Mushrooms - P. cubensis & Alprazolam
Citation: Ben. "1st Heroic Dose but Not Transformative: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis & Alprazolam (exp114735)". Erowid.org. Sep 24, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114735
This was the largest dose I have ever done, up until this point in my life (34 y/o). I have always wanted to do the Terrance McKenna heroic dose of 5g by myself in my childhood room in the dark and once I acquired the mushrooms I thought this was the perfect time to try it as I have the time (coronavirus) and my second son hasnít been born yet. I have been reading and researching psychedelics, reading trip reports, listening to podcasts, watching interviews, and reading books on the topic for the last 12 years so was pretty confident in my ability to predict what could happen, but still trying to go into the experience with no expectations and rather a few solid intentions. I went into it wanting to try and go with whatever would come at me and to not fight off anything (as that is a way for your ego to hold on and for bad experiences to happen). I wanted to become one with the infinite, to meditate and become fully aware, to try and figure out how the universe works, to meet deities and ask them questions, to feel love and give off love, to experience death and/or become okay with dying, dive into my childhood as I was tripping in my old bedroom, deal with past trauma and also my current anxiety/OCD, get comfortable with the uncomfortable, and most importantly dissolve my ego. As Iím writing this Iím realizing this may have been one of my problems; that my intentions overlapped into expectations which, spoiler alert, may have been why I was disappointed when it was over.
The mushrooms were in microdose capsules of .5 grams each and so I needed to take 10 of them. I took 2 but they were very large and hard to get down so I broke open the others and mixed in some water and ate the paste straight and it smelled and tasted awful. Thankfully my dad was also home at the time and while I didnít tell him to explicitly be a trip sitter, I told him what could go wrong and how to help if I needed it and also where my anti-anxiety medicine was in case I needed it. I had eaten a decent sized breakfast an hour earlier because I was a little worried about my blood sugar but knowing what I know now, maybe I shouldnít have. I also did not do any lemon tek and I also took 1 mg Xanax 15 minutes before the mushrooms as Iíve been very anxious as of late due to the pandemic.
I went up to my room and set up a music playlist on my computer and started listening to it but still wasnít sure if I wanted to listen to music during the trip. I know Michael Pollan is a fan but I couldnít help wonder if it is distracting. I started listening to a traditional ayuhuasca chanting ceremony but then switched to my own music. I wanted to be in a good headspace for this so I went outside but the problem was it was storming pretty hard and for whatever reason the rain, thunder, and lightning started making me worried it would lead to bad thoughts. So I went back upstairs and put on my music but was starting to feel the effects of the mushrooms and of course started worrying about the unknown and getting in too deep and started having a panic attack. No good. I took another 1 mg of Xanax which wasnít a good idea in hindsight
I took another 1 mg of Xanax which wasnít a good idea in hindsight
because I almost never take Xanax and just took 2 mg which is A LOT. I contemplated making myself puke but am glad I didnít. I went downstairs and told my dad what was up and thankfully he helped calm me down; talking to me and telling me that the house was full of love.
I went back upstairs to my bathroom and peed and realized about an hour (maybe 45 mins) after ingesting that I was beginning to hallucinate. The floor of the bathroom was moving and growing and the rows of tiles were forming all kinds of different patterns popping out, almost swastika like. Then my dad came upstairs to check on me and the next hour or two passed by with me laying on the bathroom floor, often talking to my dad about random things while watching these hallucinations happen on the bathroom ceiling wallpaper. I apologized to him about constantly fighting with him growing up and after college when I lived at home. We talked about how more conservatives should trip in order to gain some empathy for minorities and immigrants. We talked about how anxiety is just a construct of our thoughts and that even if it happens physically you should not give it power emotionally and how thoughts should be detached from yourself. We discussed the stress of my job and also how earlier that morning I had seen a guy in a huge black truck floor it when the light turned green to ďroll coalĒ and how that guy needed to work on calming his ego but then I had an epiphany that part of the reason why I wanted to do a heroic dose was to one-up other people and prove that I could handle more than most which was just solidifying my own ego and I realized how hypocritical I was. Also I told my dad how I kind of/sort of turned into a bird at one point when I closed my eyes and he said thatís very Carlos Castaneda of you.
I also remembered the note my wife left for me in my backpack about enjoying the experience and being loved and as I thought about it I looked at the bathtub and saw the ending text of her note, ďLove you, BennyĒ flash across the tub a few times. I enjoyed these conversations I was having with my dad as they calmed me down and were a bit funny but felt as though they were keeping me grounded and not allowing me to fully immerse myself into the trip and go beyond (pros and cons just like everything).
Eventually he left and I started quoting FDR out loud (the only thing to fear is fear itself) and repeating to myself that you get out of it what you put in and that I should really try and let go. I closed my eyes as I was super tired and started seeing pretty fast hallucinations in my mind, though they were distant and not all-encompassing and not any different than ones I have seen on other smaller acid/shroom trips; faces melting into others with various animals and demonic creatures and figures but no one I could talk to and ask questions to. I was also aware and amazed at how my heart still beats regardless of what is happening to me and also kept thinking about the dream I had the previous night (going to a friendís softball game and having my son in his car seat but in the driverís seat and walking around Kent State and also doing 5g of mushrooms with everyone at Michaelís bachelor party). I also kept hearing this weird popping almost like gun shots in my head which must have been some sort of auditory hallucination.
So anyway I tried to really let go and go with the trip and that may have been around the peak anyway but I felt a slight euphoria come over me, like a warm blanket all around me, but Iím not sure I would use the word divine. I closed my eyes and went back to seeing distant hallucinations that included a few sort of deity looking beings but of course that could just be my own interpretation. I asked one a question with no answer. I then saw a cow thing/cow deity and asked it the meaning of life to which it then showed me either a woman or a cow giving birth. Iím not sure if thatís what I was looking for but okay whatever. I then opened my eyes and realized I had some tears streaming down my face but donít remember crying at all; just rather a serene peace around me. Iím not sure if it was the mushrooms, the Xanax, or the combination but hey, at least it was a nice feeling.
As I was on the come-down I went back into my room and put on music to listen to with my eye mask on but by this time the sun had come out and light was filling my room and just as I normally do in the early mornings I started being all OCD about my eye mask not completely blocking all the light and worried about that for a half hour instead of listening to the music and experiencing the remainder of the trip. So the music didnít really do much. I took everything around 10:30 AM and by 2:30 PM I was definitely not back to my normal self but most of hallucinations had gone away which is what Wikipedia says the half-life should be but I was still surprised at how short the trip seemed. I wanted to draw like Iíve done on other trips but the hallucinations were moving in and out of my head so fast and plus I was so tired from the Xanax.
In the end, when it was all said and done, I couldnít help but feel disappointed. Maybe I should have taken them with less food and maybe all that Xanax hindered my experience because it made me very sleepy and lethargic. Maybe they werenít as potent as the cubensis I had done 10 years prior or maybe I just have a high tolerance. I did not die, I did not have an OBE, I never really lost my sense of self, I did not fix my anxiety or OCD, I never lost my sense of time, I did not experience synesthesia, and I did not think about growing up in that house or the history of that space (with the exception of dad reminding me about missing the toilet when peeing growing up). There was nothing super profound that I experienced, although maybe that in itself is a lesson for learning; that expectations should be avoided and that I should only focus on the positives that came about from the experience. All of my revelations that I had, I had either had previously or they werenít exactly revelations but rather things I already knew.
All of my revelations that I had, I had either had previously or they werenít exactly revelations but rather things I already knew.
I can recall everything and unfortunately most of the entirety of the trip I was still in my head thinking random normal thoughts about the experience without being present fully present in the moment. I had intense visuals but not any more so than when I took 3.8g 10 years prior and I did not have any euphoria like I did during that trip.
Even though this heroic dose didnít get as deep as I had wanted it to, I think it was a good learning experience and makes me feel confident that I can handle more in the future. I definitely plan to do more heroic doses in the future and this also makes me feel as though I really have nothing to fear in terms of bad trips, with the exception of my own irrational fear and anxiety. Maybe if I get into a meditation or micro-dosing routine I can work on curing my anxiety.
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