Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Terminally Unique or Terminally Ill?

I HAVEN'T written for ages because I was too depressed to bother to get up and make it this far from my house to the internet cafe. What happened is, I spent a week or so barely sleeping at all. I felt a bit "high" because I was obsessed with Brazil and going to Brazil and living in Brazil and speaking Portuguese. Which I am not normally.

People seem bemused by my last post, but you have to bear in mind I was very miserable when I wrote it, and could not imagine ever feeling any better. So I write about "wanting to get clean" and then say but I will never be happy when I am clean! what this means is I want to get clean and then I want to die! I spent most of the past month angrily plotting suicide and musing on what a deception it is to feel "normal" and how anybody who wants to live is delusional and has been absolutely conned.

Do I really think I'm terminally unique? I mean, yes I am as a person. We all are. But as a manic-depressive junkie, am I unique?

Well most junkies are NOT clinically manic-depressive and I AM. So that does cause a complete comprehension-block in certain circumstances. For one thing, I have learned from the current popular culture to view unhappiness as a kind of illness. And manic depression always has been regarded as an illness. And so when I am feeling REALLY unhappy a kind of schism becomes apparent in me, where I feel ill and will sometimes think "I'm ill" but at the same time I'm locked up in my own head with somebody who I really hate and I will beat this person up severely for claiming to be ill and tell him EXCUSES EXCUSES. ALL YOU EVER MAKE IS EXCUSES. GET A LIFE. BETTER STILL GET A DEATH.

I think all addicts know misery and that many know clinical depression. But my problem, medically, as far as I know is NOT just clinical depression, it's manic depression and that causes a constant shift in self-esteem that is very disconcerting and difficult to live with. In fact the last time I went to see my doctor I was determined to demand one of those agreements that states that should I ever become seriously ill, through any cause I want to be allowed to die. "Unfortunately" my mood brightened considerably a couple of days before the appointment and so my dearly-held desire slipped away from me...

Brooding brooding. I keep brooding brooding. Or planning. Planning planning.  I have so many bright ideas in my head. I call them ambitions. Probably if I told you them you'd consider them ideas above my station.

The "brooding" comes in because I want to know HOW to make these dreams come true. Even in the most elementary sense.

I'm no longer obsessed with getting "clean" because the obsession with drugs has receded, just as high tide beomes low. So I no longer care the way I once did...

I was seized by this feeling the other night, like I'd downed far too much black coffee. And wondered why this strange internal reslessness. Then I happened to glance out of the window (which was wide open as I've installed a satellite indoors that the pigeons flap in and perch on) and the moon was FULL. In fact it was just waning, but I'm convinced the moon's effect on the brain is strongest when first waning. Just as highest summer and bitterest midwinter come AFTER the solstice so the bipolar part of the brain begins to itch the most AFTER full moon.

Mmmm. Binky says I'm starting to act manic. It's true my sleep cycle is all over the place but a skewed sleep-cycle is not mania (though it may be a sign of impending mania). I don't think I'm manic. Just because I turn impressionist a lot these days and talk in loud Scottish accents  doesn't mean I'm "high". I'm normal. I'm just a person stuck in the bogs of Heroin Addiction looking for a rung up. Rungs rungs! Somebody help me please! Where are rungs for sale?!

PS I'm thinking of starting my own internet and satellite station RADIO GLEDWOOD. Eventually to launch on FM across every major city worldwide... Anybody interested in doing their own show please get in touch.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Annoyingest Patient at the Methadone Clinic... (is me)

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.

My philosophy is that if I can stick to methadone, reducing very gradually "in the community" then I am to all intents and purposes living life "clean". Then, providing it's handled carefully, the transition from 5mg methadone to nothing will not be a jolt (I will make sure of this by reducing something like 5-4-3-2-1-0.9-0.8-0.7mg and so on down to zero).

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...)

My poor Worker. I do feel sorry for her. She cannot have known what she was taking on when she took me and she finds me really hard work. She said I was verbally "belligerent" yesterday. Well of course I was. Days on end of stygian misery coupled with anger and then a drug that puts some fight back into my veins will probably come over as "belligerent". Without the drug I wouldn't have said half the things I said yesterday. Misery does not justify itself. It devalues its own experience and devalidates it, telling me that, no matter how bad I feel it somehow isn't real or doesn't count or it's just an excuse. You can't win against an attitude like that... (And how DO you win a war against yourself anyhow~??!?)

So... I don't know. Don't be surprised if I'm posting "I'm miserable" within a very few days. My focus right now isn't on how good or bad I feel. Or might feel. Or anything like that. It's that I really need to convert using heroin about one day in four to ... well, hopefully one day in never. I don't want to be using it. I'm bored of it. I tried the junkie life and it's far too narrow an existence for me. This world might seem hopelessly dark, (sometimes) but it is WIDE... and maybe if I move to pastures new, geographical, spiritual, emotional and psychological I will find something that makes this world not seem so dark and meaningless. If I don't seek I never shall find and I'm a born scavenger. (Sometimes the seeking is half the fun...)

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...?...??

Monday, 1 July 2013

Not happy

I AM only leaving this post to say I'm still alive. I'm not at all happy. With anything.