I’ve been wanting to write about my past psychedelic experiences for a long time. Last night I discovered a great resource for researching psychedelics & experiences that I will plug at the bottom of this post, along with a few other links.
Before we get into my experiences, I gotta plug a few hilarious quotes I found.
My original intention was to do two separate posts.
One of them was going to be chock-full of funny quotes like those below, plus some quotes that were simply interesting or beautiful. The other post was going to be my personal experiences.
Well, as I continued to read about people’s experiences, I found that most of them just were not as funny as the ones below.
And I don’t have patience to make a big research project out of this whole thing.
But let’s get into the good stuff.
“Moments later I progressed ever deeper into the ego death and lost my sense of self momentarily. I then started to feel that I was the universe searching for itself within itself but had entirely forgotten that it was itself. At this point a brief moment of realization hit me, I realized that I had found myself and that it had been right in front of me all along.”
“I was asking questions aloud to my friends/guardian spirits, like “When did you get here?” (by which I meant, ‘When did you beings come into existence?’), and my friend replied, “We’ve been here the whole time, dude” (this proved to me that they were divine).”
And later, in the same entry:
“One friend stayed behind to keep me company through all this while the other two went exploring, and I asked stuff from time to time (still thinking he was divine); “Where did you come from?” I asked, and he replied by touching my heart and whispering, “We came from inside.” Looking back on it he was simply trolling me, but my mind was blown, again.”
Haha, lmao! =) That entry above is my absolute favorite.
(The quote below is for Rob in particular)
“I decided it was finally time for me to try to play Mario cart, and as I tried to navigate through the menu with my friend I realized that I could actually still play really well. I chose a map called “rainbow road” for obvious reasons, and the neon rainbow of colors engulfed the entire room as we played. I had never felt this before, but a great peace of everything being connected to me overcame me and I started bawling my eyes out! I kept telling my friends that I was experiencing “pure love” and that the universe loved me!”
(He then goes on to explain that his friends were shitty trip sitters, and it seems like they were just ignoring him while he was having this majestic insight about the universe – how sad).
Before we get into my experiences, I should tack a disclaimer on here.
I have never had a bad trip on any psychedelic drug. However. This was during a very social time of my life. I was young and I was surrounded by friends I trusted who I spent time hanging out with nearly every day.
The “set and setting” was continually good because this friend group had such a profoundly positive effect on my life. Thus, even when I tripped alone I never had a bad trip.
I had not yet developed anxiety or a stressful career. I had zero self-awareness. In other words, I was not yet an adult. I was an adult in age (early 20’s) but not mentally. If I took any of these substances now (besides MDMA), there’s a good chance I’d have a nightmare trip unless something in my life changed to where I could establish general emotional safety, plus a very good set and setting.
I remember the beginning of my first LSD trip like it was yesterday. It makes me smile.
Being incredibly dumb as a young person, I took that first dose alone. My girlfriend must have been at work. I have no memory of her being there. I was alone in my first apartment.
I took a low dose and waited for the effects to kick in.
It must have been one sugar cube, because I can’t remember any geometric wave patterns from this first trip. But then, I only remember the first part of the trip. I do remember a pufferfish on the ceiling. But we’ll get to that later.
The first thing I remember is a gentle and heady shift in my consciousness. I remember having a little feeling of excitement. “Wow, it’s happening!”
Some time passed, and I looked down at the carpet. The carpet was one of those low carpets like you’d find in a doctor’s waiting room office. It was normally dark blue with green specks in it.
As the effects of the acid kicked in, the floor started turning green. A neon-colored green. I was ecstatic.
I grabbed the cordless phone and dialed my friend Nick. He answered.
“Nick!” I shouted, “Nick, the floor is turning GREEN!”
“It sounds like you took that acid.”
I don’t remember what he said after that. I’m sure that I continued talking about how amazing everything was and he continued chuckling for some time.
I was a big marijuana stoner during this time, and I had recently discovered The 13th Floor Elevators. I grabbed a 13th Floor Elevators album, placed it in the CD deck of my stereo and cranked the music up.
The song “(I’ve Got) Levitation” came on and I was overtaken with musical ecstasy.
The lyrics talked about the ocean rolling below you. I jumped up on my couch and looked down at the floor. I wasn’t hallucinating at this point, but I had a general feeling like the room was more expansive and I imagined my floor as the ocean. A blue-green ocean of neon.
I jumped from the couch cushions up to the very top of the couch, and then back down to the couch cushions again. I just remember being ecstatic over the music.
At one point, I looked up at the ceiling. I couldn’t believe my eyes!
I saw a flashing pufferfish on my ceiling. There wasn’t any color or anything, it was just the outline of the pufferfish. It was in the ceiling texture – those paint bumps you see in apartments.
But it was clearly a pufferfish. Spikes and everything. And it was flashing and moving around.
I sat for a while looking up and admiring the pufferfish.
This is an amazing thing about LSD. Where did this come from? I didn’t have any particular interest in pufferfish. But one just appeared randomly. Created by my fucking brain. Just… out of nowhere.
Apparently, Nick decided that I shouldn’t be alone. Because at some point there was a knock on the door. I wasn’t scared because I somehow knew that it was my friends.
I opened the door, and they all piled in. About 7 or 8 of them.
I didn’t have much furniture so most of them sat cross legged on the floor.
They suddenly looked like cabbage patch kids to me. You know, the doll from the 80’s. They didn’t literally look like the dolls, but I had a general feeling that they were cabbage patch kids because of the particular way they sat cross legged on the floor. Their crossed legs were like cabbages and they were cabbage patch kids.
Most of them were a few years younger than me. I was totally the immature 21-year-old befriending and buying beer for the 17- and 18-year-olds. And yet… I was the most childlike among the whole crowd. It was a thing they liked about me and they were special.
There’s a whole Jack Kerouac-style backstory about how I met these kids that I should tell some other time. We all remained friends for several years until a primary member of the group committed suicide and shattered each of our lives.
But, at this very moment on LSD they looked like cabbage patch kids to me, and I remember telling them so. They were always amused by “crazy Melissa” and my weird-ass antics while drunk or stoned. And they all came over to my apartment because they couldn’t miss the chance to see me on LSD. Heh.
One of the girls sat next to me on the couch and I handed her my journal with sketches and writings. She sat there reading it and looked amazed by what she was reading. I continued tripping but I don’t remember anything else.
I did quite a bit of LSD tripping after that. There was a great deal of listening to music and staring at the geometric swirls in the fireplace.
During the most intense experience, I remember I ate a little too much acid. Probably like 3 or 4 sugar cubes. Too much for me. I tried listening to some wild song by Jimi Hendrix.
The whole room smiled at me in mockery. The edges of everything in the room, and indeed the room itself – it was all bent sharply upward in a mocking smile. The stereo smiled at me. It wasn’t a bad trip; it was just a little too intense. I shut the radio off and waited it out. This intense moment passed pretty quickly.
One time me and the boys went to Kincaid Park and it was the most amazing trip of my life. People should trip outdoors under the moonlight. We climbed this huge hill and looked out over Anchorage’s Cook Inlet. I can’t remember much of that one, beyond the sheer beauty of Kincaid Park under the moon in early spring. Which, honestly – I’m sure is amazing while perfectly sober.
Generally speaking – low to moderate doses of LSD bring a vast amount of geometric form pattern hallucinations.
You don’t actually have the kind of hallucinations where you see things that are not really there – you just hallucinate moving geometric patterns – at times often quite intricate – in the forms of reality. Walls, carpets, desktops. And maybe – as in my case – the occasional form of some kind of animal in the wall or ceiling.
Most of the experience is spiritual in nature. It changes how you feel. There’s a spiritual transcendence.
I cannot speak for high doses. I was never brave enough to take a high dose, except the aforementioned “mocking smile” experience. That was a bit uncomfortable for a while. My male friends would take much higher doses than I did.
One time Nick told me that he had a trip after 9 sugar cubes where he thought he swallowed his tongue. I laughed my ass off and told him that’s why I stuck to lower doses.
One time I drove to Kincaid Park and ate a couple of sugar cubes in the bathroom. Alone. I hung out for a while and went and sat in the grass. Then I went to the bathroom to pee.
At some point, the walls began turning orange and the geometric hallucinations began. The walls started breathing. I had a moment of clarity where I decided it was probably not smart to hang out in the woods alone on LSD.
I drove home. High on acid. So – it was not safe enough to be alone in the woods, but driving was apparently fine. I wrote in more detail about this experience in my post about Soundgarden.
Because I listened to Soundgarden on the drive home, see. On full blast. It was the greatest driving experience of my life.
But… it was incredibly, incredibly dumb. I cannot believe I was ever that stupid. I don’t understand how I made it out of my early 20’s alive.
I paid close attention to red and green lights. I drove as carefully as I could and stayed between the highway lines while everything swirled around me. This was my Hunter S. Thompson moment.
I could have called my girlfriend to come get me. I realized this half-way through the drive. But it was too late.
But when I got home, my girlfriend was zoned out on LSD herself. She was laying on the couch watching Pink Panther cartoons.
Heh. So much for that idea.
Then came magic mushrooms. Ooooh, I was arrogant about mushrooms at first. I thought I could handle a whole bag of mushrooms because I had done so much LSD.
Newsflash: They’re two different drugs. You don’t eat a whole fucking bag of mushrooms the first time you try them. It doesn’t matter how often you’ve been taking LSD.
I was laying on the couch while tripping. At some point, I completely lost my sense of self. I had no form. I had no body.
I could not perceive where the couch ended, and I began. All of this happened with my eyes closed.
I closed my eyes and the most incredible visuals with great huge beams of blue light in a shape I can only describe as hourglass-like – they moved in constant patterns like a modern screensaver.
I was too fucked up to be scared. I do not remember any fear. Whatsoever. I remember being fascinated. To the extent possible, given that I was no longer a human and I had no human form.
After a while, I came down some and opened my eyes. I took a drink of my water and it tasted like strawberries. I was astonished. I kept drinking more. How can this be? I took more sips, it kept tasting like strawberries.
The best mushroom trip happened with my friend Nick.
We ate the mushrooms (a reasonable dose this time!) and walked the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. As we entered the trail, some type of machine that cleans paved paths was driving toward us. I was starting to come up. I was absolutely fascinated.
“Nick, look at this crazy shit!”
There were a few of these machines and they were like crazy giant bugs – some kind of ant that sprayed water. He laughed because he saw the same thing. “Yeah, that’s some weird shit, I know…”
We walked the trail all night long. Gorgeous. I had to stop several times to puke. Mushrooms always had this effect on me.
Until my friend Crystal informed me that you can cut the nausea by squeezing the good shit out of the mushrooms with a strainer into a cup of double-bagged chamomile tea and steep it for 15 minutes.
It works. That’s how powerful chamomile tea is. I never puked or had nausea after making “mushroom tea”.
Here comes the best part:
We entered a park area with picnic tables. I saw a statue sitting at a picnic table. I was absolutely fascinated. I began walking quickly toward the statue. I heard Nick yell behind me, “Melissa, what you are you doing!?” He sounded alarmed, but I thought he was just being dramatic.
“I’m going to look at this statue!”
I slowed my pace as I neared the statue. The statue had its chin resting on its hand – like that whole “To be, or not to be” statue of classical whatever.
Suddenly, the statue moved! I gasped and started running away as fast as I could.
At some point, I stopped and looked back, still alarmed. I’m not sure why I did this, but I kicked dirt up into the air with my foot. Like a dog. And then continued running back toward Nick.
Nick was laughing his ass off. He was laughing so hard he was in tears.
“I thought it was a statue!” I explained.
So, let’s consider the perspective of this poor dude. He’s sitting around thinking about something. Suddenly, a young woman runs up to him at full speed, slows down, and peers closely at him with wildly dilated eyes. Ha. It’s too great.
Welcome to Anchorage, Alaska. Stranger things happen in this town.
As we walked, seagulls dived at Nick and it scared the shit out of him. We had walked beneath a nest. He was trying to punch them in the air. I laughed at him and he was annoyed at my laughing. And I laughed even more at his annoyance.
I wish I had a better description of walking on the Knowles Trail in summertime on mushrooms. Especially with a trusted friend. Let me just say this: This trail in Anchorage is amazing enough on its own. The lush plants, the summer light.
Nick was planning on leaving for California for winter, and toward the end of the trip we sat in a field with flowers. Suddenly Nick became Mr. Planning. Which I thought was hilarious.
He talked a great deal about things he needed to do for his cats. Nick always had cats around. He was very serious about taking care of his pet cats. Which was sweet because he was a young stoner boy. He named one of his cats “Spliff”.
He talked about his plane leaving at “Nine o’clock in the afternoon”.
We were still fairly high. I lost it. I started laughing my ass off.
“Nine o’clock is nighttime, Nick, not afternoon!” He was like, “Oh yeah, I guess you’re right.”
Heh. Shit like that. You had to be there.
Ah, then there was MDMA. Colloquially known as “Ecstasy”. This was a few years after the LSD and mushrooms.
Far and away – the CRAZIEST hallucinations I have ever seen happened on MDMA. This is due to one of two things – either the massive doses I took, or there was something else in those pills. We’ll get into the hallucinations later.
This was during a very irresponsible time of my life. I was out of my mind, and I was reckless.
My good friend had killed himself.
Only a few months after that incident, I walked in on my best friend and my girlfriend having sex.
I remember my MDMA trips, but I do not remember much else from this period. It was the darkest period of my life.
Looking back, I used the MDMA as self-therapy. I had no one. My friend group had splintered apart after our mutual friend’s suicide. The whole group isolated and stopped seeing each other for a while.
I lived with this best friend of mine. The Betrayer. So, I had to continue living with this wench for a while until I decided to move back in with my parents. You can imagine how that went.
Well, unless I was high on MDMA, which I often was. Then I was okay with the two of them. But when I came down? Not so much. I should have moved out sooner, but you see – I couldn’t sit around doing MDMA all night long at my parent’s house.
I did ecstasy alone and it was my therapy. I forgave them both. I saw their perspective. I had intense empathy for myself, for both of them, and for everyone in the whole world. My friend would walk by and I was like, “Okay, I understand, and I forgive you” and she would be confused because hours earlier I was screaming at her and throwing shit.
I took massive doses. 5 pills at once, and then I took more once the high wore off. Nick told me I was out of my mind. He was concerned, but there was nothing he could do about it.
The craziest hallucination was The Parrot. I worked for a guitar store at the time. We were allowed to take home awesome promotional posters sent to the store for gear.
I had this poster of Jimi Hendrix with a huge Marshall stack behind him. It was a Marshall advertisement. I was high and staring at this poster intensely.
Suddenly, something started GROWING on this poster. On Jimi’s shoulder. It was a bright green color, almost a neon green. The green thing started as just a little round ball, but the ball kept growing.
The ball continued to slowly grow into a branch! From the branch, talons formed, and from the talons, legs grew up, and from the legs a torso, wings, and a head!
I sat up and squinted. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I knew that I was experiencing a hallucination, I didn’t believe it was real. But – I had never seen ANYTHING like this on LSD or mushrooms. The detail was amazing.
Best yet, this was all 3D. The branch grew out halfway into my living room and the parrot WALKED out onto the branch and stared at me. It turned its head this way and that, checking me out.
I got up and grabbed the air. People are funny like that when high – you know full and well that it’s a hallucination from your mind, but you’re going to try and grab it anyway. You know. It just seems so real that you have to make sure.
I also remember seeing a lot of spiders coming down from the ceiling on webs during this time. That was unsettling because spiders are a thing that actually exist. I was always swatting at them just to make sure. But these hallucinations were so frequent that soon enough I learned to ignore them and listen to my music.
I was constantly listening to The Meat Puppets. That music is made for MDMA. There’s no way I can explain this. The only way you could understand how The Meat Puppets are the perfect MDMA band is to take the drug and listen to the band.
It was so good that I rarely listened to anything else.
One morning I had a hallucination that a rat was giving birth in my bathroom heater vent. I thought it might be a hallucination, but it seemed so real that I couldn’t stop watching and trying to figure it out. It was disgusting. These little hairless rodents swirmed around like maggots and the mom rat just kept popping them out. She had like 10 babies and finally it disappeared.
Then I went to work while still high. I told one of my co-workers about how a rat may have given birth in my heater vent. I relayed this information while still obviously very high, I’m sure.
I was fired that day, of course.
Heh. And then four years later I became an HR worker. I never judged people with drug charges on those background checks, let me tell you.
And so ends the history of my psychedelic drug use. I had many fun times. I did many stupid things.
I have no interest in MDMA but would happily do LSD and mushrooms again under the right circumstances. But first I would need either a group of close and trusted friends, or a licensed therapist who enjoys supervising these adventures. I can’t see ever doing any of that shit again on a willy-nilly basis like I did back in the day. And I would certainly never trip alone. In general, I’m more of an actual adult now and would be very cautious about the whole affair.
If you liked this post, you might like: Smoke Rings Back in Time
Source for the wiki quotes:
Psychonaut Wiki Main Page:
Erowid Psychoactive Vaults:
SapienSoup is both scientific and awesome: