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Searching for the Peak of Hedonism
Citation:   TheTripFairy. "Searching for the Peak of Hedonism: An Experience with LSD (exp117858)". Apr 9, 2024.

T+ 0:00
2 hits sublingual LSD (gel tab)
  T+ 1:25 3 hits smoked Cannabis  
  T+ 2:25 1 hit sublingual LSD (gel tab)
At the time that I planned this trip, I had many psychedelic experiences under my belt. Since my first acid trip in college when I was eighteen years old, I had tried a variety of psychedelics ranging from shrooms and LSD to 2-CI, DOC, 5-MEO-DMT, and many more. In this specific year, (2023) this would be my fifth trip.

My previous two trips were at 400 ug, and they were both visually spectacular. The world appeared decorated like a fancy cake. Everything adorned with intricate patterns etched into a thick clay-like texture. Floral geometric designs like Fleur-de-lis glimmered all around as though the light was dancing and highlighting reflective patterns hidden on every surface. When I closed my eyes, bright earthy palettes danced on my eyelids. Rings of colors formed like marbled paint and spun in sync with the music.

But despite how absolutely marvelous everything looked, during both 400 ug trips, I found myself wishing the visuals were just a bit stronger. My lava lamp was beautiful, and the lava inside could appear like manta rays, or squids, or ancient beings from which weíve all descended. But the specs of dust catching light on the lampís glassy exterior were teasing to project themselves like stars all around the lamp, if only the visuals were a little stronger. Every once in a while, a dust speck would duplicate itself near but not on the lamp, creating the impression of glitter floating about the lamp, then fade. For a moment, because I tried to force the visuals, everything would look completely normal. Almost like Iíd stopped hallucinating all together.

I wanted a trip where I didnít have to work for it.
I wanted a trip where I didnít have to work for it.
Where I didnít need to let my eyes come out of focus, or try to stare at the same spot for very long, or force the dust to duplicate itself. A trip so strong that the visuals would jump right out at me, full force. And thatís when I started planning the 600 ug trip. Iíve had reflective, therapeutic trips before. This was not designed to be like that. This was meant to be pure fun. I got plenty of new trip toys over the holidays: A galaxy projector, gloves with LED lights on each finger, a second lava lamp, a kaleidoscope, kinetic sand, rainbow scratch paper, refraction glasses, a plasma light ballÖ The works. I was ready to indulge all my senses. Surround sound. Milky way rotating on my ceiling. A tray of kinetic sand to play with on my lap.

In anticipation of the trip, I read a lot of trip reports. Which might be silly, seeing as how Iíve tripped many dozens of times, if not closer to a hundred. But Iíd never really paid attention to dosages before, and the 400 ug trips felt pretty strong, so I wanted to make sure I wasnít being naive when arranging my doses. I figured, I couldnít just increase my dose by 200 ug every time, indefinitely. There would be a limit where Iíd get confused and scared. Probably. But reading the trip reports made me too apprehensive. The night I picked for the trip, my husband, D, had to work for an hour, and he was asking me not to put myself in a position where I might need his help while he is working. I should have known Iíd be fine, but I got nervous and made a decision that seemed right at the time, but was ultimately not a smart move. I decided that rather than taking all 600 ug at once, I would first take 400, get through the come-up, and only once I was comfortable and knew I was ok, feeling that itch to trip harder, would I take the additional 200 ug.

I knew that doing so would decrease the intensity, but I thought it would be closer to a 500 ug trip. My logic was that, having just taken 400 ug, my tolerance would have spiked, and I would only get 50% of the effect from the second dose, so instead of it being like an additional 200 ug, it would really be more like an additional 100 ug. But I felt that this would still be a good strong trip, stronger than my previous two, and then I would feel safe to take 600 all at once the next time around. But this plan backfired in a way that made it feel less intense than the previous 400 ug trips. Partially because, even though the math adds up to 500 ug, the peaks were not lined up, and so it was not peak 500 ug intensity at any point, and also because of reasons I will get into in this trip report. So, without further adoÖ The 5th and last trip of 2023:

Leading up to the trip, I excitedly prepare my space, setting coloring books and pieces of rainbow scratch paper around the coffee table, preparing my tray of kinetic sand, and ensuring an interesting light source is visible in each direction from where I will be seated.

At 1:45 PM, I take two gel tabs dosed at 200ug each, and put them under my tongue to dissolve. The moment they enter my mouth, I feel a familiar tingling uneasiness all around my tongue. [I know itís not an effect of the acid, and just my own trepidation, because even as I write this report I can feel the same sensation in my mouth just from thinking about it. I, personally, tend to have a hard time with come-up on psychedelics. My limbs shake noticeably, and I get anxious, nauseous and uncomfortable. Itís not until an hour and a half into the experience that the physical symptoms tend to subside and Iím able to enjoy the trip.
Itís not until an hour and a half into the experience that the physical symptoms tend to subside and Iím able to enjoy the trip.
And for this reason, my body rejects the initial consumption of the acid.] With the two doses placed under my tongue, I feel an unpleasant shiver radiate through my mouth and down my spine.

+5 minutes
At this point, I consider watching cartoons to distract myself. Normally, I would watch something like Bobís Burgers or Adventure Time, something lighthearted and bright to keep my spirits up through the discomfort. But I decided that this time I wanted to write about my experience. I wanted this trip to stand out in my memory. So instead of passing the time with television, I pick a coloring book and begin writing my intentions in one of its pages. The page I pick has a tree drawn on it, with a bird resting at its center.

+15 minutes (2 PM)
The gel tabs have fully dissolved under my tongue. Thereís an anxiety that likely has more to do with my internal Set, and not because of the LSD kicking in yet. I was filling in a coloring book where I wrote my intentions [to reward myself, to see beautiful visuals, and to feel good.] but now Iíve stopped because I feel too rushed. A nervous energy is tightening my jaw.

+30 minutes (2:15 PM)
Definitely no visuals yet but I can feel something is ďoffĒ about my body. Every once in a while, I get a shiver like I do when I drink a gross beverage. My skin feels strange; Everything in my face feels a bit congested. The spit in my mouth feels thicker and slimier than normal. I notice a physical tension/anxiety, but feel mostly calm. I start wondering if I need to use the restroom, but am not convinced. Itís hard to tell the difference between discomfort and urgency. My dog, T, whines nearby and I wonder if my nervous energy is making him uncomfortable.

+45 minutes (2:30 PM)
I wonder if I should have put on a tv show for the come-up like I normally do. But I do that every time, and I donít usually take notes on my experience. So I decide it will be interesting to do it this way this time, even if itís a bit uncomfortable. I wonder if itís time to put on some music yet, but decide Iím not quite there yet. Not for my trippy music, at least. I decide to recline and get comfortable. I lie on the couch and cover myself in a blanket. My second dog, A, is on the couch with me, sitting on the cushion, like a parrot on my shoulder. I wonder how long I will be able to keep logging before it becomes too difficult. The shaking has started, which makes it harder to type. And something about looking at the letters on screen makes me feel slightly sea-sick.
[At this point, I start closing my eyes a lot. Bright lights and text, or busy visuals, make me feel overwhelmed and nauseous. I close my eyes and focus on my breathing and wait out the uncomfortable come-up.]

+1 Hour
Feeling physically ill. Lots of shaking. T [a 4 pound mini pomeranian] is sitting on my belly and I donít like it but also donít want to make him move. Feel like I need to ďride it outĒ till the visuals take over and the body load recedes. I feel cold, even in my wearable blanket plus being under the covers, since my hair is still wet from the shower and Iím on the couch in the living room. I feel bubbles in my stomach and guts. I think about how this is a dumb situation to put myself in if Iím going to be in public, and reconsider my plans to take acid in one month, at an EDM concert. I tell myself I should stick to drinking alcohol at the concert like everyone else, and not attempt to trip there. I always think it will be fine once I get to the part I like, but getting there is no small task and I donít think Iíll enjoy it outside my home. As I think about how uncomfortable I am and how miserable it would be to feel this way at a venue in the city, I wonder once or twice if I will genuinely vomit from the nausea I feel, but it quickly passes back to discomfort.

+1.25 Hours
I threw up once. D brought me a big metal bowl and moved my hair out of the way. Puking made me feel better, and I took 3 hits of weed to settle my stomach. Him and I spoke for half an hour or so [Note by D: it was 5 minutes] about vomiting and anxiety and now I feel nauseous again but Iím not sure Iíll throw up again. The visuals are kicking in more and more. I notice yellows on Dís face, contours of brightness along his face and hair. Everything takes on a thicker appearance to accompany the queasy mucus-y feeling in my airways. Reading makes me feel nauseous and then I close my eyes to block out some of the input. The backs of my eyelids are like bismuth or brushed steel. Metallic rainbows shoot out like on the back of a CD. Soon Iíll be approaching the peak. I should plan what I want to do. When I close my eyes, rainbow colors cycle just like on my keyboard.

[At this point, D started his work call. I told him that I felt ok and he didnít need to worry about me. He sat nearby with his laptop and I tried to keep my shaking to a minimum while taking notes on my phone. I felt uneasy, constantly checking the time and trying to math out in my disoriented head when I was supposed to take the second dose that was waiting for me in the fridge.]

[About an hour and a half in, I decided to grab my rainbow scratch paper. There were 4 sheets Iíd prepared for myself. Two of them were regular and two were holographic. I grabbed the pointed stick and started scratching away at them. I wanted to draw and enjoy it, but I was very preoccupied with the question of when to take the additional 200 ug left in the fridge. Instead of drawing, I found myself writing down my thoughts. Below is what I wrote on the pages]

(on the first page)
ďI wanted to trip sackÖ What would 200 ug do now? If I was tripping harderÖ would I even be able to use this stuff?Ē
[There are drawings of some wheat, a freaked out face, a snail shell, and the words ďwhy these shapes?Ē written inside the drawings. These are shapes I come back to a lot when drawing during trips, or while sober.]
ďWhere you trying to go? Why do I want to trip harder? Is the point having this later or now?Ē
(on the second page. This time, holographic.)

ďAt 3:55 I walked up to the fridge, stood and thought about taking 200 ug more, then went to the bathroom instead. Wanting stronger visuals, but not confusionÖ Can I double the visuals but keep my head? The lava lamp looks like a squid. At 4:02 I remove acid from fridge. At 4:05 I drop 200 ug more.Ē

(last page. Also holographic. I figured I could still enjoy the effect and visuals, even if I was just writing on it rather than drawing.)
ďIn the future, maybe donít set yourself up to grapple with some question during peak. It feels as though I need to urgently make a decision and not forget. It dominates my headspace. It can even become its own loop. Whether or not to take moreĒ
[while writing on the scratch paper, I felt that I definitely wasnít tripping hard enough and needed to take the additional dose. It was too easy to write, and I felt like I could see ďthroughĒ the scratch paper, to make out the pattern underneath such that it didnít feel very spectacular. The world still felt too familiar and lacked the magic I was looking for.]

+ 2.25 Hours
[Dropped additional 200 ug]
At 4:07, minutes after taking the final 200 ug, I instantly feel more nauseous. I start burping and my mouth fills with saliva. Whereas moments ago, I felt as though I could close my eyes and relax for hours more, content, suddenly I am overtaken by heat and discomfort. The song playing is that Shpongle one in Museum of Consciousness that sounds like whales fighting each other. Like giant sea creatures at war. Everything feels intimidating but not in a scary way. I feel that Iíve been cautious so far, and IÖ lost my trail of thought. Anyway I feel quite confident that I will be ok with more LSD in my system, but I donít know if I can get to the peak I was looking for, starting this late.

I wonder why Iím not smoking more. I feel more inclined to take more acid (which I did) than to take hits of weed which would have a similar effect. Maybe I donít want to smoke because my airways already feel so phlegm-y.

Anyway the important thing is that now I can stop coming back to this question of to take more or not to take more and at what time is the right time to take more, etc. I can just sit back and watch now. Ride the wave.

+2.5 Hours
At 4:32 the last of the acid melts in my mouth. It leaves a slight shadow behind of some sweet flavor. My fingers can feel a few grains of sand still after playing with the kinetic sand. It feels amazing. Rolling it through my fingers while watching the sky initialize itself over my head [D was adjusting the projector] my body melts with the kinetic sand, falls apart and then comes back together clean just like that. I can feel my organs separate and decompress and then curl back to fit neatly inside. I love the sand. I thought it would be beautiful visually, but the physical sensation is even better. It was actually quite an ugly substance when I was looking at it earlier. It made me think of ant larvae. Like I could see little dark heads appearing in these clearish tanish eggs.I then became very aware of how I was playing with rubbish. Like, glue and dust and chemicals globbed together. But it didnít feel gross. I watched it become alive and then very artificial again, swapping between the two.

I wonder whether I need proof in writing or memory or drawing of how intense the visuals are? I wonder who I want to please.
I donít want to spend too long wrestling with thoughts, either. Today is about hedonism, but itís my first time in a very long time trying to also catalog the trip. So itís a bit confused on that part. I keep wondering when Iím allowed to just lie back and enjoy it. But every time I do, I am jolted awake, feeling the need to note how beautiful something looks or feels. It is now 4:47 PM. The music is talking about aliens and there is a sky of stars rotating above me. I note that there is no resurgence of nausea as a result of taking more acid 2 hours after the first dose. I look at the picture of the milky way above me and imagine that in this photo, there are so many trillions of life forms looking back at me, tripping on their little rock. I watch their entire world drift by like a pixel on my ceiling.

The incredible lights on my ceiling undulate between looking like HD renderings of octopus skin, to doilies breaking up the sunlight overhead, to stalagmite castles dripping off the ceiling. [The visuals at this point played a lot with positive/negative space. The stars and the darkness in the image would shift in their roles. Sometimes the darkness was space, the absence of stuff. And the white of the stars was all the matter in the universe. But quickly they would flip and the stars would become light from our sun, and the blackness would be the matter blocking it out. As though I sat with a straw basket over my head, or looking up through a knitted blanket and watching spots of light break through its pores. The shapes surrounding the light took on decorate flowery shapes, which made them appear like doilies.]

+ 3.5 Hours
Holding trillions of grains of sand in my hands, feeling them go through my fingers, while watching countless little stars on the ceiling, I think a lot about the difference between space and matter. Of negative space and positive space. Of filling and being. I watch the cosmos split like amoebas overhead, and ponder the boundary between myself and the air and the dogs and the mites on my face and the neurons in my brain. Everything fits very neatly together like a zipper.

+ 4 Hours
[At this point I started speaking with D, because he was done working. He took notes for me about my thoughts as I told him about them. I contemplated how much I want to take notes versus experience the trip in the present moment.
I contemplated how much I want to take notes versus experience the trip in the present moment.
In my scratch paper I had written something similar. My mind kept coming back to this idea of the observer versus the tower. In my mind, the tower was like a radio tower, like a beacon that sends out a signal to communicate with others. The observer was just watching, maybe listening to other towers. I felt uncertain about how much I wanted to be a tower versus an observer. But I kept coming back to the notes because I felt there was some value in them. And in my scratch paper, I was pondering that value when I wrote ď Is the point having this later or now?Ē regarding whether the scratch paper was supposed to be a fun activity to enjoy in the moment, or a tool to record my thoughts so I wouldnít forget them later.]

+5 Hours
[D and I talked about his anxiety. He asked me for a diagnosis, with my new heightened awareness provided by the hallucinogen. I felt very strongly in that moment that I saw him clearly. The very soul of him. Underneath his tastes and hobbies, underneath his ego, his lizard-self. My mind recalled a documentary we watched together about evolution. In the documentary, the very first life forms - something akin to a jellyfish - twitched to life from the tip of an ocean plant. And as it detached from the plant, it fluttered anxiously. Constant convulsions this way and that way. It did not have eyes or ears, so it could hardly sense anything about its environment. But still the little jellyfish ventured out to explore it. I told D that he is like this jellyfish. He cannot see or hear the danger, but he feels its presence, and he knows he must move as fast as his little limbs can twitch him along. But also that this innate inner restlessness, while the cause of his anxiety, is also the root of his intelligence. It is a seeking impulse. To discover. I imagine the little jellyfish seeks to map its environment, as it flings itself about. It must hurry to find its bearings, so it can beat the enemy it has yet to see. I told D that is my diagnosis of his situation. And I felt that Iíd gained a new appreciation for him and his anxious core. I felt tremendous love for him, but I didnít tell him then. I felt that it would sound like an effect of the drug rather than my genuine appreciation for who he is.]

+5.5 hours
[D talked to me about his body, because heís on a health and fitness journey this year. He stood in front of me and described the muscles he would like to build out, and as he did, his body morphed in front of me. At one point, his hair became more orange than brown, his beard became thicker, and his entire upper body seemed to broaden around the shoulders. He suddenly looked like a lumberjack from an animated movie. It all happened in the span of a minute or less, as he described his physique. His appearance shifted four or five times in that short span, and I found it very amusing. It felt as though Iíd gotten glimpses into Dís of different dimensions.

I told him about how he looked like a lumberjack, and that spawned a lecture about the difference between logs and lumber, and that they really should be called logjacks. I listened to his lecture with a smile from ear to ear. As he talked, I enjoyed the imagery in a way I hadnít experienced before. When he told me about the logs in the machine, how they tumble and a saw lops off chunks of wood, I felt as though I could see the process manifest in front of me. It felt almost like I could smell the fresh wood. (Itís important to note that I didnít actually see logs appear before me or smell pine. I just imagined it much more vividly than I would otherwise, and I enjoyed that.) I realized that itís very pleasant to listen to descriptions that include lots of imagery while tripping, and decided I will pay more attention to it in songs I like. Maybe I should buy a book of poems, and read those while tripping.

As he was talking about lumber versus logs, I looked at his face and saw that he looked anxious. His eyes darted around. He was sitting uncomfortably on the floor. He was speaking fast, and he seemed eager to fill the silence. I felt a little guilty, knowing that heís anxious about me tripping. That he likely felt a great distance between us while I was in that state; one heís trying to bridge. Then I felt intensely grateful, for how good and kind he is, how hard he was trying to reach me in this place, that I know he wishes I wouldnít go to. This time, I did tell him that I love him. Specifically, I said, ďthis is what I love about you,Ē as he caught his breath at the end of the lumberjack lecture. Because I enjoyed the imagery so much. Because he made that effort to talk with me even though Iím not a good conversationalist on acid. Because he was trying so hard to be there with me, even though he wasnít happy with my choices.]

[At this point, about 6 hours in, I stopped taking notes for a long time. I pretty much just went back to playing with my kinetic sand, listening to music, and watching the galaxy projection. But within another hour or so, I felt that the intense effects of the acid were over. It was no longer interesting enough simply to lie there with the music, sand, and stars. I went to the bedroom to snuggle with D and the dogs. We swapped from the Classic Trip playlist, which has Shpongle and Ott on it, to the Chill Trip playlist, thatís more like Simon and Garfunkel, ELO, and Supertramp type songs. I still had some visuals, but they didnít feel strong enough to be entertaining on their own. My next note was at 3:24 AM, when I remarked on how some hints of visuals still remained.]

+13.5 hours (3:24 AM)
The galaxy projector was turned off long ago, but stars remain glinting behind the surface of my ceiling. The longer I look, the more of them return. Little milky ways form. I look down to type in my phone and see lines connecting stars, above, in my peripheral vision. They along with the dim string lights bring back my night sky. What an amazing projector. It and the sand together, feeling it melt in my hands, I really felt myself come apart and back together again like quadrillions of particles blasted through space by the Big Bang and smashing back together to create intricate little breathing feeling shapes. It was glorious. The green lava lamp was also choice. It created bands of cybernetic light around each sphere of lava.

+14 hours (3:40 AM)
Even in the dim light of the string lights, they illuminate a remaining webbing in space. Labels, ribbons, and projections made of light that wrap around objects.

Eventually, sometime before 4 AM, I fell asleep. I felt tired but happy the next day. To me, the day after an acid trip feels like a snow day. A slow, lazy, peaceful kind of day. In the days that followed, I picked up some new Udemy courses on art and programming. Iíve noticed a pattern of inspiration that follows my acid trips where I tend to pick up new art forms and hobbies around the same time that I start tripping again. That made me happy, even though I didnít reach the peak of hedonism that I was looking for. The trip felt visually weaker than the 400 ug trips that preceded it. However, I did feel that I had more ego-death type of feelings on the higher, asynchronous dose. I think it was weaker because I wasted my peak, preoccupied with the decision about taking more, and ended up distracted. Still, I had a marvelous experience, particularly watching the galaxy projector while playing with the kinetic sand.

I will continue searching for the peak of hedonism, but first I have to earn another trip. For me, itís easy to go overboard with the acid and do it too frequently. For that reason, I make goals for myself after a trip and decide on something that would make me feel accomplished and justify the next one. LSD can be a tremendously inspiring substance, but the risk for me comes when that inspiration doesnít lead to any action. When all the time is spent in inspiration-land and not enough time is spent in making-it-happen-land. So, until next time, Iíll be working on those new courses.

Exp Year: 2023ExpID: 117858
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: 31
Published: Apr 9, 2024Views: 15
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LSD (2) : General (1), Alone (16)

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