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A brave face, forced smile.
#1
I have made previous threads outlining my usage. I started a down-ward spiral at the age of 19, got into a really scary frightening place, in which the aftermath still lingers today. I can categorically say that my chemical use back in 2010-2011 has had a severe advserse effect on the last 5 years of my life. I could even go as far as saying that the last 5 years of my life could be written off as a 'blurr' or 'black hole'.


-2010-2011 - Weekly binges consuming 1-5g for a total of 6 months
(This is the period I would say was dangerous, then stopped regular usage due to dry-up of supply)
-2012 - 3 separate relapse binges
-2013 - 2 separate relapse binges
-2014 - 1 single relapse binge in January

I have now been drug free for 15 months, which is the longest period of abstinence. Previously in 2012,2013,2014 after 6 - 10 months of abstinence I would develop a massive craving for a session which is responsible for the above relapses. I reached this point again last October and November but managed to get through it and luckily have had no other compulsions to ruin 15 months of progress.


Every day since 2012 I have put on a brave face to the world, forced smiles left right and center, held a full time job, lived life expressing a front that is put on. in reality I haven't felt anything since 2012 - No emotions, happiness,  love, sadness,excitement, thrill, lust, laughter, joy, apprehension. I have felt baseline the entire time. On any occasion where I should feel an emotion I get a blunt headache time feeling with agitation.


I haven't held an intelligent conversation with anyone in years, I dont think I am even capable, I simply have no drive or need to. Talking with people is a real drag and I put on a massive performance to hold conversations and seem interested in people. I have pretty much slowly cut off contact from my social circles over the last 4 years, when friends text or call, I let the message sit in my phone for weeks at a time before replying, because I have no drive or urge.


I used to have several hobbies and interests, have real passion and excitement for things, these are non existent. I used to feel an overwhelming buildup and excitment at the weekend, on a Friday afternoon after work, text 3-4 different friends asking for the weekend plans.
There is no life in me, movies do nothing for me, roller coasters do nothing for me, I dont even feel anything when there is sad news in the family about a death. I have forced myself to watch comedy, Nada, Nothing.


I wear the same pair of jeans, t shirt and shoes for 2 years. I have 2 build in wardrobes, one side with 25+ casual/dress shirts (15 + new with tags), and 10 pairs of chinos/jeans (6 pairs new with tags) I have absolutely no desire to wear them.
(Don't get me wrong, I do wash them x3 a week and shower daily)


I have no libido, lust or urge for sex. When masturbating I do not feel any pleasure upon ejaculation, I get a 'wooly' headache and I get very hot (temperature)

I get pressure time headaches most evenings, with sore sensitive eyes.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I just want to point out that at no point in the last 4-5 years have I felt what I could call 'depressed' - I.e. feel sad, feel suicidal or feel like the world is going to end. I do not experience any anxiety or feelings of impending doom. I feel OK. I get on with it.


Within the last 12 weeks, for the first time in a long time I have started to develop a feeling of being fed-up, along with agitation and anger. I guess its a start, that I am finally feeling something, but unfortunately its the wrong emotions. I have never felt anger before.


I know this is stupid, but for the first 8 weeks out of those 12, I thought about suicide a lot, I dont know why. I have never thought about committing the act itself or had any direct thoughts of suicide, but more of the general theme.


Because these thoughts continued on and off for a lengthy period, 3 weeks ago I took out a £400k life insurance policy based on the fact that after 12 months of payments, the policy will pay out to my 3 family members named in trust if I committed suicide.


Can anyone explain why I feel nothing ? and explain the above spiel. is it possible that maybe another 6-12 months of 'recovery' from last chem use will have me back to feeling normal and happy again ?
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#2
You must be feeling something because you thought of your family when taking out that life insurance. Hold on to the thought of your family and realise that you love them. You can feel love.
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#3
First off that was a well thought out and explained post. Second. Please don't do anything extreme. Blodwyn and the team will be better able to advise what steps you might take. At the very least speak to a councillor. I doubt that life insurance policies will pay out on suicide but let's not split hairs over that detail.

All that being said I don't know why you have had this 'change' in heart/ personality. From a purely scientific view perhaps your brain chemistry has been altered by the drugs? I assume it was mephedrone you were binging on in 2010 ? I know I was. I was lost in Fight Clubesque sea of powder, porn and paranoia. I hardly slept and was peeing in bottles in my room because I lived in a shared house and didn't want to bump into the other housemates while high which I was. I managed to hold down my job but my existence was hell. I always considered myself balanced , you know, eat healthy but have some drugs on the weekend. Now I was consuming double espressos and red bulls to get through Monday's. Mainly cos I'd probably not slept since Friday. At the end of this period I met someone and I had the same issue. I fancied her but I couldn't be arsed to go through the rigmarole of dating etc... But I forced myself. Eventually over time things got better. My emotions returned. Part of me , like the greedy child, still wants to keep racking up the lines and the porn. But I have too much responsibility now. Anyway it's a cul de sac at best and more likely a downward spiral.

personally I like exercise. I cycle to work and take a long walk at lunch. I try and see the beauty in the little things. If I see a caterpillar or an unusual bird or a rainbow that can really make my day.

I'm not sure that anyone can philosophically explain to you why you feel or don't feel the way you do. That said I'm sure many on this forum have faced demons and come out the other side. There is always hope. Never give up. I guess what I am trying to say is that no matter how much you think the opposite - you are not alone.

Sorry if this was rambling, off point or complete drivel.
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#4
It could be a form of ME there are a number of conditions that fall under that category and a lot of what you're saying fits.

I'm not taking the piss here but I have post viral fatigue which is a form of ME also. I can sympathise with the lack of interest in life. When my fatigue kicks in I can jut lie on the sofa and literally do nothing, not even TV. I can be like that for days. However I discovered large lego sets, or rather one was bought for me as an attempt to break the fatigue and apathy.

I built a lego Death Star. The instructions don;t hold your hand, its like a puzzle and very rewarding. I found it was a way of reconnecting. It's a solo hobby but it gave me some focus and a sense of achievement. Self worth even. I realise that probably sounds ridiculous but its worth a try. It helped snap me out of my fatigue. Start with a large model. Not necessarily the huge ones like the death star but something complicated like the Millenium Falcon for example. Or go for a non starwars set. Build a Parisian cafe.

I'm seriously not taking the piss. Large lego sets are very therapeutic to many people. They need to be at the complicated end of the spectrum but just pick one, find a quiet spot and build it. it's a medatitive activity with a great sense of reward and achievment when completed. It really helped me reconnect with life and I know other people who have found the same. It's worth a try, it may seem weird but give it a go. That would be my advice, buy the biggest lego set that you can afford and also like the look of. Or don't. I can understand if your sceptical but it honestly helped me snap out of the detachment that you're describing.
"But people, who are not very bright, close their minds to new information. Sometimes, perhaps, out of loyalty to opinions the've held for years but the real loyalty we owe is to truth."
 ~ anon via Bongwater
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#5
I too can relate to that, to some degree, although not in such an extreme form. Definitely don't do anything to yourself, as stated above, and chase such thoughts out of your mind. Even such a long tunnel will have an end, or a mitigation. 

I have to wonder what drugs you primarily took and didn't take. I don't mean specific chemicals, but types (eg: stims, noids, psychedics, etc), at least predominantly. I have a feeling noids, but would be very interested to hear. 

Is there hint of this?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depersonal...n_disorder

The fact that you have recognized, and articulated your condition so well, has to be a positive. Researching it surely has to be another. Perhaps professional help via your doctor (again, at least to be able to enhance your understanding of it). 

It could well be that the more you learn, the better chance you have of emerging from it, or at least managing it. Perhaps that allied to some of the comments above regarding temporary or permanent lifestyle changes.

That you have posted it here, by the way, is extremely helpful, as I believe there will be plenty of others reading this who have similar symptoms. 
“If the words 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on.” ~ Terence McKenna
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#6
I'd almost certainly rule out a functional disorder (such as ME) and viral fatigue given the onset, timescales and description - although there are similarities in terms of symptoms and approaches in improving those symptoms.
I'm assuming your drug use involved a serotonin/dopamine releasing agent because your symptoms fit with those of other drug users who have burned themselves out - disrupting reward circuitry homeostasis. It is recoverable from and you sound as though you are well on the way to getting through this. But it can also happen with longterm alcohol or cannabis users.
Longterm studies with methamphetamine users have shown that people do recover - but they have to keep activity levels up and trying to find enjoyment in life (approaches similar to ME or post-viral fatigue).
For background reading consider searching around the terms 'anhedonia' and 'substance dependence' or 'misuse'
For example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3089992/
Quote:Anhedonia is a condition in which the capacity of experiencing pleasure is totally or partially lost, and it refers to both a state symptom in various psychiatric disorders and a personality trait. It has a putative neural substrate, originating in the dopaminergic mesolimbic and mesocortical reward circuit. Anhedonia frequently occurs in mood disorders, as a negative symptom in schizophrenia, and in substance use disorders. In particular, we focus our attention on the relationships occurring between anhedonia and substance use disorders, as highlighted by many studies. Several authors suggested that anhedonia is an important factor involved in relapse as well as in the transition from recreational use to excessive drug intake. In particular, anhedonia has been found to be a frequent feature in alcoholics and addicted patients during acute and chronic withdrawal as well as in cocaine, stimulant, and cannabis abusers. Furthermore, in subjects with a substance dependence disorder, there is a significant correlation between anhedonia, craving, intensity of withdrawal symptoms, and psychosocial and personality characteristics. Therefore treating anhedonia in detoxified alcohol-dependent subjects could be critical in terms of relapse prevention strategies, given its strong relationship with craving.
Good luck Drum - you can get through this - been there myself. Worth discussing with a good GP.
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#7
The lack of emotion you describe is a form of depression. You don't need to feel suicidal to be depressed. Definitely speak to be a professional about this, a GP would probably agree with my analysis (because it's the obvious one) and give you SSRIs which might help you or might not but at least it's something. Ultimately though you want to talk to a psychiatrist, get a formal diagnosis and try and get some CBT as well.

It's hard to say more because obviously I'm not a medical professional and I have no idea what drugs you were using or if you had any symptoms of mental illness before the binges you describe, but getting help can only be a good thing. Depersonalisation seems like a possibility since if someone is predisposed to it then drug use can trigger it, and it matches your symptoms, but the same goes for depression along with other disorders so anything we say can only be a guess.

Good luck whatever you do.
Who the fuck is Psychoactive Substances Bill and why is he taking all my drugs?
Reply
#8
(29-03-2015, 11:15 PM)fatherTim Wrote: First off that was a well thought out and explained post. Second. Please don't do anything extreme. Blodwyn and the team will be better able to advise what steps you might take. At the very least speak to a councillor. I doubt that life insurance policies will pay out on suicide but let's not split hairs over that detail.

All that being said I don't know why you have had this 'change' in heart/ personality. From a purely scientific view perhaps your brain chemistry has been altered by the drugs? I assume it was mephedrone you were binging on in 2010 ? I know I was. I was lost in Fight Clubesque sea of powder, porn and paranoia. I hardly slept and was peeing in bottles in my room because I lived in a shared house and didn't want to bump into the other housemates while high which I was. I managed to hold down my job but my existence was hell. I always considered myself balanced , you know, eat healthy but have some drugs on the weekend. Now I was consuming double espressos and red bulls to get through Monday's. Mainly cos I'd probably not slept since Friday. At the end of this period I met someone and I had the same issue. I fancied her but I couldn't be arsed to go through the rigmarole of dating etc... But I forced myself. Eventually over time things got better. My emotions returned. Part of me , like the greedy child, still wants to keep racking up the lines and the porn. But I have too much responsibility now. Anyway it's a cul de sac at best and more likely a downward spiral.

personally I like exercise. I cycle to work and take a long walk at lunch. I try and see the beauty in the little things. If I see a caterpillar or an unusual bird or a rainbow that can really make my day.

I'm not sure that anyone can philosophically explain to you why you feel or don't feel the way you do. That said I'm sure many on this forum have faced demons and come out the other side. There is always hope. Never give up. I guess what I am trying to say is that no matter how much you think the opposite - you are not alone.

Sorry if this was rambling, off point or complete drivel.

No rambling detected, after all I came here looking for interaction with others in a similar position. Mephedrone and meph-esque chems were my tipple of choice during 2010-2011.

Similarly to yourself, I started to find myself living in squalor within the boundaries of my bedroom, I was totally un-phased by the mess and thought it was normal.

After the 2010-2011 'saga' I really did try to get away from it all, as you said its always a one way spiral. I think the biggest problem is the 'fallout' after a binge, of weeks and months where really you cannot do much in life. I found myself slowly recovering over months and months from a previous binge session, aches and pains slowly dissipating, months of progress only to be ruined, and for my life to rewind 6 months because of one relapse!

The only thing now that stops me from relapsing is the thought of how awful I felt for months after my last binge, the backward step I take in life where I would see months of recovery flash before my eyes. Relationships, work and responsibilities all take precedence now and are the route out of this dark period. Unfortunately as described in the original post, I am stuck in a hard place.  
I started exercise 6 months ago, I do 30-40 minute power walks (6.0 speed) on the treadmill at maximum 15% incline. When I get to that point in cardio where a normal person would be feeling a burst of endorphins and feel good chems, again I develop a 'muffled' feeling headache and I get a bad eye strain which continues down my cheek. This then progresses into a full blown migraine for the rest of the evening.
(29-03-2015, 11:35 PM)MrApollo Wrote: It could be a form of ME there are a number of conditions that fall under that category and a lot of what you're saying fits.

I'm not taking the piss here but I have post viral fatigue which is a form of ME also. I can sympathise with the lack of interest in life. When my fatigue kicks in I can jut lie on the sofa and literally do nothing, not even TV. I can be like that for days. However I discovered large lego sets, or rather one was bought for me as an attempt to break the fatigue and apathy.

I built a lego Death Star. The instructions don;t hold your hand, its like a puzzle and very rewarding. I found it was a way of reconnecting. It's a solo hobby but it gave me some focus and a sense of achievement. Self worth even. I realise that probably sounds ridiculous but its worth a try. It helped snap me out of my fatigue. Start with a large model. Not necessarily the huge ones like the death star but something complicated like the Millenium Falcon for example. Or go for a non starwars set. Build a Parisian cafe.

I'm seriously not taking the piss. Large lego sets are very therapeutic to many people. They need to be at the complicated end of the spectrum but just pick one, find a quiet spot and build it. it's a medatitive activity with a great sense of reward and achievment when completed. It really helped me reconnect with life and I know other people who have found the same. It's worth a try, it may seem weird but give it a go. That would be my advice, buy the biggest lego set that you can afford and also like the look of. Or don't. I can understand if your sceptical but it honestly helped me snap out of the detachment that you're describing.

I take on board your thoughts on activities, I used to love kinex as a kid, I would have real passion and interest in that sort of thing but again I am struggling with experiencing anything.

In my later teens before the chems, I loved fishing, history, geology. I found myself last year spending a few hundred quid on new fishing gear, bought game river permits and started to visit places I used to fish. I carried this on for a good few months and had lost all spark for it.

I live locally to a few natural quarry sites and old river beds and again, as a kid I used to go exploring and raking about for geodes, lumps of old lava full of quartz and amethyst when broken over. I have an impressive collection of rocks and crystals which I dug myself from British soil! I have been out a good few times recently, found a few interesting pieces, but ultimately I am forcing myself.

I am going to take you up on the lego idea, watch this space.
(30-03-2015, 08:08 AM)6dream Wrote: I too can relate to that, to some degree, although not in such an extreme form. Definitely don't do anything to yourself, as stated above, and chase such thoughts out of your mind. Even such a long tunnel will have an end, or a mitigation. 

I have to wonder what drugs you primarily took and didn't take. I don't mean specific chemicals, but types (eg: stims, noids, psychedics, etc), at least predominantly. I have a feeling noids, but would be very interested to hear. 

Is there hint of this?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depersonal...n_disorder

The fact that you have recognized, and articulated your condition so well, has to be a positive. Researching it surely has to be another. Perhaps professional help via your doctor (again, at least to be able to enhance your understanding of it). 

It could well be that the more you learn, the better chance you have of emerging from it, or at least managing it. Perhaps that allied to some of the comments above regarding temporary or permanent lifestyle changes.

That you have posted it here, by the way, is extremely helpful, as I believe there will be plenty of others reading this who have similar symptoms. 
I abused solely stimulants. Initially I had full empathogenic effects and blasted like a super rocket. I honestly felt like the best guy on this Earth. There were times when I was so high, and I felt so so happy and content, huge Cheshire cat grins, thinking back it was crazy.

That slowly dissipated and ultimately in the end I wasn't experiencing any empathogenic effects at all. Sometimes the stims would have the opposite effect on me and make me very quiet and un-stimulated no matter how much I took.

I didn't understand it and I guess it was to do with brain chemistry. I ended up dosing so much trying to stimulate myself that on an occasion I gave myself an amphetamine overdose, the other time I am certain I developed mild serotonin syndrome.

As I stated, I have had a clean 15 months of eating clean, drinking plenty of water and exercise and can only hope that how I am feeling will improve. Unfortunately due to my job I cannot disclose any of my chemical use to my GP, and would prefer not to mention any mental health issues. This is the reason I have been waiting it out for so long, otherwise I think I would have spoken to my GP.

On the topic of de-personalization and de-realisation, this is very relevant to me, which I failed to mention in the original post. I do find myself after a days work sitting in the living room with a soft drink, Out of the blue I 'zone out'  of my body and I can stare into the distance for long periods, its a very unreal feeling and I attempt to focus my cognitive function and give my head a shake to snap out of it.

Similarly it can happen when I am in a group of people, I will zone out of my body, and I can hear all of the people around me having various conversations with each other, my hearing becomes very sensitive and I can pick up all of the chatting although I do not take any of it in, its a very dream-esque feeling, and if prompted or asked a question by one of the group I will have no clue to the conversation point.

My stance is that I simply get on with it, and how I feel. Its almost normal for me now and I don't recall how 'normal' should feel hence why it hasn't had too much of an adverse effect on me.

I previously visited my GP and had various bloods taken and my hormones were out of whack. I was seen by a specialist and given TRT which had little effect. I came off the treatment and my body re-balanced its hormone levels to a more normal level. I have always questioned possible auto-immune.

Thank you for the replies.

Quote:NotMangoI'd almost certainly rule out a functional disorder (such as ME) and viral fatigue given the onset, timescales and description - although there are similarities in terms of symptoms and approaches in improving those symptoms.

I'm assuming your drug use involved a serotonin/dopamine releasing agent because your symptoms fit with those of other drug users who have burned themselves out - disrupting reward circuitry homeostasis. It is recoverable from and you sound as though you are well on the way to getting through this. But it can also happen with longterm alcohol or cannabis users.
Longterm studies with methamphetamine users have shown that people do recover - but they have to keep activity levels up and trying to find enjoyment in life (approaches similar to ME or post-viral fatigue).
For background reading consider searching around the terms 'anhedonia' and 'substance dependence' or 'misuse'
For example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3089992/

Quote:Anhedonia is a condition in which the capacity of experiencing pleasure is totally or partially lost, and it refers to both a state symptom in various psychiatric disorders and a personality trait. It has a putative neural substrate, originating in the dopaminergic mesolimbic and mesocortical reward circuit. Anhedonia frequently occurs in mood disorders, as a negative symptom in schizophrenia, and in substance use disorders. In particular, we focus our attention on the relationships occurring between anhedonia and substance use disorders, as highlighted by many studies. Several authors suggested that anhedonia is an important factor involved in relapse as well as in the transition from recreational use to excessive drug intake. In particular, anhedonia has been found to be a frequent feature in alcoholics and addicted patients during acute and chronic withdrawal as well as in cocaine, stimulant, and cannabis abusers. Furthermore, in subjects with a substance dependence disorder, there is a significant correlation between anhedonia, craving, intensity of withdrawal symptoms, and psychosocial and personality characteristics. Therefore treating anhedonia in detoxified alcohol-dependent subjects could be critical in terms of relapse prevention strategies, given its strong relationship with craving.
Good luck Drum - you can get through this - been there myself. Worth discussing with a good GP.
This sounds very like my 'remission and relapse' periods. I would feel baseline and rubbish for 6 months and then develop a massive craving.
I'm sure Blodwyn and other old timers will confirm that in the past I have appeared out of the blue after months of removing myself from the forums frantically searching various forums for trip reports of various stimulants trying to read between the lines for the best chemical at that time. I'm talking about an overwhelming craving sensation which pretty much fills all of my spare time until I decide to order. Its almost like an onset of build-up over a very short period of time, and I need to have a binge.
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#9
What was your drug of choice mdma, legal rcs?
It is obviously a stimulant cuz I don't know what else you binge off of. That's why I don't touch stims. Except mdxx 6 times a year many a lil more ;-)
love the world and it will love you back. chin
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#10
Fight that urge to re-order and you'll get passed this - and life can be enjoyable again.
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