EARLY TO BED EARLY TO RISE makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise! I got up nice and early today and now I'm feeling healthy.
Didn't I go into a right downer yesterday? While I was actually posting it as well.
Today I went to my methadone chemist then got waylaid seeking out good misery memoirs. WH Smiths has a stingy selection of books at best, so expecting them to stock what I want is like expecting an industrial chain-pub to serve up Real Ale They just won't do it.
I searched the charity shops for The Quiet Room by Lori Schiller and Andy Behrman's Electroboy. I couldn't help wondering how on earth anybody managed not only to take crystal meth and cocaine but to nose them up in copious amounts during repeated bipolar manic episodes. When I was manic a mere couple of mugs o black cofee appeared to amp up my racing mind so very fast that my flimsy thoughts fractured and fell apart as they streamed letter by exploding letter into the warp-speed vortex of my delirium. During the peak of it all I don't think I was in any state to take an international flight, let alone set up and run businesses in art forgery the way Andy Behrman says he did. I have this suspicion that if he was compulsively drugging all the time then his mania might well be as much a drug-induced high as a natural one. What I remember of mania is not NEEDING drugs ~I felt high enough anyhow! Different strokes for different folks. I always had a wonky tolerance to uppers.
My friend Pinky (Perky's ex) still wants me to write her life for her. She says she's gone as low as you can do in depression and this is most definitely true. She spent weeks on end withdrawn into a catatonic stupor unable to speak or even move without prompting. I'm not surprised she has "mental health difficulties" considering the life she's had. Her story is the saddest life story I have ever heard. I don't know how she survived it. The last blow was when her best friend went and committed suicide last year ~ that was Perky. Perky had been messing about with that 4-methylmethcathinone crap. Its street names are mepherdrone and meow.
Pinky tells me I'm crazy because I once kept my washing up in the shower for 6 months showering it instead of wiping it clean. And she describes me as "excitable". Bloody hell. I don't think she's ever seen me in a true state of excitement. I did go a bit manic a couple of weeks ago and find myself cackling uncontrollably down the phone. This was around the same time I ended up running around in circles in the middle of the night laughing. I was bouncig those bouncy balls like crazy! Then the lovely hypomania wore off and I was all boringly depressed again I only knew I was manic because if, say, I glanced at a book which said "house" on the cover, I'd start seeing words following on from house that weren't actually there: housekeeping, house work, housewives, full house, house of ill repute... &c, &c, &c! Even today just now my brainbox was picking random words out of the air. I don't know whether that "means" anything. My own book was supposed to be a search for meaning in a morass of self-induced confusion. More to the point, it was supposed to explain why I did what I did. Which would explain how I got where I am today.
In the library I had a good flick through a Mental Misery Memoir titled Sectioned. I know the nomenclature varies around the world: being sectioned here means being placed under involuntary commitment ~ banged up in a nuthouse! The publishers don't even mention what manner of madness he suffered from, which is rather remiss in this day and age of cod psychiatry. I soon figured out he was manic-depressive. He was orphaned at 14, ECTd at 16. But his life seems to be a blur. Maybe I was flicking through it far too fast, maybe he just doesn't want to remember. He talks of a "delusional mist". But there's nothing misty about delusions, which aren't just false beliefs ~ they have a brilliant, compelling quality. The only thing indistinct about such a state would be one's memory of it afterwards. With time, the bright swirl of the moment does fade into the mists.
My favourite drug memoir, by the way, is Anna Grace's I Hate Myself And I Want To Die. Gone is the bleary mush you come to expect of such books. Her writing is crystal-sharp and focused. She thinks her writing isn't good enough, but I tell her again and again it's not about being clever, it's about putting your point across. Which she does perfectly. Which is why she is so readable. Authors who spend more energy trying to be witty and itelligent than telling a rattling good read... I'm sure y'all have encountered that type of tome. As far as the drugs go, of course my own misery was self-inflicted, though it doesn't feel that way at the time. Addiction isn't self-inflicted in the ordinary sense of the word, because addicts take drugs automatically. I once heard a lady police officer saying "nobody puts a gun to their head and forces them to take heroin". But that's the point: they do! She phrased it perfectly: heroin IS a chemical gun to the head! It that forces you to use it more and more ~ and if you don't you'll pay for it. Of course you pay a heavy price to use the drug as well, and that's the main reason addiction is such a misery. Marianne Faithfull once said you only stop using when the pain of being on drugs exceeds the pain of being clean. I'm not sure that's exactly true. Pain has never ever made me want to stop taking the world's best painkiller. What does make me wanna stop is being fed up a substance that never made me feel good enough for long enough, has never been strong enough for long enough. One that seemed to make me feel better but in the end probably made me feel worse. I've grown tired and intolerant of the whole scene. All the best people have died. I can't stand the baby gangsters who deal in the stuff. I feel old and tired. I never intended to be the heroin addict I turned into. I only continued taking heroin because I felt a lot worse off it than on it. But I'm now getting to the stage where I want more from life. I don't know what more is on offer, but I'm willing to give it a try. In a way I don't care how much life without heroin might hurt, because the life I had on it was intolerable too. I feel like I'm on a ride to nowhere. If there is some point to it all, I'm sure I'll find it sooner if not later.
Of course, drug addiction is a type of self-inflicted misery, but I was miserable before I ever took drugs. Mood-altering substances were especially tempting when your mood is so low. Even when I didn't think moods were the root of my difficulties I've had counsellors telling me to see doctors, and doctors telling me I was depressed. Only when I got addicted to heroin, strangely enough, did my drug habit become a be-all and end-all in the eyes of the medical "experts". My own drug addiction has been a gigantic exercise in self-harm. I never managed to die. So the issue now is learning how to live. I wonder I wonder what life has in store next. I'm bored sick of life lived between methadone and heroin. Now I want to see what's next...
6:54pm I've run out of online Tales of the Riverbank, so here's the Russian version of the Canadian original, Hammy Hamster
This one's obviously well practised in the art of getting out of a boring plastic tank:~
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