MY DRUGGIEWORKER is really pissed off with me because I cannot go more than a few days without using nefarious brown powder on top of my methadone. I told her I believe either methadone isn't holding me or else it is poisoning me. I brought in a bottle of Monday's piss saying, "I know this is unconventional but if you like you can test this and it will show I really had gone the best part of a week without using" (could have been anybody's of course; but that somebody would have to be on methadone and not using on top and I don't know anybody like that..!) And she said "When did you last use?" And I said "this morning" and she said why so I said it was because I'd been feeling exhausted, lifelessly depressed, flat, unmotivated and suicidal and she said "oh that's no excuse ~ everyone feels like that" (and she did seem to mean everyone, not just people unfortunate enough to be on methadone).
I could have channelled the conversation down a different route by saying "OK what about a person in severe physical pain. Would that be an excuse to use?" and she would have said the standard "but we're not talking about other people" answer. But I could also have pointed out that I'm labelled with the most serious mood disorder there is and that it is rather patronizing (not to mention dismissive) to label my symptoms as an "excuse". If I'd never been a depressive to begin with I cannot see how in a million years I would ever have got addicted to heroin to begin with, so excuses or not, it really was in a large part about self-medicating. Of course I also took it to get high (in the beginning) because I wanted to know what this legendary heroin high was like. That's what prompted me to try it. And the fact that cocaine-snorting was so in back in the day. Coke was cool and yet the people who were so open to that were closed to heroin and I wanted to try heroin so I went off on my own and I found it. (I never had a group of friends who led me into addiction. I made friends with the local junkies because they congregated at our local tube station every evening selling cheap used travelcards and because I liked to travel on the cheap I got to know them. It was through these people (who also seemed to be so much more accepting of who I was and how I felt than my "real" friends) that I got into hard drugs.
By the way my very first encounter with gear came after a night out when I met an acquaintance who said "come back to mine, I've got a bit of brown in a drawer". Why did he know I'd be interested in brown if I'd never tried it? Because about four years earlier, just before Christmas, I'd approached him asking for heroin and had actually given him £50 to get me a half gram (yes it cost £10 a "point" back then). But a few days later this person (who I barely knew) gave me my money back saying he couldn't get it after all. I only wanted heroin because I was depressed and wanted to die. Heroin overdose was the most painless method I knew of: you slip into unconsciousness and never wake up. But it wasn't to be. I took a bottle of vodka and a bottle of sleeping pills and tried to drown myself in the bath but obviously I woke up again... and the rest is history. By the way it took me YEARS to actually think back and join the dots. That heroin really HAD come into my life because I actively wanted to die. Doesn't sound good... does it?
As for methadone "poisoning me", my point is, I spent years on heroin feeling so miserable I just wanted to curl up and die. I tried to survive on methadone. Which is meant to be safer, better, legal, more respectable ... but misery on heroin translated to suicidal depression on methadone. I found it even HARDER to function in any meaningful way... methadone just didn't seem to work and I seem to have rewound back to that time. Now my worker is trying to tell me that if I will only stick with it and not use on top of the methadone then these feelings will eventually even out. I think this is based partly on the belief that any depression I feel is assumed to be "underlying". But what if methadone is actually CAUSING this low mood? Or making it even worse than it would be on no drugs at all? I've tried to moot this point so many times down the clinic and nobody ever listened. Until yesterday when I used the word POISONED. And her smartarse response was "well if you think methadone is poisoning you you could always go and detox". But as I pointed out, detoxing is sure to make a depressed person feel EVEN WORSE. That's why I don't do it. I've come down from over 120mg methadone a day right down to 15mg... lately I've gone back up to 30mg. I took the 120-15mg reduction better than anybody I know. So I do have some wherewithall. They might not be able to stick to a drawn-out reduction like that, but I cannot handle a 10-day complete detox. I just can't. (If you call not sleeping at all for days on end and wandering about crying, not being able to eat (because appetite-loss aside, food is repulsive to me in the detox state) plus intense mood swings and suicidal impulses being fine then yes I handle it well. I tried inpatient detox TWICE in 2003 and probably monopolized as much of the counsellors' time as all the other inmates put together. Neither time I lasted more than a few days. I'm just not interested in a quick-fix which is going to be very upsetting and probably not last.
I felt so lousy last week that I basically lost all willingness to live without drugs at all. I only held out so long without using because I couldn't afford to use. But now I've got my mojo back (temporarily) and I know it is just the heroin because I'm still depressed. Binky thinks I look depressed. I'm just not so depressed I spend all day vegetating on my new couch. (In that state, Binky would never get to see me.)
I do so much want to be able to live free of ALL drugs. I do. I do. I really do. I just don't know HOW I'm going to do this. It's a hard nut to crack. All I do know is that in my case gently does it. Drastic changes tend to provoke drastic reactions. I'm going into the clinic again tomorrow for my MBT group ("mentalization-based therapy") so I can see my worker then, if I want to. I'm going to make sure I'm at least 24 hours heroin-free and hopefully suitably miserable. So then she'll see what I've been like lately. (I dare not hope for any rapid improvement in mood. It just won't happen...)
I always told myself that after achieving 100% abstinence from narcotics of all kinds I should give myself two years ~ that means two years of really trying. Just not taking any more drugs is NOT enough... and THEN maybe I can dare to look back and see if it's all been worthwhile... Know what I mean?
Does this make any sense..? Anyone...?...??