Citation: GingerPatches. "The Rebirth of My Psyche: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp110129)". Erowid.org. Apr 29, 2020. erowid.org/exp/110129
The Rebirth of My Psyche First Mushroom Trip
Psilocybin mushrooms Hawaiian
During my preparation leading up to this experience, I read countless trip reports from first time users, trying to get a feel for what I could expect. These helped me immensely so I feel the need to report my own experience now that it is over.
I am writing this three days after the experience. It’s quite a long story, but I hope that those who dedicate the time to reading it will learn something, or can help me interpret what happened and better understand the experience.
I started experimenting with psychedelics about a year ago (I am currently 20 years old, 21 this year). I have a close group of friends who introduced me to the psychedelic world and until now I have always tripped with them. Most of my advice and knowledge comes from them, along with online resources of course. This group of friends and myself respect and understand the substances that we take, and do it for purposes of consciousness expansion and alteration.
Up until this trip, my only experiences were with LSD (120 ug), and two experiences with 2C-B combined with Cannabis. One of my 2C-B experiences actually caused the most intense closed eye visuals I have ever experienced to this day, largely due to smoking straight afterward. I did however, have some difficult experiences with this combination.
Anyway, this time, after hearing so much about Mushrooms from my friends, I decided that I wanted to take them. Alone.
My past experiences were a great introduction into the psychedelic mindset, but they left me wanting something more profound, something more self-reflective and perhaps spiritual. So I reasoned that getting rid of exterior distractions, and facing the experience alone would give me what I wanted. I certainly achieved what I set out to to do, and a hell of a lot more.
My friends agreed that 2 grams would be a good dose, I argued that maybe I should start at 1, but they insisted that I would be fine given my prior experience and that a lower dose would be too confusing and leave me wanting more. It’s also important to note that these friends live 10 minutes away and would be able to rush over to my apartment if I needed them. I also had my flatmate in the other room during my trip, although he has no prior experience with psychedelics.
My experience can be segmented into two distinct stages. The first stage being death. The second phase being rebirth.
Yes. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into.
FIRST STAGE: DEATH
I took the dried mushrooms at 21:19. I was apprehensive at first, considering whether doing it alone for the first time was actually a good choice, basically second guessing everything I had planned. I put this down to last minute nerves. I wasn’t going to let my cold feet dictate what I should do. I said goodbye to my flatmate and entered my room. I would not emerge for another 6 hours.
I decided to come up listening to some Alan Watts lectures. After just 15 minutes I was feeling the body load, another 20 minutes later and it was overwhelming. So I lay on my bed and brought my laptop with me (it was connected to a bluetooth speaker).
My heart was pounding. I felt strange, not sure of what was going to happen, it was coming on strong, perhaps too strong. I tried to concentrate on the lecture I was listening to, but it became progressively harder as my heart beat became louder and more intense. I felt more and more stoned and sleepy. I decided to switch to the playlist I had prepared that day. After this point I would no longer be able to use my laptop.
Soon I entered a fever-dream like state. My depth perception was severely altered, every sound including my lips touching each other and even swallowing echoed loudly in the room, and a high pitched tone was playing continuously in my head. I looked at the time and it was barely an hour after ingesting the shrooms. The walls began to breathe and textures began to warp.
After this point, time became almost non existent. My movements (which were few) happened in slow motion. I remember staring at my laptop clock. It read 23:00. I could not for the life of me figure out what that meant. I was trying to figure out how long I had been tripping, and how long I had left to go, because I was not enjoying this experience. Everything became very confusing. I remember clutching to my bed, my thoughts spiraling out of control.
This is where things get very foggy and my memory begins to fail me.
I remember a tingling sensation down my spine, like energy, at the back of my head and even in my teeth and gums. I felt very disassociated with my body, as if it were barely my own. Closed eye visuals had become intense at this point. As is common, I cannot quite explain them, but there were impossible geometric patterns and lots of tunnels.
But amongst all of the closed eye visuals that I can describe and remember, one period stands out the most:
I remember seeing a woman, an eastern religious type, Indian perhaps. She did not speak, but throughout this intense and paralysing dream state I find it important to note that even though I was by myself, I never felt alone. I felt as though I was being guided by something. This is very hard to describe and to discern with logic, even to myself.
I then remember seeing myself from a third person perspective with my eyes closed.
(NOTE: The events I am describing at this stage are hard to place in time, I am unsure of which ones preceded which, as I said before, many of them are hard to recall).
The tingling sensation intensified, and the closed eye visuals I experienced at this stage are as followed:
I remember seeing strings, ropes or perhaps wires extending from my head out into infinity. I believe that I saw this after having seen the woman that I described. Through these ropes or wires I felt something enter inside of me. This was a very real and physical sensation. I was somehow aware that a process had begun, though I did not and could not understand what that was or what it meant.
Due to what happened after this stage (Which I will describe in a bit), I believe this process to be ego-death or something very similar, a process in which I lost every understanding of myself and of the universe.
More gaps in my memory.
I remember pacing around my room over and over again, stuck in a loop. Trying to figure out who I was and what I was doing, thinking that the answer was on the tip of my tongue. But it wasn’t. I walked around in circles over and over again pulling at my hair (hard) and muttering “What was it? What was it?” over and over. I had no purpose, it was a horrible feeling. I felt cold and meaningless. Empty.
This experience was pure insanity, absolutely nothing made sense to me, including language, time, the exterior world and myself. Whatever was happening to me, I was not at the controls.
Then a total loss of memory. This is what I assume to be the peak of my insanity, the moment where I became completely lost in confusion and madness. A period in which I experienced nothingness. Or should I say: there was no experience. In other words, I was torn apart by confusion, I experienced a psychological death.
SECOND STAGE: REBIRTH
The process of transitioning from what I will call my “Psychological death” to being able to grasp reality again was slow and happened progressively. The first memory I have of “Being” once again, is the following:
I rose from my bed and sat at its edge. This movement seemed to take minutes and was accompanied by a gasp for air on my part. Everything seemed as colourful as a rainbow. The walls were morphing intensely. Music was playing. I do not remember which song it was, only that it was pleasant and melodic. I picked up my guitar and turned on my amplifier which I had placed near my bed in anticipation of the trip. Before I began to play I smiled, looked around the room and said aloud “Hello!”. Then I instinctually played an improvised solo over the music.
This was a strange event, for I had no memory of who I was or where I was. I simply knew that I enjoyed the music and wanted to play the guitar over it. When I said “Hello” as if to greet this new reality, this communication seemed to come from elsewhere. It came from my lips (from what I can remember) but it didn’t seem like I had said it.
But things were still a little intense so I stopped playing and lay back in bed once again.
The next thing I know, I’m pacing around my room again. But this time it’s different. I feel great. I feel new. The world seems new. Life seems new. I was in a room that felt somehow familiar yet I had never seen it before (I was still in my room of course). My thoughts seemed like they were foreign, they occurred of their own accord. Language was lost to me. I had only feelings. But eventually words came back slowly and I was able to say a few phrases over and over again such as “I’m a 20 year old guy… I took mushrooms?” or “What did I leave behind?”.
Similar to before, these words came from me, but I was not in control of what I was saying.
Here begins the most profound and incredible period of the entire experience.
I felt as though I had woken up for the very first time. That I was alive for the very first time. I looked around at the walls, ceiling and curtains and greeted them. “Hello!” I exclaimed. I felt like an alien who had just landed on a new planet. I took a look at myself and thought “Okay so what’s going on here then? Who am I and what can I do?”
I was stuck in another loop. But this time it wasn’t unpleasant or scary. It was simply there, and I didn’t even really notice it at the time. I felt that I was missing something, that I had shed a million layers of myself and left a part of me behind, something negative, something that I didn’t need. I was stumbling around my room, using the walls for support, trying to learn how to walk again. I went from trying to figure out what I had left behind, to realising how silly I must look stumbling around and laughing hysterically at myself. This went on for some time. Eventually I gave up on trying to figure out what had happened. Instead I concentrated on trying to understand who I was.
I went into my bathroom (I have an ensuite) and I took a good look at myself in the mirror. At first I didn’t know it was me, but I soon realised that it was. I laughed at myself and pulled a myriad of different faces and poses, playing around with my new body.
My beard was fluffy and bursting with colour (It is black with ginger patches to begin with), as was my hair. I remember thinking “I look like a jolly mushroom!”. Everything was enhanced. It was as if I had taken NZT, the pill from the movie limitless. Everything was so bright and colourful and my vision was opened up, similar to a fish eye lens. Everything breathed around me, colours pulsated.
The world around me had never looked so beautifully enchanting. Textures warped and bloomed. I felt an overwhelming sense of connection to everything around me, life was flowing through everything I looked at.
I remember seeing the woman from my visions, she seemed to manifest herself in the textures of the grey tiles in my bathroom. This somehow comforted me. I also saw ancient mosaic looking patterns pulse from my carpet. “What the fuck is that??” I shouted, amused.
I lunged across my room, dancing to music, seeing what my new body could do. This stage was overwhelmingly euphoric. I remember thinking: “If it is possible to be enlightened, then this is surely what it feels like”. I felt entirely at peace, all that mattered was the beauty that surrounded me and the life force that bonded everything together.
I remember seeing my curtains sway and morph from across the room. I pointed at them, addressing them as if they were alive. I began to join them in their dance. To me, this set of curtains manifested themselves as an ambassador of the universe, of life itself. They greeted me, they danced with me, they existed with me in a playful demeanour as if to say “Welcome back!”.
I became very tactile, re-discovering my sense of touch. Towels, walls and any object really - felt amazing. I “ooooh’d” and “aaah’d” at every new discovery. It was a magical experience. I was slowly re-discovering my life. I remembered who my flat mates were, and slowly re-learnt my identity, as if I was a new being, tapping into the memories of this new body.
Next I discovered how hungry I had gotten. So I grabbed a bag of Prawn and cocktail crisps (Chips for the Americans), and upon taking my first bite I could feel every individual taste bud fire up in pure ecstasy. Then I dropped them, spilling them onto the carpet. I laughed, shrugged, and bent down to eat them straight from the floor. Thankfully I had cleaned the carpet that day (not that it mattered to me at the time due to my child-like state).
I then concluded that the carpet looked warm and fuzzy so I got on the ground and laid down to rub it on my face. It felt amazing.
This next part was the most profound I think.
As I was lying on my side on the carpet, I spotted a small see-through plastic cube that I owned sitting in my closet (The kind you would put ornaments in). It glistened and beckoned me. So I grabbed it and placed it directly in front of my face as I lay on the ground. Then, remembering how trippy vapour can look (yes, I vape), I took a hit and exhaled a large amount inside of the cube. I then realised that I had created an entire universe inside of this cube, similar to the micro-verse car battery in Rick and Morty. The vapour swayed and morphed, revealing its infinite complexities (I highly recommend smoke or vapour during a trip).
Then the vapour faded and revealed my hand. I had unintentionally placed my hand on the opposite side of the cube, so it was positioned perfectly centre inside of it from my perspective (The cube now acting as a sort of lens). I began to move my hand, utterly fascinated with it. Moving my fingers up and down, seeing what it could do. Then I realised that my hand didn’t look like the hand of a 20 year old man. It looked tiny, it looked wrinkled, it had tiny fingernails and tiny fingers. It was the hand of a new-born child. This was chilling to say the least.
I realised that I must be tapping into ancient memories, of what it was like to be a child. It certainly made sense given that I felt like I had literally been reborn. I turned, lying on my back now. I was instantly hit with a wave of nostalgia. Looking up, the walls looked as tall as skyscrapers, the ceiling looked so far up: it was unattainable. I felt tiny in comparison. I felt like a baby again. I was lying on the floor playing with a plastic cube after all. At this stage I felt at one with the universe, I felt truly enlightened for lack of a better term.
Then (we’re getting close to the end, I promise), I put my leg up against a wall as to see it. I was wearing red and white tartan design pyjama trousers. They had an endless quantity of intricate creases on them. The light from the bathroom caused harsh shadows to be cast from the peaks of the creases. These shadows danced across the surface, as if my leg were a mountain, and the sun were continuously rising and setting above it. The beauty of the colours and the contrast of the light was beyond words.
There I was, a baby once more, surrounded by novelty and beauty, and here was a landscape of incredible scale, complete with valleys, peaks and streams of pulsating light and shadows right there on my leg. The sight brought me to tears. It was beyond description. I realised that there was beauty in everything, in every single tiny detail. It was an incredibly profound moment.
I lay there for what seemed like a life time, thinking about life and the nature of the universe. “Nothing is here to hurt me, why was I so worried before?” I heard myself whisper. I cried and laughed a few more times after that. It was 3:00 AM at this point.
Eventually I felt the feeling of peace slowly leave me, and reality began to make sense again. I felt sad that I was coming down, I didn’t know if I would ever feel that inner peace again.
I decided that before I lost the feeling, that I would venture outside and go to a balcony I knew of in my building where I could get a spectacular view of the city (London). I won’t go into detail about this because this story is long enough. I’ll just say that it was yet another beautiful experience and the city seemed to pulsate, especially the streets which I saw as veins. I also caught a glimpse of some wild foxes which was very trippy to say the least.
So that’s it, mostly. I tried to cut it as short as I could but I felt that most of what I experienced was important to share.
The experience transcends words. I was told that 2 grams would entail a mild experience. This was far from mild. This was life changing.
I was told that 2 grams would entail a mild experience. This was far from mild. This was life changing.
If you are going to try a substance alone for the first time, I recommend having prior experience tripping with people you trust first. Without my prior experience, the first half of my trip could have left me shaken, even though it was scary and pure insanity, I knew that I had taken something and that my body would eventually metabolise it and I would be fine.
In terms of meaning and integration, I’m still trying to make sense of it. I think that it was the experience that I needed. I think I experienced a metaphorical death due to my apprehensiveness and anxiety at the start of the trip. I think that I needed to be broken down to my very core in order to be built up again, only this time without the fears or overly analytical side of myself. That’s the core of it I think. I overthink most things, including this trip. I had been planning this for a while and one of my friends thought that I was building it up too much. I probably was. But I could never have prepared enough for the experience I was given. I wanted to understand and to control, so I was given an experience of sheer confusion and insanity, in order for me to be reborn as a baby I guess.
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