Citation: Ishouldbelockedup. "The Octopus and the Cave: A Tale of Psychosis: An Experience with Methamphetamine (ID 26026)". Erowid.org. May 9, 2006. erowid.org/exp/26026
I am writing this report a good eight years after it took place so some of the details are a little hazy however of all the drug induced experiences that I have ever had this one in particular stands out in my memory.
In order to give the reader a feel for the situation I will first briefly discuss the state of my life at the time. When I was in my late teens I was a little excessive when it came to the consumption of chemical substances. I put myself through a lot of dodgy situations, I met some of the most fucked up, dangerous people I have ever met.
Unfortunately the lack of education coupled with illogical laws that surround this aspect of modern society allowed an essentially law abiding yet inquisitive teenager the ability to obtain cheap powerful mind altering substances at an age when one lacks the stability and confidence needed to deal with the subjective effects of drug use. However the story of how fucked up I was as a teenager is a different one to this one so ill shut up about it needless to say that indirectly drug use at a young age gave me lots of regrets later in life many of which I still hold to this day.
I had always been fascinated by psychedelic states of mind, some of the best, funniest, most rewarding experiences of my life have been whilst tripping. When I was 15 I got into acid as well as to a lesser extent mushrooms which was great I had some fun times. However supplies of acid suddenly dried up. What was a young person to do! I mean living in a modern urban city where if I'm not into sport there really is no form of alternative leisure, not one that can compete with getting off my tits anyway. Well the answer lay with my local dealer, amphetamines, theyíd always been available but I wasnít interested before, I liked the multi-dimensional journeys and mystical experiences but I wasnít into taking drugs for the Ďbuzzí.
I started taking speed all the time, every other day for a period of about six months. Me and a group of friends would simply neck or snort loads of the stuff and sit around talking like maniacs.
The situation was a recipe for disaster and ended with many problems, but then thatís a different story.
During the height of this speed binging I felt a need to do something extreme, to experience all this drug could do. I was well aware of the hallucinogenic nature of the comedown, be this caused by the drug itself or by lack of sleep or food, so as a desperate act of self-sacrifice I offered myself up to the insane god by launching myself into a binge to end all binges.
For three days and three nights me and a few cronies consumed gram after gram of yellow tinged crystal base. [Erowid Note:
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
What I did for those three days I cannot recall but on the fourth day we decided to drive to a local forest that some other friends had been camping in over the weekend. These guys had been on some sort of drug fuelled pilgrimage, walking twenty odd miles to the woods then setting up camp within its darkest depths, but then it was the summer and a bloody lovely one at that.
So the scene was set, my plan was to stop taking speed the night we got to the woods and then let the effects of four days binging take effect to see what happened. I suppose I thought at the time that this would be a grand finale to my amphetamine trip a last blast before I quit, unfortunately it didnít prove to be so but again thatís another story.
We finally made it to the forest, me and two others plus about four or five guys who were already there. We had all been taking speed but only I had been on it for four days.
The night passed we joked and laughed round the campfire we got real stoned and took the last of the speed, I remember everyone talking about a multi-coloured bubble that had enveloped our group cutting us off from the outside world.
At first light I was starting to feel kind of unstable, like being in some eerie waking dream. I felt the urge to walk, to explore the beautiful area we were in, that had until that point been shrouded in darkness. So I went off, my only intention being to gather my bearings.
From this point onwards I slowly start to slip into the most bizarre quasi-schizophrenic state of mind I have ever been in. The visuals of LSD or mushrooms can be pretty intense but I know that it is the effect of the drug that is causing them and they move so fleetingly and quickly that it is more like watching a show that you know will be over. The state of mind I found myself in that morning was incredibly real. It was like the world gradually changed around me, over a period of many hours.
What started as an idea or maybe a delusion in my mind slowly seeped into reality until it took over. It wasnít like I had a physical rush that brought on the effects it was real it all happened as a part of my experience of reality, it was my neurotransmitters that were causing this trip, anyway, hereís what I experiencedÖ
As I walked I started to think of an idea about how the forest could be inhabited by faeries. I started following the small tracks (maybe animal tracks) that weaved around the plants. I realised that in some places there were more tracks than others and many of the tracks appeared to lead to places i.e. A certain large tree or the river (there was a river running close to where we were camped). As I wandered around these tracks it seemed that there was a certain intelligence in the way they were designed. This thought developed into a feeling that I was being lead, I saw figures and heard voices, the backs of little men brushing just ahead out of sight in the undergrowth. They felt friendly, like guides, not too similar to people, like little woodsmen, I could hear their voices, feel their intentions and I felt that they wanted to show me something of the real nature of the forest. These became the Woodsmen Faeries. Following the Woodsmen I took up their offer and tried to open up my mind to what it was that I was to be shown. Firstly they took me to the river where there were great banks of mud.
The banks looked like cities, the dirt was sculpted like a natural form of architecture, I saw the river as a teeming colony of faces and intelligences, big frog like creatures protruding from the banks wallowing in mud belching and burping. The Woodsmen informed me, through some sort of telepathic link, that these strange creatures were the Mud Faeries, messy things that didnít care much for people, creatures of earth and water. A lot of the visions and information that I saw on this trip I cannot now remember but there was more detail than I can recall.
After this I was introduced to the trees (someone call the men in white coats please!).
I saw the trees as they really were. Beautiful and ancient each with its own heart and mind, more ancient and wise that man could imagine. They were great spectators on the world, aware of the comings and goings of mankind but aloof, they existed here in this world in their true form, powerful creatures in control of the woods. I saw them writhe and give off light, I felt great waves of ecstasy as I felt the joy in which they lived. The Woodsmen told me that they were the most powerful of all creatures in the wood and that they could control my experience here, whilst I was under the trees I was in their control. Many more revelations I received as I gazed upon the trees about the true nature of nature, its power yet also its beauty.
After I had realised the true nature of the trees the forest became like a living world of intelligence around me. It was incredible I was amazed at what I was experiencing I was totally lost in it. I was given a tour of all the features of the wood places that would look like ordinary forest parts to the normal eye but to me and my woodland friends I saw cities, roads and palaces.
After a time they brought me to a deep part of the woods. A dense area of Pine and Yew, very dark and brooding. This, I was informed was the Dark forest a place of trees that had gone evil, lost their light and hated men. If I entered I was warned I would go insane, they would take my soul and show me terrifying visions. The place oozed horror and as I gazed in I saw monsters lurking in the darkness. I turned away from the dark woods and headed back towards our camp. I eventually found everyone and attempted to tell them about my adventure, most people just ignored me telling me to shut up, no one was experiencing anything like what I was. So a little put out I returned to my forest world. My mate who I will call K came with me and as we walked I described the world that I had seen, K started to make up his own ideas to add to the story, as if what I was experiencing I was making up! As a story! K was annoying me intensely by adding his ideas he seemed like a fool who didnít realise that what I was telling him was real. So eventually I came out with I and told him to piss off, he obviously was a bit put out but then he should have realised what I was going through.
Now things really started to hot up. The forest enveloped me more than ever but I felt that there was more to come. I came upon the dark forest again and realised that the dark woods were a gateway into the heart of this forest trip. I figured that If I could enter and pass though the dark forest then I would discover something incredible on the other side.
So I set off. As I walked (more like stumbled now) the evil forces of the dark forest tried to entice me. They tried to lock me inside their trunks, they showed me the trapped souls of men who had fallen prey to them, twisting visions in the corner of my eyes of screaming tortured souls. I felt hands pull at my back, at one point I had an incredibly realistic hallucination of a man running up behind me with an axe screaming as he hit me I turned in shock and he vanished. I saw beasts and monsters stalking on either side. Fallen trunks and old stumps became wolves and daemons chasing me deeper into the wood. This was terrifying, I felt like I was on my last legs and at any moment would collapse and die my soul ripped from inside by the devilish forces around me. I came delirious upon an old twisted stump of a Yew standing alone in a clearing. It became living, a twisted old hag at the centre of this dark place, it cackled at me telling me to turn back or die, then became like a thousand snakes and melted into the undergrowth.
Yet I pressed on, determined now to find an end to this evil place.
Then, as the terror of the dark forest reached a crescendo I emerged into a light clearing, before me was a massive old tree. An ancient face seemed to appear in its bark and it spoke in a solemn voice that was soothing and yet all encompassing.
It certainly didnít speak in English but in my delirium I could understand it perfectly. It explained that I had reached the heart of this trip and that all I was experiencing was a part of my own unconscious mind. The Faeries were personifications of my own character and He the tree was the core of my being, the voice in my head, a voice of reason. I had been through the darkest recesses of my mind to get there yet my mind was vast, as vast as the forest around me and that wherever I went from now on I would be within my own mind and could, if I chose learn more of myself the further I ventured. Everything the tree communicated made sense and the vision of the faeries seemed to fall into place around me. I pressed on into the wood determined to find something.. By this time I was extremely fatigued, I was staggering around, talking to myself (and the trees) and must have looked a right mess. The whole experience became more and more unpleasant, the Woodsmen seemed to have pissed off and I kept thinking Wild Faeries who lived in the bushes were coming out and poking me and whispering about me behind their backs.
Suddenly I found myself in a clearing. Two huge trees had fallen down side by side, one had opened up a cave-like hole with its roots and the other had gone the other way its branches flailing in the air. I stared at this vision and as I did the cave deepened becoming a long infinite tunnel and the fallen tree writhed around like the tentacles of an octopus. I almost dropped to my knees with an overwhelming sensation that I had found something meaningful the dark cave and the octopus, what it meant I didnít know and still donít yet this was it, the end and my mind and body knew it. I suddenly had a flash of realisation; I was tired, hungry and lost in the middle of the woods without a clue where my friends were.
I panicked a bit but managed to find the edge of the forest which I left and felt much better for it, the outside seemed far saner that the forest. After a while I bumped into my friends it was about 10am I had been lost in the woods for about 4-5 hours! They had started to get quite worried. I smoked some hash and slumped to a half sleep as they packed up the camp. I tried to explain what I had been through but still couldnít quite believe it myself, was it me or was it the drugs? Had I just had an eye opening revelation into the true nature of the forest or was I suffering classic speed induced psychosis. I needed a psychiatrist or better still a witch doctor to talk to.
Upon returning home I slept for about 24 hours.
Long after my experience I read about shamanism and similar cultural phenomenon and discovered that such trance experiences are not uncommon after long periods of sleep deprivation or starvation, was what I experienced something similar, but in an English forest setting?
Maybe were we living in a society that understood such altered state of consciousness I could have shared my experiences and maybe made sense of them as an initiation, or whatever they could be interpreted as. Unfortunately we lack the experts, and so my story remains just that, a story.
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