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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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!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

I love myself and I want to live ...

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

Escaping hamster.
This one's obviously well practised in the art of getting out of a boring plastic tank:~


Dad and Mom said...


I don't comment as often as I wnat too but I do read your posts. I going to say the same thing as I have said in the past.

I am an eternal optimist. I beleive in the power of the individual, despite any outside influences. I beleive a person can accomplish what they believe inside. Sometimes it is on lifes terms but without believing in yourself nothing happens.

You have that inner strength and I know from your writing you have the knowledge. It's a matter of assembling your resources and developing a plan to utilize what you have to make what you want happen.

Yes that is simplistic but that is the mark of most successful plans. After all this is not rocket science and we aren't shoot for the moon.

Z said...

Goodness, Gledwood, if you can hold on to this clarity of thought and purpose, you will be able to make the changes in your life that you want to.

jams o donnell said...

I agree with Z. You have the potential to change things. It is in your hands. Please make the right decision

Syd said...

I too read your posts but cannot comments on the ones in which you are using drugs. You know my thoughts on that. I think that it is a dead end for you--both literally and figuratively. Every time I see that you have posted, I am hoping that you will have truly quit drugs, gotten into rehab, and have gotten the help you need for any kind of mental disorder diagnosed. You have a lot of offer. I hope that you see that.

Cloudia said...

easy does it. i believe in you.

Aloha from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral




Gledwood said...

Dad & Mom: at the moment I'm trying to do life in baby steps. For this memoir of mine it's essential I am able to draw together what happened to tie it up in a coherent whole... otherwise it will be very scattered. And I don't want a blurry scattered memoir. That nasty heroin doesn't seem to do what it used to for me at all... So I'm looking for a new life now. Or more to the point, DOING and hoping something amazing and shiny and new will somehow manifest over the horizon at some point in time... hopefully in the none too distant future :-)

Z: I'm glad my thoughts are clear. I don't think they've ever been vague, mushy or indistinct really. When things go wrong my thoughts are just as bright as ever, just swirled up a lot, so you get lost in the swirl... I really don't want to write just another memoir bringing to life my experiences. There's nothing that special about anything that happened to me. What I want to do is explain the whys and wherefores of what I did. I think that would make a more interesting book than just a plain recounting of what I've done...

Jams: if I have an author photo you can definitely do it. Long as I'm allowed to pick photographers I'll pick you

Syd: if only drugs WERE a dead end. I spent years wishing I would just die in the night and it never happened. Now I'm left having to live and not really wanting to. I'm sure I'll find a reason to live somewhere, but I really don't have one at the moment

Cloudia: I love spirals



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