Citation: Joebro. "Delirium: experience with LSD & Diazepam (ID 58840)". Erowid.org. Jan 19, 2007. erowid.org/exp/58840
LSD Delirium - A cautionary tale
Perhaps a little history is in order. I've taken acid twenty times, had a few hard trips (in fact none of my trips have been completely pleasant, but that's the nature of the beast) but always been better off, learned something valuable from the experience. No regrets there!
I don't usually write experience reports, but it struck me that I haven't read many reports that take into account the amount of sleep a person has had beforehand. This experience is set on the third and last day of a large music festival at which I had been both helping out and partying, and as a result I had been left with four to five hours sleep each day. I had been smoking about half a gram of strong cannabis each day for the last week or so, while at the previous festival and on the road in between, which is about five times as much as usual. On this beautiful Sunday afternoon with the vibes of thousands of happy dancing people I had decided it was a good time to trip, to seek musical inspiration and perhaps uncover some issues I might need to work on.
By chance I was given a dose of liquid LSD, and when asked whether I wanted a full dose or a half I hummed and ha'ed, unsure as to what would be the better option. This new friend grinned and made the decision for me, giving me what he considered a full dose. It would be silly to guess the dose but I know it was a big one, as first alerts were noticed within ten minutes and the toilet cubicle door was waving subtly at fifteen minutes.
Once back at the campsite I felt unsettled and a bit nervous, and I thought some music would help. I put on a hat and picked up an astrojax, and made my way 100 metres down the hill to the dance area, and found a nice spot to sit under a shade marquee. A juggler had me mesmerised, telling stories with his silver clubs, relating the hard work in juggling, beggaring belief at his unending efforts in the sun. It's hard for me to document my gradual drift from reality, but it started as a guy sat down next to me and asked about the astrojax I was holding. I was able to explain that it was a toy, but when I got up to demonstrate I got a knot in it almost immediately and had to sit down again.
Around this time paranoid fantasies began to proliferate, and I thought there had been a mass dosing, that everyone around me was also just beginning to trip hard. As I watched a lady stagger into the shade from the sun I pondered the implications of this mass dosing situation. After a few seconds of contemplation I yelled 'FAN-FUCKIN-TASTIC!!' really loud and startled a few people even over the loud music.
This sort of jarred me back to reality for a few seconds, I felt a bit silly and decided to watch the juggling again. However the juggler had left, and my attention was drawn back to the guy sitting next to me. It struck me that he was an undercover cop, and the LSD was being used as a mind control device to keep outspoken people isolated and sterile. The music seemed bland and a little ominous, and as a truck rolled in and spread a stinkhaze while emptying the portapotty, my thoughts of government chemical control seemed confirmed.
There was a sudden shift as the truck moved out again, someone put up an umbrella that said 'peace festival', and the dj changed the music to something a little more upbeat. 'No no no, they nearly got me but I'm not falling for that' I thought, that was a pretty clever trick but I knew I was being manipulated. The dj swigged from a clearly labelled bottle and I chortled in disbeleif as I wondered how much he'd just earned for this blatant endorsement.
About this time I 'realised' that someone had found the cellphone I left to charge backstage, and that they were about to break the news to me that I had received a text message from my partner saying she was pregnant. I saw a girl coming towards me gingerly holding a plastic bag, I could see the cable for the charger in the bag, I heard someone say 'two months' and it was all the proof I needed. I stared at the hills over the dome stage and saw a sun of white light rise, one of the only real hallucinations I had with open eyes.
At some level I knew it wasn't true, but emotions flowed nonetheless, I felt the joy of new life and the empathy from happy parents nearby, and I felt the pain and regret of lost opportunity. I shed a tear or two, silently. A story was being told to me in the motions and conversations of all the people around me, of the dual nature of life, of both being sacred and hurtful. We multiply and tax the environment hugely, and yet we bring so much joy to each other. I felt like human life was negating itself, living and dying but what happens inbetween? Then the answer became clear as a new song appeared, effortlessly uniting all our energy into one colourful thread. Music is the source and product of inspiration.
Then the conspiracies came to a head. The cops were ready to lead me away, and I was ready to go. Somehow that simultaneously didn't exist at all, and it was actually time for me to put on the show of my life. I had the astrojax, I was totally inspired by the crowds of beautiful people and my supposed creation of new life. The creator of astrojax had hypnotised me over the years of watching those strobing lights in the dark, he had set up the festival, brought me here and dosed me, and now was the time to reciprocate.
I stood up, stepped carefully backwards over the fence, and marvelled at this ideal obstacle course of cow tracks on which I could prove my balance. I turned to face the crowd and started an orbit. WOOPS forgot about that knot! I tried to continue but it was impossible. This was still an opportunity to prove myself, so I stated to all and sundry that I would pick my way through the thistles, climb that fence, and navigate the steep hills to support my pregnant partner. Of course by this stage I was probably babbling.
I can't remember much of the real world for a few hours, but apparently I had to be led backstage as I was beginning to freak some people out, and was getting a bit clumsy. Once backstage I wouldn't calm down and was getting more wound up, so my friend was consulted and he thought it would be a good idea to intervene. I was restrained and force-fed four valium, and held in place until I passed out.
During this time of total delirium I had an out-of-body experience, I met people and was subjected to a lot of history. Major themes I recall involve the realisation that I had to die to avoid everyone suffering, that I had family I never knew about, and that I was the Creator. For a long time I felt stuck, isolated, like people were trying to get through to me, and I could hear their feeble voices inploring me to breathe out and let go, but I was still afraid. The concurrent fantasies were still continuing, those people were also the police trying to arrest me, they were also my friends waiting for me to get up off the curb and tell them I was ok (this follows on from my first ego death experience seven years ago).
Finally I surrendered, stopped saying no, no, no, and said yes. At this moment I saw a vertical line curve into a series of horizontal lines, a strong hand clasps mine and lifts me up, his tattoos moving onto my arm, the triangles of the geodesic dome multiply inwards and fold away, letting in water and white light. The water flows down my throat and the crippling dehydrated feeling melts away. I open my eyes and cry out for joy at simply being there, at experiencing the awesome curling koru spirals of the earth's spirit. I remember yelling out that I made life, I'm making music, it's LSD-25!
I had the idea that I had successfully synthesised this drug within my own brain and got everyone high, and that I was causing a feedback loop, giving massive power to the sound system just by willing the music into being. 'I'm the first generation' I proclaimed, although I'm not sure how to explain what I mean by that now. Something to do with not letting myself die, I was one of the original humans and was stuck in my first iteration until I managed to breathe out again and connect with my mate, and when I did it caused an exponential growth in awareness and connection. I hear from my friend that my voice had an insane zeal, and I know why. These were profound ideas.
As I looked around the backstage area I saw vaguely familiar people, I knew they weren't my long lost brother or my girlfriend or 'the opposite harmonic to my existence', but they were still significant to me. I saw they were happy and this cheered me immensely, and I began dancing madly, throwing my dreadlocks around, spinning on the carpet (just like Homer Simpson's chicken walk, so I was later told) and clapping with the music. I sat on a soft chair and waved my arms in order to bounce up and down, like a child who had just discovered the joy of dancing. Unfortunately I got carpet burn on my ankles (I was barefoot), right hip, and elbows, from the breakdancing. I also picked up bruises on my thigh, knee, lower back, left arm, heel, and forehead. I don't know where these came from but apparently some happened before I'd been fed the valium. I didn't feel the pain of the carpet burn until the next day, but on some level I knew it was best to stop dancing on this carpet.
I felt remarkably together, and stood up to have a look around. The air was suffused with light and dancing dust motes. I found a bit of dreadlock that had been pulled off while dancing, and held it in a beam of sunlight to see the chaotic curls of hair lit up. I saw the dj (a different one by now) through a gap between the front and backstage halves of the dome, and clapped him on as he played my music back to me. I look down and see a table with various plates of food on it, and congratulate myself for making this food appear, seemingly just by thinking about it. The soundguy is peering at me and I shout to him, 'I'm Peter Pan!', and pick up a slice of green pepper and munch on it. Yum.
I sit back on the floor and notice that my pants are stopping me from sitting in the lotus position properly, and begin to undo them. A friend notices this and tells me to 'keep those on, mate'. I realise it's a good idea as soon as he says it, and probably wouldn't have taken them off anyway. My stomach sends me an alert, and I make for the gap at the back of the dome, catching a few strands of hair on the velcro. I ponder those strands for a few seconds and think it might be good to keep pulling until all my hair is gone, but this thought leaves me just as quickly as the thought of taking my pants off. I stumble out the back of the dome, down a little hill, and spew hugely. My eyes are filled with tears and I can't see a thing, I'm confused and wonder why this is happening so I look up at a friend. Another false realisation dawns on me and I say 'ayahuasca'. He doesn't know what I'm talking about, but seems to realise that I'm just using words to try and make sense of the world again.
I was led to my friends tent, and as he persuaded me to lie quietly on the floor. I wondered why I wasn't tripping very hard, even though it was still light outside. I was expecting to be tripping until well after night fell, and had been looking forward to watching the lightshows. He tells me he's still tripping (he had just under half the amount of liquid acid I'd had) and wants to stay with his own trip, so I keep quiet even though I'm bursting with profound ideas. I drifted out of consciousness again after a short while, and woke when it was dark.
I desperately needed to find the toilet but was having trouble walking, I didn't know if I'd make it to the portapotty and was wracked by indecision until I decided to just piss on the hill before it was too late. This happened again almost exactly the same way a few hours later, I was stumbling around and nearly fell a few times. I realised I had a bit of spew on my pants and crawled into my own tent and got changed. I passed out once again and when I awoke it was light, and I heard voices talking about me.
'That guy with the dreads, yeah, some people have a hard day but that was a real hard one'. I was confused as I thought things hadn't been that bad. I got up and walked about the campsite a bit, catching up with the various djs and their partners, they were friendly to the point of further confusing me, giving me warm hugs and asking how I was even though I had met most of them only a few days before. Their expressions were mixed between slight concern, bemusement and empathy, I later learned that all but two of them have had similar experiences before, with LSD or mushrooms. At that point I still didn't know that I'd been restrained and fed valium, and I vaguely wondered why I had sore feet. As my friend and I left the site he related what he knew, and I wished I could have stayed a bit longer and talked about it with some of the kind people who had looked out for me.
For the rest of the day and most of the next I felt vey content, relaxed and open and just a little dopey. Colours appeared brighter, I recalled many of the OBE memories vividly and could retell many of them, and my wounds were barely noticed. I met some people that night and made friends quickly, something that usually takes me a lot longer, and when we played a game of Cranium I found my faculties intact, answering obscure questions and reading clearly.
On the third day after the trip I felt a bit down, somewhat tired and a bit out of sorts, but nothing worse than a usual tired day for me and nothing approaching the darkness of my teenage depression. On nights five and six after the trip I found myself in a half wakeful state while lying in bed, and I thought I was back in my tent on the top of that hill. It took a minute of piecing together evidence to work out that I was, in fact, in my bedroom at home.
On the first of those two nights I woke my partner to excitedly tell her about the lightshow around the ceiling, and realised it was just moonlight seeping in! On that sixth night I had a very profound dream, that I was in a flat field with a lot of people in the same semi-lucid superconscious state that I had been, during my OBE backstage. I realised during that dream that everybody had in fact been 'mass dosed' and was in the same state as me, although they had gotten there by entirely different routes to mine. We shared the same timeless moment.
That day has left me with an increased appreciation of sleep as a resource for the mind, and I won't take a strong psychedelic unless I'm well rested and sure it's the option I want to take. Another realisation was of the value of music, I beleive it is one of the very few methods of true soulful connection between such divergent cultures.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid.