Never Too Late!

Never Too Late!
any resemblance to anyone real or imaginary is mere bad luck
we are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are trying to get up


scaling the north face of reality

this account may be added to and improved check back. for another account of ibogaine withdrawal, see here.

the professionals among you will know that acute heroin withdrawal, 100-0mph in 0 secs howling bloody nails-tearing screaming cold turkey, goes something like this: Day 1 is uncomfortable, the first night don't expect to sleep. Day 2 is approaching howling bloody nails-tearing dope sickness and it's only getting worse. The second and then god forbid the third night will be pure fucking hell on earth. If you are lucky and aren't too far advanced in your addiction by the fourth night you will be getting your first patches of delirious sleep, waking from nightmares to more twisting in reeking sweatsoaked sheets. And it goes on... And the craving, the god-awful cellular scream ("a yen comes on him like a great black wind through the bones..." naked lunch)...

when i did my kick, i was on over 300mg morphine sulphate (approx. equiv. to some 100 ml methadone), plus anywhere between 0.25-1 gramme of street heroin per day on top (cheap, powerful, plentiful and pure in London since the US and Brits joined the interminable war in Afghanistan and bombed the fuck out of the Taliban...)

what happened to me was this:

sometime around the time of the last post i took 1400mg ibogaine hcl and lay down on my bed, preparing for whatever was to come.

several hours later there is a vague humming in my ears. my thoughts are a little disjointed, i feel tranquilised as if by one of those horrible psychiatric tranquilisers but still able to communicate normally. i feel a little disassociated and underneath that i can feel the junk sickness kicking in. then colours are starting to blur, and objects are tinged with strange colours. it becomes more difficult to hold onto a thought for more than two seconds. the music is playing upside down.

the delirious paranoia running through my mind is that it's not working. that i've been cheated. that there's something wrong with the stuff, cause i stored it for so long. panic building up. horrible sickness. wasn't this supposed to be painless? that i toss and turn in the grip of some ketamine-like delirium while the sickness cures itself?

where is the powerful psychotropic effect i expected from the drug? instead, there is a mocking emptiness, laughing, laughing at stupid me who wanted something for free. ("pay it all, pay it all, pay it all back, every moment you have stolen...") it is only afterwards i realise how truly powerful this drug is. it's a very low-level reprogramming drug in computer programming language terms...

i am lucky to have at the other end of a telephone a man who we'll call ed i've never met with a remarkable knowledge of ibogaine. the consultant. otherwise who knows what would have happened to me.

the next 48 hours are delirious. flashes: i'm just going in. ed is on the telephone: "i have a feel for ibogaine. i can reach out and connect to you now. i can hear you are in an ibogaine space." i feel i am in acute withdrawal space and abandoned by this supposed wonder cure. "it's a remarkable drug. have trust. trust in it. now settle down in your bed and stay there. you'll be there for at least 48 hours." i laugh and drop the phone. at the time it seemed the most blood-curdlingly terrifying idea i'd ever heard.

delirium of torture. no hope no hope for one second's comfort. nerves peeled and exposed, lying twisting and twiching in a stench of toxic sweat. how much longer? someone else is talking calmly: "... in some gestapo prison... having lights shined in your eyes, getting slapped every time you tried to sleep. then when you've been sitting tied to a chair in your own piss and shit for 48 hours, when any little slap hurts, they fix your hands to a table and out come the pliers for your fingernails... if you pass out, they'll chuck some cold water on you to wake you up before carrying on..." it's the funniest thing anyone's ever told me in this infinity of pain. how petty my situation really is. i am coherent enough to answer that some sophisticated modern tortures are completely chemical in nature... inject you with this to make you feel like you're drowning in pain, inject you with that so that you're immobile and put you in an immersion tank so that you're alone in the dark with your own screaming nervous system... (like this)...

a synchronicity too delicious to miss, or how i destroyed a house with the power of my will:

sometime as i lie twisting and in delirium on day 2, just around the time i find and lock my will on what i'm doing and laugh at how easy it really is, the old house in Camden Rd collapses into the street. builders are trapped inside. the road is blocked. people in intensive care.

the old house where all this begun. where realgem began. the old house that... some people didn't like. paulette, for example. and some other sensitives. they didn't like that house, didn't come there. well. it had a fucked up old history. long-time readers will remember... see archives Jan-May 2005...

the only reason i don't leave on day two and get heroin is because there are people there to restrain me by force if necessary and i am too weak and confused for any sort of subterfuge. "give it 24 hours" ed says. "trust."

visions of evolution, nature red in tooth and claw, a million generations of teeming slashing tearing bundles of will to live and pain, a million years of bloodsoaked evolution on the primordial plains of africa. i see smoke from the witch-pyres of the middle ages rising into the skies of europe. then reeking mud and barbed wire and cutting jagged steel across the mindless battlefields of the great war. all moving towards something... moving towards something... but where did intelligence first come from? the brutal fight of evolution, the generations before us over the eons clawing forward - i owe them more than this, i owe them greater tribute than to be caught by this stupid-trap of nature and to destroy myself...

by night 2 (don't get the idea it was pleasant...) i was actually improving, just when it should have been getting worse... by the morning of day 3 i am cheerful and smiling even if i still haven't slept and feel frazzled. eating handfuls of valium and smoking dope, giving me some respite. i do not look like someone on the third day of cold turkey withdrawal. by the morning of day 3 i have a bath by my own power and dress in a suit ready to go out to eat breakfast, feeling fine in my mind, and then promptly collapse like a skeleton.

doc o had said the day before this all, the last day of my junkie life: "i don't know why you're putting yourself through this psychedelic hell when you could so easily just gently reduce on methadone." look through the realgem archives and count the number of times... gradually reduce, relapse, force the dose down again, start scoring again... count the number of times... i was in a position and with the resources to maintain my life like this indefinitely. i just couldn't quit. couldn't, couldn't couldn't.

"it all comes down to how thinly you want to spread it," he said when he dropped by on the morning of day 3. yes, in his very professional opinion, i looked nothing like someone in day 3 of acute junk sickness.


it all comes down to how thinly you want to spread it.

ibogaine lets you face the dragon or the monkey and fight it head on in one ferocious test of wills. into the inferno!

people ask me what it was like, what was the trip like: it's a shamanic psychedelic, isn't it? but no, i had no visions of african gods or strange other worlds... some people perhaps do...

as i can now limitedly comprehend it, ibogaine works on a much lower level... near the metabolic, cellular, maybe genetic level... the theory has been put forward that psychedelic chemicals played a part in the evolution of intelligence, language in some sort of proto-human apes... after ibogaine, i have a strong intuitive feeling that this may be so...

this experimental medication does merit the description miraculous. within several days i am out and about, in the street... like a window has been cleaned, and the light is painfully intense, painfully intense is the world... but it's the world... once again swimming in the world of the senses, talking to people... throwing away money at people, talking to a homeless junkie and giving him a note to score, just cause i don't need that money for my habit any more... sitting on the street in camden one of the crack-niggers comes and waves rock in my face... the pusher-man... he won't leave us alone... so i ask him if he's got brown... yeah... so i tell him to get the fuck out of my face, hoping for violence, ready for violence... but it's sunlit high street and the day it's beautiful and it's just childish bravado in the face of "powder power..."

the ibogaine's psychotropic effect, which i initially was so disappointed with, manifests itself in the next few days, and in a much more subtle way than any mere psychedelic... my mind is sharp inside my worn-out body that i push to exhaustion... and still don't sleep, no, i don't sleep... god, sometimes i want to...

and all the synchronicities... the crazy coincidences, the chance meetings, the way everything is falling into place as if the universe was in synch with me again, the new opportunities that drop into my path, the people i need to meet there just when i turn the corner... but this is some effect on a more subtle level of reality... something, something beyond words or chemistry or pharmacology...

don't think it's the painless cure. there's only one painless cure and that's death.

i hope this is of interest to anyone who struggles with this strange sickness... anyone who is finding lady heroin too demanding a mistress...


Happy Otter said...

So lazysnakes gills finally atrophy and he drags himself onto the
mudflats gasping and spitting..
He had been talking the talk for a while and as his Roger Rabbit ran
cartoon circles round him, his attitude and behaviour becoming
increasingly bizarre...For a pint out West - ten odd days ago- he
stated that post - iboga he intended to persue a career in either
stand up comedy or the military..
Visions of the pendulum fisted army boxing champion Norman Wisdom
sprang to mind....
I caught him in the final stages of his descent..And the results were
He was vaguely disoriented, his eyeballs tracking poorly but
displaying none of the horriffic ragged dispair I expect from a day
The CommentatOtter is one old school junkie who sucked the sickly pap
of the state for a week, relying on small doses of valium and a short
meth reduction, spending most of my time either in bed with Queen
Victoriaaah (Last night a little dancer came dancing through my
door....)or drunk with the old man of the mountain.
Lazysnake the space monkey demonstrates the true promethean
spirit(mind you look how he ended up... ) proving that from the peak
of the Eiger to bottom of the San Andreas Fault there are still those
who are NOT AFRAID ...
Never let your guard down LS, the monkey never dies, just waits in the corner..

Zero Tolerance.

Indigobusiness said...

Norman Wisdom is a frighteningly ironic and unfortunate name for a pendulum fisted army boxing champion.

Thanks for the insight, CommentatOtter, and for reaffirming my instinctual fear of people more than any monkey. Respect for either must be earned, yet both may lead you somewhere worth going.

Lazy's way of analysis and description might prove enlightening. It will be interesting to note any change in mere tone alone.

I get the feeling he might just be less interested in a military future than one in comedy. Enough tragedy already.

You set us up here, Lazy, don't leave us twisting in the wind.

Lazy said...

But what if the monkey's got a GUN!?

never mind. eddie izzard reference.

Lazy said...

"short" methadone reduction? hahahaa! good morning happy otter, it's 7.30am would you like a beer, rise and shine hahaa!

Happy Otter said...

Yeah, Mikey...You ARE a smart f-er...

But only comparitively..

Herr Otter

tui said...

I've been interested in Ibogaine for a while. But the things I read made it sound pain-free. Was it difficult to find? Do you know if you can buy it legally? I'm wary of self-adminstering, with no Ed a phone call away. I've been trying to reduce on methadone, but it's so slow... so I always put off stopping until tomorrow. One more day of heroin doesn't feel like it makes a difference when I'm on done anyway. I need it shaken out of me.

Anonymous said...

happy otter, were you channeling or plagiarizing Mr Burroughs?

A brilliant man indeed.

To the author of this blog..
brillant and a well versed artist of thought.. thank you for this fascinating read.

--Melancholy Baby