Mushrooms - P. cubensis & Clomipramine
Citation: AnxiousBud. "The Other Side of Fear: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis & Clomipramine (exp115029)". Erowid.org. Jan 14, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115029
A few weeks ago, I had a phone meeting with my psychiatrist. I updated him on everything I’ve been doing for my self-care as well as my intentions for further exploration of psychedelics, primarily psilocybin. I talked about how I’ve been micro-dosing 300 mg on Saturdays and Tuesdays and that I’ve been macro-dosing about once per month. I started with a strain called Golden Teachers (GT), which is a good novice strain for people who are new to psychedelics. On separate occasions, I tried 1g, 3.5, 5.0g, all of which were incredibly peaceful but didn’t exactly fit what I would consider a typical psychedelic experience based on my research. I have also tried a strain called Penis Envy (PE), which is a much stronger strain with respect to psilocybin content. With the PE, I tried 1g twice, and 1.5g, again, every time was incredibly peaceful, but not your typical psychedelic experience.
After further research on psilocybin and medication interactions, I concluded that my medication, Clomipramine, was blocking the psychedelic experience. So, I informed my psychiatrist of my intent to wean off of my medication. He had no concerns with my plan. It was not an easy decision to come off of my medication. It was terrifying. What if I fall back into a depression? What if my OCD and intrusive thoughts take over again? What if I have thoughts of suicide? I tried to remind myself of a quote that really meant a lot to me… “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
I was at a dosage of 200 mg. I dropped to 150mg for two weeks, then 100mg for two weeks, then 50mg for two weeks, then 25mg for one week, and then I stopped. My last dose of Clomipramine was about one week ago.
My last dose of Clomipramine was about one week ago.
It has been a long exhausting week of withdrawal symptoms. I have been dizzy and nauseated. I’ve had trouble sleeping. I’ve been agitated. I’ve wanted to be alone. I’ve been trying incredibly hard to function and not let any of these things show.
Leading up to Saturday, I was overwhelmed by a mix of fear and excitement. Now that I was off my meds, was I ready? My plan was to take 3.5g of PE using lemon tek. My wife was working and I made arrangements for the kids to spend the day with their grandparents.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I went for my walk with Pepper and listened to my positive affirmations. Once I returned home, I showered and prepared the mushrooms. I weighed out 3.5 g, chopped them up and soaked them in lemon juice for 20 minutes. The lemon juice is supposed to convert the psilocybin to psilocyn, which is what your digestive system would do naturally, but this way, the onset is quicker, and the overall duration of the experience is shortened. After the 20 minutes, I blended it with water and a little bit of sugar. I drank it and started my stopwatch.
I recently bought myself an Occulus Quest 2, which is a virtual Reality device. I thought it would be cool to experience a virtual space while under the influence of the mushrooms. So, into VR I went. I wanted to just be mindful and relax in a calm environment, so I load up a social app called vtime XR that is designed for people to socialize in virtual spaces. I spent an hour, alone with my thoughts in various settings…in the woods at night around a campfire, floating in space watching the earth rotate, sitting on the edge of a mountain. It was unbelievable. I was starting to feel as though the mushrooms were kicking in and felt in the moment that by being in VR, I was doing myself a disservice in the sense that I was distracting myself from the effects of the mushrooms. According to Terence McKenna, an American ethnobotanist, mystic, psychonaut, lecturer, author, and an advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants, the only way to experience psychedelic mushrooms is to take 5 dried grams and sit in dark, silence with your eyes closed and journey inward.
I got comfortable and closed my eyes. After a few minutes, I started to see the most amazing patterns of color, confined to an object, that was moving and morphing, I could see symbols that were pouring out of this object, like a language that I didn’t understand. With my hands pressed over my eyes, the colors were, blues and greens and yellows against a black void. If I removed my hands, the colors became reds and oranges. It was indescribably overwhelming and mesmerizing and I found myself trying to communicate with the mushrooms as if they were their own intelligence that I was connecting with. I was asking for guidance as to how I should be experiencing what I was experiencing. Do I leave my hands over my eyes or not? I became curious as to what I would see if I opened my eyes, so I did, but at this point, there wasn’t much to see. I closed my eyes again, but everything was gone, it was just black. I tried hard to focus and think about what I was observing and slowly the colors and patterns came back. I sort of feel crazy explaining how I was trying to communicate with the mushrooms, but for some context, I have been really into the idea that there is a universal consciousness and we are all an expression of that consciousness experiencing itself. If you are religious, then you may believe, in God… for me, it makes sense that “God” is this universal consciousness.
Just over an hour into my trip, things started to get bizarrely profound and I was fully in the psychedelic realm. I was having open eye hallucinations of kaleidoscopic colors and lights. I stared at my ceiling for what felt like ages, astonished by the beauty of what I was seeing. I was slowly waving my hands around in the air and there was this trailing effect similar to how you can change the mouse icon on a computer so that when you drag it, a bunch of little mouse pointer trail behind it. I had like 10 hands trailing behind as I moved them, and they were like rainbows of light.
At some point, my dog wandered in to the room, and she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She was morphing into what looked like this majestic wolf and she laid on the floor with me for a while. I felt an unbelievable sense of connection to her. I thought about my wife and kids and how amazing and beautiful they are. I wanted them to be with me, but I knew that I was in an altered state and that I needed to be there alone. During this whole experience, I was in a sense, oddly sober and aware of what was happening, I had this urge to document what was happening but wasn’t really sure how to do it. I wondered how much control I have over my mind in this altered state of consciousness and out of nowhere had this overwhelming urge to try and connect with my Grandmother who had passed away last year. She was battling cancer for quite some time and at the height of my Depression/Anxeity/OCD when I first went off work, my Grandmother chose a medically assisted death. At the time, I didn’t really no how to process how I felt about that, and I couldn’t even work up the courage to go visit her in the hospital. She died before the scheduled procedure.
So here I am, laying on the floor with my dog and I feel like I am connected to my grandmother in a way that I really don’t understand. I apologized to her for not visiting before she died, and I just cried for what seemed like forever. My dog howled and cried with me. My dog never howls. It got to a point where my emotion was so intense that it was uncomfortable for Pepper and she had gotten up and left the room. As much as I wanted her to stay with me on the floor, I somehow understood that it was too much for her.
Eventually, this hurt and intense emotion subsided, and I fell back into a more powerful, meditative state of mind. I sat up on my carpet and I became intently focused on my legs and feet. They were changing shape and morphing in the most terrifyingly beautiful ways. I felt in control and was trying to morph at will. I noticed that I had begun breathing in a way that felt primitive, tribal and ritualistic. My limbs shrivelled up like shrink-wrap to that point that I was looking at only my skeleton. I began to notice my reflection in the fireplace and I was stuck there in this healing like trance of deep breathing and running my hands up and down my legs in a way that a Reiki practitioner might run their hands over you while doing energy work. In this moment, I felt so powerful, like I was healing myself with positive energy, it was so shamanistic.
Again, it felt like I was in that trance forever. I sort of snapped out of it when I felt the urge to urinate. When I stood up to walk to the bathroom, I was in more of a light-hearted happy state of mind, the same way I feel when I am in VR and am amazed by how real things feel. I was so amazed by how real everything felt, I laughed uncontrollably and thought wow, I did it, I am fully immersed in a psychedelic realm. When I got to the toilet and peed, it was the most amazing thing ever, and I couldn’t stop laughing because I was just having a piss…what a crazy thing that this altered state of consciousness is making me feel so amazing. My mind started to run with the idea that I was a simulation in VR, and I just rolled with it. I was picking things out of the garbage by the toilet and feeling them and studying them the same way I would do in VR, just utterly amazed that I can pick these things up. When I washed my hands, I got stuck in the mirror.
Again, as if I had created a character in a video game and was appreciate every fine detail of my creation, I removed my clothes and I stared at myself and studied every inch of my face and body. In that moment, I had no insecurities, not one. I felt like a god. I was perfect. I have never experienced such confidence. I wondered why, in this state of consciousness, I felt this way, and wanted to know whether it was possible to transfer those feelings to my normal day to day state of mind.
I couldn’t help but think of how much we exist and consume life without ever really appreciating it. And it made me feel an incredible sadness. Around this time, psychedelic effects were starting to wear off. According to my stopwatch it had only been a few hours. The remainder of the day I felt vulnerable and confused, like I had been thrust back into a life where I need to relearn how to live. What in the world did I just experience. People asked me how was it? How did it go? If you read a book on quantum physics in 4 hours, do you think you would be able to explain it to someone. I certainly wouldn’t, and I certainly can’t explain what I experienced. This seems crazy to say, but I am pretty sure that I want to become a shaman who uses plant medicine as a therapy to help people live their best life. I am more motivated than ever to continue studying consciousness and psychedelics and I hope to someday be able to be knowledgeable enough to help guide other people who curious enough to explore their psyche.
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