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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DIARY OF A SLOWLY RECOVERING HEROIN ADDICT

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!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Better off Clean


ANNA POSTED UP A TRIBUTE TO ME today. We are both in bad moods. Anna has got herself a habit and is miserable over having swizzled her Dad's pain pills in order to stay sane. I'm in misery because I've been using heroin again and it's not helping. I've only just realized it DOESN'T HELP. I wish it did but it doesn't. I put what I put yesterday in italics when I'd just taken a shot. I captured what I think when gear is flooding my system. That I can't live without it.

And yet I did live without it, for the best part of three months I went day in day out with no heroin. I might have been raving mad, but I survived. I actually felt better being mad and not on gear than being sane and on it. I don't know what that says about me or gear, but it surely says something. Just as miserable on it as off it. I have to hold on to this. There will be no money to use tomorrow. Or the next day or the next day. I'm not starving myself in order to use heroin. I'm not committing crimes. Not spending all day trudging the streets. And I'm not going back to begging. I'm tired of it all. Drugs have taken away what little stability I had without them.

But it's not true to say I was a well-adjusted kid whose life was ruined by heroin. Before heroin came along I never had the life I wanted. I'd been diagnosed with depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. I'd lost the best years of my life already when heroin and easy access to it finally came along in the latter half of my twenties.

Heroin gave me a feeling I'd never had before. A sense of contentment, of confidence and stability. The first thing the daily use of heroin did was to even out my previously unstable moods. Suddenly I was living on a very comfortable flat-line. However faked up it may have been, this new-found "happiness" was too intoxicating for words.

The "happiness" story has come to an end. I use now because I'm an addict and I'm miserable on methadone. I always said I'd be willing to live on methadone, no matter how miserable it made me ~ someday. That day is now. Somehow must learn to live unstable and unhappy.

Being off street heroin has never helped me before, so I don't expect it to help now. Remember what happened last time I gave up and went straight to methadone? I had a very obvious psychotic break.

Over the years I've cut out all the substances that obviously disagreed with me: cannabis being the worst offender by far. It precipitates psychotic-type attacks which encompass all the bad aspects of craziness with no fun. Pure paranoia, insecurity, unease. Speed I hate, it's like low-quality coke. The high is short-lived and the comedown jagged. Ecstasy I loved but strictly at dance parties only and though it gave an amazing experience that sstarted disagreeing with me also. I saw maggots writhing in my contact lenses case and had no option but to take out my lenses and insert them into this seething pot of pus. LSD was too strong for me. The trips were spectacular but they blew my brains out. My acid-phase ended nearly 20 years ago. Mushrooms I only took in moderate doses, enough to feel euphoric and stoned, not enough to be tripping anything like full-on. Ketamine was interesting but you're on your own with that one. It's very intense and not something I felt the need to experience too frequently. Snorty coke I never got on with. Overpriced crap. Most of the time people who couldn't really afford it were sniffing up rubbish and convincing themselves they were high. Perhaps the stuff worked for them, but it barely ever worked for me.

Crack cocaine did work. A kind of "ultimate high" but I had no intention of ever making that a part of my lifestyle. The thing about an ultimate high, to my mind at least, is that unless you're somehow going to disconnect and float there for all eternity, you may as well let yourself come down and cherish the experience. It only needs to be experienced once. Crack only hung around so long because crack is supplied by heroin dealers and a lot of people I knew were into it. I only say I was addicted to it because the tiny bits I smoked and speedballed (tiny bits of rocks to pep me up; the ultimate high idea had long gone out the window) were difficult to give up completely.

Heroin is the only drug I went nuts over. The only one I contributed far more money towards than I ever intended. The one that took over my life, that I coudln't stop repeatedly coming back to despite everything. Heroin heroin heroin. Heroin turned me from a drug-user into a drug-addict. I drink because alcohol complimented heroin's effects. Heroin. It all revolved around heroin.

I wish I'd given up drink in that manic episode when it barely did anything to me and I could barely feel it. I couldn't feel heat, cold or hunger. I barely felt drugs either and I did use heroin a couple of times while manic. It barely touched the sides.

The concept of post-addiction "serenity" came to me from Narcotics Anonymous. I suppose what I'm after is stability more even than serenity and NA don't understand that. They expect one to be morose and depressed without drugs. I came in hyped out of my brains so they all assumed I'd been using. My family seem to think my mental problems are all down to drugs. I think they have been exacerbated in a large part by drugs. But they're not the common or usual outcome of drug-using such as mine. If they were, then NA, the drugs clinic and so many others wouldn't have been so bemused by my manic behaviour. Manic behaviour would be normal for drug-addicts. And it's not. Drug addicts take drugs to get high. They don't get higher off drugs than on them and remain that way cycling up and down for weeks on end. I've met a few people who developed bipolar or psychosis on giving up drugs; but that condition stayed with them for as long as they stayed clean. One had depressive psychosis and killed herself. The other is bipolar and self-medicates with drink as well as a drawer full of mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and sleep meds. She hasn't touched gear in years, wouldn't go near crack. And yet the mood swings continue. So I don't know.

I had a good doctor (I'm now in the process of getting my "care" moved from one provider to another so I haven't a clue where I presently stand....) From our very first consultation I discerned this one's good as psychiatrists go. That first time he was talking about personality disorders because I'd had an assessment and nothing concrete flagged up. Then I had a series of intense mood swings, went paranoid, then grandiose and was seeing visions and hearing voices. Knowing this was considered "abnormal" and that I had to live in the "real" world, despite my personal unreality, I ran to the doctor so at long last someone could see what really happened to me. I thought he would say I had a substance-induced disorder.

But no he told me I had a mental illness, and it's not even bipolar. It's bipolar plus schizophrenia. How's that for a double-whammy. I looked up this guy's credentials. He's an expert at addiction medicine and dual diagnosis, holds a teaching post at a top London hospital and practises privately on Harley Street. He happens to be the consultant psychiatrist at my local drugs clinic and that's how I met him. I looked up the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia. (Bipolar I already knew something about; depression I knew quite a lot about, having had varying grades of depression for years.) Schizophrenia is so difficult to pin down; I don't think anyone who thought they might have it could ever diagnose themselves; it's only when somebody says you have it that you can see this and that and the other characteristics are me. And they are. So I don't know what to do about that one.

I could try ignoring it and hope it might go away, but I can now see I've had certain symptoms for about seven years. I'm talking about the so-called negative symptoms (apathy, avolition, unsociability etc) more than the positive ones (thought disorder, hallucinations). My life has been in chaos all this time. A different chaos to drug-addict chaos. Addicts can put themselves together when needs must. I just give out this vibe I can feel other people picking up on. That's what bothers me the most. Whatever I do I never seem to pass as normal. I'm not talking about online I'm talking about real life where people read my face, my body language and judge me and keep their distance. I need to learn how to act normal. How to stare people straight in the eye, even though it hurts. Et cetera et cetera. A couple of people said to me I ought to keep better company. But in general I keep no company at all. Nobody is welcome at my house. I'm too paranoid to let them in. My home is my lair. If I were a caveman I'd be at the front door, waving a firebrand at wild bears.

I realized not long ago that I've not made a single new friend in about seven years. I've lost one good friend (for good). People don't want to hang out with me any more. Or perhaps they see that I don't want to hang out with them. I don't get lonely and I only feel truly comfortable on my own now. And my friends are cyber ones thousands of miles away. Anna is nearly 3000 miles away and she's my best friend in the world. So you see, in order to be "well", I need a personality transplant. And this is now what keeps me so depressed. Knowing it's not good enough being me; that I need to become someone else. Or else I will never pass through those magic doors marked "success". As for the doors marked "normality" ~ I avoid those ones at all costs!

21 comments:

Baino said...

I really don't know what to say. You are more 'stable' when you're using but what a life. No friends, being alone. I feel for you Gleds, really I do.

Gledwood said...

I'm supposed to take those antipsycho pills but they seem to leave me even more flat than before. I looked up the supposed negative symptoms. Basically they mean fucking laziness with a medical name. They are the reason mental patients often seem so gone out. That and the medication. So I don't even know what to do. Just drink the methadone and carry on as "normal" I suppose..??!??!??

Anonymous said...

If you were given a choice between a) 1 million pounds of china white heroin or b) 6 months in the best drug rehab facility in the world plus 1 million pounds upon successful completion-- the catch being that if you ever used again the money would disappear-- what would you pick?

Gledwood said...

The rehab probably.

The heroin would be tempting... hang on would I get money as well as gear?

Yeah as long as I could do the type of detox where you're out cold and magically wake up clean I'd go for it. I did 3 months on no heroin apart from a couple of times when I couldn't even feel the crap so probably the detox.

It's the bit about the money disappearing that does my head in. I prefer a sure thing so in a sense I'd rather be assured of that china white heroin that is sure. There's nothing sure about being clean that's what puts me in such a quandry. I think i would still go for being clean though as I've done 10 years on drugs and that got intensely boring. Time for a change

you probably didn't want this much detail in the answer, did you!!

Anna Grace said...

This post makes me so sad for you. It makes me cry. I know excatly how you feel wanting a personality transplant. I don't think you need a personality transplant. I like your personality, as much of it as I can possiably know without truely knowing you.

People avoid me too. Even my best friend won't accept my calls. Then again I don't accept anyone's calls. If anyone wants to hear from me they have to wait for me to call. Aside from dealers.

Heroin, heroin, heroin, its the one thing I think is keeping me alive, but I hate it. I hate the grip it has on me. Just finding a vein is a huge hassale, then you get it in there, and sure its good for a bit, but then what? The mundaneness of everything comes back in six hours.

I think I might be a meglomaniac. All I do is talk about me.

Its got to get better for you. IF it doesn't get better for you what chance do I have? At what age does this finally stop? Does it ever stop? Do you wonder how those sober people with mood disorders cope? I just don't know how to live life I guess.

No offence but we suck at life. I'm really annoyed I can't be someone else.

Your my best friend in the world too.

Sorry I can't make things better. If I could I would wave a wand and make you a cheery, wealthy, stable, capable, and healthy man.

Anna Grace said...

Don't change who you are. Stop using if you can, get help for your menal health issues, but don't change who you are, or I'll surely die.

Anna Grace said...

forgot to subscribe to comments.

Gledwood said...

What age does it stop at? On The Wire the NA guy says most people don't get tired of opiates until their mid 30s to early 40s and that's probably true. Most people at NA are in their 30s and 40s.

The reason you only talk about you is because you have nothing else to talk about. Like me. If you're avoiding all other people... I thought I was avoiding people to make it easier to give up drugs. Well that's kind of what I thought. Then I realized I was probably just avoiding people anyhow, I never thought it was mental to do that until I read that crap online a few days ago.

Yeah I don't get how sober people with mood disorders cope ... BUT there might be one difference both me and you have some kind of symptoms pretty much all the time, a lot of people seem to have "episodes" that might last months but they're OK between episodes. I haven't been OK for years... something like 7 years. Before that I still had depression but not all the time. What I remember was having mild depression as well... o I don't know I don't get why some people call themselves bipolar or depressive and yet the majority of their lives they're not bipolar or depressed yet you and me are including clean time maybe that's just the luck of the drawer.... who knows!

Gledwood said...

hey I just got the other 2 comments... i don't even know how to change who i am

if i can find out who my dr is again (because i have no idea, seriously i haven't a clue who my dr is any more how fucked up is that??).... i will ask for lamotrigine/Lamactil because it's supposed to be good for bipolar depression

that negative symptoms thing has me fucked though. once i realized about that i realized why it is my life is such a fucking mess. i thought it was drugs and depression... somehow this depression never seemed bad enough to be crippling me the way it has done... then i find out basically having schizophrenia makes you a lazy bastard who just does not deal with things then I realized THAT'S ME ... how the fucking hell do you stop having schizophrenia? I've no idea. The meds dont work on the laziness, only voices/etc which i barely get any more anyhow

Anna Grace said...

I'm lazy too. I don't think anyone can change that. I do the bare minimum to survive. It might just be breed into us. That and the constant struggle w/ moods.

Gledwood said...

I never used to be lazy until I gave up grafting up money for heroin and just stayed at home in depression and then I could cope with fewer and fewer things, it took several years to get as bad as it is now. Now there barely seems any point in doing anything and I don't get a buzz out of stuff like I used to. I don't even know why. I bet you weren't like that before either...?

Do you think opites makes the laziness worse? I used to think it was heroin causing it, the theory was that methadone would sort me out and turn me into a normal person. But it never sorted me out it made me worse and I found it even harder to keep myself clean or organized or to do anything much on methadone which is why I think methadone is a shit medication. If the methadone depression gets worse I sometimes think I will kill myself then it will help others get proper prescribed heroin therapy when they need it. In fact I sometimes think the main therapy for opiate addicts should be death by firing squad.

Anna Grace said...

I was not always lazy. It just came with age and addiction. I used to panhandel for dope money, and run around doing this and that. They say people without jobs have lower self esteem. I guess maybe I'm one of those statistics.

Gledwood said...

Yeah me too.

Begging. Unemployed. Etc. I realized when I was with some other junkies, the type who usually look down on me, that apart from their addictions they seemed pretty OK. They don't freak out at the idea of buying a pint of milk when they're not in the mood like I do... I'm turning into a real basket case. I don't really like doing anything any more. I've decided to have a huge clear out of my house. It needs doing and I'm doing it for myself not for the bitch housing officer who comes round to force me.

So that's something to do off drugs.

Anonymous said...

All i can say is do something for someone else..it really helps.if you take the focus off you then magically your problems minimise cos your not looking at yourself with a magnifying glass.i have my kids and they keep me sane as well as worried,anxious(when they're ill)joyful,happy and often people in need don't judge....just a thought,i know its not easy xxxx

Anonymous said...

hey good blog
im over here in london from aus and basically about to lose it from hanging out.. know how to get on in london??? pleeeeeeease???

Anonymous said...

:(

Anonymous said...

ahh fuuuuuuuuuuuuk how can a drug be both the best thing that exists, and the worst? FUCK THE WORLD.

Akelamalu said...

It's interesting that in answer to Anonymous' question you would choose detox over the drugs.

zoe said...

fuck detox gimme the drugs :p

the guy in the silk taffeta dress said...

Hey,
I'm sorry to hear you & Anna are both not in a good mood.
I think "virtual" relationships are probably the most stable...I have female friends, but if I take it further, it always seems the girl wants to "change" me and I don't like that at all.
I don't believe a lot of psychiatrists. I think many of them are more ill than the patients. The authority in their judgments must camouflage their illness.
all the best to you,
j.

Syd said...

I think that you could have friends and could also get clean. Why not go to detox? I wish that you would and get a good group of people in recovery as your friends. You are intelligent and highly competent to offer something in this world. What a loss.

I WANT OFF METHADONE AS QUICK AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!

METHADONE ~ A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH







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

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