HEROIN IS A DRUG TO MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY

THIS IS A BLOG ABOUT A LIFE WITHOUT HEROIN



Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Still deaf... and a post on drugs, addiction, heroin, crack and mephedrone (meow meow), psychosis, depression, bipolar and other aspects of post-addiction mental health ...

THE "MENTAL" SECTION starts after the ***asterisks***...


BECAUSE of my infected ear and continuing deafness, I have made a second doctor's appointment on Friday. Thursday was out becauseI've a hospital appointment with the Consultant who will hopefully explain to me why I am growing a left breast and turning into a woman. I found out last week that my regular GP is still in training. She told me my eardrum is most definitely not ruptured, but seemed surprised that I was not in pain due to the extent of the infection. My hearing in that ear is very muffled. I have tinnitus loud enough to hear when I'm out and about during the day ~ above the traffic and even above the hubbub of screaming little brats and foreign students who come into the library for the free internet. I remember a time when the only type of communication permitted in such places was stage-whispering and even then one was liable to being sternly shushed. I have to say, I find whispers ten times more annoying than murmured conversation. Neither of which I would probably be able to follow in my current state of decrepitude. I dropped the wallet containing all my plastic cards today and didn't notice. Thankfullly I found them all scattered across the floor in my doorway. Had I dropped them out of doors I wouldn't have had a clue. I definitely need this ear treated. The warning noticed on the products I have been using are doing my head in. Otex (peroxide drops) for breaking down my ear wax are not to be used in cases of ear infection, which stressed me because although I felt no pain, I did suspect an infection, but had no way of confirming whether or not this was the case. Gut feeling said I was infected, and the doctor of course confirmed this. The present antibiotic spray insists it is not to be used in cases of perforated eardrum, which the doctor says I haven't got, but instinct tells me I have. So I've goto to wait three days to find out whether I've been inadvertently harming myself all the more. A quick Google on the issue told me that use of the wrong spray can actually cause nerve damage! The doctor's first choice wasn't even available and won't be stocked anywhere for at least two weeks. The dark side is telling me I won't ever get my old hearing back, so I might as well learn to live with dropping crucial possessions, mishearing and not hearing, and the sensation that half my head is stuffed up with damp and putrefying worm-wriggling cotton wool.

 Even if the infection does miraculously clear by Friday, I'm afraid the deafness won't. I'm wondering when it ever will.

 A drug-dealer called about an hour ago. When I said I didn't want his wares I'm sure he called me the c-word before hanging up. But even in my good ear, my hearing is so bad, I'll never know ...

Instead of wasting another £20 with him, I went round Morrisons for stuffed pasta and cheese, cod in parsley sauce with finely chopped broccoli, chicken saag (that's Hindi for spinach) masala and naan bread, Heinz baked beans and baby Hovis wholemeal bread and cloudy lemonade (contains acesulfame K and aspartame on top of sugar, but barely any soft drinks I know don't...) and so on and so on. Two full-to-the-brim carrier bags for £21.50.

Then into the library and a perusal of Christopher Ciccone's Life with My Sister Madonna, a memoir of unmatched bitterness. Starting off as her backing dancer, then "dresser", a job he says entailed little more than picking her sweat-drenched underwear off the floor, he went on to design interiors for her multiple homes and to help plan her world tours. The book is a catalogue of Madonna's inconsiderate behaviour. The biggest irony is that her marriage to the British film director, Guy Richie, that put the biggest wedge in their relationship, was all but over by the time this book was published. he took the money ~ and surely it was a six-figure sum ~ and any chance of a reconciliation with his sister was permanently scuppered.

This gradual methadone detox of mine ~ five days ago I dropped from 25mg a day to 20 ~ is going too fast. I have constant indistinct cravings for heroin and, contrary to my resolution, have used it after the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, twice. So I'll think back to this year as "the time I was giving up heroin", rather than the time I gave it up. Ho-hum...

I know I cannot use on top of such a tiny script . Any use of heroin now is helping me mess things up royally. I can't get my head round the fact that I can never take that crap ever again. True, I'm falling out of love with the "B", as we call it here, more and more as the weeks sail by ~ but the relationship is never over. Long ago I got my head around the fact that "your last hit is the one you never take" ~ meaning that for the rest of my life, heroin shall probably remain in the category of Unfinished Business ...







*******

Then again, I have an enormous collection of drugs relegated to the trashcan of times past: Ecstasy, magic mushrooms, ketamine, crack ... every mindbending substance in fact, bar heroin. Actually, if the druggiepixie could magic them into my hand, none of these substances, with the possible exception of crack, because I only gave up regular use three years ago, and because most of the dealers sell crack as well as heroin and because most hard drug addicts in this country are actually more into crack than heroin, if the truth be told... none of the old drugs are any temptation any more. The last time I took anything remotely like them was when a heavily personality-disordered acquaintance [he had borderline personality disorder] sorted me out a free sample of some candy-odoured white powder he declared to be a "legal high". If it's legal it can't be any good, I opined. Oh, this is great stuff, he assured me. But he was very vague when I tried to find out what it was called. it's like E and coke without any comedown, was as much as he would say. Thee-and-a-half minutes after snorting a weighed fifth of a gram in two nose-burning lines, I was already high with a euphoria that climbed and climbed for another twenty minutes, plateauing out for three hours, then gradually diminishing to leave my feet back on the ground. it was like Ecstasy, except with a real kick to it that MDMA lacks. Incidentally, it's this quick kick that tends to make drugs more addictive. I felt weird for days afterwards. Then I found out it had been 4-methylmethcathinone ~ mephedrone, which is a chemical cousin of the intoxicant in the Somali chewing leaves known as qat (or khat) ~ hence the media-invented street name "meow". Mephedrone was banned by the British government in April 2010 ~ too late for the man who had supplied me. Trapped in a cycle of escalating compulsive self-administration, he'd developed a florid paranoid psychosis. Allowed out of the psychiatric ward for "a walk", he'd ended up at the King's Cross tube station where, following a suicidal impulse, he flung himself in front of an underground train and died. Crippled by loneliness and a dearth of mephedrone following the ban that April, his best friend (my friend "Perky") who had a history of speed psychosis and post-opiate withdrawal depressive psychosis, locked herself away and took all the psychiatric medication and all the methadone she could get her hands on, all at once. And she was found dead in her room.

That's two people I know who were killed by a "harmless legal high". Just knowing that has been the final nail in the coffin of my Chemical Mystic Years. It's no coincidence that I think that if anything kindled the full-on psychotic episodes I had last year, it was the psychedelic and Ecstasy-type drugs with which I experimented in my 20s that caused the damage ~ not the heroin and crack to which I was addicted in my 30s. I believe the psychological damage caused by heroin takes the form of an acquired weakness. Just as a healthy person who confines themself to a wheelchair for ten years will gradually waste away, eventually becoming unable to walk; so a person who relies on heroin to survive life will become psychically vulnerable, so that predisposed individuals put themselves at risk of psychotic episodes in the months after heroin and/or methadone detox. I went psychotic after the switch from heroin to methadone (proof, if any more were required, that methadone is no true substitute for heroin). My late friend Perky, spiralled down into psychotic depression after giving up the methadone ~ several years before she finally killed herself, having relapsed and  ended up on methadone yet again. I've haerd of a lot of people who developed psychotic illness after coming off opiates. This seems to be because bipolar disorder and schizophrenia tend to first become manifest in the late teens and early adulthood ~ precisely the same time a person is most likely to incline towards drug-experimentation. Opiates do seem to have some antipsychotic effect [see links below], meaning that in vulnerable people, the mental condition can remain masked for as long as opiate addiction continues. When the opiates are withdrawn, the severe mental illness ~ which was always there in the background ~ comes blazing to the fore, giving the impression that heroin or methadone caused this illness, when in actuality they held it back for many years.

Many of the life stories I've heard in NA talk about severe mood swings in the first few months lived "clean". But this doesn't mean every newly detoxed addict is "bipolar". Classic full-blown type 1 bipolar disorders involves swings from clinical depression, where appetite and sleep are markedly affected ~ not just mood ~ to clinical mania, which usually has psychotic features along with the other hallmark symptoms such as severely racing thoughts, extreme distractibility, physical agitation and/or hyperactivity (which means it's practically impossible to do a 90-minute NA meeting without constantly going outside to pace back and forth and smoke cigarettes) accompanied by great garrulousness, grandiosity and/or paranoia and a marked decrease in the need for sleep, so that many manic people can go for days on end with no sleep at all. A truly manic person is very obviously "high" and/or extremely agitated and irritable. If you turn up to an NA meeting in such a state, people will naturally assume you're on something. They certainly did with me much to my vexation!

There is a less extreme form of bipolar, known as type 2, where the patient never develops full-blown mania but instead has episodes of milder hypomania, as well as clinical depression. This is the fashionable type of bipolar disorder that celebrities like Catherine Zeta Jones go down with. It never involves psychotic episodes and, in America at least, is often diagnosed retrospectively, without the doctor actually witnessing the patient in a hypomanic state. It is this type of bipolar disorder that many critics suspect is being overdiagnosed.

Bipolar ii is still far more severe than the mood swings experienced by the average recovering addict. Many addicts, in my experience, do suffer from "emotional problems" which are frequently both the cause and effect of their addiction. When these problems are extreme enough to warrant psychiatric attention, they tend to take the form of anxiety and depression, not psychosis. In fact, anxiety and depression, with a touch of obsessive-compulsive behaviour, is what I suffered from in the early years. I've always been prone to paranoia, too. Of course cannabis-smoking never helped there. I only smoke ordinary cigarettes today since I got addicted to the tobacco component in spliffs ...

Is it true, by the way, that Americans roll their joints with marijuana only? Wouldn't this blow your head off? I remember finding a big bag of weed in a nightclub. It happened to be lying next to the Aphex Twin, Richard James, who was DJing that night. I told my friend Tommy Tired "I've got the Aphex Twin's grass!" Of course I don't know it was his, or even whether the Aphex Twin has ever been into grass. Suffice it so say that Tommy, a heavy smoker, had run out of fags. So we went for a walk from Hoxton through the City of London (the financial district), puffing on incredibly potent skunk-only spliffs. I was so stoned I heard my most private thoughts reflected and echoed off the great glass panes of the empty office buildings. We got so "mislaid" it took hours to get home. that was the last bag of grass I ever owned, and that was back in 1996 or 1997. I'd already given up smoking cannabis on anything like a regular basis back in 1993.

Well, well, this has been a long post. If anyone happens to stumble across me at random, I'd love to hear from you. Please comment, even if just to say hi. You don't need to log in to comment; you can just click the name/url option, or go anonymous... Take care everyone.

And if anyone does know about ear infections, please tell ~ how long do they usually take to clear up? I haven't had one since the early 90s, and have no idea...




Heroin, Methadone and other Opiates as Antipsychotics LINKS:~
Morphine as an antipsychotic







*******


MUSIC:


DJ SAMMY: HEAVEN, STEVEN FOSTER MIX
This is quite a nice bit of trance...




GRACE: NOT OVER YET, TRANCE MIX

29 comments:

bugerlugs63 said...

Long post . . . interesting though. My Ex and I used to buy those leaves in the City nearby (big Somalian population) I had no idea they were related to Meow.
I'd go back up to 35ml for a while Gledwood, I've stabilised at 35/40ml until I can do at least a week, preferably a month clean! I do 30ml in morn, then no more if I use at night . . . If I don't use at night, I do the other 15ml. I know this is not officially allowed but they have to realise you are trying hard to beat this; if it works this way, then it works.
It's better than them reducing it too fast, which will bring on the cravings and send you right back to square one.
I really hope you/we can do this. I've used three timnes since the jubilee, I know how hard this is, even when we say "No More" and we mean it, really mean it . .
All we can do is keep trying . . . and spending money on food ;-) and hamster food, with love x

bugerlugs63 said...

Ps ... I hope both of your appointments go as well as possible and you get your hearing back.

Akelamalu said...

You're ear sounds really bad Gleds, I hope the doc gets it sorted for you.

You are trying so hard to give up on drugs I really want you to succeed m'dear. xx

Gledwood said...

Bugerlugs: I couldn't bear to put my methadone back up... what I have done when I felt desperate was to get some off a friend, and use extra but very sparingly and reducing sharply over 2 or 3 days back to my actual script... I'm going to have to ring my worker and tell him I'm now out of their catchment area and say PLEASE keep it at 20mls (or maybe 19mls, I mean you wouldn't notice a 1ml drop ... would you??) Yeah you're very wise not using all if you're using on top, your habit will only spiral out of control otherwise... I had to postpone the consultant appointment until 2 weeks time as I'm moving house when it's meant to happen... No way in hell would I put off the dr on Friday I'm fed up of feeling my head is half full of putrefying, puss-filled cotton wool!! And that spray seems to be making things worse. I had to stop taking it, even though you shouldn't stop antibiotics before the time. If I still need something I'm going to ask for pills; my ear does not like being sprayed!

Akelamalu: yeah it's horrible and made me really panicky. I don't usually get anxious over "minor" health problems (though I might be obsessively interested in the pus and the gore)... I can't wait till the time comes when I can truly say those 'eroin years are in the dustbin where they belong! Like I said, I never crave other drugs I've given up. I just hope heroin can join them in the abyss!

charlie pie said...

yeah no wot u mean i had BP for years n neva knew til i did a really fast meth detox and got 'drug induced pyschosis' the drugs masked BP for years< good luck in your new house. btw dj sammy - ace tune :-)

Anna Young said...

You are so cute with your neurodic mind. Love, love you!

Gledwood said...

Charlie: yeah I agree opiate drugs do mask psychotic type things. First thing I noticed about heroin was how effective it was as a psychic blocker... Yet the general public want to believe heroin actually sends you mad! Nothing could be further from the truth... I do believe heroin makes you mentally weak though and that makes you more vulnerable to psychosis... I dunno....

Anna Grace: how was I neurotic in this post I don't even remember now...!

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