FINALLY I HAVE A SOCIAL HOUSING KEY WORKER!
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.
ORIGIN UNKNOWN: VALLEY OF THE SHADOWS
"I was in a long dark tunnel..."
Thanks Lizzie. This should be my anthem:~