HAMSTERS & HEROIN: Not all junkies are purse-snatching grandmother-killing psychos. I'm keeping this blog to bear witness to that fact.


Gledwoods deutscher Blog

Bitte hier klicken ...


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!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Voices to Choices

04:37 hrs. On BBC World Service radio there's an interview with a "man living with schizophrenia" and his Dad who wrote a book.

I notice the very first time he properly heard a voice he climbed a tree, believed he was in the hanging gardens of Babylon and believed Brighton ("London on Sea" on the South Coast) was Biblical Babylon, seat of all that's wrong with the world... I have friend who had paranoid schizophrenia (now diagnosed unipolar schizoaffective) who heard a voice telling her to take of all her clothes and run down the street naked SO SHE DID.

I hear voices every few days now. But they're nowhere near as loud as they were a couple of weeks ago. They're more like the voices I heard a few years ago. Murmuring.

They never tell me what to do. They don't impart information usually. As I said they tend to echo my thoughts or speak them aloud. Or lots of them babble random words and short phrases, some spoken to me, others just talking to nobody in particular.

When I was in the mental hospital the guy asked me what they said. It's very difficult to repeat what a lot of them say as they're so random. So when he went out to speak to the very fantastical lady doctor I specially concentrated on what they said. I lost one, but the other was talking about somebody beating somebody else up. This was like words coming out of the ceiling, not so much to me but to anybody listening, I would like to say. But it seemed to be speaking for my benefit.

The day before I heard a woman's voice in my left ear say "nervous breakdown" then some other voices said other things. Within 2 minutes a unisex alien type voice said in my right ear "schizophrenia". I was getting ready to go to an NA meeting and this put me on a real downer all night. I was very paranoid all the way there on two buses. I found it very hard to cope that night.

This is what pisses me off about NA; if I talked about this in oblique terms, people might say "oh I know!" But I think how many of you actually did go not just to one but several meetings in a row hearing voices pretty floridly. How many bus rides did you brave, feeling that every conversation you heard on that bus was directed to, or talking about YOU? Do any of you actually know how this feels?

This is what gets me about NA. They will assume I'm paranoid because I was on crack TWO YEARS AGO. That I feel like I'm on ecstasy because I was on it TEN YEARS AGO. Took E the very last time EIGHT YEARS AGO. And that was after a long break from popping those pills.

I last took one single £5 rock in 2 tiny pipes in early December, not having smoked any for weeks. I took crack a handful of times between late 2008 and late 2010. And I do mean a handful. Months between pipes. Crack psychosis happens when you pipe and pipe until you are paranoid and hallucinating. (Crack psychosis is nearly always paranoid in form. You don't go HIGHER off the crack than you were on it! ~ as I did!)

Before this I was smoking it strictly once a week on Mondays only. This lasted several months. Before early summer 2008 I was smoking crack a few times a week.

So why these extreme mood swings now? I don't know an answer.

My first priority is dealing with my mood states. I know they are extreme compared to ordinary people's moods. If you think I'm self-indulging let me describe the extreme.

About two weeks ago I was ON sleeping medication and sleeping between two and a half and just over four hours per night (some nights I slept longer due to physical exhaustion, but the night before I would have slept barely at all; I was on a 48 hour sleep cycle).

So I slept very little. Woke usually between 2:30 and 4am my mind rushing and full of loud, fast 1992 hardcore rave tunes. I felt like I'd fallen asleep high on E at a full-on rave. Jumped out of bed, danced in the kitchen, kettle raging, drinking black coffee for warmth. Straight online, skimming and skating all over the place. On the highest days my body was amping with energy as on ecstasy, crack, amphetamines full-on, every moment of the day, as if I had taken an electricity pylon and applied several thousand volts through body and brain. Utter electrification. Unlike with drugs, even crack, which focus you in a way, I was scattered all over the place. And very, very fast. WAY faster than speed, E or crack. I wasn't paranoid when this ultra-high. I felt like I was flying. I felt not just on top of the world but on top of the universe. THAT is an extreme mood swing. I was too out of it to cope with any chore more complicated than collecting methadone from the chemist. This I did first thing, when I was still pretty together. As the day rushed on I lost it more and more only settling down after my sleeping pill in the evning.

It was very difficult to post online during this phase, but I pushed through the experience, tapping rapidly into my machine. The photos and links appeared over the next couple of hours, when I had patience to endure the time-consumption of messing about.

These were the days when I peaked whirling into an ultra-hyperspeed vortex whirring with words and letters faster and faster, no words, just endings, no endings just sound. Roaring noise. That to me is utter madness. Not paranoia, not voices, but to lose my capacity for thought. Not thinking in English any more. Just a headful of roaring noise. Utter insanity. Spoken, thought, experienced. No reason left.

When NA talk about "insanity" they mean running about caring nothing for anything but drug use. Or getting paranoid enough on crack to be crouching behind a door thinking police or robbers are about to break it down to take your stash. I have never heard anybody share about no longer thinking in English. Or their mother tongue if that is a different language. So you see I feel alienated from these people who talk of "mood swings" and being "manic" and I realize they probably mean ups and downs. Not energy so immense it results in periods of sheer incomprehension on the most basic level. They talk about feeling "bad" when not on drugs. Not so good they're walking on sunshine, higher than they ever got on coke, every single day! This makes me very lonely. If even NA, who are there for the hardest cases, cannot understand me, then I've gone into the realm of the most fucked up of the fucked up, and who can help me?

I don't feel sorry for myself, except to nag myself to get help. If you can't feel sorry for yourself, you cannot feel worthy of help. I've texted Naomi ("Nigh-oh-me!") the Dual Diagnosis lady who runs the Nutter Club. I said I had an issue about my antipsychotic meds. They are not agreeing with me. Short of spending half a page trying to explain I cannot describe what's wrong suffice it to say it's like a nasty type of drowsiness. Drowsiness where you cannot sleep.

Yesterday I went and bought Valium on a street corner. Much as anyone needs Valium I needed it. Yeah I was self-medicating a very specific nasty symptom. I was not taking it for boredom or kicks. Before y'all judge me bear in mind I was NOT using Valium when so hyper I was sleeping 5 hours out of 48. I didn't use it when I was losing my temper daily over nothing but my own mental meanderings which were so intense it was like exploring Fungus the Bogeyman's Inner Maze. But this side-effect was bad enough I felt I needed something to straighten me out. So I took that something.

My life hasn't been terrible. Not by addict standards. Off the top of my head I can think of two people whose lives have been considerably worse than mine. All suffering is relative.

You must bear in mind if you think I'm pulling a "poor me" that my mental state has SAVED ME from craving, has PUSHED ME OUT of the drugs realm into a nutty realm where for the most part, heroin seems about as relevant to me as a waterslide on the moon. This is what you need to understand if you think I'm exercising self-deception. What I say here is my literal experience. Not symbolic, but literal. Yes you may think it's unreal, but it's real to me. This is my life. However insane it may sound to you, it's saved me.

I'm blessed. Because I'm living life without heroin. I'm doing what I dreamed of for years ~ yet could not manage.

Heroin made life just about bearable. Methadone made life unbearable; it kept me depressed and suicidal. On methadone life was utterly un-do-able.

I cannot understand how anybody can hold down a job on methadone. If it does to everyone what it does to me, then the idea of methadone "stabilizing" anyone is an outright lie. People say it makes them feel "flat". I don't really feel flat. I go into a trough or a peak. Flatlines and methadone and me do not go together. Heroin put me on as flat a flatline as I've ever been in my life. I asked about being prescribed it or morphine for medical reasons and the Dual Diagnosis meeting erupted into the jolliest expectorations of giggles, cackles and guffaws I've heard in a long time.

I noticed since I have been drugs negative I get totally different treatment from psychiatrists. I get their undivided attention now. What they're seeing is the Real Me, not a dampened down Junkified Version. Yes I'm still an addict, but a methadone addict, no longer a heroin addict. I say this with confidence knowing I don't generally WANT heroin any more. Methadone does very little (but probably still a slight something) to damp down my mental state, which is still by and large UP not DOWN. Better to be UP than DOWN so I'm not complaining.

The UP I'm on has been many times more intense than the mixed up UPs and DOWNs I was riding in December. Those crashed so bad I felt worse than ever in their aftermath.

Broken, wounded and very raw. I don't ever want to feel that way again.

The way to avoid that is by staying UP. Nothing is required to achieve this, bar an overheated brain. My brain has cooled but I'm not depressed (thank God). The last Big Depression eroded my self-esteem like nothing else ever did. Junkies are meant to swagger. They're supposed to be full of shit. Yet I didn't even have superficial confidence. Nobody wanted to know me. I drifted from my friends. Kept myself to myself. Set up everything necessary to Break Free.

I have implemented Stage One: stick to Methadone. Stage Two is cut down methadone. Stage Three: cut OUT methadone. Stage Four: opiate CLEAN.

Please God, let me be Clean. It's all I want in the short term. No more drug addiction. Ever.

No more. No more. No more.

PS these students moaning about tuition fees ~ learn a foreign language, study abroad. Tuition fees in many Eurozone countries are a TENTH what they soon will be in the UK!

Supported housing!


Tori said...

I love your blog. I read it all the time. This last post, is sad, scary, funny, intreging and much more. You are a great writer. From the bottom of my heart I hope that you will remain free from your addiction. Hugs, Tori

Gledwood said...

Better to be crazy than on heroin.
Also it felt WAY BETTER than boring old gear. And was FREE FREE FREE.
I know it's not what NA mean when they talk about a Higher Power because their one "restored us to sanity" as they say. Mine did take me away from heroin and it was VERY powerful so I'm forever grateful for the distraction. It was a very entertaining distraction too!

Anonymous said...

Some of the advice you give is so sane that i don't think you are mad...i also hear when you say what you're going thru is powerful and scary...maybe its a profound awakening? my mum used to meditate and she started having very intense experiences,thought she was going mad,turns out it was just her kundalini awakening....she was the loveliest sanest person i knew and an ex alcoholic.i feel embarrassed posting this up for all to see,i just thought you could see it another way...ok thats my 2ps worth.

kevin blumer said...

valium only works well with aclcohol it makes you high then use to take it years ago got mirtazapine now that makes me sleep wouldnt buy stuff of street corners you never know what you are getting there was a bloke once went threw all the tablets on the nhs form places all over the place he hanged him self in the end

bugerlugs63 said...

woooooo la la,la la,la la, la la!!!
(take it u know from being in france the more la la's = the strength of feeling (whatever that feeling may be)
in this case . . . i dont know what the feeling is, i just feel for you.
i clicked on "answers" but i aint got any
i wish i, or someone, had something for you.
it may well be an awakening?

i did cold turkey
about 5 years ago (relapsed cus was still ill after 5 months and didn't want 2 b)very impatient me!

anyway my point; as i lamented my lack of sleep each morning to my wonderful brother who was helping me with kids.
(soz got distracted by 2 crack heads about 2 fight on jezza!)

my bro wud say; u been asleep for 6 years!. he suggested i read book of job (not in a religious way)
u have probably read it as it is listed as one of your fave books.
(the bible i mean ,not job)

i feel useless 2 suggest anything as i still using 3 or 4 times a week, but u seem quite hard on yourself.
i get that u dont want 2 be an alkie, but maybe recover from stopping th gear a bit first.
its early days
U have done real good.
methadone will be holding u from rattling, u know this, no-one would suggest u cut down the meth yet.
or even worry about 2 drinks per night.
or put any pressure whatsoever on yourself.
i dont know, i really don't.
i enjoy reading u. i dont read ny others as not really got time to read yours,but since i typed in heroin drought about 3 wks ago(is that all! it feels like months)
and found your blog, i am hooked.
i looked back at some old entries the other night(06/07)
U must appreciate how far u have come
i know u do, and like u say its the madness that saved u.
and if it was a comfortable madness im sure u would just get on with it.
yes u think 2 much, but if u didn't, then we wouldn't be reading what we read, and writing what we write.

je ne sais pas. vraiment,je ne sais pas
comme j'ai deja dit;
wooooo la la, la la, la la, la LA!
i hope u feelin a bit better ;-<
(i dont need 2 tell u thats not a mardy mouth) x

Akelamalu said...

I have implemented Stage One: stick to Methadone. Stage Two is cut down methadone. Stage Three: cut OUT methadone. Stage Four: opiate CLEAN.

Please God, let me be Clean. It's all I want in the short term. No more drug addiction. Ever.

Well you've made a start Gleds and you do seem resolute in your mission. I have everything crossed that you succeed. x

Jeannie said...

I think your frustration with NA is communication - when you try to describe your experience, the others try to put it in a form they can relate to, when in fact, it is quite different. If you try to insist, they probably think you are just trying to be a drama queen about it. But at least now you have doctors looking at your situation. Hopefully they can find something that will work for you.

bugerlugs63 said...

sorry 2 go on but can i just share something;
i try and be concise.
i have an enormous,debilitating, well established (46 yrs) phobia.
it is my personal hell.
it has and still does prevent me from doing heaps of stuff.
including going out of house some days.
it was used against me for years during childhood (do this/that or else . . )
i can not say the name of thisobject and dare not say what it is.
my mental health records at dr r over a foot high.
i tried (and boy did i try) to rid my life of this hell.
everything from exposure therapy, regression therapy, cbt,exorcism (my parents choice not mine) etc etc but not ect
although it was suggested.
a psychiatrist once told me, if u do get rid of this do u realise a whole load of other probs might arise. i.e. i was focusing all my shit(and theres plenty of it) onto the fear of this one object.
it is a common object, as in if i was 2 take 15 min walk 2 town i might encounter it ten times or not at all.
i was prepared to take risk of consequences of getting rid, but it dint happen and i still live with it.
its not comfortable and has almost led 2 agraphobia at its severist.i have given up seeking help with it. im afraid 2 stop gear as gear helps.
its not that i got no faith in head drs but there is no way they can understand what goes on in your or any other head let alone fix it. its all 2 generalised.
i reckon 4 me until i find a bit of peace, a bit of personal heaven,
the personal hell will over ride.
i know i wont find that with gear its just a plaster covering the wound for now.
i dont know how or why
and though they can tell me possibly how i got like this they cant stop me being like this.
ive not told anybody in years about this, as it can and has been used as a weapon. that truly terryfies me. i dont know how 2 let go of it.
a life ruled by fear of an inanimate object is not a full life.
but im sure there is worse .

i hpe u feeling better today

Anonymous said...

I don't fully understand what you are going through, Gleds, but if this gives you a real choice to kick drug addiction, then I am in your cheerleading squad. Get clean. Yah for Gleds!

jams o donnell said...

It is so hard to imagine what you are going through Gled but hang on in there and you will be out of the woods soon.

Gledwood said...

Anon: I am incredibly sane. I know I go mental but I'm inherently sane. I sometimes wonder what someone else would have done in the situations I ended up in re mental madness stuff. I think a lot of people would have done something really fucking stupid on a whim. I had enough whims, I wasn't together enough to follow them and I had this Inner Parent telling me not to do them!

Yeah maybe it is something like you say. It's definitely a source of Power. Lots of Power! A Higher Power. And a very strong one!

Kevin: I only used it to sleep. I did drink a bit on top of it but I don't want to turn into a long term benzo head. Benzos are hell to get off if you really get on them, I know it takes years but still I don't wanna play with fire. Done enough of that for one lifetime!

Bugerlugz: I'm fed up of heroin. I was so head over heels into it it was unreal. You'd have to look hard for some of the best posts as it did go furry animals for months on end. My friends are normal people with cats and family homes probably got pissed off with endless drugs so I gave 'em more of what they wanted: HAMSTERS!!

Akelamalu: I've had my plan for ages I just never thought I could stick to it

Jeannie: yeah I'm not being heard it is a bit frustrating as I love NA I don't like feeling judged that I'm using when I'm not. They go on about mood swings. Surely a mood swing means UP as well as DOWN. Otherwise it's just depression. So if they DO understand mood swings they should grasp that you can feel high without fucking DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS they obsess about!

That drugs obsession is the only thing that pees me off about NA.

Bugerlugz: you need a dual diagnosis clinic if you have lots of issues and a psych history don't bother with normal clinics they see everything as drugs drugs drugs
drugs !!!!

LoneGreySquirrel: I had 2 breakdowns in 2 months they were kind of manic-depressive but mostly manic and the natural high of that just turned me off drugs even more as I felt high enough without them!

Jams: I feel OK at this moment but I'm avoiding antipsychotics for a couple of days. I want to know if I can feel any difference, and I'm going to have to switch types and can't see the dr until about 3 weeks' time

Syd said...

Gleds, I don't have experience with NA but have been to quite a few open AA meetings. I think that you are on the right path by going to meetings. Taking street pills though isn't part of the program. I hope that you will talk to some of the folks at NA, get to know them. Reach out a hand to them. Isolating, even in a meeting, is based on fear. Getting a sponsor would help you to work the steps that will lead to serenity, if you are willing.

Gledwood said...

Syd: I find NA way better than AA because at AA there are people who drank WAY heavier than me, and everyone there says they couldn't just have one drink. Well I CAN have one drink. Drugs are a different matter. I was severely addicted to heroin, no question. So I'm focusing on NA.

I know a woman I want to ask to be my Special Sponsor. Meaning she will stand by me until I can be completely substance clean ie off methadone. Then I'll get a male heroin addict to sponsor me because they do say your sponsor should be the same sex as you. But I want to keep her if she'll have me at the same time. I can't see why I shouldn't have 2 sponsors!

I'm willing Syd but I'm unwilling to be patronized or misunderstood for very much longer.

E.g. repeatedly being told I want to detox. If you want to see someone who's having problems as I outlined go TOTALLY FUCKING BONKERS then put me through a 10 day methadone detox.

No fucking way am I detoxing in a house full of junkies. Nutters I can handle junkies I am sick to death of.

Yeah I have a lot of willingness but I'm hacked off and losing my patience with BULLSHIT coming from NA members who do not know me don't know my issues and assume my issues are the same as theirs when they patently are not the same. Know what i mean sorry to rant Syd you always seem to get the ranty answers it's 1am and i'm having a Celebration Night ie not sleeping at all. Fucking waste of time sleep I'm going as long as humanly possible on none, then maybe I'll sleep like a baby when I do finally conk out!

thanks for your support you always have something constructive to say



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