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!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How do you say Fishfingers in French?

... das Fischstäbchen, de visstick ~ I think they're known as fishsticks in America, too.

I have been practising these languages in the most practical way I know how ~ by writing out trilingual shopping lists: die Milch/le lait/de melk (and just for good measure, Esperanto: lakto)... deze vissticken of mine come in cod ~ der Kabeljau/la morue/de kabeljauw/moruo and haddock ~ der Schellfisch/un aiglefin/de schelvis/eglefino ~ I bought both (special offer/Sonderangebot/promotion spéciale/speciale aanbieding/o Esperanto can go hang it's late... it seems to have taken all evening just researching 20 words, with much continental Wikipedia comparison... driving me round the twist. I really need printed information.

I've continued researching educational opportunities, but feel my old chasing rabbits in two directions syndrome threatening to reappear.

I am referring to that Chinese proverb I've mentioned before:
he who chases two rabbits goes home empty-handed
and it has been the story of my life. Full of interest in too many different things I'm unable to focus and very little comes of the efforts I do put in. Well now I'm too old, and will have to sit down and do something constructive (and profitable) before I die. I now realize that an undergraduate degree does not have to, and indeed is not meant to, encapsulate your interests in every academic subject going. It is quite OK to be well into one thing but to do a degree in another. When I was younger I was also against vocational degrees. At the more intellectual end of academia they were unfashionable and only the "new universities" (that is: the former polytechnics") tended to offer them. I was all into penning great intellectual critiques on classic works of literature (which I was good at, when I gave myself a chance). The idea of business German, to me seemed soulless.

Anyway I've had a peruse around the subjects that interest me. For the record these are basically European and Asian languages: German with one or more of: Japanese, Dutch, French, Chinese, Italian or Spanish. These are the languages I want to speak. Those are my goals. Obviously there are three or more BAs there so I'll have to be selective...

London Birkbeck do a part time German and Japanese BA.
Now German and Japanese is what I wish I'd done first time round...

Oxford do what sounds like a very good FIVE YEAR course in BA Japanese ~ which includes one year abroad. In five years' intensive study I would expect a very high level of fluency to be attained.

There are several universities in Germany offering Germanistik/Japanologie at BA. To get on one of these courses I would need a very high level of German proficiency as (unlike the translator's degree in Mainz) they are squarely aimed at mother-tongue German speakers and any language exercises would refer back to German...

Perhaps studying a third language through the medium of a second sounds very high-falluting ~ but students with English as foreign language study in British universities all the time, so I don't think it would be that unusual for me to do the equivalent in Germany...

Now I do really want to learn Japanese and I love the subject and when I pore over my kanji books I feel centred in a way that only heroin and novel-writing could ever compete with...

But I have to bear in mind, the point of any degree would be to get me as near as possible to QUALIFIED to do something, namely to translate. And I think at my age I really need to focus energies where they are best spent... Common sense tells me that for a translator, a course in translation would obviously be the way to go. I already have French and German to A level, which represents five years' study (seven years in the case of French)....

Bearing in mind that Birkbeck's Japanese promises to take students from ab initio to "one year post A-level" and you see how much further I could take German and French. The course I'm looking at promises "near mother tongue fluency" ~ which is considerably further along.

Whatever I decide to do I am going to have to focus my energies economically. If I want to do a European D language on top of the other two I need to start that now. Three languages at once isn't quite as confusing as it sounds ~ remember I'm pretty much at book-reading level in the other two, so my hellos, how are you? ~ please would you be so kind as to direct me to the railway stations... shouldn't get into too many tangles.

Here's Mainz's gloss on their options:

In the BA programme, as a native speaker of English you can either study German as your only foreign language (B language, excellent active competence), or you can choose a second foreign language (C language, excellent passive competence), which can be Dutch, French, Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish. (Please note that there are admission restrictions for French and Spanish.) Ab initio courses are not offered in all C languages. However, you can attend introductory courses in Finnish and Turkish (D language).

(Every language offered as a C-language can be studied as a D-language also.)

Without any school certificates in Spanish, it doesn't sound like I'd be able to take that (the most obvious practical choice of D-language) anyhow. Another factor to bear in mind is the competition: loads of professionals can offer Spanish. As far as I know it is now the number one most popular choice of foreign language in British schools (being easier than French and, people suppose, more useful, though I'd dispute that (the number of speakers might be lower, but French is extremely widely spoken)). German is least popular of the big three ~ and yet, so I hear, there is more work for professional linguists in German than every other EU language combined! Perhaps Italian would be the most "sensible" choice. Finnish appeals because it is non-Indo-European (related to Lappish, language of the mysterious reindeer-herding Saami) ~ hence difficult and exotic ~ from a land of lonely pines, ice-lakes, snow-capped crags and the midnight sun... Italian: best food in Europe, easier than French (and much more crisply pronounced)... classical ruins, great literature and poetry and opera... high fash in Milan, porn stars in parliament. Yeah: Italian is cool. But none of those others really grabs me. To learn any language it's essential to be exceedingly highly motivated and the fire isn't there.

As for Dutch, I've already prattled on about that before: Mainz is only a couple of hours from Dutch-speaking territory, I already have studied the basics of Dutch grammar and it's easy. As you can see from the examples I gave, most vocabulary echoes both English and German. And when I studied Dutch I felt centred, in the zone... like I do with Japanese and heroin (strange but true).

I need to make up my mind soon... and now it's a quarter to midnight, nothing has been done. I am drowning in word lists for fish, bread rolls and tomato sauce... How do I come up with a programme, by myself, to focus the skills I need to build up? (Without wasting time or running round in circles..?)

I have lost one decade solid of my life to heroin and mental ill-health. The decade before that was pretty much scuppered by health concerns, too ~ though I wasn't a full-on addict (it's difficult to date precisely when which problem began because they're so interwoven and in the beginning I was extremely cautious with heroin. I had no intention of getting addicted and so continuously "picked it up" (as NA say) ~ loved it, but forced myself to renounce it. This happened again and again over a period of years. Somehow the occasions when I used crept closer and closer together until I found myself withdrawing without even knowing it!... And THAT is a long story...

Now I must go. Has anyone any advice on what I should do? And how??

Mainz Translation, Language and Culture BA: www.fb06.uni-mainz.de/deutsch/261.php#balct
Birkbeck: Modern Languages with two of: German, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish www.bbk.ac.uk/study/ug/spanishstudies/UBAFRGEM.html

Here's an some interesting stats:
TOP 10 INTERNET LANGUAGES by number of users: www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm
English is number one with just under 500 million, Chinese number two with just over 400 million. German comes just ahead of Arabic ~ about 72 million... French is 57 million...

Produced for just £200 from the singer's Bradford & Bingley account, this got to #2 in the UK chart, it's called "New Wave" and that's it really

OK I'll try and be polyglot:
Deze hier is een £200 productie van het engelse sangschrijver Karel Fialka. Het is wel goed. Och! It moet nu gaan! Ik heb niet maar toe zeggen!
OK, tot later


Gattina said...

Why do you want to learn 2 languages at once ? One is already difficult enough and then japonese ?? Wait until you have a Japonese girlfriend then maybe it's worthwhile. German is quiet easy to learn for an anglophone, I don't talk about grammar just speaking and all Britts I know have no or a very little accent when they speak German, that's really amazing.

To your question about the Belgian Royal family of course they speak French in private. But they have to speak flemish of course too. That's why this stupid language quarrel came up that's because all well educated Flemishs spoke French in the past century and only the workers and farmers with little education spoke flemish. That's why they are so full of inferiority complex and insist that the Waloons speak flemish now. But as only so few people in the world speak dutch (or flemish that's the same at least written) nobody sees the reason why to learn it. A Waloon prefers to learn english. Of course the politicians exploit this situation and create a language war. The people go very well together besides some extremists,and if a flemish doesn't speak french, they speak English and the Waloon answers in English too. You will realize that when you arrive in Brussels' airport,lots of things are indicated in English because the French and Flemish words are too long and would take too much room. Look you have the Brussels' Airlines, and not "Lignes d'aviation de Bruxelles", and "Brussels Luchtwegen leinen" !
Brussels airport would be 'Aéorport de Bruxelles' and 'Luchthaven van Brussels' on one sign ! horrible !
BTW Fishstick in French is also Fishstick !

Gattina said...

Just found your comment about dutch ! I can't help you, I understand dutch but I can't write it !
BTW in 19th century French also was the language for educated and noble people in the Netherlands !

Janice said...

Yup, us yanks call them fish sticks.

Good luck learning German.


Baino said...

Gleds, I think I'd tackle one at a time if I was you and become proficient rather than average in two or three.

Syd said...

I think that really becoming proficient at one language would be enough. Why not enroll in some courses and give it a whirl? The only way to be a translator would be to actually have courses from an accredited university. Why not talk to the foreign language professors there and see what can be arranged? I hope that you give it a go.

Akelamalu said...

Can't you just learn one language at a time? Good luck with it all.

molson said...

Sounds like you're going five different directions all at once with these languages. It seems to me like you're just going to have to pick one and go with it if you want to translate, but what do I know. I have enough trouble with just one language. Ages ago I took French classes in high school. I just got to the point where I was getting it and then I quit. So much for that.

Hey maybe you could get one of those jobs teaching English in Japan. I see them advertised from time to time where these outfits are looking for native English speakers to teach English in Japan. They claim you do not have to speak Japanese. I seriously don't understand how that could work.

My grandparents on my Dad's side spoke Finnish fluently. My Dad was even able to speak some Finnish. I found the language completely incomprehensible. At least I stood a chance with the French.

Best of luck to ya whatever you decide Gledwood. I'm kind of in the same boat as you in that I can't decide what I want to do next. I'm feeling too damn old to pick up something new and I don't know if I can go back to doing what I used to. Basically I'm boned. I hope you do better.

Gledwood said...

Read what I put at the bottom of "doggies in the park"
~ whole point of that course is you do 2 or 3 langs at once. Most translators can offer at least 3 and it's a v competitive marketplace (then again what job market isn't? Even shit-shovelling...) anyway, yeah I feel it would be a wasted opportunity to do 2 when I could do 3 (the 3rd one being v easy)
y'have to bear in mind that once i've brushed 'em up i'm past the level with french & german where you work through a textbook. really i should be using monolingual dictionaries now and grammar references IN the language studied... a bit scary ~!

Lori said...

I think it's great that you want to learn. I agree with the previous comments, one at a time. I also was curious as to your opinion on a subject. Do you think mental health issues and addiction go hand in hand? I do and was just wondering what your view was on that subject. Never stop striving to learn. Keep on writing...

Gledwood said...

Addiction and mental health definitely go hand in hand. I had depression for years before I ever touched heroin. Once I got acquainted with it, it was like druggie superglue and now I'm totally stuck...

I take your point about one at a time but that's not going to be possible for a course where the whole point's to do 3 at once.

i read through the prospectus, they advised if you want to do Euro-work you should definitley have 3 on top of your mother tongue. English speakers seem to think this is a lot ~ but if you go to Google.be (Belgium) or Google.ch (Switzerland) you'll see 4 and 5 language options on each ~ it's not at all unusual for people in central Europe to know 4 or more languages. Gattina (top comment) is German-born, married to an Italian, lives in Belgium where she speaks French ~ and has Dutch-speaking grandchildren. So she knows all those languages. And she blogs in English!!



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