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Gledwood's Drug Confessions: A Heroin Addict's Blog
Sunday, 24 December 2006
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Cautiously optimistically...
Topic: News Views


One big PS re the Ipswich, Suffolk junkie prostitute murders.

Two men were arrested in the last week.

One, named Steve Wright, has been charged with the murders of all five girls...

... Innocent until proven guilty is the firm credo of English law...

Still, police do not charge someone with something that serious unless they believe they have pretty strong evidence against that person.

Only time and our courts of law will tell the outcome...

Posted by gledwood at 10:21 PM GMT
Late Christmas Eve...
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Let it snow let it snow let it snow...
Topic: Daily Doings

RIGHTY-HO FOLKS — IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE well and truly. It being Sunday and my having done everything I was able to ahead of time, I had nothing to do today except to sleep… and sleep… and sleep… not waking up from my multiplicitous dreams till it truly was evening.

    I have always had mixed feelings about Christmas. I have to admit I did feel slightly tearful for the sake of certain Xmases past…

    The Anglo-American Christmas means going totally over the top. (It bears little resemblance to the same festival as celebrated in Continental Europe, seriously!) Tinselly decorations all over the place, Christmas trees popping up everywhere, Santa Claus’s dodgy face (what is he smiling about??), our high streets festooned with Christmas lights… office parties every night… TV and newspapers full of it… increasing drunken celebration every day… one big countdown… last shopping hours on Christmas Eve… then BANG! The entire country starts shutting down — so God help you if you have an emergency not covered by the 999/112 services. Trains stop running not far after eight o’clock (even if they are scheduled). By midnight nearly everyone is in Church… or down the pub. Christmas Morning is peak time for Children, tearing open their presents. Adults do the same in a more restrained manner. Americans have the edge over us Brits when it comes to Xmas dinner as they also cook turkey on Thanksgiving Day — more practice.

    There are two basic patterns of Christmas Day I could describe to you…

    A: the respectable family have their detested relations round. Not too many people get drunk. Dinner is definitely ready by 2 o’clock. Cuckoo clock-style presents are opened at five pm because the family are so respectable and restrained. They probably go to bed at five thirty, knackered out by the intoxicating kick of three extra-small Sainsbury’s own brand (Advocaat+lemonade) snowballs…

    B: the “normal” or “rough” (depending how you view ’em) family awaken at 11am hung over, kids twittering on downstairs. Wife swears, rushes downstairs, retrieves beachball sized turkey, slams it in oven. I can worry about the trimmings later, she tells herself lighting up a Benson and Hedges. Suddenly: — Gaah! People remember precisely which detested relations are expected in an hour’s time. Ten minutes later and a queue at the diarrohoea-stinking bathroom and a car honks merrily outside. The idiots are an hour early. Christmas Day for this family involves ever increasing doses of alcohol as anaesthetic. Drunken games of Trivial Pursuit (or Twister if you’re feeling daring). At three pm the Queen comes on television to make vague platitudes and wish everyone a pleasant Xmas. This marks a pause for renewed drink-pouring and much clinking of glasses (assuming by this time people are conscious enough to pay attention).

    Turkey is finally cooked by four or five pm. Most people can’t manage much more food as they’ve been at the Ferrero Rocher/Quality Street/Guylian Chocolate Shells/Terry’s All Gold all afternoon. But everyone gives the dry bird a good stabbing.

    Remember to compliment the cook. Six pm and emotions are running high. If outright hostilities have not broken out before, they’re well overdue now. If not, most people pile down the nearest pub (and it has to be the nearest as they’re all far too bladdered to drive — even on Albanian roads.

    And night-time passes in a haze…

    Come Boxing Day everyone wishes they’d remembered to stock up on more Alka-Seltzer.

    The country stays half dead until January 2nd when things spring miraculously back to life and everyone has to work extra-hard to pay their humungous overdrafts off.

    And that, My Friends, is the Gledwood’s sketch of Xmas…

    Do have a Merry One!!

Posted by gledwood at 8:32 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 24 December 2006 8:34 PM GMT

Topic: Quotations

I'm collecting inspiring quotes. I think this one's far better for this time of year than the standard hackneyed sayings...




Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a great voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”

    And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water without price from the fountain of the water of life. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son…”

            Revelation 21.

Posted by gledwood at 7:57 PM GMT
Updated: Friday, 29 December 2006 11:57 PM GMT

Mood:  cool
Now Playing: Tiredly...
Topic: Daily Doings

NOTHING’S GOING WELL today. For example, I had some fun seeking myself out on Yahoo and Google. In so doing, of course, I did eventually find a “recovering” heroin addict’s blog I’d stumbled upon a few days earlier. I knew I’d left a comment somewhere but it wasn’t there, so under the top post with “0 Comments”, I said hello and directed the author to my blog. I thought it would be interesting to get the viewpoint of another (ex-)user. I send my greeting off only for the old greeting (a couple of days old) suddenly to pop up underneath my new one and I can’t delete either. Now it looks like I’m really hassling this person… So if you are reading this, Micah, I’m sorry about that. I’m not always as crazy as I seem.

    Do you know what, even in my life, I feel my dreams from sleep seeping across daylight through my twilight.

    If I could be sleeping now…

    Let me say what I’m reminded of. In one of my old jobs, “inputting” at a greenscreen mainframe terminal of a huge company. Working nights. (I had poor sleep back then, and that was 15 years ago!) Plugged into our Walkmen, typing to music, my brains became neutralized, floating down the hallway of my dreams, unconsciousness dripping from the mirror of the pool where it had dropped.

Poetess Sleeping

Dumb in a numb tree, wailing gaze,

Glancing glad and mournfully, afire and tired,

She falls asleep and furnace of her eyes

Refracts, a million-fold, the cosmic fire.

If she is two her dream-half falls awake,

Finding one she lost in a rainbow’s eye,

The dewy pupil of a sleeping flower

Ensphered, like evening’s sun in eyes of rain

And raining dreams and pools;

The rain grows trees.

Night writes her book in the words of day

And after dreams her poetry awakes,

A drab aphasiac in this world of words.


One and a half shopping days to Christmas:

Strangely, the shops weren’t as jammed to the rafters as they’ve been in previous years.

    I had to “do” Boots the pharmacists with my mate “Valium” Marilyn. (Imagine a Valium’d Marilyn Monroe of pensionable age. Cockney accent and loud of voice.) She had bought someone in her family a hair clippers by mistake; she needed to exchange these for an electric face shaver.

    Being oblivious to her queue-jumping (about 20 couples of all races politely packing their perfume purchases behind her) — blustering direct to the front she grabbed a young male assistant. I haven’t seen a shop assistant look so down in the mouth at being accosted by a customer for quite some years. I assisted him by hurrying the conversation along and past the £79.99 Philishaves and down to our three options: Boots’ own (mains-only) £19.99 electric shaver; Braun razor plus clippers one hour recharge green £33.99 or ditto blue £33.99 with neck short-back-&-sides strasightener. So we went for the three-in-one blue.

    The poor shop assistant. To a series of inane yet surely stock-in-trade queries, e.g. “Which is the best one?” he rolled his eyes back like a boxer who’d taken one punch too many that afternoon.

    Fair enough, what is the guy meant to say to a question like that. We were stood facing three or four shelves full of electric razors £20-£120. If it was my shop, the “best” one would surely be the most expensive. But it was I who had to but in with “how much do you want to spend?” (he was really useless). “What do you need it to do?” (She didn’t know, she’s not a man. But she knew she didn’t want hair clippers.) So we (or rather I) edged her into choosing one that not only disposes of beard but trims sideburns and can do grade 5-4-3-2-1 head shaves — bit of everything: perfect!

    I left Marylin at the till. If anyone can swizzle a refund on her unwanted hair clippers, Marilyn can.

    Had to dash round to other friend’s. Dealer arrived and sold me a 1g lump of Xmas heroin. (Sorry but you “straight” lot do Xmas as plastered out of your heads on alcohol as you can manage; I’ve been hooked on my stuff for over seven years outright and if there’s any day I “need” it, it’s Xmas Day for sure.)

    Sitting here alone — one side of my room lit fireglow red (very drowsy (I’ve heard that red lights make you angry:— not me. The red light helped me sleep when I was insomniac some weeks back. And it’s for my pet hammy. But you can click Chinese Mouse under topics if you want to read about that)).

    I’ve no telly, just radio. I was going to tell you about that before but somehow the subject of my TV-free life never came up. It started as an experiment. A broken telly gave me the opportunity to try and live life TV-free. Well I have done for over a year now and have to say, I don’t even miss it now. (I do watch telly, of course; I just watch other people’s tellies…)

    My radio is tuned to Radio 4 and BBC World Service — talk radio so good it’s almost like TV for the blind. When I want music I tune into the pirates (the FM dial is jammed with pirate FM stations — one weekend I counted over 50). Every taste is catered for from funky Jamaican dub-ska-reggae to the UK style of 2-step garage to drum-&-bass breakbeat to “old-skool” hardcore rave (imagine a barn dance hosted by aliens at double speed and you have “happy hardcore”, the cheesiest emanation of this drug-inspired music. If you are in London, try Eruption FM for “further details”!)

    I once texted in my request “Just for You London” which is an early 90s raver’s track, something that, sandwiched between the most frantic of chainsaw tekno tracks hits you like a breath of fresh air. Because this 19 year-old DJ had actually heard of it, I got “respec-respec-respec” (everyone under 20 wants to talk like they just got off the boat from Kingston these days — even if they’re white).

    But the guy couldn’t play my track because he “didn’t have it on him”.

    Okay folks, it’s getting later.

    Time ticks on…

    I’m off!

    If perchance I don’t get online between now and then I’ll say this again: here is wishing yous all a Very Merry One Indeed!!!

    From Gleds!

Posted by gledwood at 12:42 AM GMT
Saturday, 23 December 2006
Saturday: Pre-Christmas Rush Day
Mood:  d'oh
Now Playing: Not as Mistily as Before
Topic: Daily Doings


    Strangely the shops weren’t as jammed to the rafters as previous years I recall.

    There was the saga of Valium Marilyn and the hair clippers versus face shaver. She’s bought the wrong Xmas present for her son and I was there to see her take it back. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a shop assistant looking quite so put out in quite some time. (Marilyn’s constant questioning and requests are quite something to deal with.)

    The dreaded fog is clearing. London Heathrow airport, BBC news informs me, is up to 87% capacity on internal flights today. British Airways had to cancel HALF their inland flights for the last couple of days because the fog means twice as much time must be allotted to each take-off and landing slot…

    It was damp, chilly, and looked like a Christmas card, the infinite blurry fog through leafless trees…

    I’m feeling better today than yesterday when I wrote that miserable post below. I didn’t post it yesterday partly because as I said I felt so frozen I didn’t have any energy!

    Righty-ho. I’m not going to mention you-know-what’s today…

    One good piece of news though, Suffolk police have charged a man over the murders of all five Ipswich “vice” girls.

    If perchance I don’t get online between now and then, do have a merry one!

    Lots of love



Posted by gledwood at 8:21 PM GMT
Frozen Christmas
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Feeling very blue...
Topic: Daily Doings

FROZEN WITH THE DEPRESSION OF CHRISTMAS. In town today. Lent my friend £15 — couldn’t really afford to — but this person’s been good to me. (I know 100% I’ll get the money back but it just happens to be the very same day I get paid.)

    Lying in bed, unconscious. Barely able to rouse self. Had things to do so I forced myself up.

    All the time I feel physically slowed down and physically ill (each day I wake up aching all over). Emotionally unhappy. Mentally slow. And spiritually frozen.

    London’s full of mist. No snow. No frost, even. But the place does look like a Christmas card.

    As for Christmas Day — to me it’s just a dinner and I’m having that round my mate’s house (the one I lent the £15 to; are things making sense now?) I will not be on my own over Xmas.

    Christmas for me has never been a truly joyous time. Having said that, I think back to Christmas past when I did indeed find Christmas spirits of excellent quality from a wide selection of bottles.

    I think the key to our experience lies in attitude and expectations. I try to keep my attitude positive. I fight the negativity.

    As for expectations, I find the key is not to expect too much; but on the other hand, don’t expect nothing. If you expect nothing from life, nothing might well be what you get!

    If you’re still feeling depressed, pay a visit to the magical village of Plumpiemousie ( Expect the unexpected.

    Have a merry Christmas Everyone,

    Love from


               X X






Posted by gledwood at 8:02 PM GMT
Thursday, 21 December 2006
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Better than I used to!
Topic: Drugs

WHEN I TOOK UP BLOGGING I told myself I would be as completely frank and honest as I could. Which inevitably entails ’fessing up to my saddest innermost feelings. Drug addiction is sad. It’s inherently sad. Very sad indeed.

    Before I post something I worry what the vulnerable and the impressionable might make of my words.

    I’ve taken the drugs, crossed the bridges (burnt many of them), caused myself a lot of damage. For the time being I’m trapped in this addiction. So I see it as my duty to tell it as it is.

    If this sounds like hypocrisy, well, I’m willing to make myself a hypocrite if in so doing I put one person off following me down into the morass.

    The whole premise of my blog is hypocritical (“do as I say, not what I do”) — what else can it be? The fact is I do take drugs. I know I shouldn’t do, but I do take them. I’d rather be a hypocrite telling the truth than a lying fraud, or — perhaps worse still — a glamorizer of something I know to be a deadly trap. I think of the three options I’ve chosen the best one.

    Before it “got” me, I had no idea just how cleverly heroin gets under your skin. Of course I knew the stuff was addictive, knew you got physically sick if you took it too frequently and then went without (I’d also heard a lot of lies, like only people who want to be junkies get addicted; I didn’t so I believed at one time I was safe…)

    Nobody in history has ever killed their grandmother for a fix (as the cliché goes) I’m quite sure of that. The real “killer” is the million little miseries no novel or movie could ever adequately capture. The sulky afternoons without quite enough drugs. The slow crawl of time. The eternities of discontent. The pervasive sense of all not being well. Knowing, all the time that white rocks or strong drink or a lumpy brown powder that looks like mud could fix all that. Usually for a disappointingly temporary period of time…

    This is the driving force that spurred me on, through hell and high water, to take drugs every day of my life.

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner + snacks, the heroin was my food. Methadone has done away with that particular cycle (I no longer wake up desperately seeking a “hit”) And when I do use, I take a…“ or even ¼ of the dose I used to shoot in my veins too many times a day, every day...

    Even if I got completely clean, that would only be the start. “Recovery”, as they call it at NA, is a long and winding road.

    But, as the old proverb says, A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step



Posted by gledwood at 11:52 PM GMT
Wednesday, 20 December 2006
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: LINKS
Topic: LINKS


I’ve totally revamped my links section (to the right-hand side).

Some of these are excellent so to avoid confusion they’re now listed under NINE headings. I’ve done this to avoid the obvious hotchpotch that results from just chucking everything together. State-sponsored organizations such as Partnership for a Drug-free America take a totally different “line” (so to speak) from harm-reduction oriented charities like the UK Lifeline or Vancouver Safer Injecting Project. I’ve also put more academic resources (e.g. Rothschild’s) under their own section.

In case you’ve found this by clicking the topics box and because my links system is notoriously slow, I’m also giving the names and all URLs below, so you can click on them there if that’s easier for you.

If you do know of a good link, please let me know — use the Comment box below. Many thanks. Happy linking!!



Frank (National Drugs Helpline, UK)

National Institute of Drug Abuse (USA)

Partnership for Drug-free America

National Treatment Agency (UK)

Committee for Treatment of Heroin Addicts (Netherlands)



UK Lifeline

Black Poppy

Safer Injecting (Vancouver)



Rothschild Drug Dependency Institute

Buprenorphine (Subutex) Bibliography

Young People and Heroin (Australia)

Alliance (aka Methadone Alliance, UK)


Stanton-Peele Addiction Website

Sober Recovery

Drug Film Archive


msimons's link...

Suite 101

Science Blog ("thinking's not illegal... yet!")

Rational or






Most of the links under other headings give info relevant to anyone wherever they may be. This section gives info on services available only in the countries specified.

Release (UK)

Ibogaine Detox (USA)

Yeldall — friend of mine knows parent & child who've both been treated here successfully.



Adfam National



World Service Office (inc. USA)





New Zealand

South Africa



Alcohol Concern (UK)



Hepatitis C Trust



Lifeline (Australia)


Posted by gledwood at 10:51 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007 6:46 PM GMT
Rituals and Emotions
Mood:  d'oh
Now Playing: Ritualistically...
Topic: Drugs

STARING AT MY SPOON, dregs of heroin remaining, knowing if I cook them up I will at least feel something…

    They say heroin is a drug of rituals (and paraphernalia). During the heavy phase of my addiction I carried with me at all times a little tin box containing spoon, elastic tourniquet, “works” (my 1ml insulin needle-+-syringes), vitamin C, filters and a 50ml bottle of tap water, always fresh that day. Ready to go at all times!

    One night, walking past an antiques shop I found a tiny silver jam spoon on the pavement. It seemed perfect for my uses. In fact, the handle was ready bent, junkie-style, so it would sit on a tabletop without spilling. I cooked up my gear in this spoon for several months, joking that I wished I had been born with it in my mouth.

    I loved that silver spoon. Unfortunately during one of my botched detox attempts it got thrown away by a well-meaning person. (Not stolen, incidentally: this person was one of the very few I knew who didn’t touch drugs.)

    During another of my get clean buzzes, I disposed of all my crack bottles no problem (I had been using crack too heavily at this particular time.) But on seeing my bent-handled spoons collection sitting there waiting to go my heart wrenched out.

    Sad to say but I have loved heroin — and I do mean loved it — as nothing else on earth. It has been the be-all and the end all of my life. And as is so very often said, a life on heroin is in very many respects a life made simpler. Heroin is your medicine, your lover, your reason for being, your one-and-all. Life becomes a constant quest to ensure a steady supply.

    Whereas with crack, I can always reason to myself that an hour or two later I won’t usually won’t usually feel any better for having taken it, an extra hit of heroin, or heroin on top of methadone would make me feel better all afternoon.

    When I have attempted to take the opiates all away — ie to detox myself, as I have done several times over the years, I’ve rapidly become so very bereft without the drugs I couldn’t handle it. I came running back to the “gear” every time.

    Trying to explain myself, knowing most of my readers have never had this problem, or at least don’t have it now, I’m confronted by just how very sad this emotional longing is. But addiction is a very emotional thing. Emotions are sad, sometimes. The irony (heroin is a rich source of contradictions) is that the stuff actually robs you, in the end, of the vividness of all feelings.

    Right. And I’m stumped for something further to say.

    It’s all about circles. Vicious, vicious things.



Posted by gledwood at 1:07 AM GMT

Mood:  cool
Now Playing: Haplessly
Topic: News Views


HOW CAN I, a hapless junkie, complain about this world of ours going to the dogs?


    Well, considering the state this planet’s in, all I can say is it surprises me EVERYONE’s not on ’em.


Posted by gledwood at 12:40 AM GMT
Monday, 18 December 2006
Daily Mirror
Now Playing: the Moderator
Topic: News Views

WITH THE RECENT MURDER of five drug-addicted street prostitutes in Ipswich, the papers are full of letters on the issue of drugs.

    These comments from today’s Daily Mirror:—

    The Ipswich killer is a piece of trash who will be caught anyway bit I regard him as the secondary killer.

    The people who took these girls’ lives in the first place are the scum who deal drugs.

    They have been slowly destroying our country in ways that Hitler or al-Qaeda could only have dreamt of.

    Put resources into stopping them before they finish the job.

Says Ian Crichton of  Birmingham.

    Heroin should be made available on the NHS which would curb drug dealing and prostitution. It’s time for a more enlightened approach.

    E Cosby, Leeds

    We need to adopt a realistic attitude towards prostitution — I suggest regulating it as the Dutch and Scandinavians do.

    Drug addiction is also a nightmare but trying to stamp it out will not work. We must seek to lessen its malignant influence by licensing drugs. Poverty too leads to degradation and despair.

    Perhaps these deaths will jolt enough people into realizing something must be done.

    David Sawtell, Tydd St Giles, Cambridgeshire.

    Yes, but what?

The tabloids have not always been so open-minded regarding drugs as they are today.

    But in a society where most people have a son or daughter, niece or nephew or at least know someone whose family has been blighted this way, it becomes more and more difficult merely to write off addicts as “scum”.

    There are too many of us about nowadays — and I don’t say this with pride — to ignore this situation. Addiction to hard drugs crops up e.g. on TV talk shows incidental to the main subject so frequently it suggests to me that the Government’s figures, a quarter of a million supposed heroin addicts in a population of 60 million, are wildly underestimated.

    There’s no point my demanding that someone ought to do something because I know they won’t. The problem will only get worse and society, like an already iceberg-hit Titanic, will continue to creak and groan and sigh in all its agonies. I believe our society is literally falling apart.

     One day soon, just like the legendary boat, our civilized society will suddenly sink without a trace.

    We’ll be left in anarchy and chaos, wondering how we managed to go so badly wrong.

Posted by gledwood at 9:44 PM GMT
Serenity Prayer
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: Serenely (how else do I play...?)
Topic: Serenity Prayer

GOD grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can —

and the wisdom to know the difference.


(AA/NA "Serenity Prayer", by Dr Reinhold Niebuhr.)

Posted by gledwood at 12:26 AM GMT
Updated: Monday, 18 December 2006 9:48 PM GMT
Saturday, 16 December 2006
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Blueishly
Topic: Daily Doings


    Trying to post a hitcounter. Does anyone out there know precisely how + where I paste that “html” code?

    I nearly got there. But I don’t know what I’m putting where: my head is spinning…

    Maria Callas & Elizabeth Schwarzkopf are on the radio. When Maria Callas was young, & before her voice was wrecked she sounded sublime. There are so few operatic singers with truly amazing voices. Luciano Pavarotti is another. Andrea Botteli has something. Joan Sutherland…

    I’m not one of these classical music snobs. Like the rest of us, I know most of my music from television commercials and films.

    One thing I’d always told myself I’d love to do, if I can get clean, would be to find out what this amazing music was called, who was who, what’s what, etc.

    At present I can say I like Beethoven and Shostokovich. Just don’t ask me to name a great list of their pieces…!

    The greatest musical instrument, in my opinion, is the human voice. There are some amazing pieces for great choirs — I don’t know what a single one is called though!

    Oh well.

    I’d also like to learn how to cook (I mean properly cook.) A few years ago, just before I coincidentally got chucked out of the über-bourgeois shared house I’d lived in for years for my drug using, I met a lady on the street who offered to take me in.

    She was an intensely complex person. How she knew she could trust me with her house keys I’ll never understand because I had them for a month before I ever moved in. I ended up staying for over two years.

    There’s two sides to every relationship, and I do believe that ours was what they label a co-dependent one.That is, each party was relying on the other to an unhealthy extent.

    Then there was my time “on the streets” (or more accurately, in a squat, mostly alone).

    It was a giant building (not a house, a business premises), full of rats and pigeons and wildlife, not to mention certain “apparitions problem” — I kept seeing strange lights playing across the ceiling — and no way was this the lights of passing traffic. Once I saw a ghost and got scared witless.

    Now I’m housed in what they call “temporary accommodation”.

    Sadly, I seem no more capable of living in a single room than I am of leading an ordinary life.

    Reading back through my postings I often cringe at what I’ve put, yet I make myself keep it in here, to keep a representative record of my life.

    You want to know what cheered me up this evening? That was my dealer’s phone call, telling me a lovely bag of heroin was waiting for me at the end of my road.

    Some things never change…

Posted by gledwood at 11:10 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 16 December 2006 11:14 PM GMT
Continuing Sleep...
Mood:  down
Now Playing: Exhaustedly!
Topic: Daily Doings

HAVING STAYED OFF the “gear” as much as I could these past few days, I’ve been relying on methadone to keep me “sane”.

    I know my excessive sleep would be blamed on the heroin, if I complained to drugs workers or doctors about it. I now know this is not the case.

    No heroin and only the far weaker methadone and I’m still tired out and depressed and sleeping all day.

    Shouldn’t moan about this, I’ve had depressions for years. Winter has got me so bad this time around though.

    Christmas is looming. I’ve tried not to be gloomy about Christmas here, but to me and everyone like me, it’s a time of bleakness — no real fun. And the rest of the world feels like it’s stopped to boot.

    When I was working, years ago, I always used to get laid off for at least a week at Christmas. So in good times and in bad, Xmas was never really much of a time…

    As for New Year, I’ve never been one to choose that particular time to start imposing resolutions.

    Before my addiction came along I was always capable of sticking to any arrangement I chose to make with myself. I never needed New Year as an excuse to push me along.

    But I have to be honest, I’ve told myself I’m stopping heroin so many times only to let myself down, I’m very wary of making any resolutions at all nowadays, New Year or not…

Posted by gledwood at 6:42 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 16 December 2006 6:50 PM GMT
Thursday, 14 December 2006

Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Wearily...
Topic: Daily Doings

MY SLEEP CYCLE, as I’ve remarked, is all over the place. Some things never change and my sleep is one of them. Thanks to some cheese, having zzz’d all night, I dragged myself up, forced myself to do some necessary things only to end up lying down again and drowsing deeply throughout much of the afternoon. Then I did get up, only to feel weary and depressed.

    I know the winter blues, when they fit the “syndrome” get labelled Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). That is, depression with massive over-sleeping and a craving for sweets and pasta etc is triggered by the (in my opinion massively) diminished hours of winter daylight.

    That said, I have noticed an added urge for Jaffa Cakes and Turkish lemon curd biscuits (the lemon curd is in the middle — yummy.

    Plus I have been spending hours and hours as unconscious as possible. “Hibernating,” I like to call it. Hmmm…

    As well as nasty old winter the killings of those young girls have got me down. As I implied earlier, I count myself lucky that in the roulette wheel of life chances, I was not born female. Because if I was, I can’t see that I would not be out on the midnight streets as those women were.

    A newspaper commentator called those “working girls” streetwise. Well of course they think they are.

    And to most “straight” people, no doubt they would seem that way. But as yet another article implied, drug addicts actually tend to be immature. (Streetwise and mature are not of course the same, but one thing does feed into the other.)

    Perhaps the Narcotics Anonymous theory is true and the age at which addiction grabs you is the emotional age at which you stay.

    That would put me in my 20s. But many of my acquaintances are stuck in their teens.

    Youngsters stuck in adult bodies. No wonder they live lives of such chaos…

Posted by gledwood at 11:46 PM GMT
The Sun
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: thoughtfully...
Topic: News Views

THE SUN NEWSPAPER, not always a bastion of open-minded thinking in times past, published a remarkable editorial this morning.

    Under the banner, "The Sun Says"... "Deadly Craving".

    The five women murdered were all prostitutes.

    But they can't be dismissed as tarts who asked for all that they got.

    ... All five were somebody's little girl.

    Addiction drove them to risk everything. They craved drugs more than life itself.

    The most poignant image... of this horrific saga was a terrified girl starting her night shift...

   "I know the risk but I need the money," she said.

    A few hours later, Paula Clennell, 24, was dead.

    If there is a lesson it can be summed up by her distraught Dad, Brian: "Don't do drugs."

    The press is full of sad tales of these girls who, as the cliché  says, "had everything going for them" until drugs stole it all away.

    I feel so sad reading these stories of girls not that much younger than me, how drugs came into their lives — and the resulting decline and fall.

    As a heroin addict I've got used to living an existence I can't expect the outside world to understand.

    So when something truly awful happens like this I'm suddenly confronted by realities that from day to day I've almost managed to forget.

    Because drug-taking (hard drugs, anyway) is about forgetting.

    And remembering feels sometimes almost too painful.

    What else can I say? My thoughts aren't so much with those girls' families as with the girls themselves.

    Because I know that, put in the same situation, I'd be dead also.


Posted by gledwood at 5:45 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006 11:51 PM GMT
Wednesday, 13 December 2006
Serial Killer
Mood:  surprised
Now Playing: Disgusted Observer
Topic: News Views

WE HAVE A SERIAL KILLER ON THE LOOSE. In Eastern England this man (it almost definitely is a male) has been picking up young prostitutes, none of whom has been seen alive again. Five bodies recovered over two months; two of these were found in a stream last weekend.

    What the BBC are calling “sex workers” and the tabloids label “vice girls” or “hookers”, let’s be clear, are heroin and/or crack addicts driven to the streets to fund their own (and frequently their parasitic boyfriends’)drug habits.

    Some heartbreaking stories appeared in the newspapers this morning. Young women, bright-eyed, their whole lives laid out full of opportunities ahead . Along come hard drugs and — wham!— all dreams are shattered. Life reduces to a treadmill, working, scoring, using, sleeping, working, scoring… and so on…

    Confronted by (probably paying) journalists, the girls say mostly what they know is expected. But some have admitted the uneasy truth: while their every intuition warns them: keep off the streets, the pull of drug-money becomes stronger even than the instinct to preserve life.

    Police say their warnings have been heeded. I really don’t think so. When sex workers know their clients have been all scared off, why bother coming out? Maybe the girls can make a bit of money talking to journalists if they find the right ones. Otherwise I’d suspect the majority are relying on their families (if they have families) to support them, or else are robbing the local high street… all the time waiting patiently for the situation to die down.

    What motivates a man to such depravity? The police have conceded he knows enough about forensic techniques to strip the corpses and dump them in a stream (where two were round very close together). The culprit is, apparently, “well organized” and (this is where it gets truly frightening) dangerous even as serial killers go…

    Experts, of course, disagree on the details.

    To Radio 4, he is a charming man the street girls feel they can trust; to the Sun newspaper he’s inept and full of rage. He targets street girls because they’re the easiest women to get hold of and he’s angry, one expert theorizes, because he’s (sexually) inept and resent the (sexual) power such women wield over him.

    A supposed “fund” has been set up to cover these ladies’ living expenses: but to be blatantly frank I cannot conceive how on earth such a scheme could operate without being abused.

    Are they going to hand out £50 a day to anyone who says she’s a prostitute? If the girls say they need it, will they give them more?

   There are no answers to this nightmare situation. The sooner the monster(s) responsible are caught, the sooner (relative) peace and harmony can be restored…


Pete Doherty, notorious rocker fiancé of Kate Moss has been fined yet again for possession of crack cocaine and heroin.

    The judge or magistrate in the case went leniently because Mr Doherty is doing so well at his treatment programme.

    Doesn’t this judge read the newspapers? fumes Jane Moore, columnist in the Sun.

    Well excuse me, Ms Moore, but aren’t judges supposed to disregard hearsay (which, let’s face it, is what the papers are full of) and focus only on the facts presented in court. Isn’t that why justice is blind? If the tabloid press were granted the power over the law courts of the land they desire, imagine just how OTT the outcomes would be…

    For information, BTW, I hear Mr Doherty is fitted with a heroin-busting naltrexone implant. For about £3000, a private clinic will fit one of these internal patches that blockades the effects of heroin and all other opiates completely for up to three months.

    If Pete Doherty’s really fitted up with one of these, I’d point out that merely getting such a drastic device installed under one’s skin says more than a whole folder of “drugs progress reports” ever could…

    …Being in the public eye with a raging habit cannot be easy.

    So I say: hats off to Mr Doherty, for making the effort.


Posted by gledwood at 7:21 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006 7:28 PM GMT
Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: Depressedly
Topic: Daily Doings

TUESDAY — what a blank day.

    I’VE SCRAPPED so many would-be versions of today.

    Yes, it’s a blank, blank day.

    Saw my drugs worker earlier. I’m trying to banish the needle from my life (if not the drugs (yet)).

    Don’t want to go into detail here but I will say I’m doing a lot better than I was, say three or four years ago.

    There was just now a programme from a radio series on, “Am I Normal?  This week’s topic was drinking.

    The British Government’s idea of binge drinking is exceeding eight units (men) or 6 units (women) in 24 hours.  

    Now that’s not most people’s idea of a binge.

    They used to say a “unit” (10 mls neat alcohol) represented a half pint (¼ litre) of lager or a single measure of spirits.

    The trouble is — who ever has just one half of beer or a single whiskey (unless they’re in a tearing hurry to get from the pub to somewhere else)?

    The typical pub wine glass holds nearly double what it did when the “unit” system was devised. Even the wine itself is stronger, up from an average 9% ABV to 11% or 12%.

    This “binge drinking” seems to be the in-thing for young adults and near-adults these days. I even heard that British-style drinking habits are catching on among the French youth.

    If that is the case, it’s a shame.

    Continentals have traditionally looked down on British and Irish tourists staggering about the streets of whatever resort, too drunk to remember even the name of their hotel. (I couldn’t really say the Brits in turn look up to the more sober locals because I don’t think they do. Probably most of the time they’re too blind drunk to take much notice!)

    That’s enough about booze…

    Tomorrow, I must remind myself, is a brand new day. I don’t have to do anything, I should remind myself of that. I can, if I remember to, take each day on its own merits.

    (I get into such a routine, you see, it’s sometimes hard to break out of it.)

    There… I did find something to say. (I wasn’t sure, when I started this, that I would.)

    I’m glad the day is over. I’m tired and I won’t say anything else here except goodnight. I might be in a better mood in the morning, who knows?...

   I don’t. I’m blank as today…

Posted by gledwood at 10:59 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2006 11:06 PM GMT
Monday, 11 December 2006
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: The Rememberer
Topic: Drugs FAQ

YOU DON'T NEED TO BE ADDICTED TO DRUGS to know craving… think of food addicts, gamblers… (I don’t include alcohol; alcohol is a drug).

    Simple old unhappiness… I remember years of it. That utter bleak despair, lost in the dark… But the more common experience of misery (more persistent and long-lasting, one that doesn’t call for help) is being just about okay. Showing the world you do cope — just.

    All the time craving something nameless, something more.

    Usually we satisfy this craving in “healthy” ways: chocolate biscuits, our favourite television programmes, sex…

    We all know of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit. We know the legend of Pandora’s Box. WE see wizened old junkies on our TV screens saying heroin and crack are “The Devil’s Drugs”. Life’s experiences (usually) stretch to guessing what they might be speaking of.

    Crack takes you up — way up high. Unlike smoking a cigarette or spliff, the entire dose is taken in a single breath, so the effect is compounded. Just like an injection, all the coke hits the brain in seconds, all at once. For five minutes or so you can float in euphoria before falling. Then you’re left with two options: take more crack or take something else to make you forget it. (“Forgetting” crack, takes potent stuff.)

    Crack cocaine hooks nobody at their first smoke. That’s a media myth. And it’s dangerous because it puts vulnerable people at risk. If that’s not true, they reason, what is? Suddenly, unsupervised in the Devil’s Playground, every game seems worth a whirl. “Indulge! You’ll be fine!” temptation urges.

    In my “formative years” I was exceedingly impressionable. Vulnerable to all life chucked at me (it threw quite a lot). And once I left home it seemed to throw it all at once. I count myself lucky that heroin and coke were not among the plethora of chemicals that came whooshing in my direction once I was left to fend them off alone.

    I shudder to think what might have become of me had I acquired a source of hard drugs at a young age. I doubt I’d be around to speak to you now.

    All youngsters experience pain when growing up; mine grew into agonies and I would never go through them again. (At times I was such a wreck I couldn’t even look the assistants in the eye when paying for things in shops. I “blanked” most people automatically, not to be rude but because I was too shy to broach a conversation (even with folks I knew). It is to their great credit that the friends I did make back then saw in me “something” worth knowing. Still, I don’t believe they knew the real me for the most part. I was defeated by depression, I was only half alive. That’s why I count myself lucky. If heroin had got me then I can’t see I could ever have survived it.

    For the most part cannabis smoke swirled around me, as well as so-called “candies” — the dance drugs ecstasy and LSD and speed… I knew people hooked on “toking spliff” — from waking to putting their head down at night they put cannabis ciggies to their lips, and (unlike President Clinton) they inhaled very deeply indeed. Cannabis never suited me enough to become a constant companion.

    As for the so-called Dance Drugs, some of those chemicals + my unhappy mind =’d reactions (esp. to LSD) severe enough to put off onlookers from ever dabbling with “trips” for the rest of their lives.

    Well, now it’s the heroin that’s got me. The other drugs I take have become subsidiary to my main habit, my so-called Drug of Choice. Heroin does things to you no antidrugs poster could ever explain. I cannot recall, for example, the last time I woke first thing with a bright, free spirit, thinking, “What am I doing today?”

    My days have decayed. Money = money to score. No money = methadone misery. Do what you have to… daylight passes… back to bed.

    Life on this stuff turns black and white.

    You either have your gear and you’re happy — or you don’t and life is misery. But between black and white and shades of grey, life’s myriad colours, somehow, have all gone.


Perhaps you’re wondering why I feel the need to say these things.

    For one thing among many, I can’t recall anywhere I’ve come across an accurate account of drug addiction from the inside. Writers tend to fictionalize their experiences, or else pen autobiography, often years after the fact. By this time, finer details have escaped them. Memory, as I said yesterday, is an expert Trickster.

    Forgetfulness is vast as the Seven Seas…

Posted by gledwood at 3:49 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 11 December 2006 4:06 PM GMT
Sunday, 10 December 2006

Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Every Day
Topic: Daily Doings

FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING and I am butchering myself. Heroin-cocaine mixture ("speedball/snowball"); blunt needles, veins that have had enough. I sit there with blood running down my arms and legs. After 20 minutes of trying everywhere, finally get the "hit" into vein below my little finger...

    ...It misses (or the vein collapses). I got an acid burn up my arm (big white lumps like huge mosquito bites from the "acidifier", equivalent to double-strength lemon juice)...

    Then I went to sleep. Ho-hum...

    That was last night, it is Sunday night now.

    It is a miserable evening,; chilly, raining. Three hours ago I rang someone for "gear". I know this person always takes ages, especially on Sundays, so I called him well ahead of time. But two hours later, he's not answering my "where the hell are you?" calls, so I ring someone else. Then the first one rings back saying come out to the end of my street. Sure enough he's there. Barely have I had the chance to draw breath since arriving back in my own house than my phone rings again. Now it's guy number two... I don't want to deal with this. Trouble is these two individuals know one another too well and are very petty-minded and jealous.

    Strange to say, but I feel I have to put these passing thoughts in writing for the sake of posterity, because if I don't, and then I do get clean, the past will become a blur... (Never underestimate the power of memory to play tricks! Memories, if we're not careful, become treasuries of all those things we think we should remember...) I don't want to lose the past any more than I want to live there.  And that, I think, is quite enough on that subject for today!


Posted by gledwood at 7:01 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2006 11:08 PM GMT

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