Citation: Samanthe. "Alcohol Self-Abuse and Ketamine Antidote: An Experience with Alcohol & Ketamine (ID 11248)". Erowid.org. Dec 27, 2001. erowid.org/exp/11248
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This started out as a small story about ketamine, but giving it a bit of background for context made it more about roles that both alcohol and ketamine have played in my life.
My parents visited me for xmas when I was 30. I had reached the point in my relationship with them where I was tired of their cruelty but I wasn’t quite over seeking their approval. So I endured their visit. We spent part of an evening drinking glasses of wine, with me listening to my dad’s same old story of how disappointed he is in me and how I’ve wasted my life and am practically destitute and on the streets. (I am very happy and well-adjusted, thank you, I’m just a bit of a freak compared to his growing-up-during-WWII ways.) Battling with my demons, loosened up by the alcohol, I crumpled into pain and tears. Nothing new here.
The next few days, I systematically drank my way through the alcohol that was left over from the xmas party I’d held at my house that week. I was flagellating myself with booze, enmeshed in my dad’s trip, trying to resolve my feelings by smearing them into a messy pile. It was pointless. I had learned it from him at home, before I was even old enough to discern what “hitting the bottle” was. I dove into a good novel, and swam around in the morass of bad feelings.
The morning when I was to return to work, I broke down and called my best friend, to tell her about how my xmas had gone terribly wrong. She instantly knew what was up. As I blubbered on the phone to her, I poured myself glasses of white wine, even though it was still morning. Then I poured myself shots of liquor. This was pretty much out of character. I was a well-respected professional working in a drug education-related field at the time. I apparently had decided on some level to work out some self-abuse karma with the help of a cheap and legal intoxicant. As soon as I got off the phone I fell in a swoon on the bed. I got up periodically over the next five hours to throw up in the toilet. I was trying to “get it all out,” all the bad feelings that I’d swallowed for so long, that I didn’t know what to do with. On the surface this seems like nonsense now, but my actions had a delicate logic all their own; in the privacy of my own apartment, I could enact any drama I wanted. Growing up in a household that frowned on emotional outbursts of any kind, I had never learned how to properly manage my feelings. It was like not learning the alphabet. People can go through life pretty much hiding that they’re illiterate; I was going through life hiding that I didn’t know the first thing about normal human emotions (well, hiding it from most people). And I was bursting at the seams.
I made it to work the next day, with a wicked hangover, feeling sluggish and dull. Some time during the day the thought hit me, “I have some ketamine. I’ll do some ketamine tonight.”
I went home and felt the first shred of hope and productivity that I had felt in a week. I peeled vegetables and made a yummy soup for myself, and cleaned my kitchen and the rest of the apartment. (I try to get all my affairs in order before every intentional experience with a psychoactive.) Then I got out my fat headphones, my down comforter, my fluffy pillows, and a mix CD a friend had made me for doing ketamine, which included stuff from K&D sessions (I still don’t know the exact playlist, which is really a shame).
Now, about 48 hours after the beginning of the most severe part of the drinking binge, I insufflated roughly 50 mg of ketamine and lay back in the dark, with the headphones on, snuggled under my comforter. I let myself be carried gently into a place where I was floating free from all my messy emotions, a place where I gathered perspective on them with gentleness and compassion for myself. Shadowy visuals that moved slowly in seemingly pre-arranged patterns like a conveyor belt in a giant factory accompanied the rearranging of my mental and emotional building blocks. I don’t feel an anthropomorphic presence while on ketamine, I feel like a part of a giant machine that is also a giant space that is both benevolent and removed from human experiences. It’s a place I can go to help “reset my clock.” I feel that other psychedelic experiences have “reset my clock” before, too, but low doses of ketamine have done it in a way that I don’t have to struggle to “get”. They’re predictable, and they’re not difficult at all to integrate, and fit into my normal schedule.
The music was like the water of a warm bath, the ketamine was the soothing bath salt. I came out refreshed, renewed, and grateful for a tool to help me face my own demons with compassion and objectivity.
I’ve experienced this antidepressant effect of ketamine before, while in the throes of hormone-mediated melancholy and frustration that I sometimes get in the middle of my menstrual cycle.
I prefer to space my ketamine experiences far apart, and regard them as special sessions to treat with reverence. Otherwise they’re just a way to get fucked up, like alcohol with a weird twist. And I don’t find it as fun to get fucked as I used to. I guess “getting fucked up” is part of an old unhappy unhealthy pattern, like at the beginning of this story. And my little doses of ketamine are like an antidote.
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