. Hate them so much I thankfully managed to sleep through most of this one. What is wrong with me when sleep comes only in patches at night, yet I can doze successfully through the entire daylit part of the day?

There isn't very much to say about anything. I have been living on pasta and black coffee with the odd lot of Turkish biscuits (chocolate "creme" in the middle)...

It's not as Siberian-cold as it was last week, but my brain feels frozen as an ice-block. Maybe I am depressed, who knows? Bored/drug-ravaged by years of poppy-"power"...? Who knows?

Roll on Monday, that's what I say! Roll on Monday...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Have a Furry Weekend Y'all!

YES... A FURRY WEEKEND. My hammies have been lying in bed, like little birdies in a nest together (three little gremlin faces peer up at me whenever I speak to them). Itchy has kept her pouches continuously packed with the new hamster food I put out on Thursday, so she wanders around looking like a furry cobra head, which is faintly ridiculous. Specially for Lime, the illustration is a pair of European harvest mice (apparently American ones are bigger and different), these being called micromys minutus (doncha just luurve that Latin~?!?) They live up corn stalks where they make weaver-bird-style nests for their chirrupping furry babbies (which are born blind and naked, like mini baked beans with paws...).

Now on to drugs, but in a more "clean" way... as I mentioned (and I'm sure this is the cause, though I'd imagine the addicts in London would get through that much in not much more than a week...) I believe the current glitch in the heroin market, which seems to be threatening to become a drought, is down to a 150kg seizure made in Forest Gate early last December... Low quality gear is reportedly everywhere (when I have used I've managed to avoid it, mainly by going to one person who's still got a nice lot)... a vast number of the dealers are switched off because, unable to pick up anything worthwhile they'd rather simply stop trading. As I told myself if or rather when this happened again I would give up rather than stress about what I buy/when/how much/from who/what/why/whatever. Life has better things to offer than worrying about heroin, which I'm so fed up of anyhow... so I'm seizing my chance...

PS I can smell the gear off that photo... but why on earth someone's seemingly tried to smoke it off the spoon I've no idea...

PPS I WAS JUST considering this: how can it be a "success" when drugs are taken off the streets only for their price to rise ~ resulting in more crime ~ and drug-dealing criminals to add dangerous adulterants that could kill the drug-using criminals... what a crazy world...

PPS Read how mad these droughts get from this from earlier this year when we did have a drought...

PPPS FROM THE SIDEBAR: HERE's Pablo the "drugs dog"... made for "Talk To Frank" ~ the UK National Drugs Helpline, this is the tv commercial "There's a Darker Side to Coke"...


Friday, January 16, 2009

Exhausion (pt 327)

YESTERDAY ~ ON NO DRUGS AT ALL ~ except my prescribed methadone, I managed to sleep sporadically most of the night, then deeply most of the day till past 3pm. Last night I could not sleep. Yet I was absolutely exhausted and feeling deprived by 9am. So as soon as my head did hit the pillow around midday I slept till past 7pm! What is wrong with me? I don't have sporadic opiate consumption to blame this time...

Do you like my picture? No that's not a Chinese cowboy but Chinese-Burmese Heroin Lord Khun Sa, who russeled an army of over 20,000 men in the Shan-state frontier regions of the famous "golden triangle". Because opium requires an otherwise obscure chemical, acetic anhydride, ordinarily used in production of cellophanes, tapes and filmsto process to heroin and to cover himself with a cloak of respectability, he opened a huge carrier bag factory in his Warlord State. He took full advantage of his cellophane supplies, by famously branding his heroin, which appeared in the West in coloured cellophaned bricks decorated with elephants, Chinese characters and other logos "worthy of Madison Avenue"... He actually sold heroin under brand names: "Double UO Globe" being the most famous in the 70s/80s...

And that's about all for today. Last night I was asked, if actions speak so much louder than words yet yous can only go on what I tell you, how will any of you know if/when I really am clean..? I'll tell you how: because my entire demeanour will change. Even on the printed page I expect you'll notice that...

Thursday, January 15, 2009


THIS IS MY NEW GOAL: far from being just blank and "clean" (never was sure of the "clean/dirty" terminology) but to strive for the true peace and Serenity (as NA call it) of Recovery.

Recovery is not a mere state of being but a process. As far as I understand it is the process of reconciling oneself with the reasons and forces that led us down Smack Alley to the morass of Addiction and moving on from there to learn how to live without drugs of any kind.

NA put great store on this "avoid all drugs" motto (and I think this is the most dangerous aspect of their thinking). They say that even having a drink is using, even if drinking never formed part of your using. Swapping focus from one drug to another is "like switching seats on the Titanic: you're still going down"...

Yes I can see they have a point. And their point makes doing the NA programme actually harder than living "drug-addiction free" than many normal people do, who might pour out the red wine before dinner, continue quaffing while cooking and finish a bottle a person over food after a hard day's work, then feel entitled to get slaughteringly drunk at the weekend (well: if you're British, Irish or Australian especially) and then in this drunken state perhaps turn to 4am spliffs and perhaps cocaine. Millions of "normal" people with respectable jobs engage in such behaviour on a weekly basis. In my day popping ecstasy pills was the thing. You'd go to the club or rave and take the magic tablet (or one and a half or two)... an hour later you're in a wonderland that, most amazingly you share with everybody there. It felt like the most amazing thing. None of the people engaging in this activity would have called themselves "addicts".

Once you have become a full-blown addict, I suppose you have to recognize that you've messed up brain and body to such a degree that for a very long while drugs of any kind ~ including drink ~ are going to be a no-no, unless you want to risk slipping back into deep waters ...

Having said that, I feel some people at NA take the "all using is relapsing" theme too far. I've heard a few stories about people who "lapse" maybe by popping a sleeping pill or knocking back a Scotch. Next thing anybody knows they're back at the heroin and crack. And in this country the vast majority of NA-members are there for one (or more usually both) of those two drugs.

I don't know why I'm saying all this: to convince myself...? To tell you all I'm convincing myself..? I don't know.

PS IF you want something entertaining, click here for a quick snapshot of my "personality"...

PPS ANSWERS to my Coca Cola quiz are: cans (in reading order zigzagging down) Arabic, Russian, Hebrew; the bottle was ARMENIAN!!!

PPPS I SAID I was going to put up stuff for worried parents. Of course I have not done. But there is one organization called Adfam for the families of addicts and users. Clickonthem for more info. The link I got was British but there are similar organizations internationally.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hamster Television


WHEN I'M A WHIZZY SUCCESSFUL TV EXEC I'm going to sell my "pet" idea to Mongolian state television
~ "Roborovski Watch" show... they can put out cameras in the back gardens of their yurts to capture midnight films of Itchy, Bashful and Spherical's distant ancestors scurrying across the dunes...

Then I shall go into book publishing and get millions of copies of my whizzy new tome slapped out: The Hamster Songbook. All the little robos can sit round a campfire (a robo-sized campfire would be the flame from a single teelight!!) and sing songs like "Mongolia"

"And did those paws in ancient time..."

or "Silent Wheel" (a chrismassy one this)

"Silent wheel, tiny wheel,
Spin so fast, do not squeal
All the Trotters will run very fast
But the butter on you will not last
And you'll soon get jammed up!
And you shall soon be jammed up..."

And that's all folks ~ before we really do get Loony Tunes...

PS: See how enormous normal (Syrian) hamsters are compared to the tiny trotting robos...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dazzlingly Clean and yet... Dirty

MY HOUSE HAD TURNED INTO A PIGSTY... bits and pieces, trish and trash everywhere, tomato-spattered floors, fag-ash by the bed and the hugest mound of washing up I've seen outside the catering trade. It took nearly half an hour just to do the washing-up (properly). Then I sprayed Cillit Bang on the floors and mopped them so clean they've been dazzling me. That's the great thing about teak-effect plastic laminate. I know interior designers like Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen would probably puke over it, but it is practical. The tiled area round the cooker is also nice and easy to keep clean ~ though scraping off dried-on Ragu-splatterings took some doing. (I eat about a bucketful of Ragu a week now.) What's inconvenient about tiles are: they make a plate-smasher's paradise. And for the not-so-nimble-fingered like me that means what looks like the smithereen remains of a Greek wedding end up scattered there. And I don't keep shrubs in pots (no green fingers, no garden) hence no need for this "crocks" collection... Yes so the place is spotless once again. Blank surfaces glare back at me...

... and so of course I am dirty, and though I was craving after crack all day (it was Monday) I resisted. But got stoked up on the "brown" nonetheless.

There was a 150-kilo seizure in London around a month ago, and I wondered whether that would cause any dip in the supply. Seemingly it has, because I've been hearing stories all around of garbage-gear in circulation. I managed to avoid it, though apparently my old "best" dealer's had something that resolidified like jam in the works so you just can't take it. No way am I negotiating my way through another heroin drought. Basically what happens is the price effectively doubles and you never know who to go to, who to trust. Extraordinarily strong gear of any colour suddenly hits town, suddenly China white is around, which is normally rare here. But most of the gear's heavily adulterated (sometimes to the point of being unusable like the jam gear I just mentioned).

You'd think people dealing in drugs (and successful ones almost never "get high on their own supply") would trouble to learn the basic properties of their merchandise. But no, some people are thick. There was once, up and down the country, which means multiple kilos must've been thus adulterated, a phenomenon called the "oil slick gear". I heard tales about this from as afar afield as Birmingham and Norwich. I scored a bag once. Cooking it up, the powerful and distinct aroma of myrrh accosted me. I looked down at the spoon and thought "I don't remember leaving the filter in". Something brown and soppy was floating in the middle. I fished this out: it was the proverbial "oil slick" (and it didn't half smell nice). Probably one thicko dealer had said to another "so what me cut dis gear wid?" and the other would have said "resin" (meaning the stuff you rub on violin bows: powdered down this probably would look like "brown"). So the idiot goes to a Neals Yard-type herbalists, asks for a resin and gets all this myrrh, mixing it into kilos and kilos without even checking what it does... O boy. THIS is what makes me wanna steer clear of heroin and the "drugs scene" and all they stand for. I don't want to be worrying about injecting my legs with violin resin or myrrh. And I'm fed up of losing touch with friends for a few weeks then automatically wondering whether they're dead.

This is not a war zone. This is not a life. They say heroin is for those too frightened to live. And yes, ever since I found it I clove to it like mother's milk. Yet I was not born a junkie. I should not need opiates to survive. I've had enough, had enough of this. The time is coming to leave this mess behind...

PS: Notice how the illustrations for heroin seizure and powdered myrrh appear almost identical...

Written by the Pet Shop boys, I think this version's better...

Patsy Kensit wanted to be "the most famous person alive" and, watching the vid you see she did have the star quality to be a British Kylie or Madonna... she was so trendy in her day, dropping "E" at Shoom club (British birthplace of Acid House ~ actually a south London gym), marrying one musician after another, culminating in Liam Gallagher where she lost it so much she turned down a part in Friends... now look at her. She landed in a helicopter in Emmerdale, now she's a nurse in Holby. Hey: it's a job!

Here's allegedly original footage from the legenday SCHOOM CLUB, 1987



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