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 26, 2010

5am Heroine.

IT IS 05:48 HOURS as I start writing, though I have been musing on what I might say since long back. Outside, on my Turkish Chocolate Biscuit Trip, Flapper, my Giant Tubby Pie Pigeon (who I now know for sure is a wood pigeon, as opposed to the feral town bird, which is a species of rock dove ~ rock doves have iridescent scarves thrown over their shoulders; wood pigeons are clad in matte pastel tones and, as I said before, wear a tiny white cravat. Unlike the plucky rock dove, who we've all seen eating from the hands of French tourists he doesn't even know, I know Flapper, my Pie Dove will never become hand tame. Temperamentally they are the roborovskis of the pigeon world. Untrusting and flighty. Talking of roborovskis, I remember spotting my late three furry pingpong balls asleep in their toothpaste box nest at the time, all looking cute in a row. Unlike other hamsters, who curl into a ball sideways, like a dog or a cat might, robos nearly always sleep on their feet. So that if they are startled they can ping without delay! Anyway I saw the furry swines sleeping peacefully and thought I might surprise them with a tasty nibble for their rodent monoteeth (apparently they only have ONE tooth, top and bottom) so in I poked a "lady's finger" ~ that is a piece of okra or gumbo. O man ~ the commotion! Three tiny balls of fur pinged out the other end of that tube in a furry explosion. You'd think I'd pushed a needle-toothed baby crocodile in after them, snapping at their tubby bums. If they could have done, they'd have waved their hands in the air in horror and cheered, three little drama queens that they were. The reason I've not got any new hammies (apart from that roborovski hamsters are so very hard to find when you want them) is that I'm so terrified of them escaping again. The door to the hallway has a half-inch gap under it. To a little robbie this is as High as the Fourth Road Bridge. In my old house they would go missing for two and three days at a time. Only when I had given up hope of ever seeing each escapee alive again would I suddenly, usually far after midnight, see a furry hallucination silently whizzing across the floor. The ONLY way I ever successfully caught them was by 1. coaxing them into a box or something I could then pick up and deposit back into the robo-tank or 2. throwing a teeshirt or something over them. Even then, if I got my aim spot-on, the tiny terror would be half-over the edge, bulgy-eyed and frozen with fear. Of course, in a situation like that they think a predator has them. Another unique behaviour of robo-hamsters as opposed to "normal" ones was frequent playing dead at times of high stress. Which did look funny sometimes. So from a constantly moving, pinging jamboree of furriness, suddenly the hamster-tank turned into a Madame Tussauds of frozen furry astonishment. Hamsters are exceptionally good at looking surprised.

Now enough about furries. Except to say I actually saw a Norwich terrier yesterday! For the first time in my life. The tiny doggie trotted past me, then away. It was almost like being in the presence of The Queen...

Well it is now a good seventeen hours later. Should I have taken that hit, dripping with syrupy-golden poppy-juice? All it did was make me sleep. And sleep again... My feelings towards this drug ~ heroin ~ and my addiction are split and mixed.

On the one hand I hear my own voice, blithely prattling out the name of the hardest drug known to man. HEROIN. Without saviour of a final softening respectable letter e it's a dirty word, evoking misery, gloom, grunge and despair. Wasted days, wasted years, wasted lives.

And yet Heroin, as trademarked by the German pharmaceuticals firm Bayer in 1898, means strong and brave and heroisch and noble. The fine white lady. My saviour.

My reasons for taking heroin ~ and I mean, for ever wanting to try it, for keeping on trying it. For being attracted to it in the first place. The reasons I was drawn to its narcotic black hole that radiates the glamour of transgression ~ these are all so complicated, I only recently realized I have told myself a Received Version of my own Truth. A convenient Edited Highlights Version, snipped free of inconvenient contradictions and inconsistencies.

It's not so much that Truth Hurts; my truth is very, very complicated.

Heroin saved me. Or I certainly thought it had, for a long time. When I was on heroin I at last had confidence and joy and the love of a relationship with the drug and a human soul-mate.

Years of inadequacy and misery. Years of being someone who never quite fit anywhere, never fitted with himself ~ these dissolved like drops of bright rain streaming down my window. Nothing in the past ever seemed to matter any more. As a druggie high on drugs I was actually able to live in the moment. Past and future were confined to the trash. Little did I realize my life was heading for the garbage can, too.

The most striking difference between me On Heroin and me Before Heroin was, that on heroin I no longer daydreamed at all. The drug was enough of a living daydream. Heroin enlivens and dulls at the same time. It cured all my pain ~ mental, physical ~ everything, for a while. Having endured years of what doctors called Chronic Fatigue and Depression I now felt free.

The last psychiatrist I saw said I was... still AM self-medicating.

He implied that, unlike many other users who use to escape boredom or many other things I wasn't using to escape. I was using as someone incomplete, who with heroin suddenly felt whole. These are my words for his expressions. I think he was right.

From the beginning my interest never was in getting "out of it", being wiped out, unconscious. Heroin gave me an accelerated, brighter better version of me, full of confidence that felt real. Not a jittery turbo-charge like cocaine's counterfeit security. The heroin-state felt totally and utterly real to me. And of course I only wished I could be like that all the time.

In the beginning I WAS like that all the time.

I have been musing deeper and deeper on ... what am I doing? Where shall I go? How did I ever get like this? And how will I ever get out? Do I want to get out?

One thing I've come to accept: methadone treatment is NOT working for me. It is not making me feel OK. Physically (mostly) perhaps, but not mentally. On methadone the depression is so intense sometimes it is unbearable. Methadone is supposed to give addicts a shot at normality. theoretically a well-functioning addict could even hold down a job on methadone. I have never, EVER willingly done ANYTHING on methadone. I sit and sit. i look around at the mess that desperately needs fixing and have no energy for any of it. Nothing changes. Nothing gets done. Since methadone, nothing has improved, except that I have stopped going out making money to pay for gear. But my non-life has slipped into a black hole. Anything I need to do: a dentist appointment, a trip to see my mum, a trip into town ~ I have tried doing these things on methadone, they are heavy, burdensome chores. No matter how much I might "want" to get them done. I very much want to see my Mum, but the process of getting there entails extreme stress. I have tried living on methadone and it just does not work for me.

Now I am realizing there ARE other treatments out there, ones that work. Yet they always seem to be for someone else.

I think I told the story of when someone gave me a bottle of morphine syrup which I drank instead of methadone. I was amazed at how good I felt. I felt absolutely OK and fine. The life-defying dolour of methadone was gone. I am now researching whether my addiction could not be treated perhaps with direct heroin or morphine therapy. The heroin would be injectable or smokeable, morphine would probably come in long-release pills. The deeper I dig, the more disappointed I am, that therapy I know would at least give me a chance has so far been denied me.

I have been on various methadone scripts for over TEN years, I have gone to two detox units but couldn't handle even medication-assisted detox. I have tried Subutex. I have gone cold turkey. The ONLY improvements over ten years have been: 1. I no longer go out "grafting" ~ begging money to get my hit and 2. I now pay bills on time and get in weekly shopping. Not every single penny goes on drugs as it used to. But every spare one still DOES and that's the point.

I used to think and it has been levelled at me, both expressly and in many snidey ways, that I was somehow weak for not being able to go through with, for example a detox where every care was taken to make clients as comfortable as possible. You'll hear the whining junkies in there state "we're all in the same boat"...

But I look back and realize we were NOT all in the same boat. I was the ONLY person awake ALL NIGHT at that place. Nobody else lost half their days a gibbering emotional wreck in the 1-2-1 counselling room. No we weren't in the same boat, not at all. Nobody else I know seems literally to have gone crazy doing cold turkey detox. I was horrified years later to see I had met diagnostic criteria for "mixed bipolar episode" when I tried to come off heroin. Only when I heard repeated stories of people lying in bed for a week, sick, did I realize my experience was totally different. Far from lying down, I couldn't keep still for more than 2 seconds. In both detoxes I got extra meds, which is about as commonplace as a Norwich terrier with wings. I could go on and on. I'm not saying my problems are insurmountable. I'm just saying I feel that STILL ~ after all this time, they have not been properly addressed.

If I felt I could deal with this situation myself, trust me I would just go away and sick it out. but all that is likely to do, in all honesty is put me in a mental hospital if not a morgue. Because I will kill myself. If life is hopeless on drugs, imagine how bleak it feels with no drugs at all?

I can't believe I ever got so dependent. I hate it.

I feel desperate and angry. With myself. With the "system" I've got wrapped up in. With methadone, which I absolutely loathe ~ no question about that. I wish I could actually envision life clean, like those smiling characters who adorn American websites offering high-priced clinic facilities. But I honestly do not see it.

I could talk on and on but I'll only talk round more circles. I have just had enough. But WHAT NOW?


Famous Thai vomiting and bitter herbs detox among monks...

NEW FULL-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY at my Random Video Blog: Afghanistan's Fateful Harvest... CLICK TO SEE.


Terry Wright said...

Hey there Gleds.

Although methadone is a life saver for many, it can come with some god awful side effects. You describe the 2 most common symptoms - depression and being lethargic.

Every task is like a major event and going out becomes such a burden. Managing the depression requires a delicate balance where every thought and action has to be carefully controlled so as not to bring on an avalanche of deep despair. Simple things like when to have a shower, when to do the dishes or whether to answer the phone can upset your day so easily. This is the reality of methadone for many people. No wonder they continue to use heroin as well.

You are spot on about needing alternatives to methadone. Slow Release Oral Morphine (SROM), hydromorphone, diamorphine etc would solve so many problems for those who do not take to methadone very well.

Why aren't the facts explained to the public more often? Longer term addicts keep relapsing because they have been born with physical conditions like chemical imbalances in the brain and up to 66 know genes that encourage drug use. Like your doctor said ... you are self medicating. Most addicts like you (and me) have been searching for something. We don't what or even that we are actually searching. Then we stumble onto heroin and bawolf!!! The missing link in our life.

When the public question why some addicts kick heroin within a year or two but others keep using for decades, they usually conclude it's because some addicts are piss weak junkies and don't want to get better. And there are those who want methadone treatment removed because it's just free drugs for addicts. Yes, of course we all love the massive depression, wasting thousands on scoring and the risk of being jailed. I don't want to have all my old friends around anymore and I just love fighting with my family. What a joke!

I often wonder where I would be if I was still on methadone instead of SROM? ALthough I take over 700mg daily, it is so much "lighter" than methadone with almost none of the side effects. There's still some depression and I use heroin sometimes but it's far superior to methadone. Also, I only have to go once a week to the chemist and I can administer my own dose to suit my situation. I also wonder how I would be if I could take diamorphine pills instead? No need to inject or smoke. I can only wonder I suppose.

Gledwood said...

Diamorphine used to be prescribed as little 10mg pills called jacks in London (and most of the addicts were in London at the time) in the 1960s. They were designed to be injected.

I'm not sure whether it's possible, or more to the point worthwhile prescribing oral heroin I heard it metabolizes to morphine in the body and has a low "bioavailability" ...

One reason diamorphine prescription is controversial is it costs three times as much per addict treatment. Though figures of £10-15,000 are nearly all for clinic staff, not the actual medication.

The govt. is paying too much for freeze-dried heroin amps. As of a couple of years ago 100mg cost £4.50 ~ this against a £10 bag containing 200mg powder of 35-50% purity ~ ie the govt. is paying HALF the street value. Hardly a good deal. But those costs are the amps used in pain management.

The RIOTT Heroin Assisted Therapy scheme used specially acquired diamorphine that was cheaper.

In Switzerland they made up 10g bottles with 100mls sterile water to measure out to addicts at 100mg/1ml strength; all injections were supervised (twice a day). Such a mixture couldn't be taken home and kept for any length of time without it turning into 6MAM, a degraded byproduct of diamorphine, which is no weaker, but different. Mexican "tar" heroin, so I hear, can be 50% or more 6MAM. The Bayer heroin linctus would have been 6MAM within a month or so of manufacture... It's because diamorphine degrades in this way that it nearly always comes as dry amps or in another dry format...

I'm collecting some v good links on all this I'll sort through and put up soon

All the stuff you were saying echoes what I have read and come to realize is probably true in my case.

I used to have all sorts of ideas of how things "should" be. I thought I suffered so much on methadone because I was sulking for want of heroin, that if I changed my attitude I would feel fine. But I never have been any more than nominally OK on it. Never "well". Methadone was never intended for long-term use in multihundred milligram doses for years on end... God knows what it is doing to people's brains. Surely the simple fact it is that much more addictive should set alarm bells ringing... I hate to think what it has done to me

Jeannie said...

Obviously, you ARE different - and self-medicating - so the issue is that when you go for treatment, they really need to treat the underlyng issue before or at the same time as the addiction. I hope you find a worker or psychiatrist or someone who can get you in a real individualized program. You coming off heroin would be like a depressed person giving up their meds - a very dangerous thing to do.

Would it be possible to check yourself into a mental hospital to treat both?

Gledwood said...

Ah, I did ask about that the dr said best go professional rehab (though they will detox you if you had a complete breakdown and wanted to come off drugs as well)

I've been looking into a type of rehab called a Therapeutic Community where all types of people go who need recovery from some aspect of life that has gone wrong, it's not always addiction, you might just as likely be in with anorexics, all sorts of people. I would find that far more tolerable.

While I'm basically using eroin as an antidepressant I don't know what I'm going to do. I was considering trying to stop it altogether just to prove how bad it was, but I'm scared

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I didn't know that Roborovskis play dead. I want a miniature goat. They play dead, when scared, too. They faint. How cute is that?



Gledwood said...

Are they equally terrified of okra?

Sarcastic Bastard said...

No, I think they are mostly terrified of yelling and screaming and such.


Akelamalu said...

Sounds like you have given up trying to get off the drugs. :(

There must be a way, if you really want to. That's the crux of the matter isn't it? Do you want to?

Gledwood said...

SARCBAST i don't think those goats would do that well round here then...

AKKA not really, but i'm taking a "hiatus from bullshit"
and re-evaluating my situation, and that doesn't just mean pondering it and doing nothing
i mean, surely there has to be a better way. SURELY!!

Syd said...

Gleds, I hope that you can find a better way that doesn't involve drugs. There are many who do find a way to detox and find something else in their lives besides heroin. Please take care.

Gledwood said...

I wish I could find the way there. And a way to stay there. I am sure there is a way. I just haven't found it yet...

Bimbimbie said...

Hi Gleds, is there any chance of getting to see the last pyschiatrist you saw who told you why he thought you were self medicating? Sounds like he and you are in agreement, that has to be a good place to start.

AnnaGrace said...

This blog stuck a chord with me. What if I get depressed more often because of the Methadone. Your right, when I was using Heroin and Hydromorphone I was never depressed. I took showers everyday, and got out of the house, and didn't hate people so much. I didn't hate myself so much.
They do have Heroin maintaince clinics in Amsterdam, correct? If I could get myself over there, and get permenat residancy, I would learn the language and treat my addiction with Heroin Maintaince. Even Slow Release Morphine sounds better than the Methadone.
I haven't showered in a week, and the only reason I bother to wake up is to go to the Methadone clinic in hopes that one of these days I will actaully get high.
You know what would be really great, is if they would put a cathatder in my vein so I wouldn't have to wast two hours on finding a vein. Or even if they had a nurse who would inject the Heroin for me. Leave a dot on the vein so I could find it later on and I could hit again for the next three shots I would have to do in a day.
I herd you have to be dieing to get into those Heroin clinics in Amsterdam. Is this true?
I have more questions, but I'll end this comment now. K. Talk to you later.

Baino said...

I'm very touched by this. So often I forget that you're even on the stuff but your writing's changed lately, you're more profuse, more explanatory. You have to start somewhere, I agree that a group that focuses on other issues not just addiction might be helpful if you can find them. Or the old psych. Give both a go if you can.

WAT said...

You honesty regarding heroin and stuff is amazing.

Thanks for sharing. Quite interesting and powerful stuff.

Love from across the pond...

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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