Citation: RJ. "Far from Zen: An Experience with LSD & Cannabis (exp32403)". Erowid.org. Apr 14, 2006. erowid.org/exp/32403
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This trip was mind shattering and life-altering. Looking back, I made some OBVIOUSLY retarded mistakes that I've learned from. I sound like the world's biggest amateur based on my actions, but this was not my first experience with L, and not even my first bad trip. Although the trip itself was a disaster, I've grown tremendously as a person since then, although the feeling of horror and fear I experienced that night still lingers on in my mind.
It was the summer of 2003. I was 19 yrs old and life was good. I had recently finished my first year of college (although it ended on a terrible note with my best friend and current roommate being robbed at gunpoint and having to deal with a whole mess of legal issues -- although that is another story!) and had been soaking up the rays down at the beach while working. I had begun a relationship with my first real girlfriend and things were going swell.
Towards the end of July, me and three of my best friends from high school decided to attend a Drum and Bass/Electronica festival in the city. I drove up from the beach solo in the middle of the afternoon and we had planned to get to the show early. Unfortunately, when I got up to my house I realized that the tickets were locked inside! Worse yet, I had all of my friends tickets! I became impatient and tried to find a way into the house. I began pushing on my basement window, trying to pry it open, while on the phone with my brother asking him if he knew if a spare key existed. While my attention was diverted, I heard the glass shatter and saw blood dripping from my arm. 'Great!' I thought. 'Just what I need.' I wasn't cut too badly -- about a centimeter long gash on my left forearm, but I was bleeding nonetheless. My neighbor was outside at the time and heard the window break and he came over to investigate. He saw me holding my tshirt over my arm and offered to clean up my wound for me. I accepted. He cleaned out my cut and stuck a bandage on it for me and sent me on my way. I went back to my basement window, cleaned up the glass and crawled inside to fetch my tickets.
Soon after, my friend C picked me up. C was a very experienced drug user and I became friendly with him in high school merely by smoking pot after school. He introduced me to MDMA and mushrooms and I had had some great times with him. We quickly picked up our other two buddies, S and H and we embarked on our journey to the city!
A huge traffic jam got us stuck on the highway for a long time, and C was growing increasingly impatient. Around the same time, my arm was beginning to bother me and I kept on touching my bandage. 'It will be fine,' I thought to myself. I had been anticpating this show for the longest time and I wasn't about to let a little cut stop me from going. When we finally made it into the city, we realized that we didn't know where we were going. We drove around in circles for a little while until we finally decided to stop and ask for directions. We made it to the venue a little behind schedule, but still on time to catch the main act.
When we got inside the venue, my friend H announced that he had scored some LSD earlier in the day and that it was a surprise he was going to give us. We eagerly accepted his offer and each took a hit of blotter. I remember being confused at the way it was cut -- instead of square hits, the doses were much more thin and rectangular shaped. 'No matter,' I thought. We walked around the venue soaking up the sights and sounds (heavy, dark drum and bass music) and waited for the acid to kick in. I remember eagerly awaiting the visuals to start, but only feeling great anticipation and a sense of nervous energy. I remember as I was walking across the dance floor a light beam shot down and sent sparkles of star light shooting through the air. I couldn't tell if this had actually occurred or if I had hallucinated it. My mind remained focused on the cut on my arm.
By the time the main band came onstage, the dance floor was packed and I was still feeling very uneasy and wasn't tripping in the way I had hoped. My friend S thought we should smoke a bowl and I agreed. I took a hit and immediately had the feeling of 'Why did I just do that?' My thoughts began racing and everything I thought or saw took and a very dark, negative tone. I felt as if all the other people in the audience were watching my every move, whispering to one another about how lame or stupid I looked. I saw all my peers in the room as being evil. My arm began throbbing and I couldn't take my mind off of it. Here I was, standing in some disgusting club in the middle of the city with a giant, infected cut on my arm just so I could stand around in the middle of the night listening to strange drum and bass music -- was I really that dumb? Did I really value this crappy music and these evil people over my own well being? Why wasn't I in a hospital getting my arm taken care of?
At this point I really really wanted to leave and seek medical help because I was so distracted by my arm, but I felt trapped. There was no way out. I would have to stand around for a few more hours before C got tired and wanted to drive home, but even by then my arm would be infected and I would be left with a horrible scar. I was clearly losing it.
Before I knew it, the main attraction had left the stage and we were forced to sit around listening to DJ's spin until they came back for their second set. I sought out a couch to rest my body and mind, but this didn't help. I was confronted with a multitude of spun out kids, each more fucked up and helpless than the next. I remember a dirty, drug-fiending girl coming up to me and my friends and demanding money. The other kids in the area thought it would be funny to fuck with her and tell her to look in strange places for cash, and she followed the orders desperate for some money. Everyone was amused -- I sat there disgusted at my current situation and the people I was spending my night with.
For the next few hours, every single bad thought that I could ever have came and went through my head tormenting me while the drum and bass pounded my ear drums. I thought back to my childhood and all of the mistakes I had made. I thought of my family and how they had let me down and how I had let them down. I thought of school and all of the shit that had went down before I had left and how I didn't want to go back. I thought of the world and the wars and the violence and all the pollution. What was the point of all this!? I was wasting my time doing nothing while the world was slowly being poisoned by its inhabitants. My arm was going numb by this point -- I wasnt sure if I was in serious medical danger or if it was just thea acid fucking with my head. I had sacrificed my health and relationships just to come see a concert. What the hell was I doing with my life!? I had never felt so insignificant in my entire life. I felt like a giant failure and my thoughts were overrun with a ominous feeling of uncertainty and fear.
I was being crushed by the weight of the world. I was fighting off tears at one point. My brain had been poisoned, and I felt that there was no way I could possibly come down. I was literally going insane. I just wanted this to end. I wanted to hug my family and tell them I was sorry for everything.
By the time the show finally ended, it was near 4am. I left the venue extremely frightened and confused about what I was going to do in the future. My arm was still bothering me a lot. I sat in the car in dead silence for the entire ride home, my brain still racing with evil thoughts.
When I got back to my house, I was in no condition to sleep. I decided that I needed to go to the hospital to get my wound fixed up. It was 5am at this point, and my friend H agreed to drive me. (H and I had been friends since Kindergarten, but it wasnt until this night that I realized how wonderful of a person he really is.) We sat in the waiting room for what seemed like an eternity. By the time the doctor had come to see me, it had been over 12 hrs since I had first cut myself. He looked confused at my reasoning for not coming to see him earlier. I still felt terrible, and I thought he was judging me as a drug addict loser who was wasting his time. He fixed up my cut though, and I began to feel a little better.
I went home and tried to get some sleep. No luck whatsoever. I sat in my bed and listened to music, music that I normally loved and would dance and sing around to, but it just seemed so sour and evil that I began crying. What had I done to myself?
I sat in my bed for a few hours thinking of a list of things that I had to tell somebody. There was so much on my mind that I just needed to communicate to someone. If I didn't talk to someone, I would surely drive myself insane. All of my thoughts seemed to be trapped on my tongue and sealed in my head and I was scared that if I didn't get them out into the open they would dissipate back into my soul and torment me forever. I had completely hit rock bottom and I had no idea what to do. I felt like I would be stuck in this hole of darkness forever.
I decided to call my Dad. I had always loved my Dad but had been growing more and more distant in the past few years. I saw the path our relationship was going down and it made me sick. I called him at his office and asked him if he could home b/c I really needed to talk to him. He seemed confused and nervous but agreed to come home for lunch. When he came home and we sat down to talk, he immediately assumed that I had been arrested for drugs and he seemed pissed. However, I tried to begin telling him all of the things that were on my mind but found myself unable to speak and I broke down and began sobbing. I vividly remember hugging him and at that moment feeling that everything was okay again. I eventually calmed down and had a very long talk about everything that was on my mind. He completely understood and was very grateful that I had come to him with my problems. The healing had begun!
I was very fragile for the next few days, but as I returned to my normal self I learned to value things that I had previously overlooked. My family and friends in particular. I saw them as a tremendous source of support and comfort in an otherwise cold, unforgiving, and brutal world. I wanted to tell them how much I loved every last one of them. I've also stopped paying any attention to the future, because it only makes one worry needlessly. Peace can be found in the present moment through acceptance of what is and by recognizing the amazing beauty that is constantly flowing through everyone and everything in the universe.
I took acid again a few weeks later and had the most beautiful and spiritual experience of my life. I'm beginning to think that this horrible experience I just recounted was a result of many different factors including: the cut on my arm, bad acid, cramped indoor venue, the intensity of the music, and the confusion that was surrounding my life in general at the time. Since then, I have drastically cut down on my usage of psychedelic substances, especially pot. My head has never felt clearer, but I am not opposed to them altogether. I can still sense the psychedelic qualities of everything I see and do, but am hesitant to throw myself into that world again out of fear that I will have another bad trip. I believe that when I am ready, the experience will find me. I just have to be open and accepting.
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