Monday, 30 July 2012

It's the ones we love that hurt us the most.

I needed to chill out tonight, instead I've been stewing in confusion, guilt and anger. I popped in to see my parents on the way home from work, I really wish I hadn't . There's a saying that comes to mind,
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"
I'd only called in to give mother the duty free baccy I'd got for her, I'd had a few drinks after work and was feeling a bit merry, Mum picked up on this, made a negative comment and unfortunately I took the bait and responded with an equally inane negative comment. Both comments were so insignificant I can't even remember what they were. I decided to leave quick sharp before things got out of hand but as I reached the front door I had a change of heart and turned back. I went back into the kitchen where Mum was sat, put my arm around her shoulder, said sorry and asked her what was troubling her so much. But the damage had already been done ! She wouldn't even look at me, she had her hand over her eyes and the tear running down her cheek told me all I needed to know. Any good feelings I had for the day vanished there and then, why oh why can't I be a little more sensitive ?
I really wish it was just me that had upset her so much but I know deep down that I was just the spark that ignited an already pre- loaded fire.
I've caused a ton of heart ache for my parents over the years, I try not to think about it too much at the moment but I know it's something that I'm going to have to face up to at some point, I physically ache when I think about how I've repeatedly hurt them year after year. I see this more clearly now than I ever have before and the reason for this is my Brother. He's a few years younger than me and he's had a habit a few years less than me. He's been living with our parents most of the time, they are afraid to push him away because they fear he will do himself in. If he could look in on the situation like I am doing  I'm afraid he might do himself in too.
He tells lie after lie without realising that we, especially me, see straight through him, I've tried talking to him so many times but he hates it when I do, it breaks my heart standing by like this, I see so much of myself in him, I can feel him hurting and screaming within. As I see what he's doing to our parents it really hits home how much hurt I've caused over the years.
I so much want to be able to do something about this but I feel completely useless, lost and very very sad, not for me, but for my brother , my mother, and my father.   

Friday, 27 July 2012

Anyone for fishing ?

Here are a few pics of the harbour where I've been spending my days this week. Every day has been absolutely beautifull. I feel priveliged to live in such a beautifull part of the world. The temptation to use has been hitting me hard recently, my whole body yearns for that rush.
Two things for which I am truly gratefull are, the beauty with which I am surrounded, and a couple of brews in the evening.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Is it going to be this Summer ?

Four weeks have passed now since I last took gear, I'm starting to believe that I can really do this. I'm no better off financially and I have to wonder how in the hell I managed when I was spending £150 plus every week on Heroin. It seems like I have a lot more to worry about these days but I think the worries have always been there, I just never gave them the time of day before. My biggest worries over the years have always been centred around gear and raising the money for it, not having this is like removing a ten ton weight from the top of my head. Every day on gear brought its problems, and eventually taking the damn stuff itself was one of the biggest.

I've been helping my mate out down on the harbour selling tickets for him, I've managed to sell a few trips which is a relief because I've never done anything like this before, I don't even like fishing that much although I am looking forward to the fresh mackerel I'm having for breakfast this morning. It's been so hot I've got myself sun burnt so the sunblock is definitely coming out with me today, my face, arms & neck are on fire.

I never thought I'd make it this far and I'm not quite sure how I've managed it either. I think the reluctance to go back to day one again plays a major role in me not lapsing because I have been tempted more than a few times, especially when things start to go wrong. I've also had a few people tell me that I'm looking very well, I don't really get this but it is nice to be complimented now and again.

For years now I've been longing to be able to enjoy a good Summer, I'm not talking about the weather or a fantastic holiday or earning a ton of money. By a good Summer I mean not having the stress and strain of being an addict, just enjoying it and relaxing like any "normal" person, I think this could actually be the Summer I've been yearning for.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Beyond the Point

Monday 25th June was the last time I took heroin, 1/2g administered by injection into the neck. It made feel a little light headed for a couple of minutes and I didn't need my daily dose of methadone. For all the good it did me I might as well have put £25 in the gutter and set fire to it. I've never really counted the days before because I always knew I was going to fail and it's so depressing going back to Day1 time after time.  The 25th of June got lodged in my mind for some reason but I'm glad it did because this time feels different, is different !

Not so long ago I was seriously thinking about raising my methadone dosage, during the last two weeks I've decreased my dose by 5mls and in a couple of weeks, as long as everything is OK, I'll make it official. I'm going to try and stay 5mls in front of what I'm being prescribed to give myself a small buffer zone and be able to have a few spare mls on the shelf for "emergencies" (oops, junkie mentality, oh well). When I get down to 10-15mls I'm going to switch over to 4ml subutex, you can do the swap at 30mls but that involves a bit of unpleasantness. I switched over from 12mls of meth once and I was walking around on cloud nine for a couple of days, it was wonderful (oops again). Subutex is a completely different drug to methadone, when used in the right way it makes tapering down to zero almost physically painless.

My goal has always been to achieve non-dependency of opiates but the closer it gets the more daunting it seems. About 3yrs ago I got down  to a tiny dose of subutex and the fear got the better of me, I sabotaged myself by bingeing for a couple of weeks and went straight back up to 30mls of meth. I've still got a long journey ahead of me and what I think I'm going to be needing more than anything else is courage, because I'm shitting myself !
                                                        NO TURNING BACK NOW !

Monday, 16 July 2012

If anybody out there is into trippy trance music check out freshradiouk internet radio monday nights 20:00hrs -22:00hrs.  Raoulw.    You will not be disappointed    X

Sunday, 15 July 2012

On the road in France

This is the way to travel, plenty of good smoke and some decent sounds !
We were on our way to France in search of work. five of us packed into a transit van, it felt good to be on the open road again. The van was an ex police riot van and without fail Tim  had to relay that information every time we got pulled, if you looked closely enough you could sill see the lettering on the sides. Just before leaving Holland we'd stocked up at our favourite coffee shop, we had a couple of oz's of everyday hash plus a few deals of something tasty for the journey. Simon had shaped and prepared the 2ounces for internal concealment but he was having trouble getting it up there.
Somewhere just before the French border Tim cried out,
"We're being fucking pulled"
"Oops it was only a recovery vehicle"
"Well" said Simon, " It was almost as if they were sucked up there"
At least the hash was now safely packed away, we just needed to get on and smoke gourmet stuff. We'd brought a few trips as well but they were safely stashed away in a cassette tape.
We were about fifty miles over the border and needed to stop at the services, we had seen absolutely no sign of border control or police. Simon and I went off to find the toilets, I thought it was a bit soon but Simon wanted to unload the parcel. As we made our way back to the van we could see that something was wrong, the other three were standing around the van looking on whilst two blokes were inside rifling their way through our possessions.
"Shit I'd hold back a bit if I were you Simon" The hash was now in his pockets.
It was customs and they looked quite intent on finding something.
We only a had a few words of French between us apart from Lindsay who had come along for the ride and her French wasn't that good.
One of them came out of the van holding my jacket.
"Who's" ?
" It's mine"
He proceeded to pull out coffee shop roach cards and king size rizla's from the pockets,
"Do you smoke hashish" ?
"Yes, but only in Holland" I don't think I was very convincing. He just passed me my jacket and climbed back into the van.
I turned to Adam,
"Where are the bits ? I know I didn't stash them" !
"They're under the carpet, there was no time, they appeared out of nowhere"
I decided then to hold my hands up if it came to it, what was the worst they could do for a few blims of hash, send me home " ?

We heard the crackling of their radio and some sharp words being exchanged, all of a sudden they'd clambered out of the van and were walking away from us. One of them turned round and said with a frown on his face,
"We have somewhere else to be "
They'd definitely found it because they'd left it in full view with the carpet pulled back.
The only thing we could do was put as much distance between us and them as possible. Eventually we turned off the motorway and followed the signs for the beach.

I'd never seen a beach like it before in my life, all I could see either side of me was beach disappearing into the horizon and apart from us there was not a soul to be seen. There were signs planted at regular intervals,  NO SWIMMING  NO CAMPING AND NO FIRES ! Hmmm, we were miles from anywhere and there wasn't a soul in sight. We collected a load of drift wood, built a huge fire, broke open the red wine and it wasn't long before the acid was dug out. We had miles and miles of empty beach and we were amusing ourselves by picking burning logs out of the fire, waving them around and having mock sword fights with our flaming brands,  little embers would fill the air whenever our swords clashed. When completely out of nowhere a spotlight appears in the distance working its way along the dunes in our direction, as it got closer we heard the unmistakable sound of a helicopters propellers,
I don't know what we thought was going on but within seconds we had all dropped our flaming logs and were legging it into the safety of the dunes just to watch the helicopter pass us by and continue up the coast.

We had travelled to find work, but work wasn't forthcoming, not only were we running out of options we were running out of money. We also needed somewhere to park up, we'd spotted a gypsy site and thought we'd see if they could give us any pointers.Within two minutes of speaking to them they'd invited us to pull onto their site and asked us if we were hungry, we spent the next three weeks playing games with those gypsies but that's another story. 

Saturday, 14 July 2012

It wasn't !

It turned out to be the perfect night, clear sky and a full moon.
" Ready "
"Yep "
" Let's do this then"
Five people dressed in their darkest clothes, five spliffs, ten bottles of beer and one torch. Gerard had been elected to stay behind and look after the caravan. Twenty minutes later we're stood in front of a four foot jump over a dyke and a barbed wire fence, but it was the sight in the sky above us that captured our attention. On top of the hill which was about four to five hundred metres away cross country there were three bonfires lighting up the sky,
"what the fuck" ?
"Shit" !
"What do we do now" ?
"Come on let's get closer so we can see what's going on".

                         *                                   *                               *                                  *

I've been struggling with this narrative for a couple of days, I just can't get into it so I'm cutting it short. Anyone who's been to Holland will know that the place is flatter than flat, that hill was just so surreal especially with those fair rides on top of it.
Not only were there bonfires, there were cars whizzing around being followed by a camera crew but that wasn't the main reason this hill has stuck in my mind for the last twenty years. When we started to climb the hill we got a couple of metres up and our feet started to sink, at first glance the ground looked normal but after a closer inspection I was completely gobsmacked. Underneath a thin layer of assorted organic substances were plastic bottles, vaccum cleaners, kitchen sink, you name it, it was all there, in a field, somewhere in Holland.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Long overdue but it's a start

I can hardly believe it ! Two weeks plus a few days of no gear and no extra methadone, I've even cut down my meth by 5mls. I'm not strung out, I've not been losing sleep and I feel OK. The best thing about this is that it's been practically effortless. I've been keeping away from other users but I still run into them and I've also had dealers letting me know when they're on, temptation just doesn't seem to be overpowering me the way it used to.

I am now officially unemployed and have a lot of time on my hands. In the past too much spare time would always be more time to plan, raise the money and execute the taking of drugs. Money is not the be all and end all when it comes to drugs, it certainly helps but sooner or later an addict with no desire to stop will always get their hit, there's very little that will stand in their way. Morals are eroded and ethics are subverted, it's  more than just stopping yourself from feeling ill and going through withdrawal, it's a way of life, life itself.

When I started taking heroin my objective was to forget. I wanted to forget that the woman I loved no longer wanted me, I wanted to forget that my children were a hundred miles away, I wanted to forget that my life was one big mess, I wanted to forget that I wanted to forget. I felt completely worthless and unwanted, I didn't care that the path I had chosen pushed me even further from the people I loved and lost.  It just confirmed my worthlessness.

It took me a couple of years to come to terms with not being with my children & their mother, my parents are still together and I'd always assumed that once I'd had children I would be in a rock solid partnership that would last forever. When she threw me out I hadn't seen it coming and I had no idea how to cope once she had. The only thing I did know was that taking gear took away the pain. It was a cowards way out, I should have faced up to my pain, anger and hurt, it was mine after all. I had let it turn my life into a train wreck, smashed up and going nowhere. Eventually the dust settled, but by the time it had I'd turned my problem into something much bigger, something that I've been carrying around for the last 18years.

My life has been on hold for 18 fucking years, on Friday I wont have used for 18days !  It's not long but it's a start.

Monday, 9 July 2012

It can't be !

In a field near Leiden, Holland, 1983.

There are no hills in Holland !
But there was, and it was only a few fields away.
But where the fuck are we ?
We were ten minutes ride from the farm in the back of a dark trailer.
Twenty of us, mostly English and Irish, two Dutch, one Scot. We had four days in this field, four days on our hands and knees crawling up and down a half mile long field, planting little baby dahlia seedlings, we'd already planted half a million, there was only another half a million to go.

It was impossible not to look at this hill, the only other hills you see in this country are sand dunes and it is against the law to set foot on them because they are the defenders of the land. Holland used to be under water, its land has been fought for, every square foot of it is precious. On top of this hill were the rusting hulkish forms of worn out fairground rides, I had to get a closer look.

A few weeks later all the seedlings have been planted and the farmer wanted us off his land. L and I had been living in a tent for the last ten weeks but the lads had gone and bought a caravan without having anything to tow it or more importantly anywhere to tow it to. The old boy had had enough of us, I think his patience had run out last week when he woke up to find thirty English/Irish drop outs tripping their heads off dancing around burning pallets in his back yard on a Sunday morning. He simply hooked the caravan up to his tractor, towed it a couple of miles and unhooked it. Our new home was on the side of a country road, next to a dike, next to a water plant (sewage works), no running water, no electricity, no jobs. Six of us .

Next day Jase, L and me set out to find work, we walked solidly for eight hours, we found no work but we did see the Hill, it wasn't that far from the caravan but it looked like it was surrounded by fields. I was limping quite badly by the time we got back, my left heel was just one big blister.
"The Guarda have been" pudgy informed us
"And" ?
"We're not allowed to stay here"
An expensive new car pulls up, out steps Paddy and one of the bulb factory bosses. They come to the door, poke their heads in and then Paddy points to me, Jase and L,
"You, you & you tomorrow" it wasn't a question, the three of us were working tomorrow.
"Karl, Jason, be over there on the road at 4:30 you'll be going up north and working in the fields, L be at the factory eight o'clock."
And then they were gone.
"Shit, eight hours of walking and all we had to do was sit here and wait."

It wasn't long before me and Jase were in the factory as well. We were grateful for the work, even though the pay was the minimum and they worked us like dogs.  Word had been getting out about this area for a while now, on the way into work we would pass several groups of brightly coloured UK misfits going from gate to gate in search of work. Funny thing was the majority of them had never had a job or would probably never even consider having a job back in the UK. We had to sign a contract saying we were students, this excluded us from tax, but it limited us to four weeks maximum. L and I decided that if we could save some cash we'd invest it in some trips and go up to the Hook. Apparently there was plenty of work around there in the greenhouses, and there was also plenty of fresh people straight off the ferry looking to score.

This factory had a very high turn over of workers, two out of ten workers would leave by lunchtime. The one bit of advice Paddy gave us turned out to be invaluable.
" Bring a jumper and spare T shirts"
"Eh ! It's the middle of the bleeding Summer, What the hell are you on about" ?
" You need to keep sweating " !
I'm glad we took heed. The main bulb in this place was Hyacinth, there were several million of them and where there are several million hyacinth bulbs there is a great deal of hyacinth dust in the atmosphere. The dust particles are like miniature barbed hooks, it gets onto your skin and makes you itch, and of course when you scratch you succeed in working the dust into your skin which makes it itch more. The more you scratch the itchier it gets, once you start you just can't stop ! We had no running water and the dust got everywhere, it was in our hair, in our clothes, even in our sleeping bags. If we could afford to we'd go to the swimming pool and soak the dust out of ourselves, but usually we made do with the lake, where it would take up to an hour to soak it out. I was not upset to see the end of that job.

L couldn't wait to leave, I can't say I blame her, five blokes and one woman all condensed into one small caravan. We were off to the Hook in the morning, packed and ready to go. There was just one thing I had to do before we left, I had to walk up that Hill.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

One more stone

4:30 AM. St. Pauls Bristol 1998
It was just me & Joe seeing in the morning. Joe was an old mate I'd known for years, he also happened to be a heroin dealer who loved crack cocaine.
" Karl I'm off to get one last stone, stay here if you want "
" Bloody hell mate, there aint gonna be anyone on at this time is there ?"
" Darkness will be on !"
Shit, that meant going down the frontline again & I really didn't like or trust Darkness he was a complete pschycopath, story was he had 3 working girls locked up in his place, he only ever let them out to earn and they always came back, probably because he very rarely ran out of white.
The streets were deserted, we got there without incident, now all we had to do was get back to the flat. We were practically home when across the road 2 blokes were eyeing us up,
"Give us a lick" one of them cried,
"Just keep walking, don't look back" warned Joe.
Joe lived in a ground floor flat, there was no wall to the back garden so we could just come off the road walk through the garden and his front door was on the side of the house.
" Run " urged Joe as we reached the side of the house, he already had his keys in his hands. We got through the door but they were right behind us puhing it open whilst we were desperately pushing back trying to close it. All of a sudden I was on my own pushing & they were getting the better of me, they were practically in but then Joe was back on the door with one hand & in the other he had one of those hand held sprayers you use for watering & feeding plants, he was spraying a mist of what looked like water into their eyes.
"What the fuck is that? " I heard one of them cry & I could see him raising his hands to his eyes & stepping away. I saw my chance to end this & gave the other one a mighty push & Joe was right behind me pushing the door shut, only problem was one of my arms was still outside,
" Open the fucking door my arm"
Joe opened the door for me to pull my arm back inside & as I did I felt something nick my forehead, I didn't think anything of it straight away I was just so relieved to be out of danger.
"What on earth did you have in that sprayer Joe ? "
"Ammonia and Bleach, That's my homemade mace" he was quite proud of it, I was very very gratefull.
" Let's have a look at your head ?"
" Na it's allright, what was that anyway ? "
" A machette "
" No way "
" Fancy a pipe ? "

Later on we opened up the door & laying on the step was a machette.
That morning used to pop up in my memory quite often & I always used to wonder what would've went down if those guys had gotten in, it's certainly been fuel for a few nightmares.

Monday, 2 July 2012


Bristol 1998.
500 df118's & 70 lorazepam, codiene and benzoes, should be plenty to see me through. This was my latest DIY detox supplies, now all I need is one last hit, & as luck would have it,
" Yeah matey's downstairs & he's got some lovely tackle"
An hour or 2 later I was on the bus heading towards the nightshift at pacel force & for some reason my stomach didn't feel too good. I got off the bus &  practically had to run the last 1/4mile to the warehouse because my bowels were on the move. I stood in the toilets stareing at the mirror, something wasn't right, I'd had a huge hit earlier, it was easily enough to see me through the night, but the eyes looking back at me from the mirror weren't pinned as they should've been, instead my pupils were big shiny orbs. I was going into withdrawal & it was digging in fast. There was no way I could stay there & do a 10hr shift I needed to get home, I needed to find out what on earth had gone wrong.

Home was about 10 miles away, so after making my excuses I got one of my workmates to run me home as the last bus had long since departed. I had to stop the car once to throw up & then again once I'd realised my teeth had come out & were lieing in the road somewhere next to a pile of puke.

"What's going on ? "
" Karl don't you remember ? "
" Eh you what "
" Karl, you went over ! "
" No way "
"Yes way "
" Shit not again, Well why the hell am I clucking my head off ? "
" Ah "
" What do you fuckin mean, Ah ? "
" We had to give you a quarter of a Naltraxone "
" SHIT FUCK What do you mean ? SHIT FUCK oh my GOD, SHIT FUCK what did ya go an do that for ? SHIT FUCK, well thanks for letting me know"

There's every possibility they'd saved my life, I wasn't feeling gratefull. I looked on my shelf, 5 hunded Df's & 70 lorazepam,  I wondered if they could possibly sort me out. I'd recently stopped taking naltraxone, I took it for a couple of weeks after taking part in the subutex trials and I knew that one whole tablet basically put you out of the game for at least 48hrs but I'd only had a quarter. I'm not sure how many Df's I took that night, it was definiteley more than 50 & less than 100, with some of the lorazepam tablets on top I guess I managed to get some sleep as I woke up some time in the early hours  feeling OK.

Oh well

It's time to make the call, social security here I come. Within the hour I'll be a statistic, just another victim of the recession. There's no point in blaming anyone or any group for my present predicament, I'm probably not guilt free myself. The only thing I'm gratefull for at the moment is I'm not scrabbling around trying to raise the money for a bag, all thoughts of gear went out the window a week ago.
It's a good job I've learnt how to live on practically fuck all !