Mushrooms - P. cubensis
Citation: White Rabbit. "More Than Just a Bad Trip: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis (exp104301)". Erowid.org. Jan 24, 2021. erowid.org/exp/104301
One thing that I have found with taking psychedelic mushrooms is that they are not there for me. They are not there to entertain me, to make me feel 'good,' or for the superficial purpose of getting fucked up. They are sacred teachers, and through every trip they must be respected because they give lessons, not good times. However, I have also found through my experiences that great feelings of love and happiness can come forth. On the contrary, experiences of absolute fear, insanity, and death have also occurred. There is a duality that mushrooms present whether it be 'good' or 'bad.'
There has been one trip so far within my life that has changed me forever and that has changed all of those who were there... Forever.
It was a yearly camping trip that I engaged in with some of my closest friends. This was the fourth year we had gone and each year the trip had escalated. By this I mean each year the crazier the experiences became. Not a bad crazy just a memorable crazy. Each year many different substances are brought and every year everyone has come out ok, with their mental and physical health intact. This year was different.
The trip happened during our last night of camping. It was Sunday, and had been raining all day. In the late afternoon the weather cleared and the sun decided so finally come out. By the time the third day came, no one had the ability to check the time, all phones were dead, no one had a watch, etc. We were isolated and time didn't matter to us anymore. I would guess it was around the late afternoon when the majority of us decided to eat Penis Envy. Some had also decided to eat psychedelic truffles. I stuck with the Penis Envy because I was curious and had never taken that strain before.
The beginning of the trip was extremely beautiful. The 12 of us were all sitting around the campfire, the sun had just begun to set. This created an extremely warm and happy atmosphere. My boyfriend was at the right of me and a friend at my left. There were only two people in the group who decided to take an eighth. Everyone else took half. The Penis envy that we had was twice as potent than the norm. This is why most took half. There were a few people in the group that only ate the smallest amount of caps, and in under an hour everyone had blasted off. At first, the two people tripping the strongest were me and my friend who also took a full eighth. Once I had started tripping I could not speak, only smile. I listened to the conversations and laughter that was happening around the fire. With my eyes closed, I could see everything. I could see everyone around the fire, straight in front of me even though my eyes were shut. Then my vision would fade between the image of the campfire and everyone talking, into a warm peach and yellow hue with white lined fractals. Beautiful, bright, vivid extreme fractals. I could hear almost like a woman singing in the far reaches of the back of my mind, very soft, like a mothers voice. Such a strong wave of absolute love and awareness came over me. Like the kind of love and happiness I had not experienced since I was a young child. So genuine, unspoiled and innocent. The best way I can describe the energy that came to me was that of a maternal, protective and loving being. It was the mushrooms speaking, teaching me, and showing me the absolute beauty and love that is found between everything living.
Tears and snot started to drain out of my face. It was the hardest I have ever cried yet the biggest smile remained on my face. Crying, and smiling, and laughing-I felt like I had just been reborn. It was the hardest I have ever tripped in my life. The body high was insane. It was like being dead and seeing the light, seeing everything. Encased within an absolute and divine love. This was real, what I was experiencing was more real than any other moment in my life that I had ever known. It was more clear than any sober moment, I never wanted to leave, I never wanted it to stop.
Lucky for me I was experiencing this in the moment, because within the group there was one individual who had found himself in a very, very dark place. I will call him X. This individual has struggled with many hardships within the past year. There were two members of the group that were a couple. The girl was a previous partner to X, but it had happened years ago and everyone was friendly and had moved on.
One thing that I would like to mention, shortly after my experience around the campfire, I needed to use the restroom. It took all of my will to get out of that chair. As I got up and walked away to find a place to pee, walking was extremely fluid, like I was floating. There was a disconnect between me and my physical body. I couldn't feel my body but I could see my arms and legs moving. My body was apart of everything, blending in to all of the objects around me. The background and my limbs became the same thing. As I was walking I was looking down at my feet and at the stones and dirt that I was walking over. When I was a good distance away from the camp I finally looked up.... All around me, in the brush, on the moss beds, on the fallen trees, there were people. At least I thought they were people. I sat behind a bolder by myself and intently looked to my left. There was a young guy, about my age just huddled over next to me. I couldn't see his face he was just there, frozen not moving or breathing. I remember him so clearly, tan shorts, a green shirt, reddish brown short hair, blue tennis shoes. Just huddled over. This did not frighten me, I knew that this boy was not really there. None of these people were, at least not in the physical plain of existence. All these people were huddled like this boy all facing different directions. I could see no faces, everyone just sat there with their heads buried in their arms all around the forest. I knew I was seeing spirits. It felt like I had died and entered somewhere far away. I was not scared, all I could feel was intense love for all of these people. Once I couldn't see them anymore I went back to the fire.
Back to X. As I returned, only 4 of us remained at the fire, the others were in their tents. It was me, my boyfriend, the girl I said used to be with X, and X. All four of us were tripping extremely hard at this point. This is where things took a dark turn. As I was experiencing such bliss there was a member of the group who had been taken over by extreme fear and darkness, and it began to project upon everyone. X looked to the girl and asked if her and 2 other male members of the group would be down to have sex. We all looked at X with an extremely confused look on our face. Like, where did that come from? The girl just looked at X and said 'uh no man.' X then said, 'wow, I'm very offended right now, come on it would be fun.' We all just stared at him and thought, what the fuck just happened, granted the girl's current boyfriend was there in a tent only a few feet away. X was extremely serious. This is the point were my boyfriend and I looked at each other, like oh no…he's gone. The thing with X is that he has suffered through schizophrenic tendencies and episodes of dual personality disorder. And members of his biological family have suffered through mental illness. He had been fine so far over the weekend, but no one should have let him take those mushrooms.
X got up and left the fire. After that, everything was relatively ok for maybe about an hour. Throughout this hour, however, X started to say very strange things. The group was back together at the fire. X then continued to say out of nowhere, 'I didn't get to cum.' We were all like….'what?' He then said, 'I'm not down, I need to go home, I'm just not feeling it. Where are the keys? I want to go home.' We were three hours away from home, an hour away from the nearest city, and everyone was too intoxicated to drive, but X was insistent.
My boyfriend went up to him and said, 'No man we can't go home right now it's not possible. Everyone is too fucked up no one can drive.' And there was no way in hell were were going to let him take someone's keys so he could drive, he was obviously so far gone on the mushrooms, he would die. Or worse try to kill himself.
At this point the tension in the air greatly intensified. My good blissful trip had now been infested with complete fear. I was so scared. This situation was far too hard to deal with at the time.
X was extremely insistent. He then began to obsessively ask where the girl was. (his ex gf) She had gone to her tent with her boyfriend to go lay down at this point. He also kept insisting for the keys. He kept repeating himself over and over and everyone began to fear the situation. My boyfriend just grabbed him and hugged him and said 'I love you so much man, everything is ok, come sit with me here next to the fire please. I love you its ok.' He was saying everything he could to try to calm him down. As my boyfriend was hugging him and saying this, X began to lick and kiss his neck very intensely. X then continued to say, 'no I'm not down.' this continued and repeated for what seemed to be at least an hour, which really ended up being about 20 min.
We convinced X to try to lay down and relax. He agreed and laid down outside of a tent. After about a half hour of him being silent on the ground with his eyes wide open he silently got up and sat next to the girl who at this point came out of her tent. No one noticed him at first.
Suddenly without anyone expecting it. X jumped onto the girl, pinned her to the ground, and tried to kiss her. Her boyfriend and mine both shot up and grabbed him off of her. Everyone was still tripping insanely hard, the situation was so extremely frightening and intense no one knew what to do or how to handle it. My boyfriend ripped him from her and as he did so X screamed louder and more intensely than I have ever witnessed before. I shot up from my chair and ran to the dark corner of the camp. I was trembling, almost throwing up from the terror. 'NO! NO! NO!' X shouted as if someone was peeling off his skin. There was so much pain and fear in his voice. The girl scrambled up and just stared at X. She was sobbing. X then continued to scream, I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! WHY? WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE WITH HIM? I JUST WANT TO MAKE THE PAIN STOP, I JUST WANT IT TO END.'
I could not bear to look at him, I just stared into the earth, and trembled. There were only two girls there and one of them had just been assaulted. I felt like we had all entered hell, that we had all crossed over into the spirit world and that ghosts and demons were stalking us outside our camp and controlling what was going on. I was having severe auditory hallucinations, voices, screaming, loud cracking and noises coming from the dark forest that trapped us. It took me every bit of my strength to not loose it.
Her boyfriend looked at her from across the fire and asked if she was ok. My boyfriend told them to leave and to go somewhere safe. As they left X continued to scream and fight back. The most horrible fucking scream, I can still hear it so clearly.
On top of the screaming was the wailing from the poor girl who had just been assaulted. Screaming, crying, all of the energy was so intensified. A few members of the group were sober or had only drank alcohol, yet were still crying and fearful like the rest of us.
A few members of the group were sober or had only drank alcohol, yet were still crying and fearful like the rest of us.
They even admitted that they had begun tripping themselves even though they never took psychedelics, the energy that engulfed us was that strong.
Then just as sudden as it started, X said, 'can we relax? I just want to be happy. Can I sit by the fire with you guys?' As if none of that even happened. And just like that he was a different person. My fear of him intensified. He sat by the fire and so did it. I shook in my chair and mustered up the courage to look at his face. His eyes were black. His entire pupil was dilated so far that no more color could be seen in his eyes. There was also a second set of eyes looking out beneath his. Everyone's face was normal, except his. Four eyes on his face just looking back at me. I knew something had crept inside him and changed who he was to his core. He then began so say, 'I think I just had a really bad trip guys, I just really want to know what it's like to die. Where is she? Where is she? I want more mushrooms, I don't ever want to sleep.' Everyone shook in their seats. All we could do at this point was to talk him through it, tell him everything he wanted to hear, and to stay as calm as possible. He would reach out to the embers of the fire and try to burn himself. My boyfriend had to restrain him.
At this point I was so terrified I had to go to the car. I had to go lock myself inside the car. My boyfriend and I got up and left. We did not have a flashlight only a lighter. So he held the lighter out on the trail and led the way. There was a point where we were walking and both behind us and in front of us was complete darkness. We couldn't even see the fire any more. The lighter only lit 3 ft of space. I then began to panic because I could not see the road or the fire behind us and the car was only supposed to be no more than 20 yards from the campfire. It felt like we were never going to get there and that we would be walking in the darkness forever. Then my boyfriend's lighter exploded. So we had to find our way in the complete darkness. I looked up to the stars and the light was so blue and intense. The stars were rotating, shifting, shooting across the sky extremely fast. At this point I knew for sure I had traveled to a different dimension because nothing was making sense anymore. Yet the stars were still so beautiful. I then began to remember the loving force that seemed to protect me. I knew I was going to get through this night no matter how long it seemed because that force still enveloped me.
We locked ourselves inside of the car and wrapped ourselves in sleeping bags. My brain was way too hyperactive to sleep. My boyfriend had taken less mushrooms and wasn't as stimulated. He began to fall sleep, leaving me alone in the darkness of the car, until light shined through the next morning. I sat in the car in the darkness, terrified for my life until the sun came the next morning. There were too many things that I experienced inside the car to really document. Morning was such a relief to me. But I was still tripping well into midday, but it was a very light trip, almost like a heightened awareness. My boyfriend and I packed up and left. I couldn't bear to go back to the camp and look at his face. There was such a darkness inside of him it shook me so bad I still struggle with it. It was the epitome of fear and evil. Mental Illness creates such a sad and terrifying pit inside people who suffer from it.
In conclusion, I have never experienced such fear and insanity in my life. To see a person so broken down and so far gone was extremely terrifying and existential. X had woken up the next morning and remembered nothing.
X had woken up the next morning and remembered nothing.
This frightened us because this made it obvious that it was his dual personality that had taken over. To see a schizophrenic have a bad trip on mushrooms was indescribably traumatic. I had both the worst and the best trip of my life that night.
I stand true to the fact the mushrooms are teachers and are there to provide a heightened awareness of either the fear or the love that exists all around us. I chose to embrace love and not fear last night, and It is what got me through it. The days following this I had severe nausea, anxiety, and discomfort. My body was still feeling the effects the the experience. This will stick with me for the rest of my life.
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