Citation: Biohazard. "The Snowball of Fear: An Experience with 5-MeO-DiPT, Cannabis & MDMA (Ecstasy) (exp33820)". Erowid.org. Nov 7, 2005. erowid.org/exp/33820
Before this experience I had tried ecstasy once (4 white love-hearts whilst in London, incredible experience), 5-MeO-DiPT twice at moderate to high doses without having any particularly remarkable effects yet a fun time nonetheless, and cannabis many times. I had also successfully tested out 5-MeO-aMT, 2C-i, 2C-e, DXM, cocaine, nutmeg, codeine and had plenty of experience with alcohol. So, whilst not unexperienced with psychoactives, I definitely was no veteran psychonaut either. Also, prior to this evening I had never had any kind of bad vibes with drugs. I consider myself to be extremely stable-minded, almost to the extent of arrogance towards mental illnesses. Thus it goes without saying that I was on no medication, as I had never been.
I had managed to get myself some foxy from a friend a few weeks ago. At around the same time pills of ecstasy, 'yellow pandas' were going around. These were perhaps the strongest pills to ever be found in Finland. Or at least the strongest ones in a looong time. This same day we had, for the first time in a while, managed to score some White Widow bud.
2 friends of mine and I (call them A and B for now) had been planning a roll for about a week. They were not intending on taking anything but the X and weed, but I had decided upon taking some foxy also, as I had somehow convinced myself it would be a good combo and that I would not regret it. Also, this was B's first experience with XTC.
The entire day before dosing was spent in preparation. We got ourself yummy munchies, good drinks, prepared our setting (a 2 bedroom apartment into which B and I recently moved, perfect setting for a chilling trip/roll evening), dug out some good music, including Shpongle, Hallucinogen, The Beatles, Banco de Gaia etc. A had purchased the weed earlier that day and we had yet to try it. Anticipation was extreme, everyone was happy and really looking forward to the remainder of the evening. All in all, an extremely positive mindset and a very secure and comfortable setting. What could go wrong, right?
We had decided to dose up at 17:00. It was 16:00. To kill the time we smoked a bowl each (except B, he wanted a clean roll for his first time) and got QUITE stoned. We spent the rest of that hour just sitting and chilling, listening to music, having insane fits of laughter at silly things, and generally enjoying the high.
Soon it was 16:55. We got up out of our chairs and wandered into the living room. Each had a drink of sorts to wash down the pill. 'To good times!' we each said in unison and downed the pills. I was left holding onto my little paper bomb of foxy. I looked at it, looked at my friends, and threw it into my mouth washing it down with fruit juice.
Having completed the formalities, we returned to chilling in my room listening to music. We occasionally alternated between the rooms, switched the music occasionally and just chatted and chilled out. We proceeded to smoke a little more, and were soon quite high once again. 'What a way to spend a Saturday!' I remarked to the others, and they were in agreeance.
At about 17:20 I received the first alert from within that the drugs were beginning to come up. I hadn't eaten much that day, so it didn't really surprise me. It started as a cold tingling in my abdomen. Definitely NOT unpleasant. The subsequent come up wasn't very fast, in fact it was quite slow and steady for the next 30 minutes. We were having a great time sitting on the couch listening to some music and checking out interesting visual effects (me especially thanks to the foxy). At some stage we wandered back into my room. I seated myself on my bed, feeling the drugs quite strongly.
'Makes you worried a bit doesn't it, at first', said A. 'But then it passes and you feel reallllly goood!' I'm not sure why he said that to me. Maybe he (correctly) interpreted the concentrated look on my face to be that of anxiousness. At that time I actually was thinking that it's feeling uncomfortably strong. Him saying that reassured me for a couple of minutes, but it also acted as a tiny snowball flung into the snowy downhill fields of paranoia and terror. I dwelled upon the situation for a while. I tried to concentrate on relaxing, but as soon as I had relaxed for a few seconds, my thoughts returned to the feeling, which seemed to be getting more uncomfortable (it probably actually wasn't, but me dwelling on it made it feel worrying).
'Look at you, looking all worried!' A said now. He said it in a really gentle and reassuring tone, yet it had the exact opposite effect. I started to wonder why I'm feeling worried. I knew this combination to be safe (at least kind of... had researched it as much as possible and another friend had recently had a good experience with it), and I was supposed to be feeling good. And I WAS! I again remembered exactly how good I did feel. Yet I couldn't concentrate on the good. Instead, my mind always returned to the bad. 'What bad?' one may ask. Indeed I do. It was most likely the extremely stimulating effect of the combination, which was something I was not accustomed with.
I gradually started to get scared. The foxy was definitely kicking in, as my mind became more and more disconnected from reality. My heart started to beat even faster than up to this point. I thought to myself, 'no worries, accelerated heart beat is part of the effects of the drugs'. Yet I couldn't shake the fear that something was wrong. 'I'm fine, I'm fine... I think...' I began to doubt myself and my judgement.
(From hereon I'm no longer sure of the chronological order of the events for the next couple of hours)
I started to walk around, trying to get my mind off my body. I would for a moment think about something else, then I'd return to the paranoia. A and B started to follow me around. They had noticed that I was afraid. It was written all over my face. They were trying to calm me down, but again the opposite effect was observed. I interpreted them having to need to calm me down as a sure indicator that something was wrong. I was really getting scared now. My hands we shaking, and my mind was racing. Heart was hammering away and I had a cold sweat. They tried reassuring me by reminding me that the other friend (call him C) had taken a similar combo two weeks ago without any problems.
By this time, my consciousness had shifted far away from the norm. Instead of thinking of people as people, I saw them as direct consequences of their own actions. I thought of myself losing my mind as a consequence of taking drugs. I thought of all the propaganda I had read (and dismissed as just that, having researched drugs enough to come to a different conclusion) and thought 'what if they've been right all along? What if I'M the one who is wrong?' I thought of C (he's a very hippyish, noncomformist kinda person, an experienced psychonaut). I saw his present state to be a direct result from all the drugs he's taken. I then thought about B (he's a vegan, kinda inclined toward eastern philosophies and other nonconventional stuff). I also saw him as a product of too many drugs (although he hadn't really done that many, mainly cannabis). Then I looked at A. Out of the three of us he was the most 'normal'. He also had never tried psychedelics. I determined that him, having never taken psychedelics, was yet to be transformed by them; hence he was still normal. This leaves me: presently on psychedelics, losing my mind. I reached the conclusion that I'm never going to do drugs again, and told A and B that we should all quit (something we laughed about later for a while...)
My present state was in panic. I had reached the conclusion that drugs mess you up permanently and that I had crossed the line. I was uncertain whether or not there was a coming back. I no longer trusted myself at all. I started thinking that if I've been wrong about drugs, then I must be wrong about everything. I thought that I was so messed up that I need to be told how to remain alive. Here started my periodic pleading for a reminder to breathe. I seriously thought that I can't do it without outside assistance. I was a mind trapped in a body that I was forgetting how to use. I could not interpret the messages my body was sending me, and I was actually asking the others whether or not I should be doing something in particular. 'Should I breathe?' was something I uttered frequently.
In between breaths my mind wandered. I felt my mind slipping away, and had to make an exhaustive psychological effort to grasp onto it. It slipped into my mind that this is what going insane or entering a psychosis is like. I felt that if I lose track completely of my thought, I will lose it forever and go insane. I was scared for my sanity, more scared than I ever have been in my life. I could literally feel the adrenaline in my system. Interestingly enough, I knew why all this was happening (I'm in the process of getting into med school). I knew what the symptoms of a panic attack are, and I recognised myself to be having one. If nothing else, at least that reassured me sufficiently that I'm not dying. But it did not convince me that I wasn't losing my mind.
For the next hour or so I lie or sit on B's bed, trying to get a grip on the situation. I have by now lost all coherent communication skills. I am convinced that if I can begin to coherently communicate once more, I will get out of the freak-out. Interestingly enough, I have actually by this stage determined myself to be nothing more than freaking out, yet I can't shake the terror of losing my mind.
In a desperate effort to cling onto threads of rational or not-so-rational thought, I begin my attempts to communicate with my friends. The idea behind this communication was to convey my thoughts to them, yet it seemed an almost impossible task. I was convinced that if I can communicate with them for long enough, it will get me out of this paranoia zone. So I begin. I fling at them some random thought that pops into my head. They look at me bemused. I try another, elaborating as much as I can in order to get them to know what I'm talking about. I manage to make a connection. I manage to get them to know that I'm thinking of the guy with the cool blue tiedye shirt in 'Half-Baked'. Then I forget why I was thinking of him in the first place. And the loop runs its course and again I panic. I could actually see the tail-ends of thoughts, running away from me, just beyond my grasp. I felt like I was in a whirlpool, a downward spiral into some dark, hopeless and deranged place. The only way out was by communicating with another mind, a sane one. I try another random thought. Sometimes I connect, sometimes I don't, but I can never hold the thought long enough to actually make anything rational out of it. I get incredibly wild mind associations. Occasionally I ask A to help me. I often say 'I should stop freaking out'.
I manage to get a coherent sentence together: 'I don't need any medication or anything.' It was reassuring being able to say this myself, but it didn't help for long. My short term memory was blasted. I had to be reminded every few minutes that I was on drugs and that I would be fine. I would always stop panicking for a few seconds or minutes, then the evil paranoia-loop would re-freak me. At one stage I forgot who, and WHAT I was, and I actually asked (to the amusement of the others, and myself later) 'Am I a person?'
Eventually, the drugs' peak subsided enough for my thoughts to start making some kind of primitive sense. And thus began the process to reaching a stable state of mind, and the subsequent end of the freak-out episode. It ends almost suddenly. I notice that my pulse has calmed considerably, my mind is no longer racing away from me, the pressure inside my skull that I had felt during the panic-attacks was no longer, and the general feeling in my body was of extreme pleasure. I ask how long I had been freaking out for. 2 hours, apparently. Somewhat annoyed that the peak had been wasted due to the freak-out, I still felt immensely relieved to be thinking linearly again. I was overjoyed that my thoughts were no longer escaping me into the void, and satisfied that I knew exactly where I was, who I was, what I was doing and all the other relevant things I had forgotten not-so-long ago.
From thereon the remainder of the trip was smooth sailing, one of the most enjoyable evenings of my life. After joking around about the freak-out for a while, we smoked some more. I also drank one lemon beer. For some strange reason I had extremely powerful déjà vu for the remainder of the evening. Music sounded incredible and I felt great. I felt as though a burden had been lifted, as if repressed fears had been released and that they could no longer trouble me. Incredible how quickly the mind recuperates from such a chaotic state of absolute despair.
I didn't sleep at all that night, maybe because of the foxy, maybe because I couldn't possibly relax after what I had endured only a few hours before. I went through the freak-out in my mind whilst lying in bed, but many parts of it I couldn't remember properly. During the next few days I was occasionally dwelling on it, digging up details, trying to get to the start of it. I noticed that when stoned it was much easier going through it, as if there was some kind of state-induced memory or whatnot. Only today, 8 days after the experience I managed to get to the first few thoughts that started the cascade into a full-blown panic attack.
I realise that this experience is much more beneficial to me than an all-out wonderful and totally positive experience would have been. It helps me realise, that my mind, stable as it may be, is still vulnerable to new altered states of consciousness. I'm very glad that my first bad vibes were to be experienced with two well-trusted friends, in a secure location, on drugs which I knew wouldn't kill me. I can only imagine the carnage that may have ensued had I freaked at a rave or other more public location. I now have much more respect for psychoactives, and will henceforth be much more careful when trying new drugs or combinations. I am now much more confident that I can identify the beginnings of a bad trip and can thus steer it into the right direction.
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