Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Where did all the good gear go ?

North Devon,  23/8/12

" Alright mate, What's the gear situation ?"
" It's shite mate, we've done seven bags and we're still standing !"
" Urs texted me a few days ago, 'ours is lovely' it said"
" Hey Love ! What's Urs's gear like ?"
" It's shite !"

I'm not exactly sure what got into me, ten minutes of madness that only gear could quell,  for it was all I could think about in that short space of time, however I wasn't about to ruin my nine weeks of being heroin free for a bag of shite.

I got lucky that time and for this I am truly grateful !  I need to be more prepared for this kind of episode because sooner or later there will be some decent gear in this town and a moment of weakness can demand such a high price. I've only just begun getting used to having spare cash in my pocket. My kitchen cupboards are overflowing with fresh fruit and vegetables, I'm not stressing over how much money is on the leccy metre, not all the bills are final demands. Shit, I'll be planning a bloody holiday next !   I can't believe I've spent the last eighteen years being completely and utterly skint but the worse thing about this is it's been completely self inflicted.

It's nearly ten weeks now and without a shadow of doubt I have far surpassed my highest hopes and expectations.

 Maybe there is a life after heroin !

Friday, 17 August 2012

Snake in the Grass

North Devon 2010
I'm sure I didn't leave the stepladder there ? What the fuck !  There's a circular dent in the door and the locks not working. Luckily I had the key for the dead lock, strange thing was, I never use the dead lock unless I'm going away. As I stepped through the door the answer to my question was staring up at me from the floor, a section 1:8 search warrant. So the slimy little shit did do it, I was right all along. The cops are gonna be pissed, ha.

I was one of the first in a long line of many to get raided earlier that year. The hash business was going great, it was quite a profitable sideline, though it's main purpose was to finance my heroin habit the way it had done in previous years. Hash is relatively harmless, selling it rests easy on my conscience, I worked behind a bar for years, it's obvious to me which drug causes the most destruction, even the coppers agree that alcohol is the dangerous one. Somebody was ratting us all in, doors were flying off their hinges all over town. Everyone had their suspicions as to who the big mouth was and we were all bitterly aware that it had to be someone close.

I'd been waiting nearly six weeks for this batch, I was starting to feel the pinch. Half a kilo turned up Wednesday night and I sent out the necessary texts, by five o'clock Thursday afternoon I only had six ounces left and at precisely five thirty I was visited by sixteen officers of the law and one dog, two vans, one Land Rover and three cars, God only knows what they were expecting to find, it was only me on my lonesome, there was so many of them they couldn't even all fit in the flat at the same time. The warrant had been issued at nine twenty am. Somebody I'd texted the night before had to be the Grass. The only people I texted were people I assumed were my friends, but as someone once told me, "Assumptions are the path to all fuck ups !" I was sentenced to eight weeks suspended for a year plus one hundred and forty hours community service.

One of the names at the top of my list was Joe, a smack dealer, he was my main smack dealer at the time, he was supposed to be a mate, it was even him who'd set me up with my hash contact. He had been busted twice fairly recently and both times he'd been caught with a considerable amount of gear, scales, cash, tick list, etc. the story was he was still waiting to be charged whilst the police were building their case. I didn't want it to be him but I had to find out. I thought of a plan which involved setting him and the police up. If he was the Grass then I could expect another visit very soon.

"Hey Joe, hows it goin mate ?"
"Uh OK"
"Been charged yet?"
"I got some nice weed by the way ! But that's between you and me mate, know what I mean ?"
"Um OK"

The trap was set. I was still on my suspended sentence so it would make it that bit juicier for the cops, I would have definitely been going down if there had been anything there for them to find. Three days later I'd gone home for lunch, as we were pulling away I noticed a marked car turning into the close where I live, thank goodness I didn't leave two minutes later or I'd have lost half a days work as well as finding out one of my mates was the traitor.

The police had found my spare key for the deadlock, but instead of posting it back through the letter box they took it away with them. I poured myself a vodka with coke and reached up into the cupboard for my methadone, my methadone is completely legit, name on bottle etc. I practically turned the flat upside down, I naturally assumed the cops had taken it even though they had absolutely no right to do so.The only way I was able to stop myself from being ill that night was to go and score heroin. The police had caused me to break the law by scoring and using illicit drugs. I phoned up to complain that one of my keys was missing along with my prescribed medication, only to be informed that the officer in charge was off for a few days.

Four days later I get a call from a withheld number,
"Hello is that Karl ?"
"Yes speaking"
"My name is DC Rod Plod, Is it possible for you to call into the station to discuss the warrant we carried out last Thursday and what we found at the address ? I promise you are not going to be arrested."
Yeah right, I've heard that before ! Shit I wonder what they found ? well if it was anything serious they'd be coming to get me.
"OK DC Plod, I'll be there about five, What about my methadone and keys ?"
"The methadone is on top of the kitchen cupboard"
"No it's not I looked there"
"In a box apparently, and I'll give you the keys when I see you"
Right cardboard box you say, ah there it is, oh loads of rags and another cardboard box, bloody hell the bastards hid it, it's been here all the time whilst I've been out scoring gear, fucking pigs !

"As I said, you're not going to be arrested, I believe in being sensible especially seeing that what we found was a small quantity so I'm just going to caution you, even though you're still on a suspended sentence.
"Exactly how much did you you find?"
DC Plod was a bit shamefaced when he looked at me and replied,
"I'd say about eighteen pence worth"
They must have found a tiny blim on the floor somewhere.
"Oh and there was a tin with traces!"
Bloody hell they took my old stash tin because it had a bit of hash dust in it. All this just so they can justify smashing in my front door without having to pay for it.

Just as I was leaving,
"Let me guess, You were acting on information received ?"
As he was nodding I told him,
" You shouldn't believe everything you hear"

It wasn't long before Joe left town. Also he got raided two more times and got caught with considerable amounts of heroin and cash, yet he still walks free. It seems to me that the police have their priorities mixed up, they're happy to let smack dealers walk free whilst coming down hard on a drug that is relatively harmless as well as having many therapeutic, recreational and medicinal benifits.

 Where's the justice ?

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

It's got to be a One Way Ticket !

Things really are starting to change for the better. I'm enjoying my new job down on the harbour as well as having some success with it. I was worried at first that it might not work out, it's so completely different to anything I've done before. I'm earning half the money but seem to have twice as much in my pocket. I think the change in vocation has had a huge impact on my life and helped me lift myself out of the rut I've been digging myself into.

I never thought I'd enjoy a sales type job, let alone be any good at it ! I did bar work for about 5yrs but that was over 20 years ago,  it's not that different,  you just have to put on a smile and hop onto your stage, I'd forgotten how much fun I used to have, you never know who you're going to meet next.

I was definitely bored of painting and decorating, and the stress of being self employed was starting to outweigh the benefits of working for myself, BUT ! this job is seasonal and could only have another 4-6wks left. But that's OK ! It's given me a new confidence, I've rediscovered some lost skills and found the ability to adapt without the help of 'my old friend' heroin.

Last week I turned up at a friends house and walked in on four people, one smoking and three injecting gear, it wasn't very pleasant but I sat through it anyway, one of the people was my brother, a couple of months ago it would've been me. Without Heroin deadening my emotions my feelings are changing. When I'm feeling happy it's different, more intense and limitless, but when I'm pissed off I start being Mr. Angry, I seem to have a few issues with the human race, I was passionate about philosophy and politics before I started on the path of junkiedom. With gear in my veins I could just let the crap drift over my head, I'm having to bite my tongue quite often these days.

I Declare.  "I have no intention of taking heroin now or at any time in the foreseeable future." Unless administered by prescription.

This declaration is flawed but it's my decision and I'm sticking with it for now ! I'm enjoying these little changes in my life and I want to see them grow, I know that if I use just once I jeopardise this, I am determined to see this through. It's been just over seven weeks now, sometimes it feels like seven years other times it feels like seven minutes.

 The more I think about not using, the urge to use gets stronger, but when I think about the physical act of injecting it makes me shudder. Does this make sense to anybody else ?

Sometimes the urge to use is so strong it overwhelms, it takes every ounce of will power to overcome it sometimes a Brew has its uses, but it's far too easy to fill the hole that gear left behind with Brew the Special Brew that is !

This video and song are awsome. People wonder why there were riots on our streets last year. To me it's so fucking obvious !!!         Plan 'B'

I know I'm still at the beginning of this journey, but the journey has definitely begun. I still have the methadone to contend with. I committed to a small reduction recently, one in a long line of many to come.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Looking ahead !

Instead of my usual drug worker, I had a meeting with the main man who does the prescribing etc. He was my key worker a few years back and I have to see him every so often anyway. I sat down opposite him and just smiled, I wanted him to work before I spilled the beans.
" Hi Karl, Now let me guess ! You've been doing the same old for the last few months, plodding along with the painting and decorating and dabbling with the gear a couple of times a week ? "
" Well actually, come Monday I wont have used for six weeks ! "
He nearly fell off his chair.

He asked me if I had made a decision one night to give up or whether this was something that has just happened; well it's been both ! Over the last couple of years there's definitely been a decrease in the amount of heroin I've been consuming, though I was lapsing regularly and my binges sometimes got way out of control because of using other drugs on top of the heroin and methadone. The binges slowly became shorter and less frequent. In the end I've simply grown tired of the bullshit, poverty, substandard gear, lumps, bumps, bruises,scars etc, people looking down on me, the list goes on. I'm so glad I've grown weary of it and the longer I'm away from it the more I wonder how I kept it going for so long. I've been lucky to have found an escape via this route and haven't had to do a detox in a prison cell, or hit absolute rock bottom living on the streets of a big city or been forced into giving up because of a health issue that gave me two choices, Detox or Die ! I know I'm far from cracking it but I can say this right now,
" I'm closer to my goal of being opiate free than I have been in over ten years."
I say this because although I've been in similar situations before, this time feels so different. Maybe all those times I failed led me to where I am now ?

A few days ago I wrote a comment about the handful of people I know who have managed to stay clean, I've been thinking about this and would like to expand on it.

The people I know who've successfully detoxed and stayed clean have always had one thing in common, they all tell me that they never again intend to take heroin, none of this one day at a time malarkey, this may be a useful tool for many people and it's a little mantra I've used myself time after time, it has never had long term success for me and practically everyone I know who's employed it have always lapsed or relapsed along the path at some point. I'm beginning to think it's a bit of a cop out. When you give up, you give up, not for a day or a week or a month unless that's all you want, when you give up that's supposed to be it, end of ! finale ! For ever & ever amen !

It's scary I know ! I've always stayed well clear of making a declaration for life abstinence. I'd love to be able to enjoy some heroin or opiate drug somewhere down the line, maybe in a year or two. But as soon as I start thinking like that I'm plotting my own disaster, I'd be looking forward to that day like it was some kind of visit from an old friend I haven't seen in years and  we'd have so much to catch up on maybe we'd extend the visit to two days instead of one.

Heroin isn't an old mate I need to see again, heroin has destroyed my health and a very large part of my life, I don't want to give it up for a day, I want to GIVE IT UP now and for good !
The King Blues. The future is not what it used to be !