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, June 09, 2010

Till divorce do we part....

I was going to title this post:
I DON'T BELIEVE IN DIVORCE (not really) so how am I to proceed in this ongoing passionate affair with my chemical life-partner?
I am so used to letting myself down
regarding any and every resolution I have ever made concerning my heroin/methadone addiction that my new motto is: TILL DEATH DO US PART.
Heroin is the most efficacious antidepressant I have ever tried. So effective, in fact, that for the first months of my addiction I naively considered myself CURED!
Seems ridiculous to say now, but it's all too true.
Workers at the druggiecentre, spouting stock platitudes, want me to believe that I'm using a depressant and that is making me depressed forget the fact (actually nothing is forgotten ~ they never researched far enough to learn it) that for hundreds of years opiates were pretty much the only effective antidepressants mankind had; that in the early 20th century "morphia" were frequently administered in mental hospitals for the relief of severe melancholia. (And to stabilize mania.)
(The first ongoing effect I noticed opiates had on me was a distinct flatlining of my formerly-oceanic mood-swings. As well as the downs I had frequent fizzy "up" days, when I was so buoyant practically nothing could force me down... Unfortunately (but just like conventional mood stabilizers like lithium/etc) the most prominent change I noted was an end to those lovely "up" days...
(Opiates also have well-documented antipsychotic properties, though the psychiatric community have a vested interest in not researching that particular inconvenience...)
Though I have mentioned "bipolar" experience and symptoms, I don't think I'm clinically bipolar. But I do seem to fall into a subgoup of depressives who are liable to experience agitation, euphoria and "hypomanic"-like episodes on antidepressant therapy. My last such experience, with mirtazapine, was so disastrously extreme I flew up then plummeted right down, so profoundly I went into spiritual crisis. I had no idea it was the meds causing this. As far as I was concerned I had finally hit rock-bottom. I was not suicidal but my life was over. I just could not go on... I have googled all this and it would appear I'm on some "bipolar spectrum" (spectrum-disorders being the buzzword du jour in the psychiatric community). Because I've had similar, but thankfully nowhere near as extreme, experiences from Prozac, a totally unrelated antidepressant [Prozac/fluoxetine is an SSRI; mirtazapine is tetracyclic], the last doctor I saw suggested we give such chemical interference a miss from now on. Hurrah!
It was he, incidentally, who put the term "self-medication" on the table. A first-class excuse, on the face of it, to go on using. Except that in using I'm trapped, I'm still not happy, I see no worthwhile future. And I cannot travel. Physically separating myself from the druggiescene I'm so much part of might, I hope, be one of the things that saves me.
I spoke to Narcotics Anonymous about this. In NA fleeing the places associated with one's using is often known as "the geographical cure" or "doing a geographical". And according to them it seldom works.
The NA-advisor I spoke to told me the best thing I can do is to go to meetings in London ~ 90 meetings in 90 days, though it's possible and for someone like me probably desirable, to do 180 meetings or more. There are 7am sessions for financial workers in The City, as well as lunch-hour meetings peppered around Central London. And if you go to an early-evening meet, it is often possible to go on to another, later one, somewhere across town. If I'm not using, the transport costs won't be a huge issue. Even under Mayor Johnson, tube fairs are still cheaper than heroin (though not much)...
No, they basically told me, face up to the addiction and do the recovery where you are. Do at least six months. If you can do this in London, where using is so easy, you know you can cope being anywhere else... THEN do your travelling.
I think they are right.
Though I do have some reservations about NA (and especially the way some members seem to implement their theories), I have to concede, in most areas on most points concerning Recovery, they do seem to be right.
The Narcotics Anonymous method probably isn't for everyone.
However, I have been to enough meetings, over more than 10 years, to be able to vouch that NA does work for those who not only "keep coming back" but who trouble to WORK THE PROGRAMME.
I'm at a point now where my best options appear to be: 1 get heroin on prescription or 2 clean up altogether. Kiss my beloved opiates goodbye.
Compromise options 3 and 4 are to stick to methadone without using on top (never been able to do it before) or just to carry on as I'm doing now. No life. No future. Little hope.
So as I say, my commitment is to option four ~ for no life and no hope and no joy and little (let's be frank) to look forward to except a hopefully early death.

Let's face it, if I manage to stick to this new decision as resolutely as I've done to promises past I SHOULD BE CLEAN AND SERENE BEFORE THE YEAR IS OUT!!

Illustrations top ~ opium poppies=slavery and war; bottom ~ poppy as international symbol of peace, picture at TheLensFlare

Continuing my birdsong theme; another English garden favourite, the SONG THRUSH:

Said to have one of the most sublime of songs...
... an incredibly intricate and trilly tune...


Narcotics Anonymous World Service Office
Narcotics Anonymous UK
Narcotics Anonymous Australia
Narcotics Anonymous Canada
Narcotiques Anonymes French language site
Narcotics Anonymous German language site
Wikipedia article about NA


Liz said...

Yes, yes, kiss them goodbye! Do it, gledwood! You can and we're behind you.

We don't want to lose you.

The happy pill I take (seroxat) is renowned for driving people to suicide; fortunately it works wonders for me.

Jeannie said...

Sounds like you are ready!

Akelamalu said...

Tell me I misread what you said - you are going to carry on exactly as you are so that you will be dead within the next 6 months????

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I wish the best for you, Gledds.

You are loved tons!

AnnaGrace said...

I for one do not want you to die early, but I understand where your comming from. I often wish to die youg also. Not for the same reasons, but whatever.

I have this conflicting feeling about you getting clean. I want you to feel better, and to be healthy, but if you get off opiates all together you will be leaving the "life". You'll no longer be the rock of this drug induced internet freindship that I've made in my head we have together.

I read what I just wrote, and realize that is one of the most selfish things I have ever said. Gled you deserve far more than you have, and you do have something to look forward to. If you'll have me I'll for sure come and visit you. Is that not something to look forward too? Probaly not as good as having Cindy Crawford comming to see you. Probably not as good as just living off sunshine and chocolate.

You know I love you, and hope you find peace.

Gledwood said...

Liz, Jeannie, SarcBast: many thanks. But I'm stopping nothing. I'm using till I die, remembe ...

Akelamalu: I thought if I give up the squirmy apologetic side and come at the whole issue more directly on the one hand, because I do love heroin ~ yet contrary on the other, because I genuinely am sick of being an addict and want more; it will work out for me. And I want to stop disappointing myself and stop making myself a liar. More than anything it is sitting in the same chair, assuming a different pose that is a lot more comfortable to me

Gledwood said...

AnnaG New York New York City... a whole new life

Gledwood said...

Hi Akelamalu I'm not sure my past answer was much good. Anna Grace put her finger on it better than me (returning a favour; I've answered comments for her) when she said my feelings are ambivalent.
So in short my plan is: To do what I have to do without making a song and dance about it.
This will involve carrying on as before. It will also involve dropping making a great big deal out of "getting clean". Opiates have only been a diversion for about a third of my life. Two thirds are still "clean". But I won't be going back; I shall be moving on

AnnaG: thank you; that was a v perceptive comment

Syd said...

I really hope that you do the NA thing and work the program. I hope that you get clean and live a good life ODAT. There is much to live for and much to see in the world. You are an intelligent fellow with so many interests. Best of luck my friend. I'm pulling for you on this.

Baino said...

Gleds, read your fucking emails because that's where you can get some good private support. You go through these phases of 'I'm bipolar' then 'my drug worker's an asshole' then ' i'm going to kick it and travel' or 'I want to go to university . .'You KNOW what has to be done as well as I do (and I'm still struggling with trying to give up smoking but it's bloody hard). We're all barracking for you. We want you to win, to live and to love your life. To work and travel and fulfill your aspirations. I have no salient advice because I haven't been there but I do know people who have managed to clean up after a lifetime of drug abuse. You can do it if you stick to this mindset and attend the meetings. Good luck my friend and seriously, rely on the support network you have. Sorry, very long comment but I worry so. I couldn't agree more with Syd who's blog is agony and ecstacy in terms of this kind of struggle. Imagine in 12 months time, posting here and saying "I haven't used for six months and I feel awesome . . " Can you do it? Yeh, I think you can actually.

Gledwood said...

Syd: I am curious what life in the real world is actually like

I can't imagine it. Apart from feeling basically like living shit and wanting heroin all the timne

actually feeling good in the real world and not wanting or needing or constantly thinking about using ~ that I cannot imagine at all

Baino: that's an epic comment. Thanks. OK OK I will go check my email

email and me is a whole other life-form, from a parallel dimension

also nothing important ever seems to be there when it's supposed to be, and I'm drowning in letters telling me I've won lotteries I never even entered!

but I'll reply to you, I promise, in that parallel...

Akelamalu said...

Well I'm still no clearer on what you intend doing Gleds so I'll put it simply -

What Baino said!

Gledwood said...

No I do wanna be clean. I CAN imagine it, at least I think I can... (I can also imagine being a two-headed alien)... then I think further in and no I can't. Not really.

Which is why I think they say: ONE DAY AT A TIME!!

Brad Exford said...

'The Geographical Cure' worked for me - I upped sticks and moved to a city where I didn't know anyone. OK, it doesn't do it for you, but it sure makes it easier when you don't know where to score. Just the hassle of having to go out in a strange area and find gear is motivation to keep turkeying.

Personally I didn't bother with any substitutes I just went cold turkey. Then all my problems that I'd forgotten about came flooding back. I changed what I could change and I accepted what I couldn't. Then I learnt to like myself again. I set myself goals, I worked out a plan to achieve them, then I achieved them and became very proud of what I'd achieved so I liked myself for it and I realised that I am worth so much more than being a heroin addict.

The first thing you need to do is this.....ask yourself, do you really really WANT to stop, or do you just feel like you've GOT to stop. If it's the latter then that's fine, stop trying to stop, and adopt a 'harm reduction' approach.



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