Citation: B. "Eternity in the Abyss: An Experience with Smoking Blend with Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist (exp109700)". Erowid.org. Jan 5, 2017. erowid.org/exp/109700
Friday the 13th November 2015, I was sat at my dining room table, me and my partner had just smoked a joint and had a couple of beers. I smoke daily and have dabbled with a few substances over the years. At the time I was very naive about the newest wave of legal highs. I smoked Spice when I was a kid, maybe 9 years ago and it gave me a headache.
I usually research obsessively before touching anything new, I'm the sensible one most of the time, this day was definitely not my finest. He brought home a legal smoking blend a mate passed him in work, it looked sort of like ground shitty weed, was nearly tasteless, odourless, it smoked extremely smoothly.
I said a few days prior “It could be any shit in there”...
But I decided to take a single hit, a decent sized one. It was probably about 8/9pm, I lit half a small bowl and held it in, expecting a slight rush if anything at all.
As I exhaled I instantly I felt like id just taken a 1000x hit of Salvia.
As I exhaled I instantly I felt like id just taken a 1000x hit of Salvia.
I was frozen with a sense of fear that became more overwhelming with each passing moment, I felt like a tonne of bricks was on top of me. My partner was aware something was wrong and thankfully didn't take his hit.
I kept repeating “Is this Salvia?”.
Past experiences with Salvia had sworn me off ever touching it again long ago, in that moment I was actually really willing it to be true, but I knew this felt somehow more sinister. My ears began ringing, my vision became restricted and I could feel familiar Salvia-esque burning pins and needles all over me, I told myself to breath and keep it together, but there was a sense of impending doom then time started to slow down.
My boyfriend told me my eyes rolled into the back of my head and the next hour or so I spent generally scaring the shit out of him, switching between unconsciousness, twisting myself around inhumanly, convulsing and later screaming the house down.
He adds 'You were unconscious, motionless and completely unresponsive for at least 10 mins at start then violently sick everywhere, the screaming was about 20-25 mins in and lasted about 1-2 mins, eyes fixed on me, head following like a demon or a possessed person'.
I've tried a few psychedelics (1p, Shrooms, LSA, and Salvia), but never had anything close to this level of disassociation or total immersion in the experience. I was ripped out of existence, there was no linear flow of events, time became meaningless seeming as though it had collapsed to 0 and everything happened at once, so the following is in the best order I could put it in.
I was going to die or become a vegetable, then my parents would find out. I would lose my job, my house, my partner, these scenarios were circling my mind until all comprehension of the meaning of these things was lost, each notion became part of an endless loop of flesh coloured cell-like blobs that were moving around each other in some dark 2 dimensional place. I was a part of it and I felt the eerie physical sensations of twisting and contorting within in the midst of it all. After some time I became aware I had no memories of anything before this, no understanding of anything in the physical world at all, no sense of who or what I was. I didn’t remember how I got there so I concluded I was there all along. I observed this place completely horrified, confused and desperate.
I remember thinking “This is it? I don’t want to exist any more”.
Repeatedly through the experience I would snap back into reality, the first time this happened my boyfriend was on the phone, I was somewhat coherent of the situation but I thought he was talking to my mother so I tried to take it out from his hands. He was actually of course calling an ambulance, he passed me the phone, seemingly relieved as he thought I was coming down. Later he told me I just looked at it, very confused and passed it back to him before spacing out again.
The next aspect of the trip, I cannot unfortunately do justice, it was cold, mechanical and it's marred into my mind but it's completely nonsensical. There was a consistent searing, unbearable pain, but I can't relate to any sort of physical pain because I couldn't discern myself from the environment. It was mostly black, superseded with white/blue geometry and symbols flickering, shooting, branching out and spiralling with fierce intensity and speed, looping but elaborating on itself each time. The sensation was ineffable, I felt every aspect of movement in this endless ocean, I understood every piece of information and all the implications and connections it lead to simultaneously. Everything seemed to be a contradiction, forcibly understood but completely impossible. All my senses are overloaded and combined in an undecipherable soup
All my senses are overloaded and combined in an undecipherable soup
. I didn't have the means to rationalize, I couldn't make a thought as there were no words. I ceased to exist, I never did exist, but it was somehow clear that this is all there ever was or will be and there was nothing that could be done.
Eventually a silhouette of a human shape appeared against the dark background, it was completely foreign to me at the time. I suppose I opened my eyes and my boyfriend was talking to me in the real world, but I couldn't understand what language was or how to process it. I felt devoid of any human brain function and it seems impossible to try and explain how that felt to anyone of rational mind. I might have begged for death if that was a conceivable option, however for the majority of the experience I didn't have even the slightest idea that I was a living being under the influence of a drug.
There was a picture on the wall I was staring at, because it was the only thing that seemed familiar, I was trying to figure out why I knew I liked this picture although I couldn't see or understand what it was. (It was a signed band poster we had framed.) I felt that as I was pushing on the floor looking at this picture, this was taking me to where I needed to be. This is hard to explain, but the real world wasn't the real world, it was presented as the opposite to where I was and it was utterly impossible for this strange place to be a true representation of the “real world”. I accepted this but more than anything just wanted to “play the game” again.
To reach the other side each time I had to solve excruciating loops within loops, my thought process' were so delusional and erratic during this I'm not able to remember anything other than the mental anguish. It seemed futile but I was driven by raging instinct to earn a few moments of this seemingly fake existence. But whenever I succeeded and tried to grasp on to anything, something triggers the whole process again, the matrix descends from the ceiling and swallows me whole.
When I began to re-gain my sense of self I came to a few strange conclusions, like my mother and boyfriend were with me inside this plane, their presence and thoughts interpreted in the streams of data. I was heartbroken they were here experiencing this pain, this lead to me coming up with the bizarre idea I dropped acid with my mum (who has never in her life taken any drug other than prescription meds/alcohol). I think this female presence may have actually been the paramedic that was in the room.
Again I come to, but this time the world was distorted and it didn't seem tangible at all, it felt like a dream and it was as though I had never seen reality before, I had no reference to anything. My partner seemed familiar but appeared 2d and alien looking, with huge eyes and a pointy chin, he was panicked and was speaking complete gibberish. Behind him the chairs in our dining room were made up of completely the wrong shapes just floating stationary in the air. I was not even slightly convinced by what was looking at. I'm not sure how many times I regressed into the void, how do you hang on to reality when you don't know what it is?
Coming down I recalled dreamy images of my family, almost as though I was reliving childhood memories, I was comforted by it but it didn't seem to be very important or memorable. My partner slowly faded into view, he was stood above me. I felt happy staring up at him from the floor and had a strong sensation of deja vu, I was feeling very uninhibited. He's been saying something to me over and over again. I suddenly remember what words are, I sit up and tell him 'Yes I'm okay'.
The paramedics ask me if I know where I was, I look around, but I cant see anything familiar.
'My house.' it was kind of a guess.
They say I have to go but I argue with them, 'I'm fine and this is my house so I can be sick all over myself and sit on the floor if I want to.'
I couldn't trust these people, I really didn’t want to go with them. I'm told I was violent, but I have no recollection of this, they called the police for their safety.
I remember feeling like I was free falling, I knew I was being sick only because I was disturbingly visualizing it moving slowly up a cross section of my oesophagus. I could hear my boyfriend telling me to sit up but I wasn’t really sure which way was up. I come to gradually and I'm sat on the sofa with a paramedic wiping sick off my face.
There's a gap in my memory and somehow I was in the back of the ambulance. I asked my boyfriend if he had seen what had happened, he said yes and I felt relieved that I wasn't alone and actually believed he had shared my experience. Everything went dark and I felt myself lose all control of my muscles, I convulsed violently and was strapped down.
Before the police shut the door to the ambulance, I told everyone with disturbing conviction 'I know what it's like to die.'
In the ambulance I was suspicious that both my boyfriend and the paramedic were in on this cosmic joke I just experienced. I eyed them both up, wanting to say something, but not able to find the words.
I kept thinking 'They must know.'
By the time I got to the hospital my mortality and the constraints of reality had dawned on me, I was relieved to be back in my own body, but very sombre. I apologized to everyone and thanked them as they hooked me up to ECG (?) machines to monitor me, they didn't give me anything. I had a dreamless sleep then we left the hospital about 3 in the morning, I still felt high, but my soul and body bruised and battered to say the least. I had this odd feeling like I'd been away for a long time, like waking up from a coma. Those moments in the void felt like more than a lifetime as cliché as that sounds.
So that’s my OD tale, it was a humbling, unforgettable experience, that I wouldn't this wish on my worst enemy. (About 1.5 months when I began writing this) I'm back to baseline. I’m not sure how I came back, or how I came back with my faculties intact, I know there are others that weren’t so lucky. This was apparently a legal store-bought smoking blend, available to the public under the pretence of being 'legal cannabis'.
After: While smoking weed I've had a few “flashbacks” where I would recall nonsensical aspects of the trip, moments later they become forgotten like a dream. I had a couple of incidents of sleep paralysis, I experienced some de-realization and fell into a weird dark existential depression that took a long time to pull myself out of.
You can't define reality beyond your current experience that's happening right now. Since I came to this conclusion my de-realization and flashbacks stopped, I'm sure I wont ever forget this, but I'm alive as far as I can tell and this experience has in a way made me forever grateful for that.
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