Mushrooms - P. cubensis
Citation: Qbensyseeder. "Colors Don't Look Right and Lights Seem Dim: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis (exp115049)". Erowid.org. Jan 12, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115049
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||Cannabis - High CBD
My first experience with mushrooms was 15 years ago when I was in high school. My friend and I split an 8th of gnarly looking things, and I chopped up the stems and ate them, while he ate the caps. The experience was never pleasant, and mostly I felt very nervous the whole time, but I remember that effect disappearing before the night was over and no further effects. I had no intention of ever trying a hallucinogen again.
15 years later, it's 2020, and after a divorce and no help from two therapists and a sleep doctor (and the shutdown), I decide I might want to experiment with mushrooms again. I had experimented with B+ cubensis a few times in the previous weeks before I took a larger dose.
I had experimented with B+ cubensis a few times in the previous weeks before I took a larger dose.
For context, I'd like to explain the doses I tried and I should specify that these are all from the same batch of B+ that I grew from a syringe I bought, some air dried and some dried with a dehydrator, all consumed with the Lemon Tek method. I did not consume any of the mushroom flesh (microdosing or macrodosing), only strained the lemon juice and then drank that.
In the lead up to the higher dose, I went through my entire first flush from a mycobag. I tried microdosing at .1, and .5 grams over a total of 5 days (3 days in a row dosing, 3 days off, two days in a row dosing). About a week later I tried a higher dose at 1 gram, and for this one I decided to use the one mushroom that I had dried properly in a food dehydrator (it just looked nicer than the ones that were air dried). For about 5 hours I had the most pleasant sense of satisfaction and connection to my childhood. There was a bit of nervous energy, but as a person who is often anxious, I would describe that energy as mostly pleasant and not distracting. A few days later I tried the 1 gram dose again (with the air dried shrooms) but I got not effect at all. I looked up tolerance levels and figured maybe there was cross tolerance with cannabis, and thought to try a higher dose. I waited a few days again, and this time I took a dose of 1.2 grams but only got a very fleeting buzz. I took another half gram about an hour later, and with no result, another gram an hour after that, for a total of 2.7 grams in about 4 hours. I truly felt almost nothing, and yawned once or twice, but was disappointed. That's the end of my background.
The first time I got a good buzz I had been sitting in my recliner after playing video games getting ready to watch a boxing match I was looking forward to. I wanted to reproduce that result but maybe make it a little more intense, so I took two properly dried mushrooms from my second flush and they turned out to weigh exactly 2 grams, according to my scale. I thought that sounded about right since the last time when I tried adding to my dose I got so little effect. That day, like I said, it was actually well over 2 grams but spaced out over a few hours, and they weren't dried properly, so I was being somewhat cautious for this dose and sticking with just 2 grams all at once. Again this is with the lemon tek method.
8:15 PM - swallow lemon juice with 2 grams dried having soaked for about a half hour, along with 2 Lion's Mane pills. I go back to playing a video game that I've loved since before I tried mushrooms in high school.
8:30 PM - I smoke the rest of my bowl of medically prescribed cannabis mixed with CBD flower (about a half gram) and play a video game. The video game becomes unpleasant and somewhat stressful, so I decide to go down and sit in my recliner to wait for the fight to start.
8:45 PM - I start watching the fight and I'm excited, but a little nervous because the video game wasn't fun. Only a few minutes later, waves of anxiety hit me in a somewhat unfamiliar way, though I have had trouble with anxiety in the past.
8:55 PM - I realize I can't control it, which makes me panic, and I start sweating and overheating intensely.
9 PM - I call a friend to come over and help me through the experience, which makes me feel better, but as I'm thinking through the process of him checking with his wife and finding a parking space, I realize my anxiety is really out of control. Each part of the process seems like an unfathomable risk, like it's so unlikely that he'll make it to the house, and that the anxiety might literally make my head burst or something if I'm alone.
9:05 PM - I go to change clothes because it feels too intimate to have my buddy come over while I'm wearing pajama pants (not sure why, probably just being macho or something). When I take off my pants to put on jeans, the air hits the sweat on my skin (I had been overheating and panicking) and I get the most intense shivers I've ever had in my life. It was actually hard to breathe because I was shivering so violently. This scared me more, but I tried to steel myself because I hadn't gotten the pants on yet and I thought I might pass out from not breathing. I got the pants on, and since I was near the bed I immediately jumped under the covers and wrapped myself up to get the shivers under control.
9:15 PM - I call my friend to confirm he's coming and confide in him that I took too much. I sit down and call my mom because what's more comforting than that? I tell her what I did and how I feel, but I say "don't worry it'll be over in 5 hours." She tells me things she's doing around the house and mentions something my dad was doing, but everything she's saying stresses me out somewhat intensely. I realize everything she says makes me think something bad might happen to her or my dad, so I say "I better let you go, but you could send me comforting texts if you want." I felt guilty about calling and putting the stress on her, and became very very nervous about my phone. I had read this happens to other people, so maybe that knowledge created the experience, but in any case, the comforting messages had the same effect as the conversation. I was just so worried and felt guilty, so I stopped looking at the phone, but then wondered what would happen if my friend never showed.
9:30 PM - I read over my 2 pages of notes on Set and Setting, mostly taken from podcasts, interviews, and quotes from Michael Pollan's How to Change Your Mind. Nothing I didn't remember, but I had highlighted the parts where people were quoted saying that it helped to verbally remind yourself that you're okay, and some people even said that saying "this is really fun" out loud made them start having fun. I tried that, and it didn't work. What did help was just being proactive and not dwelling on any particular idea. If I was speaking out loud and composing a comforting message in my head like "this is going to be over in 5 hours, and you might have some new insights" I felt almost okay, but only during the moments while I was thinking of that sentence. As soon as I finished speaking and tried to watch tv or listen to music, I got intensely afraid and just felt out of control. I try to be vigilant and just keep talking and thinking of soothing things, only comfortable while I'm thinking and talking.
9:35 PM - my friend knocks on my back door and since I expected him at the front door, I feel like I'm just tripping and imagining everything, like maybe nothing is real and my memory of living a life before this is like an implanted memory, something fake. He knocks again, and I work it out in my head, relieved that he's there, but worried that he'll be put out that he had to come out to tripsit during a time when the virus is spreading rapidly. We wore face masks and I couldn't stop thinking that he wanted to leave and that I was endangering him.
9:40 PM - we put on music and I explain what's been happening in the fights (he watches too), again, while explaining this and composing sentences in my head I feel okay, but as soon as I stop talking I get extremely anxious.
9:50 PM - I start to feel like the mask is going to suffocate me, which makes me hot and panicky, which makes it harder to breathe.
10 PM - I can't watch tv anymore because they use so much CG for showing stats and names on the screen. The mixture of real, HD video with computer generated graphics just made my head spin. I don't know how to describe it better. Colors seemed wrong, and if I concentrated on anyone's skin tone, it looked like they had been burned. Their skin looked raw and red, but I knew it wasn't, because it didn't look that way when I started watching.
10:30 PM - I try eating more food (I ate a light dinner before the 2 gram dose) and changing the music. It's not helping, but I realize that I've been white-knuckling it for 2 and a half hours, so I should be half way. Hooray!
11:30 PM - The effects have started to go in and out, with my anxiety lessening slightly at certain points even when I'm not speaking or engaged in conversation. I start to think it might go away, but the deep discomfort and feeling of colors being fake keeps coming back. My friend and I start discussing favorite movies by genre and naming the actors. When I remember an actor's experience, or a series of movies, or an author responsible (michael crichton came up a few times) it's really overwhelming. I have to stop myself from thinking about all the things the author has written (I've read 9 of his books) and the movies and the video games, because it feels like infinity. It feels like I'm trying to perceive infinity and my mind is breaking. ***Another weird effect - if I talk about a particular movie for more than a couple of minutes, I start to doubt that I've ever actually seen it, even if it's one I've rewatched many times, e.g. Jurassic Park. By the end of the conversation, I tell my friend that I seriously can't be sure which movies I've seen and which I've just heard of. It makes me feel like my memory of life might be a delusion, and that the reason my life has been so hard is because I've been sitting in this moment, tripping on mushrooms in my recliner for all eternity, creating a fantasy to distract myself from the infinity of my imprisonment the "now." I feel like such a lunatic writing this stuff, I really hope I'm not permanently spacey.
12 AM - the main event is starting but I can't watch the screen, so my friend has to describe the action to me, and I'm so terrified that the effects haven't started to decline steadily. I start asking my friend to tell me this will end, and apologize for being such a handful.
12:05 AM - friend catches me staring at the floor and says "you just thinkin?" and I reply "I'm so scared this won't end, it should have started to decline by now, lemon tek is supposed to make this shorter. I need this to end." I decide not to stare at any particular place too long, and start trying to come up with conversation topics based on things in the room to keep my mind occupied (whenever it's quiet I start to think I've lost the ability to keep myself safe, might forget to breathe or drink water or might not know how to drive anymore)
12:30 AM - I continue eating food and drinking water and finally start to feel like the complete panic is going away. My friend goes down to my basement to use the bathroom and I tell myself out loud "this will be a good test of how you're doing, you just need to keep level and balanced for a few minutes, he can't be gone that long." I looked at the clock, and whether it was the display or just the thought that I might be alone forever, I started to freak out, but got it under control. When my friend came back up, I told him I thought it was "starting to let me go." (let me out of its grip)
12:45 AM - the fight was great and I'm now able to watch the screen again as they do a recap. Still feeling very nervous, I ask my friend to please stay at least until 1.
1 AM - still feeling like I'm not completely in control, I ask if my friend would mind playing a video game and I could just watch. He agrees (and I'm thrilled that he's not leaving)
1:30 AM - the video colors are really exciting and I'm just enjoying the graphics more than usual. I start to feel like I might be getting back in control, but my mind is still sort of shivering with nervous energy.
2 AM - my friend leaves and I smoke more CBD because I have read that it "promotes orderly thinking" and can reduce your psychoactive buzz from cannabis. I start to feel like I'm okay and use my phone to record my thoughts. Instead of fear, when I think about engaging in an activity, at this point, I have regained the capacity to think "that might be fun." So I decide to watch a movie that has always been totally bizarre to me (even though I've seen it at least 5 times), and I vaguely remember that some of it resembles a psychedelic trip. I go up to bed and put on My Dinner with Andre.
3 AM - I realize the effects of the mushrooms haven't totally disappeared, and it's way past the 6 hour mark. I am deeply terrified if I think about this, so I try to focus on the movie. The movie turns out to make more sense to me than it has in the past, probably because I'm hyper-analyzing every scene, even rewinding when I don't catch some of the dialogue (the whole thing is a conversation at dinner). Coincidentally or otherwise, the movie involves a LOT of hallucinations. One character actually uses the words "trip" and "hallucinating," but there's never a reference to drugs, so I just never really made that connection the way I am now, laying in bed and trying to keep my mind occupied.
4AM - I worry about not sleeping if the sun starts to come up, and I feel relatively relaxed, just praying that all the effects will disappear by morning so I can go to work at 1PM the next day.
9AM - I haven't slept, but I feel mostly okay, and the only when I think about the previous night or the lingering effects do I panic at all, but not like the previous night.
1PM - I'm at work, but driving was difficult because it's cloudy, and my eyes don't seem to have recovered. I'm somewhat terrified that my mind was too weak to handle a trip and now I'll never recover, become one of those horror stories you read about! Anyway, I'm nervous at work because I wonder if I might do something really strange in front of co-workers or while on the phone with customers. Nothing bad happens and I manage to stay on top of my work and hold normal conversations.
5:30 PM - Driving home from work (sundays are just 4 hour shifts) the lights are still dim and the colors seem wrong. The night before when I took the dose, my friend kept saying "cool, man, I'm jealous" when I told him I saw "tracers" but it was never fun. It's not like on the Simpsons when homer sees sparkly rainbow trails coming off of everything. For me, It just felt like I was losing my vision and hearing, things were just blurry. It makes me feel extremely irresponsible (as it should) to be driving while affected by something like that, but of course, the problem is that if I can't drive almost 24 hours later, when can I expect to be able to function? When can I go back to work? How can I take care of myself? So I push through, make it home safely.
This is where I will end the chronology and give you a conclusion. As I said before, I've had trouble with anxiety, but I didn't mention I also have a chronic sleep disorder
I didn't mention I also have a chronic sleep disorder
that sleep centers and doctors have been unable to treat successfully since I was 19. It's normal for me not to sleep 4 days a week. I took my dose on a saturday after not sleeping for 2 nights. One important function of sleep is cleaning your brain with an exchange of CerebroSpinal Fluid (CSF). It's now Tuesday, 4 days since I took the dose, and I haven't slept even after taking a milligram of Klonopin which was prescribed by my sleep doctor. That being said, the klonopin helped SUBSTANTIALLY with the anxiety. That makes a total of 6 days without sleep. I think that might explain why the chemicals are still affecting me, but I don't know. My pupils are tiny, and I think that's why colors don't look right and lights seem dim (though not as bad as they did the day after). My hearing seems to have returned to normal, and my anxiety is probably close to normal considering I haven't slept in almost a week. But obviously, I'm concerned that I've broken myself. There's a line in How to Change Your Mind where someone says that you need a strong ego to snap back to after an intense trip, and several times they advise you not to try these substances if you have anxiety problems. I worry that my ego wasn't strong enough.
Again, I want to emphasize that my first real buzz (on 1 gram, dried) was not only pleasant, but almost the opposite experience of what happened the Saturday when I took 2 grams, dried. The 1 gram experience almost made me feel more sure of myself, like I had this hidden wisdom that I could access, and that I would be okay, that I should trust myself more. The 2 gram experience may have quite literally ruined my life, when I thought it couldn't really get much worse. I worry that I'll have difficulty doing basic tasks in the future, and that my vision might never recover. I would never have experimented if I had known that my vision could be permanently affected, but I've never heard of anyone with my sleep disorder, so I think that might be what's causing the effects to linger. At this point, I'm really concerned that the alkaloids have been sort of sitting on my brain for days now, warping it continuously because I can't sleep. I feel very irresponsible and ashamed. I don't enjoy using cannabis anymore because it makes me worry that it will contribute to the effects I'm experiencing.
I hope this experience can help steer some people away from psilocybin. If you want to be more empathetic and connect with people, try harder to listen to them and relate their circumstances to your own life. Do it the all-natural way. There's no In a gadda da Vida music and cool rainbow-colored waterfalls. Basically, you can get a really comforting buzz somehow, but you can also sort of poison your brain, apparently. And the doses, no matter how careful you are, just can't be nailed down well enough. For all the people who have benefited from their experiences, I congratulate you, but please be careful in recommending that anyone else do it. Nervous people just aren't like confident people, and some might have a bizarre sleeping disorder like mine.
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