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!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Clear Road Ahead


The council (who are my landlord) sorted this out because my rent arrears (a £20 a week accommodation charge) got so severely out of hand.
The last time this happened was because I went mad. I told the lady all this stuff, it sounds really good on the forms. But it's also put me off getting help in the past because I feel I'm profiting from problems I need rid of, which is unhealthy. I prefer to go through life pretending to be well than doing an "I'm sick" act. There's nothing sicker than that!

Now I might be able to get all my arrears wiped off because, as she pointed out, I was housed as a "vulnerable adult". I could get a proper home. She can help me get more state benefits as I'm not getting everything I'm entitled to.

I've also got a new keyworker at the druggieservice. Next time I go in I get to see the headshrinker again. I'm writing down a timeline of what happened before, which proved it cannot have been "withdrawal" that set me off so badly last time as the first symptoms appeared when i was still using the gear. Things spiked the weekend that I stopped heroin, but I was on methadone in split doses (in Britain you take methadone home and drink it when you please, so I drink half of mine in the middle of the night so when I wake up it's going full blast). The other half I drink before bedtime. I had smoked the tiniest bit of crack the previous Sunday which meant when I went truly dingbats I'd have tested crack negative (though I was so paranoid at the time I believed the druggieclinic had spiked me with Ecstasy and coke). Writing this down might help with diagnostics. You see I need a diagnosis for all these irritating housing forms. Being a nutter actually helps with this, so I did myself the biggest favour coming in to see the headshrinker when I did. Funniest thing was, I thought I was OK when I saw the doctor. I don't think the dr saw it that way.

This is what I hated about the benefits system. I felt I had no entitlement to anything. So I didn't see doctors except when essential and that tended to be for physical complaints such as abscesses. Didn't get the benefits I was entitled to. Got zero housing points because the local council (who are technically my landlord) assessed me without seeing me.

Things reached an all time low with Maple Syrup, bitch druggieworker from hell. She knew nothing of my medical history and wanted to believe my troubles were entirely down to heroin addiction. I couldn't handle her overbearing and bullying manner without stoking myself up on heroin before the appointments. I acted my way through our sessions with constant false smiles and so much eye contact it hurt. Things reached a head when I realized I'd have to see a psychiatrist with Maple Syrup in attendance and basically lie, saying I was fine when I wasn't fine at all. My first impression of old Maple was that she saw me as a soft touch and that she was out to break me. Then i told myself "no, that's the addict in you talking". Nope. My first impression was right. Maple was the only worker I've ever sacked. And it turned out I wasn't the only client who dumped her due to her overbearing ways. The other guy was not the type anyone messes with, yet Maple Syrup messed with him. He dumped her too and probably put in a formal complaint, which I didn't. A couple of months later she left the service. Hurrah!

I've scored no heroin since 5am Tuesday morning. My new druggieworker knows how much I'd been drinking. I fessed up to the 3-litres of cyder a day. That level of alcoholism is the lower end of very severe heavy drinking. The street drinkers I know tended to drink somewhere between 10 and 12 cans (5-6 litres) a day in white cyder (7.5%ABV) or Super Skol (9% alcohol). A full 700mls bottle of Scotch at 40% ABV contains 280mls of drink of 28 units. My three litres of cyder were marginally MORE alcoholic than this. That's why I bang on about the matter so much. Up until very recently I was able to buy a single can and if I didn't want any more, my drinking stopped there. But something's changed and that doesn't happen now. In my post-heroin phase I was drinking one can then another can, then another then another. Of course the drink was substituting for gear. It always was a heroin substitute, or more to the point, a heroin-intensifier, being another downer. Somehow alcohol superseded heroin in my affections and I need to stop it. If I don't, I'm going to be one of those shambling old drinkers you don't want to stand behind in the checkout queue at Sainsbury's.

I asked the Housing Key Worker (who's more like a type of social worker than just a housing officer) about doing this voluntary work. She said there's a scheme when you befriend someone who's ill and/or dying and needs basic practical assistance and basically friendship. So I'd be well up for that. No I don't think it's depressing that I'd be making friends with someone who was going to die. We all die sometimes. I always take the tack of acting well, even when I feel unwell. That way you get treated as healthy, you're not using illness as a crutch to gain advantages in life (which, let's face it many people do). And being with someone who has no option in their life's direction might give me a new perspective on mine.

The lady did say this has to be something for the future, not now. My priority now is cutting out drink. I'm back down to three cans a day ~ 1.5 litres.

I'm also getting a new GP, that is, a family doctor. My present one is so dire I don't ever see her. They're setting up a "multi-agency approach" where the GP, psychiatrist, druggieworker and Housing worker are all in communication. I don't ever want to get into a situation again where one professional asks one set of questions, another asks others, so three or four entirely different versions of me appear in the notes and nothing adds up. I have enough issues without a multiple personality disorder to boot!

OK I'm off. The new Chinese I found when not scoring a couple of nights ago offer a lunchtime box: chicken curry egg fry rice, Pepsi for £3.50. Monosodium glutamate is calling my name!

By the way, when I eventually started googling my crazy episode I found out some disturbing facts re glutamate and manic-depressive symptoms. In mania brain glutamate levels are thought to be high; in depression they're low. I had a half-kilo bag of MSG I was sprinkling into everything at one point. Once you get used to MSG the dose creeps up and up as tolerance rises (what does that remind you of).

Here's the main link:
MSG and bipolar disorder
A lot of the other stuff was couched in highly scientific language. Glutamate apparently instructs neurons to fire off neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters involved in mood are dopamine, noradrenaline (norepinephrine) and serotonin aka 5-HT, 5-hydroxytryptamine. None of these neurotransmitters operate alone. For example when the serotonin system is in full-swing, dopamine kicks in too, which is why when you go out raving the first E makes you feel like Buddha (serotonin), by pill number two you're really rushing (dopamine). By pills three or four you might find yourself tripping because once you've gone as high as you go, the only direction left is sideways!
Low glutamate levels are implicated in depression and
schizophrenia. High levels are suspected in mania. I'm just not sure whether my obsession with MSG-laced Chinese food is helping or hindering. My 500g MSG bag is almost empty anyhow. I only bought it a year ago, so I've been pretty restrained by Chinese standards.


"I was in a long dark tunnel..."
Thanks Lizzie. This should be my anthem:~


Syd said...

I hope that the new team approach will help. My favorite Chinese restaurant has a "secret" menu just for Chinese, written in Chinese, and I order off that. It is good stuff.

Akelamalu said...

Well it sounds as if you're finally getting the help you need Gleds. :)

Gledwood said...

Syd: I know how to use a Chinese dictionary. I've had loads of fun looking up the signs on takeaways. They mean stuff like "tower of wealth"..! The character 金 features heavily because it means gold or money!

Akelamalu: at long last :-)

Furtheron said...

Good news - the path indeed does look better for you right now... stay on it :-)

Gledwood said...

aye, no more heroin

lizzydripping said...

glad you like the tune.

Gledwood said...

I hope to get out of the long dark tunnel soon ha ha har!

Baino said...

I like the idea of a team approach. Happens a lot here but like you say, sometimes people fall through the cracks. Fingers crossed for you. It's a long haul but if you're keen, you'll do it. I'm surprised that you actually receive cash as an addict, beyond the normal social security benefit. I'd have thought the council would pay for your housing or garner your payment to ensure their costs were covered and that you're not blowing it on gear. Ah well. Good luck.

Gledwood said...

I'm insisting these people keep in touch from now on as before I was in such a mess and nobody knew anything about what was going on. My doctor, for example, knows absolutely nothing. She's so crap that when I complained about spending 5 weeks in a state so bad I was hallucinating due to antidepressants she said "oh it's just side effects" and implied I should have continued taking them even longer! She also glanced at her notes and said I'd asked for them because I couldn't sleep. Not true! I was oversleeping, but wanted one with a drowsy profile as Prozac, which is an upper makes me so agitated it's unreal and I can't sleep at all on it. Idiotic woman. She was shit-hot with abscesses though I have to say!

No I don't receive cash, I just get social security, but I'm entitled to more than I actually receive. I let it run out before because it was going on crack and I wanted to give up crack. My fellow addicts thought I was crazy!

They don't do American-style food stamps here. I just see them as a recipe for increased poverty as addicts will just swap them for a third of their value, or buy razors, steak, drink (if you're allowed that) ... etc, the sort of stuff shoplifters take and then sell it on again for probably a third what they paid.

If I do get more money it ain't going on drugs. I don't feel guilty about claiming as I fit the criteria exactly. Plus when I start earning millions the govt won't hesitate to ask ME for far more than half of it.

In fact I think the government should go to prison for not paying me. That's what they do to people who don't cough up cash owed to THEM!!

Gledwood said...

I just realized what you meant about cash. No the housing benefit is paid direct but there's a small shortfall plus a "service charge". That's what the £20 represents. No if they paid those £100s to me, the council would never have seen a penny!!

Bimbimbie said...

That's great news Gleds having a team effort watching over you - does that mean you are the Chairman of your own board ;) seriously much better to have more than one person going through the motions like Maple Syrup did.

Poor old Brisbane has now joined some of the other Queensland areas affected by the floods - I'm ok, my immediate area has been very lucky.
Smiles to you*!*

Bimbimbie said...

... oh that reads wrong - I mean when there's a team effort there is less chance of anyone slacking in their duties.

Gledwood said...

I know what you meant!
It's not so much that anyone slacked, Maple Syrup's problem was her preconceived notions of what a drug addict was and how to treat them. E.g. she said of the depression that has had me seeing psychiatrists on and off for 20 years and at one time left me with a drawer-full of antidepressants tried and then given upon "oh but it's not clinical". The last thing I'm ever going to do is argue how I feel with someone else. She made me feel that I was supposed to justify my entire existence to her, and I refused to give any details bar platitudes.

The trouble all these professionals had was they were blinkered by their own jobs and couldn't see that I was in desperate need of help. I really was. At one point my coping skills were little better than those of a wild animal. At least wild animals wash themselves. I didn't. I came in like a shambling wreck, saw a trained mental health nurse who NEVER asked how I was in myself (it was only ever how much heroin/crack/drink have you been doing). I was paranoid and hearing voices at the time (thanks to crack). But she didn't know. She never ever asked about my mental health or how I felt. this woman is still working there and deserves to get shot in the head. She's an arrogant bitch too, but not in the Maple Syrup league. She doesn't suffer fools and had me down as a fool because I came across as so apathetic.

If these people knew me at all they would know that apathetic is the diametrical opposite of my character. This is why I complain about being unable to motivate myself or steer my life. I know there's something more "psychological" going on than pure laziness. I never was lazy before. Over the years my coping mechanisms eroded to nearly zero and NOBODY saw happened for what it was. I don't know what it's called, but whatever it is it is NOT my core personality. It's a person I've become through drugs and the despair of addiciton and I just want to get better now. It's not about "feeling" better but BEING better.

Hopefully, at LONG LAST these people, might actually be able to do something for me. It's not that I expect to be mollycoddled, but I do get irritated when loads of people I know who seem far better put together than me all have social workers etc and I don't. One is even faking schizophrenia to get higher rate benefits. And there's me having psychotic episodes with NO help. I told the dr about that one. It makes me so angry that somebody would do that when there's people out there in desperate need of mental health services and somebody like that is just wasting their time.

Puss-in-Boots said...

At last it seems as if you're going to have some continuity with your social professionals. No wonder you've beeen having problems. Hopefully these people working together will help you enormously Gleds.

As for MSG, I can take the stuff. It makes me seriously ill. In Australia restaurants are supposed to have a notice somewhere saying they used MSG, yet in New Zealand it has been outlawed since the mid 60s. Go figure...

Puss-in-Boots said...

Sorry...meant to put I cannot take MSG.

Gledwood said...

MSG outlawed in NZ? What on earth do they do for Chinese takeaway out there? It must taste really bland!

I did once get trapped wind (my own diagnosis) beause of monosodium glutamate. I'm sure that's what did it. I felt so ill I had to go back to bed all day. The Wind-Eze pills I bought basically did nothing.

I'm trying to find a way of switching my mood upwards. I'm doing OK because I haven't slept at all all night and that's meant to be good for snaping you out of depression. I really should be taking more MSG for my mental health by the sounds of things, though I'd be scared to set myself off so bad that next time I never came down..!

the guy in the silk taffeta dress said...

I'm glad Maple Syrup is out.
Why do agencies hire people with no social skills? I have met so many nasty front office people who really need a mop & bucket and some space in the back room.
If their disposition is horrible, they shouldn't be allowed the privilege to communicate with people.

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

Maple Syrup was involved in the agency in another capacity before she became a worker. I can't really say what she did as it would give clues as to what agency I'm talking about, which I don't want to do.

She wasn't 100% horrible, superficially we got on. But I knew in my heart what she was trying to do, she thought I was an easy touch and she was trying to break me. i decided hell would freeze over before I gave in to certain demands she put on me, so I strung her along for an entire year, never once showing the slightest resistance (easiest way to get your own way: don't show your defiance!)... eventually things came to a head when she INSISTED I take a hep C test. I refused point blank saying if I ever did I wanted the results confidential and anyway if I'm having one test I want testing for all bloodbourne viruses: hep A, B, C, syphillis and HIV. And this bitch was saying "you do trust me" (the mark of extreme untrustworthiness in my book). No way was I putting myself in a situation where that bitch got my HIV test results before I did.

For one thing if I had any of those things except syphillis I'd have NO treatment. I trust God to cure me of hepatitis. If I had cancer or HIV I'd use it as my quick way out. Death without the moral questionability of suicide.

I lied the entire time I was in there. She insisted on keeping me in the entire half hour all I wanted was to go. 15 mins in I'd start zipping up my bag and the bitch still didn't take the hint.

She inisted I give up injecting. If she'd listened to a word I said she'd know I injected in my legs not my arms. So I was able to show her baby soft white (veinless) arms and the bitch was taken in.

I'm so glad she's gone. I hope she got hit by a truck and died and the doctors gave her tiny doses of methadone for the pain instead of the real deal. The world is better off without a shit like her

the guy in the silk taffeta dress said...

yeah, I know.
I have all copies of my od hospital records and I won't ever give them to another doc,never.
That was a time over & done with & I wish I could have it removed from my record. I think it's unfair,they guard some info & pass out others.

Gledwood said...

You have to go out of state to get pills? Isn't it cheaper to just buy them? Or are they expensive? How much would a 10mg Valium cost in America. Here they were 50p each that's about 80c about 12 years ago but the price is now between £1.50 and £2 that's $2.40 an $3.20 though you might get them for £1 ($1.60). Very expensive considering you can easily use 5 in a day and the bastard selling at £2 doesn't even want to do 6 for £10. He does, but is irritated that I even ask. Even though he doesn't like me and probably does 'em cheaper for other people.



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