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!

Friday, July 16, 2010


I FOUND OUT that I suffer from something called "Racing thoughts".
Now this is why self-diagnosis is such a minefield. Because if I didn't know better, I'd assume "racing" thoughts are ones that appear quickly one after the other. Not so. My experience is the same as the wikipedia definition, where the head becomes full of music, voices, snippets, logos and mottos and swirling about. Like a radio tuned to several channels at once.
Racing thoughts may be experienced as background or take over a person's consciousness. Thoughts, music, and voices might be zooming through one's mind. There also might be a repetitive pattern of voice or of pressure without any associated "sound".
It is a very overwhelming and irritating feeling, and can result in losing track of time. Sometimes racing thoughts are accompanied by an elevated pulse, including drumming in the ears.
Generally, racing thoughts are described by an individual who has had an episode as an event where the mind uncontrollably brings up random thoughts and memories and switches between them very quickly. Sometimes they are related, as one thought leads to another; other times they are completely random. A person suffering from an episode of racing thoughts has no control over his or her train of thought and it stops them from focusing on one topic or prevents sleeping.

They don't make me feel anxious or irritable. To me, they're like free entertainment. They can even be exhilarating.
I also relate to the statement about a repetative pattern of voice... without associated sound. That's the milder version.
These are a symptom of bipolar disorder, anxiety and supposedly some obsessive-compulsive conditions and in their severe form are said to be exceedingly oppressive.
I mention these because they came back to me lately. The other night I actually lost track and thought my mobile phone was on speaker, because someone was blar blar blar-ing away at me.
I'm glad I actually know the name of this phenomenon, which, incidentally I'm sure is mostly not drug-induced. I like the kind of drugs that block things out. And those are the only kind I take now. Not psychedelics. Not crack. And certainly not that nasty cannabis stuff. Last time I toked on that rubbish I was hearing paranoid voices for several hours, which was highly inconvenient.
I was reading over personality disorder criteria. I am not flattered that the nut-nut nurse implied I might be on the anxious-avoidant or dependent "axis". I am diametrically opposite in many ways to such people. For example, I would never pass over to somebody else a decision affecting the course of my life. My family, who know me best, would frequently call me stubborn. That is the exact opposite of a dependent personality, who would give in to others' wishes as a matter of course.
The only personality disorder you could bundle on to me is the borderline type. (And the least flattering diagnosis, apart from "psychopathic" or antisocial personality disorder.) I've been told I have this twice, and what sets off alarm bells is the fact that both these individuals also have (actually, had, such a diagnosis ~ one committed suicide in January.
Here are the criteria:
1.Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5 [I don't think so.]
2.A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation. [I wouldn't put it this way; but I have had a pattern of getting into over-intense frienships, and having read further, yes you could say this "criterion" applies. Though I wouldn't word my experience this way. You could say many if not most people feel such ambivalence.]
3.Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self. [Absolutely. When I was younger I had almost no concept of who I was.]
4.Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5 [Drugs; food. Used to eat under 1500 cals a day as matter of course.]
5.Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself. [There was a period when I used to cut up with broken glass, but it only lasted a year and I don't do it now.]
6.Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days). [Definitely some mood disturbance, sometimes to suicidal extremes. And often it is highly "reactive". Isn't everyone prone to be put in a bad mood when things mess up? Not all my moods are as brief as this criterion suggests.]
7.Chronic feelings of emptiness [Absolutely.]
8.Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights). [I frequently feel irritated, but try to keep it under my hat.]
9.Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms [I don't think I'm anything like as para as I used to be. Some of those "racing thoughts" experiences have a dissociative quality, because they are heard rather than thought. I still suffer depersonalization and derealization, that is feelings that self and world are unreal, but not as hallucinatorily intense as in former years. ]
Personally I don't think I have any personality disorder. I know something is "wrong" with me. (Well, I don't feel "right".)
Further to yesterday's post, I feel an uncanny need for self-protection and care. Sorting myself out might be a nice place to start. I have access to doctors, so I may as well use them.
But I think psychiatry is a religion, involving its own world view and set of values. Doctors function as priests with nurses in roles parallel to monks and nuns. Psychiatry's holy trinity is pharmacology, counselling and the DSM IV-R diagnostic criteria.
I don't think I'm mad. But I'm absolutely sure that the world is.

Illustration: bubble reads "are we confused?"


I like this tune


Syd said...

I think that I have some of those things too but am not borderline. I believe that these characteristics have to manifest for over a year to be a true diagnosis. Self-diagnosing isn't helpful to me. One can cherry pick a few symptoms from just about any mental illness and say "yes, I felt that way once or twice".

Jeannie said...

The kicker is: psychiatry has never cured anyone.

People like to categorize. Deciding that you may experience a lot of things in some arbitrary list and are therefore now labelled and belong in some group that someone made up doesn't sound terribly scientific to me. I'm not saying that you're ok, I'm ok - I'm saying that maybe their theories are pretty bogus. But they are trying. And I hope you can be helped.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I don't think you're mad either. In fact, I think you may be saner than most.

Have a good weekend,


Reeny's Ramblin' said...

I'll tell ya what makes my head swim in racing thoughts....

The fact that there is a diagnosis out there for pretty much EVERYTHING. Better put a name on it so that we can capitalize...

Do u ever think that maybe these emotional ups and downs are just symptomatic of environmental influence? Normal human reaction?

Gledwood said...

I think y'all have good points.

As I understand it, to be diagnosed with a personality disorder you must exhibit such characteristics to an extreme that puts you outside the majority, who obviously have good days and shit days.

I was actually encouraged by the nuttynurse to go browsing as I have done. In a way it has been good as I would never in a million years have said I had "racing thoughts" - my experience is precisely as described, to a T, but to me that ain't racing because they're concurrent rather than consecutive.

The characteristics of borderline I have had that made me worried were the dissociative ones and I get the impression most people do NOT have experiences like that.

As for moods I'm not sure I fit the borderline mood type at all. I get pissed off easily but then so do a vast quantity of the population.

The other stuff can all come under the label depressed, because that is how I feel, depressed.

I avoid antidepressants bc they make me feel like I am turning frm a depressive into a manic-depressive and SO much chaos ensued last time I do not want to go through that again.

I think to put it in shrink language I have been troubled by self esteem issues since childhood. I have also had depression that first manifested in childhood. I think there is a bipolar flavour to this depression, but I am not bipolar, I'm just further in that direction than the average person with depressive tendencies...

My favourite cod diagnosis - and the worst joke is, this is REAL, from the DSM manual. A naughty kid has a "conduct disorder". A very naughty kid has "oppositional-defiant disorder"... these are all real diagnoses, so "borderline personality" has to be seen in that light. Which is why I say even if I DID "satisfy" such criteria, I STILL don't believe it's real.

It put me in the mother of all bad moods ALL DAY though, thinking I might be...

Gledwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.



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

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