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!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Done In

I WOKE UP THIS MORNING WISHING I WAS DEAD. I have been thinking about myself self self constantly. Because I am in a mess I somehow need to climb out of without the use of a noose (for myself) and a flame-thrower (to clean my house). My back is hurting now so I'm even more done-in than before. The more stressed I get the more random my head goes. Which is better than feeling anxious, so I'm not knocking it. What would you prefer? Your head to constantly tune out? Or to tune into something too negative for words? So I'm quite happy to be tuned out. In fact I might actually to tuning into the true reality. I always did have this impression that life was just a dream.

Well I'm FAR TOO SOBER as I write this. I've had my daily tin of corned beef (been eating little else). Too disorganized to get in shopping. Disorganized, disorganized. I'm having a bash at washing clothes. I need clean clothes but don't feel up to washing them (by hand) I rarely do.

This is why I'm so unhappy. I'm drowning in laziness and the only cure I know for it is a gun to the head. I heard they can give selegeline (an MAOI) and possibly other MAOIs. But monoamine oxidase inhibitors (VERY oldfashioned antidepressants) can tend to provoke mania in susceptible individuals. Hey what am I worried about? I could quite do with a bit of mania. I had so much energy it was unreal. In fact most things felt unreal while I was manic, including myself and the world. Best thing about that was NO DESIRE OR NEED FOR ILLICIT DRUGS. I'm fed up of drugs. But the mere thought of going totally off my head again is exhausting. Best cure I know of for laziness is a GUN TO THE HEAD. If only handguns were legal in this country, I'd probably have shot myself long ago. Better still those oldfashioned barbiturates. Or old coal gas ovens. All good ways of dying. No I'm not suicidal. I don't want to kill myself I just WANT TO BE DEAD. Different thing.

AFTERNOON: I'm not in a much better mood. I had some of the lousy heroin. I can barely feel it. My back is killing me when I try and get up/move. Tomorrow I'm going to have to go everywhere by bus. Im not up for walking very far. I hate being ill. That's why when the psychiatrist told me I had a severe mental illness, I thought the matter over and realized there were about 1000 physical illnesses I'd less rather have.

I was going to ask for suicide advice. Anyone who knows a good method can leave me an email hammynutter@lycos.com, title it SUICIDE so I won't miss it. What I really need is what they use in the Dignitas clinic, Switzerland: 10,000 mg neat barbiturates dissolved in orange juice.

Hanging and cutting really gross me out. I'd shoot myself if I could. There's always the option of an express train but I'm scared of it going wrong. The best option I can think of is to do an opiate detox which will bring my tolerance down to zero, then to deliberately overdose on as much of the best heroin I can get my hands on. I went years hoping I would just die in my sleep. How come it's always someone else who gets to die? I've been told I was meant to be alive. Well if I was meant to live I wouldn't have schizoaffective disorder, would I?

I'm not sure I really am schizoaffective. I think I'm just really lazy. Everything I try and do is a huge great deal for me. It all feels too much. Even going down the road for a pint of milk. I hate picking up my methadone. Once I've done that I crowd straight home and barracade myself behind closed doors. Tomorrow I have to do not only that; I must take my festering body down the drugs clinic, which I really don't want to do. I haven't a single clean stitch of clothing to wear and am not up for complicated handwashing. The stuff is in the sink, soaking. I couldn't take it down the launderette if I wanted to: too heavy for my bad back.

I don't know what else to say. I just wish I had the courage to do myself in and properly. I'm lucky in that I can't really brood on my situation the way you might assume I'm doing. If I tried to brood I would think of Newcastle, forks, balls of string, motorbike outriders... my mind is randomized not obsessionalized, so I'm saved from my own illness. "Suicidal ideation" of course, being a symptom.

Somebody asked me why I don't go help another person. I don't know anybody individually who needs help. So I would have to help via a charity. I did put this idea forward when I was being interviewed to find out what support I needed in my daily life. The lady told me it sounded like a really good idea but "not yet". I wasn't even mentally ill back then, just a bit moody.

I wanted to work in a hospice with the dying. Another job I would like to do is work in an intensive care ward. If I could take furry animals into hospitals to delight the patients I'd be well up for that. Or working with Undercover Customs on multimillion pound white heroin hauls. Rubbishy drugs like cocaine, grass etc I'd hand straight back in. But I couldn't guarantee I wouldn't tax a couple of keys Thai White for mysself. You could go several years on two kilos pure white heroin.

I want to detoxify anyhow. Be clean. That was the hospice problem. The patients are off their heads on my favourite sort of drugs. That's why they're all so happy (at least they always look like they're having a ball, singing and dancing, etc on the hospice documentaris I've seen on TV.

I was wondering what job I could possibly do with my constantly circling mental problems. At the end of my manic phase I had bad troubles with memory. Trouble co-ordinating my hands (typing; I typed out a lot of words perfectly BACKWARDS). I have bad troubles with what Deshane my personal help person who I haven't seen in over a month, calls "selfcare". I'm always broke, I literally lose money, even when I'm off drugs. My doctor said this is because I am ill.

This is my problem: I'd have to perform a miracle to be together enough even to be considered for voluntary work. This is why I'm so depressed. My head is in a mess just as my life is. If this gets any worse I'm going in the hospital I cannot go on like this; I feel ill. The best I'm ever going to get is "sane" but totally run down, unmotivated, dull, drab and lazy.That's a psychiatrist's idea of a good outcome from psychosis. Some people of course do make a full recovery and turn back into a normal functioning person. But that's people who suddenly became ill, who hadn't had years of trouble functioning in life before they became floridly ill. I had mini-episodes going back years. I was depressed for 20 years (arguably since childhood. My family say it wasn't as bad as I say it was. What I do remember was obsessing over the idea that I had cancer, feeling like I was sick and WANTING to die. Then developing an OCD-type situation where I indulged in excessive handwashing because I felt contaminated. That went on, on and off, for two years or more.

When I went to university aged 19 I rapidly went downhill. On the one hadn I wanted to experiment with cannabis and LSD. Contrary to rumour, I barely took any acid, but the effect it had on me was so terrifying to watch it put certain people off ever experimenting with anything stronger than hash. It was hash ironically that caused the deepest damage of all. I haven't scored cannabis since 1993 or 1994. So long ago that the vogue was still for hash, not grass.

I got given a psychiatrist's appointment because I was very down and not sleeping well at all. I'd barely touched drugs incidentally, when I first saw this man. He said "I understand you've been suffering from low mood". Every single appointment he seemed to ask me whether I heard voices. I didn't hear voices back then. When I did start hearing them years later nobody seemed to want to know!

Anyway I went to see this doctor, he did very little for me. I was at university, supposedly having the time of my life, but all the time I was profoundly miserable. My grades were low. One time I wrote an expletive across an exam paper and just walked out. In the second year I did no work at all. My GP gave me a medical certificate signing meoff for the entire term. Eventually I was faced with the prospect of a year in Berlin, which I would have loved. But I wasn't up for it. So I had to drop out of the course.

I worked for about two years until I got struck down with something that made me feel weird and tired and dizzy. This was diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome. It mutated into depression. I went on heroin. It appeared to cure my troubles.

Maybe I had two years without anything too bad happening. A mad woman I'd met on the street let me move in with her when I got chucked out of my house. But she stalked me and wouldn't let me alone. Eventually I moved out and went to live in an empty building. Here I started having visions in the night. I heard voices calling my name over and over. One evening on the bus everyone had mystical symbols in their eyes. I went to see my mad friend, the one who had taken me in off the street. She looked like an ancient Egyptian princess. I remember looking in the mirror one night, seeing myself transforming into a dragon. I didn't have money for crack at this point. Heroin was very much my drug of choice.

After some short stays in the mental hospital, which had more to do with avoiding this Stalker-Friend than anything else, I eventually found my way into Emergency Accommodation. My mental health wasn't eerrible at this time. You have to bear in mind the weird things I've just told you took place intermittently over months and months. I wasn't seeing visions every minute of every day. But it carried on and in this new house I got introduced to regular crack smokers. The DSS gave me a year's money in one go and I had a binge on gear and crack. This within a week I was hearing the Devil's voice threatening me from the corner of the room. A prostitute and her crackhead boyfriend moved into the room next door and insulted me through the walls. It took me months to realize that although we genuinely didn't get on, the walls were actually far thicker than they appeared to be and what I'd actually heard had been "voices".

So I knew crack was bad for me. Over the months I cut down my usage to once a week. Then strictly once a week on Mondays only. Then I gave up heroin and went mad. Then that doctor said I had schizoaffective disorder. It wasn't a new thing. So I'm stuck with residual symptoms of this disorder and I know what they are now. Before, I didn't realize what was going on, but I looked this disorder up. You have active and residual phases, mood swings going up and down (mostly down). There is psychosis as well but it doesn't necessarily phase in with the mood problems (otherwise it would be called bipolar disorder with psychotic features). So this is why I feel so depressed. Because of this. I can't shake it. And being "ill" isn't always the worst part of it. It's not how it makes me feel as such, more what it does to me. It's turned me into a wreck of a person, who doesn't like engaging with anything much. When I push myself I get weird symptoms back. When I don't push myself I feel miserable. I feel miserable anyway. I looked up various forums. There's no advice, except "keep taking the pills" which I can't do. They're the wrong pills. Apart from taking medication you're seemingly supposed to just be mentally ill, do nothing and not have a life. I can't do that. So here we go again. This is why I'm stuck.

I don't think like this in the day. I think about the Tonkie Ears mouse, who is an avatar of Little Trotter Donkey. And I think randomness. I don't always feel like me. I don't feel real. They say merrily merrily down the stream; life is but a dream. I just wish the dream could be happier.

If I shouldn't post this then I shouldn't tell the truth. I cannot think through the ins and outs and could bes and should bes. I'm too tired, my back hurts. The TV is babbling at me. I have to go.

11 comments:

the guy in the silk taffeta dress said...

Gleds,
Sometimes I think it's better to be tired and sometimes I like to be all wired up and not tired.
I know it's not natural to pick my choice of mood, by Xanax & Elavil vs. cup after cup of coffee, but I do anyway.
I guess some people like the natural, some like chemical adjustments...I just wish it were all over the counter and at a reasonable price.
I woke up elated over the news of Osama Bin Laden's getting bombed and have been caffeinated all day.

Feel better, my friend,
j.

Fractalmom said...

Well, I hope you feel better soon, but knowing you won't, I hope if you do figure out how to snuff it, it is painless and happy for you.

do me a favor though? email me before you go so I don't spend the rest of my life wondering WHERE THE FUCK DID GLEDS GO????

Anonymous said...

oh gleds,if only you were born at a different time in a different place you might not feel so bad to be you....you are hypersensitive,intelligent and in the minority so you're told you're insane and lazy.
take it easy,my friend.Annie x

Henrik Månsson said...

This is the first time I've been to your blog. I've done coke, lsd, speed, weed et cetera, but never heroin. I don't understand what it feels to be you but I'll speak my mind anyway and you can judge the value of my thoughts as you see fit.

There are three things I'm thinking of. Drug addiction, neurochemicals and happiness.

Drug addiction:
I understand drug addiction somewhat, it's a matter of escaping reality, making your life artificially better than it is instead of making your life better by joking with your friends, having a satisfactory job, doing things that make you feel happy or loved or whatever; doing things that your brain responds to with happiness instead of forcing your brain to be happy by injecting "happiness chemicals". Drug addiction turns your focus on the drug, when to do it, longing for it, worrying about the supply and scoring drugs, having money for it. All these thoughts that lead your thoughts away from dealing with "reality", washing clothes, eating, working on relationships. Drug addiction makes everything else diminish and fade into grey, boring, undead, miserable reality.

Neurochemicals:
Doctor's may say you have this and that mental disorder. That's not necessarily relevant. A disorder is defined as a condition where you can't live your life the way you like. There's nothing in the definition about what mentality is right or wrong, it's just a matter of if the person subjectively thinks it's right or wrong for themselves. We're all born with our brains full of chemicals. No two people have the same chemistry in their brain. Drugs are chemicals just like the chemicals we're born with. Basically there is no difference between heroin in your brain and the chemicals that flow through your brain when you're doing something you like, the difference in experience does not come from the chemicals themselves but from the interaction between the chemicals and the brain. In other words, it's the brain that causes the sensation and not the chemicals. Let me try to explain the reason for this seemingly contradictory description with a metaphor.

A rollercoaster only speeds up in it's way down as much as it was pulled up the hill. It's like physics, what goes up must come down, forces are equal and can't be created or destroyed. If you play a lot and have fun, the chemicals get used up and afterwards you're inevitably low while the chemicals are turned back into potential happiness. Same thing with chemicals artificially inserted into the brain, you get a high and then you get a hang-over. You exhaust the brain by overusing drugs so each time you get a new fix it has less of an effect on you.

Happiness:
Happiness is relative. You can't stay happy forever, you can't keep increasing your happiness either "naturally" or with drugs. You can only be as happy as you are miserable because the chemicals in the brain strive for balance. My friend says "The tears of the world are constant", and I interpret this as "the tears of the individual are constant". You can't know happiness if you've never felt pain.

Instead, happiness is defined as the absence of misery. This might sound like splitting hairs, but it very much isn't. It means that happiness is not thinking about the next fix, not thinking about happiness, just living reality without being miserable. Happiness is not thinking you're happy all the time, but realizing afterwards that for the past x hours you've not been thinking of being miserable.

Henrik Månsson said...

...this didn't fit in the first comment:

I know you fear the dullness of reality, I can't imagine how dull it must seem after having been to paradise, but going that high means you crash down too hard and there's no reason for it. If you completely sober, your natural chemicals will do the same things to you, no matter if you're considered normal and as having a disorder. It's a matter of accepting your chemicals, whether you accept being a drug user, being "normal" or having a disorder. Which path you take is irrelevant, happiness comes from the acceptance of whatever path you take. Once you accept the boring parts of reality, and shift focus away from the parts where you long for the next high, whether natural or artificial, you will no longer be bored with them, they will simply be forgotten and you will only have left happiness.

This life is your only chance to experience chemicals at all, your only chance to experience having an experience at all, your only chance to appreciate being just for the sake of being, just by thinking of the intricacies of existence, including the amazing fact that I'm a ten-digit monkey in front of a silicon computer communicating the thoughts created in the electrochemical processes of my brain via space to you, another monkey, you, a result of 3 billion years of cellular evolution, you, an experiencer, a conscious being on a rock full of life and colour in this otherwise cold, dead universe.

I hope you don't kill yourself and instead start washing your clothes. I hope you will come to accept the chemicals in your brain and the experiences they create. Society was not built for this purpose so you will have to struggle, but I think it's worth it.

Anna Grace said...

Well put Henrik. I could have never put that into words.

Gledwood, I think what Henrik put down is true. I know its true. We are both focusing on the negatives and not the positives. We should focus on the positives. Easier said than done.

A lot of postive things happened to me today, but still I'm focused on the negatives. For instance, I found out that the editing process is over, and I approved the manuscript. Now the fun stuff starts, like cover art. Still I think about how shitty the book is. I'm not worthy of the good stuff that happened to me today.

I learned a lot about you from this post. School, mental illness features you have had, how you would prefer to off yourself. Please don't by the way.

Think about what Henrik said, I am. I found this post and these comments very informative. Thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

Hi...

Syd said...

Well, I still think that the drugs are fucking with your head. I do believe that if you quit the heroin, valium and illegal drugs for a month--totally clean for 30 days--and see what happens. Can you do that? Do it as an experiment and let all of us know. I think that your head will get better.

Gledwood said...

Thanks everyone and Henrik you make a v valid point

sickgirl said...

"This is why I'm so unhappy. I'm drowning in laziness and the only cure I know for it is a gun to the head. "

I so thought that after close to five and a half years on MMT that this would no longer be an issue, but, surprise, it still is!!!

I know that I rarely comment, but I do read regularly and enjoy your writing immensely. Seems that as recovering addicts we are forced to bear some crosses - I suppose it is only fair after all you play, you obviously must pay!!! If I'd known that this was going to be a long term issue as a result of addiction, I probably wouldn't have...no, that's not true whatsoever...I still would have jumped feet first down that rabbit hole!

Keep writing and I'll keep reading.

peace, love and happiness...

sickgirl

Gledwood said...

I always thought the laziness was a result of opiate addiction, but I have this inkling the dr thinks it's more that I'm schiz. I somehow never ever get myself together, I'm always a mess. Other addicts seem to cope just fine when they want to yet I can't handle the stress of scoring half the time let alone the rest of the crap they go through to get their stuff, which is one reason I have been in semi-retirement for years on end. I just can't do it!

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

Copyright 2011 by Gledwood