HEROIN IS A DRUG TO MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY

THIS IS A BLOG ABOUT A LIFE WITHOUT HEROIN



Sunday, 17 June 2012

Mental Hospital!



YESTERDAY afternoon I ended up in a mental hospital! Locked in as well. I had a great time. My friend Pinky was in as punishment for paranoid ideation and hearing the voices of dead friends begging for her assistance. After a week committed to a private clinic with Sky TV (the full package with all the movies and wildlife channels), single rooms for all, and a wide range of refreshments including capuccino and cocoa. All on NHS money. After the psychosis abated, her consultant allegedly declared: "We still can't trust you," and had her transferred to our local nuthouse, where she is ordinarily interred. Two weeks later and she's still not even allowed out ot get a packet of fags from the shop on the corner.

By yesterday afternoon I'd only had seven hours sleep since Wednesday. Physically I was becoming absolutely exhausted, my eyes burning thanks to being constantly open all that time.

But in mixed company I perked up immeasurably. I've been on a natural high ever since finding out that I was moving back to life, back to reality, back to civilization. Pinky thinks I'm going hyper again, because I was extra cheerful, babbling on and on in a loud voice...

We smoked loads of cigarettes and then I met the maddest woman in there, in dark glasses with a tea towel on her head, totally mismatched clothes and a black smudge on the end of her nose. This was Pinky's famous manic friend Margery, who once tipped a can of blue paint over her head, wandered into a pub and tried to get someone to buy her a drink and was surprised when the police ~ the real boys in blue ~ came steaming in to take her to hospital!

I got rid of the smudge for her and asked why the tea towel and she said she's turning into an Arab man.She also said she was having Sting's baby, that her mother was the Virgin Mary and that she thought I was Art Garfunkel in disguise. This prompted a tuneless rendition of "Bright Eyes". She kept asking for the Gap hoodie I had on and gave me a women's purple duffle top. It was way too short in the arms anyway. Pinky was trying not to laugh her head off. It didn't exactly suit me.

When I asked Marge whether wandering about in one flip-flop and one white stilletto wasn't a bit inconvenient, the entire TV room broke into cackles. We would have gone into the quad for a cig, but Marge says the snipers make it too dangerous. She wants a DAB radio walkman.

At 7pm we got free tea and Rich Tea biscuits. The nurses took all the best ones to gobble in the "fishtank" ~ their "nurses' station" hideout. Pinky had a chicken salad sandwich and strawberry yoghurt. I had pea-and-mint tortelloni with cheese. I'd brought in my own packed lunch. Pinky was in a bad mood because she'd been waiting all day to see a doctor ~ I mean, seeing a doctor in hospital shouldn't be THAT complicated. She had itchy private parts yet nobody cared.

The nurses crowded closely in their nurses' station munching on fruitcake, pretending not to notice patients' calls for help. With attitudes like that, I'm surprised they can be bothered showing up for work at all.

The atmosphere in that place was markedly different to the men's ward. A lot more bitchiness and petty squabbling. When I first walked in, a young black girl was pinging to and fro in agitation, loudly ranting on how terribly she felt she had been wronged by her confinement in this locked psychiatric ward. Pinky said such behaviour is more tolerated here, whereas on the men's wards anyone with mania or any type of psychosis who happens to lose their temper, however justifiably, is a candidate for instant "rapid tranquillization" (which entails being wrestled to the floor by ten nurses, having your pants pulled down and a needle shoved in your arse).

There was a locked punishment ward round the corner where ultra stern staff watch six foot six twenty stone (280lb) psychotics to ensure no cigarette lighters are passed through the chainlink fence. My nonviolent friend was confined there for a week some years ago to "teach him a lesson" ~ probably for inconveniencing the nurses in some way. I was horrified when Pinky revealed this was actually a MIXED ward where she had been locked in a couple of times. Not even allowed to light your own fags and subject to constant sexual advances and bullying from dangerously mentally ill men who are only in there because they lost control of themselves and/or cannot grasp the consequences of their actions.

Most of the men in the punishment ward are over six feet tall, and they're in there basically because the nurses on the "normal" wards are scared of them. I think it's ridiculously unfair confining a woman in such surroundings.

You'd think that mental nurses were empathetic, caring people due to the job they do. But that's not necessarily true at all. Many of them just do not care at all.

When I finally left, three hours after I came, loads of people said goodbye who I hadn't even talked to. I seemed to make a big impression. (I wonder whether it was a good one (??!)

When I got home after 8pm, eyes burning, legs acheing, so exhausted I felt I could not go on, I was convinced I would sleep the second I sat down. But no! Sleep still eluded me and I didn't drift off till one a.m.

Then I woke up at six, poured half today's methadone down my throat. Woke again at nine, frozen cold. Not having remembered to pack a breakfast bowl, I had to pick at my chocolate Shreddies (£1 a box at Sainsbury's (special offer)) from a coffee mug.

Normally I'd watch Judge Judy in front of the fan heater to get me moving on such a chill morn. But at this place I pay my own electricity and gas. Come winter I'm investing in an electric throw from Argos which runs on pennies rather than pounds. I don't care how cold it gets, I'm not heating my flat if I have to pay for it.

When something seems to good to be true, it usually is. Energy bills aside, this is probably my nicest home ever. When I've sorted out TV reception this place will be perfect. I just hope I'm here for the long haul. I couldn't bear to get transferred yet again. Something tells me that is exactly what my landlord is planning ...

The internet shop is shut, so I'm at the old one a few streets down, where Gledwood Vol 2 was born! So the circle is full to completion. Next stage: get a life back!


Illustrated: locked ward, as pictured in The Lunatic Express blog ...

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

ok,is it just me or is the quality of gear in london still crap..?No really,am being forced into abstinence thru sheer unavailability of anything decent to smoke...Oh and congrats on your amazing reduction gleds,you are doing so amazingly well!Nice one.
Annie x

Gledwood said...

The gear seemed to have got BETTER more recently but that MAY have something to do with coming down to 20mls a day...

After that drought let's face it the gear just has not been the same. My googling a few years ago to try and find out average street purities came up with consistent answers saying 40-50%... meaning that if you took a G a day that's 400-500mg diamorphine. Methadone is said to have a 1-1 or 4-1 equivalent to neat heroin (4-1 meaning that a 400mg diamorphine habit could be covered by 100mg methadone)... but anyway, no wonder methadone just didn't hold me for so long, especially in the early years when I'd take the 60mg trying to be good and barely half a day later was clucking again and would have to buy a £10 bag... which miraculously held me all day!

I don't know what the purity is now but it can't be anywhere near what it was back in the "day"...

I mean I used to check any new B I bought by sticking my nose in the bag and seeing how strong it smelled. Now it's not how strong but whether it smells of B at all ~ that's how crap it's gone.

I was talking to the new clinic about switching to Subutex. I don't think it's going to be easy, but I think I'm going to have to do it. The methadone reduction's just getting too hard and it hasn't been holding me properly at all. One thing about Subutex: reducing it is really really easy. It's just the switchover that's hell. And that's another reason I wanted to be on as little methadone as possible. Although they say 30mls maximum, it's supposedly a lot easier switching drugs if you're on less than that, so I'm going to try to get down to 15... And of course you supposedly can't use on top of the Subbies... When I was on them some years ago I never even tried so I don't know how blockaded I was. But I was told by a titration nurse that it takes 16mg Subutex to blockade gear and I was only on 10 so maybe after all that the gear would have worked all along. Back then, I did brilliantly for a while... and then the urge to relapse struck me and I did... And Subutex was history :-( At least I learned there was another option out there. It makes you feel a LOT more clean than methadone ever does. And that's another thing, the worker at the new clinic said if you're on really low methadone it's psychologically easier going on Subutex because you're not suddenly blasted by an overwhelming feeling of clarity and awakeness which is just so weird... Uhhhh is any of this strictly relevant to your comment? I think not. Ho-hummmm Thanks for commenting, I hadn't heard from you in AGES ... ;-)

Anonymous said...

It's encouraging to hear your story! I'm glad that you've been able to cut your methadone back, I know it's not easy. In my opinion subutex is alot better than the methadone but don't be fooled into thinking it's easy. Subutex is a BITCH to come off of. It really blows my mind that the best solution for an addict wanting to get away from addiction is to just become addicted to another type of drug! Have you ever heard of ibogaine? It's still illegal here in the States but I'm not sure about London. If it is legal there or somewhere close, I definitely encourage you to research that option. One injection, one trip in a supervised setting and withdraw symptoms and urges are reportedly gone! Well good luck continuing your journey! It can be done!! Thanks for sharing your story to encourage others out there seeking help! :)

smackhead said...

you should see some of the shit you get in capetown-i promise youll never complain about any gear ever again
closet-junkie101.blogspot.com

Akelamalu said...

Aside from the food the place where your friend is incarcerated sounds horrendous!Glad to hear you're settling in your new place.

Jeannie said...

Hey! Somehow I lost track of you for ages but I've found you again.

The mental ward doesn't seem like the place to be to get better does it? hmmm

Good luck in your new home. I hope it lasts for you.

Also, I'm Canadian and we smoke marijuana without tobacco. You just don't smoke as much. So we use a pipe or roll "pinners" (very skinny joints) if you don't have a crowd of people. Hash oil would be spread on a cigarette for smoking though.

Gledwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gledwood said...

ANON: I managed to cut down Subutex (but not come off it) without feeling anything at all... maybe it's just a case of diff'rent strokes for different folks... But I found it really easy. And it made me feel really "clean"; and made my sense of smell return with a real disturbingly vivid vengeance...

Ibogaine is LEGAL here in the UK; it's not that popular though I know a guy online called Syd, who detoxed using it...
http://heroinjunkie.blogspot.co.uk
Did you detox on ibogaine then? What was the injection then? Sid said he got the ibogaine root, plus a sachet of the ibogaine hydrochloride powder... I suppose you could inject that powder, but by all accounts ibogaine makes you feel really weird; I'm not sure you'd want it rushing into your system that fast being as it makes you pukey and delirious and heavily stoned and all...

I hope my blog does set a good example; I'm just not sure that it does anymore... (or (for that matter) ever did!)



SMACKHEAD: I heard they got China White in South Africa... or is it just heavily adulterated China White as an alternative to heavily adulterated "B"..? One of my less trustworthy dealers (so I only used him in cases of emergency) once got some A-grade white heroin during a drought in the early autumn of 2008. It was so powerful it knocked my feet from under me. Next day I scored some more but by this time the perfect rocks of white had turned into a powder with something so weird it looked like little brown flakes bobbing up and down in the works... talk about shitting all over the elixir of the gods!! ... Well anyway I'm really glad not to live in Cape Town!

I was a closet junkie for "years"... actually, looking back, it was probably for a year and a half, if not one single year. Technically I wasn't a junkie back then, and hadn't the slightest intention of ever becoming one, but I was a repeat heroin-experimenter who got the crusties to score for me, and sneaked back to my respectable middle-class house with the bag of mysterious "B" to smoke its mystic-odoured fumes in secret and private in my locked room... The landlord only found out when I was a roaring junkie, often spotted begging outside the local shops, who looked and smelt like trouble, had severly dodgy looking friends and was basically too heroin-addicted for words... And that was about two and a half years after I started... But that's just the way it goes ...



AKELAMALU: I know I didn't realize how bad I'd made it sound till I read it back. All was true. Sure, I conflated events to fit them all in, but everything that I put was right: nurses hiding in that glass-paned room, not bothering... I think partially it had to do with their patients repeatedly making silly or bizarre requests of them but what excuse is that for being a lazy mental nurse. Silliness and bizarreness are just par for the course in that profession, I mean... what else do they expect...??!?



JEANNIE: Hi Jeannie. Long time no see!

Getting better in the mental ward? No. That's a big reason why I didn't want to go there when I was so ill; I couldn't handle being so extremely paranoid and having to put up with flak from the nurses, whether it was "couldn't be bothered" or plain "unprofessionality" ... to me it would come across as flak. Also I knew I would be without question the craziest person on the ward, for a few days at least and with my mood fluctuating enough day by day to give me glimpses of insight into how badly off I really was, I just couldn't have handled knowing how severely ill I actually was; know what I mean...?

New home: yes I really hope it lasts too!

OK I thought they did something different in North America re the cannabis-smoking. I've never actually seen hash-oil here. If you did want hash-oil it would be quite a mission to find it!

Hey I just realized "we smoke marijuana"... does that include you??!?

:-)

m0shii said...

I loved my week in the psych ward as well... Except I didn't get to smoke! A cute nurse woke me up every morning with my meds and a fucking patch.... It would've been perfect if I'd been able to smoke. .....

Hope you're well now

Gledwood said...

Not allowed to smoke? How inhumane! Couldn't you smoke out the window? The one I went to 3 times in one year had really wide windowsills you could stand on to smoke cannabis into the great black yonder of the night... I'd assume people on that ward, which is upstairs, so no courtyard access, would do the same with cigarettes nowadays...

I'm fairly well. Except I think I was hypomanic this week. Especially on that mental ward. I felt so excited and looking back I don't even know why!!

The patients were really entertaining though, especially teatowel Marge ;-)

Gledwood said...

Moshii Moshii, why don't you follow this blog? Barely anybody does. Go on! Add

http://gledwood4.blogspot.com

to your browser thing. Then it'll look like I'm more popular and exciting than I really am...

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

Gledwood said...

:-)

maddawgzy10 said...

heheeh i on methadone to :) in australia

maddawgzy10 said...

hi i am on methadone to in OZ hi :))))))) fk did this post????