Citation: King Louie. "I Just Don't Get It: An Experience with MDMA (Ecstasy) & Various (exp13223)". Erowid.org. Feb 17, 2005. erowid.org/exp/13223
MDMA has always to me been profound. A profound disappointment, that is. I don’t know if my brain chemistry is goofy or if I have some sort of serious chemical imbalance, but on this substance I have typically been overwrought with negativity and only vaguely conscious of the so-called euphoria MDMA supposedly yields. Bizarrely, I have never interacted with another human who has taken this substance and experienced the same dearth of positive activity.
I am an experienced psychedelic user with a well-voiced affinity for most every psychedelic I can remember having tried. The ‘hallucinogens’ I have used include, in no particular order: Marijuana, LSD, Psilocybin, LSA, Nutmeg, Datura, Mescaline, 2C-T-7, AMT, DiPT, 5-MeO-DiPT, DPT, 5-MeO-DMT, diphenhydramine, DXM, Salvia Divinorum, and Nitrous Oxide. I have tried all of these substances on multiple occasions and, with the exception of DXM (which I have never taken to the third plateau), at a variety of dosages and in a variety of clever combinations. I consider all of the above drugs to be ‘safe’, when used responsibly, and the only drug I made the mistake of not fully educating myself about before first tasting was LSD (that's a lesson!).
I consider my drug use spiritual, an integral part of my ‘religious’ beliefs. When I take a psychedelic, it’s a big deal, and it’s always for a reason. I’m not trying to discover the secret of life through drugs, but I sincerely believe that the substances listed above open certain doors for me that allow me to deal with myself in a psychically and emotionally productive manner. They educate, and I am especially receptive to the type of interactive learning their spirits provide. Given the oft-touted therapeutic or ‘healing’ qualities of MDMA, I was obviously quite interested in this drug for a while. I was not seeking a cheap thrill or an escape from my daily hell (I don’t put myself in one), but something deep that I felt I could work on myself with. With most of the drugs I listed above, this purpose is rather well served.
IT’S NOT LIKE I DIDN’T GIVE IT A FAIR CHANCE
During the year or so that I sought out MDMA, I was not plugged into any social circles into which it regularly flowed. Like most drug users, I have drug-using friends, but mine at this time were not especially into MDMA. Therefore, the MDMA that did come to me came largely by chance.
My first experience came from inside a $35(!) off-yellow pill. This was probably my worst E trip ever. My dealer had told me that the pill 'contained 20% cocaine'. I had not tried cocaine before this, either. I spent the majority of my roll lying on the floor, with the worst headache I have ever had, more nauseated than I had ever been, just trying to relax under the boom of my racing heart and twitching muscles. I couldn’t listen to music and I was in a profoundly negative state of mind the entire time, just trying to escape from the experience while my girlfriend comforted me. I remember very little else, no euphoria, no peak, no waves of energy. The hangover the next day was so ridiculous that I couldn’t even get out of bed except to excrete. (I gave a friend another of the same type of pill, and he ate it and said that it 'probably had heroin in it', which I have also never done. Who knows – this was my first lesson in the sad fact that in this day and age, unless you truly know your source, it is impossible to know what you are getting, unless you’re psychic.)
My next experience involved receiving 2.5 candy-colored pills from a friend in exchange for some other materials. I recall eating 1.5 pills initially, and eating the rest a couple of hours later. This was probably my best MDMA experience. I was actually rolling, I felt connected to the people I was around, not socially but spiritually, tactile sensations were enhanced in a manner I can only compare to LSD, and I felt pretty good. I felt like I ‘got’ E. However, no insights were really gained from this experience. It was a purely recreational state, and I came away from it feeling absolutely no closer to the people I had rolled with. The hangover the next day was only slightly better than the aftermath my first roll. This was compounded by my having to drive a long distance. Coffee helped a little, but not much. I was left confused, not exactly eager to try it again.
My next two experiences came in the form of two separate gifts from different friends of the same kind of pill, plain white, MDMA apparently 'laced with some 2C-B'. These experiences were not overtly negative in the same sense as the first, but they were not nearly so euphoric as the second (partially attributable to a significantly smaller dose of MDMA). During the first experiment I ate a pill following the long peak of a moderate dose of AMT, perhaps my third or fourth time on AMT. This was the trip during which MDMA seemed like it could be the most useful. The AMT dominated the roll, but the MDMA did add a powerful spiritual effect I can only describe as ‘shamanistic’. The AMT added an introspective dimension to the MDMA that did allow for some spiritual work to be done. By this point I had discovered 5-HTP, which greatly abated the severity of any hangover (and all subsequent MDMA hangovers), with the assistance of the AMT afterglow and quality marijuana.
I ate the second pill a week or so later, on its own, and with it I smoked marijuana. This is where MDMA began to seem vague to me. The psychedelic effects of the small amount of 2C-B made the roll seem like some sort of kiddie version of acid. I played some music while rolling (I’m a musician) and found an increase in creative impetus, but that happens to me on most any psychedelic, and the roll wasn’t particularly exceptional in that regard. I felt ‘speedy’ and euphoric, but nothing mind-bending or remotely surprising, just mildly pleasant. There was a transparency to the E that made it difficult to tell what substance was doing what, or to what extent the perceived effects existed only in my imagination.
My next two experiences source from a so-called friend, whom I’ll call Jesus, in exchange for other materials. I received four white pills which, after the vagueness of the previous experience, I was inclined to take in just two doses. Both doses were taken with moderate doses of 5-MeO-DiPT, with which I was already quite familiar, and a liberal quantity of marijuana was smoked throughout. I had heard that the combination of Foxy and MDMA was particularly ‘good’, and, since both substances were on hand, I decided to mix them.
The first of these two experiences was one of the most dramatic/horrific of my life. The roll was quite intense, but the vagueness described above returned and seemed to numb my ability to think, as though I were in a sensory-overload primal fog. The MDMA definitely potentiated the 5-MeO-DiPT in some way, as I was tripping much harder on it than I ever had before, even at doses twice as high. I was not prepared to be in such a bamboozled state around Jesus (he was on the same substances), with whom I have had many a psychic battle in the past. The drugs, in spite of my otherwise being in a fog, made me psychically clairvoyant and very sensitive about my personal space (fortunately this combo would be quite psychically useful). Just after the peak, it became clear to me that Jesus had a crush on me that he had been harboring for quite some time.
Unfortunately, Jesus is a depraved, borderline psychotic who feels it necessary to treat everyone he’s attracted to like they’re garbage. He also, in spite of being relatively experienced with psychedelics, just can’t seem to integrate or accept his LSD experiences. We were with two other (real) friends, and when they left the room, Jesus attempted to flirt with me and hug me and such, calling me beautiful and whatnot. I had heard of E filling people with disillusion, basically putting them into a fantasy/child-like state, and here it was right before my eyes. However, I was not really able to think of his state in these terms because I was certainly not in that state myself, being almost completely overwhelmed and hardly able to think (much more intense than peaking on larger LSD doses), and because in my eyes, I had always seen my relationship with this ‘friend’ as being completely adversarial, though we had never directly traded harsh words nor physical violence. So, naturally, I freaked out when he tried to get close, as he had never done this before. I gently pushed him away and found that I had to push a bit harder against his resistance. I turned around and, without a word, left to return to the company of my other two friends in another room.
When Jesus entered the room, he said nothing of what had just happened; neither did I, because I didn’t want to embarrass him and I felt ashamed of myself by that point for having allowed him to get so close. He made a point out of sitting down right next to me, and trying to hold my hand. For the rest of the evening I made sure that the other two friends were around us, and he proceeded to follow me around and try to grab my hand wherever I settled. As I was also rather embarrassed about how much something so simple freaked me out, I didn’t say anything to him.
Meanwhile, I was going nuts. Jesus was definitely trying to encroach on my physical and psychic space. I was especially sensitive to this because of the drugs; it was almost like being stabbed with a burning bayonet continuously (not that that’s ever happened to me). I had to continuously force him out of my mental space, and keep him from trying to invade, for a couple of hours until his energy and disillusionment waned and relative sanity returned. He was trying to act as though he, the E fairy, was ushering me into some sort of special world. But it was clear that he knew he was freaking me out and liked it, and wanted to cause me some sort of trauma… had I left the company of the other two friends, I sincerely believe he would have tried to rape me. I know he's mentally ill, but it still doesn't feel very good.
My other two friends were acting like his behavior was totally normal, us being on E and all. I imagine they must have thought I was undergoing some sort of intense drug experience, and that Jesus was trying to ‘comfort’ me by holding my hand, in spite of our generally obvious disdain for one another. In reality I would have been able to handle the drugs just fine, and probably quite enjoy them, had Jesus simply left me alone. I started to get really paranoid to the extent where I thought the other two friends were in on it or something, like they wanted me to fuck him, which is the last thing I wanted to do. Jesus left the room for a moment and I expressed my concerns to them, and they told me that I was being paranoid and to relax. I told them I was uncomfortable with how Jesus was acting, but I don’t think I was really able to explain it very clearly in my disheveled state, because they didn’t seem to take it too seriously. This was not very comforting. To top it off, my headache and heart pounding from my first ever MDMA experience were back in full force, making me twitchy and nervous (we weren’t dancing, just sitting around talking and listening to music).
Needless to say, I felt no closer to anyone present during the above experience from having rolled with them. I left that evening quite traumatized and confused as to how and why what had happened could be. I felt spiritually raped by Jesus. It is only several months later that I was able to interpret with any degree of certainty what really happened or why; I believe it happened as described above (from my subjective perspective). I think the MDMA made me especially vulnerable to psychic attack, and the attack was especially effective because I was so surprised by it and unprepared to deal with it. I am generally quite psychically sensitive in the first place. Jesus, being more experienced with E and less respectful of boundaries and the fact than other people are real too, was aware of this weakness and exploited it. I feel comfortable with what happened now but I was plagued by anxiety attacks, and by purely psychic attacks from Jesus, regardless of our geographic separation, for several months as a direct result of this experience. Not too long ago I got him to go away :)
A couple of days after the bad roll, I decided I had to revisit the state in an effort to conquer my previous trauma. It didn’t really work. Jesus was around, but he was quite out of it from a large dose of AMT, so from him I was safe. However, the combination was not nearly so strong, it having only been two days since my previous trip/roll, so I was not able to reach anything near the same state. I spent most of the evening introspective and alone, but I found it difficult to do any work on my mind because the shallowness of 5-MeO-DiPT wasn’t really up to making the MDMA state meaningful.
My last (or most recent) MDMA came through another barter from a chance encounter with an old friend. I received 1 capsule, allegedly full of 180mg of pure MDMA. He claimed it was enough for three people, which I knew to be bullshit.
One night, I ate 2/3 of the powder. This is where MDMA became just plain confusing. I was expecting some sort of perceptible effect, but all I got was a slight increase in heartbeat. If I tried, I could conceive that some sort of perceptual window had been opened in my head. I have read of MDMA allowing patients to let go of fear when viewing their emotions. I was able to conceive that opportunity could have been occurring with me, but I don’t know how I would have known – because I felt entirely normal, mentally and emotionally. I guess I’m already not afraid of my emotions; I don’t need MDMA to do that!
A few days later, I decided to smoke the remaining 1/3 of the powder. I was hoping for the instant ‘rush’ of E effects that I have seen referred to when one does this, if for nothing else to get a better handle on what exactly those effects are. Of course, I was in the middle of a pot binge at the time, so I don’t know if I was feeling much anyway, but smoking the E yielded absolutely no noticeable effect. Placebo?
Given the above experiences, I’m not sold on MDMA as a drug for personal use, especially given the current street prices and the prevalence of adulterants. For me, the extent and nature of the effects have been highly variable, ranging from ‘so intense I can’t think’ to ‘nothing’. I’m not very comfortable with how much of a body high there is; I like drugs that get into my head without screwing up my heartbeat or my breathing, or making all of my muscles tense up to the point of physical pain.
I’m also not convinced that MDMA is a benevolent material. Despite the so-called ‘pure’ euphoria, the withdrawal is really nasty, and it seems to only get worse with regular use (5-HTP aside). Regular use also seems to yield chronic anxiety/depression in a lot of people. Some don’t seem to realize that the MA stands for methamphetamine – I think it’s a serious, hard drug, fundamentally different from the psychedelics that are reasonably harmless, like LSD or tryptamines, for example. MDMA also seems like alcohol in a shiny suit – people’s inhibitions can get undermined to the point where they don’t know who they are or what they’re doing at all, which can be quite dangerous. It’s especially tragic when such people treat that particular state as the goal or point of using the drug, I’ve seen it turn into a quasi-religious quest for self-abuse and depravity, in Jesus and others. Granted, a healthy person wouldn’t do this – but there are a lot of unhealthy drug users out there. Also, from all other drugs, I get at least some sense of spirit from the chemical, including synthetics -- but from MDMA that spirit is like a black hole, a mystery that fails to shed light on itself -- that makes me suspicious. (Then again, maybe it's just not for me.)
I’ve been able to learn a lot from all of the other drugs I’ve done, including such baddies as alcohol, opium, and nicotine, but MDMA just leaves me feeling bad about myself for not understanding or enjoying. This is especially frustrating because I’m well aware that I’ve passed the threshold at which most users report MDMA losing its ‘special’ quality, which has only occurred for me once. I really love all of the psychedelics, especially phenethylamines like 2C-T-7 and mescaline. But, as much as some people love it, E just doesn’t do it for me.
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