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, December 14, 2010

Drink Day

I ACTUALLY FOUND MYSELF entertaining the idea of taking heroin earlier on. With a longish history of heroin addiction this is hardly a surprise, it just hasn't happened so far (this time). On previous attempts at coming off, it's just about ALL that happened. Apart from wanting to die.

My deepest fear as a heroin addict wasn't dying, it was living. Something I had little-to-no idea of how to do.

I had been all day at a friend's house where we were drinking. First just me and him. Then a knock at the door. Someone I haven't seen in maybe 8 years. He remembers me when heroin addiction was all new and still felt (to be honest) like Xmas every day. Xmas with a lot of desperation and despair and puking on the doorstep waiting for our terminally slow dealer to show up, it has to be said. But the good atill far outweighed the bad...

Nobody drank very much. There was a lot of talking. It was boys' talk. After 3 drinks (I know how much I had, only three!) I started feeling sick from lack of food. So I bought a cheese and red peppers bread in Morrisons (79p). That made me feel better. I tried to go to NA. I went right there, but the meeting that used to be there wasn't on so that was annoying. But I felt let off the hook. Really I wanted to get home.

On the way back I felt empty without heroin to come home to. Very empty and desolate. Even though I was tired and knew what heroin would do: just make me sleep, I still wanted it. In days gone by I would have wasted no time in scoring. Despite being tired and cold and pissed off, I would have ensured lovely heroin was in my hand, then in my veins, making everything all right.

Which is annoying as I was saying only an hour before how much I loathed everything to do with drugs. Mostly the people. I told a story of where I used to live. I would get up at 2 or 3am to buy drink (24-hour shopping, doncha love it!) very often I'd get accosted by a crackhead I knew. There were two in particular, who I knew pretty well, who begged money off passers-by. If I had £4, £4.50 or so, I'd sometimes go in halves on a £10 rock, which we smoked on the mid-level bathroom in my house. One particular night we found ourselves a few streets away, in a downstairs room full of black men who I didn't know. Both of these addicts were black, I suppose I point this out to say it made me feel the odd one out. Being White Boy in this room full of crack smokers where the atmosphere was like something from a lower circle of Crack Hell.

There was a white girl on the couch by the window. Long blonde hair. Sour expression. The archetypal "crack whore". And one on whom the tables have been turned, as they often are. One of the men said to her will you stay here and watch the door/my phone. Something like that. She said yeah yeah. they left, after telling us they had no drugs. One had at least 3x£10 clingfilm crack wraps in his hand. The girl rolled her eyes and said in a quieter voice "As if I have any choice."

I think we left before any more crack returned. Outside I said, "Don't you think there was a bad atmosphere in there?" and he just stared at me, blankly. He was far more interested in his pipe. This is just one event that convinced me I was no true crackhead. Heroin I would have been more than happy to bang up, if only there's been a decent light somewhere in that gloom. Heroin insulates from sensation, like being wrapped in furry blankets inside a bulletproof bubble. I never cared very much what went on elsewhere, as long as I was stoked up on gear. Of course most of the time I never had enough gear and that seemed to be the problem.

When I did have "enough" it got to the point of heroin just not "working" on not much more than 2g a day (speedballed*, with coke extra). In my one proper crack binge, my body said NO NO NO to coke, quite early on. Maybe within a week or so of 24-7 snowballing and piping. (When I slept I don't know. I think I just conked out at various points round the clock. woke up and carried on hitting up, drinking and piping.) Heroin my drug-saturated body said MORE MORE MORE to. But just could not feel it. Yes I was blowing way way too much money on drugs. And of course I'm not proud of it. A friend of mine smoked a house. He inherited a bundle of money and put £100,000 or more on the pipe in a single year. This stuff didn't make me happy (certainly not impressed) then. Now it makes me feel sick.

I know I need to drink less. Thanks for all the comments. Caeser I'm sorry I seem to have missed answering you. I'm answering every point in a second. I want to say to everybody I do read all comments. Not necessarily precisely when they come. The only reason I wouldn't specifically answer one is when I'm upset about something or when lots of people are saying lots of things and I feel deluged but in a good way. I would rather be deluged than left alone, I think any blogger who says they don't want comments must truly live in la-la land.

When I got home, by the way, I slept for five hours, till 1am. Without heroin. See what I mean..?

Re my drug history, so it doesn't sound contradictory the timings are this. All drugs: about 20 years (started age 19). In the 1st 10 years there were long spaces when I just did not use them. I did experiment with everything that came my way so the list is long. I also took acid and other drugs (especially speed) when I really shouldn't have. I was clinically depressed, on high dose antidepressants, seeing a psychiatrist. Me on acid then was not pretty, and I probably caused damage. Full-on heroin (+ heroin/methadone) addiction dates back almost exactly 10 years, though even it is hard to pin down a precise start date. Heroin experimentation began in any "meaningful" way about 2-3 years before that. So that's why I mention 20 years and 10 years. It's not a typo and it's not lies.

Methadone is the only drug I'm on now. The dose is far too high for my liking. I want to cut down and come off as soon as I can. Me detoxing is not a beautiful sight at all. I have had a "nervous breakdown" to some degree every single time I tried and it would be really foolish to try and achieve detox too quickly. Some of these "breakdowns" (I use the word losely) involved symptoms of bipolar** and more serious conditions than ordinary anxiety/depression. This is not to say I think it is bipolar or anything else. I'm trying not to think too much about that particular issue. Probably any inpatient detox would be too fast for me. The standard would go from around 60mg to zero in about 2 weeks. The longest I know of goes from about 120mg to zero in 6. Staying off drugs and cutting down slowly in the outside world, if I can do it, is probably the most sensible route FOR ME. Perhaps for many other people the opposite would be true.

Drink is still an issue. I know I drink too much. I drink about 3 x half litres of 7.5% ABV cheap cyder. Yesterday I managed one litre, by buying it in a bottle not cans, and drinking three smaller drinks. I think I'm going to try the 1-litre bottle from now on, cut down from there to one can. There's no great hurry and this isn't me making excuses. Bear in mind this addiction is 10 years old. To break it overnight may well put me in a Fool's Paradise. The progress may not be real. I need reality now.

I am supposed to be "taking care" of myself. So I'm trying to be responsible. I have to be consistent on the one hand (not breaking resolutions) and not get over-enthusiastic go too quick on the other. Bearing in mind I lost my marbles just transferring to methadone, I cannot see that rapidly cutting out anything would (in my own situation) be wise.

To anyone in a similar condition, my best advice is find yourself a good doctor (not easy). Or a good drugs worker. Or a good drugs/mental health professional. Drugs come under mental health anyway. I say this because what's good for me and what works for me may not be best for you. If you've had specific problems detoxing/switching meds/taking any psychiatric or other meds you need to explain this clearly. The problem could be mental or physical or both. Here in the UK if you need special treaetment due to a co-existing condition, you should get a programme tailored to you. I have tried to explain how a methadone detox would be tailored to me. In a way it's good the dr saw me as I was. Now they know I'm not just exaggerating or fantasizing when I talk about going cuckoo. I was bouncing off the walls in that there office!

Better leave it there. I hope I will look back one day and be able to stand by this when I say: CONGRATULATIONS DRUG DEALERS, THANKS FOR THAT DROUGHT. YOU'VE LOST YOURSELF A LONGSTANDING CUSTOMER.

*speedballing or snowballing means mixing heroin and crack (or cocaine) in the same IV shot. It's v strong and v dangerous

**bipolar disorder is what used to be called manic depression; it differs from ordinary depression in that bipolar involves swings from feeling slow, sleeping a lot, eating a lot and pretty down to going very fast, being irritable and angry and/or euphoric and high and barely sleeping at all. The moods can become mixed up and don't necessarily come in clear-cut "episodes".

Anna's description of bipolar depression (yesterday) is here


jams o donnell said...

Keep going Gledwood. You can do it!

Bimbimbie said...

You're bound to have good and bad days
Gleds your body and brain are in a battle with one another. Fortunately your brain seems to be having the upper hand. Congrats on having the strength of your conviction to resist the urge - it takes little steps and all that to get where you want to be.
I read somewhere it takes ten days to form a habit - you just need to find a new healthy one that you can stick with - start with making a cuppa or cup of soup at a certain time each day, it's just little things, little rewards that keep you moving forward*!*

Gattina said...

You know there is a stupid thing but it helps (at least some people) just buy a little "Stop" sign and put it in your pocket.You can also draw one on a piece of paper. Each time you think you need some drugs, look at your stop sign ! It makes you think. No guarantee though what is coming out, that's up to you !

BTW. I don't buy anything in these Galleries, they are all thieves, you get the same things elsewhere for half of the price ! I don't pay for their luxury shops !

Gledwood said...

JAMS: I still haven't touched heroin or drugs, which is strange..!

BIMBIMBIE: I once stopped smoking (fair do's I started again so it sounds ridiculous, but I did do 6-9 months without a cigarette). To do this I had to stop ordinary tea and coffee and take up mint tea, which is fresh and has no associations. (I think this came froma book.)
Whenever I saw a cigarette, or anybody smoking, or wanted to smoke, I instantly brought up a word like cancer, pneumonia, bronchitis, emphesema, thrombosis, heart attack etc and slapped the thought down with that. And it worked. No complicated visualization was required. I did New Year's Eve without smoking. I only went back to it because I felt ill which is a long story and not quite as ridiculous as it sounds (smoking "grounds you"). Akh. I still feel stupid for having started again

GATTINA: I think if I wrote the sign and a reason (like misery) across it it might work.

If it keeps happening I have to make the sign. I might get one made in platinum, with all the money don't stick in my veins. Then I would wear it like a diabetic's tag on platinum bath chain!

Baino said...

I can't tell you how proud I am of you right now. I agree, take it slow.

Seth said...

Started on the craziness. just a little.

Akelamalu said...

You know exactly what you need to do and I know you are really trying. I'm sending positive thoughts that you are able to stick with your resolution to become clean. Baby steps Gleds, baby steps. x

the guy in the silk taffeta dress said...

Baby steps, said the poster above and I know all about that.I agree.
My ex had suffered agoraphobia, she had panic attacks and SAD, not seasonal affective disorder, but social anxiety disease. She'd call my name out and be sooo fearful.She would feel sweaty hot even in Winter and would wriggle in the snow to try and relieve her fears..
I felt so helpless, but tried to assure her.
Keep us readers in touch and take very good care of yourself.

Gledwood said...

Baino: thanks. I know I could be pretty exasperating. It took a long time to get over that hill! And I'm barel over it now... (Feels like I am though.)

Seth: OK I'm gonna have a look in a sec. I wanna see this crazy stuff!

Akelamalu: doing the right thing for once? That's so not me!!

Taff: is social anxiety a posh way of saying shy? Is it a personality type or can it come on out of the blue in someone who was previously confident..? All that stuff puzzles me... Thanks. I'm trying to do the taking care. That's a totally new concept, I have to say...

Merle said...

Hi Gleds ~~ It was lovely to hear from you and especially with such goof news. I am so proud of you, so don't even think about going back to it, will you. You should probably try to find some food that you can tolerate. Is there anything you fancy at all, your body needs food to renew itself.
You have never at any time offended me my friend. I just get too busy and too tired to get around to all I'd like to. I will try to do better after the hectic Christmas rush. Everything should
start to improve in your life from
now on. Do keep up the really good work, and try to ease off the drink too. I know you can do this Gleds, so stick with it. Love
and very best wishes, Merle.

Gledwood said...

Thanks Merle
I got "paranoid" that I had said stuff I shouldn't. I really tried not to but my head was going right off on one. As if I had had a lot of drink and got v disinhibited/etc. ButI wasn't drinking at all. I only had a drink to prove to myself I didn't have DTs! So I flipped out, and that was due to nasty stuff in heroin? Methadone only? I don't know. It's all to do with that that I'm paranoid about having said stuff I'd not normally say %-/
I cannot believe I actually found WILLINGNESS somewhere in me. I knew it must have been somewhere. Never grabbed hold of it before!!



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