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!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

120 steps to freedom ...

I AM NOT looking forward to going to this new drugs clinic tomorrow. I've only been twice, but didn't particularly like it there, especially last time. They kept asking whether I wasn't using some other drug bar heroin. The doctor asked whether I was manic. The new worker even seem to know what schizoaffective meant. I just want them to take down my methadone as fast as possible. Because I'm a new customer they want me to drink it in the pharmacy. I'm not used to drinking methadone in one go and I'm not used to drinking it during the day. I want to go back to normal consumption so I can drink my juice in bed like a normal person. (Half before sleep, to knock me out; the second half two hours before rising, to stop me wanting to use that morning.) Because I don't think I'm going to find the support I need at this place, I've decided to help myself. I've found three groups that look promising.

Dual Recovery Anonymous
Emotions Anonymous
Schizophrenics Anonymous

Dual Recovery Anonymous UK do groups in London. They might substitute for the now defunct Nutter Club, which was a victim of Prime Minister David Cameron's notorious public spending cutbacks. Ironically it was the psychiatrist who diagnosed me who put the final nail in Nutter Club's coffin (so Naomi hints). I'm writing a letter asking for Nutter Club to be reinstated as it's the ONLY place I've ever found where I can speak freely. NA tend to put everything in the context of addiction, recovery and "working the steps". I've heard of people with psychotic depression being told they're feeling so down because they're "not working the steps". And I've heard numerous stories of mentally ill people and even epileptics being persuaded to throw their medication away because taking pills is "using". This isn't NA's official view, by the way. But it has gone on. I never found the understanding or acceptance I craved at NA; perhaps I might find them somewhere else.

My new worker was enthusing about the wonderful drugs groups this other clinic does. I smiled benignly, because they look exactly the same as the last clinics ones. Groups that made me so wound up and angry at the endless junkie one-up-man-ship ("I'm a cleverer addict than you") and subtle drug snobbery ("I only ever smoked my crack in a spliff") and endless boasting ("I got better/cheaper/stronger drugs than you") that I ran straight to my dealer after every session. Far from feeling empowered or inspired, in a room full of addicts with a non-addict moderator, I just feel like an old junkie at best. At worst I feel misunderstood and out of place, surrounded by crackheads, unable to tell my own experience. The reason I won't take most drugs is that I know they'll exacerbate symptoms of an "illness" I'm not willing to tell a room full of stangers about. Despite all this, I think you shouldn't knock anything until you've tried it, so I'm willing to give these new groups a go. When I'm in the right mood. Hopefully psychotically manic, so I can cause as much chaos as possible (ha-har!)

I'm supposedly getting some mental care co-ordination team thing. And a new doctor. Etc. Yet nothing has happened.

I looked up the NICE guidance on my conditions and found out that as a "service user" with a schizophrenia spectrum diagnosis, I'm supposed to be offered art therapy. Whoopee!! I'd love to splosh paint on canvas at the taxpayer's expense (does the taxpayer stretch to canvas? Or would I be painting on cheap fish-and-chip paper? Ho-hum. Whichever). Also I found out bipolar disorder is considered a serious mental disorder. Which didn't make me happy. And I'm supposed to continue the antimanic pills despite feeling depressed. So there we go. I don't really wanna take anything anyway. Don't wanna take methadone. I wish I could wave a magic wand and be done with this addiction.

By the way I looked up people's experience of Rapid Opiate Detox. When I was younger I really wanted this procedure, where you're knocked out cold on general anaesthetic, pumped full of naltrexone, which knocks all methadone, heroin and other opiates off the brain's receptor sites. Two to four days later, depending on the clinic, you wake up drug free and supposedly happy. I have to say I envisaged myself feeling like a human train wreck in such circumstances. I also imagined I'd be extremely manic and probably psychotic. Or else extremely depressed, and probably very anxious. Sure enough I found a testimonial describing exactly the feelings I'd envisaged. The unfortunate person (who had spent over ten thousand dollars on this treatment) described waking up feeling like she'd been hit by a truck and plagued by nearly unbearable depression and anxiety which didn't let up for weeks on end.

So rapid detox is definitely NOT for me. I have been told by those who know me that any detox I do should be as gentle as humanly possible. I was thinking of reducing from 1mg methadone to nothing over the course of two weeks or more (why not?) using a broken off 1ml syringe to measure my daily dose. British methadone is 1mg/1ml so that would be quite easy. See I'm fretting about the final hurdle already, when I've bearly cleared hurdle number one! I'm also fretting about this bloody clinic tomorrow. I want cutting down down down on this methadone and I'm scared they will try and keep me stuck on a level dose. A level dose of methadone is too depressing for words. You're not going anywhere. I need to know I'm nearer freedom with every passing day. Really I want to reduce at a rate of 1mg per day, but I don't know if they'd let me.

Well the weather is really hot this week. And it's 2:30am. I'd better go. Nasty appointment tomorrow. Must sleep.


bugerlugs63 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Furtheron said...

I know someone who has found DRA really beneficial for them as they found sadly similar to you that they couldn't speak openly about some of their issues as other meetings.

So on a 2nd hand personal recommendation I'd give it a thumbs up.

Gledwood said...

Buggerlugz: I'm checking that now...

Furtheron: I only heard of DRA yesterday. There's not that many meetings. I was thinking of trying one soon...

Akelamalu said...

Well good luck with whichever group you go to Gleds. x

Baino said...

Maybe group isn't for you. Can you get one on one counselling other than a shrink? Good luck anyway, you're trying which is something. I guess if the rapid detox really worked, everyone would be doing it. I'd crack it to try to kick smoking, seriously. I remember deep sleep therapy (not the same but similar) being used for psych patients here but it was very dangerous and people went into comas so it was stopped toot sweet.

Gledwood said...

Baino: I don't think group is for me but I'm willing to give it another try. I wish Bitch Features Buta hadn't pushed the point today. Now I don't want to go at all. I have to keep remembering I'm going for myself and not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, y'know...

Akelamalu: I definitely want to try that Dual Recovery Anonymous. Sounds way more interesting than anything else I've done group-wise



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