Citation: Pyrojax. "The Magic Can't Last Forever: An Experience with MDMA (exp109469)". Erowid.org. Jul 24, 2017. erowid.org/exp/109469
||(powder / crystals)
I wish to share my own story with MDMA. This is a drug that stands alone in my mind and in my life for the profound impact it had, far more so than any other. It’s quite a long and detailed story, so apologies in advance if it drags on at times, but I really do feel that everything I have written is purposeful and necessary to properly depict my experiences. I’d also like to note before I begin that early in my use I was often careless and did not explicitly test the drugs that I took, relying mainly on the opinions of others I took it with who were far more experienced than I as confirmation. Later on I became more vigilant and began testing each batch myself, such that I can conclude with a reasonable degree of certainty that at least the vast majority of what I took was indeed MDMA. With all that in mind, here goes.
Let's rewind about 5 years. At the time I was still very much a novice when it came to drug use. I had gotten drunk a handful times and smoked weed on many occasions, but besides a couple of experimental doses of DXM, this was the extent of my drug use. Not to say that I wasn't interested, in fact very much the opposite, for the previous months I had had almost an obsessive interest with drugs. I used to spend hours upon hours reading trip reports, from the positive first times to the bad trips to the cycles of addiction for nearly any drug I could think of. I wasn't hooked on drugs; I was hooked on the idea of them. The fact that such a minuscule amount of basic chemistry could fundamentally alter our entire perception of the world was more than intriguing, it was almost mystical in a sense, supernatural. This was particularly true for hallucinogens, ranging from the colorful enlightenment of classic psychedelics to the dark and chilling stories of deliriant-induced psychosis. The more I read, the more immersed I became. I used to search any random question about any drug that popped into my head, and more often than not ended up reading a 5 year old thread discussing the question I (and apparently others) were wondering about.
Anyway, as I became more informed and interested through my research, I began to play around with the idea of taking it to a more personal level: my own experimentation. Although I was still interested in the non-hallucinogenic drugs like meth and opiates from a journalistic standpoint, I had too much aversion to the health risks and addictive qualities to want to try any of them for myself. And frankly, the consistency of the effects came off as just a little boring and ultimately unrewarding. I was all about the enlightenment and 'mind expansion' of hallucinogens, opening new doors of perception and creating lasting memories. Only issue was that I had very few friends who were into drugs beyond alcohol and weed, and being inexperienced as I was did not yet possess the knowledge of how to go about finding them. So, I took the easiest solution first and tried DXM (after pouring over the DXM FAQ for many hours). It was only a second plateau dose but it was definitely a step up, and further enticed my desire to experiment further.
So now we've arrived at what this whole story is about: MDMA. As with the other drugs, I had done plenty of research and read many reports of MDMA usage prior to my own experimentation. What was particularly noticeable to me was that the drug seemed to have fairly unique effects, being both incredibly euphoric as well as hallucinogenic (although clearly not to the same degree as psychedelics). The other interesting thing was that very few people seemed to have negative experiences from it, in fact nearly every first time report I read indicated it was one of the most magical experiences of their lives. Months before I ended up trying it for the first time, and even before my first DXM trip, I had already vaguely decided that MDMA would be a good way to introduce myself to the world of hallucinogenic substances while minimizing the chances of having a bad trip.
Which brings us to the day that it all came together. I had gone to see my girlfriend (also a drug novice) for the weekend who had just moved in with one of her friends from the university. We didn't have much planned for that weekend, probably just going to watch TV and chill. But as it turned out, her roommate was going to a rave with her boyfriend, and they informed us they were planning to 'roll' (I had never heard this term before then) and asked us if we'd like to come along. Immediately I knew this was the opportunity I had been waiting for, and at a 'rave' no less, the stereotypical MDMA playground. I wasn't much of a fan of electronic dance music at that time, but it seemed like the appropriate atmosphere given its notoriety so my girlfriend and I gladly accepted the invitation. On the 40 minute car ride there, the roommate and her boyfriend proceeded to give us all the 'rave safety' basics (drink water, chew gum, etc.), and told us to just relax, enjoy the music, and not expect anything. Sure enough, we arrive at the scene and meet up with some of their friends and before I know it I'm tossing a little capsule full of white powder down the hatch.
About 30 minutes after we took them, one of the people in our group (who ultimately became a great friend) gave me and my girlfriend a 'light show' using a pair of LED gloves (anybody who has ever been to an EDM event will know what I'm talking about). I thought it was awesome, but I didn't necessarily attribute that to the MDMA, it was just a cool show regardless. But I distinctly remember looking over at my girlfriend sitting next to me and she had the biggest smile I think I'd ever seen, eyes wide and filled with a look of pure amazement. I asked her if she was feeling it and what it felt like and she said, 'I feel like I understand everything...'
'I feel like I understand everything...'
still with this enormous smile. And then she leaned in and deeply kissed me and told me that she loved me. Clearly this was some good shit ha.
Now around this time I was feeling quite nauseous so I excused myself outside for a breath of fresh air. It wasn't getting much better though so I made some distance between me and the crowd and then proceeded to puke my guts out all in the grass. But I still didn't feel like I was rolling, and now was worried that I had thrown up the MDMA and was in for a sober night. I was disappointed but resolved to make the best of it and enjoy myself anyway, plus everyone else seemed to be 'rolling tits' as ravers like to say, and having never seen anybody like that before. Just watching them all was plenty entertaining. I didn't notice it much at the time, but I was definitely feeling in a particularly good mood, laughing more often and making good conversation.
Anyway we chilled there for a few hours but the rave was kinda dying out and a few of the people in our group who weren't rolling we starting to get a little tired, so we decided to just head back to 'G's place. By the time we got there I still thought I wasn't feeling much of anything and it had been a while since I had puked so somebody suggested I could try and take another capsule. I mulled it over a bit and then agreed to give it a try, hoping this one would stay down. About 10 minutes later I was starting to feel like my jaw was locking up so I excused myself to go get a pack of gum from the car. I stepped outside and started walking down the path out to the driveway. And that's when it hit me, the most beautifully powerful sensation I had ever experienced. A wave of magical euphoria erupted from inside of me, reaching out along my limbs to every neuron in my body. I remember looking at the street and seeing the reflection of the moonlight on the little bits of asphalt shining like a brilliant starfield. My girlfriend's voice resounded in my head, 'I feel like I understand everything...'. And I did. No amount of reading or research could have prepared me for that feeling, it was simply beyond imagination. The rest of the night passed in a blissful aura of happiness and empathy, and although the comedown was kinda shitty (as expected), the whole experience left me with an afterglow that not only lasted for days, but ultimately changed my entire life perspective, for the better.
Again, I was hooked. But still not on the drug. Sure, it was the gateway that made it all possible, but it wasn't about MDMA in mind, nor did I feel any craving to do the drug again soon. I was hooked on the feeling and the rave culture that was built around it. Peace. Love. Unity. Respect. It all seemed so obvious now, this was the salvation of our species, these were the values that we should all live by. Before this time I had often been quite cynical, it seemed the world was full of assholes. And granted, it is, and I still knew that, but what I hadn't known before was that it was also filled with beautiful people who accepted others for who they were, welcomed them in to their culture and promoted a philosophy of empathy and peace. This culture was setting the example to live by, and now that had been made abundantly clear.
For the next year and a half, my girlfriend and I set a routine of going to raves and using MDMA from time to time. At the pertinent warnings of our new raver friends and through my own vigorous research, we were always attentive of spacing out our usage with good safety margins, about once every 3 months. And each time we had mind blowing experiences, reliving the magic all over again, making more friends, and just happily existing in the culture that I loved. It's hard for me to remember specifically if the enjoyment of the experiences diminished at all during that time, but if it did, it was nothing noticeable; the euphoria and magic were still going strong.
Around the end of this time period my girlfriend and I broke up after 3 years, a rather emotionally devastating event in my life that left me in a sad and occasionally miserable state of affairs for the following few months. I used MDMA once during this time at a rave with a friend, and although it was an enjoyable time, being unable to share the experience with my girlfriend for the first time left me feeling somewhat hollow about it. I attribute this discrepancy towards the state of my life at the time as opposed to any difference in the actual effect of the drug itself. Despite this emotional trauma, I resolved to keep my ideology fixed and continue being involved in the rave scene. Looking back on my experiences with MDMA and the rave scene, I mentally compartmentalize them chapters (I'm a nostalgia junkie so I like to do this kind of shit). This point denotes the end of the first chapter, the so called 'Golden Era' of MDMA, where all of my experiences with the drug were overwhelmingly positive and inspired nothing but reverence and enthusiasm. As you will soon see from reading onward, I learned that sometimes the magic can't last forever...
About 6 months following the breakup with my long time girlfriend, I was starting to feel significantly better. I was still somewhat sad about the whole thing, but the bitterness I had felt had largely left and I had accepted the reality of the situation and felt like I was ready to move on to the next chapter of my life. I heard about a rave that was happening and decided to round up as many of my old raver friends as I could, hoping to prove to myself that I didn't need my girlfriend to enjoy MDMA or love the rave scene. So I drove from the city where I lived, picked up some friends that lived in the same town as my girlfriend used to, and then headed up to the rave on the same 40 minute drive I had done for the first time almost 2 years ago.
I had a few MDMA capsules left over from my last purchase which I took upon arriving at the rave, and within 30 minutes I was feeling all the same feelings I used to before. Magic, euphoria, empathy, it all came flooding back. I began chatting up a random girl who was candyflipping (LSD + MDMA) for her first time, and we ended up spending the rest of the night together hanging out and dancing. Her roommates decided to host the after-party at her place and we all went there to hang out. Later that night we decided to smoke some weed in my friend's car (mostly to avoid having other people asking for free hits), and thanks to some neighbors who had a vendetta against the host of the afterparty, had my first and ONLY run in with the cops. Luckily my friend who was in the military managed to talk them out of arresting us because of how devastating it would be to his career and they must have had a stroke of empathy (haha) because they left just giving him a paraphernalia traffic ticket. Pretty fucking close call considering there was MDMA in the trunk, which was an automatic felony in any amount. You'd think this close encounter would have scared me (and it probably should have), but to be honest I was so satisfied with how the night had turned out in other regards that it didn't have much of an impact. I felt free of the psychological burden my break up had imposed on me and was now confident that I had a good future of raves and MDMA experiences ahead of me. If only I knew how ironic that notion would turn out to be.
Two weeks later I was back for another rave, but also to spend time with the girl I had met in my prior experience. For some reason, this new fling in combination with the near-arrest had spurred a sudden sense of recklessness that was quite uncommon for me. I decided to take MDMA again, even though I had just taken it 2 weeks prior. It's not like it seemed that dangerous, I even remembered people in reports saying that having a one time 2 week break wouldn't really be that big of a deal. I reasoned with myself that it was only taking MDMA repeatedly with short breaks that could pose a problem. So I said fuck it, popped a capsule once we got to the rave, and waited with the usual anticipation.
Sure enough, 20 minutes later I was getting that unsteady drug-like feeling, something that always used to happen for a few minutes before I would start rolling. It was usually characterized by some anxiety and a sense of 'off-ness', but always quickly replaced with the amazing sensations. But soon, I noticed 15 minutes had already gone by... Why wasn't it moving past this stage?
I noticed 15 minutes had already gone by... Why wasn't it moving past this stage?
Something was wrong. No no, I thought to myself, you're just psyching yourself out, remember what your friends said before that very first rave, 'Don't expect anything, just let it happen'. So I waited. And waited. But now an hour had gone by and I wasn't feeling the roll. In fact, the anxiety seemed to be getting worse, and I felt incredibly uncomfortable and weak. I felt the familiar jaw clenching, and tingling on my skin, but where was the euphoria? The magic? It didn't make sense to me because my friends had taken the same stuff that I had and they were all having a great time. They would see I was just sitting there and try to ask me what was up, and I just tried to play it off as feeling sick, or having a weird comeup. But something felt very wrong and I couldn't understand why. I had heard of the 'losing the magic' phenomenon, but this was only like my 6th time and I was always careful to take large breaks! Plus I had such a positive time at my last rave, it just didn't make sense. As the night progressed I began to feel a little better and even managed to do a little dancing, but I never got the magical feels, only some mild stimulation.
In the coming days after this experience I did my best to review what exactly had happened and try to come up with some reason, ANY reason for why it happened. For one, it had only been two weeks, plus I had done some drinking the night before, so maybe it was just that I wasn't physically ready to handle the MDMA that night. Seemed like a fairly logical conclusion. I did my best to dismiss it as a one-off occurrence and vowed to be better prepared for my next roll. Which came about a month later. It still wasn't quite up to my 3-month standard, but then again the '3 months' was always very conservative, most people considered a month to be sufficient (although perhaps not ideal). This time I was more careful, ate some healthy food before the rave, and avoided drinking the night before. And yet, while my roll was slightly better than the last time, it again seemed to be vacant of that magical quality. Again the comeup was particularly unpleasant and only later on in the night did it actually become somewhat enjoyable. What the FUCK is going on?
Now by this time I was becoming increasingly disturbed by my previous two experiences. It still didn't make sense that I should be losing the magic this early, that was supposed to be something for people who took it every weekend for years. 'Not me, I'm a responsible drug user and I should be rewarded appropriately for my efforts'. I actually have to kind of chuckle for recalling this attitude, it seems so naive in retrospect. In any case, I made the decision to go back to my old pattern and wait at least 3 months before my next roll, figuring if it always worked for me it would have to work this time. So a little over 3 months goes by and another rave catches my eye, one on the beach! Sounded like an absolute blast, so once again I rounded up everybody I could think of to go and we all met up for it. Feeling much more confident that I had done my duty and patiently waited the 3 months, I took an MDMA capsule and crossed my fingers. And all I can really say is that it turned out 'alright'. It felt considerably better than the previous two experiences, and there was actually a bit of a 'feel-good' buzz this time. I did a ton of dancing and overall enjoyed myself. Still though, it wasn't the same and I couldn't shake the notion that the magic was gone.
I won't bother diving into the details of each individual experience after that since I don't feel like it would really offer all that much to the content of the story, but what I can say is that I used MDMA another 5 times or so since then, always with at least a 3 month gap (and often longer) and have consistently gotten underwhelming experiences. The character of these experiences have ranged from anxious and uncomfortable at their worst to mildly enjoyable at their best. The most enjoyable one I have had since my last truly awe-inspiring experience (about 2 and a half years ago now) was probably the last time I took MDMA about 6 months ago. It was a pleasant experience and I enjoyed it, but by this time I was not expecting much and so not having the disappointment factor definitely helped.
I'm not sure why I lost the magic as soon as I did while others are able to get far more use out of it, but in the end, the only real answer to that question is the classic 'Your Mileage May Vary'. It seems like it is an almost inevitable outcome, and I just happened to draw the short straw. I can't really complain though, it is what it is.
So what's the conclusion? It seems likely now that MDMA and I have run our course together, towards which I have mixed feelings. In some ways, I feel robbed and almost like I have lost a good friend. MDMA inspired me to take on a new life philosophy, to be empathetic towards my fellow human beings, to be involved in a community in which I felt I belonged, and to truly feel in the very fiber of my being the goodness that humanity is capable of. It's been so long since I have truly felt the power that MDMA can bring, so long that I can only really remember the feelings in abstract and objective terms. The intuitive grasp has long been muddled and washed away by the sands of time. Sometimes I wish I could go back to one of those first nights, just so I could experience it one last time in all its novelty and beauty. I guess it's true what they say, 'You never know what you have until it's gone...'. Alas, that is a part of life. I don't feel resentful about it, it is the natural course of things and in the end I guess I'm just glad I was able to experience it all. And even more importantly, I can always know that even if the utility of the drug was temporary, the impact it had on me and the memories and friends I made along the way are worth more to me than any high could be. And that's something that can never be taken away.
Thanks for listening
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