Category Archives: Drugs

Almost Sober

Tool’s ‘Sober’ is a song about a friend of the band whose artistic expression only comes out when he is under the influence. “A lot of people give him shit for that, if you become addicted and a junkie, well, that’s your fault.”

I put hammer (significantly I used my Dad’s hammer which I’ve managed to keep with me ever since I was 18) to bong on January the 9th. I’ve not smoked a cone since. 

Does this make me sober? 

The dictionary says: To be sober is to not be affected by alcohol; not drunk. Does that mean ‘in the moment’? Or does that mean forever? I’m so confused. 

I still smoke rollies, but only at home. IE: If I venture out of the house I do not bring tobacco and rolling papers with me, but sometimes when I’m out for the day I do get cravings. Last week I visited a friend’s tattoo store and immediately felt like smoking a cigarette. I ended up going down the road to buy some, but for whatever reason I didn’t even open the pack to smoke one, and that packet is still on my kitchen bench unopened. 

In the past, if I quit smoking bongs I’d drink like a fish, but that hasn’t happened this time around. By myself I’ll have a glass, 2 at most, but add a friend into the mix and I end up smashing bottles and smoking cigarettes like a chimney. 

Then there’s the medication. I’m still on Quetiapine (200mg/night), on top of that I have a bunch of herbal stuff from my Naturopath to help me sleep and to work on my insides. I also take a CBD oil capsule a day to manage body aches. Taking this stuff consistently, every single day blows my mind as for years there I could never dream of doing anything consistently at all, period. 

In the past I’d often research ways to get off drugs and often I’d read “ditch the friends you do drugs with”. I always thought that was impossible, and a ridiculous ask, but when I was trying to neck myself I managed to push all my friends away, and right now, if I look at my current circle of friends I can’t help but notice all of them are straight AF. 

So what’s it like to be sober? 

I think I’m just as expressive creatively as ever, if not more so as I’m not gaming 10hrs a day. I’m sleeping better than I ever have. I weigh more than I ever have and life’s far from short. IE: The days feel so fucking long I have to watch TV at night to wind down and pass the time. Balance is at play in that I take breaks from designing. I play only 1–2hrs gaming/session (often I go for days without gaming too). All of this normality and consistency felt impossible when I was abusing (smoking bongs from 4.20AM - midnight), but now it’s a harsh reality. 

What confuses me the most is that I’ve given up weed. I always planned to smoke weed forever, but I’ve well and truly broken up with Mary Jane. A close friend suggested that I’m no longer in denial about smoking weed… that blows my mind as I still don’t exactly understand how I managed to stop smoking bongs. But I have and I have to say life feels pretty good on the rails. 

My next step is to get off the medication and start exercising. Dropping the dosage from 2 pills a night to 1 to none is a priority, so too getting back on the bike. I’m also going to start driving again, and have started the hunt for a daily driver (which in itself has been super fun as I’m planning to build a stripped out rally car for the streets). 

Life’s pretty straight without a bong, but being straight is pretty hardcore in itself, and where I used to look at straight people as being un-trustable, I now admire straight people for being able to deal with life head on. 

More updates as they come!

This is also on Medium for an easier read: https://medium.com/@justinfox_30083/almost-sober-6cc469eebbcb

Posted in Drugs | Comments Off on Almost Sober

JivanHealth

mumdrive
Mum drives me everywhere. Time for me to get a car and start driving again me thinks.

jivanhealth_sign
David Jivan has moved!

beyourself
#zentip

feels
#zentip

jivanhealth
Loving his new office. It’s a house, but has been converted SO well. Heaps of natural light and above all, great vibes!

davidjivan_holeinwall
He’s kept the hole in the wall from his last office!

Mum took me to see David Jivan today. Naturopath Extraordinaire. I had to tell him all about my adventure down to the depths, and my current climb out of the hole. He was shocked, of-course, and sympathetic. He also bolstered me up with extra time to just talk shit, and tell stories. Felt more like a well being spa than an office. Loved every minute of it!

Oh, and I got a few takeaways too. Stuff to help me sleep, stuff to help bring out the good energy, stuff to make my insides better!

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/davidjivannaturopath/

Posted in Drugs, Family | Comments Off on JivanHealth

Brett Whiteley Studio

whiteley_studio

Untitled-3-980x550

Untitled-7-980x550

Untitled-5-980x550

Untitled-2-980x550

Untitled-4-980x550

Untitled-6-980x550

Untitled-1-980x550

Revisited The Brett Whiteley Studio in Surry Hills with Dianne this weekend. It’s the workplace and home of one of my favourite Australian Artist’s Brett Whiteley (1939–1992).

He is represented in the collections of all the large Australian galleries, and was twice winner of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes.

“Difficult pleasure” is how he described painting, or creating art stating; “Painting is an argument between what it looks like and what it means.”

baboon
Brett Whiteley – Art, life and the other thing 1978

Whiteley became addicted to heroin, this shows in quite a lot of his work and is what drew me to study the Artist when I was a kid in high school. It was his 1978 Archibald Prize-winning painting ‘Art, Life, and the other thing’ which I chose to do a major on, specifically ‘the other thing’ depicting a baboon injecting himself with needles. The tormented baboon is the symbolisation of his battle with heroin.

On 15 June 1992, aged 53, Whiteley was found dead from an overdose in a motel room in Thirroul, North of Wollongong.

Proving that 90’s mindset that Artists only make it when they’re dead, in 1999 Whiteley’s painting The Jacaranda tree (1977), sold for A$1,982,000, a record for a modern Australian painter at that time. In 2007 his painting The Olgas for Ernest Giles was sold for an Australian record of A$3.5 million. 

There are no photos allowed in the studio (respect to Wendy Whiteley his ex-wife and muse), but as a visitor you’re offered the unique opportunity to experience the atmosphere of the space; the studio full of unfinished paintings, his inspirational graffiti wall covered with quotes and images and a living area full of memorabilia such as photographs, objects, postcards, furniture, his music collection and sketchbooks.

Entry is free and the exhibit changes 3 times a year. It’s open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. If you’ve never been I highly recommend you go check it out!

All photos by Diana Panuccio, Photographer at The Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Posted in Art, Drugs | Comments Off on Brett Whiteley Studio

EGO


I love this.

Posted in Drugs | Comments Off on EGO

Cars For Hope, Cars For Dope, Cars With No Hope

carsfordope_logo2
Say Nope to Dope!

This feature will be broken down into the following parts:

– My Story.
– How I have supported Cars For Hope since 2011.
– Where were Cars For Hope when I needed them most?
– Building a better bridge.

My Story.

I’m 44 years old this year and I’ve just survived my darkest days to date. Last year I smoked an ounce of chronic marijuana a week (wake and bake 4.20AM-Midnight every day). I didn’t sleep in my bed. I pissed in empty soft drink bottles instead of using my toilet. I turned off social media and turned away friends who rang my doorbell. I spent a lot of time gaming and researching ways to kill myself. I attempted suicide towards the end of last year but I bailed out hard on the night I tried to actually go through with it. Call it a mid-life-crisis, but it was a hell of a lot more hardcore than any depression I’d ever felt in my younger years.

I’m a “rehab is for quitters” kinda guy. Seeing a therapist was something I never wanted to do as my preconception of them was rather pessimistic. My mother had to pick me up and make sure I attended the sessions, if anything therapy got me out of the house and closer to my mum, but it wasn’t enough.

Being told to go out and get some sun, or hop back on your bike and start riding, these were extremely logical tips on how to get better, but when you’re down in a hole you just can’t act on logic. Even if you wanted to save yourself you can’t. Absolutely nothing can help you get out.

I was advised by my therapist to see my GP. My GP freaked out when he saw how skinny I was (51kgs down from 60kgs), he then freaked out when I said I’d been having suicidal thoughts and have felt really down for the last 6–12 months. He had no option but to get me on antidepressants as 6–12 months of being down in his opinion was way too long left untreated. I’ve never wanted to be on meds, but I realised that I didn’t have any more power to help myself, and meds were the only way forward.

I’ve spent 6 months in therapy which I found more helpful than the psychologist I was recommended. I’m now only seeing my psychiatrist every 4 weeks or so to hone in my medicine (which is treating me for bipolar more than depression, though I have been diagnosed with having both). I’m not completely sober, but I’ve broken the bong and I’m now more sober than I’ve ever been in my entire adult life. Being straight is way more hardcore than being stoned, but I’m loving the clarity and my productivity so I intend to keep it up.

How I have supported Cars For Hope since 2011.

I first heard of Cars For Hope (CFH) in 2011 when I was setting up ZEN Garage Leichhardt. I checked out the CFH web site and felt that all of what I read was a bit vague so I called Berty out on it and the rest is history.

ZEN Garage was the only physical bricks and mortar shop you could buy CFH stickers from. We were also the only online shop selling them. Over the years we’ve proudly displayed banners and advertisements on our sites, forums and cars. We’ve sold tens of thousands of CFH stickers with all profits going to CFH. Some weeks we sold more CFH stickers than our own!

In 2013 Berty took a full time job with Motor Culture who shared an office space with us at ZEN Garage Leichhardt. We had a few years there working side by side in the same office where we didn’t spend any quality time talking CFH. An opportunity wasted in retrospect as I believe CFH could do with a lot more discussion and development.

Where were Cars For Hope when I needed them most?

When I was down in the hole I wondered why CFH hadn’t reached out to me. I wondered why my friend Berty from CFH didn’t reach out to me. My last memory of Berty was being a referee, talking to a recruitment agency on the phone for half an hour waxing lyrical about how amazing Berty was as he was going for a job with the NRMA (he got that job too!).

When I spoke to Berty recently to question him about his absence, he let me know that he got messages from people in the automotive community who were concerned for me. I’m like; “why the fuck didn’t you pass those messages on to me Berty?!”. At one stage I finally did go to the CFH web site looking for help. I saw the “FIND HELP” button and clicked it, it loads a wall of text suggesting CFH aims to provide a bridge, but CFH rinses it’s hands of any legal responsibility, so instead, please call the recommended hotlines below, but keep in mind CFH also clears itself from any responsibility the hotlines may provide.

I just shut the browser window. Calling my mother was impossible when I was down in a hole, let alone calling some random on a hotline.

Building a better bridge.

There’s a story section on the CFH web site and from what I’ve read, it’s great except I’m a bit iffy on stories being written by anonymous people, some of which have hidden their age too. I’ve noticed hardly any comments on any of the stories, that’s a bit worrying considering engagement could be life saving on the topic of depression.

If CFH intends to be a bridge, where was my bridge? Can there be a better bridge?

Nothing worse than wrapping up a feature on the topic of depression with “well that’s a wrap, be safe kids!”. I’ve reached out to Berty to organise a real life meeting with the CFH team. I’m hopeful that will happen soon. More importantly I’m hoping that by publishing this we can generate some legitimate ideas and solutions to form a better bridge. Perhaps a Twitch CFH Channel where there could be a real human being on chat for a few hours/week or month, just to… well, chat! Personally I’d love to contribute my time and energy into chatting in some sort of open discussion/open forum with the CFH community.

On a small/er note; I believe CFH should be careful with corporate language; “Trust us, it’s worth it.”, “limited edition kit” and “We’re going to show the world that carsforhope is louder than self-injury.” reek of corp. talk. We spend so much time and energy navigating words which try to get the better of us, when looking for help it would be nice to land somewhere soft but real.

Visit: https://carsforhope.com.au
Also on Medium: http://bit.ly/carsforhope

Posted in Drugs, Zen Garage | Comments Off on Cars For Hope, Cars For Dope, Cars With No Hope

Quetiapine update – 40 Days

quetiapine

I’ve been on 3 tablets of Quetiapine per day for the past 40 days now (25mg/tablet 75mg all up). Quetiapine takes effect on me fast, about 30 minutes from dunking them. Since I’m no longer napping during the day I’m already quite sleepy by midnight, which is when I dunk all 3 and go straight to bed. I get a solid 5hrs sleep every single time doing it this way.

Dr. Hyde assured me that it was OK to dunk tablets during the day if I felt like a mood swing was coming on, but when I do have Quetiapine by day I turn into a zombie and I end up napping. I tried not taking any at all one night, I had a rough sleep and felt down the next day (started the day off on the wrong foot and couldn’t turn it around). I’m meant to have the tablets at about 9PM but when I do I get up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. I’ve tried taking only 2 tablets instead of 3 and I wake up too early. I’ve not tried taking 4, could be good, but I’m afraid to have any more if I don’t need more.

The speedy body high’s I’ve been feeling have subsided somewhat, but I’m still going a million miles an hour. Speedy as fuck in my head. I feel short of breath, like my heart is beating fast. I’m literally bashing the keys right now as I type. I have only one speed and it’s full steam ahead, all cylinders firing.

Today I saw Dr. Hyde and reported all the above (and more). He agrees I look and sound better (I’m 62kgs today and was 51kg’s when I first saw him, he says I’m still too skinny and could do with more weight!). He also thinks that lots of the boundless energy I have now has to do with being more sober than I have been in a very long time. IE: For the past few months I’ve felt like I broke something up there in my head, but maybe it’s more that I’ve never been sober.

He’s not too happy about my drinking situation. I don’t drink every night, but when I open a bottle I finish it, every time. I scull my wines too. He says 1 glass would be AOK, 2 at most, but not a whole bottle. Having 1-3 joints a day isn’t great either, but the alcohol is more of a worry to him at the moment. Personally I don’t think I’ll have an issue with cutting down the wine, or the weed as I’m cutting it down more and more as we go in any case.

Whilst I like to think in my mind that the Quetiapine is just a sleeping tablet. It’s not. Dr. Hyde was quick to remind me that it’s still acting as an anti-depressant (even though I am off Effexor antidepressants) and mood stabiliser which affects my every day. He reminded me once more that I’m on a very low dose, and Quetiapine only really works on bipolar patients when given in much higher doses. He believes my mood is at least stable (I’d say yes, only just… but definitely more stable than ever this year) and that I should try to up my dose to 100mg, or even 150mg.

The plan is to take 100mg at midnight from now on. If I end up getting more than 5hrs sleep I’ll start taking the Quetiapine earlier so I can still see the sun rise every morning. I’ll also cut down on drinking to 2 glasses/night max and I’m really struggling to make joints at all now that the kief has run dry. Joints are mostly rollie tobacco with a sprinkling of kief.. I’m basically down to stems and I was told not to smoke stems (not sure exactly why, I assume they hold more chemicals, or something?!).

More updates soon!

Posted in Drugs | Comments Off on Quetiapine update – 40 Days

From Wake & Bake to Woke

weed_butt
Heart-Shaped Bud. Miss CJ Miles shot by yours truly.

I recently watched a Joe Rogan podcast on weed. He had 2 guests on the show; a guy who’s just published an anti-marijuana book (Alex) and a Doctor who uses weed on his patients (Dr. Hart).

Joe Rogan Experience #1246 — Pot Debate — Alex Berenson & Dr. Michael Hart.

Alex is an author of several thriller novels (take note?!). His new book “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence” is out now. Dr. Hart is the founder and medical director of a medical cannabis clinic in Canada.

The podcast is just under 3hrs long, about right IMHO if you want to go deep on a subject. I’ve listened to it a couple of times now and pulled out a few key quotes as bullet points which I’d like to expand upon as we go:

– Marijuana is safe
– Marijuana is not medicine
– Marijuana use is associated with schizophrenia
– Marijuana is a gateway drug

Marijuana is safe

“Cannabis doesn’t kill. Clinicians feels safe knowing they can’t kill anyone with prescribed cannabis.”

After taking in both sides of the debate I have to disagree. There have been 0 deaths contributed to the use of cannabis at the legal limit. “At the legal limit” was the bit I was missing! I’ve personally always loved the thought that weed could do no harm. Bob Marley. But times have changed. I’m now much more open to the idea that extremely heavy use of Marijuana could lead to schizophrenia, violence, suicide, and even murder.

Every weed show/documentary I’ve watched this year defines a heavy smoker as someone who smokes less than I was. 7 jays a day is heavy? Please. 5 years using is heavy? Please. I was a weed junkie. A true wake and baker. 4.20AM cones were a thing. An ounce a week, no doobs, all cones. Easy peasy.

I don’t agree with Marijuana is safe just because I didn’t OD on it. I think heavy Marijuana use was killing me… just very, very slowly.

Marijuana is not medicine

I think there must be a lot of heavy smokers in their 40’s like me who are waking up to health issues and concerns. There’s a desire for a healthier, legal/medicinal alternative to smoking the whack THC gear we source from the streets. 2 years ago I saw UFC fighter Nate Diaz smoke a vape pen in a post fight press conference. When asked what he was smoking he said “CBD, google it”, and I did.

Dr. Hart suggests that a majority of his patients do NOT want to get high. That’s where CDB comes in. He suggests that if clients are the type that can’t sleep well, can’t leave their home, maybe they go out only 5–10 days a month, then CBD decreases ‘learned fear’, so if you can get people out of their homes, to get the groceries, then CBD is excellent for that. He also mentioned that THC can be used as a night time component for sleep as studies have shown that THC can reduce nightmares.

The ‘learned fear’ thing is fascinating as that’s exactly what happened to me when I was smoking bongs every waking hour. I can’t but wonder what CBD in place of bud could have done when I was unable to get out of the house, or order home delivery when I was starving.

I find it interesting that there could be a holistic weed solution; CBD by day, THC before bed, but holistic and smoking don’t go so hand in hand in my mind. I think smoking itself is the bigger issue. IE: If you ask any heavy smoker if they would quit at the flick of a switch would they? If quitting was instant and pain free, nice and easy. I’m pretty sure many, if not all smokers would say yes. If it was that easy then yes… I’d like to quit.

A good question raised in the podcast was; why then, if weed is legal and readily available, do smokers want such high concentrations of it? Joe simply suggested tolerance, and he used the Sober October campaign as being somewhat of a necessary reset button on addiction. Worth noting was Dr. Hart suggesting that CBD is unlike THC in relation to tolerance, he noted that he had a particular patient who hasn’t needed to increase their CBD dose for 5 years running.

Since you can get CBD with no traces of THC, this would allow me to drive again without fear of Mobile Drug Testing (MDT). In short; I really want to try CBD oil.

Marijuana use is associated with schizophrenia

In Canada you can’t buy cannabis if you’re under 25. Why 25? Well 25 is the age they believe your frontal lobe is fully developed. If that’s the case then I blew my brains out way too early, no wonder I feel like I’m stuck at 21! Studies on adults with psychosis show that they were smokers since adolescence.

OK so now I know I’m in this boat of adolescent smokers. How to I get out?

One study Alex quoted in his book concluded that cannabis does not cause schizophrenia, yet Alex chose not to publish that finding, and instead quote other facts from the same study to suit his agenda that cannabis does cause schizophrenia.

Alex believes that cannabis use is associated with a risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychosis, the higher the use, the greater the risk. He pulls on studies which show cannabis is directly related to depression and suicidal thinking.

Joe concedes THC is not a good medicine for adolescence, or any hard drug for that matter, but everyone agreed on isolated cases where there have been clear benefits of CBD in young patients.

Joe mentioned paranoia, but in a pretty left-of-field way in that he enjoys it. He feels that he’s blessed in life, that he has an abundance of confidence and success. Smoking and getting paranoid allows him to check himself and examine his behaviour, reflect better and more objectively. Alex diffused the justification by suggesting Joe’s paranoia isn’t the same as ‘my wife is trying to poison me’ kinda paranoia and that’s a valid point. I feel that not picking up phones and not wanting to answer the doorbell are symptoms of paranoia, whilst not as drastic as the thought of cops busting through the front door, I still think it’s paranoia from smoking.

Joe brought up social media, in that an increase in mental health issues in young kids may correspond directly to social media. IE: Almost ALL kids are on social media. Not ALL kids on social media are on weed. The panel all agreed to social media playing some part, and also the fact that Psychiatrists give out ADD medicine way too easily. “At age 14, you can’t run into your first hurdle in life and jump straight on the pills”. IE: Kids need to be tougher, and there are a lot of answers to be had in diet and exercise as prevention.

As a kid I used to get bullied all day at school, but when school was over I’d get home, get out of my school gear, grab my board and skate out in the streets until the sun went down. These days you get bullied at school and once you go home the bullying continues on social media. I’m sure kids get up at 2am in the morning to refresh and see if more people have commented, liked or followed.

Marijuana is a gateway drug

Those against weed often make a strong case of weed being a gateway drug to cocaine and heroin. Personally I’ve always had cocaine available, if it’s free I’ll do it but I never pay for it. If I have it in the house I won’t use it. I have never taken it alone. I just don’t like the drug. I’ve had many weed dealers over my lifetime and not one has ever sold me anything other than weed.

One interesting left of field thought on legalising weed came about when the guys discussed “I’d rather have my kid smoke weed than drink”. If pot is legalised will it become undesirable, and thus a harder drug like cocaine could take it’s place? Freaky thought.

Dr. Hart had something to say for weed being a gateway drug for people getting off opiates, but in reality I’ve never ever seen a clear way to heroin. Not through any channels I’ve ever come across. I’ve always assumed heroin is something you might meet when you’re really at rock bottom, broken and homeless.

Conclusion

Joe agreed weed is not benign and as safe as he once thought it used to be. Too right! When I was a kid weed was bush bud, then it went hydro, and now it’s chronic. Alex mentioned alcohol, and how it generally affects most people the same way; how drunk people look, slur, walk off-balance. We roughly know how long it takes for alcohol to leave our bodies etc. but cannabis is so different from person to person. 2mg could destroy a non-smoker but a smoker could do 200mg easy. Then there’s edibles, these THC rich chocolate bars really are designed to be used as psychedelics and really could send people to Mars.

The panel agreed that humans are diverse; there are people out there allergic to peanuts, shellfish, you name it. IE: It’s probably not a great idea to use blanket statements, but to wrap this up:

Question: “Why didn’t you include the part of the study you quote that shows the benefits of marijuana on psychological disorders?”

Reply: “I will admit my book is not balanced”

There’s a lot in this, and I’d like to end this article on this point as I feel it’s a bigger point that needs addressing.

The whole panel admits to being guilty of only focussing on the good stuff and not the bad stuff, but Alex came clean and admitted to cherry picking from studies to suit his agenda. No one doubts that Alex is telling the truth in his book, but to only tell part of the truth is somewhat deceiving.

Telling the whole truth is really where it’s at. Being accurate and portraying both positive and negative sides of the argument would allow for more informed decisions. IE: If we were to only show a small part, and ask people to make a decision on that part, it wouldn’t be accurate as a whole.

/rant.

Read this feature on Medium (much nicer on the eyes!): https://medium.com/@justinfox_30083/pot-debate-69fa5479ace9

Posted in Drugs | Comments Off on From Wake & Bake to Woke

“What About Bob?” and the importance of taking Baby Steps


Baby Steps.

“What About Bob?” (1991) was a hilarious movie to me as a 16yr old teenager. It’s even funnier to me now at 43. In the movie Bob (Bill Murray) gets given a book written by his psychiatrist Dr. Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) called “Baby Steps” (a book that I, and surely many wish actually existed!).

Bob: Baby Steps?

Dr. Marvin: It means setting small reasonable goals for yourself one day at a time. One tiny step at a time. Baby steps.

Bob: Baby steps.

Dr. Marvin: For instance, um… when you leave this office, don’t think about everything you have to do in order to get out of the building, just think to what you must do to get out of this room, and when you get to the hall, deal with that hall, and so forth… you see? Baby steps!

A lack of any kinda of consistent pattern in how I lived my life for a few years eventuated in 6 solid months of smoking an ounce of weed a week, not getting off the couch, not eating right and most important of all, not sleeping well. The lack of sleep made me crazy. It all became obvious to me when I was watching serial killer documentaries; all these guys were pretty normal until they didn’t sleep for 3 days, and that’s what I believe drove them mad enough to go through with their evil plans.

Impatience is a curse.

Wanting to hurry things up once you’ve had enough of feeling sorry for yourself and thinking too big isn’t great when you’re down, as the last thing you want to do is disappoint yourself even more. When I was at my worse I couldn’t even get up off the couch to piss in the bathroom (I’d piss in a mountain dew bottle instead), people were suggesting I get back on the bike, or go for a swim at the rock pool, but they didn’t understand that those most mundane every day things were the hardest things to do.

Taking a deep breath is a small step. It’s amazing how the small tiny little steps have been massive for me lately. It’s like when Dad died, he just had complications on top of complications until he was, well… dead, but man if he was to have had any tiny little baby step forward, we would have taken it, no matter how small a step, as it might just have been the sign we needed to turn the tide.

I’m in a really good place right now, and I’m already starting to develop some big plans. I feel I’ve gotten back on track by A) getting some sleep and B) setting myself up with some very small goals which I’ve absolutely smashed out of the park.

Comedy or not; “What About Bob?” made an impact on me as a teen, and the simple concept of “Baby Steps” is one that I will for sure utilise from time to time in future.

Posted in Drugs, Family | Comments Off on “What About Bob?” and the importance of taking Baby Steps

Honing in the Quetiapine

hone

I still have maybe a couple of coffees a day, 2–3 jays a day, or a ciggy or 2 if I’m out and about, or a glass of wine or 3, or a beer or two when the boys are over, but Quetiapine (also sold under the trade name Seroquel) is the only thing I’m taking consistently now.

Quetiapine is an antipsychotic used for the treatment of bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia (my Ex-fiancé warned me that if I smoked bongs for too long I’d go schizo!). It’s also widely used as a sleeping aid.

I’m on Quetiapine to stabilise my mood swings and I’m also using it as a sleeping aid. Quetiapine was prescribed to me as an add-on drug to antidepressants, but I dropped the antidepressants 2 weeks ago and I’ve felt better since (the libido issues and constipation issues I got from Effexor are no more). Thing is, these tiny little pink 25mg Quetiapine pills have come to the fore now, and I’m finding myself trying to experiment with them a little as I feel like I have to.

Generally speaking, I used to think that girls have quite consistent mood swings. A wave with not too many extreme highs, nor lows. Guys on the other hand I always akin to an elastic band. Pull and stretch all the way back, then BAM! Let it all go.

Right now it’s midday. I’ve had a coffee and breakfast and I’m about to catch up with an old mate in an hour or so. My mood is pretty frantic, short breaths, brain is going a million miles an hour. I’m thirsty AF. I can’t type fast enough. I feel a bit high, less of a weed high, more of a lack of sleep feeling.

The Quetiapine helps me sleep (30 or so minutes after taking 75g my eyelids get heavy and I get 6 hours solid sleep. The sleep has greatly improved my concentration and motivation. This is quite obvious if you look at all the output I’m having lately. My appetite has skyrocketed (weight gain is a know side effect of Quetiapine) and now I find myself eating at least 3 meals a day (up from 51kgs to 59kgs now).

A lot of people use Quetiapine as a sleeping aid to “knock them out”, which kinda scares me, but my research leads me to believe that it’s not a drug of choice for suicide victims, as reports shows that people who have overdosed on Quetiapine landed up in comas and not death .

My doc assures me Quetiapine is not physically addictive, but neither is weed right? So really, it’s the psychological addiction I’m more worried about.

On the streets Quetiapine is sometimes called Susie Q, Quell, Q, or Squirrel. Crushed and snorted (I’ve yet to try this), Quetiapine is abused for a recreational “high”. None of this surprises me as I’ve felt high as a kite on this stuff since day 1, sometimes for hours at a time throughout the day, sometimes it comes in waves.

I feel the Quetiapine high pretty much from the moment I wake up through to bed time (usually 6am — midnight). If I dunk 3 pills at the recommended time of 8–9PM I got to bed way too early and wake up way too early too. Having them just before bed seems to suit me a lot better.

The high I feel throughout the day is a bit like a weed high, but also feels like an ecstasy pill coming on; you know, that tingly wiry feeling you get in your fingers when an e starts to kick in. I also have waves of extreme light headedness, not to the point of fainting or anything, but it’s a strange top of the brain and in the temples tingle, sometimes an almost anti-gravity/brain in a bubble like feeling which I get especially when I move my head too suddenly.

My low dose of 75mg/day is nothing in comparison to dosages some people take (up to 800mg a day for more extreme cases) but what’s becoming clear as I do more research on Quetiapine is that it’s more important to figure out when to take these pills, and how much.

So to wrap it up, here are some observations:

3 (75mg) pills a night = 6hrs sleep and the next day is a damn productive day through to midnight.
2 (50mg) pills a night and I wake up cold as my T-Shirt is drenched with sweat. I then toss and turn a fair bit but I get back to sleep (whereas I would usually have shot out of bed and punch 4:20 AM cones.
If I take the 3 pills a night, smoke a jay then jump right into bed stoned I go into a scary deep place where I feel I’m not in control of my body. I will my arms and legs to move but they won’t initially, making me feel trapped in my own body for a short moment. At this stage I focus on getting my arms and legs to move, and when I finally start to feel myself taking control of my own limbs again I end up waking up from the nightmare.
I’m not sure exactly what steps I’m going to take from here. I have another meeting with Dr Hyde soon so I might just sit tight and see if he’s got any recommendations for me; be it a stronger dosage, or a new drug altogether.

Posted in Drugs | Comments Off on Honing in the Quetiapine