HAMSTERS & HEROIN: Not all junkies are purse-snatching grandmother-killing psychos. I'm keeping this blog to bear witness to that fact.


Gledwoods deutscher Blog

Bitte hier klicken ...


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!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


THERE WERE 2 UNEXPECTED EFFECTS of becoming opiate dependent (I noticed).

1. I barely ever catch cold and

2. I hardly feel the seasons of the year any more

Autumn is the only season I still feel. I feel it now, and I feel weird. In an indistinct kind of way.

I feel vaguely excited, yet vaguely depressed. At the same time.

Also I'm craving heroin in a distant way. I haven't taken any since Sunday when I didn't feel it anyhow. I only crave heroin by association. And I associate feeling autumnal with doing gear. I'm reminding myself that it's only been about 12 years, or a couple more, depending how you count, since I went ON gear. So I've done many autumns without it. I also went down the SOAS bookshop for Japanese dictionaries a year or two ago, so I could associate that with autumn too. I'm very much into associations. I need a Chinese dictionary as well. Mrs Li has finished teaching me to tell time. I'm on Unit 5 now. I still can't do the accent at all, but I'm doing OK at writing.

I nearly was sick yesterday having that blood test, it was awful. I felt so nauseated. She kept asking me if I was alright. How a junkie could be so afraid of needles. I couldn't tell you which one she used; I didn't dare look.

I spent £5 on one pen and 100 sheets of holepunched blank paper to write my book on. Yes I'm doing it the old fashioned way as my computer is down and I write better in Real Ink. It makes me focus on High Quality.

Now I've got to go before this internet cafe terminates me.

Illustrated: a Charles Dickens manuscript

PS my blood samples were tiny drizzles compared to yesterday's illustration. My vein was so collapsed she thought it wouldn't hold out...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blood Test Day

A SURLY NURSE took my blood this morning. First thing she said, upon examining my right arm, was "this may take some time; you've used all this up". She then examined my left and was in a vein first stab. "It's so slow it may well coagulate before it's all finished," she said. The draining took so long my hand was going numb.

When I saw the tiny test tubes, each with only a trickle inside it, I wanted to heave. I dashed outside for a cigarette then had a Cadbury's Creme Egg in consolation. I'm eating Chinese takeaway tonight as my reward for undergoing that ordeal. Last Chinese had undercooked chicken, so I'm going to the one I really like that closes early. The lady writes out Chinese characters on the ordering slips especially for me.

Valium Marilyn has lent me The British National Formulary "the book of life" she calls it. Every prescription drug is in there with full details. Of course I had a good read of the diamorphine page.

Following this mornings pukesomeness I'm put off gear for good. Yes I did relapse yet AGAIN on Sunday but use is down now to ONCE PER WEEK. This is the best I've ever done except those 10 weeks or more when I used nothing at all. I was drinking still during that period. I now have just under a pint of white cyder and tropical fruit juice in the fridge. Reserved from last night when I simply could not get anything more down me. I had to do a 12 hour fast so I stacked up as much nutrition inside me as I could possibly manage.

I'm going to have to ping. I hope you all had a decent weekend. And bank holiday weekend for those of you in the UK. The Notting Hill Carnival was "quiet" this year. Surely a contradiction in terms. The Notting Hill Carnival once made me the second illest I have ever been in my life. A physical, spiritual and mental breakdown all at once. It was like a fuse had blown in my head and I was sweating bottles and bottles of white wine (that's what it looked like) onto my sheets. This was before the heavy drugs episode so heavy sweats weren't the usual me at all.

I don't eat that much Takeaway, Baino. Usually once a month these days. Twice in a week is unusual and basically my way of Bribing myself into that Blood Test Clinic.

You know I nearly ended up in Nuclear Medicine by mistake. I felt so sorry for the people crowding into oncology. I might have a supposedly serious illness but it's psychiatric. I'd rather be mentally ill than physically any day. I was offended by EastEnders last night calling bipolar (in so many words) a terrible condition passed down by bad blood. I'm the only nutcase in my family so explain that one. There is a small amount of ordinary depression, some gambling and some drinking on ONE side of my family but I'm the biggest junkie nutter by far. Explain that you geneticists!!

Well I've gotta go. Make it a good one!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

QUETIAPINE, aka Seroquel, the antipsychotic I said I'd rather be on than risperidone, has mysteriously found its way en masse into boxes of Neurofen (ibuprofen) headache pills!

Sky News says:

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a safety warning following reports that some boxes may contain Seroquel XL 50mg.

Seroquel XL is a prescription-only anti-psychotic drug used to treat disorders including schizophrenia, mania and bipolar depression.

The mix-up is believed to have happened at a wholesaler's and so far three cases have been identified in the south London area.

See! Ordinary people recoil in horror at the prospect of taking even 2x50mg quetiapine into their bodies. I would probably be dosed at 300-350mg at night. My friend who also has schizoaffective gets 700mg at night. That's 14 of those stray pills!


I slept nearly all day today, woke up with a taste for Chinese food only to find my best local takeaway SHUT at only 10 past 10. This is the one who put mangetout in the mixed vegetable fried rice. The second choice takeaway tip in Iceland's own frozen mixed vegetables: cubed carrots; peas; sweetcorn. Nah! I could do with a chicken and baby corn with curry sauce. Plus egg fried rice. Hey that's making me hungry again...

I was watching Ugly Betty on DVD. Lots of people say they don't like that show. Presumably because it pokes fun at Betty. What they don't realize is you watch it the other way round. Betty is loyal, resourceful, very intelligent and a good person. Despite great opposition she makes her way in a world that mocks and derides her. THAT is why I watch Ugly Betty.

The bit where she skulks into the canteen with everybody smirking at her, is just like entering McDonalds during a paranoid episode. Everybody seemed to be talking to, at or about ME. So I had to ignore everyone and only interact with the girl behind the till, who was gazing at me with a most peculiar look in her eye...

Anyway it's not like that today. I was just saying. Today I am fine. Today all is good.

I can't get my little computer open. I tried and tried unscrewing the back where some cable is at fault, yet cannot do it.

So it's gonna have to go into hospital.

Hey maybe I should have chicken and babycorn in curry sauce with egg fried rice in compensation...

I hope you all are having a splendiferous weekend...

Friday, August 26, 2011

DARKNESS IS FALLING across London. The wet road sparkles neon. Heavy clouds, dark grey against a blue grey sky, close gradually down and around.

Hey the other day we had a shocking pink sunset. Pink against orange and turquoise Chinese dragons in the sky. That was amazing!

True, I was scared of a blood test despite my former proclivities for poking needles between digits. My feet are hammered. I once missed when shooting heroin and crack between my fingers and couldn't cross them for weeks... Isn't drug addiction fun!

I got money today and didn't even think of spending it on drugs. I drugged myself nearly to death now my occupation has to be life. I would rather focus on something obscure yet useful like Chinese calligraphic character-writing manuals than heroin. Those dictionaries and manuals only come from one bookshop in Londn that I know of: the one near the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (oh if only I'd applied there! And not to the university that I did... ho hum.) There's also a secondhand bookshop near the shopping precinct by SOAS that sells ancient Chinese and Japanese "grammars" as probably used by lost missionaries and soldiers of a bygone era. I haven't been down to this bookshop lately. I'm steeling myself to stock up on complicated dictionaries. I feel totally lost in the Chinese language by the way and not at all confident. I can barely pronounce it at all, unless I'm literally repeating after the CD. I can write a lot of it, but probably have the handwriting of an 8 year-old girl. What it has in precision it lacks in spirit. Chinese calligraphy is all about spirit. I'll illustrate this post with the heart character. That's the most spirited of them all.

I can't track my real feelings any more! I want to, but I'm never sure what's my real mood and what might be a Mood Swing. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it.

Time's short; must run. Thanks for the answers yesterday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Missed the Bloods

I WAS SUPPOSED TO GET UP EARLY TO HAVE A BLOOD TEST this morning. Instead I had multiple nightmares about giving up alcohol and somehow coming into vast amounts of money. Then I had another nightmare about Russian submarines and the smallpox virus. Very vivid dreams. Then I woke up feeling ravenous because I am supposed to fast 12 hours before this mystery blood test that I don't even understand. For some reason they want lipids (cholesterol), some blood count, glucose, electrolytes and something else measured. How will they ever find a vein?? Probably straight away knowing my mysterious body. I am really not looking forward to what is labelled a "sharp scratch" but is actually a highly intrusive, assaultive, abusive STAB STAB STAB STAB STAB POKE PRY POKE POKE no thanks. Yes I have a needle fixation. The type where you don't like being stabbed by others. (Which is apparently not uncommon.) The methadone clinic also want an electrocardiogram, which I don't mind ~ it's noninvasive.

None of these tests involve appointments by the way; you just turn up and get tested in office hours...

Mrs Li is still teaching me to tell the time. You say that it's five bits two dots ~ meaning "five minutes past two". Come to think of it a minute means something minute ie a little bit. So the Chinese word means the same. O'clock is dian zhong 点钟. Zhong means the middle as in Zhongguo 中国 (China) ~ the Middle Country. But of course it's a different zhong. But the phonetic 中 lurks to the right hand side of the other zhong 钟 ~ nobody can say Chinese is not phonetic. It's just not an ABC. It is phonetic though.

I've sorted out my state benefits at LAST. I had to run about getting proof of this that and the other. Deshane the support worker needs these to prove who I am! Then I can eventually move house. And away from the London Borough of Unfathomably Evil, where I currently live and unwittingly moved not realizing I was messing my life up in so doing.

I am hoping to get a pensioners' bus pass soon.

I am less depressed than yesterday and a lot less than the day before and a hell of a lot less than on Monday. My sleep has shrivelled down to a mere 11 hours which is good for me. I'm trying to stay awake all day, to be good. Then sleep shouldn't hit me like a disease in the night, causing me to be unconscious at the wrong times.

Sorry this is boring. Everything is very in-between today.

I hope y'all are OK.

Illustrated: is a bathysphere really that comfy? I'd assumed you'd be cramped knees to chin...!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I WENT TO the damn group yesterday but it was no good, so I left. My shiny new worker did say if it's not for you it's not for you. I'm not up for talking to a room full of people I don't know. In NA you can say your piece or not say your piece, you can wander in and out as you please, you can arrive late and leave early if you like. And most NA meetings seem to be candle-lit these days. This group by contrast is glaringly lit, everyone is in a circle, so people can look you up and down. You have to "check in" (that is introduce yourself). Then they wanted us to speak again! I was not up for that, really not. There's no atmosphere of recovery in the clinic's own group. In NA I'm the dirtiest person in there. In this other group I was pretty much the cleanest. I don't need to be dragged down. I want pulling UP.

I'm taking that risperidone because weirdly I do feel better on it than off it. It's not like antidepressants that take a week or more for even the first stirrings of a mood change. I always responded to antidepressants quickly. That was the trouble. Within 2 weeks I was often high. Not normal but high. I loved this so much I kept it quiet from doctors for years, knowing it probably meant "bipolar". I was terrified of the word "bipolar" so I suffered depression using nothing but heroin. Heroin seemed to work at the time, though I suspect it counteracted depression in the short term and definitely stopped me cycling, it actually kept me in the depressed mood state. I'm now very cynical about what "benefits" heroin might have brought me. I am sure I would be better off if I'd never tried it. Schizoaffective by the way means bipolar that gets psychotic enough to count as schizophrenia. So I think of myself as manic-depressive. There's another type of schizoaffective that only involves depression and that's said to be more severe. The mania actually counteracts some of the schizophrenia, because schizophrenia makes you very apathetic, disorganized and withdrawn. I'm withdrawn in that I hardly socialize. Professionals I have talked to in the past have been fooled because I was more articulate than a person with my problems is expected to be.

Today I have to clear out my rubbish yet again. I was doing OK until I went hyper, then gave up on the idea. Not by thinking "I can't be bothered" more by thinking of 10,000,000 other things that were more fun. Any elevated mood stronger than just borderline actually makes me more disorganized not less. Though I have tons of enthusiasm for many things, it mostly seems to dissipate ~ like spectacular fireworks ~ before anything ever gets DONE.

Script error on this page yet again. I think this computer has it in for me. My own machine is in hiding, waiting on a miniature screwdriver that I can't afford till Friday.

O by the way I tried drinking and I tried using gear on Monday, the day I felt worst. The gear did nothing to me and only after 3 drinks did I feel better. I'm not going back down that route. To alcohol and drug addiction. No thanks. So yesterday and today I'm clean.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mysteriously Better

I TOOK A PILL last night. My prescribed medication, which I have VERY mixed feelings about (side-effects). And today I feel nearly a hundred times better than yesterday. So either that's the placebo effect. Or the mood swing has bottomed out. Or risperidone really is that amazing. I have a GP appointment on Friday when I'm going to ask her to please switch me to quetiapine because I don't want a pill that's actually making me more anxious. She might say only the Psycho Doctor can authorize that. Or she might just gimme a script. I also need an ECG because my methadone could elongate my QT-interval (whatever that is) and the clinic need to know. This doctor also wanted some bloods done which I was far too paranoid even to contemplate yesterday. I felt it was some huge plot against me, or that the results would be used against me. Whatever happened I was bound to lose (I felt). Now I feel I was being STUPID. But the upshot is, no bloods have been done. Frankly I'd rather they sliced my leg open with a scalpel and collected the gushings than stuck me with needles all over. Because my arm and leg veins are now nonexistent. They could get one in my femoral (crook of the thigh, in deep) or my neck, two places I never injected. They call the femoral your "groin" which can cause some confusion as women are just as likely to inject there as men. If your femoral gets messed up you could lose a leg, which was always far more offputting to me than losing my life, as you probably know by now. I had an awful death wish for a long time.

I tried going to a group therapy session today. I did tell them I'd give it another shot. But I couldn't handle speaking to people I didn't know. I couldn't face it and so departed. The time before when I attended I said far too much, which is offputting as I feel like an idiot now. Not for any specific thing I said; just for having spoken at all. I was the happiest person in the room by a long way in that session, all hyped up. This time I was the most miserable person in the room, but not by a big margin. There's always a lot of misery in that room.

So I'm out of the group and on my own. I'm feeling OK. I'm just a bit down now. My mood has risen. Yesterday I was very down. My computer needs a hepatic infusion and is refusing treatment! No, there is a cable disconnect and the back needs unscrewing, which means me buying tiny screwdrivers from God knows where. If that doesn't work I haven't a clue what to do.

O man there's a script error on this page so I'd better hurry up and post before I get frozen out or logged out. It's soggy as a wet sponge here in London. Been raining all day. The river is turbulent and full of mud. Mrs Li is still teaching me to tell the time in Chinese...

Illustrated: quetiapine aka Seroquel..

Monday, August 22, 2011

Done in

BOTH MY COMPUTER AND I are done in. The computer has to go to hospital. I'm not going to hospital they would never let me in. So much for giving up drink by the way. I feel far more depressed now than I ever did when I was drinking. I crashed on Friday and have been sleeping endlessly ever since. I only feel bad when I wake up. I am supposed to be seeing Valium Marilyn today. Don't actually want to. She's depressive too. Together on a day like this we are like Laurel and Hardy with no humour.

I have to go to that shitty drug clinic tomorrow. They are persecuting me for being mentally unreal. Their job is to dish out scripts and let me go. They have no input in my life. I'm getting clean for myself, not for them. On the plus side I do have a new worker. On the minus side "better the devil you know" and they are a bunch of demonists in there. I'm not a criminal so they have no right to force me into anything against my will.

The latest thing is some blood test they want. Well good luck finding a vein. The titration nurse said to me "for all we know you could be dying" which only made me laugh. If only. If this my getting methadone truly is contingent on this mysterious test then I'll get it. Otherwise I'm not having no test for no-one. In this country we have a right to refuse treatment no matter how serious the condition. And I made a pact with myself long ago that if I'm ever seriously ill I will go for nothing bar palliative care. Being ill like that is a sign that I'm meant to die. And I'm not going to cheat fate.

That's all.

Illustration: the letterhead my drug clinic SHOULD use.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


MY COMPUTER AND I are both sick. The computer has some cable disconnection and says no disk drive is found. Even though it's right where it's always been. I have caught a common cold and I feel mentally ill. I spent literally all day asleep. When I went outside I couldn't remember why I was there. So I bought some fags and went back home.

That awful X Factor TV programme is back on. It's got worse and worse. Horrible new judges with "attitude". And lots of "exciting" quick cuts back and forth on the "VT". The British X Factor is just second place to the proper American one now, with Simon Cowell over there to do that and not ours because ours isn't important enough. Cheryl Cole's over there too. Does anyone in America know who Cheryl Cole is? She's a really good judge, and I don't think Tulisa from N Dubz or Kelly Rowland from Destiny's Child could ever take her place.

Dubz always meant "crack cocaine" in my neighbourhood. It's short for W, meaning "white", as opposed to B which is "brown" (heroin). The Dubz in N Dubz actually refers to NW1, the Camden Town postcode where the band is from. I think they did best in Dubplate Drama, this late night "urban" soap. They made better actors than musicians.

O it's boiling hot. O yeah I've got my coat on. I'm going to bed early tonight. I hope my computer will work in the morning. Otherwise I have to write this book on paper. Actually I was going to write the first draft on paper to focus my mind. I don't even own a printer and I need some way of shifting my words round, keeping what I'd previously put for comparison. I often find if you remember a sentence the way you'd written it before, the words remembered are better than the version you kept officially. Just as with lines of misquoted poetry: they're actually better than the poets' versions.

There's not much else to say. Mrs Li is still teaching me to tell the time in Chinese. The CD got stuck at 5 in the morning, blaring Mandarin sounds around the place like a psychedelic tangerine.

I've got to go; my cheerfulness is running out. I'm really exhausted.


...Fishy Friday on Saturday...

LOACHES were always my favourite fishes in the community tank; more for personality than looks.

This is a sucker loach. The cleaner of the deep. Like most loaches they live on algae, come out at night and are highly territorial, lurking moodily in any cave you care to construct out of slate or bogwood and thoroughly enjoying being out of view! If anything or anyone dares disturb them they can shift themselves with truly astonishing rapidity.

I used to have a Borneo sucker or hillstream loach. This fish lives in ultra shallow water and likes a stream of air against the glass. They're agile enough to be able to swim directly down the flow of bubbles, which replicates the splashing mountain streams they inhabit in real life. Nubia, our Borneo, used to sleep upside down on a piece of slate. Whenever I wanted a good look at her, I'd just pick up the slate and she'd stay stubbornly anchored.

Unlike ordinary loaches, which hold on to rocks or the glass with their mouths, the Borneo has a sucker almost the entire length of its body. Meaning that it can withstand extremely strong currents in the wild.

Easily the fastest swimmers in the community fish tank; it once took the fuming pet shop lady a full 20 minutes to catch the last hillstream loach between two nets!

My favourite loach of all is the reclusive kuhli. This strikingly stripey eel-like creature is only 4"/10cm long in adulthood. Rarely to be seen during daylight hours, they burrow under the gravel, only to emerge by the pale light of the moon (or your moon-effect nightlight).

The kuhli loach's expression reminds me of a certain member of my family who I once, at the tender age of 12, likened to "an old hornet" in an official document!

Kuhli loaches don't live long. They are very sensitive to water quality and only survive in well-tended, established tanks. My two both died... yet the Old Hornet lives on!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Many A Topic

IN WHICH GLEDWOOD talks on many a topic in a far happier way than yesterday... Then Barbra sings "Memory"...

I DIDN'T GO to the brainwashing meeting. I only rant, interrupt and express my wonderful opinions when I'm manic.
Then I come down and can't face the meeting again. So I'm too depressed and paranoid to go. So I stayed in bed all day and got up at 4pm. I wasn't lying there skulking by the way, I was fast asleep and ignoring my phone. I've learned to ignore it's chirps over the few days I've had it. This phone has the loudest ring of any phone I've ever had. But it's a flip phone AND you have to press the button to pick it up. So I miss loads of calls just by fumbling with it. And I'm too stingy to ring anyone back. Or in too much of a bad mood (today).

I have to go down Morrisons to get a 54p 2-litre bottle of cloudy lemonade. It's what I'm drinking these days instead of alcohol. I did have yet another black cherry flavour cyder today. That makes 2 drinks in 2 weeks ~ oooh. Yeah so I had this drink. The cherry flavour was my attempt at switching from strong drink to soft drink. It was meant to be a crossover. Unfortunately I loved the taste so much I think I was addicted to that more than the alcohol. So now I'm on cloudy lemonade. The acidity of the lemons matches the acidity of cyder. So my teeth don't miss out on being rotted through the lack of drink.

I'm really pissed off with Buta my old drugs worker. Buta was the titration nurse. Titration is chemical torture where they "cautiously" give doses far too small and leave you in withdrawal for days on end at the beginning of your script. Methadone takes three days to reach a therapeutic level (meaning that your blood level is twice as high on day three despite no elevation of the dose) ~ this is yet another bad thing about methadone. It takes days to "go in". But it also takes days to come out again. Making it far, far harder to detox from. Now if heroin is notoriously hard to come off, why on earth give heroin addicts methadone which is EVEN HARDER to detox from? Somehow I get the feeling nobody cares at all for drug addicts. Soon as I can I'm going on Subutex. But yet again we have a problem, because methadone is too "sticky" to transfer over from without doing two days methadone-free ~ ie two days climbing the walls. With heroin you just need 18 hours clean. Everybody who has done it says you basically go on heroin for four days and switch off that. The only other option is dihydrocodeine (DFs), which is so weak it must be dosed four-hourly. I've found a source of dihydrocodeine, so I'll get enough pills for four days and use those. Why on earth the clinic won't switch you to dihydrocodeine I have never understood. But it's just more proof that they don't give a damn about their clients. They only care for their own jobs. I already have two copies of the "how to make a complaint" leaflet. The way things are going, that formal complaint will go out sooner rather than later.

So I'm depressed today. I think sleeping has a lot to do with it. As soon as I heard that loss of sleep is a "symptom and a cause of mania" and that excessive sleep counts the same for depression, I have been sleeping as little as I possibly can, so I can be happy. Also sleeping is the biggest waste of time out there. I was hong-donging to Chinese until the early hours. I've learned to tell the time. I do know the numbers, but I hardly know them fluently. And they're not pronounced the way their transliterated. one is pronounced "ee", five is actually "oo", seven is "chi"... Surprisingly I managed to follow Mrs Li telling me the time on CD. I was really shocked. I was so depressed when I listened to it this evening. I must have felt how "normal" people feel, who don't truly believe they'll ever get far, when hearing a person blabbering on a Teach Yourself Foreign CD. Utterly hopeless. I'm only abnormal because I believe in myself, at least as far as picking up blabbery foreign tongues is concerned. Like I said, intelligence doesn't come into language acquisition; perseverence does. Half a BILLION Chinese speak Mandarin as their second language and they learn it through immersion. If immersion isn't possible, persistence will pay.

Anyway they say you learn a language by it being babbled out around you, but I grew up in Welsh Wales and got nowhere with Welsh ~ mainly because the teachers at school had never learned a langauge in their lives; they merely grew up speaking Welsh from the cradle. So we were never told "this is a feminine noun; that is an irregular verb" just "it goes like this". Which is like teaching mechanics without ever naming parts of the car! Teach Yourself Living Welsh (as it was called) explained all this to me and I got an A grade at GCSE. Had I relied on our teacher I doubt I'd have got better than a C. It was always my ambition to join the mother tongue set in Welsh but I never managed it. I was too thick.

The beginnings of my decline set in when I was doing my A Levels at school. These are the exams you take age 18. GCSEs are usually age 16. I did try and concentrate but my language skills were awful. Essays riddled with mistakes. Years of "tuition" and yet I still couldn't remember which words were masculine, feminine or neuter. In English I did OK essays on the "texts" we studied, but it was only poetry I was truly any good at critiquing. Already I was getting depressed in this period. During term time I felt fairly OK; it was during the holidays that it hit me. Every exam I took I got a grade lower than predicted. Then I took a year out. Rather, wasted a year out. Was more depressed then. And when I did finally go to uni, I was very quickly depressed out of my mind. The shrink I ended up seeing asked me constantly whether I was hearing voices. That should give you some idea of the impression I made on people, because I wasn't going into that office trying to create any kind of impression good or bad. What he saw was what everyone saw. I felt so dire when on my own that I ended up sitting in other people's rooms. I had nothing at all to say. My presence was only accepted because as soon as I got into cannabis (which happened very quickly) I brought a lump of hash with me everywhere so everyone got a smoke. That didn't make anybody like me, but they at least tolerated me.

It took twenty years from first seeing a psychiatrist to getting full bipolar symptoms. In the beginning I only got depressions. Then I started over-reacting to antidepressants, so I got called "manic" by somebody with two manic-depressive relatives. Eventually my mood started swinging on its own. Only the depressive swings were vicious. The highs were really nice. But then I went on heroin, which blanketed my mood to a flat-line so I thought my depression was cured. Then I went on methadone. But the methadone days were so intolerably low I continued using heroin for years while being scripted methadone. Eventually mania did break through so voraciously that heroin would no longer stabilize me. (Though I have to say this only began when there was a drought in the heroin supply and so no chance of scoring anyhow.) Ever since I went manic last December my moods have been all over the place. Deshane says I have the so-called "negative symptoms" of schizoaffective. It means I just cannot engage myself with many aspects of life. Yes I can do Chinese obsessively. I can do things obsessively. ButI cannot do many things normally. As a plate-spinner I'd have one plate going better than anyone else. But the other six spinners wouldn't even have plates on. Let alone wobbly ones. So this is how I run, or rather don't run my life. It's still in utter chaos but I won't go on about that. How did I get back on to mental health? Oh yeah because the clinic are trying to damage it by forcing me into abusive coercive brainwashing bullshit groups. Well I'm not going. Bar one next week which comes directly after my appointment I've had it with their punishment group.

Buta did tell me there was a way I could go to rehab for stabilization, not detox. Which means I could cut down my dose down to 70mls in about two weeks. I'd be up for that. In order to do this I would need to do their rehab group. I don't mind the idea of that one. Hopefully it wouldn't be full of people on a prison-swerve. The bog-standard group I was pushed into attending was for people who had been caught shoplifting. They only went under duress, because if they failed to attend more than a couple they'd get chucked in prison. Well they're lucky. I'd rather go to prison than do those groups. But what option do I have? The ways things are going I'm going to end up in the nuthouse anyhow. Guess what that CRAP they were prescribing me was actually CAUSING my anxiety. The anxiety I took street-bought Valium for. (Very infrequently, it has to be said; but one pill dirties up the test for two weeks.) So I'm OFF the pills and paranoid and depressed as a result. ALL I NEED IS A DOCTOR TO PRESCRIBE THE QUETIAPINE I WANT. But the NHS has let me down yet again. I don't even have a psychiatrist. They have transferred me from a consultant I knew and respected to no-body. My paperwork appears to have fallen down a black hole. So I'll probably only get quetiapine in the nuthouse. I could do with a break anyhow.

Why they just won't prescribe it to me I have no idea. Oh yeah because I used to have a doctor and now I don't. Will someone explain that to me please.

Well I've got to go. EastEnders is on. And they're doing prison scenes on Coronation Street. I love women's prison dramas. Why on earth did they cancel Bad Girls. When I lived with Lona, who kind of had mental health "issues" of her own, the two programmes we watched together (apart from EastEnders) were Bad Girls and Footballer's Wives. Footballer's Wives eventually got Joan Collins then they cancelled the entire show! It was the only thing about football (apart from the World Cup final) I've ever enjoyed watching. And the world cup final was more entertaining for France getting boo'd and Italy getting cheered. Because the French and the Brits hate each other ~ in a loving sort of way. Britain and France have almost equal populations. They have about five times more land. We have a superior language. They have high taxes for the rich, spectacular natural scenery and far better food. We have London. They have Paris. The best parts of London are far superior to Paris. They have Galleries LaFayette (all perfume and women's clothes). We have Harrods which sells just about everything. Harrods' pets department sells axotlotls and fishtanks connected by swim-through tubes. Their hifi department is amazing. It's the stuff you'd buy naturally if you had a proper income.

Did South Africa win the last world cup? I thought the African teams were only in there to make up numbers. World football is usually Europe vs South America. I feel sorry for Americans having to watch American football (a very camp version of rugby) and baseball (glorified rounders). Football is more versatile than American football because it can be played on just about any bit of flat ground with a ball. No special equipment required. I was actually quite good at football. When I troubled to make an effort at playing. Which I did about three times in my life. The main reason I hated it was that I was "supposed" to like it. Also I loathed all team sports in childhood. And I hated ballgames. Rounders/baseball is the worst. You're supposed to hit the stupid thing with a glorified pea-stick! No wonder I always missed. Most exciting thing about playing football at school was deliberately running to the opposite side of the pitch and avoiding the ball at all costs. The only sport I enjoyed was crosscountry walking (though we were supposedly running). The only sports I was any good at were the hundred metres sprint, the high jump, long jump and triple jump. Everything else I was crap at.

I can't remember where this post was going. Why am I watching Coronation Street? Oh yeah because of the women's prison. Best women's prison drama of all time was Prisoner Cell Block H (known by other titles in other countries; it's the 80s Aussie drama by Grundy Television). My favourite episodes were when Meg Morris (formerly Meg Jackson, until her husband was murdered with a pair of scissors by Chrissie Latham) and the governor (both the kindly witch old one Mrs Davidson and the lesbian gym mistress type... Ann Reynolds (not that I just looked that up on Wikipedia).

Oh cripes it's late I've got to go. Dà hǔ tóu fēng 大虎頭蜂!

(Say that to a Chinese person, I dare you. They'll laugh aloud. It means "giant tiger head wasp!")

Illustrated: beautiful sleep; "green" ~ yucky noxious methadone; the Welsh language; not tits and bums but manic-depressive mood swings; Joan Collins and Zoë Lucker in Footballers' Wives; cockney Chrissie Latham from Prisoner


I'm not sure, but this might actually be a real Barbra Streisand pop video...
Barbra's vocal knocks Elaine Page's effort out the window!


中文小毛足鼠 Chinese Roborovskis (etc)...


Roborovski hamster xiǎo máo zú shǔ 小毛足鼠 "little furry-footed mouse"

The generic word for a hamster is a cāng shǔ 倉鼠 a "warehouse mouse" (referring to the cheek pouches that get packed to near-bursting with grain)

The word for Syria is Xùlìyǎ 敘利亞 so a Syrian hamster is a Xùlìyǎ cāng shǔ 敘利亞倉鼠.

A dog is a quǎn

A cat is onomatapoeically a māo

A xióng is a bear.

A panda is a xióng māo 熊猫 a "bear cat"

A fish is a

A wasp is a huáng fēng 黄蜂 a "yellow bee"

Though you'd actually call a bee a mì fēng 蜜蜂 a "honey bee"

A bumblebee is a dà huáng fēng 大黄蜂 a "big yellow bee"...

A hornet is a mǎ fēng 马蜂 "horse bee"!

The word for a bee, fēng is pronounced the same as "wind" fēng as in fēngshuǐ 风水 fengshui ~ "wind-water"!

And that's enough Chinese (Zhōngwén 中文) for one day!

Zàijiàn 再见! (GOODBYE!)


VIDEO: a hǔ tóu fēng 虎頭蜂 "tigerhead bee" in East Anglia, UK!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Punished for Nothing

I haven't edited this wondrous stream of consciousness. It's all I thought in the past 24 hours...

IT'S 4:59AM I am too excited to sleep. I feel this constant low grade HAPPINESS in me. I am INSPIRED. My book is brewing up like a cup of tea with a charming Chelsea bun at its side. My Chinese is coming on better than Japanese ever did. I scored 10/10 on the last test. When I do make mistakes I can see where I went wrong. Instead of being bemused. I'm only on lesson 3 of 22. But it's quite remarkable I got anywhere. Mandarin Chinese sounds more bizarre than any langauge on earth. Far more foreign than other tonal languages like Cantonese (as heard in most Chinese takeaways worldwide), Vietnamese (as heard in war films) and Thai (as heard in Thailand). Thai is one of the most beautiful langauges on earth. Chinese of course has the most beautiful writing. I am learning the names of animals. So far I only know two: a 蓝山雀 lánshānquè is the "tiny tit" that flutters from birdtable to birdbath (a blue tit bird); a qiū or 泥鳅 níqiū is a loach; is another loach or mudfish; a 平鰭鰍科 píngqíqiūkē is a Borneo sucker or hillstream loach (I used to keep one as a pet). I love loaches; they are my favourite aquarium dweller. They skulk around the background of the tank and claim the bogwood as their personal lair. I always identified with our sucker loach Doover. We also had a stripey khooli loach, but that one died.

Talking of stripey nasties: Japanese hornets, at 2" long, the world's largest wasps, have been invading Norfolk! Hornets are called 虎頭蜂 hǔtóufēng "tigerhead bees" in China.

Polyglots of the past; polyglots of the present...

UKH I SLEPT IN IN IN so long I got up at 4pm today. This is the first major sleep I've had all week. I got up angrily stamped down the post office then crowded up the methadonery for my dose. I retired to the library and felt cold wet and paranoid for an hour as I waited for the nonexistent effects of methadone to come on. Anna Grace alwys says 140mg methadone made her feel lovely. Lovely enough to do coke on top. Well I've been on that dose and I can tell you to me methadone does absolutely NOTHING. You literally cannot feel it. Take it away and you'll feel the lack of it. But like marriage to a limp and sappy person with a good job, its presence is not noted though its absence is.

I'm not in a very good mood today because the drugs service are persecuting me yet again. Insisting that I go to their crappy drugs group which is nowhere near as good as NA. Nearly everyone is in there to be punished for committing a crime. And I who have done nothing wrong are made to suffer too. I'm really looking forward to saying this tomorrow. My big problem in groups is learning to SHUT UP. Last time I went I did 95% of the talking on the "client" half. I consciously tried to say a little as possible and yet still dominated every aspect of every topic under discussion [because I was too manic not to talk]. This pisses me off because I know the rest of them ~ who are in there to be made to suffer for raiding Sainsbury's, trading in stolen smoked salmon and other drug-related crimes ~ are tolerating my outbursts only because they have no option but to be there or sent to prison for non-attending. And they all probably think I'm a wanker, a twat, a dork. Stuff like that. Because I dare answer back with statements like "they only give us methadone because they know it doesn't work". This bloke who thinks I'm so perceptive an refreshingly frank will soon realize I'm actually like a stuck record. I WILL not accept a life on methadone as any kind of normality. It is compromise of the worst kind. I would rather be on a proper script, or failing that street heroin. Methadone is worse than either of these because it's MORE ADDICTIVE my habit is now WORSE than ever, more entrenched than ever. I'm only motivated to use heroin because they insist I drink the methadone under supervision, like a big baby. So the day that I'm not Supervised (Sunday) I take it late and do heroin early instead. It's more a fuck you to the clinic than anything else. And I will not "behave" myself just to make some lazy arsed worker look good on paper. All the progress I have made has been despite, not because of, the half-witted efforts of the druggie servies I have been plagued with.

21:42 hrs. WHAT WAS I ranting about there? Something very involving, no doubt. I'm so glad not to be DEPRESSED these days. My mood is just very slightly hyper, pretty much all the time, and I really like it like this. Of course I enjoy going higher and higher, but the consequences are surprisingly inconvenient. I get memory loss. Cognitive deficits. When I'm really high my thoughts run away from one another, like quicksilver exploding on a workbench. So I'll take a mild high any day over a severe one. If I ever get severely high again I'm going in the nuthouse. I'm not looking after myself like a frantic three year-old doing a trolley-dash in a toyshop ever again. I "know" I'm ill when I'm ill. I might not like to accept it, and I might view the situation very differently, but I'm aware that something is radically changed about me and that to a psychiatrist this is clinically significant. Of course when I'm manic I believe psychiatry is like a bullshit mystery religion where the doctors are high priests, medication is the sacrament. Nurses would be like deacons in a church. And the volatile masses, seeking relief from their emotional wounds come piling to the temple day after day, seeking absolution, resolution, evolution and a revolution. I think one reason some sections of the public have become disillusioned with psychiatrists is because they have gone to them for the wrong reasons, not to mention wildly unrealistic expectations.

Just seeing a psychiatrist is not any kind of medical treatment in itself. The psychiatrist prescribes treatment, which may be one of any number of talking therapies. Psychiatrists treat psychiatric conditions. Some such conditions cause mental pain, suffering or discomfort. But this is not to say that anybody in psychological pain, suffering or discomfort is in need of a psychiatrist or can be helped by them! In my experience, psychiatrists are pretty useless when it comes to "emotional problems". They're only truly in their element when dealing with psychotic illness that can respond to medication.

I'm so sick to death of talking therapies. What right has any professional to my personal feelings? Last time I had counselling I deliberately turned up late every time, in order to cut down our time together. Some days I just didn't go, as I resented having to declare how I felt when what I felt was SHIT and there was no explaining it. I don't believe the cognitive theory of depression explains all depression by any means. I vividly remember coming out of a depressive episode and being able to think "I'll go down town" without a sinking feeling coming over me. That is, when I was depressed, anything, any emotionally neutral thing that might excite, inspire or enthuse a happy person, gave me a sinking feeling, a feeling of dread, or desperation, or gloom. Or just despair. Going back into the depression these feelings returned. So it wasn't self-fulfilling prophecies, or predicting the future, or anything else cognitive therapists claim to cause depression. I felt depressed over the pettiest and most basic things. The feelings I had were independent of my thoughts, and I felt depressed over things that ordinarily bore no emotional charge. I'd love a cognitive therapist to explain to me how my thought process was making me depressed when I clearly remember the depressed feelings coming on their own. I didn't think "Oh I'll go to town" and then "but it will be a horrible experience; it's not worth going". That might be how I felt, but I never ever put my depressive feelings into such words. How can a therapist specializing in cognition battle something that wasn't cognitive? Depression is a feeling, not a thought. It's true that depressive thought patterns can become engrained. I once went nuts in a Nutter Club Meeting where this girl I liked complained that her counsellor had demanded she explain why she was having suicidal ideation when not depressed. I exploded that such ground-in thoughts are extremely common in recurrent depression and that any mental health professional should know this. This was another of those meetings where I dominated every discussion. I'm not looking forward to being punished FOR NOTHING tomorrow, forced to sit in a room full of surly shoplifters who are sorry only for being caught, who are victims of a repressive government that once prescribed heroin to addicts as a matter of course and now insists onn methadone treatment, a therapy that is unsuccessful in the vast majority of cases. When you're addicted to heroin, heroin is the only thing that makes you feel OK. Addicts aren't being unusually selfish in funding their habits; they're merely engaging in the fundamental human instinct to self-preservation ~ and yet they're being punished for this and forced to sit through sessions of brainwashing. Well I'm calling a spade a spade. The guy who does the sessions is very nice, so I will tell him what he is: a very nice brainwasher. There's no atmosphere of recovery in such "lessons" because nobody really wants to be there. Just as nobody really wants to be in rehab. They're only doing rehab because they got caught yet again and it's cushier than a prison sentence. Either that or they're just trying to get their kids back. You know ~ when the kids have been abducted by interfering social services. Probably because they didn't arse-lick or kow-tow to the social worker enough. So I'm off to be severely punished tomorrow. I'd much rather go to prison for 3 days than do weeks of these awful meetings. I think I'll tell that to the doctor. It's only fun when someone gets over-emotional, resents being told to switch their phone off, falls asleep, falls over, swears, gets into an argument with the invigilator or otherwise misbehaves. The actual content of the "course" is utterly predictable. That your brain is telling you that taking drugs is good because your brain feels good. That you can alter your habits and thinking patterns. That drug addiction is a cycle. Blah blah blah. All this is only of use when you have a genuine willingness to abstain. And then you're taking second best by going to these classes and not NA which is a hundred times better. So I'm jeapordizing my recovery just because I'm capitulating to an ignorant bullying system that doesn't care for my mental wellbeing one jot. Just wants to keep its own job and tick boxes on forms. THEY get promoted because of MY good behaviour. Eg not drinking. I'm angry enough with the clinic to drink on principal, to inject miniscule quantities of heroin and cocaine just to dirty up my tests and to give a breathyliser reading so I look dirty. I'm never ever going to act like a good boy for those patronizing bastards. See how they destroy everything that's good. By bullying me they only make me want to rebel. I don't trust them. I don't like them. I'm in safer hands with a heroin dealer on the street. Heroin dealers respect their clients more than methadone clinics ever do. Heroin dealers need their clients alive, to keep making money out of them. The methadone clinic just wants me out of their hair. Well they can spit on my grave. I'm totally sick to death of them. Ridiculing me. Patronizing me. Telling me lies. I can't wait to move out of this God-forsaken shithole I'm stuck in. To be away from this particularly noxious service. Even as drug services go they are particularly coercive and intrusive. Valium Marilyn warned me never to open up to them as they'd only use my own words against me and she was dead right. I have to get the hell out of this situation. I'd rather be in the nuthouse than attending brain-rotting meetings like this one I'm forced into going to. Any more of this crap and I'm making a formal complaint. My psychiatrist said that counselling wasn't a treatment he was recommending. Probably because he knows how much I hate it. Yet this place insist on it. I can't wait to get there and let rip with some home truths...

Illustrated: kuhli loach, one of my favourite tropical fish, though they always die; mass bullshitting session; furry entertainers; one-to-one bullshitting session ~ note the look on the therapist's face; the Hazelden Dual Disorders Recovery Book ~ I really wanna get hold of this... Something that might actually work FOR me not AGAINST.

... a really appropriate song...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Michael Jackson of Literature (truly BAD!)

IN WHICH Gledwood speaks of health and social issues and the Chinese language yet again as well as:~~~~~~~

MY INTELLECTUAL BOOK is brewing in me like finest beer. I can't reveal ANY points of plot, character or setting but suffice it to say it shall be the finest and most amazing book ever written. I have to big myself up. Let's face it if I levelled my ordinary standard of self-esteem at my book I'd think it the worst thing since unsliced bread! I am taking inspiration from Michael Jackson and Barbra Streisand. Two entertainers at the top of their game. When they perform a song, everybody else's version becomes redundant. I've always seen my writing as the way of turning the sour old lemons of my personality into artistic lemonade. And the sour grapes of my past into finest wine.

There shall be NO heroin in my children's book. No social problems. No divorce. No lesbian single parents battling the social worker. No miserable children passed like an unravelling parcel between parents at mind-wrenching "access" weekends. I might one day write about an unhappy child because I was one myself. But it won't be my first go.

Duta my druggieworker asked me the secret of my plastic surgery-style skin improvement. I admitted to her it's just a £3 tube of "soap with bits of sand in it"... Otherwise known as Facial Scrub. Use it five times in a row after not bothering to wash your face properly in months and the effect is as drastic (if not more so) than dermabrasion or a chemical peel on a rich and overpampered female. I would have imagined that exfoliants work better on male skin than female as men have tougher skin that needs smoothing. Take a look at a middle aged woman, compare her soft skin to a craggy old man's and you'll get my drift.

The recent London riots were fuelled by Facebook and Twitter ~ so Channel 4 News was claiming tonight. I'm a bit behind the time as regards both of these social networking sites I'm afraid. Twitter appears to be like Blogger with an extraordinarily stingy words limit (how could someone like me blog in 150 characters?). As for Facebook that is not a "blog" at all. A blog is an account what one ate, of one's bowel movements and what colour toilet paper they buy. A blog is linear. Not spider-shaped, as Facebook appears to be.

A 27 year old man died after being sprayed in the eyes with chili pepper then shot and tortured three times with an electrocution device. Now this is why so many people have grievances against the police. Not necessarily that they have been abused and nearly killed in this way, but that they know that in the wrong circumstances they might be. CS spray and Tasers are used against the mentally ill with impunity ~ usually in the name of bringing a "disordered" person to a "place of safety"! Torture them first, then give them the psychiatric care they need. And wonder why they have lingering paranoid ideation and issues of trust! Mental hospitals chuck people out far too early. I remember meeting a manic woman my doctor's car park. We were both pacing frantically. I because I was detoxing off heroin (on nothing) and so was slightly "agitated"; she because she'd just been discharged from hospital following a bout of psychotic mania. If this was considered fit to go home, what on earth was she like when she was "ill", I wondered. I heard an Indian doctor, who practises in India spouting off on the benefits of care in the community. But did anyone ever ask the patients what they want? Most long term mentally ill ~ and I'm talking of severe ongoing conditions here ~ actually prefer being in hospital to the cold wide world that shuns them so cruelly. But does anyone ever ask the mentally ill what they think? I think not. Tht's why I'm only half joking when I talk about a nice retreat to the nuthouse being easier to arrange and cheaper than a CitiBreak to Paris or Brussels!

By the way I found out my local psyche unit (and I have no idea where it's actually located) is a building on the grounds of a general hospital. I'm far less put-out about the prospect of going there now. It means when I go out for a ciggie break I can go for a wander amongst the population with broken legs, drips and haematomas and those who have just given birth. I once saw a man take his drip down to the smoking area. He looked like a troll dragging a parrot's cage.

Today I learned the numbers one to ten in Chinese they are: 一二三四五六七八九十 that's yī èr sān sì wǔ liù qī bā jiǔ shí. I had problems with wǔ, liù and especially. I am not very good with numbers, days of the week or months because there's little to visualize when you learn the word. I don't have a numbers brain. That's why I never pursued a career in medicine ~ my absolute ideal vocational job. I cannot describe how much pleasure I would get lancing and draining abscesses, cleaning wounds, not to mention banging up old ladies with morphine! Seriously I adore medical stuff. But I'm just too thick by far to get accepted on a medicine course because not only do you need A Level biology and chemistry (and if you don't have biology you need MATHS ~ ukh! ~ but A Level PHYSICS is a necessity. I'm absolutely lost with physics. The only subjects I was any good at were English literature, modern languages and law. Law, interestingly, was the only subject I was outstanding at. I'm only averagely good at languages and literature. I persevere with the language studies because they motivate and inspire me. You are, after all, only learning to speak, listen, read and write. I know I will succeed in Mandarin Chinese, not because I'm brighter than anybody else, but more persistent. Just remember that 500 million Chinese speak Mandarin as a SECOND language and you realize there really is no excuse for calling Chinese "difficult". Different would be the operative word. German, on the other hand, is not that different but extremely difficult. As is French. Every single word is male or female in these languages and the Germans have a neuter gender on top! Now THAT is HARD. Learning pretty pictures to go with every word inspires me to eat more Chinese food. And I love Chinese food.

I'm eating Asda's own Chinese chicken curry and egg fried rice. They've made the mistake all the supermarkets seem to make; they douse the curry in five-spice to make it Chinese. This is NOT what takeaways do. Why can't they just copy the takeaway? Every single time I buy frozen takeaway-style supermarket food I have to add my own monosodium glutamate. Indian food and most especially Chinese food without MSG is like nonalcoholic beer: a total waste of time. I absolutely love MSG and have just finished a half-kilo packet. I also heard somehwere it could have triggered my manic episodes. As mania and psychosis are linked to dysregulation of the brain's glutamate receptors. So whether Chinese food drove me potty or not, I'll probably never know in this lifetime, but it does make an attractive theory...


NIGHT OF MY LIFE (Freak Brothers mix)

Illustrated: Michael Jackson ~ didn't look so terrible with the original nose, did he?; the taser: officially sanctioned torture; Chinese chicken curry always contains onions and peas and lashings of monosodium glutamate!

Bipolar disorder and glutamate: research link
"The gene, GRIK2 (glutamate receptor, ionotropic, kainite 2), encodes for a glutamate receptor, specifically glutamate receptor 6 (GluR6). Glutamate is the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Terbinafine Hydrochloride

FINALLY I BOUGHT the right stuff for my rotting feet: Lamasil (terbinafine hydrochloride 1%). There was a 4g tube for £9 called Lamasil Once ~ as the name suggests just one application is required; then I realized Lamasil normal gives you 15g of 1% cream for £6.69 and even though daily application is required for a week, you're getting nearly four times as much medication for less money. So I went with that one. I had been putting Canesten (clotrimazole) on my feet. Strangely with no positive results. As Canesten is indeed an antifungal, but it's meant for ladies with yeast overgrowth "below stairs". I found my tube in a carrier bag full of sparkly body creams, pregnancy tests and essential oils... When I was buying live yogurt Valium Marilyn mentioned she used to put it on her do-dah from time to time; so I said, "don't the black cherries, raspberries and fruits of the forest come drizzling out during the course of the day? And what if you get a giant strawberry up there? You might die of toxic shock!" Marilyn, Dear Reader, was particularly Valium'd that day and didn't realize I was joking. So anyway my feet shouldn't be smelling like a dead toad this time next week.

I went to NA and shared exactly how much drugs I'm on. I didn't want to put this here because it doesn't sound pretty, but I've found myself using heroin just once per week. I'm not proud of this and do not understand why I insist on taking something I cannot even FEEL. But I do, or rather I have. I tend to use the past tense with heroin as between doses I have effectively given up, never intending to use that crap ever again ~ and am therefore psychologically clean. Next weekend (because it's always at weekends) I intend to just stay home and reason to myself that I feel exactly the same as when heroin's in my system. Ie perfectly normal, sober and straight. I feel next to nothing even as it IVs in ~ that's if I ever manage to get a vein, which is a near-miracle now. If I cannot feel that rubbish I might as well not be taking it. But you try telling a raving addict like me something like that. Once the bug to score has bitten me, nothing puts me off. Oh well, if I have it in me I might feel a LITTLE bit better, I reason. And can reason my way into hell. That's why I'm going to NA every day now. I think THAT might keep me clean.

They don't even seem to mind hearing that I had a "nervous breakdown". I don't go into immense detail but I do label myself a "manic depressive". The term "bipolar" disagrees with me. Or I disagree with it. My philosophy is as quoted in yesterday's post; my "illness" ~ unlike any physical illness like a collapsed pancreas ~ IS who I am. So if I sound like I'm defining myself through sickness you're right. Because the condition ~ which is a better and more accurate word than "sickness", which implies all is bad ~ confers energy, power and perception. As well as messing up my life.

I'm more and more inspired to write my intellectual story. I'm plotting in my head. This is FICTION we're talking about. I'm not up for writing memoirs about myself. There are enough people writing about heroin addiction and even more people writing about mental health issues. I want to write about something else. I have a gift for characterization which would be wasted if I confined myself to fact. Fiction gives me the chance to soar.

I think the most positive thing blogging has brought me has been the experience of writing for an audience. Rather than keeping journals in the dark, what I say is heard and remarked on. This has given me confidence to express myself. I know my writing is prosaic compared to some other bloggers and I do not spend all day agonizing over what word goes where (as you can probably tell). You'll notice that the really well written blogs tend to contain weekly posts and not daily ones. That's because nobody has the time to post five hundred words of highly polished prose daily. With me you get the rainbow-glinting mountain stream of my consciousness. That's on a good day. On a bad day it's the swirling polluted urban river in an over-industrialized former communist city! When I write fiction I really take care to polish what I write. I go in for a lot of onomatapoeia, assonance and alliteration when I write for children. This brings the prose alive without the need for over-arcane vocabulary. I have to write for the inner child in us all, rather than a specific kid. I don't actually know any children I can write for. I'm dead set on writing children's books because I feel I can make a contribution to that field. A lot of adult writing is over-garnished with sex, violence and generalized worldliness; and I'm weary of this world. I'd rather write for a more innocent time. I don't care if I'm called twee for doing this. My story will probably NOT feature lesbian single parents, children's homes or divorce. I had a hunt around WH Smiths ~ Britain's biggest bookseller ~ and realized my ideas are unique. And that's inspired me to go on. I don't want to be a me too, somebody writing in the style of another, more established author. I want to be the first ME. If my writing can be half as unique as I am, I'll blow the competition out of the water! The field is wide open and just asking to be shaken up by a New Voice. And I have such a lot to say. I'm plotting my book (a full-length children's novel) as we speak... Full length for children means 20,000 to 35,000 words. It's for 8-12 year olds. The type of book that would be illustrated every few pages by someone like Quentin Blake (if only!) My Mother assumed I had in mind a picture book. No! Children do read novels. I used to. Anyway this is all I have to say on my project. The great thing about novel writing is that the talking and the doing are one and the same. You tell your tale to the page. Which means revealing almost nothing about it to anyone. If they wanna know my story, they can read it!

Righty-ho it's five to eleven and I'm off. Take care y'all....

Illustrated: Lamasil (terbinafine 1%); Jogobella fruits of the forest ~ my favourite live yogurt at 79p for 500g; lithium; NOT the kind of book I'm writing...


live studio session

PS THIS is why I am so into German. Look at the GDP of $9.5 billion compared to $6.7 billion for Spanish with all those hundreds of millions of speakers...

Skip paragraph One

Ignore paragraph one in italics if you're fed up of my anti-methadone rants; the post starts in paragraph two:~~~~~~~~~

I WENT TO NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS last night. There was a very manic atmosphere in there. People flying on being clean!
I went and told someone my methadone dose and he repeated it out loud several times. I'm not proud of being on over 100mg. In fact I'm ashamed of it. Methadone is the devil's drug. If I won the lottery I'd get a proper morphine sulphate (pills) script. You can't inject the pills by the way; they're deliberately formulated to be sustained release. I've never injected pain pills (oxycodone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid) or morphine in my life. Why bother when street heroin was cheaper and stronger ~ which it was until late last year. Now it's not worth bothering with. I've dabbled twice since officially giving up and the result was so disappointing I didn't even feel like I'd used. Just dirtied myself up test wise and yet stayed effectively clean. Worst of both worlds, in a sense. If I couldn't get morphine pills on prescription I'd go back on street heroin in preference to methadone. That says a LOT about methadone. I'd rather reduce down myself to £1 a day then come off using Subutex. You CAN'T switch from 110mg methadone to Subutex because methadone is such an evil drug. The withdrawals are worse. It's more addictive. Methadone has nothing to recommend it. I can't believe my living mediocrity as a methadone addict. It's too depressing for words.

I washed my clothes today and was hypomanic in the launderette. At first I thought I'd had a drink because I felt drunk. Then I realized I'd drunk nothing and was just in a "mood". My moods have been lunging and plunging all day. I got a new Where To Find and go to my second favourite NA meeting tomorrow night. I have to get there early; I'm fed up of missing the chair ~ that is a recovering addict's life story, the best part of the meeting. I couldn't stay long when I went last time; I was really too manic to sit still. Not to mention too paranoid. This was the meeting where the overwhelming smell of bodily fluids assaulted me so forcefully I fled to the street last time I was there. That was in January, when I was psychotic.

I'm not psychotic any more, so I'm looking forward to staying the entire length of the meeting. Over an hour. Wow!

I told everyone I'd given up drinking and that I felt ill enough to suspect my chemist had been watering my methadoses. I was either in withdrawal or simply sideswiped by an opportunistic infection that synchronized with my giving up drinking. It wasn't hypochondriac; I never realized any connection between no drink and farting like a whizzing balloon until the nurse at the methadone clinic pointed this out, saying I "shouldn't have stopped so abruptly". Well thanks for telling me AFTER the event. All they do is hack away telling you you drink far too much, even though I'd cut down from a peak of 30 units a day to 4 units a day (30 units a day was me bingeing when there was no heroin to buy in the Great Drought of last autumn...) Well I'm really glad not to be poisoned with alcohol any more. I loathed alcohol in my youth. How on earth I ended up drinking the crap I'll never know. Glance along the booze shelves in a supermarket and it all looks really attractive, but that's champagne, Advocaat, Dooleys, Baileys, liquers of all complexions (especially bright blue ones)... and what do people drink? Beer, beer and boring beer. I was always a red wine drinker. Yes I am middle class to my core. I only went on to cheap white cyder when I was already a heroin addict and so permanently short of cash. I only ever started drinking as Dutch courage for begging up change. I only continued drinking because it potentiated heroin. Heroin was my drug of choice. It all revolved round heroin. I only used coke as a "sparkle in my spoon" ~ again to jazz up the heroin. Coke in heroin was like sugar in tea. And like sugar ~ on its own it was pretty gruesome. Valium was taken as a cheap alternative to heroin, when I did take it. Only later did I take it more regularly and that was as an antianxiety/antimanic agent. Sleepers I took strictly to SLEEP. Not to hang off a lamppost on the high road, gurgling inarticulately not noticing the astonished looks of shoppers ~ at 4pm. No, benzos aside ~ and my benzo-popping was no more drug abuse than taking aspirin for a headache is drug "abuse" ~ my drugs all revolved around Heroin, the central point of it all. Some addicts say they were somehow addicts before they ever took drugs. Well I wasn't! I was an addict because I was idiot enough to try heroin. Anyone who persists with heroin becomes a heroin addict. So my addiction says nothing about me but that I was fool enough to kick it off by trying the shit.

In other words just from wondering whether the wedding is on or off ~ a person can develop a COUGH!!

Another highly intellectual song from Babs:


I took your advice earlier and am steeling myself for applying to work in this charity shop by my house. I have NO REFERENCES except the possibility that Deshane could referee for me. I couldn't ask the druggieservice. That would be obscene, having a methadone clinic vouch for me. For one thing if it were a proper service it would be a Heroin Treatment Service, for another thing telling your employer you're a raving methadone-head isn't a good idea. Even if that employer is a volunteer position with old ladies and half missing cruet sets, dinner services with a plate missing, pink stillettos and Ray Charles albums on vinyl peppered with Barbara Taylor Bradford paperbacks...

Right I'm off. Hope you all had a constructive day.

I'm DETERMINED TO SPEAK FLUENT CHINESE IF IT KILLS ME AND IT FEELS LIKE IT IS KILLING ME NOW. I can't say much more than 请坐!"do sit down" and 谢谢你!"thank you". When I finish that one I've only seven languages to go to fulfill my decalinguistic goal... (and my Mum thinks I have no ambitions in life!!)

I love this, where she bellows
why am I FALLING APART??!?

"True, a chemical storm is raging in the brain, but the analogy to the one taking place in the diabetic’s pancreas is totally misleading. Unlike diabetes and other physical diseases, bipolar defines who we are, from the way we perceive colors and listen to music to how we taste our food. We don’t have bipolar. We are bipolar, for both better and worse."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Clipped Wings (Still)

I'M still feeling like a bird with clipped wings, who should be soaring on a manic high and now, bar the vaguest tinges and little flashes of it, is reduced to sheer drudging normality and laboured workaday ordinariness. This is quite beyond the pale. I know now why I threw my antipsychotics out the window (metaphorically; the only thing that literally went sailing out of my window in mania was a PORK flavoured pizza ~ ukh. Only thing it was any good for was frisbeeing...)

The reason why is I enjoy being primary coloured, bright and brilliant ~ and that's how the manic state makes me not merely feel but be. You have to bear in mind the TWENTY YEARS I spent in various grades of depression (mostly mild). I was so accustomed to feeling depressed that people who "knew" me thought my depressed self was my real self. Which it most definitely is NOT. If anything I'm far more myself as a maniac than a depressive. Which might not say much nice about me, considering how inconsiderate, irritable and overblown I am in that state ~ but it is TRUE.

Of course I don't really think sick and disabled people should be shot. I only believed I should be shot for being a drain on my country and a disgrace to my family. I'm surprised they even want to talk to me. Then I get letters off my Mum saying I appear to have no goals in life at all. This is SO untrue. I am a serious student of Mandarin Chinese and intend to speak Japanese as well as French German and Spanish. All to mother tongue fluency. French is a really good language for those into reading books. German is superior in every way. Spanish is useful. Japanese is famously whacky. And if you don't speak Chinese you're not a citizen of the 21st century world, let's face it.

I just can't believe how LAZY I have been ~ to be NEARLY 40 and not even fluent in Chinese, let alone Japanese or Spanish. I really have been a wastrel. Of course heroin had a large part to play. First thing that put me against heroin was that it made me so incredibly lazy. But what was good about it was that heroin made life, for the very first time, make sense. Then again it made me weak and cowardly. I used to be very strong. Considering how strong-willed I used to be against my weirdo self. Everybody who knew me knew I was a weirdo. And you wonder why I talk about suicide!! Heroin was the only thing that made my warped personality fit. Even my psychiatrist said this when personality disorders were mooted.

Unfortunately I it no personality disorder except Cyclothymic Personality (ie bipolar lite). I have bipolar lite whenever I don't have bipolar heavy. That is I have a mood swing of some degree almost all the time. I only speak to my family between them, which means waiting weeks to call, sometimes.

My mother, who has "major depression" says she never feels fully 100%. This is called "dysthymia" (a mildly low mood). I heard that first degree relatives of someone with unipolar depression have a 25% chance of having a major mood disorder 50:50 recurrent major depression or type 1 bipolar. I would be type 1 bipolar (if I'm not schizoaffective). Schizoaffective disorder and type 1 bipolar are almost identical and the treatments for them are the same. So there's not very much in the name. Anna Grace has bipolar I and her symptoms and mine are nearly the same. Maybe I get a bit more manic than her, but she's on more medication damping that mania down...

Schizoaffective just means I meet full diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia when I'm severely manic. It means I have Kraepelin's "delusional mania" (which is actually marked by vivid hallucinations, not delusions, but that's what it's called). I've been reading Emil Kraepelin's Manic-Depressive Insanity And Paranoia to find myself. And I don't like what I found. He diagnoses me as a moody so-and-so with manic and hypomanic attacks on top. I don't think I ever get depression, not by the standards of the early 1900s. My depression is only a mild case. And suicidality can be a rational act of someone with nothing left to live for ~ even psychiatrists acknowledge that.

Note I'm not saying I want to commit suicide. My moritorium is on. I feel about 5% manic and not depressed. I was quite manic last night but the risperidone blanked that out, when I took it. I get the daily Risperidone Mood Swing where I feel it wearing off each evening, going higher and higher until I bosh it back and am damped down like a Sucker Loach in a community fish tank. Sucking on that glass, bored out of my brainbox (don't loaches and catfish get bored? Skulking about the community tank as they do...?)

If you're reading this blog and still wondering about my personality I'd say I'm like Phoebe from Friends. Hippy Dippy on the outside, hard as nails on the inside (if you think Phoebe isn't hard, watch Friends again and more carefully...) I've been told a few times that I'm hard. Always by people who didn't know me so well, now know me better. Always with a note of disappointment. I say if I were as soft on the inside as on the outside I'd be a fucking lump of jelly. Better to be a wolf in sheep's clothing than vice versa. Anyway there's nothing wrong with being hard. We live in a hard world.

I had a yen to test my alcohol resolve yesterday. So I had a can of weak cherry flavour cyder. The one I used to knock back because it was "mandy drink". Dear reader: it took me THREE HOURS to finish the lousy stuff and I still don't enjoy drink. It reminds me too much of sad-sacks street drinkers. I met one yesterday. A woman who was too vulgar for words and thought "I used to be like that". Ukh. I LOATHE the image of alcohol and drinkers it's untennably vulgar. The big reason I preferred drugs was that I hated alcohol and needed SOME recreational substance. Ecstasy was infinitely superior in my book. E made me feel like Buddha on a transcendental cloud of peace and love. Drink never did that for me. And I was never one of those psycho people who has a complete personality change after one drink and suddenly insists on drinking the bar dry. That's my big quarm with NA; they believe any drug of any description sets off the entire disease process again and I don't. I took drugs to feel better. Not to be off my head. Only terminal junkies are so far gone they want nothing short of general anaesthesia. Heroin gave me what I believed to be an enhanced ability to cope with life. Of course I ended up not coping at all. So heroin goes out the window too... I can't believe I'm dumping heroin. You have to be truly mad or desperate or both to give up a drug as efficacious as heroin. So maybe I have finally lost it. My dr does after all believe I'm schizo...

I've swapped alcohol for Morrisons' own cloudy lemonade; 54p for 2 litres ie 27p a litre or just over 10p a can. Very good value.

Notice no Barbra Streisand!

Video version:

I love techno choirs!

Sorry if this is yet another boring post saying nothing new; my life is boring and samey, but I do like this techno track..........

I get to see Deshane tomorrow. He's getting me a pensioner's bus pass. Wahey!!
OK it's a Disabled Bus pass but I hate saying I'm disabled. It means I'm scrounging off the state. Even though I found out I've been "disabled" for years. It's that fucking mania that disables me. Makes me too lazy for words. Schizo gives me avolition. Depression makes me not bothered. Add those 3 together and you have a wreck of a person who can blog about life yet never lives it. And that's that!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Glewood's foreign language rant

I HAVE just found out that my one book 2 CD Chinese course with its 1000 word vocabulary reportedly takes you to the European Council's Common European Framework Level B2, that's level 4/6 with level 6 as near mother tongue proficiency. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontenaity that makes regular interaction with native speakers a possibility without strain for either party. That remains to be seen!

1000 words isn't very much. Linguaphone courses teach 2000 words nowadays (it used to be 1500). Rosetta Stone levels 1-3 teach 1500 words (not very much for the £400 they cost). So 1000 words is just a higher basic smattering of day to day topics. Not "A level" (higher school certificate) standard. Which is what CEFR Level B2 is...

In A Level German we discussed nuclear disarmament, environmental protection and general politics. I don't see much of that indexed in Chinese. I think if you discussed politics in Chinese you'd get extradited!!! I've decided to wade through this book very slowly at 1-2 weeks per unit. There are 22 units. By the end I should read and write every word I know in simplified and traditional.

Simplified characters are, in my view, an exercise in fatuous vulgarity; but they are the standard now. So I'd better learn them. I just hope I don't get manic and start thinking of them; I might die of impotent fury. I mean why take the most complex and beautiful script on the face of the earth and DARE simplify it? That really is beyond the pale.

They should have simplified English spelling before they took their greedy talons to Chinese. English requires simplification in my view. I mean why is night spellt with a gh? It shoul be "nite". Or even "nait". Compound nouns sould be run together as in German. "Spellingmistake". "Pricetag" "informationbooth". It looks funkier and makes the language more intimidating for foreigners, who deserve to be confused.

What most English speaking natives appear rarely if ever to appreciate is that speakers of almost any other language can take for granted that a loud personal conversation on a foreign street ~ no matter how overheard ~ shall remain just that: PRIVATE. Not so with English!

Every bloody word you say, anywhere in the world shall be noted down and used against you. Of course this makes communication far easier and I'm not knocking that, but it would be nice sometimes, I think, to be able to converse loudly on foreign soil without the natives eavesdropping.

One tennis pro even got fined for swearing IN ENGLISH on ARABIAN soil!!! Who are THEY to tell us how to speak our language! That is an offence against freedom of speech. Not to mention highly intrusive.

Would a Czech tennis ace be fined for yelling "oh fuck" in his own language three thousand miles from home? I think not.

And here endeth the linguistic rant.

Illustrated: "horse" in traditional and simplified (vandalized) Chinese characters... be honest: which is prettiest? Clue: the one on the left.

I was talking about Mandy Patinkin earlier: here's his duet with Madonna:~~~~~~~

"Mandy is NOT short for Amanda as I had assumed, but for MANDEL... DUR!!



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