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 10, 2010

Silver Plate

I THINK I have been handed just about the best Coping Mechanism there is on a silver platter.
/psychotic episode. Let's not beat about the bush. Psychotic episode it is, no question. The dr knew I knew this and didn't try to deceive me. Schizophrenia means a certain form of psychosis (bearing in mind you can also be psychotic and depressed and/or manic) and contrary to popular belief there is a scale of psychosis running from near the edge (whatever that might be) to just over to well over to barking to barking so much you don't know who/what/where/why/anything any more. Schizophrenia can get bad enough. About as bad as it gets without your brain literally melting and your dying.
Schizophrenia: had a real good cry over that one.
I'm not claiming to be suffering here, so don't pin a suffering label on my words. Confused maybe, suffering, not really. Hearing voices can be fun. Head echoes make me laugh. Paranoia I don't like. Riding buses I don't like when there are crowds of school kids making it sound like they're not talking about me when they ARE. + repeating what they say when right up close...
Crowds of people do my head in bigtime. People talking. Even thinking.
Or breathing. Or having faces. Putting things up to face. Eating. Food prog. on TV promted that little baby.
If this doesn't get better I know what it's going to be called. SCHIZOPHRENIA.
BUT ~ and there's a big but ~ if schizophrenia is what it takes to cope being in this shitty world, I'll take that before your nail-gnawing idea of reality, any day.
If you're wondering what I have in mind when I say evil in the world.
And this, the crux of the problem, is what I cannot get my head around: EVIL.
Think Africa. Think Rwanda. Think of a certain event in a certain African country where a coach load of (relatively) rich people was held up. The robbers' idea of what to do in such a robbery was to force at gunpoint every passenger to lie in the road (after raping/abusing/etc) and to force (also at gunpoint) the coach driver to run over these people repeatedly. Whether anybody survived I do not know. Frankly, I would prefer not.
So if you wanna know what I would do now, I would go to Africa to a diseased war zone and find some children, who might well be lacking one or both parents, one or both arms/other limbs, their virginity (at 8) and so on). And if it was a little boy I would be willing to play football with him, even though I don't particularly like soccer (more to do with stereotyping than the actual game, I discovered, years later) and am actually quite good at it. For a girl, supposing she wanted someone to do this, providing somebody divided the hair into squares I would sit there and braid or plait her hair for her. This I can do. It's to do with 3 strands and then over over over (including under).
I'm not claiming to be highly original in the "what to do with abused children whose language you can't understand" stakes, but I'm sure somebody understands.
The best thing you can do to a lot of people in or after a lot of cirumstances is Be Kind. And try to be understanding. And patient. Even if it hurts. And try to give more than you are ever willing to recieve back.
Somehow, if you are willing to do this, it can make everything All Right.

** Yes you can play football (soccer-type) with artificial limbs. Otherwise make it table soccer**


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Anonymous said...

You'll be alright.Lots of this is temporary.
I wonder why they didn't give you Seroquel in the mean time.

Gledwood said...

I saw that dr before, 1ce. I'm glad I got the same one. He said he thought (considering 1. I was on drugs and 2. I had had dire problems with antidepressants: them sending me off on one into a manic-depressive-like state, which of course they're not meant to so my prescription is one I can handle myself: no illicit drugs at all. I would love some Valium/sleeping pills but haven't bothered and they're not too hard to get hold of. I'm not meant to drink.
I think he wants everything to clear out of my system, then they can see what the hell is wrong.
The schizophrenia label would only apply after months clean. As far as I know it is v difficult to diagnose someone using, especially if psychosis is involved, as uppers/hallucinogens set that off. Apart from one tiny bit of crack I'd not done it in weeks and before that months. Effectively I gave up 2 yrs ago and those few times were one-off lapses. It might sound half-arsed to say that but considering how constantly I used to use it, I really haven't done that bad.
I still find the idea of schizophrenia terrifying. The last thing I am going to do now is risk reading about it and put ideas in my head. I am not dealing with ideas v well. From what I remember apart form hearing voices/delusions (which you cannot by definition know you have) I recall something to do with being really eccentric or not caring about how odd you might want to do something (me) and trouble sticking to a point (me) that might not show so much in writing, or how I talk, but my mind does it really bad and I just do not focus most of the time. Reading helps best of all, listening to something 2nd, unless I really go off on one, in which case noises set off voices around me in the room (not "in my head").
I can't believe I have got to a point where I am saying this about myself.
This has really put nails in the coffin of self esteem, I can tell you. Sorry to sound selfpitying, but in this situation I beg the question, apart from staying off drugs (which I AM doing) what else can I do??
Many thanks for the comment. Sorry if this is a rant it is not directed at you. Maybe that's what I mean by sticking to topics I cannot tell what is relevant or what anyone's supposed to think. It is v difficult for me

the guy in the silk taffeta dress said...

Hey Gleds,

Schizophrenia is (to my limited knowledge) pretty hard to pin point, especially under your circumstances. You've been off crack for not too long a time and have just gotten off heroin. Maybe these symptoms are all part of the withdrawal, I don't know. I do know I lost my mind a good 6 mths after getting shut completely off my meds.

I was told by psych doc that schiz is extremely rare past 20-25 years of age.

Regardless, you have friends who care about you whatever you have, who'll continue you being engrossed by your tale because you are funny and have a sharp mind.

Now, in case you are a true schizophrenic, I gotta say your rationale by your writing, is intact.

I've never known a schizophrenic to be so logical & coherent.(I know many)

You make the rest of us psyche patients seem way out out, in another dimension...

If you really are, well than I think you're an exception to the strict definition of the disease.

I'm sorry to get heavy and to post such a lengthy comment, but I've got great confidence in you.

Just by your accomplishments, getting yourself off heroin & on to methadone seems a grand feat in itself....You are someone with great inner strength.

Labels are all hard to adjust to at first. Though I think you really haven't been fully accessed and psyche docs sometimes are more spaced out than the patient.

Anyway I'm rambling, as usual. Don't cut yourself short. Whatever illness you do have or don't have will not in the least change the opinions of your steady readers.

Okay, I've probably bored you to hell with my thoughts, but....you got a support system going here and it's great to have more support through such hard times. I know it was of tremendous value to me when I couldn't remember my name, address,etc.
I always want the best for you. Ah , heck what can I say to help you, when I'm a guy who loves wearing dresses.
Get some sleep, good night and sweet dreams....

the guy in the silk taffeta dress said...

I posted a much too lengthy comment. It didn't register.
Putting it in a nutshell,I just want to say that the voices/hallucinations may be part of the withdrawal.

Schizophrenia is most common ages in the mid 20s.
I know many schizophrenics, none of whom have your logical thinking & rationale, but if you are schizophrenic,you're an exception for your rational thinking.
You've probably got a genius IQ
But more than that , you have that inner strength where you managed to get off heroin, a major feat to the most normal person.
As far as "normality", has it really been defined and proved. We're all flawed individuals.
I wish 4 u the very best. Don't agonize over "label", okay, my friend?
Keep us readers in touch. No matter what illness u may r not have ,you still have the loyalty of friends and readers,..a support group.
God bless,

been ther done that said...

Listen to me, your not feeling A #1 right now but life turns around so fast, that next week you might feel no drug desires and just want to love the life you have.
Listen you're no fool. Just get some sleeping aid and you'll do fine.You know a lack of sleep can cause schizophrenia. Honest. It's true. So get some zzzzzzzzzzz's.

Akelamalu said...

If this episode isn't enough to put you off drugs for life I don't know what will. I hope the doc is able to help you Gleds but you know that there's only one person who can make a difference and that's YOU. x

Gledwood said...

SiltTaf: I hope you're right. All this started in childhood and in my 20s. Childhood you would label depression, the 20s stuff you could most kindly call dissociative.

When I told the dr I had had endless trouble, as I saw it, with psychiatry by being able to string more than five words together nicely, he nodded sagely. I got the impression he's come across that one before.

What I don't understand is that within minutes of having a serious urge to jump through a first floor window on at least one occasion and to set fire to everything on at least two more I was able to post stuff that looks really rational.

If I had never taken psychedelic drugs I would have no frame of reference that what I think and feel and SEE and HEAR might not be a wise thing to base decisions on in the here and now. You could argue psychedelic drugs caused all of it, so I don't know. I have not touched anything psychedelic in over 10 years... 12 years I don't know. Haven't touched ecstasy in 8 years. Smoked a spliff one time that I remember over the past decade. Accidentally came across cannabis one other time, by picking ciggie butts off the street to roll my own (what I always do).

Even a common cold can make me feel stoned on hash. Flu has made me have a "nervous breakdown" and not because I was "suffering so much and couldn't handle it" I mean it set me off. I am the last person to diss the joys of hanging round in pajamas, not eating, not working and being ill for 2 or 3 days, which is how flu peaks, unelss you get serious complications (as I'm sure you know, but I don't want confusion: i mean influenza with fever, not a cold, not pneumonia). You gotta get what you can out of everything, so I don't think the miseryguts label really sticks on me. I say that bc it was suggested I had a personality disorder.

I looked through the diagnostic criteria (as I was asked to). The only one that went bing bing bing bing bing! Was borderline. Not anxious-avoidant or dependent. I am frankly insulted to be called depenent. If anything I'm INdependent. I did match up with schizotypal and schizoid not so much paranoid. But to know you had one of them you need to know what "bizarre" or "strange" or "magical thinking" are. And I think everything I do is reasonable.

I don't know what it is going off but it makes great difficulty concentrating and following relevance around. As I told the dr, the ability to speak and write will be the last things to go. If they ever did how on earth I would be expected to get help or to hospital is anybody's guess. My head still goes bing bong bats boots bits beats its its its but to post that would be seriously boring. I am trying above all to be factual and objective. Whatever some person thinks I cannot imagine, bc I cannot think my own thoughts first, let alone a 2nd person's after. Is that a problem? I don't think so, but I imagine it could have such labels adhering all over it.

Gledwood said...


I cannot believe I told a dr I was hearing voices, not realizing what that meant. I thought it was normal to hear voices. Or to put it another way that someone who can't has something wrong with them. If you want honesty, that's what I really think.

Maybe I'm psychic, but I'm not interested in messing around with psychic powers. i don't think they're inherently evil, but I do believe they can lead to The Devil's Work. The Devil is the last person I want anything to do with.

I hope I haven't gone way off the point but that's what your reply made me think. I'd had enough of drs a long time ago, now I'm forced back back back in desperation. I knew hearing voices was meant to mean I was cuckoo. I had never heard them so loud before. That was disconcerting. Now I am sure they think that just hearing voices in my mind and hearing people yelling in the street are exactly the same, when they're not.

O I had better shut up. Someone will spy on me, I'll get sectioned. Something bad will happen. Indulge my negativity. I'm tired!! (My constant excuse, har har) thank you for the comment. Don't go too far out now please, we might never get YOU back

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

Been There: I feel like I got clonked by a massive inflatable hammer. One with a 100 foot wide clonker on the end.

Am I meant to say why I'm not mad?

I only thought hearing voices made me mad in a drs eyes. Not hearing them means you're blocked off to it, that's all.

What else ?? Drugs. Not craving. I hae an aversion to drugs of all types, except alcohol.

If I was in hospital I'd have been willing to get wrestled down just to get the needle, but that's just me being perverted. Always up for anew experience, me.

This is the damage heroin caused. People who knew me before would call me a novelty seeker (why ja think I wanted to see what heroin was all about!) People who knew me in the midst of addiction said I was afraid of change. Massively so.

In all this crap I am meant to sort out somebody's idea of forms to fill in and all teh nonsensical nothingness plus get well into a reality nobody has convinced me doesn't feel like lying in a bath full of cold water wishing you were dead. That's the crux of some of the problems.

There must have been some problem, because I could never engage with someone.

Also am "I" supposed to know how "I" feel, what I think etc? Never could do that before heroin, can't do it without it. I can only give impression s now that I think I think are true. What someone else thinks I cannot know. Unless I go so batspinningly ape I'm tripping all over again. Or not not not I don't know.

I cannot think about any of this or what it means because it's mindblowingly depressing either way. Utter stark horror of chilled cold mind-numbingly bleak boringness on one hand, stark raving madness on the other.

By not taking drugs I'm not "chosing" anything. I'm just seeing what happens. I think that's a wiser choice than turning any other corners.

I hope I'm making sense

Gledwood said...

Akelamalu: how typical I should nearly leave someone out. Mr Rude.

Yep: you said it.

I'm now so scared of heroin that when I found a shot (that probably only had a 10p worth in it, it looked like the wash you get when you wash the filters out, not that I'd expect you to know) I shot it against the wall. I've had enough of drugs and all the chaos.

Whatever it was that happened, I do not know.

I imagine ~ I'm pretty sure ~ it was caused more by withdrawal than being ON anything.

Now I'm left the way I am without heroin. Not even a whole person. I never ever was whole without it. I'm not whole now. Or if I am , someone else is that me, I'm this me. Which can't be schizophrenia, because that's some multiple personality thing? Is it?

Exactly why I'm avoiding psychiatry books/sites like the living plague!!

Thank you for your wishes I am sorry to go on, as usual.

Curious said...

Do you still get Christmas dinner in the local nut house then? :-) Hmmmmm ...

Bimbimbie said...

Sounds like the Dr respects your intelligence Gleds I think we are all relieved you are seeing someone who's telling you straight. The confusion will be temporary make sure you get plenty of sleep on a regular basis and try some cups of sweetened tea between the cans. x

Gledwood said...

I was thinking of trying tansy root tea. That's what middle class people drink, so I hear. One of the female characters mentions it on that TV comedy the Good Life. I know you are British-born and you still get all our crap on TV out there, so don't pretend not to understand me!

Otherwise normal tea would be fine. I was thinking of buying the Sunday Times tomorrow. I tried the Sun yesterday or the day before. It was like reading a paper from the Moon!

How come I can understand blogs, but the national press makes no sense..?

Who's crazy now.

Anon: thanks for that you gave me an idea to post tomorrow. Xmas dinner in the nuthouse happens a few days before, so ex-patients can come back. It's not as screwy in there ss you might imagine. Nutters are way easier to get on with than junkies (less boring, it has to be said. I think heroin especially makes different people go same same same. Never tried prison. I've heard the nuthouse described as worse. I find that really difficult to understand. I think the atmosphere would be v different and you are never locked in a single room unless you seriously misbehave and only the Extreme Wards, where you're not allowed cigarette lighters (not the normal wards) have that stuff

Gledwood said...

sorry by anon i meant curious. v poor attention, don't mean to be rude

tomorrow i'm going to try and post what it actually is like in a nuthouse

the guy in the silk taffeta dress said...

Gleds, you're so logical in your writing that sometimes I'd like to know "the loosened up" version.The very inner you..
but don't mind me, I'm just a guy who is an oddball & cares.
All the best,

Syd said...

I like that you want to help others. I hope that you get the chance to do that. It will get you out of yourself.



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