Citation: Partario. "Finding God in the Wood Grain: An Experience with LSD, Cannabis & Nitrous Oxide (exp100543)". Erowid.org. Apr 29, 2022. erowid.org/exp/100543
The following is a true account of the most incredible thing that has ever happened to me.
I'd been interested in trying LSD for a number of years but had never been able to up until this point due to reasons of non-availability and also the stigma attached to the drug. Whilst at university and after graduating, I'd had a fair amount of experience with cannabis and nitrous oxide chargers, but LSD was not a drug that moved in the same circles I did and for several years it remained a 'what if?' point on a list of drugs that I might consider doing in the future. My girlfriend of the last couple of years is very anti-drugs so my use during this period has been rather sporadic, with periods of several months passing with only the occasional spliff or two. I regularly consume alcohol but no other intoxicants on a regular basis.
However, circumstances aligned so that earlier this year I purchased ten hits of blotter LSD, claiming to be ~110ug per square. I held onto this for a couple of months waiting for the right time to take it; during this period I'd read a lot about LSD and why people did it, read hundreds of trip reports and tried to take on board what people said about mindset and setting as part of the experience. After a couple of non-starters, I settled on a long weekend where I would be home alone for a period of 36 hours, with no work responsibilities for another couple of days after this. I was working until 10pm and planned to take this LSD that evening so that I would have a full 24 hours of recovery time before having to interact with other human beings unless I chose to. I worried a little about heading into the trip after a day at work without giving myself time to properly unwind, although in the end I felt that this didnt majorly detract from the experience.
I was to be alone for the experience; I currently live in a city a long way from my only friend who had any experience with psychedelics, and my line of work is not one in which it would pay to broadcast one's drug habits too strongly in search of a trip buddy. I worried about this too, as many of the sources I had learned from recommended a trip partner, especially for first-time use in case anything should go wrong. Nothing went wrong and I had a great experience, but my mindset is generally one of being quite laid back and not so anxious about exactly what is going on if I am relaxed. For anyone who might become upset at being confused, disoriented, seeing things that don't really make sense or letting go of control, having someone to keep an eye on what is going on is definately a good idea. That said, at no point did I feel that I put myself in danger or that I was going to freak out; I was in control of my own thoughts and actions, although my mental processes were distorted somewhat.
With that in mind, this is what happened.
At 23:00 (T +0:00), following a light meal and some water, I placed 2 hits of the blotter paper under my tongue and felt it become wet with my saliva. The only taste was the slight bitterness of the paper fibre. I put on a documentary show and watched whilst I waited for the LSD to kick in. I'd written down some ground rules (a quick summary of what I had taken, along with reminders to think twice before contacting anyone else) on a notepad
I'd written down some ground rules (a quick summary of what I had taken, along with reminders to think twice before contacting anyone else) on a notepad
and prepared a trip space in the living room with a bed area that had comfortable blankets and cushions if I wanted to crash. I had an electric dictaphone on my phone so tried to keep (sporadic) notes of what was going on in my mind as the trip progressed.
No clear effects felt so far. I wonder if the colour on the TV looks a little strange (like oversaturated) but otherwise nothing out-of-the-ordinary.
I think I am starting to feel some effects; I'm browsing the internet and trying to do a puzzle that involves finding elements in the periodic table and putting their chemical symbols together to make a play on words. This seems extremely difficult and takes much longer than usual, and I find this amusing.
I have an increasing sensation of a lightness in my body, almost like my consciousness is trying to lift itself out of it. This continues over the next 30 minutes or so, and I am a little agitated, although not unpleasantly so. More like certain synthetic cannabinoids, it's difficult to properly concentrate on one thing.
Having a good time so far, although no real visual effects to speak of compared to what will come later. I went to pee, and stared at my hand for a long time. It was as if my palm was getting older as I looked at it, with more and more creases and lines forming as I watched.
Body lightness continues and becomes more evident. I decide to watch an episode of Mr Show, a 90s US sketch show. The subjects and transitions between the scenes are extremely bizarre and I have often thought that the writers must have been tripping when they put pen to paper. As I watch the characters and their interactions become ever more bizarre and unexpected. I think I am noticing some visual disturbances, like a shimmering of the background curtain on the set. I feel intoxicated but without the fuzzy-headedness of weed or alcohol. I can see a few little trails when I'm moving my hand around in the air. This continues for a while, and I'm enjoying the things I'm seeing.
Not much change until this point. I go to pee again and have full-blown hallucinations looking in the mirror. My face morphs and contorts, disappears entirely, grows hair all over and then is covered with alien markings and lines. To make this happen I have to look at the image for a while in one place, rather than move my gaze around; It's almost like my brain is fine at interpreting the image until the lines and contours stay still for too long, and then they morph out of control or are replaced by other images direct from my subconscious. A blink of the eye and it happens again but in a completely different way. I'm wary of looking at the image for too long as it sometimes feels as though the reflection in the mirror doesn't belong to me, although I never really feel especially uneasy about looking. This is hands-down the strangest experience that I have ever had, although little did I know that things were going to continue in this vein (and more bizarre) over the coming hours. The floor seems to start morphing and twisting.
I smoke a cigarette outside in my little yard area. The bricks in the wall are morphing and moving around, and if I focus on the cement in between them it becomes fuzzy, changes colour, and then goes negative so that the colours pf the brick and cement seem to be reversed, or replaced with another colour entirely, like someone hit the invert button on a paint image.
My sense of time is quite distorted, it doesn't seem like so long has passed. The visual distortions are stable but no significant change from previously reported. From what I'd read I know that this was probably as high as I would get with this dose of LSD; After some internal debate I decide to take another two tabs, and smoke another cigarette whilst I do so. I'd been intrigued by some trip reports I'd read where people claimed to have smoked cigerettes that tasted of candy or bubblegum; unfortunately mine just tasted of cheap tobacco.
I decide at some point to smoke some weed. In retrospect this could have worked out badly as I was coming up from the second 2 hits of acid and I hadn't tested the effect of the drug on my new level of consciousness. As it happened it was extremely enjoyable. I spent some time in my herb garden touching the plants and watching their stems morph and stretch in the air. The weed seems to potentiate the onset of the acid and I start tripping hard. Time at this point becomes quite an abstract concept and I spend several minutes debating with myself the time that I took the second lot of LSD. I try to take some laughing gas but don't seem to have the mental staying power to actually hold the sweet gas in my lungs. I practice a little and find that the usual abstract thinking and visual distortions that come with the nitrous aren't really there, but that it paradoxically helps me focus my concentration on the visual aspects of the LSD experience. At this point things seem to kick up a gear.
(T +5:30 to +6:30)
I end up on the bed area looking at the grain of the wood on the floor. At this point the visual hallucinations hit with full strength; the floor is pulsing, flowing and sliding in my vision. Millions of tiny insects seem to slide out from between the cracks in the wood and flow through the grain towards me. Banners of black writing seem to flow along with the grain, although I can't quite seem to make out what they say. I see incredible fractal patterns revealed in the wood, which flow and writhe along with the music. This is literally the most incredible thing I have ever seen, and the detail that I can see in the patterns is fantastic; tiny animals, writing, alien symbols and complex geometric patterns seem to materialise out of thin air. As with the mirror I have to relax my vision and just look at one point for a few seconds, and then it is as if my mind replaces the usual pattern with fantastic images that I couldn't have begun to imagine in my wildest dreams. A patchwork blanket on the bed undulates with energy and seems to morph and contort with the music (Blur, Think Tank, amongst others), and the plain white radiator on the wall undulates with neon energy as if it is backlit by bright coloured beams. I cannot emphasise how incredible the images are.
After a while I started to browse some LSD-related art on the internet and settle on a few pieces by Alex Grey. I instantly click with the psychedelic images and spend a long time staring into the depths of the pictures, watching the images writhe and contort. Neon colours flash across the pictures and I know that the artist felt exactly what I feel, although we've never met and probably have few life experiences in common. A hidden meaning comes from the paintings and connects us through the drug - I understand. At this point I feel a bit like I've been living in wonderland all along without realising it, and that now the blinkers are off I see the world in a different way.
At some point (possibly influenced by the weed) I cook a pizza and watch another couple of episodes of Mr Show. The rapidly changing scenes and humour are difficult to follow but leave me entranced. I see visual effects on the characters' faces and also in the cloth of my trousers as I watch. I go for another pee and notice that my pupils and giganto-normous and that the strange faces in the mirror are still present. I see the same fractal images in the patterned bathroom tiles, shifting and changing.
(T +7:20 to +?8:30)
I continue to look at images and browse LSD related experiences for an hour or so. The hallucinations are still present and are quite stable in intensity. I'm not sure when but I make it outside for another joint. I'm surprised how alert I am whilst smoking; usually I get pretty drowsy after weed and at this point I have been awake for about 22 hours but I feel quite awake apart from some tiredness in my eyes. The THC really potentiates the hallucinations and I find myself looking at the wood grain on the floor once more; the grain morphs and seems to rise out of the floor towards me; other parts sink down, like a 3d model of the contour lines on a map. All the while the patterns and fractals are dancing through the image. For a while my whole vision seems to invert and contort, and I think that it looks just like the paintings that I had been looking at. I notice something again that happened earlier on, when my whole vision was alternately tinted red and green.
I decide to venture outside to see how it feels. Objects like cars and walls seem to hover slightly in my vision, as if my brain isn't quite sure how far away they are. I have no trouble navigating the road safely and getting to the store, but at one point feel like the street looks like somewhere else and that I hadn't been there before, although I've walked this route a hundred times. I get to the shop and buy some milk, salad and cola. I'm initially a bit confused trying to use the ATM, but figure it out. I stop and buy a coffee on the way home; I'm worried the barista will see my still-giant pupils, but he seems pretty oblivious.
I drop my shopping off at home and go for a walk in the park behind my house. There aren't many people around so I smoke half a joint and walk through the part of the park that is more meadow-like, with wild flowers and grasses left to grow. Yellow flowers in the tall stems seem to be neon lights when I relax my vision. It seems to get busier and a few spots of rain fall, so I head home, although I feel quite relaxed.
(T +9:30 to 12:00)
I watch more TV and browse the more images. I'm captivated by the Van Gogh painting of a Starry Night. I pick up my guitar and try to play; unsuccessfully attempting to jam along with the music, then playing chords and singing along. Although I make quite a few mistakes it sounds great to me and is very pleasurable, although the sound is one I understand, as opposed to the visual effects which are like nothing I've ever seen before. At one point I pick up a pen and draw; I'm quite a kinesthetic person but I can't usually draw easily and make things look how I want. I doodle patterns, words, faces and shapes onto the paper; some of the things I draw are very similar to the things I've seen from others online, although more primitive. I'm startled by how similar some of the shapes I draw look to drawings my auntie used to make for me when I was a child. I wonder if she ever had an acid experience that made her draw like this, or if it is just a coincidence, as she is a more natural artist then myself. Again time gets a little abstract and I'm not completely clear of the order things happen in.
(T +12:00 to +14:00)
The visual effects are starting to lessen, although as I go to the bathroom to run a bath I see that I can still create vivid illusions of my own face whilst looking in the mirror. A bath is cleansing, although I find it difficult to stay cool and get out after about 30 minutes as I feel like I might overheat. There are still patterns in the tiles on the wall but nowhere as vivid and complex as before.
I try and sleep but it is fitful and my stream of consciousness still quite strong, although I've been awake for 28 hours and smoked enough weed that would have usually put me on the floor. I somehow find an incredibly detailed article online about the size of ice cube and the effect it has on the temperature and consistency of cocktails. I'm amazed by the level of detail and complexity which has gone into this analysis, and realise now why the usual filter we have in incoming information is so important in functioning normally - if we didnt have it, I'd just be lying on the floor looking as the floorboards forever.
(T +18:00 to T + 22:00 - present).
I doze for a couple of hours and wake for a delivery man at the door. I'm still a bit concerned that the driver might 'make' me, but actually realise that this doesnt make sense at all and that he probably wouldnt have thought twice. I don't really feel like sleep, so do a few chores and put my mind towards writing this account, whilst it is still fresh in my mind.
So, that's how it happened. It's impossible to describe the experience in words but that's probably as best as I can do. I understand why people say that taking LSD has changed their lives and makes them see the world differently, it certainly will do for me.
I'm excited to take it again, but probably wouldnt change much about my first trip, as I feel I really found my comfort zone. In the future I think I would start with a larger dose (say 4 hits - the total dose I took this time), but obviously your mileage may vary depending on the strength of the acid. I'd probably try and be a little more planned in my activities and build in more time for drawing and music, although I think I could stare forever at the neon artworks I saw for hours on my living room floor today. I'll probably wait at least a month or two to integrate everything from this trip though.
In summary, an absolutely out-of-this-world experience, I hallucinated wildly and saw the world completely differently for a day.
I've just had another half a joint and am going to go to bed in a bit. The visual hallucinations have all but gone, I can't recreate them anymore. I mull over the day and wonder what I should try and take from it into myself (or rather, make myself aware of, as I am acutely aware that the experience I had came purely from my own head in the end). I'll definitely take respect but also incredible curiosity regarding this amazing drug.
[Reported Cannabis dose total: "approx 5 joints"]
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