Citation: ZooLoo. "The Benefit Has Been Profound: An Experience with Ketamine & Nitrous Oxide (exp109367)". Erowid.org. Feb 25, 2017. erowid.org/exp/109367
I hope my experience here can shed light on what is happening with the synergy of these two substances. I'll try to be brief and only provide what I believe is relevant information although it is tied in with a story of alcoholism.
I'm a 32, a successful business owner with numerous college degrees. I've been an alcoholic over half my life. I've made numerous attempts to quit drinking over the past 16 years to no long term avail, until this past year. Psychedelics have played an instrumental role in unlocking my psychotic patterns of perpetual self destruction through alcohol.
The first three months of alcohol abstinence are a living hell. It is the most physically, psychologically, and spiritually challenging and exhausting marathon ever. I felt like a tiny lost sailboat in a Category 5 hurricane. I am now happier and healthier now than I've ever been in my entire life. I took Kratom and smoked cigarettes often during the day and occasional nitrous oxide at night to relieve tension and ease the cravings of withdrawal. After four months my body had detoxed more than ever in sixteen years. I started coming alive again.
I'd been sober for ten months, and off kratom for at least three. I was still smoking cigarettes and vaping regularly like many alcoholics in recovery. I'll note that I had been seeing an addiction therapist as well as been on the Paleo diet. So my body was very clean-almost exclusively home cooked meals with organic whole foods and almost zero sugar consumption. I still however enjoy doing a few hits of nitrous after work from time to time.
A good friend of mine had some pharmaceutical grade ketamine and asked if I wanted to try it. I had only heard anecdotal reports about it prior. He is a very intelligent and trustworthy person I respect highly. He informed me that ketamine has virtually zero temporary or long term negative side effects and is not physiologically addicting. I had also heard some psychiatrist are prescribing ketamine for patients with depression having somewhat successful results. So I decided to try it with him.
At 9 pm on a wednesday evening my friend and I insufflated aprox 100mg of powdered ketamine in the comfort of my home. I had no defined intentions nor expectations besides the curiosity of what bodily or psychosomatic effects would take place. The set and setting was both relaxed and optimistic as well as safe and honest. I had no idea the experience to come would positively affect me for days and months to come.
I had no idea the experience to come would positively affect me for days and months to come.
Immediately after snorting, there was was a distinct nasal burn, but not unbearable. It subsided after 10-15 minutes. After 5-10 minutes I felt heavy and slightly off balance. I also felt a bit disoriented and almost drunk but without the euphoria. I'll admit, the ketamine alone is not all that enjoyable. Bright lights are overpowering and I got a bit of anxiety. My friend and I chatted for 30 more minutes or so. I felt a bit awkward and uncomfortable and decided that ketamine wasn't for me and I wanted it to be over, so I excused myself to retire for the night.
As I often do right before bed to relieve tension or slip into a more relaxed state, I decided to do a few hits of nitrous. I was alone in bed, in almost complete darkness and silence when I took two full canister hits of nitrous from my whipit dispenser. What was about to happen to me is by far the most psychedelic and transcendent experience I've ever had in my entire life. I'll note, as well, that I have used numerous psychedelics at varying dosages over the past 14 years; including mushrooms, LSD, mescaline, MDMA, DMT, Salvia, and others.
Immediately I fell to the the center of a beautifully colored victorian-era ballroom with ornate details and high ceilings. It was silent inside, not scary, but definitely foreign. There, however, was a playful sense of humor and light heartedness about the room. All the sudden I began transforming into a four sided pyramid made out of colorful ground beef/meat. My chest, back, and left arm unfolded into three meat staircases before I knew it and l looked over to my right arm transforming from what I normally would recognize as my right arm into an incredible meat staircase. It was beyond just visual. I could feel my body transforming quite intensely, although not painful. As my right arm was almost completely transformed I got an intense rush of fear. I was no longer myself. I was now a colorful meaty-pyramid-staircase inside this decadent ballroom and I had to come to terms with it real quick. I remember saying aloud to myself as my new reality took form, 'this isn't fair.' Then I came to in my bed, with a heart attack of amazement.
The undeniable authenticity and palpable realness of what had just happened was clearly as real as shooting hoops with a friend, swimming in the ocean, having dinner, making love, or getting into a car accident. It was very real. Absolutely flabbergasted and throttled laying there in bed, I was fully apprehensive to do any more. But, I knew I had just stumbled upon a gold mine; a new and unique opportunity to dive into uncharted psychedelic waters. So I loaded up two more nitrous canisters.
I inhaled the two canisters swiftly, and within seconds a primitive drawing of a single face appeared in font of me. The face was smooth orange and red like a nice sunset. It had an intense presence. I opened my eyes, I was still in my bedroom but the face was still in front of me. Then it began multiplying rapidly filling over the walls and ceiling. I looked at my body and it too began transforming into thousands of replicas of this face. Then thats all there was, infinite faces. I was mortally terrified, pulsating with fear. Again I was changing form and losing my identity forever it seemed. The fear was overwhelming, then I had to let go and accept that I was now a massive array of fractal faces traveling at light speed. I thought I had died and this was my transcendent welcoming.
Immediately I transported back into my bed with an even greater appreciation for the visceral nature of what had just happened. I could not believe I or any other human was capable of experiencing such intense hallucinations and reality changes. Wide eyed, I laughed aloud in complete shock. Unbelievable. I was deathly afraid to continue but felt it was somehow pertinent to explore the catacombs of my own mind. After all, I may never do this again and wanted to commit to this wild journey. I had to remind myself that I am safe in my bed and these Salvador Dali-like realities I am entering are temporary and impermanent no matter how intense.
I did 10-15 more nitrous canisters all with equally bizarre and perplexing hallucinations but none as intense and symbolic as the two previously described. Another included a gnome standing on my desk spinning a meat grinder which was sucking in all the material possessions in my room and turning them to dust. Another my body was growing snakes out of it and dancing with beautiful black snake women. And the one where I had to draw the line was a fireball ripped out of my cheek, flew through my window and crashed into my garage setting it ablaze. That felt too real. In fact I feared I may cross the two realities and hurt myself or someone else if I could shoot fireballs out of my mouth into my garage. So I stopped.
I slept like a baby that night and woke up refreshed and ready for work on time as usual. In fact I had a new glow I'd never felt before. Typically I am very rushed and high strung all day working with numerous clients all on time sensitive schedules. The stress is high and I'm always rushing. That morning and for the next week, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm and relaxation and my tension and anxiety almost diminish completely. Things I'd normally fret over like slow drivers in the morning or people wasting my time at work, etc., had no power to drain my energy as they normally do. In fact I saw how irrelevant and wasteful those thoughts patterns were to my energy. I very much enjoyed every moment of the the next week at work and home. Also, amazingly I had zero cravings for nicotine and have not smoked since.
I consumed ketamine by itself one month later at 100mg. I did not hallucinate as no nitrous was mixed. I did however feel the same emotional and psychological effects of relaxation, anxiety suppression, and a sense of calm throughout my day for the next week. After a week the intensity of the calmness began to ware off and the stress of normal life creep back in.
I consumed about 30mg of ketamine just a few days ago. A very small amount which I felt almost zero effects of sedation from. I layed down in bed with the lights off and took two canisters of nitrous. Even at such a low dose of ketamine I was able to visit similar dimensions of obscurity. The hallucinations were incredible again, but not as intense or ego-threatening. I had trouble recollecting them as well. The next week or so I did not feel the same intense relaxation and calm as the previous two times using ketamine. I'd surmise that the ketamine is having lasting affects throughout my neurological pathways long after the one-hour high that it seems to last for. My therapist said it pretty clearly 'its a tranquilizer and it seems to be making you more tranquil.'
From what I have gathered from the psychedelic community over the past ten years, is that psychedelics can often induce mystical experiences in us shattering our frail concepts of culturally constructed reality and personal identity. These realities we construct are far too often self limiting or self deprecating. Psychedelic experiences can cut to the core of our being and help us see the beauty of our world and the temporal nature of our precious life, often freeing us from the past.
With the combination of Ketamine and nitrous I see two major benefits. The ketamine alone, no doubt has stress reducing effects for days after. The wild hallucinations from the combination of ketamine and nitrous allowed me to see my culturally constructed identity, watch it massively transform out of my control, and let go. I believe this is or is similar to ego death. Another major benefit to ketamine and nitrous is that it is short in duration and almost completely benign on the body. Other psychedelics can last a very long time and are difficult to navigate with negative emotions.
I feel as though hallucinating, in a safe environment, and with short duration, even at great intensity can be a positive stressor. For example giving a speech is a positive stressor. There is lots of anxiety, expectation, and planning going into a speech, but once successfully delivered feels incredibly rewarding. The stress of a successfully completed trip coupled with positive mood tranquilizing effects which linger for up a week, I believe are tremendously positive.
For a recovering alcoholic with a high-stress life, seemingly on the verge of relapse every day, the benefit of this relatively gentle yet effective combination of substances has been profound.
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