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!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A degree of competence is required ...


Anne Diamond, former presenter of breakfast TV, was standing in for Vanessa Feltz who's on her hols. I've phoned in and spoken to Anne Diamond before now and have to say she's very engaging. I can see why she's such an illustrious track record in presenting... Anyway here goes. A level results were out today. The conversation yesterday (on BBC London radio 94.9) was about young people going to university and the extortionate cost of this:

Good morning Anne
In days gone by ~ generally speaking ~ a degree was was a luxury. Three years off in which to delve into a subject of personal interest. The resulting degree proves to future employers that you're intelligent enough and have the sticktoitiveness to achieve a bachelor of arts or science.
With the exception of some science subjects and perhaps law, the degree never was meant to "qualify" you for anything in particular.
The problem nowadays is that with so very many young people going to university, a degree no longer sets you apart. As far as I can see, in most cases it merely gets you into debt.
In my day~ two decades ago ~ the standing joke was "What do you say to a sociology graduate? Burger and fries please." Change that to "media studies" and you're bang up to date!
Nearly 20 years ago I read modern languages at uni, but sadly had to drop out due to health difficulties. Knowing what I do now, I would advise a young person to take a vocational course with a clear career goal at the end of it, or to do languages. At least languages are useful and open up opportunities to work abroad.
I would dearly like to go back and finish my languages degree, but this time I'm working on getting my German fluent enough to get on a mother tongue German course actually in Germany ~ where tuition fees, incidentally, are a fraction of what they are here.

The health problems that forced me to drop out were basically depression. I was signed off an entire term on medical grounds at one point. When I left, I was coming to a point where I had to go to Berlin ~ a year to which I'd really have looked forward, if I'd only been in my right mind. But I was not in my right mind at all. Taking a year out or "intercalating" was not an option as I had no means of support and the DSS did not at this time pay benefits to anyone who was a registered student ~ whether actively studying or not.
All modern languages courses require a year out in the appropriate country. The only course I've ever come across that doesn't is Burmese at SOAS. The Burmese language has the world's most beautiful system of writing. And a degree in Burmese ain't gonna be any less useful than one in English literature or sociology, is it..?.For obvious reasons, a year spent in Burma is not too practicable.
And it was indeed the idea of doing a German degree again that got me reading and blogging in that language. I remember my former counsellor, who'd done BA French, informing me it was quite normal for degree students to rely on English translations when doing European literature. Which I found truly pathetic. (I thought it was just me and my dreadful command of languages who was reduced to this, but apparently not at all...)
So I decided if I ever did go back I would know German well enough to surf through all books in the original first time around. And no reference to any translation. At all. Ever ...

I've found this tune going round and round my brainbox of late. Cold as the northern wind and December mornings ... It matches my mood ... For a couple of weeks now I've had an unaccountable autumnal feeling, despite it still being "summer". Summer is over for me. Darkness surrounds us. I feel it. O, how I feel it..

No prize, except the satisfaction of knowing how knowledgeable y'are... the squiggles are GABELSBERGER SHORTHAND in the German language. Unlike traditional English language systems which are geomatric (Pitman, Sloane-Duployan) or cursive-geometric (Gregg), Gabelsberger's method employed a full shorthand alphabet (as the hieroglyphic-looking Teeline system does in English), giving the squiggly appearance. It has been praised for having "a beauty of form and outline that is unsurpassed". it can also be squiggled, so it is claimed, at speeds of up to 500 syllables per minute, which ain't bad!


Akelamalu said...

I so agree with what you say about degrees these days. They have become almost worthless because of the sheer numbers of people graduating. Sad isn't it?

When I was young the number of people going on to do A levels let alone going to university were few indeed. And, no, it wasn't as far back as the dark ages! ;)

Gledwood said...

Feels like the Dark Ages tho, dunnit!?!
Or to be precise the dark days are NOW - back then was a Golden Age!

Jeannie said...

It used to be that most jobs did not require a degree at all. As various jobs got paid better, say teaching, here in Canada anyway, more people wanted the jobs, and applied to teacher's college, so the colleges, having more applicants to choose from, could raise their standards. Also, the 50's and 60's were a time of economic boom and many more parents could afford to send their children to university - to them a big deal. So there were lots more graduates available too. This happened in many fields. Suddenly, a job that really doesn't require a degree, required a degree. But the degree doesn't prepare them for the job. My Dad, a Chartered Accountant, in fact, was annoyed by those with degrees because they believed they had attained something already and weren't as receptive to the apprenticeship training as those with nothing - and they expected more money.
Does a kindergarten teacher really need a Master's to teach 5 year olds? Ridiculous.

Many graduates here are finding that they need to go to a community college and learn a trade on top of the degree.

I thought school there was subsidized as it is here. People complain about the cost but compared with the U.S.A. it's not that bad.I think my daughter's tuition for the year here is $3500. Of that, the university gave her a scholarship of $1500 because her marks were so good. She is applying for other scholarships as well. What costs is home away from home.

Gledwood said...

It is subsidieed, but only just. Tuition for students from outside the EU is something like double what it is for domestic students...
Tuition fees are (I believe) about £4000 a year, which would be about $6500 US. In Germany they wanted less than a tenth that. Some places in Germany were free. They say students leave 3-year courses (and languages are 4, medicine 6...) an AVERAGE of over £20,000 in debt! That's really terrible.
I know someone who went into computer programming. He's completely self-taught, which duly impressed his employers no end, as of course it should. But this caused endless problems with visas etc bc it set him outside the highly qualified and insispensible bracket... even though he WAS highly qualified and indispensible. How ridiculous!

Syd said...

A degree in science, computer programming, or nursing practically guarantees a job over here. In the social sciences, not so.

Gledwood said...

One thing the last Laboutr govt fucked up - and I really could not believe this - was that they brought in so many medical workers from the 3rd world that newly qualified not only nurses but also drs could not get jobs! They made so many stupid mistakes like this I don't know that I could ever trust their party again. Even though on the face of it their ideas always sound more generous and better (ie they get the country into iredeemable debt) than the Tories. And the way they undermined individual human freedoms was scandalous. Never thought I would say this, but far as I can see it's true

Arjan said...

Overhere it's affordable enough that you don't have to be rich to study which is a good thing seeing that being rich doesn't mean you're intelligent. And paying exhorbitant tuition fees doesn't guarantee a good education.

A degree in competence is what you should get indeed, goes at least for most Arts studies. I just finished my BA in communication and will start my MA in september. Which gives you a certain direction as for a line of work but doesn't confine you (a degree in competence).

Which doesn't mean to say that the level of studies hasn't dropped, but it really depends on where you study and what you make of it yourself.

Noah said...

Gleds...this is off topic but it's a great article on the flow of junk to the UK. Take a look at it.

Baino said...

I've always believed that education is a right not a privilege so it irks me that kids have to pay for it these days. Mine each have a debt of around $25,000 which they pay back at 4% of their salaries once they earn more than $39,000 a year. It's crippling when you first start out. Although Clares degree in Graphic design is vocational and has opened many lucrative doors for her, Adam's in Horticulture has not. Useless waste of time it was.

Sweden said...

i LOVE Enya!!!!!! she has such a beautiful voice, thanks for posting, all my friends make fun of me because i like her, ive been listening to her for like 17 years now. Has she even done anything these past 9 years or what lol?



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