Citation: Xyrico. "Comprehending My Immediate Field of Vision: experience with LSD (ID 9696)". Erowid.org. Sep 28, 2001. erowid.org/exp/9696
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Sunday, September 16, 2001, the day after my trip.
This report details my first encounter with any drug other than alcohol or marijuana. That drug is LSD. It left me depressed for several days, but in retrospect I see that it was a very positive, if not entirely life-changing experience.
After a major letdown on Friday, (I was very close to getting shrooms but the guy never came through for me) yesterday I finally got my hands on some acid. I bought 2 blotters of unknown quality at around 4:00 PM. For some reason I decided that it would be best to trip alone, at night, in the dark-- McKenna style.
The next 7 hours were spent cleansing my personal space. I cleaned up my room, my computer, and myself. I intermitently watched TV, listened to music, and read the Shroomery. I was quite concerned about having a 'bad trip' so I tried my hardest to stave off any negative emotions. Unfortunately the harder I tried the easier they overcame me, and at one point I seriously considered postponing my trip until a later date. Things seemed to get better, though, as I neared midnight, and by around 11:30 no traces of anything were left other than pure excitement mixed with a bit of first-trip anxiety. At least, nothing I could detect.
I dropped both hits simultaneously at 12:00 AM and sat down at my computer to listen to some music and chat with a few friends over MSN. It should be noted that I had fasted the whole day prior to this. With that in mind, I noticed the effects almost immediately-- within 10 minutes my monitor became much brighter and I had to physically turn down its brightness level for it to remain comfortable. Whenever I looked at my lamp its imagine lingered in my mind much longer than it usually does. By the 20 minute mark I had definite visual distortion going on; the best I can describe it is like a film had been placed over my eyes. I had trouble focusing them but I could still look past the 'film' and see the object in perfect clarity. For some reason I had no desire of doing that, so I just relaxed and let my vision become increasingly more foggy. Obviously it became harder to look past the film, but I still didn't mind.
Half an hour had passed now and all my anxieties about it being 'fake' acid were lifted. Colors were brighter than ever and a comfortable haze had settled over my vision. I began to feel a strange tingling in the back of my skull, like it had been stuffed with cotton. Audio distortion was also becoming obvious. I could still hear the music perfectly fine, but sounds coming in from the street sounded completely different from what they actually were. For instance, I heard the revving of a car's engine as a cow's mooing.
I was also noticing some slight tracers in moving objects. I had a really brightly colored rubber ball, and when I threw it in the air and caught it again it left a definite trail. On a personal note, these tracers were not the streaks of bright light I expected them to be. The ball left transparent, picture-perfect images of itself in the air where it had just been. These took a second or two to fade and were really interesting to observe.
Then the first signs of hallucination began to make themselves seen. As I was taking down some notes on my pad, I saw the phone breathing out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look at it, but it was perfectly still. This was beginning to get interesting. I didn't acknowledge it at the time, but I was already becoming increasingly spooked. Here I was, in my little room with a single light on, my parents safe asleep, listening to strange sounds coming in from the street and watching my phone plot against me while I wasn't looking.
I didn't see it then, but it was the beginning of my downward spiral. I decided that now was the time to say my goodbyes and turn off my computer. I logged off MSN but had trouble turning off my monitor; I became so engrossed with the mouse pointer that I completely forgot that I intended to turn the whole damn thing off. 10 minutes later I snapped out of it, turned off my monitor, and oozed down my chair to explore my carpet. I tried walking and running and jumping around, all of which seemed much faster than normal. In fact I could moved so fast that at the time it boggled my mind.
I closed my eyes and was greeted by some very nice closed-eye visuals but for some reason I couldn't keep them closed. I was just plain unable to shut them for more than a period of 3 seconds, even though I was really interested in what I was seeing. They were just plain too bright to watch comfortably. I lay down on my bed for about 10 seconds; couldn't keep still there either, so I bounced back into my chair, happily turned on my monitor, and proceeded to log back on MSN. I spent the next 2 hours talking to several bemused friends (none of whom had ever done anything close to LSD) and listening to Loreena McKennitt and The Doors.
In retrospect this was not the smartest musical choice, but I had hurridly assembled it and it seemed like a great selection at the time. McKennitt made me sad, so sad in fact that I began to cry. It was so hauntingly beautiful that I just couldn't restrain myself. The raw emotional intensity of the psychedelic experience made itself obvious to me right then and there. The Doors, on the other hand, had so many varied emotions. I felt joy with one song, sorrow with another, and utter exhiliration with a third. I don't know whether I enjoyed this rollercoaster, I really don't.
One of the strangest things about this trip is that I very rarely had an opinion on anything. I just watched (or listened to) it all go by, sometimes bursting into laughter, other times into tears, but always indifferent. I enjoyed both laughing and crying, neither one more than the other. One of my friends was having some problems that he related to me; those also made me cry, yet I still didn't mind. And so it went on, up-and-down, for the next couple of hours.
I want to stress again that I didn't really care about anything, I was just enjoying my trip and all the wild emotions and thoughts it brought with it. At that point I was still enjoying the trip, but the feeling of this particular 'enjoyment' is impossible to relate. It's not the sort of enjoyment one gets from watching a good movie or seeing his favorite team win. It was something other, something unexplainable. The easiest route to go would be just to say that I didn't care-- laughing, crying, sad, happy, etc didn't really matter. I was content with anything my mind could throw at me. Anyway, I dawdle.
It was late and my friends were logging off one-by-one, until I was finally alone at around 3:00, 3 hours into the trip. That's when it hit me. Hard. I realized that my only contact from the outside world had been cut off, and that I now would be left alone to ride out whatever I faced. I regretted not having a friend nearby, but I also assumed that I now would be left in peace to explore my altered state of mind. Almost immediately, I took out the CD, turned around in my swivel chair towards my bed, and planned to turn off the light. I got immediately sidetracked, however, just as I would many times during the rest of the night.
My blanket was glowing with a sort of eerie inner light, and I could see patterns moving on its surface. It was a very simple, repeating texture, but I had never seen anything close to it, especially not on a piece of cloth which I usually sleep under! It made me a bit frightened, however, as I began to envision the glowing as a product of something other-worldly. I then noticed that the various creases and ripples in my blanket were moving all over its surface, as if snakes were crawling around underneath it. I couldn't keep track of the individual 'ripples' but I could quite clearly see them moving all over. Suddenly, the ripples began to gather themselves in a single area of my blanket's surface. The pattern they formed reminded me of an eye with its accompanying eyebrow suggesting an angered expression.
At this point I panicked and snapped out of the hallucination. I saw that the 'eye' had been there all along, a product of my ineffecient bed-making. My mind had managed to block it out for most of the duration of the hallucination until I saw the ripples 'gather' there. I found that very interesting, and I still do. Observations like this make me want to do LSD again, just to see what other strange tricks my mind can come up with to play on me.
The next hour passed faster than any time period I can relate to. It was spent crawling around my bed in slow motion, where all kinds of different 'scenes' were taking place. My digital clock was doing something, I didn't understand what. It made me uncomfortable, though, so I switched it on. And lo, what should I hear? A late-night talk show host discussing the WTC bombing. Bah, that kept me away from the radio from the rest of the night. It should be noted that as soon as the stimulus disappeared from my vision any emotion associated with it disappeared-- I was like an infant that only comprehended what was in his immediate field of vision.
I glanced out the window and noticed that my neighbor's hedges were teeming with life, and I was both fascinated and frightened by it. I made my way back to my pillow and lay down on it, staring up at my ceiling. I have a rack of those art gallery-type or concert spotlights (I don't know what else to call them) above my bed, and the one immediately above my head looked like a huge gaping maw about to swallow me. I slowly willed it to stretch down and expand, hoping I could get it to swallow me. Who knows, maybe I could get something really interesting to happen? Likely something would have happened, if not for this interesting fact: I couldn't keep focused on anything for longer than 10 seconds.
However much I become engrossed in a pattern or 'scene' that was going on I could not watch it for more than a tiny stretch of time. It became extremely frustrating, and when I tried to combat it the trip seemingly went away. Thus, I was forced to dart back and fro constantly looking for new patterns to explore, else I wouldn't see anything at all.
Obviously I didn't have the willpower to keep my mind on the light that I was forcing to swallow me and keep the trip going at the same time. This is the best I can explain it as; everything literally died away if I tried to combat my urge to look at something new. Anyway, this restless behavior seemed perfectly normal at the time and I don't know why I tried to fight it. This is how the hour and a half was spent, just writhing on my bed looking at everything I could but unable to look at it long enough to grasp.
Something else really strange was going on. I had recently added several Motorhead songs to my collection, and was devoting more attention to them than anything else. Anyway, during the whole 'Bed Period', as I like to call it, I had 3 or 4 notes of the same Motorhead song playing over and over in my head. It wasn't a particularly good song, not one of my favorites, so I wasn't too thrilled about having to listen to the same part of it over and over again.
I began an increasingly bothersome monologue in my head about the things I was going through, and it reminded me that I had had none of the 'glowing' or 'spiritual' or 'eye-opening' or, hell, even fun experiences that I so wanted. This annoyed me to no end, but neither the song nor the voice were under my control. I was forced to ride it out. It became too much to bear, though, so I switched on my light and turned my monitor back on.
It was now 4:30. I popped in a Future Sound of London CD, put on a nice WinAmp visualizer, and just watched it. I felt nothing. The music was hollow and empty, and the visualizer brought no feelings with it whatsoever. I just sat there in a stupor and watched the pictures move across my screen, listening to the meaningless music drifting over me. Keep in mind that I usually _love_ the Future Sound of London and always get a kick out of watching visualizers.
Noting the futility of what I was doing, I wondered what it would feel like with headphones on. I plugged them in and was pleasantly surprised that the music sounded much better and I could feel it inside me, although I still didn't care about it. At 5:00 I went back to my bed, headphones on, FSOL playing, switched off the light, and passed out immediately. No warning, nothing. As I turned the switch on my bedside lamp everything went dark and I found myself bolting upright at 10:30 AM, 5 and some hours later. This is when things started going bad. Really bad.
When I think about it, the trip itself wasn't that bad, just a lot of sounds in my head and some uncomfortable hallucinations. Plus a whole lot of indifference. This, however, was a fully sober, waking bad trip. I felt empty both in mind and body; I was hungry from the fast of the day before, and it's impossible to describe the state of mind I was in: Just empty. No emotion at all, nothing. A little disappointment here and there maybe. I put on some favorite tunes (Black Sabbath) and I heard nothing.
That is, the music which usually moved me and influenced me now had absolutely zero meaning. It's like I was listening to somebody banging pots together. I put on CD after CD, alas, in vain. Music had lost all meaning to me, it had become random vibrations coming from my speakers and nothing more. This greatly depressed me, I didn't know what to do.
I spent the next 4 hours talking with somebody who did a great deal toward helping me make odds and ends of my experience and with his help I came to several conclusions about my trip and life in general. It felt _really_ good because my eyes had been opened to aspects of human interaction that weren't apparent before. Ones that I usually chose to ignore, I should say.
I expected these realizations during my trip, not in the aftermath, and it was very peculiar to notice that I was still thinking the way I did when I was dosed. It was just a lot clearer, minus the visuals and strong emotional response. I suppose my brain was making up for the absence of other people during the night by providing the same sort of state the day after, once I started communicating. This sort of insight and self-exploration was my original purpose for the acid, and I think it's ironic that I only saw it the day after.
Around 2:30 PM, 4 hours later, I happened to glance out my window. I literally almost fell out of my chair. Running up to the window, I was graced with one of the most beautiful views of my life. I saw the trees, the grass, and the clouds in a way that I had never seen before and it was so breathtaking that I just stood there with my jaw on the floor. Everything was so vibrant, colors so bright, contrasts so sharp. It was amazing. At that point I knew that I HAD to go out there, so I quickly said my good-byes and spent the better part of the day sitting on the grass watching the clouds drift and the river flow by. It was stunning.
During this time I also took the opportunity to write several pages about my experience and the revelations earlier in the day. I hadn't felt this great in a very long time, and as I walked the street I just smiled broadly and exchanged greetings with every person that walked by. On the way home, however, things sadly became quite a bit darker. I felt inexplicably depressed and seriously began to doubt the things that I had written, the ones which rang so true just minutes before.
I got home and proceeded to read several trip reports on Erowid and other places. This was a mistake, as it made me feel even worse, since I couldn't find anyone with anything even closely related to what I was experiencing. I hadn't eaten in some 30 hours, yet my appetite was at zero. I forced myself to eat, though it didn't help my situation any.
Music is still meaningless to me, my experience overall seems disappointing, and my 'insights' seem trife and foolish. I feel as empty as I did this morning. I haven't been as depressed in a long time, I guess that's why I wrote this. There are some other things which I wanted to say, but this has dragged on long enough and I doubt anybody will actually have gotten this far anyway.
Oh, I'll do acid again for sure, it's unavoidable. But what if this same thing happens? I read about everyone's wonderful experiences with it, and that's what I genuinely wanted. Instead I got an empty trip devoid of any happiness or joy, not to mention severe post-depression. Maybe there's something I'm missing; all I know is that I feel like shit right now and last night was like a pointless uninvolved dream.
Wednesday, September 19, 2001, 4 days after my trip.
The depression is gone :)
I'm pretty much back to baseline, 4 days after my trip. But I'm not the same-- I've been changed in a permanent sense. My eyes have been opened to many aspects of life, interaction, and my own mind. I had been depressed in the weeks and months prior to my trip, depressed and exhausted from the lifestyle I was leading. This is what caused my uncomfortable experience, but it had some very positive consequences. It made me take a look at who I was, and why I was that way. I began thinking about the people around me, about the way that they are, and why.
I have a new appreciation for my mind, and the beauty of the world around me. For the first time in a long while, I'm happy just to be alive. I feel connected with certain people, distanced from yet others. I'm not too worried about the latter; I can see through these people like glass now. My musical tastes have also been slightly altered, as I no longer seek solace in the negative energy I used to feed myself through certain music.
Things like meditation, keeping a journal, and taking walks out in nature are starting to become part of my routine. I no longer allow myself to be consumed by the digital world. Make no mistake; I don't praise acid as a magical eye opening one-shot-wonder. My experience had a direct correlation with the lifestyle I was leading, kind of like several years' worth of emotion compressed into a single 5 hour long vision. THAT is what caused the above realizations.
The drug can only take me so far. In the long run, this journey is mine and mine alone. And that's a great feeling :)
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.