Citation: Rev. "Lessons Learned From Trip Gone Wrong: An Experience with LSD, Amphetamines, Cannabis, Alcohol & MDMA (exp29556)". Erowid.org. Sep 16, 2005. erowid.org/exp/29556
It started off as a harmless birthday party. My friends, Nic and Cat, were extremely lucky to get the flat they did. It's a basement flat and an old deaf lady lives above them so she doesn't hear the noise. Even the noise of approximately 40 people partying hard with the decks at full volume.
I arrived at whatever time I arrived. I'm guessing that this was about half seven pm on the Saturday. I was one of the first to arrive, and indeed arrived before the hard-core drugs did, and before the music. So, smoking hash commences. So far it's not that jumpin a party, but then our guy arrives with some speed, pills, and for some reason a bottle of acid. I'm not sure why he thought the liquid acid would be any good at a party with forty people. Maybe he just happened to have it on him.
Anyway, I bought a gram of speed and three pills. I took two pills and had a few lines of base while I was waiting to come up. The speed was great, and the pills were fine. I'm used to doing speed and pills; I do them on a semi-regularly basis just for a bit of fun. Everyone was having a fantastic time, the people who were wasted and the people who were straight (most of them were working the next day). There were people fire dancing, which just looks so amazing when you're on pretty much any drug, and still looks cool when you're not.
I persuaded one of my friends to let me have a go of his pois (that's fire on chains). It's one of the most fun things to do while off your face. I'd recommend it to anyone, although you should definitely have several people watching you so that if you set your clothes on fire, someone notices for you, because you won't on you own! We have great photos of one of my friends totally covered in black slimy soot from the paraffin, but I digress.
The bathroom was one of the quiet rooms of the house. It's a really big bathroom with lots of floor space, and lots of fucked people, for some reason, just began to congregate there. I believe it may have started off just being the bath. I have vagueish memories of sitting in the bath with other people. We talked, we occasionally danced, we smoked hash, and we were all having a great time. There were a few people (there always are at big parties) who were a lot more fucked than everyone else. One girl was wandering about in a daze for most of the night, speeding off her face. There was a guy there who ended up spending almost the entire night unconscious on the sofa. His head bounced spasmodically from side to side. I'm sure in his head he was having a fantastic time dancing away and chatting to people, but he was in fact totally monged out all night. He only opened his eyes when the music stopped (which was rarely) and just sat there looking confused for a few moments before it started up again. Everyone kept half an eye on both these people all night, and both were fine by morning.
As the night progressed, those who were drug free left for bed. The remainder then separated into two groups. In one group were those for whom it had been enough. They'd either run out of drugs or were too knackered for the drugs to be working any longer. The first group was the one that I was in. We were the hardcore party animals who had been up for the whole night and decided that it would be a good idea to go and watch the sun rise. Eventually this was agreed on and we set off for the beach. It was cold and drizzling slightly. This was not a great environment for people who have been up all night on drugs. I think some of us were feeling that much more of this would simply lead to the dreaded comedown. We climbed the fence into the ruined castle, but we couldn't find a part of the castle that was sheltered enough to skin up in, so we just headed back. The sky was much lighter, but the sun was still not yet up.
We sat for a while in the living room, our remnant looking more and more depressed as the minutes passed. People skinned up and joints were created, but this was no longer enough for any of us. Then someone suggested that we all go on an acid trip. It seemed like a really good idea at the time. I'd done acid before, but only in very small amounts--enough for a mild trip, but no more--so I was eager to try it properly. Seven of us ended up taking a taxi to the house seven miles out of town where we could trip for six hours or so uninterrupted.
After sitting down and smoking a spliff or two, we got down to business. The guy with the acid reckoned that two drops of the liquid acid would suffice, judging on previous experience from the same bottle. There was one other person there who had never taken a big dose of acid. We agreed to keep an eye on each other. We were all experienced drug users, and expected just to have a laugh and ignore the hideous comedowns that had set in until we could sleep them off a bit later in the day. I don't actually remember what it tasted like now, but I remember discussing it at the time.
So that was it; the deed was done. All we could do now was wait. I remember wondering how long it would take. We decided that the curtains should be closed. The view outside wasn't very stunning, and the cold and the wet looked unpleasant, although the sky was starting to clear by then. I think it was about ten am on the Sunday, but I'm not entirely sure.
We sat and smoked up some more, waiting, listening to music. I have no idea how long after that we actually started tripping, but I do remember sitting on the sofa looking at the ceiling, fascinated for a while before I realised that it had started. The ceiling was made of pine and was full of knotholes. I'm not sure what drew my eye up there, but I noticed that some of the dark knots had started to move around the ceiling. I pointed this out to everyone, and soon we were all there.
It's amazing how quickly time passed and how far things degenerated. We spent a long time sitting and chattering amongst ourselves. My brain turned to putty and I kept saying things that I didn't mean to say. It wasn't that I didn't want to say them, it's just that my train of thought started coming out my mouth. I couldn't stop stating really obvious things like 'The sky is blue' and asking really mundane questions. It made people laugh and it was interesting to see what the LSD had done to my brain.
Going to the toilet turned out to be a bit of an adventure. That sounds slightly wrong, but it really was. I'd been in the same room the whole time and hadn't even tried walking or standing. When I did get up to go after a few hours of sitting on the floor, it was like trying to walk on the moon. My depth perception was fucked, and I could watch my legs bending and stretching out and shrinking and folding. It was great! As I hadn't left the room before, I didn't know what the rest of the house was like. I was very confused. There were stairs everywhere. Some of the staircases were really narrow and long. Others were wide, but only had three or four steps. I was very confused at the time. I couldn't decide whether or not I was hallucinating all these stairs. There seemed to be a set between every single room. I later on confirmed that this was the case. The house we were in had been built upon an old ruin and started off very small with bits and pieces being added over the years. It was a fantastic house for a trip. In the toilet on the window ledge there were some ornamental shells. There appeared to be lots and lots of spider web just on that shelf and nowhere else. I couldn't tell if it was real or not, but the spiders kept me from investigating further.
Back in the main room, the knots in the ceiling had turned into beetles and were running all around, but this was ok as the ceiling was where they 'belonged' and I intuitively knew that they would stay up there. I had a brief look outside the curtains, but the alien landscape outside was a bit daunting, so I decided to leave it alone. The joint-making had suddenly become very bad indeed. Everything looked wrong. All the dimensions were warped. I tried rolling some cigarettes, and that was difficult enough. It took an enormous amount of concentration. The result of five minutes' work looked extremely strange. Anything we rolled always seemed too short, but the length of the skins hadn't changed. It was a bit of a mystery. Smoking itself was great fun though. Occasionally it was hard to work out if we'd ashed the carpet by mistake or if something had fallen off the end of the spliff or roll-up, but usually after checking the carpet nothing had. Watching the smoke curl and float about was fantastic. At times it looked solid and so real, but then my perception would shift again slightly and I'd see infinitely deeply into the smoke and out the other side. It's a difficult thing to describe, but it was mesmerising.
After maybe four or five hours of this, one of us received a phone call to say that their flat was being inspected. The poor guy who had been phoned had absolutely no idea what to do. We were all far too fucked to be of any help cleaning up the flat. That was our first stress. I remember looking at the clock at that point to check how long it was until the flat inspection was supposed to occur. This was almost impossible. At one point the three different hands on the clock ticked in three different directions, even though there are only two directions (clockwise and anticlockwise) possible and only one direction they were made to go in. I realised at that point that my brain was fucked enough to be creating three dimensions out of two-dimensional object. I decided that now would be my best chance ever of imagining a hyper-cube (a four-dimesional cube for those of you who don't know), or better yet--as three dimensional representations of four-dimensional cubes are almost possible, making them easier to picture--a hyper-sphere would be really really impressive. I spent about five minutes doing this. My brain boggled and came close to leaking out my ears. I decided it would be better just to leave it for another time. I kept being destracted by the stress of my fellow trippers.
Our second stress, and first major problem occurred at about four o'clock. The guy to whom the house we were in belonged received a text message from his parents to say that they were coming home early (they hadn't been due back for a day) and would see him in about an hour. At this point things became really confusing for me. We managed to work out that we'd all have to leave. We also had to tidy up and leave no evidence of our being there. The problem was that we couldn't agree on where to go. I reckoned the best place would be to go back to the party flat that we'd started in. It would be safe there, and people would understand our predicament and leave us to come back down to baseline. Others believed that heading for the fields to look for magic mushrooms would be a much better idea. We eventually got the place tidied up, but it took a long time and a lot of effort. People started making toast and soup, thinking that this would help in some way. The windows were opened to let the room air, but this was confusing as the wind began blowing things around. I remember some of the observations I made at the time. One that sticks out was that we had been reduced to mob mentality. A person can be intelligent, but people are stupid. We were like people, I realised. Not just seven people. We were more like 700 all trying to do the same task. We got in each other's way, we drifted about aimlessly, and we did things that didn't need to be done. Eventually we got organised enough to think properly about leaving and where to go. I remember being really proud of our achievement at this time. I decided that we were like different facets of the same mind. We had had a goal, and we had achieved it. We'd done what we set out to do, and somehow the idea of a hive-mind seemed agreeable to me at the time. We were just deciding that it would be a good idea to get in a taxi back to town when a taxi pulled up outside. After a moment's conference we discovered that someone had already phoned one and forgotten about it completely.
Just a quick note here: at the time I didn't know that we were tripping more heavily and for longer than we'd intended. It was my first time taking this much acid, so I thought that this was all going to plan, except of course the early return of parents. I was very happy up until the point that we left the house. There were stresses and problems, but they weren't my worries. I could try and help, and just tried not to think about the fact that we had to leave the house. It made me feel a bit panicky, thinking about how we were going to get the seven miles back into town in a direction I didn't know and go somewhere we hadnt' decided, so I just didn't think about it until I had to.
It took us so long to get out to the taxi that he'd started to drive off, but one guy ran after it and stopped him. I have no idea what he said to convince the driver to let seven heavily-tripping people into his taxi, but it worked. I was sat in the back and the guy I was sitting next to started talking to me about stabbing a biro pen into the neck of the taxi driver to stop him telling anyone. I thought/hoped he was joking and went along with him for a bit. I couldn't tell how loud we were talking though and started to worry that the driver could hear us. We got back into town and the driver asked us where in town we wanted to go. Seven different voices stated seven different destinations. The taxi driver said that he'd just drop us off where we were so I shouted over them all and told the driver to take us to the street the party had been on. This was where the party had started, and it seemed fitting to me that it should also end there.
We got out the taxi and someone paid the driver. We'd almost forgotten.
We were all just heading down to the original party flat, when some of us decided that the pub would be better and our local was the safest. Apparently people were thinking that if we went back to the flat we'd get roped into cleaning up, which, in our hallucinatory state, would not have been easy. I remember asking everyone individually if they'd rather go to the pub or back to a nice flat where we could chill, and only one person actually wanted to go to the pub. However, the group mind had already decided and there seemed to be no way out of it. We walked into the pub at about half past five on the Sunday evening. Thankfully it was quiet. There were only about six people there, and I knew most of them at least vaguely. Perhaps this wouldn't be too bad after all. Some of us sat down, and some of us ordered drinks. I sat down and waited to see what would happen next. The general opinion seemed to be that we were going to have a drink here and then move on to the flat, but, of course, it really didn't work that way.
We were in the pub for almost three hours. Those were the worst three hours of my life. I think that I started really coming down off the speed from the night before about then. I started getting intensely paranoid. I remember trying to interact with some of the people there, but the attempt was futile. I'd hear them say half of a sentence that made no sense before they descended into what seemed to me to be complete gibberish, not even speaking words.
During those hours, I sat mulling over what course of action I should take; many thoughts crossed my mind. I considered killing everyone, or myself, or screaming at everyone to stop fucking with my mind. Words can't express that experience. I know now what a bad trip is be like, but I would still do it again. I was actally in hell for what felt like days. However, I pride myself on the fact that I didn't completely freak out. On the inside, I completely fell apart, but outwardly I was fine. I was told that my eyes were as big as saucers the whole time I was there, and my sober friends could tell that all was not well, but I didn't completely break down.
My thoughts were running in circles. Random thoughts were going through my head that I had no real control over. I felt my mind fracture and splinter, and it was such an effort just to keep myself in the seat, but on the other hand, I felt that I couldn't leave everyone else because I would then be truly alone and I was scared. I was terrified that I wouldn't recover and that I'd spend the rest of my life in this living hell. I felt so small and fragile. I honestly contemplated suicide and murder, and for a while I actually did think that I was already dead and that this was hell.
I don't know how bad that was, but I do know that things could have gone a lot worse. If I had lost my self control, I honestly would completely have freaked out. I had a long time to think about many things. I don't know whether or not the conclusions that I made during that time are correct or not, but I do know that I learned a lot about myself and the way my mind works. I survived.
I could tell myself that this was something beyond my control, that the tripping would stop at somepoint, and that everything would be normal again. I'm not sure if it would have been better if I'd left the pub or not. I do know that I couldn't though. I had to stay with the other tripping people. I wasn't ready to face the world on my own. I became extremely insecure.
I'm going to try and record some of the conclusions that I made while I was in this state. It's going to be hard to put into words though.
At several points, I could feel my mind fracture and spin off in different directions. It was a bit like the clock from before. The clock whose hands went in three different directions. I had more than one train of thought running at once. It's an extremely bizarre feeling. I couldn't focus on anything for more than a few seconds...literally. I don't know how many times I asked when we were going to head back to the flat, but I think it was quite a lot.
I remember feeling me trying to hide within myself, that is, my self awareness or my consciousness was retreating deeper and deeper. I think that this was some kind of defense mechanism. I was trying to get away from what I was experiencing, but I couldn't physically get out, only hide myself mentally. At the time, I thought that this might be how some patients at mental hospitals must live. It frightened me to realise just how much acid can fuck a person up.
I'm giving up on trying to describe this properly. I can't even remember it clearly and I really can't find the words to convey what it was like. I've spoken to some of the people that were in the pub at the time. I wanted to find out how much they had been trying to fuck with us, and it turned out not to be that much at all. I could have sworn that half of the time I was there, people were trying to mess with our minds. That, however, was just my mind messing with me.
Having experienced this though, I'd still say that acid is a really fun drug to use, but in future I'm going to treat it with a bit more respect and caution. I know that I have a tendency to rush into things without really thinking the consequences through properly, but at the same time I have an excellent capacity to look after myself.
I spent over a week dazed and confused from that experience. I later learned that our dosage had been misjudged. The fact that we'd been up all night partying hard and taking other drugs was not taken into account and what was supposed to be a mild six-hour trip became a twelve hour epic adventure. This is an experience that I will never ever forget, and something that I hope I can really learn from. I know that I have already gained a lot of knowledge about myself. I know it's a bit of an acid cliche, but it's one of those cliches that you really don't appreciate until you've been through it yourself. It takes a lot of strength to face yourself on a hellish introspective acid trip-gone-wrong. It's definitely not something that I wanted to experience, but I've done it and in a way I'm glad that I have.
For anyone that's taken the time to read this, sorry for the meandering aspect of this account. I have a tendency to ramble a bit. On the whole I reckon it really was a positive experience and it's definitely not put me off trying acid again in the future. I'm not really sure what that says about me as a person, but once again I don't really care. I'm happy being who I am.
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