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!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Come down now

I THINK I HAVE COME DOWN NOW. Down to normality. I still felt excessively cheerful even yesterday, which I'm hardly complaining about; it was fantastic; but I knew it was the back end of a mood-swing, just as uncharacteristic breeziness can be the back end of a hurricane.

This is what gets me worst about being "ill". Judging normality in the context of sickness. If I don't I'm not going to know if/when it happens again. It's always come back before.

I don't want right now to go into a list of times I've gone up, but it's happened at least 5 times, probably 10 times. Some of those times can be blamed on a drug. Others can be blamed on "viral infection" (colds/flu). Depression I've had far more of. I first got depressed enough to be thinking of dying when I was only 10.

I'm not angry about not having been "treated" ~ how do you treat a depressed child? I wouldn't want my kid on meds. Talk therapy I don't think would have worked on me, not at that age. (It did work when I had it later. I'm only wary of it now from having got to a stage when almost nothing at all in my life feels personal to me. It's all just some story I've told endless times to endless professionals.) What does feel personal are the memories I share with my family. The times I shared with them when growing up feel more dear to me now than they felt at the time. In a sense my treatment was the good treatment I got off my family. And you need to bear in mind the worst of this depression occurred over 2 periods both about a week long, over about 2 months. Then, after that I was more OCD than depressed.

I saw a thing on TV where two men who had been in constant, severe depression for over a decade and one woman who had been in a parallel state on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (couldn't stop counting backwards, etc) had psycho-laser-surgery into the bit of their brain handling emotions.

All three made a dramatic recovery. One had to have a touch-up job when depression returned, but he was OK. Point being OCD and depression, including bipolar depression, were situated at precisely the same point in the brain. Which explains to me how I switched one "diagnosis" to another. Of course I don't have an official diagnosis as no dr. heard about this till 10 years after the fact. When I was depressed again. This time at university.

That was the worst depression of my life. I got badly depressed on heroin. You could say this was worse because at university I wasn't suicidal, not most of the time. On the heroin I was. And I was seeing nasty twisted faces in the carpet, in piles of clothing, in discarded carrier bags. I also heard voices. But the faces happened most frequently. Every day at some points. I think back to that time in horror of what might have happened had I been persuaded to drop that heroin. Considering this was depression WITH self-medication. What would it have been like with no meds bar methadone (which does almost nothing bar keep my body from being sick). As the dr. said it probably was "depression with psychotic features" ie as bad as depression gets. THIS is why I'm scared. This is why I HATED having that psych evaluation the other week while so hyper people couldn't follow what I was saying. Or had to keep putting me back on-topic.

[I hated the psych evaluation because it threw up rubbish from years ago I just did not and do not want to think about.)

But this 45 minute (was it really that short? It took up 5 hours of mental time I'm telling you!) this psychiatric history the guy had to take, before a Very Attractive TV Girl Doctor with shiny tights, really shiny black leggings that looked absolutely amazing and I felt myself light up when she came in (gave myself well away on that one)... (she must have looked over his report) and asked more questions along the same lines: not sleeping, going too fast, irritable mood T-ing into euphoria, paranoia, voices. I don't think they covered visions, which I also had that day. Their magnolia wall turned into the most amazing movie. I was hearing voices enough that rushing along their corridor every single room had babble emanating out.

This was the day I played aeroplanes on a swivel chair, like a 3 year old. Nobody was watching. I was in a private room, away from the receptionist. The whole point of a mental hospital, apart from saving your life is to give you somewhere to be crazy, so this behaviour is OK there, and doesn't contribute to your notes, unless it's done on a ward, in which case you're being "observed" they want to know how much energy you have on different days to see whether it's going up or down or is same every day... all that stuff. I know about moods from my little library of "how not to be" Depressed Books. Which I sold years ago.

Last night I kept having flashes of what I hoped wasn't depression. I don't feel depressed now. Not hyper, not depressed. Not slightly hyped up (which is really really nice). So I'm just lazy and lacking the amazing energy I had.

Going UP was too quick, but coasting down I really felt good, the way you coast down at the end of a rollercoaster. The going up happened so fast and with such paranoia and irritability it wasn't really good. But I had a fine week last week, even though I knew really I was coming down. I kept hoping I was going up again.

The things that might sound scariest to you weren't necessarily worst for me. Euphoria of course feels wonderful, grandiose is great. Paranoia I tended to get more when I was on the way into or out of the Ultra State. Going so fast I couldn't think any more, that was the worst. That to me is true madness. No thoughts in the head just noise like racing cars, whizzing about. That was the time I made myself think French to bring myself out of it. Visual hallucination is amazing. (Twisted faces in carrier bags happened in depression and technically that's called illusion as the crumpled bag sets it off, true hallucination is like me staring at that wall and seeing Visions.) Voices are usually just echoing my own thought out loud, or making suggestions. Occasionally they are abusive in a name-calling way. I never hear voices ordering me what to do or conversing about me. Those voices are said to be more characteristic of schizophrenia.

I went to a schizophrenic forum yesterday and couldn't relate to the level of paranoia. If I was "psychotic" it was in a much more fragmented way, where nothing adds to a whole, it's just weirdness. Not as frightening, as you might expect, when it actually happens. A lot was just funny e.g. the stairs exclaiming "oink oink poink poink!" as I descended to the front door. (Another illusion: the sound acts as trigger to a reinterpreting brain).

So that's what it's like to go mad. The peak lasted about 2 weeks. The week before I was horribly depressed some days, irritable and telling an anonymous commenter to F off, because his rapidly skimmed words seemed to be having a go. I repeated myself twice and thought "hang on a sec you're getting a bit vehement here..." but I didn't understand my own behaviour. So I was probably up for about 3 weeks in total. As I say the going-into stage is very hard to discern. Y'all might remember I was starting a mood, sleep and drink diary. I obviously felt some need for a mood scale going up as well as down, and that just about puts the issue in a nutshell. I knew I wasn't right.

I'm seeing a shrink once monthly. I'm on risperidone 2x2mg daily. Today I take it with methadone one mornings, one nightly. 4mg is half the usual maximum for bipolar; 40% of the usual max for schizophrenia. There's a chance I could have a "substance-induced mood disorder" (as well as pre-existing depression) ~~ but what substance is setting it off. Considering I WASN'T in withdrawal in December, most definitely wasn't in January, was ON heroin when I was hyper before (but not crack) was on heroin and crack (Mondays only) when antidepressants set me off badly one time before... blah blah it doesn't seem to phase in with anything. True withdrawal or switching off heroin on to anything eles has set me off high or low every single time (Subutex was a high: music sounded amazing! So good on days 1 and 2 I wanted to dance outside.)... So I don't know I just don't know.

I've been told this "happens to everyone" well I haven't seen that. What I'm telling is precisely what happened and I know people with schizophrenia etc. I know what's mild what's severe mine was edging towards the latter. I don't know anyone who got it this bad from drugs. Anywhere. At Nutter Club earlier today, a bipolar woman said "when I was depressed at NA they told me it was because I wasn't doing the steps properly and they said come off my medication". I said "I decided I'm going to tell anyone who says that: yeah I'll come off psychiatric meds. Only if I can stay at your house." This caused uproarious laughter.

Have a nice day. I'm trying. It just feels weird being "normal". (And how long will it last!?)




EH! DALLAS is coming back! JR will be shot again! (Sorry I got taken in by the Independent newspaper's pun. They mean shot on film. Ukkkh.)

Dynasty was nicer to look at. Better homes. Heather Locklear. Joan Collins. (Dallas had April Stevens). Dynasty had near-incomprehensible story lines. Dallas had so-called cliffhangers but how those stories dragged! Please Lorimar: faster, better this time!


Sarcastic Bastard said...

This made me laugh, too:
"I decided I'm going to tell anyone who says that: yeah I'll come off psychiatric meds. Only if I can stay at your house."

Damn right, buddy.

I love you. Glad you are feeling better.


Gledwood said...

It's a good one, innit!

Cathy said...

There are SO many "heroin blogs" out there, I was surprised to find them years ago. They're not my style, the owners are very young and full of the "beauty" of being high - funny how they don't mention the "beauty of withdrawal". Anyway I'm not judging.
Had a hard time in the char, tried to get a conversation going about the DISEASE of addiction as opposed to the "crime" it's still considered to be. No one would talk, shame. I have to say, about methadone and other Rx (Suboxone, Subutex, Biphrenorphine, Vivitrol etc) that using a chemical to fight a chemical imbalance makes sense. IMHO you're looking for that feeling again, with the meth. You won't get it, you WILL however, get a normal life without the pain of withdrawal and yes, all the aches and pains humans are privy to, without opiates. Methadone fills that gap you made with heroin, the imbalance you'll have for life. There's no cure for addiction as you know. It's up to you to continue in life as fully as you can, and to know that you'll have a need for opiods as long as you have a brain. Did you know, when you stop taking heroin your brain thinks you're committing suicide, trying to hurt yourself. It tries to manufacture more endorphins to help, but it can't because heroin made the brain believe the "host" was already getting its supply of serotonin, dopamine, etc., so it can't make it anymore. That's the state of withdrawal, I'm SURE you know that.
Actually all you need is to re-balance that chemical problem, and see these meds as what they really are: the chemical help you need. I don't mean psych meds, I mean opiods. I hope for you all that works and I truly pray you give the newest Rx out there a good try. If methadone isn't enough for you I'd try Vivitrol. I don't think you've had the right care, nor has the establishment removed enough of the stigma to GET you that care. This disease is no less urgent than cancer, and completely incurable. Still, you can live as fully as you want, with the right chemical. Sorry this took so much room, I'm fierce on this subject. Namaste

Gledwood said...

Cathy: Most of those heroin blogs just faded quick, as most addicts can't keep it together to keep up a blog and keep using and keep themselves together... I think a few regretted putting their photos up. Which is why I never did. My photograph would have stopped the truth being told.

Naltrexone! I wanted a couple of pills so that I could leave rehab and get my stuff out of London but no they wouldn't countenance "using" even a heroin-blocker!

In the end naltrexone wasn't an issue; I couldn't do the detox, despite having cut down heroin to just one £10/0.2g bag daytimes and dihydrocodeine 4x30mg, 3x hourly doses at nights.

They gave 4x30mg dihydrocodeine 4 hourly days (so I was fine) but only one 4-hour dose for the 12 hours at night! Which did not hold me at all. So I didn't sleep and was in the nurse's office getting antidepressants.

I'm glad I didn't carry on with them as antidepressants have been a disaster for me, putting me over the top.

Thanks for your message. I used to wonder why I wanted to die in withdrawal and my brain thinking I'm committing suicide sounds quite reasonable.

I heard noradrenaline/norepinephrine flows like crazy in detox which would explain why "manic" behaviour is so common ...... manic behaviour/depressed moo: what loveliness!

Tatyanna (and Dorian too) said...

haha, i liked that quotation (above) too :)

i'm just catching up on your blog... probly everyone is used to my style by now... i go through phases too, that's the thing... i wish i could write better when i'm going through the harder ones, like so many of my favorite bloggers, like you! i guess trying wouldn't be a bad idea, but it's easier to just, like, lay on the couch sometimes. :P

hope it's still going alright. i definitely know the feeling you summed up so very well about not being sure about this "normal" and never knowing how long it will last.

prayers, vibes, happy thoughts to you!

Syd said...

Sad watching that video of the fellow on heroin.



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