Citation: E. Gates. "My Wealth of Knowledge: An Experience with DXM (exp22811)". Erowid.org. Oct 26, 2006. erowid.org/exp/22811
I’ve been using DXM for six years now, and it’s still my favorite drug. MDMA/AMT is a close second, but nothing tops the strange euphoria of a tussin trip. I started popping DXM pills back in 1996, when Drixoral still sold the red liqui-caps. (Old skool! I miss ‘em.) It was my first year at college, and my friend and I were searching for drug info on the Internet.
From what I read, I desperately wanted to try LSD, but there was no trip in town (election year). My friend and I took DXM instead; we were going to trip one way or another. For our first experience we swallowed two boxes of Drixoral Cough Liqui-Caps—a low 3rd plateau dose. We’d read about the plateaus and knew it was a crapshot to take so much the first time, but at least we wouldn’t spend the evening wondering weather or not we were tripping. We definitely tripped!
I loved it; who cared if we ever found LSD? I roamed the dorm all night like a robot with a walkman, listening to the Chemical Brothers’ “Exit Planet Dust.” We rode the elevators up and down, as the universe revealed its secrets. I couldn’t believe something that dramatic was relatively unheard-of. My friend puked and flushed itchy red, but enjoyed it anyway. More and more people started tripping with us. We had 6-7 great experiences together that winter, “beyond the threshold of death,” like something from the movie Flatliners, but not as scary. The next day in the cafeteria we would discuss our experiences.
Now, six years later, I still use DXM an average of once a month. There were times in my life when I used it more than weekly, and even a one-year period where I didn’t use it at all. I’ve had a lot of experience with this drug.
I’ve popped capsules, encapsulated powder, and chugged Tussin syrup. After all this time, I still choose syrup when I want to trip. There are no more liqui-caps, and I wouldn’t touch Coricidin with a pole.
In my second year of DXM use I learned about pure DXM powder, and ordered 50 grams for $100. (It was cheap back then!) Before that, I was only taking DXM every month or two. Once the powder arrived I ingested 80%of it all by myself, over a five-month period. In retrospect, I must have developed one hell of a tolerance, because by the end of it I was stuffing two 00 caps chock-full and spacing them 4-5 hours apart. I took DXM every 3-4 nights while listening to techno and writing papers or surfing the net. It seemed to be a time of wonderful self-discovery and confidence. When the powder ran out, though, I was almost glad. I couldn’t live that way forever!
After that heaviest period of use, I felt disoriented and disassociated from life. The feeling lasted a long time, but I don’t know weather or not it was caused by DXM or reality since my life went to hell in a handbasket a week after the powder was gone. Unfortunate, unrelated events turned everything upside down, and things were pretty bad for the next four years, the first two being the worst. The things that happened in real life increased my stress so much that I no longer had the spare time/peace of mind to take DXM anymore anyway. There were also a lot of hard personal issues that I would have to tackle while finding myself at age 18, weather or not I was using.
The disassociated feeling I was left with could best be described a sense of emotionless unreality. But I still felt the emotions of hopelessness and depression. I’d stare at my (then) boyfriend and feel that we were stuck in a meaningless dream, then criticize myself for not being able to appreciate the moment. I wondered if I was the only unreal, abnormal person, and everyone/life around me was fine. It was lonely.
Other drugs that I’d been using in the months before, such as GHB, Dramamine, and a little bit of XTC, might have contributed. I could also have underlying psychological factors.
I remember looking at my boyfriend and feeling no emotion whatsoever, and wondering why and how he could have feelings for me when I felt nothing for anyone. I thought everything he said was fake. He said he loved me, but did he even comprehend what he was saying? It was just words! I said, “I love you” too, but questioned myself for that and pretty much everything else I said/did. I hated us both for being fake, and then I hated myself for hating him.
As circumstances improved, I stopped feeling like life was a dream, and I haven’t felt that way since. Life seems unreal sometimes, but it’s still the most concrete thing out there. I’ll either find acceptance where I can, or die without finding it at all. I’d like to say I’ve conquered my misgivings, but mental chemistry is a fickle thing. If used heavily again, there’s no guarantee I wouldn’t fall into the same mental traps, even though I “know better.” So these days I use DXM with care, still not knowing how much of a problem it can cause.
Moderate use after I started using it again meant 3p every week or two. (Hey, it was moderate in comparison, OK?) I had recently started dating the man of my dreams (who I’m still with), and we moved into an apartment together. One night I decided to take my first dose of DXM in a year, and asked him to try it with me. I knew he would either love it or hate it. He was surprised that he tripped so hard and ended up enjoying it almost as much as me, so we continued to use it together. That was the beginning of the second period of use.
After six or nine months, two 8-oz bottles of syrup wasn’t doing much for us. We had developed a tolerance. All the euphoria was gone from the experience, and we were left with only the bad side effects, like that itchy feeling. We quit for six months so that we could start using again. The abstinence was worth it, because after 6 months our DXM superpowers had returned! Zero gravity! Euphoria! Awesome insights pouring over memories of the previous day, month, years! Artistic inspiration! Everything!
During my third round of moderate use, my boyfriend and I accidentally discovered that taking just one(1) regular dose of benzodiazepine six to twelve hours before the DXM trip (but not during the DXM trip) took the experience to an entirely new level of euphoria and inspiration. It also smoothed all the rough spots and bad side effects.
After I started doing that, DXM was my favorite drug, topping even MDMA. I could get everything from DXM that MDMA had ever given me, and more. MDMA is truly euphoric, but sometimes seems comparatively “shallow” next to DXM (not when candyflipping).
My weekend trips were so refreshing, and the week afterwards was full of unearthly light. I thought my personality improved after DXM because I felt more sensitive/empathic to others. My temper rarely surfaced in the 2-3 day afterglow. I was the person I wanted to be, and I was never bored. Even the dialogue of a sitcom re-run had layers upon layers of meaning. DXM use coincided with many of the most productive writing/painting periods in my life.
I love the way DXM subdues the worst parts of my personality. Ironically, I have to warn that DXM induced some of the most awful rage I’ve experienced, almost like “‘roid rage?” (I don’t know; I don’t use speed, it makes me feel like shit.) This was mainly while I was using the powder heavily. Some little thing would make me furiously, insanely angry. I mean insane anger, like crouching in the shower at the dorm, shaking, wanting to wring necks, and screaming obscenities through clenched teeth. Simply because of something irritating the girl down the hall said, or anything equally stupid/inconsequential. I’m glad no one saw me. It was so psycho that I knew it wasn’t real anger, and it never caused me problems or lasted long. It was unquestionably an effect of the DXM. I wasn’t scared by it, because it didn’t come from myself. I was aware of how irrational it caused me to be, so I was careful. I haven’t felt the DXM rage in forever; it was only four or five isolated incidents.
After using DXM+Benzos for another six months, my boyfriend and I had to quit again for six more. We repeated the cycle several times. I missed DXM during the off-times, especially on long holiday weekends when there was nothing to do, but waiting was worthwhile.
In the last six months I’ve found that if we keep our DXM use down to once a month, we can still use it all year without nullifying the best effects. I can relate to most of the mental symptoms of DXM brain damage. But I’ve never had the common trouble with finding words or understanding metaphors, for instance. If anything, those skills improved, metaphors/meaning jumping out with a will of its own! (I was an English major, though.)
Messing w/your brain chemistry can really change your perspective into something irrational, no matter how sane you are while normal! I don’t even drink caffeine anymore because the stimulant effects undermine my peace of mind so terribly and inescapably that I want to die. Plus it makes me a bitch. Sometimes I wonder if half the animosity in the world is just one big unknown caffeine trip. There’s another crazy tripthought. I love and cherish my delusions, even cultivate them, while vacationing from reality. The nice ones, at least.
I know all about delusions. I relate totally to the DXM psychosis stories here on the ‘net. I only wish I had known these delusions/symptoms were common and explainable back while they were driving me nuts. Me, I just thought the universe was a fucked-up place! Before I started reading trip reports I thought those experiences were unique to myself. I felt strange, lonely, and defective. Now that I know what a delusion of reference really is, I no longer believe God is speaking to me through the TV, or guiding/threatening me through hidden meanings in the conversation I am trying to understand. At least, not after the trip is over.
Some delusions are nice, as long as I remember that they are…delusions.
When my boyfriend and I trip, we usually take a low- to mid- plateau 3 dose. We each get an 8-oz bottle of Tussin (cheapest) and drink 4 oz in the first 30-45 minutes. Three to six hours later we down the other 4-oz in a 30-45 minute period. We take longer or shorter to re-dose depending on how much tolerance we have and how high of a concentration we want to achieve.
Dosing and re-dosing is a science. What I have learned is: the faster I can down that first 4oz, the harder it will hit me and the more chance that I will have that (somewhat alarming) death and rebirth experience. I hate being sick, but I like the scary “I’m gonna die” feeling because it forces me into a calm state of total acceptance. Or shock.
DXM peaks from the second hour and ½, until the third or third-thirty. I aim to re-dose so that the second round kicks in while the effects of the first peak are still strong. I rarely stack peaks, because it makes me a zombi and I forget the whole trip.
Of course, I’ve had trips where I’ve dosed more than twice. Not counting the “powder days” (dosage unknown) I’ve gone all the way up to 4 separate 4-oz doses in a 36 hour period. Taking any more makes you too psychotic, or becomes so anesthetic that I waste the time in a stupor. I’ve never taken DXM daily for more than three days, maybe because the longer I stay in unreality the harder it is to revert back to the real world.
Doing this multiple dosing thing I have definitely reached “Plateau Sigma.” I have been there multiple times over the last six years, but infrequently. I love PS because the delusions become so deep that they cancel out reality—a real “trip!” This is also dangerous, but I’ve been lucky and kept my head for the most part.
Plateau 4 makes me feel like a vegetable. What a bore! Then again I haven’t done it in a long time. It’s not bad. I spent most of my time wondering what the hell was going on. It’s amazing that you can entirely forget your surrounding circumstances. With no past, no future, no understandable context, and not even the understanding that you should try to comprehend these things, it feels like an entirely different form of consciousness. I think that’s how an infant feels: no complete concepts, no questions, no sense of my own personality. Plateau 4 feels a lot like drinking liquid nitrous!! And it is impossible to understand how to walk down stairs. Strange, but in my opinion not so profound as being able to stay lucid and experience/remember the full trippy-ness!
Plateau 3 combines the best elements of all the plateaus. It has disorienting P4-like patches that break it up nicely, and some PS delusions, too. Music still sounds good, though it may distort. I love the floods of memories from years ago, or more commonly memories of the day before the trip. I normally have a bad memory but on DXM can recall minute details of events earlier that day without distraction. Situations stand out in detail, so much meaning hidden in them that I know the meaning must be very workable, insidious delusion. Otherwise the hidden beauty would have been relevant/obvious before.
I love the feeling that there is deeper meaning behind life. I truly believe there is, like a higher power, but I don’t feel the need to dwell on it because it will always be there weather I notice or not. It gives me freedom, to have powerful beliefs that aren’t required to rule my life. “God” is responsible for me, not I for God.
But I love to trip on the “hidden meanings.” It seems while interacting we are all turning things over in our collective mind, our subconscious minds discussing and realizing on their own hidden level even while we have the most ordinary conversation face to face. Like our souls naturally desire and work towards a deeper and deeper understanding and peace with our humanity and the universe. It’s a beautiful trip. It is so synchronized, so oddly coincidental, and so orderly/perfect, that I could stay in that mindset for hours. I think it’s the reason I love DXM.
By the way, there is nothing better than taking DXM the evening after I have been at a family reunion or with friends I haven’t seen in awhile. I can look back and see all the amazing ways your paths have crossed, the way your personalities have merged, your fascinating relationship, the wonderful future our souls seem destined for, and our eternal location together in a place outside space-time. While tripping I feel that because I am aware of this euphoric side of things, it can’t help but affect my actions then and later, in a positive way. Once the insight/appreciation for beauty is there, it doesn’t go away. Why should it have to? I trip on the fact that it might be self-perpetuating. Excited by the beauty of “hidden meaning” I react to it and then it becomes a factor in physical reality, rippling through space-time. If I believed this was not a delusion, I might have to allow its implied converse to be true—those bad trips falling into a sinister and hellish universe are also valid slivers of reality that perpetuate themselves (if they don’t instead help strengthen natural aversions to doom).
I’ve decided not to care weather or not any tripthought is true, no matter how beautiful, awful, or real. Reality is what it is, no matter what I think. It seems sufficient to strive for optimism and waste no time bothering about myths that never mattered before. Mystery makes it all the more intriguing. Anything I can grasp is too small!
If I hallucinate, it’s the typical eyes-closed, virtual reality-looking place you may have read descriptions of. Sometimes it becomes so abstracted that it’s more like being inside a concept than inside a VR scene. With my eyes open on high doses I sometimes cannot recognize what is right before me. It becomes a field of shattered light crawling across the bottom of an ocean. It’s as bare as a desert plain fading out into a blaze of white. I’ve had out-of-body hallucinations, but most weren’t that realistic because the “place” I explored was not a familiar location. Two or three were so realistic they might as well have been real. It seems like I had all of those on the DXM powder. In one, I remember opening my eyes to find that I was hanging upside down over my boyfriend’s red Persian rug in the living room (while I was in bed). The floor was like a foot below the top of my head. I guess I wasn’t good at out-of-body navigation yet!
During the whole trip I am always aware of a presence, maybe “God.” It seems to surface from the back of my mind, as if it has always been there, just not the center of attention. If it’s not God, it’s the future, or hope. I can’t describe this feeling of presence, but I’m sure that most people know what I mean, weather or not they trip. It’s not like another person so much as a part of myself that is unexplainably different, better, or higher than I. At higher doses, though, sometimes there seem to be actual other people in the room. When I was younger I would think my friend’s mom was walking around in the room with us during the trip. I’d keep vaguely, calmly wondering when she was going to notice and we would get in trouble!
Plateau 1 and 2 doses are nice, if I’ve been really bored and need something to break up my monotonous life. I have even managed this kind of dose at work (but I have a really simple job at a large corporation with rows and rows of cubicles) I love the way music sounds. I can feel the music down in my soul, like on MDMA, that same feeling of being lost in joy. I rarely take low doses because I want to save my tolerance for big trips. I rarely take the plateau sigma trips because they give me too much tolerance and I don’t want to aggravate my psyche. DXM has been pretty self-regulating, for me. Tolerance saves the day every time. I can’t get a habit, because the drug will just stop working. I marvel at the people online who write about being on plateau 2 daily. Not that I’ve ever tried, but I wonder what their secret is for avoiding the development of tolerance? Wait, actually, I DON’T want to know!
Finally (I know this is long but surely someone will appreciate it) I love the “DXM Reality.” I use this term to describe the consistent perspective DXM evokes. DXM is like putting on colored glasses, causing the same typical distortions every time. I have read other trips/delusions similar to this, but mine are no stolen dreams--just typical effects for this type of chemical. My description seems to be “physics”/holograph theory-flavored, maybe since I was reading Michael Talbot while doing all that powder, or maybe because those theories are the easiest trendy English descriptions I can play with.
My theory is that DXM destroys my orderly perspective of space and time. That explains why things seem larger or smaller than usual in space, and why time seems to speed up, slow down, or disappear entirely, as if you were looking at space/time from the outside in. “Proportional Distortion” was a good term I once read. Space-time is so proportionally distorted that your mind might as well be doing some sort of mathematical acrobatics, like PhotoShop effects. While I’m tripping, this and everything feels important. But when sober I can’t figure out why it was so important, how it was applicable, or how to take it seriously and still stay sane.
Space/ time is like one whole mass. Like a big glob or sphere but extra dimensional--nothing I could truly describe, because all words and learned ideas are part of the mass itself. They cannot contain it like a context. The context in which space/time can truly be observed must be “outside” of space/time, providing the perspective from which to observe this mass objectively. It would be useless to observe infinity from an objective point outside it, because infinity simply contains all factors whatsoever. Instead, observance is like a 2d man looking at a 3d cube, just cross sections, exponentially analagous-ly. Or like a 3d man watching 2d cubes—ambiguous views. I’d have to make my words and thoughts turn corners that “are not there.”
What makes this DXM abstraction so stunning is its feeling of logic and the illogical coincidences that seem to surround it, due to delusions of reference and life’s occasional plain freakiness (11:11 follows me too!) When I’m talking about it, I even start noticing strange loops and hidden meanings in the words I’m using, as if its hidden levels are influencing me to the point of weird unintentional linguistic coincidences of sound, meaning, homophones, and homonyms. This is really hard to describe so hopefully you have experienced this. It’s like words falling into a pattern, jokes that were already there but had to be called out, etc. It could just be a variation of Déjà Vu, and it happens mostly when I’m tripping in that state of mind. I don’t know if it sounds that way to anyone else, because I kept most of my rambling to myself. Not that I could explain anyway.
The DXM Reality contains all possibilities: not just multiple destinies, but multiple overlapping realities with the same circumstances but different connotations/perspectives/points of reference. Different perspective cause different reactions for the same situation (paranoia versus confidence, for instance) so innumerable futures branch from all connotations of one same point. Therefore the mass also has all the resulting versions of each reality, which either “happen” or must be explained away from happening.
Each singled-out point blurs toward/away from itself like fading echoes, the further and further changing more and more, weather moving relative through time or possibility. It is the happiest nullification of the fate/free will question. All possible futures happen; the experiencer is just not a possible factor in every one. That focuses the statistical precariousness of our conscious existence into a real, dense experience of being. Each moment fades into the next because no one can say how “wide” a moment is. “Life” is like the “width” of our observance.
It’s scary to think of there are infinitely twisted and painful permutations, and even more indescribable permutations behind those! Heaven and Hell would both be included. So why am I here when I could just as well be there?
This used to scare the shit out of me, weather I was tripping or not, until I trusted that no matter what might be “possible,” life generally takes a pretty orderly, cause and effect, linear course. I stopped worrying about possibility and believed in probability. Weather or not I’m ignoring the facts, I cannot be comfortable or productive if I feel like I’m living on the brink of chaos. I talk easily about this stuff now, but it really fucked with my life for a while. This is, again, after 6 years of experience. DXM is definitely something that has taken a lot of my time and pushed me pretty far, so I might as well have something to show for it! I must say, I am proud of my sanity and my seven-page paper!
After I solved my fear problem I began to wonder about why, out of all the possible screwy permutations that exist, we seem stuck together in this same, linear, and somewhat orderly existence. Why all our perspectives share communication, statistics, similar order, and “physical” locations within time. The best explanation I can come up with is that this is that this is the only “place” comprehendible enough for consciousness to exist, form memory, and grow.
Maybe the whole mass of reality is comprised of element that “bounces” around within itself, different “parts” of it being like “different frequencies,” but still all being the “same” thing on the other hand. Thought, light, sound, matter—they could all be described as different “frequencies.” And the whole range of everything that could be is a spectrum-like pattern. To “separate” a “frequency” and study it alone would reveal a consistent pattern associated with the “color” of the spectrum I chose to study. I would have to assume how “wide” I wanted to consider this element to be, separate it, and I would see a pattern. Some patterns might be too big for us to observe if they do not repeat themselves within our space and time, so they would not look or act like patterns at all. Kinds of patterns we can observe are light and sound.
While “bouncing” around inside itself, some of this pattern intersects other parts of itself, the intersections forming a structure like “endlessly exponential quantum foam.” The interference created by the intersection of the patterns forms a new pattern with a much different character than the patterns that comprise it. The new pattern would be extra dimensional in comparison. It could intersect other extra dimensional patterns and create extra-extra dimensional ones!
Some of the patterns may not intersect/influence each other much of anywhere; maybe some known factors don’t relate except to “intersect” inside the mind of an observer relative to them by being parts of the same world that the observer sees or knows to be true.
Sailing out to the “edges” of the space/time/possibility mass, you might discover the most distorted and sparse permutations, as weird-looking universes with only two colors, time that stretches some things (but not others) like taffy until they break, or worse. These worlds are missing many factors that I need, so hopefully the consciousness factor I need to experience them is not in the mix either.
If the scary worlds exist, they live there, on the “edge”, but consciousness might be more to the “middle”, a condition only caused by the “highest” interference of observable patterns. It would be the summit of reality, the point where reality became aware of itself and thus contained all of itself in one point, like a low-quality hologram, an objective point that creates context/description through reflection. Of course everything is “aware” of everything else in relativity.
But say the point is any conscious observer, to which all the factors are relevant, or relative, to. “Always in the center of infinity” could be the self-invoking consistency of location upon which we depend and in which we feel secure. (And I know I’m not the first person to mention the self-invoking thing!)
Consciousness can be outside reality. As well as a context/reflector of reality, it might also come from contrasting the negative space of impossibility against what actually takes place. We might be able to see all, but only comprehend the possible into our memory, except for imagination. It could be the active conception of the possible itself. I’m drawing more cubes on paper here, and getting nothing but ambiguity. Physics tells us that the universe is observer-dependant, but my point of view has only unchanging linear consistency.
I could go out on a dorky limb here, and say “Jesus” occupies all those painful places/twisted worlds, call them levels of Hell. “Jesus,” “taking on the pain of the world,” just like my preacher said, but out of mathematical necessity. In this picture, “Jesus” is the divine “being” that “occupies” the twisted negative space around reality. And if you don’t believe Jesus will help unless you believe/ask Him to, chaos will always seem to threaten from around the next corner.
A valid perspective, but then so would be calling Christ Consciousness the simple awareness that what didn’t happen wasn’t real. That would knock the whole complicated process down to an instinctive level where it would be harder to appreciate in a religious way. There must be a story/delusion, with a good plot and understandable “action.” We could translate more common ground between scientific and various spiritual figures to the extent that we burn off the opiate of culture and tradition like an incense offering.
Back to consciousness: everything is relevant/relative to it, from the big bang to the whimper. There can also be other universes and other points of conscious observance similar to ones here. The consciousness in other universes is parallel and exponential (thus perpendicular and more, beyond time). Maybe waiting in black holes looking into everything at once in all possible ways, it works with bigger patterns in a holey universe of its own, if anything is possible!
The dimensions/elements merge, pieces poking into reality, their ambiguity appearing as kaleidoscopically orderly shaped “points” that can tessellate with others, moving in unpredictable patterns caused by their larger shapes independent of reality. Abstractions upon abstractions!
“Looking into time” through the windows of the eyes: this is the interface between observer and reality. My skin is the “skin” of the universe, defining its “boundaries” and context in my memory. All see the boundaries differently, all the “different worlds” existing simultaneously within possibility. I could speculate for two more hours, but it doesn’t matter. Death comes to everything, or at least it is the outer boundary of everything. (DXM will nullify the verb as you know it!)
Death—that’s the final thing I want to talk about. Death definitely looks final, tripping or not. It is a definite boundary, so despite my belief in “afterlife” or at least “outsidelife,” I don’t play with death! But the fact that I must die out of this world, leaving it “forever,” doesn’t scare me either; there are more dimensions that I can’t necessarily see! (At least not as “myself”—(doubletake)—so “I” can’t necessarily see them in a way!) But consciousness has certain consistent characteristics. I just wonder if that implies “memory” and what that memory can possibly retain--all that Jung stuff.
I believe “afterlife” is out there. Death looks final, but so does the event horizon of a black hole. Logically, it is. I can’t come back. I can’t see beyond it. I can’t survive it, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something beyond survival. This life might be contained “inside” the next, not “behind” it. I won’t remember, not exactly. The possibilities are limitless!!! So I will never lose hope just because I am ignorant/ just because I am ignorant, I will never lose hope.
All “tendencies” might just be a cross section of something that doesn’t “tend” or “move” or do anything but be. It might be a delusion of reference to this dimension/perspective. Gravity the weight of time, density the wait of space….
In conclusion, there are no rules/ true sanity must be insane/ there is really nothing real, Punk Rock!!! It’s some of that “this statement is false” “infinite finity” shit! It’s true!!
Honestly my physics is pretty lousy but I find interesting analogies in it, though I don’t assume I could even write sci-fi, yet. It just goes to show what complicated tripthoughts my mind can create. I wish I had some knowledgeable feedback to improve my theories’ logic and therefore the quality of my trip. I hope that I have pleased and not bored my reader; hopefully you related and thought this was interesting, if long, or maybe you’ve had irrational fears and it helped. Thanks for sticking it out all the way. Never mind the DXM Nirvana.
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