I would say the period I am describing is sometime around the beginning of 2012. By now I am about to turn 30 in the coming weeks and I have formed what I would call a serious 'habit' of taking pain killers, at this point my main drug of choice is dihydrocodeine which is as I have pointed out previously the European equivalent of hydrocodone. I am also taking vicodins and percocets which are being sent to me from Mexico with various contacts I have made down there through pain forums, it's a little different making a western union payment than it is waiting on a corner to meet a dealer but I am almost enjoying the way this works now.
The excitement of waiting for the post to arrive rather than waiting for a dealer to answer their phone is a different kind of excitement, it's more staggered. I have a plentiful supply of dihydrocodeine in the mean time to keep me going or keep me high or whatever it is at this point, the difference with DHC (dihydrocodeine) and vics and percocets are that DHC almost always comes pure with no acetaminophen so you can just pop a few at once without worrying about your liver or stomach being damaged by all the acetaminophen (that's paracetamol to Europeans btw) in the pills. I've noticed that my tolerance has gone up a little bit but not that much that I am worried, all I know at this point is that they make me feel good and seem to alleviate this depression and anxiety that I seem to suffer on an almost constant basis.
It's hard to explain to someone that hasn't suffered from depression, or some kind of mood disorder, exactly how it makes you feel and why coping with it is so difficult. I am 100% convinced that most if not all drug addicts, especially those addicted to opiates, have some type of depressive condition, it makes sense that people with a low mood that are always anxious or miserable or detached would have the most to gain from mood enhancing drugs. Pain killers are for people that are suffering acute physical pain, someone with broken ribs from a car accident that is in pain when they even breathe, someone with cancer etc. But what about MENTAL pain? It's every bit as real if not even more real than physical pain, it's constantly with you and it's so hard to understand, every attempt to understand it is typically followed up by thinking bad things about yourself, "It's just me, everyone else seems OK" or "I deserve to feel like this because I am a bad person" or "Why can't I just snap out of it what the fuck is wrong with me?" and it plays on in your head continually.
It's only perception that matters though, if someone has a physical ailment everyone understands that they're in pain and suffering terribly and they need drugs to help them. However, when someone is suffering psychologically people don't perceive the pain to be real, it's not really an acceptable excuse to use drugs in the eyes of most people because most people are fairly ignorant to mental health issues and those that aren't are in many cases also in favour of the whole 'tough love' and 'life isn't a walk in the park, get over it' type of philosophy. For a long long time I put up with or lived through some very very bleak times psychologically, I've always had self-esteem issues and lacked confidence in myself, I've always had issues with self loathing and probably always will.
I was quite a chubby teenager and the puppy fat didn't fall off me until 16 years old when I started doing class A drugs. When I was 16 and I took ecstasy, I became confident, I strutted around dance floors in newly acquired expensive clothes from the proceeds of party prescriptions for others, I had lost all my puppy fat and everyone had noticed how different I looked. I suddenly felt popular and had all these friends that I would go to raves with and take Ecstasy with, I felt part of something, whatever it was, the rave scene, drum and bass, ecstasy, the drug scene, or maybe just part of a new group of friends or most probably all of them! I was getting attention from girls now as well, that's pretty much all a teenage boy thinks about. Sex and girls and how to seek them both out. Now finally I was getting girls phone numbers, girls were picking me over my friends for once, I wasn't even just getting girls I was getting the hot girls that everyone wanted! I felt like I'd made it, I would be at a different club every weekend getting everyone buzzing on E's and taking one of the hot girls home at the end of the night, I was also really getting into the music, drum and bass, breakbeat, dirty house, tech house, techno, old skool hardcore, even a bit of garage!
So when I look back now I think I was really a typical unhappy teen, I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 8/9 which was very rare in the UK back in the late 80's and rarely diagnosed, most doctors didn't even believe in it. My parents had started to hate each other at around the same time and the next 10 years until I left home they lived in separate rooms of the same house, refusing to communicate with each other unless via their children or in the form of rude and hurtful post-it sticky notes, which they would leave on each others doors for us all to read. When they did talk to each other I'd wish they wouldn't because they could only dig at each other and be horrible so I preferred it when they just ignored each other. It wasn't a very happy house and I felt partly responsible because I had been told by each of my parents that my behaviour was what was leading to some of their arguments, I think that's probably bull shit and they would have argued anyway and eventually separated but at the time I felt responsible and thought they both hated me for it, which I think they maybe kind of did. I was very rebellious and always getting in trouble at school or being brought home by the Police for doing something dumb, typical teen shit.
The whole ecstasy/rave scene kept me going though, I thought I was a bit like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever doing a shitty 9-5 job so I could live for the weekend in the night clubs, except instead of the Bee Gees and the terrible flares I was brocking out to Andy C and Frankie Knuckles and Deekline and wearing my awful, ugly, brash patterned Moschino shirt with some tight Armani jeans and a pair of Nike Air's thinking I was THE SHIT, even though it only lasted a few hours. And that feeling, those few hours in the clubs, kept me going all week through work, doing a badly paid job that I hated. I moved out of home when I was 18 and lived in a crappy run down 1 bedroom flat in West London, my dad owned it as an investment and let me have it at a just about affordable rent, it was right on the tube tracks and so as well as there being rats everywhere (not usually inside the flat) the tubes would wake me up all the time at 5am if I wasn't still up. The weekend was what I lived for and from 18-28 I just took as many party drugs as I could every weekend, sometimes in the week too, lots of drinking, cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, acid etc.
When those drugs stopped working and I no longer had the weekend to even live for, things started to get seriously bad. I was really depressed, yet at the time I didn't see it, I didn't really understand that I was different to other people and I was always pissed off that other people had an easy ride of life when I didn't. Rather than seek help from a doctor I just self medicated, I smoked weed every day, took valium, I used to drink quite a lot when I was younger too and had a few beers every day, at one stage I was sniffing coke at least 4/5 nights a week for a few years too.
Obviously that's an expensive habit and to fund it I had to do things that also made me paranoid, there was often a lot of drugs in my flat and I was constantly worried I'd be arrested or raided. I wasn't in to big time crime or anything but I was in a position of being able to get pretty much any drug wholesale at a cheap price and also knew a lot of people in London that didn't know anyone to get any drugs from at all. They would pay a lot of money out of simply having no other option so something that cost me £1 could be sold for £10 quite easily, you see where I am going with this, and it meant that I had enough money to do what I wanted. Take as much drugs as I wanted, give them away if I wanted, take taxis everywhere, buy clothes all the time etc. I never profited in monetary terms I just funded a lifestyle that I would have never had otherwise.
When I look back at it, my whole life has been governed by drug taking really. I felt drugs had given me an identity, I felt they had made me popular, they'd made me thinner, richer, and taken me to places and introduced me to people I would never have met otherwise. Subconsciously I associated drug taking with all the positive things in my life, and they did bring me a lot of fun and joy, the best times of my life were taking drugs no doubt about it.
I am still trying to break this association now, trying to build a life without drugs, and it's very hard and it will take a long time.
I've digressed horribly in this entry but for some reason I thought I needed to put the journey up to this current point of my life, early 2012 and almost 30 years old, into more context. By now I was only taking pain killers, I was occasionally taking a hallucinogen or doing cocaine, but other than constant weed and valium my only other drug of choice was pain killers. I'd found that Percocet was definitely my most favourite of all the pain killers. DHC makes you feel very heavy and nauseous, it's quite 'smacky' as pain killers go and I always found it would render me a couch-locked mess. I loved that feeling, but I always notice that if I took a vicodin or a percocet it would give me a different feeling, I'd get more euphoria from them and more energy, if I was meant to be going to a social occasion at the weekend I would take percocet instead of DHC and it made me more talkative and sociable but still gave me that lovely warmth inside. I knew that the opiate ingredient in percocet was oxycodone and that this differed from hydrocodone, it was considered stronger and it was more expensive.
I'd read a lot about people being addicted to oxycontin and this whole craze that had swept across the USA with so many people being addicted to "hillbilly heroin" but it hadn't ever been a story in the UK. I felt it was unlikely to be a problem for me, partly because it took 2 weeks to get them sent from Mexico and partly because I seemed to be able to control my opiate usage. I could skip a couple of days of DHC and not get sick or anything, plus because I now rotated what opiates I took, I thought this would make some kind of difference. If I alternated between DHC, Codeine, Poppy Seed Tea, Vicodin, and Percocet I thought it would split up the opiate receptors enough not to develop an addiction, it sounds ridiculous now but this was simply a lie I was convincing myself of in order to continue to use opiates. Now one of my vendors in Mexico is telling me has some Oxycontin OC's and that it would make sense to buy fewer of them rather than dozens of percocets which do the same thing anyway. This makes sense to me, it seems like the sensible plan of action.
Now if any of you are still bothering to read by this point, I know I talk an awful lot, and most of this blog is just inane ramblings about my shambolic shell of a life, so I thank and appreciate anyone who actually takes the time to read this. Although I should point out that rather than reading the blog of a 32 year old recovering heroin addict whose main achievement in life is to be able to tie his shoe laces together (sometimes) you could be bettering yourselves by reading Chomsky, or Another Angry Voice's Blog and educating yourselves on the real ills of the world and how we can solve them!
Anyway you're still reading so that's good and I thank you for your time, Chomsky probably can't tell stories about being raided by the Police and being dragged out of the shower naked and beaten up in any case (that's coming later!) so fuck him! So I decided to take the plunge and I ordered 10 x 40mg Oxycontin OC's and waited for my order to arrive. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I am holding my package in my hand, it's arrived on a Friday and I am so fucking excited I am fumbling around with my keys trying to get in so I can open this parcel up. I get inside and rip the package open, there before me are these 10 orange pills , I feel like I am on drugs already as the adrenalin is rushing to my head as I peel the pill out of the blister pack. I decide I will start slowly and just take half one at first as that as the equivalent of 4 of the percocets I have been getting. The pill didn't break easily so I bit it in half, I seemed to get about 3/5ths of the pill so I reckon I have taken about 25mg of oxycodone and I sit and wait for the results. I send a text to 'E' my girlfriend who will shortly be joining me at my flat when she's finished work telling her that the Oxy's are here and I have just popped half of one, she's excited too, it's going to be a good night!
About 15 minutes elapse, I haven't eaten anything all day as I have very little appetite at all. My meal regime is wake up and drink a cup of tea, smoke 2 cigarettes, have a coffee, then for the rest of the day alternate between tea, coffee and more cigarettes. Get home from work, smoke bongs for a couple of hours and THEN eat something, then I either pass out from weed and valium or stay awake and eat as much crap as I can. When I wake up the next day I feel sick from eating so much so I don't eat all day, and the cycle starts again. This Oxy has now started to hit me, I can almost feel it melting in my stomach pumping this lovely warmth around my body, I am getting the urge to move around, I am pacing around in this excited way, as I am getting higher and higher, a huge smile is etched across my face and all my problems are melting away second by second. All the shit I've been thinking all these years, that I hate myself, that I'm no good, that I only cause bad things to happen, that no one likes me, all the injustice in the world that normally bothers me and sits in the back of my mind as a constant reminder that humanity is dead and the human race is doomed, all those thoughts just start to dissipate at a rapid rate. This is better than any of the other opiates I have taken, I am fucking LOVING this feeling, within 5 minutes I've eaten the other half of the pill and I am frantically texting "E" about how amazing this shit it. The mothership has now landed and it's another one of those poignant moments for me, my new found love, opiates, they just took on a whole new meaning, and my word that meaning feels good.......
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