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, January 14, 2011


SO WHAT AM I MEANT TO BE DOING NOW? That I'm taking responsibility for my own life, at last.

For years I never took responsibility for anything. All I took was heroin first, drink second, crack third, Valium when it came my way. My four drugs of choice.

All in all I got in a mighty mess. I haven't opened any mail in months, except when someone phones me to say mail is coming. Why bother? it only ever contains threats and I was not together enough to deal with the council tax or anything else. The solicitor wants to put me down as Severely Mentally Impaired. This just means mentally ill. I don't want to be mentally ill so that one never got anywhere.

You know I even got criticized just now for having looked up the symptoms of my own illness! How can I take responsibility for anything if I don't know what I'm dealing with?

As I said, I do regret having seen that NutNut dr a few weeks ago. What happened was, on Tuesday the week before I started hearing voices. I thought this was dodgy heroin and laughed it off. On Thursday I stopped taking heroin and switched to methadone. I was in no way withdrawing as I had enough methadone at home to take in divided doses, so I never felt the slightest cluck at all. Add to the fact that the heroin had gone pitifully weak due to a drought (though it was full of ultra-powerful downers) and methadone held me well. On Friday I woke up feeling absolutely vile. I couldn't summon energy to get out of bed for four hours. Then when I did I forced myself in the shower and to the methadone pharmacy. Someone sent me an email that afternoon and I was laughing my head off, I thought "that's good I'm not depressed any more". By midnight I really felt tired as if I hadn't slept in years but my head was beginning to race quickly and more to the point I was now hearing voices loudly. I didn't sleep at all. In fact I went two and a half days without any sleep it was absolutely impossible. My hearing went incredibly loud. I could hear every thing in every room of my house and on the street. People were babbling at me everywhere. Music. words. When I opened a door, the door said "hello!" and told me to buy some peaches. By this time I was getting very paranoid. I had to go out the next day to get methadone and everyone was spitting and swearing at me on the street. When I got home I tried to sleep but could see the most vivid pictures behind my eyes. I felt euphoric one minute, suicidal the next. At one point I couldn't tell whether I was thinking or hearing because all I heard was voices voices everywhere saying different things. I was negative of all drugs by this point, I wasn't even drinking. Eventually I did have 2 cyders, just to prove this wasn't DTs. On Sunday I did eventually sleep for what felt like years, but it was only four hours or so. I woke up with a fascinating radio programme on. Got up and the radio was still playing in the bathroom. Then I realized it was just another of those voices. I got an hour's sleep on Monday then angrily phoned my Mum, who had seen the state I was in 2 weeks before and been horrified (high on heroin and benzos). So she was in touch with my worker. I didn't even know my worker's name so my Mum did the phoning. A while later I was rushing off my face on crack which I was convinced the drug service had spiked me with. I hadn't taken any coke at all. By that afternoon I was catatonically depressed, curled up in a ball and more disoriented than I've ever been. A few hours later my mood went rushing back up and I was on top of the world. The problem with all this apart from the confusion and paranoia was that I just could not function. It took over an hour to decide to go out, get keys together and actually leave as I was distracted by everything. In shops I couldn't handle change. The action of moving my hand, counting money and handing it over within a few seconds was too much. I eventually used the laundrette but again had to be helped with change, filling the machine etc I was cabbaged. I wasn't on drugs, I wasn't in drug withdrawal. I was on methadone which kept me fine. This stuff was mental. On Thursday I saw the psychiatrist as I knew something had gone very wrong. Even though I felt good most of the time at the peak of the madness I've never been so terrified. It's one thing to be tripping because you've dropped acid, quite something else to be hallucinating on nothing. Acid lasts 12 hours or so. This went on for days on end. When I saw the doctor I thought I was OK. This is not what the dr thought. His questions revolved around antipsychotics, schizophrenia and whether I wanted to be in hospital. I almost regret saying no. So this weird state happened and took a good ten days to wear off. Afterwards I was just confused. I banned myself from looking up anything to do with mental health and stuck by this until the weirdness had receded. Then I did go Googling and matched time and again "bipolar disorder: mixed psychotic mania". Lovely. I'm not saying this is what was wrong with me, I'm saying I matched the descriptions. Every time.

The same symptoms started coming back a week or two ago but they were nowhere near as intense and I plummeted into depression which is where I am now. I spend a lot of time online as it's the only thing that distracts me from how I feel. No I am not looking up mental health shit. Psychiatry is the most boring of all subjects to read on unless you're looking for a specific answer.

So now I don't know what to do. I'm drinking only 2 cans 1 litre. No heroin today. I only crave it because I feel miserable and that's how I fixed misery for years on end. I don't feel motivated to do anything exciting. I've decided to do a bit of cleaning as it's 4am and I'm wide awake.

I can't do this voluntary work yet. As it was tactfully pointed out to me, it's a very nice idea but I do need to be a bit more together before I try something like that.

I haven't just been lazy, I've gone to such an extreme I was almost paralysed. I never engaged with anything or anyone. The ONE thing I kept going was my blog. But being able to tell you something doesn't mean I'm doing very much. I started shoving myself in the shower again, but before that I'd gone weeks without bothering to wash properly or wash my hair. I didn't care what anyone thought and was glad to have people stay away from me.

So there we have it. Yes I am self obsessed (and who isn't). At least when I do that I don't know who I'm obsessing about. I feel like a glassfish. Almost invisible.

So apart from this giving up drink and not taking heroin, what do I do? My head is distracted by random words coming in. They come in from outside, I can point to the direction they come from. The last phrases I heard were "give it a mole" and "Orla Geerin" (BBC Middle East correspondent). I also hear my name coming from the London buses.

No I'm not saying I'm mad, but I AM sane enough to realize this isn't strictly "normal" to most people. It never happened to me till I was in my 20s. Maybe I'm psychic.

The guy downstairs, the one I DO get on with is on exactly the same wavelength as me and he says I should stop dressing like a tramp (that is a hobo, not a prostitute). But I like my cigarette burned clothes. At least I don't have to worry about messing them up.

I suppose I ought to go to bed as I need a sleep pattern back. But what do I do when I'm awake?

Here are my own suggestions:

1. Keep drink to a max 2 cans (1 litre) a day. That's 7.5 alcoholic units.
2. Don't use heroin
3. Keep self and clothes clean
4. Clean house, it's still not finished
5. Eat properly
and one last one, I didn't think of till I got a comment just now at 1:30pm from the Mistress of Mischief GO TO NA/AA!

That's about all I can manage. When I was doing that cleaning blitz I got so exhausted I slept 17 hours at a stretch. If there is something physically wrong I'm not getting treatment anyway. I'm fed up of doctors. I still have very mixed feelings about having seen that psychiatrist. I thought I'd had a 2 day breakdown and was basically OK by the time I saw him. Looking back, I was not OK at all. I spent the waiting period pacing the entire length of the building; once inside the consulting room I was so hyper I was bouncing off the walls. I barely stopped talking the entire time I was in there. I dread to think what they're going to do to me next time. Have you seen Michael Caine's evil doctor character in Quills? I think the nice doctor will go and I'll be confined to a lunatic asylum under the auspices of somebody like that. I don't trust doctors.

Now I've got to go it's 4:30am I'm supposed to be cleaning up or sleeping or something. I can't remember what.

Illustrated: unanswered mail; an Afrian pygmy hedgehog which I'd quite like as a pet (they're more popular in America where you don't get wild hedgehogs); a glassfish; smoking; the Marquis de Sade, played by Jeffrey Rush in Quills

This was one of my favourite tunes of the early 90s.
The sample is actually a man speeded up. It comes from an old garage track:
War and drugs are everywhere and it's getting so hard to breathe the air....
Now-eeeeeee, we live as one family


BMelonsLemonade said...

Gled...it sounds like something is, in fact, going on with the chemicals in your brain. Drugs and alcohol do not help all that, although it feels like it does. Well, who really knows...maybe they do keep the symptoms at bay, but then they eventually present a whole new host of symptoms. Most bipolar, or schizophrenic disorders do not show up until late teens or early twenties...so the fact this never happened before you were twenty would be dead on for those illnesses. When I was on methadone, a lot of patients reported mental illness...and many of the drugs they tried did not work, only heroin made them feel better. It is a common sentiment. I am not one of those, but I was in the minority. My ex husband was bipolar. My child's dad is bipolar. Two of my best friends are bipolar, and the other is schizophrenic. I think they are attracted to me because I understand them, and I am attracted to them because it does make sense to me. I can often spot an episode in these people way before they even realize it themselves. Short of post traumatic stress after the Hurricane, I have never experienced myself, though. If there is something up with your chemicals in the brain...some intervention may be nessacary. The problem is a lot of meds don't work, and it makes one feel like a lab rat to try all kinds of different shit. However, stabilazation can help. My schizophrenic friend will have these episodes, and a few weeks in a dual diagnosis facility usually sets her straight for a couple of years. I feel like if she would learn to control her disease and recognize it when it is coming(I am usually the one to recognize it.) that she could avoid a lot of heartache and trouble. But who wants to be signed in when you can't sign out? I get it all. Do not rule out mental illness. And do not chalk it all up to drugs. Hang in there. I wish I could offer some better advice. Maybe see another dr? And not sleeping will make the most sane person completely insane.

lizzydripping said...



i dont know if you have come across these on the internet, i think they are good, for people who hear voices by people who hear voices not doctors, look after yourself x
p.s. great tune

Gledwood said...
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Gledwood said...

BMelons: I first got depressed in childhood. Obsessed over the idea that I was dying. It got bad enough that I actually wanted to die, I was 10. In my teens I got depressed mildly a few times but was slowed down enough to be called a "zombie". Then I went to uni aged 19 and got badly depressed. No hyper stuff came until my mid 20s. The very first sign was taking an ecstasy that kept me high for a week. Obviously this would just have made a dr roll his eyes and say "well don't take it again!"... then I got put on prozac and that made me euphoric and hyper, mildly so for the first couple of weeks, then it evened out and I was OK. I went on and off it but the last time the agitation was so bad I couldn't stay still for a second and I just gave up on it. By my late 20s I was getting periods where I felt really good for a few days or a week or so but nearly ALWAYS this meant I was going into or coming out of depression. But it was still mild enough that a dr would have said it was very much borerline case I'm sure. Having said that I was several times accused of being on drugs when I was totally straight! Then I went on heroin the very first effect I noticed in addiction was the mood flattening, no more ups, no more days when the sun was shining in my head. No downs either but the antidepressant effect wore off over the years. Still it was WAY better than methadone. Depressed on heroin meant suicidal on methadone I coudln't handle methadone days which is why I used every single day I could afford it, leaving myself fishing food out of bins sometimes I was that broke. The next bipolary thing happened when i tried coming off heroin cold turkey. Rather than lying in bed being ill i was pinging about everywhere. I felt like I was on speed but having a shit time. This lasted the whole week, till I ran back to London, used, tried going without it for a week managing 2 days or so at a time, then was bang hooked again. Despite this I was depressed for about 6 weeks ~ the symptoms I got when detoxing matched "mixed bipolar state" but of course being in withdrawal disqualifies you under the DSM criteria which made me jubilant as if I'd escaped from prison on the one hand, pissed off, bc I knew something was going on on the other. Then I was given an antidepressant mirtazapine. 1st time I used it I was fine and it worked really well. 2nd timee I got impatient and took 60mg instead of 30. 2 mental patient friends said I was "hypomanic" and I probably was. I stopped it after a couple of weeks and came down. Then I got prescribed it a 3rd time and took it strictly in the 30mg prescribed dosee, went high for a week and crashed while still taking it, went very low and was hallucinating somedays not all the time just occasionally, dead bodies etc i really felt i was at rock bottom, spiritual crisis, didn't call it depression. Then my drug worker said what's wrong with you? It's those pills! I stopped them and came out of it, still depressed but nowhere near as bad.

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

. I used to get what I know now is called racing thoughts when I thought I was depressed but I'd actually go up and feel good, but only for a few hours or days. So you see until last time when it really was bad the symptoms were shortlived and mild and borderline and I can understand nobody taking them seriously. They do look suspiciously like bipolar to me from what I know of it. E.g. being psychotic yet able to write fluently is v much a manic characteristic. Lots of manic depressives are creatives and able to work in quite extreme mood states.... So I really don't know. I got confused before by reading descriptions of classical manic depression: up for 3 months, down for 6. Mine is much much faster than that and the high was mixed so rather than wanting to fly a plane full of hookers like you're supposed to on mania I was very very paranoid and had depression mixed up in the manic stuff. The hallucinations were "mood incongruent" and some of the "features" were atypical ie not what you'd expect of someone who's high. Hence confusing the picture. I know none of this means it actually is bipolar but the language of bipolar is the only one that describes my experience. I would prefer it to be just down to drugs but I really am at a loss as to what drug could have brought that last thing on. I had crack psychosis before and that's paranoia. This was FAR more intense and felt good, not bad (most of the time). I just don't know, of course I want a diagnosis, as much as anything i'm constantly asked for one on forms etc also at least it means i can try and sort myself out. When you don't even know what something's called you cant do that it's v alienating. I'm old enough now not to put myself in a box. I don't need to be ategorized I just need to know how to cope with stuff other people don't seem to get.

Lizzie: I once read a book by someone connected with that Dutch voice hearer's society.
I googled my experience and hadn't realized the stuff that happened in the early years e.g. hearing a voice yet not being able to discern what it said bc it was too indistinct were VERY common... I thought if I told a dr this I'd get laughed out of the room, so I never did.
I also feel the psych staff thought I was taking them for a ride, making up symptoms just to make myself look more complicated and interesting. I really do think this. Until I saw the dr last time they'd never actually seen me anything but depressed.
I actually got criticized yesterday for googling my own experience as if that was self obsessive and indulgent. What people didn't seem to realize at the time, bc I was writing in nice fairly neat sentences was that even by psychiatric standards I was pretty far gone that lost weekend. I could EASILY have got sectioned, because I was very paranoid. Just because I can type easily didn't mean I could fit a key in a door, or tap out a text on a mobile phone these 2 things were really really difficult. Getting myself together to leave the house was really hard too. Signing into email nearly drove me potty. I knew something was wrong and if I had ignored it I really would have been crazy. If tha ever happens again I wanna go in hospital I'm not riding buses thinking everyone's talking about me or all that shit ever again. Thanks for all your help it's much appreciated.

Syd said...

Thanks for stopping by Gleds. Hope that things are going better for you today. I like your list. It sounds positive and productive.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...


Your an addict. You're not bi-polar, your not depressed, those are symptoms of a much more deadly disease that you are treating with all your chemicals (heroin, crank, alcohol... whatever)

A mental disorder is ... by definition ... a dis-order (mental faculties that are out of order)

A disease, the inability to lay off drugs, the inability to stop yourself from doing the thing that is hurting... NAY ... KILLING you, is MUCH more important at this point than you deciding about your own mental faculties and what disorder you have.

The point is you have both disease and disorder and you can't control any of it. YOU cannot control any of it.

IT is insane for someone who has a mental disorder to try and diagnose and keep control of themselves. INSANE. Heroine, a chemical which alters your mental and physical state, stays in your system for up to 3 months, so you cannot possibly know what your true mental or physical state is without first being COMPLETELY CLEAN. Heroin and all other drugs (alcohol/crank/crack/cocaine/vicadin/darvecet/Vallium all of them) affect the body's natural chemistry, natural transmitters of the brain from performing natural functions which regulate mood. UNLESS you are compltely free of all chemicals (complete detox)there is no way of making a sane accurate medical diagnosis (Which only a doctor could make anyway)

Of course we who understand the addictive brain and life KNOW, that scares the SHIT out of you because you can't take your own head, life, problems sober. You can't it's too much for you. You need something immediate.

Because in your life, there is overwhelmed by the craphole that is your past existence....the existence that you really couldn't help because you were sick, unable, other poeple got in the way...you can't seem to stop the bad luck and bad circumstances kind of existence...

scared shitless to open the mail, afraid to open the door, scared to be out on the street for too long in familiar neighborhoods, peeping out the curtain or peephole afraid of who will be there, of who is watching, waiting for you to ... answer the phone... can't stand to pick up the phone at unknown numbers because you know all of them want something from you that you simply DO NOT Have and cannot get... landlord on the verge of drop kicking you out at any minute, scared of the I'll nevers....

You know...

never find REAL friends

never get a real job

never find anything I can truly love or enjoy

scared ... scared ... scared....

alone at night UNABLE to get my mind to stop racing, unable to stop checking that noise that just keeps me terrified and awake UNTIL ...

I finally succumb to the oblivion of the only thing that ever worked to shut down my crazy head...


It's the anti-gledwood management system program.


When you are awake, slightly sober and able to read, Read More about Alcoholism.

Gledwood said...

Syd: I'm on sleep deprivation and caffeine. I'm trying to stay up till this evening, then my sleep can at least go back to normal, wahey!

Jess: yes you're absolutely right that's why the dr was telling me to clear ALL chemicals out except methadone. You have to understand I only got hooked on heroin at 28 so those early experiences of mood swings were before heroin I was in no way a drug addict then. Though I did take drugs I was definitely at the moderate end of normal and very responsible never ever a reckless user, it's for that reason that I suspect "something" (whatever it is) has been going on. You're dead right about the way addiction fucks you up. What I don't get is why I seem to have issues most addicts just don't have. I'm not a stimulant user, so why the paranoia? I never smoke cannabis ever. I gave up crack 2 years ago fair enough I spent maybe £70 on it over that 2 years ie 7x£10 rocks. My drugs were heroin and alcohol. I've beeen reading about alcohol and the drink issue is more complicated than I'd thought it was. I used to get told it would make me more depressed which made me stop just to prove them wrong (they were wrong). Now I have to stop again 1. because the dr told me to and stopping is the only way I'll be clear enough for him to see who and how I am and 2 (far more importantly) I was turning into an alcoholic, totally losing control of my ability to moderate drinking (which I kept for years, despite drinking daily I really could stop whenever I chose to without the ridiculous misery for example stopping heroin involved)... akh I don't even want to think about this stuff I just gotta live a normal proper person's life now not a chemically based existence.

You know my own theory is it's a combination of genetics (there's drinking and gambling in my family, as well as depression, but only on one side), learned behaviour and reactions and chemical influence ie I messed up my own head taking so many drugs e.g. tripping on acid when in a state when nobody should ever consider taking something as potentially damaging as that stuff I really was desperate to feel any way except the way I did, even if that involved feeling worse. Akh I hate even to think about it.

So what's this plan again? Completely clean and AA. I've got the big book already but I'd really prefer it in print I'm v oldfashioned like that.

My best hope is that this is all drug related and it will magically disappear. The only bad stuff I've had is depression and paranoia, the rest of it feels good. Heroin actually blocks out a lot of it to an extent so without heroin I'm less together but feel better, in a kind of very disjointed way. It's the depression I can't handle. If I could only get rid of that I'd probably be OK. So I think I do need AA/NA. For a while I thought I didn't. Now I see that I do. That 12 step program leaves no room for excuses, backsliding or self-deception which is why I think it's so good.

I've already read a bit about alcoholism. It wasn't really nice reading I have to say I really had no idea what damage it was potentially causing. The dr said I can start drinking again after the 3 months (I told him my drinking was within normal people's levels, which 2 cans a day is) but I'm afraid the problem's got bigger than it was and my only option now is to stop drink altogether and for ever.

ps this is a note to self as much as anything I need to start a proper drink and mood diary so I can see what the hell is going on. I used to have a good memory once... I can't remember where it's gone...

BMelonsLemonade said...

Gled, every person who is bipolar does not follow the text book case. Much like with addiction and withdrawal, it is a very personal situation that is different for each person, although the threads that are sewn together may be similar. Also, there are different people who cycle differently. Some people cycle in months...months of ups and months of downs. Then, there are those who cycle weekly, daily, or even several cycles within a day. And some people may cycle monthly for a while, then daily, then back to weekly. Another thing about many of these diseases...they are progressive, especially schizophrenia. The cycles will become more frequent, and more intense with time. Some schizophrenics will eventually be in an altered state all the time if left untreated. There is an excellent book I found at a thrift store once, and I am not sure if it is even in print, but you could probably find it cheap on Amazon. It is called "The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness." It is written by Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett. It is Lori's story...she started hearing voices at 17, but the story is about her descent into madness and her courageous fight to rejoin the real world. It gives an interesting insight into the mind. I saw a lot of similar parallels with several of my close friends who suffer similarly. Schiller is now a spokesperson for mental illness. I think you may relate to her, and relating to someone who feels similarly is always a good thing.

My thoughts on 12 step...and some out there may feel outraged at these notes...I was forced into court ordered treatment for alcohol after I had been clean from heroin for a year. I got in some trouble kicking a cop in the balls when I was so drunk that I didn't even remember it. And of course, I kept drinking and fucking up my probation, and I ended up in outpatient court ordered treatment for over two years. Part of that treatment was to attend 2 AA or NA meetings each week. One counselor I worked with was willing to accept the fact that I felt the meetings were not doing me any good, but I was not allowed to stop going. Instead, she told me to take a notebook with me when I went. She told me to write down something I liked and I disliked about EACH meeting, as well as any feelings and reactions I had to the meetings. It forced me to evaluate these meetings. At the end of that year, I was doing much better staying clean and clear headed. And then that counselor and I went back through the notebook I had kept that year. I was able to look at all the things I had liked, disliked, and reacted to...and I was able to make an educated and informed decision that AA and NA was not for me. But, it is something you should try, but try it honestly and openly. And keep a journal about it. I think that I eventually straightened up because I got sick of getting in trouble at bars. After Katrina, I realized I was wasting my life, and I lost so many friends, witnessing all those deaths first hand...but I did not know how to go about it. It took some trial and error. It took some experimentation and learning on my part to get it right. And it took an honest evaluation of myself.

As far as getting off EVERYTHING...well, that is tricky right now, for you. When I first got clean, I knew I could not go without any substances at all. That was too scary, and it was just not feasible. Over time, though, it becomes more feasible and possible and practical. Do not try to take huge leaps at once. Baby steps...it is the only way, otherwise, it becomes too much and relapse is the answer. Also, NA does not agree with methadone, or any type of maintenance. They adhere to a completely clean policy, which is just not possible for many heroin addicts in the early stages. So, many who are on methadone will lie about it at meetings...and I think that is not a good thing. Lying and secrets only make things worse. I am not saying don't try it, but just be careful that you are carrying on an honest dialogue with yourself.

lizzydripping said...

its all very well this stopping and getting clean but if you have underlying problems with your mental health it makes it doubley harder, dual diagnosis is real - the thing is with mental ill health and drugs/alcohol is that what came first the drugs or the mental illness and can you seperate the two,wouldn't it be perfect to give up addiction for 3 months and then see where your mind lies ? - somehow i dont think its that simple or that black and white
not being pessimistic justing being realistic and i dont want you to set yourself up to fail.
does any of that make sense?
probably not!
i do care x :)

Gledwood said...

Lizzie: this is the order everything happened in. Depression at age 10 that transformed into OCD for about 2 years (opening doors with elbows etc). Some depression in teens. Bad depression in early 20s with anxiety that took 2-3 years to fade.
First "bipolar" type symptoms as described earlier they were very minor and borderline, enough so that I could easily have been called a hypochondriac for a long time. More "cyclothymia" than bipolar though the depression was too severe to be cyclothymia, but I probably had something of a cyclothymic temperament for a long time.
Voices never really came until I was in my early 30s so on heroin but not a heavy crack user. I had symptoms of mild psychosis, like a kind of depressive thing, except the depression wasn't ultra severe. I googled this as well and found out it DOES happen that psychotic features can come with moderate or even mild depression.
I binged crack on top at one point and made it much worse, now the voices became loud and clear instead of whispering.
In the last couple of years I started to get periods of "racing thoughts" which I didn't even know what it was till I looked up bipolar and carefully googled every symptom even ones I thought I knew what they meant. To me racing thoughts means them going quickly. My experience was like having a head full of catchphrases and snippets and words that feel like they're coming in from outside in other words it's not really much different from hearing voices, just lower grade. I checked the anxiety type racing thoughts it's nothing at all like that. This feels good, the thoughts are disconnected and bizarre, not "worries" by any means.
Also I noticed my sleep could alter from 4 hours per night to over 14 hours, without any prominent mood change up or down. I also found out this can be early bipolar because bipolar is like biorhythms that aren't necessarily all in sync or all out of control at once.
I got very confused by reading accounts of it where mania lasted 3 months or so and depression 6-9 months this just was not how it was for me. A lot of these early racing thoughts things lasted just hours or maybe a day or two. The early highs were only days at a time, maybe a week. So I was totally thrown thinking "I can't possibly be bipolar then". Only recently by being able to read 1st hand accounts online have i realized my experience is very similar to a lot of poeple's. The depression also comes in 2 week swings but they often join together like a underwater mountains, never quite peaking over the surface... I had depression for years and convinced myself I was OK. I told the professionals but felt like a liar and a fraud because I had very low self esteem and despite suicidal feelings and more commonly wanting to die but not actually kill myself I still believed I was OK!
So that's it. Sorry to be repetitive, I'm kind of stating my case "for". The case against obviously goes "Well you were using drugs, no wonder you got those weird symptoms". The fact that I had depression before drugs ever came along, and the fact that I over-react to some antidepressants at some times do seem pretty telling though. So honestly I don't know I really don't. The word bipolar is more glamorous than "depression" yet x10 scarier. I still want to put my head in the sand and just forget about all of it and I feel so childhish posting stuff like "i hate myself and I want to die" but that's how I felt so what can I do? I really don't feel like I'm coping well. OK I don't feel in a terrible uncontrollable state but I don't feel "well" either. Sorry to shove all this on you. I know you're a professional so this is my account for you. Just writing it makes me feel sick and scared.

Gledwood said...

BMelons: that journal idea is a really good one. I need to keep a proper drink diary and I want to do a mood one for the reasons I said before to try and track any patterns and triggers there might be.

I know what you mean about NA. I learned a long time ago to beware of people there. One tried to take me under his wing, relapsed badly then didn't want to know me. Another I asked to sponsor me bc I genuinely wanted to clean up. We were on the phone, someone had broken into the room downstairs, the angry boyfriend was hammering on the door almost breaking it down. My sponsor could hear all this yet wouldn't stop talking about sobriety! Then the desire left me like the tide going out, it just was not there any more. I accepted this. He never went to that meeting ever again.

I don't care what they think about methadone I'm not lying for anyone. I fully understand what you mean. You know they had to write a leaflet specifically about psychiatric meds as well as methadone because people with serious mental health problems were being told e.g. that lithium was "using" by idiots who haven't the first idea what was actually being treated and that some people just cannot survive without meds, which literally have saved thousands of lives, let alone giving lives back. This level of ignorance really offends me. They use the word "insanity" which to me really does mean psychosis, not just being hopelessly addicted to drugs and giving up on the rest of life. I now have an understanding I never had before of how intense a mental state can be, whatever label or cause it had it was really really powerful, far more powerful than any drug I've tried, even if it was a cumulative effect of years of drugs I don't believe it was "a drug" causing it. How could one drug keep me high for 10 days, wear off, start again, make me high and low and switch between them and then both at the same time. This stuff I wouldn't even go near in an NA meeting I wouldn't expect to be understood and I'm starting to feel the need for understanding, something I long lived without.

This mental illness thing is really doing my head in. esp. that I have posted in public, something that is really very personal and feel like I'm being very harshly judged by some people and dismissed by others though I do understand the need to clear out my system, and that what I can take as dismissal is really meant as reassurance.

Gledwood said...

... sorry ran out of space:

I feel like a fraud, an exaggerator, a malingerer, I feel if I really wanted to be better I could do it. I know this is just depression talking but depression has conned me so very many times I can be in a bad state and not believe it's there. Then I say this is what it is and I'm shouted down for it! I feel so very confused and scared I'm alone and not sleeping I have nobody to talk to and nobody understands me, not people who are actually physically near me. To them my stories are just entertainment or they never saw what happened so one guy told me it was "stress". I kept thinking what fucking planet do you live on where "stress" makes you lose it that badly? Yeah stress made it much worse and I absolutely had to act like I was a hospital case, sitting in a chair doing nothing because I was so very fragile. This is what people didn't see but the doctor did. He clocked straight away I wasn't myself and he doesn't even know me. These people either didn't see it, or they only read about it and are assuming my ability to type means I can cope riding the bus. The bus ride to see the dr was the all time worst I was intensely paranoid, the top deck where I was was full of loud school kids who I thought were talking about me I very nearly snapped and said something really stupid (I hope I wouldn't actually have assaulted anyone but as I say I really was not in my right mind this was a really really severe state and I feel so scared just writing about it. There's no way it was just depression/anxiety it was something very powerful. My best hope is it was just drugs and I'll be ok even if I do still get depressed that is the best I can hope for sorry to go on.



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