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, December 17, 2010

Nutter Club

I WENT TO A THING CALLED NUTTER CLUB EARLIER. Well that's what I call it. You go to the building opposite where people are punished for shoplifting by having to attend group therapy each morning. Instead of court-imposed group therapy for tea leaves, we had voluntary group therapy for the mentally deranged and confused. I fitted right in!

I'm not mad any more by the way. Just my normal self, so if that's crazy I'm still barking. I'm not into excessive self-analysis, which is why I hated counselling so much last time I tried it. I did OK at the sessions; what I couldn't do was link what I said to the real world and effect changes. Counselling is about changing yourself, otherwise it's hot air. Well that was my approach. Whatever it was I said stayed in the room, I barely considered any of it. I think I was meant to practise Positive Navel Gazing.

Interestingly the counselling style that worked best for me was Psychodynamic, the deepest and least problem-centric type. I thought I needed one that finds a solution to a problem, not one that turned over stones to see what psychological woodlice went scurrying back to the shadows. But this psychodynamic psychotherapy actually worked. I learned to think outside the tiny little box that is my head. What I didn't like was that my counsellor and my GP independently both suggested repeatedly that I see a psychiatrist because in the counsellor's words "you need more help than I can give you".

This was just before I launched full-tilt down into that decade-long morass of heroin adddiction. In this period, just before addiction sucked me into the Poppy Void, I was miserable and lost. Physically sick: that was called post-viral fatigue. What the virus actually was, I never found out. It cannot be HIV or Hep C. I tried to put a life together as I wanted to live it, but could never be well enough to both put it together and do all that lovely living!

I had ideas. Things got started. But nothing got seen through. I even got myself on a part-time uni course. I forced myself into this. Originally I really wanted to do it, but a chill wind was howling. I had found something that would help me. so I forced myself to go through with it. Forced myself into a breakdown. Still forced myself on and signed in and did the first year. I did lots of forcing. But very quickly I was too addicted to heroin to go on.

I thought this was what Grown Ups did: push themselves through situations that are supposed to be to their benefit no matter how much they don't like it at the time.

I query why this never worked for me. "Feel the fear and do it anyway" only pushed me to despair. Maybe it's because it wasn't fear as such I was facing. Fear is easy. This was a sense of hopelessness, impossibility. The only fear I couldn't face was that of living without drugs. But we have despair behind that one again. Life without drugs (specifically heroin) is utterly meaningless, empty, bleak beyond imagination. I'd like to say "was" not "is" but I'm a methadone addict. I'm still on a drug. Still a drug addict.

The Nutter Club invigilator says I've done really well. Maybe I'm meant to give attention to that, but I can't. She picked up on my use of past tenses. Heroin does feel past. I always had a sense that if I gave up I would never go back. I would feel too stupid to do that. Conventional wisdom claims getting off is easy; staying off's the hard work. I've found getting off impossible. I'm not surprised giving up heroin coincided with a kind of mental breakdown. My sanity depended on heroin, literally. And you have to be crazy to quit a drug as good as heroin, the only thing that made me feel together. So far I've not had any of the difficulty I might have expected steering myself to stay away.

There's no point wondering about the future, something I have a huge hand in. (I wouldn't say I alone can make my own future; I do not live in a bubble.) But I can make a very large contribution. I can steer my ship. I can alter my attitude. In my experience turning a corner can get you to wondrous places you never dreamed possible... I just cannot see anything wondrous yet...

I'm coming back to Nutter Club next week. I'll let you know how I get on.


Lady Anon said...

Hi Gledwood...I just emailed you back by the way...

...nutter club...is that because they can't afford for you all to have individual therapy?

When I tried to have therapy...my counsellor was just too damn cool...she was all beautiful & vivid...I didn't want to tell her how grey & hopeless I was!!

I always think if I ever managed to properly quit...I'd probably stay off heroin...I just never quite managed it!


Sid said...

Interesting, I found Psychodynamic to be the most useful too..

When I had my clean period I went to HCC and studied person centered and psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy, I actually passed too with a level three diploma.

I even went to work at THT as a young persons drug worker, it was really fulfilling but I found it pretty stressful too, i had to leave when i relapsed, after seeing supposed counsellors in clouds that everyone knew were using still I decided I would never be that hypocritical.

Im well chuffed for you mate, staying clean, it sounds like this was the straw you needed to break that camels back.. weird life sometimes eh..!

Stick to your green, as long as it takes. Maybe (probably) one day you will be in a place where your strong enough to think about reducing and stopping.. i did it, took me 18 months to get off 100mls but I did it, willpower...
You know as well as I do theres nothing you can do to get to that place. it just happens one day.!


Gledwood said...

Lady Anon: the club is supposed to be a way of sharing and contributing flashes of super amazing insight and lucidity that blazes like a beacon against the murk of the outside world and all its weariness ;->

A very old old friend who's juice-only now (and I believe that's pretty much true; if she does use it's once a month sort of thing) ... well she said you have to give the juice 2 weeks straight and then it'll start holding you in normality instead of the half-arsed way people associate with methadone. I do feel absolutely fine physically. No flash sweats which I used to associate with methadone.

Your counsellor sounds most unusual. Most of them like to come across as a blank screen. Very psychological! BTW I think/I'm pretty sure my 1st one used to look down on me. I was too similar to her, as she saw it. Unlike her I couldn't shake off my old me, my past, and her attitude kind of showed. The cow!

Thanks for the msg. Take care


Sid: I wonder whether any staff use at my clinic. They'd have to be awfully discreet. No waiting on those obvious street corners. Quite a lot of them live close by, y'see...

I heard it takes 18 months to come off 120mg methadone. As long as I can split my dose so I'm drinking the reduced part by day and the level part by night I wouldn't mind. I can't see that I should feel anything at all.

On street gear we all take in a different number of milligrams every single day. It's almost impossible not to and no-one panicks about that.

The only time gear hasn't held me is when it was so weak as to be ridiculous. That only happened twice. Bear in mind in the recent drought I was ON methadone.

I always told myself I'd never do a drought again after the ones in spring 2002 and spring 2003 (not to mention summer 2008) I'm glad I finally got the wherewithall to stick by my "resolution". I never saw a drought as a way out though.

I was going to write a post about how people have used external events to break addictions. I suppose I should write it. It is an original idea and would break days of me bumbling about methadone methadone methadone.

I'm thinking already about cutting down. I hate being on so much it feels far too far from where I want to be. Then again I heard someone in NA saying he felt way better on methadone than nothing. This guy is several months clean. So I'm trying to make the most of where I am now...

Lady Anon said...

Hey...yeah she was pretty unusual...! I liked her a lot...but just couldn't cope with her because I was such a mess! but saying that....I don't think a more 'objective' therapist would have been better for me at that point..

..Does anyone say anything breathtakingly wonderful in nutter club...?


Gledwood said...

Were you on gear when you saw this therapist? Or methadone? Or was it before? Or during a "break"? I only ask bc I found counselling impossible while I was using. Just could not do it. Barely ever turned up on time. Kept getting extensions. But like I say, couldn't focus anything from inside the session into the world outside.

Nutter Club Insight Flash? Well I did one, so I was told. U R gonna wanna know what that was now, aincha?~ It was to do with how long term sick people come to depend on being ill and how bad this is because you won't get better.

I've seen too many people wearing diagnosis like a Jim'll Fix It medal and tried to take an opposite approach of acting like I was well. I thought doing it that way might be healthier. They said I had post viral at the time. It made me exhausted. I used to pretend I was "just a bit tired..!"

So this lady must have come across as well sorted then. Psychologically, obviously. (Not sorted for Es and whizz.) I don't think I've ever felt like that in "therapy".

The only problem I had I picked up years later and it was under the surface: my 1st counsellor and I were too similar. I heard she dealt her way through college flogging hash. I'd never in a million years have done that!! Way too straight-laced, me haha. Anyway if I'd been into drug-selling I'd at least have picked something exotic and amazing. Designer psychedelics or something. I kept meeting people who had court dates pending for acid etc so dealing was v offputting. Not my style at all. How did I get on this subject. O yeah counsellors. My drug dealing counsellor haha!

If anyone does say anything breathtakingly wonderful next time at Nutter Club I'll let ya know!

Syd said...

I like what you say about making a contribution to your future and about adjusting your attitude. That is cool.

the guy in the silk taffeta dress said...

Gledwood, it seems you've come a long,long way.
You seem to be adjusting to so many changes in your life and adapting to it better than most.
Wishing you all the best.

Gledwood said...

Syd: I do still think you have to be crazy to stop heroin. That's why I don't mind being crazy. Rather be crazy than on heroin. Rather be dead. So I spose my attitude has changed. How bizzarre!!

Taffeta: not thinking about it except when I post helps a lot. I'm not sure I'm into NA any more. I don't feel desperate to go to a meeting "or else I'll use" ~ a lotta people in there do seem to be in that state. Is methadone so wonderful? Will I turn all brittle when I come off..? I'm never sure. I'm trying to have Fun With Methadone. This means no buzz as such but no clucking either. Quite a good deal in a sense :->

Furtheron said...

The Rehab I went to was 12 step focused, but also used other things. But the guy who ran it was very much anti the "tell me who hurt you as a child?" and the punching a cushion you think is your father, mother, teacher etc.

He was always - go forward and work the problem today. He used psychodrama to great effect - often watching other peoples was more effective than my own... although I listened to someone new around the other day and the problem they described was exactly the psychodrama he played for me on my last day in treatment. What a reminder! I tried to explain to the new comer but frankly too early and too raw I think to get it... maybe it'll lodge there and she can use it later

Anonymous said...

good luck gledwood, i kinda sorta feel me and you are at a similar place in the scheme of things, inasmuch as them things can ever be that similar...

Gledwood said...

Further: I got really badly hurt as a child. Not secual abuse. I've skated over the subject so many times it feels like talking about something I know happened to someone else. I never talked v much about it.

In rehab they never went on about that stuff. What annoys me was that it tends to be taken that my heroin addiction happened in a bubble. I was 28, not 16. I was not happy.

And that's the problem today. The same crap that was going 10 years ago before, went on during (but a lot was masked) and still happens today.

If I ever go rehab the only sort I would go is mixed therapeutic community where drugs are mixed with anorexia, depression and all manner of other things. Partly this has quite a lot to do with finding junkies shit boring, especially when you're with them not using 24-7

Anon: do you get methadone? Or Subutex/Suboxone? Or did you come off everything? I'm just curious

Furtheron said...

The rehab I went to was mixed - which was useful. And there was some stuff if it needed to come out did in Step 4 work. One guy had a horrible story

And I know those in AA who stop drinking then had to deal with some horrible stuff with a professional - but when clean and sober

Keep going - you will get there.

Gledwood said...

I just read what I put that sounds really snobby. I didn't find it that easy being with addicts and not using. It felt pointless. Even the morning television reminded me of waiting at my freind's house for our dealer to come. He usually came between 10:30 and midday, after we rang him at 10. He had masses of customers to serve as his bags were huge and the gear top notch.

One problem I have with junkies is that when I started using there were a lot who were like me. These people were called Crusties. They made money from begging. In general they were not criminals. You cannot go shoplifting looking like that. The look was shaved head/dredlocks/long hair army surplus. Steel boots. I never tried to do the look but ended up looking that way by default. I still get called Crustie now, yet I never identified myself as one. I just called the Crusties my friends. The lot nowadays are nearly all shoplifters, prostitutes and criminals and I stand out among people like that for being different.

I'm going to have to search really hard for a rehab I could do. To be frank I'd rather do it outside via NA or nothing if I can. I'm fed up of drugs drugs drugs it's boring boring boring.

And I have to give up drinking, too



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