I WANT A DOGgie. Where I live you're only allowed one dog or one cat (not one of each). Really I wanted two dogs. One little and cute, the other large, scary and vicious-acting (ie a bodyguard-cum-guard-dog). The only type of dog that combines both characteristics is the Japanese akita breed. Fair enough, they're not little, (they're the size of a German shepherd) but they are thee cutest type of dog I have ever seen.
About nine months ago, late at night, somebody knocked on my front door and a rough-sounding street-gang-type character said to me, through the reinforced glass (I now know it is reinforced, because of what happened next) they said is somebody called J there because they're looking for a bag of weed.
The drug-reference from a person I had never met before at my own front door really put my back up so I said no there is no J here and went away.
Next thing I hear a loud banging and I can clearly see through the security glass that a whole mob of scum are trying to break into my flat. I was completely terrified and was in no doubt that if they had got in they would have smashed my head in. They would also have quickly discovered no such "J" lived in my flat, but would have tried to rob me nonetheless.
So anyway now, late in the night, I can't sleep because I'm terrified that somebody will try and axe their way in again. So I think I've got posttraumatic stress disorder (I'm joking, I don't really think that). But I am traumatized and I need a very cute and savage guard dog so only an akita will do
Apart from that I am OK. I'm not horribly depressed any more. (Famous last words, coming from me.)
Last summer two people started beating me up here saying I was a grandiose drug addict (for saying that I wanted to speak 20 langauges fluently), that drug addicts are grandiose. Oh and that I felt I was "terminally unique" and that my depression was somehow different from everybody else's.
First thing: drug addicts are NOT grandiose. At least I've never met a grandiose one. They usually have very poor self-esteem and are the very opposite of grandiose. I have only ever felt gradiose during periods of "elevated mood~" (as the drs called them). I have had dealings with many a professional during these periods and nobody has ever thought I was on drugs, not even when I was in psychotic mania and dragged into the mental hospital, clear drug-screen card in hand.
I had suspected I'd been having bipolar symptoms for years, but discounted them on account of my simultaneous drug-taking. But the weird psychological symptoms that later got diagnosed as "schizoaffective disorder" do predate my heroin period by quite a few years. In fact I went about four years in my early 20s not taking any drugs at all. When I moved to London I didn't know any drug dealers here and wasn't interested in drugs. So how I became a heroin addict is... ukh. A ridiculous story that I don't want to go into now. Suffice it to say that in certain ways I am the very antithesis of the gutter junkie I subsequently became!
I don't know why I'm talking about this issue again... Oh yes I do. Because my friend Binky keeps laughing and telling me I'm mad. She says she thinks I've got schizophrenia. I say why do you say that? And she says because I say and do weird things. She has spent many years in mental asylums, so she knows the signs. Sometimes I think she's only saying these things to weird me out... Does she really think I'm schizo? But she says she does. She says I know I am... blah blah. But I don't know. Do I know that I know? I wish I could say I don't care either but I obviously do care, otherwise I wouldn't be posting on the issue yet again!
I get weird symptoms, they wax and wane, but they always come back again and I'm claiming benefits on the back of being "mentally ill" (you can't claim for being a drug addict!) My family don't want to think it's real, but everyone who knows me and sees me day-to-day does seem to think it's real (I don't know why though). When I really went mad a few years ago it was immediately apparent that people thought I was completely crazy. It was written all over their faces and I don't even know what I was doing. Far as I knew, I was acting completely normally! And yet they all thought I was raving mad! I only thought I was "mentally ill" because I found it so difficult doing practical things: eg getting self, money, keys, phone, etc all assembled together in order to go out. One day I had to wash my clothes in the laundrette on the corner and it took literally five hours to get myself ready to go out. Literally all day. That is why I thought I was "ill". Plus I knew that drs seemed to believe hearing voices was a sign of madness. I didn't think I was mad because I hear voices. But I certainly knew drs saw it that way! The only reason I admitted what was going on was that I was tired of seeing different professionals and different people, all of whom seemed to have entirely different viewpoints on what was going on with me, because they all saw me in different contexts. And the problems I was having with day-to-day life, dealing with practical things like paying bills, organizing paperwork etc, were getting ever-worse. Then I found out, after being given a horrible label I didn't want, that such difficulties are actually hallmark signs of that type of illness.
Ukh, it's so miserable thinking about this, but I have nobody to talk about it with ~ hence this post here. Binky knows all about mental illness, but her viewpoint is "you know you are mentally ill why don't you just accept it". But I don't walk around thinking "oh I feel really schizo-affective today". I only ever "feel" schizo-affective in the context of form-filling, when they ask about my difficulties and I know that, in doctorly eyes at least, schizoaffective disorder does explain them. (Drug addicion doesn't.) Bear in mind, I know loads of drug addicts. At some point a few years ago I looked around myself and thought "how come my life is in such a mess and nobody else's is?" The drug addicts I've known have always functioned pretty well. I mean, a lot of them functioned well enough to fund £80 a day ($133.60) heroin and crack habits. I gave up begging on the streets years ago, so my habit was much smaller than theirs.
The methadone clinic used to imply that if I would only stop using heroin and stick to the methadone my problems would magically disappear. Now they take an exact opposite tack, saying methadone isn't meant to cure mental problems, it's just a small step etc etc etc. In other words they lied through their teeth for years on end and now they wriggle out of it on the back of a psychiatric diagnosis If they'd ever listened to me ( or even asked me) they'd have known the reason I gravitated to heroin in the first place was that I wasn't feeling OK, wasn't doing OK was NOT OK. It never has just been a question of me just dropping the drug and things would magically be all right. They never were all right. I never had anything to go back to. Because I wasn't OK and wasn't well. I don't think I'll ever be truly well or OK, not in this lifetime. My resolution is that however messed up my life is going to be in the future, it can bloody well be like that without my being addicted to drugs into the bargain!
I was reading my Michael Jackson book, about him and Elizabeth Taylor being on drugs off drugs on again off again. Opiate painkillers we're talking here. Exactly the same drug-family of choice as my own. I thought ukh is that really what it's like? Will I never be free? I'd rather be dead than on drugs for ever. I'm the only person I know who really seems to want to come off heroin and methadone and be dependent on nothing for the rest of my life. I'm determined to do it. I just want to get OFF this methadone. Then if I do go back on heroin at least I can deliberately overdose and die. The way my tolerance lies at the moment I've not a snowball's chance in hell of accidentally overdosing and dying. I really wish I would die in my sleep because at least that means I wouldn't have to put the work in of learning to live life on life's terms, as they like to say at AA and NA).
My ambition always used to be to detox off the methadone and then kill myself so that I could be drug-free into eternity. The best means of suicide would be a deliberate heroin overdose, because a Muslim outside the library told me that if you commit suicide you will spend eternity in hell committing the same act over and over for ever and ever... (Meaning I could then spend eternity shooting up heroin.) I really really do want to be drug-free, but I don't know how I can live like that. I have never lived like that before. What I had before wasn't a life, it was just an existence. I never was OK until heroin. The only thing that has ever made me feel OK, apart from heroin, was madness! Doesn't say much about life, does it.
Ukh how did I get on this self-indulgent negative current again. Well that's what I was thinking so that's what I'm posting. Sorry.
JOAN COLLINS IN BENIDORM
Benidorm is a vulgar area of Spain where only Northerners go
PET SHOP BOYS "I WANT A DOG"
OLD TRANCE ANTHEMS