A Journey Into...
Citation: Silas Dogood. "A Journey Into...: An Experience with Mushrooms & Chocolate (exp108700)". Erowid.org. Feb 10, 2020. erowid.org/exp/108700
This was the third time I have taken mushrooms but was the first time I have taken them having been completely off SSRIs (antidepressants) for two weeks. It was difficult to get accurate information as to how long one should be off their antidepressant before ingesting psilocybin as to have a similar experience to those who do not take antidepressants.
This time did the trick. The first time I had a light mushroom tea with a friend. He was tripping no doubt, but I only experienced a light sense of euphoria. Undoubtedly the antidepressants were blocking the majority of the experience. The next time was during a camping trip in which a few friends intended to use both the trip and their insistence I eat a chocolate with 4g of mushrooms to “knock me out of my depression” as it were. I’m not sure if it was the drug itself or the impromptu rituals my friends performed (think shamanic intervention) to help cure me, but over the next week I did experience more peace than I had the previous month, my depression having worsened and worsened despite faithfully taking medication.
The entire point of my current trip, the one I’m writing about now, was to have what one of the friends mentioned above described as “a breakthrough experience.” Well…that happened.
It certainly wasn’t in line with the euphoric “I am one with the Universe and it’s all just debits and credits, man, and love, all you need is love” trope that is often trotted out in movies, but it was educational and surreal. Positive? No. I can’t say that this was a positive trip, but something happened.
I can’t say that this was a positive trip, but something happened.
I did an extreme amount of preparation for this trip. Since I’ve been coming down off antidepressants I’ve made some really dumb decisions. My mental state could only be described as irritable and perennially dizzy. Please understand that being on antidepressants sucks; being off them sucks too. I’m honestly trying to find a solution for my mental health, and that is the only reason why I’ve decided to give psychedelics a try.
I cleaned my house. I made sure water was available. I ate light the day of. I didn’t eat anything four hours prior. I tried to take a walk and relax. I made sure my roommate, who would not understand, would not be home. I put off the trip for an entire week because my dog was attacked the day before I was to take the drug, and my friend (same mentioned above) said I should hold off because this was traumatic.
A plowed through an entire week of withdrawal symptoms. If you must know, I was on Celexa and Aderall.
I was going to take the drug at 6pm, but made even more preparations cleaning the house and making sure everything in my environment was organized. One of the friends mentioned above explained that messy environments can induce anxiety. I had actually witnessed it when he was tripping and would freak out, albeit with a good sense of humor, when he crossed through his kitchen, saying, “Knives are scary.”
Two weeks ago, I made three chocolates with five grams of shrooms chopped up and spread evenly between them, keeping them in the freezer. Yesterday at 7:19pm I ingested all three.
To be honest, the first hour I believed that nothing would happen. One of the friends mentioned above, who will hereby be referred to as Jokester, said I’d have a bit of anxiety come on about 30 to 45 minutes in. Nothing. I was laying on the bed with my eyes closed and “staring at my eyelids” per the advice of Terrance McKenna. I started to doze off (lack of sleep - one side effect of coming off the aderall is that my sleep patterns are fucked) and my dreams were rather lucid. I could tell I was dreaming and they were semi nightmarish but not necessarily unpleasant. I think I might have actually been asleep for a while, but about two hours in I realized fully I was awake. I was very awake. Perhaps somewhat groggy as if I were still sleeping but I knew I was in a room, my room, and I knew that room was in a house. This is not what I'm experiencing if I am dreaming.
I seemed to be steeped in uncontrollable fits of laughter. I never have liked weed but this must be what people who like weed experience - everything is funny. Everything was funny. Projections of seriousness - the current election, war, famine, AIDS - would cross my mind and I’d immediately start laughing about it. “You’re just a projection, man!” I would shout at the wall, at myself, and at the projections.
This went on for a while. I seemed to be on a rollercoaster ride that had no off switch. I was going along for the ride on the nonsense no matter where it took me. And it was nonsense. It was like bizarre chunks of bullshit were being hurled into my consciousness - random images, voices, patterns, thoughts, ideas, entities - and I had to process it one way or another. The only way I could think to do that was to laugh at it. It the drill sergeant screaming at his recruits, “Do you know where you are boy!!!!” and all I could do was scream back, “No! and Fuck you! Hahahahahahahahahahaha!”
That being said, at times the seriousness did take over. I have a problem called Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome which is a real confidence destroyer as it severely limits your sex life. I was forced to confront my fears and disappointments over this. I was forced to turn on the light at one moment as I was not sure if I was in a room anymore and I came face to face with my image in the mirror. I am 38 and I have a gray beard. I am old. I am not 27 anymore…I am not 17…I am 38…and I am scared. I am going to die. And this body will wither away and die and women will not find me attractive and we will all face this fate and here I am, dying before my very eyes and nothing I can do will stop that. But I do have control over my mind.
The next hour was a battle for control over my mind. I almost felt like there were entities of some kind pulling me into a state of unconsciousness and I was battling to stay conscious. I was in a simulation and I was fighting to get out.
This simulation idea was indeed the most bizarre part of the trip. I came to believe I was in an electronic simulation. At one point I was on the floor at the foot of my bed, my dog licking my face, unsure just what the fuck was going on, and between fits of laughter and confronting my fear over my very mortal reality I stood up and realized that I was creating it all.
This experience did not last but I stood up and felt like shoots of light were connecting to me and my surroundings propping me up as the king of my surroundings. I know this sounds fucking weird but this is what it was. I was very tall. I am relatively tall compared to most humans - 6’4” - but I felt tall. I was tall, towering over my bed. I was KING! I felt it. I was admonished not to leave my room but I thought, “Fuck that! I can go anywhere! I can do anything!” I had a strong desire to run around in a nearby park. I probably would have done so if fatigue and and an intense stomach ache - the shrooms? - didn’t repeatedly force me to collapse on the bed. Which I did. I found myself at the foot of the bed again and began to question my surroundings. “Was this real?” “Is anything real?” “What is real?” I had a strong desire to call a friend. I called Jokester. “What’s up buddy?” he said. I began laughing uncontrollably. “Is this real?” I asked.
“Is what real?”
“Me, are you real?”
“Yes, yes, you are very real.”
The experience at this point was, again, wholly bizarre. I had the cell phone in my hand which I sort of viewed as a communication device to another realm. Everything began skipping. Did you ever see that scene in the Matrix where reality is skipping because the software is resetting? That was happening to me. Reality was skipping. This, of course, is impossible. I am not living in a tape. A tape skips, a CD skips, reality doesn’t skip, but it was. Reality from time to time would be wiggling in place just as when you hit pause on a VCR (you young kids are going to have to look up videos of a paused VHS tape to see what I mean) and then reality would continue playing. This cannot be. “Why do you keep repeating yourself,” I asked Jokester.
“Sorry, I’m not meaning to.”
“Are you an angel?”
“Well, yes, of sorts.”
I was thoroughly convinced that I was in a virtual reality simulation.
I was thoroughly convinced that I was in a virtual reality simulation.
I had made my way outside to the backyard and looked at the trees and the fence and the city skyline and it was all a Minecraft simulation. I mean, it was like I was inside a boxy Minecraft game. Trees were not nice and smooth. They were boxy and electronic.
“This is a big fucking joke!” I exclaimed to Jokester. “Tell me how to get out!”
Jokester didn’t exactly know what I was talking about but given my state I believed that he knew exactly what I was talking about and was simply an angel there to guide me through the miracle of the cell phone. I was electronic, the cell phone was electronic, all was electronic and I was seeing if for what it was. I was still experiencing a playback loop stutter on reality. I went back to my room and tried to end the simulation. I was unsuccessful. Still on the phone I was staring at my dog explaining to Jokester that he was very simply a series of ones and zeroes. He was a simulation and I knew this was a simulation and that I knew I wanted it all to stop. I wanted off this ride. I wanted to see the other side of the matrix. I did not.
I wish I could tell you that I was able to escape reality. I was not. Here I am. My dog was disintegrating into bytes of data before my eyes. I made it it back to my bed and he had jumped on top of me presumably to console me but his face was contorting into huge, voluptuous shapes. I asked Jokester, still on the phone, if my dog was real and he said, “Yes, this is your companion. He is there to help you.” And even if my dog is a computer program he did seem very kind and wanted to help me so bad. He jumped on top of me and consoled me for a good bit. I was able to hang up the phone with Jokester and simply experience. The experiences were not all good. I was fighting with…myself.
Throughout this trip I was convulsing. They were unrequested abdominal contractions percolating throughout my body. This was coupled with heavy breathing that can only be described as the type of breathing a man makes when mutating into a werewolf. I felt like I was mutating. And then I was laughing. And then I was confronting my fear. And then I was standing. And then I was the king of the world. And then I was shit. I was a ball of nothingness, a miasma of fucking dung. A fucking heap of contradiction and this morning I called my friend. Another one mentioned; we’ll call him Brian.
“Are you an angel?”
'How do I know this isn’t one big joke. That you are all in on this joke and that I’m essentially in the Truman show and you’re all just playing this out for me?”
That was it. In conclusion, I don’t know what the fuck that was. I don’t know if I peered into some version of reality or possibly THE version of reality that we all can’t see but know is there on some level but that is what it felt like.
Overall, this was not a positive trip. But I do think it was a positive experience.
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