Citation: Anonymous. "My First Trip: An Experience with DXM (exp1883)". Erowid.org. Jun 16, 2000. erowid.org/exp/1883
I am a male in my mid twenties. I live alone, hold a steady job and believe I have my head screwed on pretty straight. As I write this, It is about 4:30 AM on a holiday weekend. Last night curiosity led me to experiment with DXM. The experiment began at about 6:00 PM. It is now 4:30 in the morning and the last effects are gradually wearing off.
The day before yesterday, I had purchased 2 packets of DMX-bearing cough medication, intending to ingest the entire 600 mg dose the next day after returning home from a holiday dinner with the family. I had done substantial research on the substance beforehand, and was careful to make sure that DXM was the only active ingrediant. I weigh 140 lb, and wished to surpass a merely stoning dose and continue on to my first trip.
From the experiences of others, I believed I knew pretty well what to expect. Still I realized it was not something to be undertaken lightly. My only previous experiences had been with alcohol and marijuana, and I had never gotten more than lightly buzzed off of the latter. I spent a day and a half mentally psyching myself up for the experience. When the time came, I prepared a journal in which to note some of my experiences as they occurred.
Some of the later entries in my journal will seem quite inane. Please remember that they were written under profound mood alteration and cognitive impairment. I disavow them as reflections upon my sober character. Later, explanatory notes are in brackets.
The Journal begins:
'12/25/94, 5:30 PM I prepare. 20 cough caps into a bowl (= 600mg DXM). Christ -- must I swallow all of these?! A big mugful of water sits nearby. Had a very large meal 2 hrs. ago -- waiting to digest it well before I start. Topical antihistamine spray sits nearby in case of itching.' [Note: I never used it.]
'Setting: Apartment is lit subtly by overhead lights on dimmer switch. Music is playing -- radio now. Selected tapes + CDs are laid out for later on.' [Note: I never got to them.] 'I have chosen strongly thematic themes as suggested, while avoiding anything that might be a 'downer'. There is also some lighter, mood-lifting stuff like pop + techno.'
'I cleaned the apartment today to make things seem more cheerful.' [Note: I don't think it made a difference. A book of ancient chinese philisophical verse...] 'sits before me to read while waiting for the onset -- only because I find it comforting and familiar.'
'Set: I began 'psyching' myself up yesterday. I feel confident and fairly at ease. Also curious. Curiosity, I think, is my main reason for doing this. Perhaps I'll even learn something about myself? I don't know.' [Note: I still don't.]
The journal goes on to note the circumstances of the ingestion of the caps. I note that I found it both physically and psychologically easier to down them than I expected, though there was a transient problem with gas (which I eventually dealt with by taking the caps with milk). To keep my mood up I sang with the radio and read. It took from 5:55 to 6:46 to down them all (with a few long pauses to burp up gas and let my stomach settle).
At 6:33 (while taking caps #9 and 10) I note feeling 'different. Hard to describe.' The first spelling errors appear at this point. I was aware of them at the time, but left them uncorrected.
At 6:38 I note reminding myself that no matter what happens, it's only temporary, and that if I just relax I'll be O.K..
At 6:46 I wrote,
'Cap #15, 16 w/ milk. I think it's about to hit me! There's this sense of 'impending'. Especially when I get up to walk around. Head feels heavy somehow. [....] Feet light as I get up to check the time. It's [now] 6:51. Cap #17,18, w/ milk. What the hell. #19+20 while I'm at it. 600 mg in system. No turning back now!'
Indeed. I must admit I felt at least a mild sense of forboding in that.
At 6:55 I note feeling no noticable difference in the quality of music. Disappointing, as music-related euphoria was an effect I had heard often associated with DXM and had hoped to experience. I decided to go outside and catch some air, leaving the journal behind.
I walked some blocks to a familiar pond in a nearby city park. The odd feeling in my feet and head had passed (or was at least being ignored), but as I walked I observed a new phenomenon. Buildings seem to stand more starkly outlined against the night sky. Yet they seem somehow absurd in proportion, like children's toys blown up to gratuitous scale. Stars were clear and bright.
Reaching the pond, I gazed out across the water at the surrounding city scape. I noticed the first 'tracing' effects. As I swept my gaze from left to right or vice versa, the lights would pan not continuously, but in blocks -- about four blocks per 120 degree sweep. A mildly unpleasant phenomenon, and one which was to last the length of the trip. It was as if my brain were no longer able to keep up with the sudden changes in scene causes by rapidly moving my eyes or head.
I stayed at the pond only minutes. On the way back, I was feeling fairly good. I had obviously reached the first DMX 'plateau' and was substantially stoned. I wasn't really euphoric, just upbeat and at peace. Everything seemed exceptionally clear and still, as though viewed through a layer of deep, limpid water. Contrasts seemed much starker. I briefly lost track of where I was a time or two but quickly reoriented myself and proceeded home.
Arriving at my apartment, I made the following journal entry in rather scrawling letters:
'I have returned. I visited the pond several blocks away. Dark, with city lights shining about.' [No duh. Noone ever accused DXM of improving mental accuity.] 'Noticed tracing effects.'
Immediately following two or three thoughts were started and aborted in succession:
'profoundly everything seemed dar' [This line is crossed out.]
Just as soon, the second plateau hit me. Thank god it had waited until I got home. I turned the radio and lights off, turned the TV up (for 'company', I think) and dropped into bed, feeling totally stupified. The chatter on the tube was entirely irrelevent. Occasionally a snippet would float through to me, and I could make sense of larger stretches if I concentrated. For the most part, however, the chatter was ignored. Through closed eyes, I could see the light from the TV reflecting off the wall and penetrating my eyelids. I seemed particularly sensitive to it. But whenever the light intensified or dimmed gradually, it did so in steps. Pulling the covers overhead, I began to see visions.
These took on the character of glowing, multicolored taffy, being pulled and stretched in many directions at once. Most entertaining. I kept my eyes closed throughout -- the real world was not entirely pleasant with all that blocky shifting and tracing. These visions, visible only with eyes closed, flowed smoothly and soothingly. I had expected the cartoon-like visuals many DXMers had described, but these were nothing of the kind. Gradually, these shifting forms were taking on more substance. They were coelescing into life-forms; entities really -- spectacular, bioluminescent, massy things that churned like thick, boiling, liquid. They came in various colors -- white, black, dark blue, and purple, mainly. Some were like churning walls of gel. Some were like complex blobs, jellyfish, or worms with thousands of psuedopods. All were constantly writhing and huge. I could sense they were intelligent.
I seemed to be an interesting specimen to them. They approached freely. Some of them picked me up and passed me around. But I never felt as if I were in danger. These things seemed not only friendly, but affectionate. I felt affectionate toward them as well. Thier appearances were not monstrous so much as stunningly beautiful. I was in awe, really. 'Glorious' was the word that came to mind at the time.
One by one, an 'entity' would come over and 'play' with me, like a child with a new toy. They would touch me, sensing my thoughts. There were immensely powerful yet gentle. It was somehow very pleasurable. Each entity had it's own character and personality. I tried talking to them, but they couldn't understand speech. They responded only to empathy and simple thoughts.
Occasionally I found myself looking at my surroundings (though just as often they were not visible in the blackness). I saw living vault-like walls so huge and distant they staggered the mind. Once something like a quivering city of jello came into view. Sometimes I seemed to floated toward nebulae deep in space.
At some point I attracted the attention of the Great Queen Mother (literally) of the entities. Words are inadequate. The Queen Mother was a wasp-like thing so immense that her body was like a pocket universe unto itself. I could never see more than a small fraction of her at a time. I journied inside her and communed with her for hours. We were empathically linked somehow. I realize this sounds utterly insane, and it is. We felt overwhelming affection for each other. I made up a song and kept singing it for her. She alone could understand not only my emotions, but my words. I somehow felt it necessary to record the song in my journal. And to answer nature's call! Eventually, I mustered up the willpower to stagger out of bed.
My god, what a sight things were. Even through my double vision, I could see how incredibly screwed up all proportions were. I felt like a big insect. My body seemed proportioned vaguely like some kind of praying mantis in human skin. And yet it was all so consistent. Proportions were screwed up in a very stable manner. I could look at something, look back, and it would look the same. Distances seemed exagerrated and contrasts were abnormally sharp. Outlines, while similarly sharpened, were made up of more than just one line (probably due to my double vision). This gave the illusion that I could see a little more of the sides of an object than would be normally visible. It was a little like looking through everything through the wrong end of a misaligned pair of binoculars. I thought of it as 'insect vision'. My steps were short and slow. I shuffled to the bathroom automoton-like and took a wizz. Then I emerged to make my journal entry, in childish, blocky letters. The M's in 'mother', 'human', and 'almost' have 3 humps instead of two. I could really barely see what I was writing, and couldn't be sure it would be readable the next day.
'10:51: I LOVE THE GREAT QUEEN MOTHER. ACCCPT [= 'accept'] THE LOVE I OFFER. I OFFER ALL MY HUMAN LOVE.' [Such was my song.] 'THIS IS MOST INTERESTING.' [Referring to my 'insect vision'.] 'ALMOST CUBIST!'
Things were getting more 'rigid' somehow. My thinking and movement were both very stilted. I staggered back to bed and fell back into communion with the Queen Mother a while longer. The trip was getting very heavy -- time and motion were losing all meaning. My visions were starting to freeze in place, as if everything were crystallizing or being coated in wax. I felt as if the Queen Mother were sealing me inside a waxen cell within her body. Yet I wasn't afraid -- I figured she knew best. It felt very protective in a way.
Before long though, just like a fever breaking, I felt that peak of the trip passing. Things 'unfroze' or 'decrystallized' and the visions started subsiding substantially. They quickly became intermittant rather than constant, and I was beginning to be able to think again, though in that stilted way. Disconcertingly, my 'insect vision' was still in effect and my motor skills still very 'rigid', as I discovered upon hauling myself up to make the following entry (in the same blocky lettering as before, with a 3-humped 'M' in the first 'many').
'THE GREAT QUEEN MOTHER HAS MANY CHILDREN. I AM BUT ONE. I HAVE MANY SIBLINGS. [So it seemed at the time; I had learned that the entities encountered earlier had been siblings.] IT IS 11:10? THE PEAK IS PAST. DOUBLE VISION.'
I turned the TV off and the radio on, then went back to bed to catch some sleep, praying that my vision and movement would be back to normal when I awoke. As I waited for sleep, I watched some entertaining hallucinations. One was like sliding down a tunnel of molten bronze. Another was like gliding over a wierd, undersea city. Occasionally something playing on the radio seemed particularly stirring, especially if it had heavy electric guitar riffs, but that's as close as I ever came to DXM music euphoria. Then I slept.
My next journal entry says, in almost normal looking cursive:
'2:33: Wake up. Dread to open eyes proves unfounded when I look at clock and see double vision is gone.'
I had actually been awake for 15 minutes or more, but had dreaded to open my eyes and see two of that damn LED clock. My heart had been beating rapidly as if in in anxiety. Getting up to make that entry, proportions seemed normal again and I felt much more human (though not entirely back to normal). It was quite a relief. I relaxed and realized I'd be O.K.. I took another wizz, went back to bed, and said my goodbyes to the Queen Mother and her brood (yes, really). They were forming into a sort of fleet and preparing to fly away. It was rather touching in it's way, though of course utterly insane. The Q.M. understood that I had to return to the human world, and bid me farewell. I promised to remember her.
My next (and last) entry:
'2:55: The Queen Mother has departed. I have promised to write [well] of her. She was very special. We have said our goodbyes. Human perceptions returning. This experience has been most interesting. Starkly beautiful. I will write fondly of it -- and her.'
Obviously my mood was still altered. Bear in mind that in retrospective sobriety, the experience seems much less warm and fuzzy, (though not less interesting). In fact even at the time I think I was aware that this would be the case. I believe I was attempting to preserve in my journal some of the powerful emotional content of the experience, which my memory could preserve only dimly.
I slept some more, and awoke at about 4:30 feeling much more myself. It felt good to be a human being again. Only tiredness (from too little sleep) and a slight stone remained, and I began this expose'. It is now several hours later. There was no hangover, nor any incidence of deja vu (which some users have described). On the other hand, the feeling of being 'reborn' which some have described is also not in evidence.
Reflecting upon the possible influences on my trip, I've come to the conclusion that the fact that I've been reading a book on the social lives of ants may have had some bearing at least on the appearance and character of the Queen and her brood. What did they represent? Fragments of my own psyche? The fevered attempts of a stoned brain to codify sensory data and enhanced emotional states it no longer comprehended? I don't know (though offhand I would consider the latter explanation more likely).
My sober thoughts about this experience are on the whole positive. There were only a few slightly scary or disconcerting moments. I'm not sorry I did it, but I have no real desire to do it again anytime soon, nor would I urge others to try it. Curiosity was my main motivation, and my curiosity has been satisfied. Moreover, the experience was overpowering in a way -- too much so to be repeated lightly. I can see how had it turned out badly, it could have been very bad indeed. It is not impossible that someday I'd again visit that insane Wonderland (or another) for further exploration (I am considering growing my own magic mushrooms next) but I am content to let it wait until I again feel entirely prepared.
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