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 09, 2011

Rock Bottom?

I WOKE UP AROUND 11:30 totally unable to face the day. The Deer Hunter DVD was playing that Spanish Guitar tune "Cavatina" around and around. I felt very sad and numerous miserable thoughts went through my head. About depressed mothers who kill their children. About the dead. I remembered back to yesterday and my commitment to buy more heroin. The last thing I felt was "whoopee". I couldn't face the shower, the post office, or dealing with this bastard drug dealer. Couldn't face today or any other day. I thought about NA and hitting rock bottom. They say you must first hit bottom in order to cast off your dependency on drugs and learn to live again.

(Though there's no "again" about it.)

There is no rock at the bottom. Merely shadows stretching down and down into infinity. Your personal bottom is as low as you can bear to go. Someone, somewhere will always have gone lower. Others will have given up without ever descending half as far as you. Suffering is relative. It's a purely personal thing.

I'm annoyed with Narcotics Anonymous for judging me as high on drugs when I was drug-free and mentally unwell. Even my own family seemed to think I was abusing drugs of some mysterious kind. I've got to the point of not caring what anybody thinks on this, no matter who they are.

My psychiatrist believed me. Naomi, the dual-diagnosis lady believed me. I took drugs tests that proved when I was at my most addled, that I was on METHADONE ONLY. No heroin. No speed or crack. Certainly no hashish and it really puzzled me when someone close to me brought that one up. If they knew me, they'd know me passionate aversion to the Evil Weed. (Why touch heroin if a nasty spliff will mellow you out? I gave up toking years ago because it made me anything except mellow.)

The only nonprescribed drug I took during this period was Librium. Blue and white capsules that looked indistinguishable from Prozac. I felt nothing at all off this stuff, but it's supposed to help you kick drinking. Even that had sunk almost within the British Government's recommended safe consumption limit.

It's up to me to help myself.

There are professionals who can help me, but they can't live my life for me. Narcotics Anonymous have been mooted as an option. But I don't feel understood or accepted by NA as a group. They are a group of laypeople who deal in Recovery. Recovery is when you abstain from drugs, detoxing if necessary. And far from merely not using again, you fill the void with a new passtime: learning to live life on life's terms.

My problem with NA has been their focus on addiction as the cause of all ills. My ills began before I was ever a drug addict. I got addicted to heroin aged 28. Before that I used it so infrequently ~ with weeks at a time between bouts of using. They were bouts because a £20 bag lasted me five afternoons, and I was only smoking it. I used a new introduction to a new dealer every time I scored. The old one wouldn't have remembered me.

Before I became a drug-addict, I'd done years without drugs. Miserable years. My chronic fatigue syndrome years were drug-free: what substance could I tolerate then? I felt worse than ever.

The first couple of years when I did dabble were the most miserable of all; these were my university years, and depression ruined them utterly. I dropped acid while clinically depressed and had bad trips. I tried Ecstasy and felt marvellous. Then I came down from the heavenly high, and felt worse than ever before. Speed at one time seemed an almost-answer. It raised me up to a level where I felt I saw things clearly. Only to drop me down so precipitously I could barely function at all during the aftermath. The evil cannabis was ubiquitous among students, but it brought on acid flashbacks. Yet I craved spliffs, believed I was getting a minor drug problem. Miraculously I cured myself when I took to getting my nicotine hit from ordinary cigarettes that didn't bamboozle the brains. All the joys of smoking without paranoia, fear, confusion, hallucinations.

I still had chronic fatigue syndrome when I took to regular nightclubbing. Psychedelic trance was the music of the day. I hadn't the energy to dance all night, so I spent my nights in superbly-appointed chillout rooms talking rubbish to people from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Botswana, Italy and France. Ecstasy was the only drug that really gave me confidence. I took it in moderation. Most of us did. E doesn't mix with alcohol. Pouring two pints into a one pint pot won't get it any fuller. Once you've gone as high as Ecstasy will take you, you start going sideways, an effect that can be attained more cheaply and less dangerously on fewer pills and a sparkling of magic mushrooms. I was known as somebody who could stay out all night on nothing ~ not even drink. I always had the option of something that would set the night off with a bang, but I didn't always want it.

My mental health was still shaky. I know that Ecstasy damaged it in the late 90s, just as cannabis had in the early 90s. As my psychiatrist said "you and drugs and drink do not mix".

I know I shouldn't take any drugs at all. I don't even "want to" any more. None of the substances from my past are a temptation to me. Ecstasy would be a good case in point. It takes an hour to come on. I never enjoyed taking it anywhere except at a dance party. The peak effects from one moderate dose last about four hours but you're still buzzing slightly the next day. I haven't been out raving in over a decade and thus haven't touched E. There never was a drug I took anytime, anyplace, anywhere... until heroin got its claws into me.

Trust me, my recent use of heroin has been far more out of desperation than indulgence. It started out as what I saw as daring experimentation ~ nearly all of my friends would have disapproved, if only they'd known ~ it turned into a habit so entrenched I could not survive a day without it. They say that methadone gives stability. Some people are so stable on the stuff they can even hold down a full-time job on it. But methadone gave me no such stability. Days on the Mean Green were days spent existing, not living. At some time, at some point along the way, I realized I was merely existing on heroin too. The drug that once had turned life into Christmas every day had turned me into a wreck. Existence was drab beyond words. While heroin was depressing, methadone was suicidally miserable. I no longer have "fun" on heroin. I take it grudgingly. I deplore methadone and only take it as the greater of two evils. But a legal and at least semi-respectable evil. All I can say about methadone is that to a desperate addict, it's better than nothing. And of course, I'd rather be on nothing at all.

If only I'd embraced today's first feelings on the matter, I might have moved just one solitary step forward. Trisha Goddard, the former talkshow hostess, used to talk about embracing your depression. But I don't want to "embrace" anything. I don't just feel miserable, I feel confused. Should I embrace this confusion too? Icebergs clashing in my brains. The want of risperidone pills speaks to me aloud. It doesn't frighten me, but I know my doctor won't be very impressed when he finds out I stopped taking them. Risperidone was prescribed as an antimanic, antipsychotic. It's not an antidepressant. People with bipolar issues aren't generally prescribed antidepressants, which raise the mood. The treatment of choice is generally a mood stabilizer. I've been threatened with these, but I have issues surrounding them. So I don't know what to do.

Depression makes me realize life isn't about fun or enjoyment.

I have work to do. I hate cleaning. No sense of achievement ever came from doing it, at least not in recent times. Yet I decided to clean my house; and to do it for myself. Not for the stern lady who comes round from the council who seems to think the way I live is unacceptable. I'm doing it for me. If I had somebody else to keep my house clean and tidy for, trust me, my home would be spotless. But what's the point doing anything for myself? I've not been able to motivate myself this way in a long, long while. So I'm venturing on to fresh fields with this one.

I have to do what I realized I'd have to when I woke up this morning to a litany of ideas of doom and gloom and destruction. I shall walk away from this. There is no choice. This is what I shall do.

I never intend to embrace my depression. I intend to leave it far behind. It doesn't matter whether or not the whys and wherefores of the matter ever become clear to me. At the moment they seem utterly incomprehensible, so pondering them is an exercise in particular futility. I'm doing what I was taught to do as a very small child when my Dad took me hillwalking. You put one foot in front of the other. No matter what, you keep going. I don't know where I'm going, but I know what I'm going away from. And I'll get there in the end.


STANLEY MYERS: CAVATINA
The Deer Hunter music


11 comments:

Dad and Mom said...

Gleds,

Just wanted to answer your comment from my blog about Alex and NA.

Alex does not do the NA thing at this time. Quite frankly in the past whenever he did the NA he was either in trouble and attending to get the heat off from either us, girlfriend or the law, so truthfully we always knew if he was in NA, things were bad.

The way he got off was he went cold turkey in his girlfriends basement. He and she said he felt like he was going to die and I told them both that he could have.

I have to admit my son is a very strong person when he wants to be. Very intellegent and knows how to make things happen if he wants it bad enough. Not all are like him but he has to be careful because those are the same qualities that got him hooked. He thought he was strong enough and smart enough he could control the drugs but we know how that ended. LOL

I want to tell you my personal opinion of NA. NA and AA has helped millions. There is no substitute for success. But every NA and AA meeting is people. People have flaws, just as not every church or religion is the same because it is also made of people. Find what fits and work it. There are many meetings and hundreds of personalities where you can visit at meetings. try somewhere else.

If NA doesn't fit you then it does have to be your way. Find a way that works and work it even if it is staring at a tree. The most important person in the world is you. Nobody knows you like you do and if you need help hold out your hand.

I really don't know what kind of services or infrastruture you have in the UK. I have never been there and quite frankly know very little about life in the UK. But from reading your blog you are a smart capable person that can be very resourceful. Look inside yourself and make a decision to make one step. It's not about quitting it is about turning your head forward and following your inner soul.

Now one more thing. The "BOTTOM" thing drives me crazy. I hate the term I hate the concept and I can't get behind anyone that advocates letting a person reach BOTTOM. I want you to think of a different term concerning the experience of recognition that life must change. You will have a PROFOUND EXPERIENCE when you know it is time. That doesn't make it easier, it just means you don't have to be near death or as low as you can go it just means you have reached a period of enlightenment.

I wrote an essay about this once for The Partnership at Drugfree.org here is a link to my feelings. http://intervene.drugfree.org/2010/02/hitting-bottom-my-drug-and-alcohol-addiction-vocabulary-is-ever-changing/

Be sure to read teh comments to this article too.

Good luck Gleds and be strong.

Baino said...

Good advice above there Gledwood. I agree, if that particular group isn't working for you, try another. There is Awesome support in England compared to many other countries, but you're right, it's up to you to make those vital steps. Good luck my friend, you're going to need it.

Henrik Månsson said...

I wrote before about how drugs were no different than the "normal" chemical compounds in the brain so whether doctors define a brain as sick or healthy or whether you're high on drugs or sober and whether you're in love or grieving, it's all the same.

You say that heroin doesn't make you feel happy like it used to do, you just take it to feel normal and you want to be extraordinary, which ironically is a very common feeling. Everybody wants to be special. But in my opinion people have a very strange idea of what is special. Look at what you are, a conscious being, the most complex structure of molecules known in the universe which otherwise consists almost purely of hydrogen atoms, the most basic atom with only 1 proton in it. That's fucking special. Doesn't matter if you're high or mentally ill, you're still a unique thing in the universe, you are a someone, meaning you are conscious, you're aware, you're alive.

You say you want to feel alive again. You can do this every second you're awake, regardless of your mental chemistry. I know you wrote you don't want to embrace reality, but you are reality, embrace your beingness and how your being is connected to everything else, like cleaning. Think of what you're doing, engage in the physical process of grabbing a vacuum cleaner. Watch the hair on your body grow, watch the air move in front of you, watch the talking monkeys on the TV and think of the chemical processes in their heads.

Syd said...

Gleds, I do hope that you will walk bravely forward. Find someone to talk to who is clean, get a sponsor, a mentor, someone who isn't using drugs or dealing drugs that is in recovery. I am rooting for you. Always have been.

Anna Grace said...

I'm glad to hear that your cleaning. I haven't posted in a while because I'm just too depressed. Right now on TV is a story about dog fighting and its making me even more depressed.

I don't know what else to say. I care about you. I hope that cleaning does make you feel at least a tiny weeny bit better. I hope it makes you feel amazing.


Your my favoirte.

So you get 400 hits on average. Wow, I've never had 400 hits in one day. You have a ton more readers than I do. The ones that do read me seem to come back.

I haven't killed myself, even though I want to. Caring for Eleanor has been keeping me from doing it.

Why don't you have any hamsters? You seemed to be in a better mood when you have hamsters. Hamsters and heroin.

Look honey, clean that house, and get yourself a hamster.

Love you.
xxx

Anonymous said...

I agree,gleds,get a hamster then you will be caring for something,and worrying about something and focus will be on them hammies!I read somewhere that there's been a bumper crop of opium this season,just in..here's to hoping some of it comes my way...and yours if it makes you happy..I know,i'm so fucking weak, I just want you to be happy,however you achieve it xxx annie

Anna Grace said...

Post something new you lazy bastard. I mean that with all the love in the world.

Sorry I wasn't around for two days. You guessed correctly and I was in a drug induced stupor for two days.

I wish you had a blackberry.

Did you see what trish commented on my blog. She thinks I should ask for donations so I can go to London and meet you, or for you and I to go to New York to meet. Do you think I should do it?

I might be moving to Boston next month with my mom. She's getting a traveling nurse job there. Boston is only three hours by train to NYC. I think I should raise money for you to come to New York.

I think this idea is the only thing that has made me happy all day, without drugs.

I've been to Boston Massachusates before and I really liked it. I was only there for a few hours waiting for the train to take us to NYC. The train station was beautiful.

I would love to go to London. I would love to meet you. You should text me and we can keep intouch that way. my number is 920-660-5231 I'm not sure what the country code is. I'm going to go find out right now, and I'll leave it in a comment.

Now come on, tell me about your day.

xxxx

Anna Grace said...

With country code, 1-920-660-5231. I don't know how expensive it would be. You could go out and buy a burner phone, and pay monthy just for texting. I think that cost like 30 to forty dollars a month. I have no idea how many pounds that would be.

Reeny's Ramblin' said...

Hang in there my friend....

Gledwood said...

First up, I have to work on my strategy. That is decide what I will do in certain circumstances first, then stick with it. I'm keeping self and money separate for the time being, it's just too dangerous.

DAD & MOM: thanks for that information. I once reached a state that you could have called depression but it felt like a spiritual crisis. The urge to use heroin deserted me. That made me much less scared of depression, knowing it might actually cure me of the illness of addiction. So there's always hope, even in the most unexpected places...

BAINO: i think I'm going to have to take a deep breath and go back to NA. NA was always the method I'd decided to go with as it works at least as well as rehab. Probably a lot better.

It was the issue of them assuming I was drugged when I was just hyped up that annoyed me a LOT. Because even when I told them I didn't feel believed. Didn't feel understanding or acceptance. So I'm just starting again with NA and letting old water flow under the bridge.

HENRIK: It was more negativity I didn't want to embrace than anything else.

Problem I have with being "mentally ill" is about 90% of it feels good. I like feeling dissociated from myself, I like feeling manic and euphoric, I even like hallucinating especially when the hallucinations are spectacularly beautiful. Stupid thing is I gave up deliberately taking acid to hallucinate something like 19 years ago so I don't get why that would come back. Do you think that is chemical too? I was prescribed more drugs in the name of psychiatry, I'm not taking them now. I just want to get to a place where I feel OK in the here and now and with myself. And I want to do it on my own chemicals, not drugs!

SYD: there was this woman I wanted to ask to sponsor me. They like you to have a male sponsor if your'e male so I thought it would be transgressive to have a woman. Anyway I like her more than anyone else in there. She's the only one in that group I don't mind hugging.

ANNA: Valerie read what Trish put and put one of her stupid comments under it.

I'm glad you're not dead, I thought you might have committed suicide.

Only problem with a hamster is I would have nobody to look after it if I ended up in the nuthouse and I decided if they ever ask me again if I want to go in there I would go,but only for a few days. I could do with a break. And it might stop me killing myself.

Boston is meant to be really good for gear. White heroin. It's full of New Yorkers who fled the city and their addictions... then couldn't really stop. The South Coast of England is exactly the same. Dotted with rehabs. Very high heroin problem with Londoners going to rehab, starting life anew by the seaside... continuing with heroin. Do you think you will ever stop it? I fucking wish I could/would.

Gledwood said...

ANNIE: I was hoping there would be a great big crop so at least the option of using was there. I can't believe our dealers let us down so badly on heroin. Upping the price from £20,000 to £50,000 per kilo or more.

Did you know up until 2008 it used to be £13,000 a kilo? That's why the bags used to be bigger back then. I noticed bags have definitely got smaller over the past 2 or 3 years. A lot of the dealers near me do a "2 for 15" deal. But it's a rip off all you get is 0.3g in 2 bags so if you only have a tenner you're paying for 0.15g which is really stingy. Listen to me banging on about prices YET AGAIN. If you read the post upstairs titled Heroin Highway or whatever ... dur. "highway to methadone"... if you read that I'm trying to come up with a strategy for not using. Staying indoors all day and getting the chemist trip over and done with 1st thing is the main coping mechanism.

I would love a hamster but am terrified of going mad and not being able to take care of it!!

Also we're not really allowed pets here and I'm in my landlord's bad books big time for "hoarding rubbish"... I HAVE to clean up!!

ELAINE: WHAT did you do to your blog?? Come back, come back I say!!

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