Sunday, 20 February 2011

safe routes around town

pinkpressthreat; geographically, there are certain routes i would always take to ensure maximum visability to other users while on the way to 'the scene' where they would all gather. it was important to bump into others to get the low-down on gear, what was happening, who was looking for you (in a good/bad way depending on what you had done) etc. etc. there are certain areas i now avoid like the plague, but unfortunately it cannot always be done and if i have to pass through, i have to pass through, but i never even linger long enough to tie my shoelaces for fear of bumping into somebody. places where 'we' (that seems to imply unity, a group of friends, a collective... but we weren't, or if we were, it was simply drink & drugs that had brought us together and as little as not paying back somebody £1 for a can of beer was enough to tear you apart) would go included some of the busiest green spaces in Cambridge. These were, and still are, popular with students, 20, 30, 40, 50-somethings eating al-fresco on their lunchbreaks or having picnics at the weekends with their friends- basically, it's for everyone and used by everyone. my friends from college go here, my other friends from outside the heroin scene go here, but i can't bring myself to with them, for fear of bumping into old faces. I cannot be bothered, and one person has a real big problem with me, although she is in her late 40s, a mother and I have never ever done a thing to her. its really odd. people have suggested jealousy before and i wonder if it is. its not unusual for certain people in the same situation as you drug addiction wise to envy you for every little thing you seem to have more than them. judging by the way she used to slate my drug-free, professional mum i think she was just very jealous of the family i had. she had never met my family, yet seemed to revel in telling me how awful she thought they were. and you know how it is; you can slate your family, but when it comes to somebody else doing it- its a no-no!

i go through the town centre quite a lot, taking my twin nieces + nephew out, if i need to go shopping or meet a pal and i pass regularly the old faces. in our town centre, which has two shopping malls seperated by a green space, there is one hostel right on its doorstep. another major one housing many, many people is but 15 minutes outside of the town centre, and its residents tend to congregate in the main part of town, begging, boozing with mates, shoplifting to earn money... that kind of thing. i say hello to the people i knew "well" which is actually, not that much. i never developed a deep friendship with anybody, i was just taken advantage of all the time and i was so naive, believing i would definately get back that bag as it was my last one and they wouldn't leave me in the lurch like that, would they? if im in a rush, i just rush past, but if i clock eyes with anyone i know, i never ignore; i smile or say hi. however, just recently, i have been getting a lot of comments as i have passed "stuck up bitch", "she thinks she is too good for us does she" and my personal favourite "once a junkie whore, always a junkie whore". i love the way once you are a girl, slag, whore & slut immediately are paired with another insult to produce a really, extra-hurtful one. i am not stuck up, or too good for anyone. i just cannot cope with being around heroin and crack as its still really raw to me. people don't seem to get this. i got smacked in the face last year for being "stuck up" when i never even saw the person, just whacked for no reason. some of these people are really angry, and bitter and when they get drunk they start on anyone, including their closest "friends". its really out of order, so i just want to stay out of the way as much as possible. why would i want to get into a fight when i am trying to get a job in probation or with young offenders? any conviction for violence etc. and my career prospects would be in tatters. all i know is, whenever i saw anybody get clean, i wasn't jealous to the point i resented them doing the best thing they could possibly do. i was actually glad for them. oh well, hopefully the longer i go, the more people will forget me.

also, pinkpressthreat, i have the BEST knowledge of toilet facilities in Cambridge. people are usually astounded when i give them the rundown of the most local bathrooms in catagories from miles away, cleanliness to peacefullness and whether there is always loo-roll & soap or basins in the cubicles.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Response to Gledwood

I will look further into Psychodynamic counselling. Hopefully, they will have it on offer here. I was in full-time outpatient care from 13-17 but at 17 Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust made major cuts to mental health funding and closed down its Young Peoples Psychiatric Service among other things. It was devestating. Any correlation between me suddenly going from having support to zero and plunging into a world so dark and murky and unsafe that I am surpised I lived to tell the tale. I nearly didn't, at both my hands and somebody who now has the perk of an indefinate jail term.
MEN... I was a late starter and only had a boyfriend once, nothing even serious. I called him that, but he wasn't. Not really. Some would disagree but I believe you cannot seriously romantically love and have a relationship with somebody else while on heroin and entrenched in the lifestyle. Or at least I'm speaking for people my age. It's impossible. Impossible. I never, ever could beg. I just couldn't. I'd lived in this town all my life, was too well-known, but most of all, I didn't have the guts to do it- and some say the looks. I didn't look "down and out" enough, apparently. Don't get me wrong, I did at times, but then I would hide indoors or in the shadows.

Peoples jaws drop when I say I am a heroin addict. It is beyond most people to come face to face with a junkie or a smack head, a skag head & a crack head and find that they haven't been able to detect it already. It is not how I look, or dress, it is my manners, my intelligence, my kindness, morals & scruples... most cannot seem to comprehend somebody like "that" could possess such things. That and when they think of junkies, immediately the stereotypical physical characteristics spring to mind- if you don't match them, they seem to think you didn't have "that much of a problem" and "it couldn't have been THAT bad" still, interestingly, they begin to more tightly hold their purses against their sides and check their phones are still about their person etc. etc. It is done "discreetly" but because I am so used to it, I see it, no matter how small their movements are. What makes it all the MORE ironic is, I have NEVER EVER EVER mugged anybody, stole from my family friends or stranger, or dealt in stolen goods. I know my family members pin numbers for their debit & credit cards, know where they keep their cash... but no, I just couldn't do it to them. Still people think the potential is there. The potential was there for me to get money at my expense, not my family & friends.
My so-called mates who are users have stolen my laptop, my sewing machine, my digital camera, money, mobile phone and sold me fake heroin or cut the bag and given me a .1 for a £20 (over 8 years, not recently!!) I could never do that to them, I learnt quick this game wasn't me, but I kept on thinking if I afforded people the trust and kindness I never was they would change. NEVER DID HAPPEN THOUGH.

Yes, heroin WAS CHEAPER. I used to when I first started take 3 x £20 a day which were a .6 at the very least. People would drive down from London, sell 2 for £35 or 3 for £50. It was usually excellent quality in those days, consistently good from the london lads. Recently, its all over the place, in the past year that is. You could never count on good stuff, but you could so-so to practically crap stuff. Its changed now. Has it got back to normal British people? I wouldn't actually know, haven't spoke to my old heroin pals about exactly what made us pals in the first place (and only thing really). Once it does come back, we are so starved it will be sky high and we will pay for it.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Finally, its happened.

I have been far too elusive, I know. Sorry for that. I have been clean now since late October. I would have posted, but to be honest, I didn't because I didn't know WHAT to write. I did not know why I was able to stay clean this time, and I wondered how I might respond if somebody asked me the magic question, "What's your secret?" Before when I have tried... its been an absolute failure, but perhaps that is because I had no real intention of doing it, and certainly did not have a plan, or the tools to do so. But having said that, it doesn't seem as if I have specifically gone out of my way to abstain from brown & white. When I get my money, before, I wouldn't have been able to resist going out and scoring. Then a little bit more, then just a little bit more... until my money had gone the day I recieved it. I had all the best intentions, and would genuinely believe I would start saving next week for whatever I had thought of next; my clean, sober life perhaps. But it never happened. Obviously, I was an addict for a lot longer than I knew the Ex, but he had also been an addict a lot longer than me, and he was financially supported by high amounts of benefits and significantly high amounts of money from his parents... so we differed a lot. He would spend his/our money in a day, no thought of budgeting, and once it was gone I would have nothing, but he could go and disappear and grab £100 a day off his parents until the next time I got paid and he would let his Mum or Dad off for 24 hours. Not putting any blame on him, but his drug of choice was different, and so I was in a dire situation (cocaine or crack cocaine) as that was so pricey, and I couldn't take his tantrums for money and I'd give it to him. Again, not blaming him, but its no suprise as soon as he went, I suddenly gave up drugs and can save my money. I believe what happened was as soon as he got his money, he spent it on himself, and when I got mine he would nag and nag at me for mine, and it would slowly drain away... and I resented this. He would blow his, and he expected to live off me, and when he scored and got high, it made me angry, so I would want to use aswell, albeit different ones. I wanted some of my money too, so would try to match him in what money he would use up. Terribly destructive. It is quite amazing how when you are with somebody, you firmly believe you love them, and you argue and split for a day and you can't imagine living without them, worry yourself sick how they might be without your care.... but as soon as I got rid of him, it took me about 4 days to realise how good it was. When I went to see some old keyworkers regarding my University funding, I came out to see my old friend Twin Beckie. She told me how happy she was I got rid of him, and she looked me up and down and said "just look at you.... just look at how much better you are," Simple things I didn't realise; him telling me I didn't need make-up, didn't need to wear 'those' clothes, didnt need to go out or do my hair, and god forbid I want to go out without him.... easy at the time to mistake it for love & caring, when really it is control and domination. I can honestly say I don't miss getting my books burnt, being held under a bathtub full of water, pushed, hit etc. etc. I never thought I'd be a "victim" of domestic violence and I hate to mention it, as when its been brought up people roll their eyes as if to say "oh how typical, what a cliche!" I have never felt so small or little in my life, but that is the point isn't it, thats why so many women don't leave or feel they can't.

So many improvements.... my flat is lovely. Got new bookcases to house my hundreds upon hundreds of books, done the whole place out, got my new sewing machine and have been working away. My stomach is still pretty bad, vomitting 5 days out of the week. I went to the pub yesterday and literally stuck to Appletize. That is the first time in about 8 years I have been to the pub and JUST drank a soft drink, its not me at all, so you know I have to be sick to do that! My drinking is slightly better, a bit up and down. I would never dream of walking down the street drinking a can of special brew now, but one thing I can't shake off is that evening drink! I live by myself (which I love!) and I just like to have that "wind-down" drink. It is so hard to stamp it out. Though I want to as I have put on so much weight, well, got a little chubby as I am just boozing and eating whereas on snowballs, I never had an appetite. However, I am telling myself "its ok for the moment, you have been an addict for years upon years, you are catching up on your eating. just join the gym and you'll be ok!" Gym is also good for the mind, all those endorphins it releases. Can you please motivate me to go? I don't seen to be getting myself there. I thought I might buy myself a fitness DVD but I have read reviews and its awkard to find a decent one. Though I know its best to go the gym. Its half term this week so maybe I should just do 10mile walks daily around Cambridge. It takes me 7.3miles back and forth to college alone! But as its been so cold and bad weather, I hitch a ride with my mum to her nurses job.

I have a UNIVERSITY PLACE! Studying Social Policy. I am just investigating the claiming benefits part etc. I want to work but it worries me as I used to work in Evans in the Grafton but my panic attacks & anxiety mean I can't even walk about the street by myself, so what hope do I have dealing with the public in an assertive manner? Exactly, I don't. Still, I'm just focusing on the happy news. When I joined college I was having to score drugs thus missing class, drink to get up, at lunch, at breaks and I had panic attacks if I had to speak infront of the class, literally, so bad even though I was on beta blockers (prescribed for high blood pressure). To think I went from that to this in such a short while.... I have been trying for years to turn it around. I prayed for it, begged for it... then all of a sudden, I just managed it. Not solely, but I do attribute some of my success to a) not having to go to the methadone clinic with all the other (mostly) significantly older clients b) not hanging about with ANY other users c) not going to places where I might see said users d) not talking to said users over the phone. I just got a new phone, so didn't save dealers or other users numbers but I had them right up until last week. I could have rung them ANYTIME but didn't.

On Monday I went for an assessment with addaction that deal with me for the methadone prescription, but as this was for alcohol, it was a different half of the staff. It was just going through the said form which staff roll their eyes at and seem to hate it more than the client, but as they say, it HAS to be done. It may seem a little impersonal to some but I understand why they have to do it. When it got to asking whether I had a criminal record and I replied "no, not at all" she gave me a whooping congratulations! and wow! thats so rare! brilliant! She told me she would present my case to the rest of the staff and they would decide what to do with me- i.e whether I am in need of treatment and if so, what kind, and who with. I hope I get something.

My doctors and case worker are very happy with me but I have been kind of pissed off with them, when I was off the rails they said there was no point in giving me any type of counselling, therapy etc. as I was intoxicated, well now I'm off it, they still won't give me a god damn thing. I think it is dangerously niave to assume I have cracked it all of a sudden, surely, they should be giving me therapy to try and develope the skills to cope me with the issues that cause me to use drugs and alcohol. I sometimes think alcohol is more dangerous, as when drunk, I lose my inhibitions and decide to go score, like I did when I was a few months clean from methadone, done a big snowball and ended up on life support. Still, nothing. I'm not acting as if I'm special, like I should jump to the top of the list but I have been promised help for so long, and it angers me my family have been dumped with caring for me. Yes, thats what family are for but there is a difference when they work full-time and have to dedicate every spare minute to you. Its so stressful for them, and I hate to do it to them.

Anyway..... as I always promise, I won't leave it so long next time.
Seriously, I will try not to. If i do, drop me a message on twitter or fb or something :)
I have noticed some of my old blogs I followed have become obsolete, if you have one, let me know.

Love Naomi xxx