Citation: Skygge. "Subtle Hallucinations: An Experience with Zolpidem (Ambien) (exp43014)". Erowid.org. Jun 7, 2007. erowid.org/exp/43014
My dad has had a problem sleeping for as long as I can remember, but it was only recently that he sought a pharmaceutical remedy. He'd done a lot of drugs in his day and so I guess he knew his blood because he never told me that he was taking Ambien. Regardless, I found one of the half-empty pill bottles on his dresser a while back. My friends had all tried it and said good things about it, so I figured I'd try it - if not for recreational use then to help me sleep.
So a few days later, I took 10mg right before I went to bed. I was lying on my back, more or less trying to sleep, looking at the light coming in through the outsides of the doorway. It was after a few minutes of doing this, that I noticed the first effects. They came on pretty subtley at first, probably because I didn't know what to expect, but once they started, their severity increased very quickly. The first thing I noticed what that the vertical line of light coming from the hallway kept moving when I tried to look at it. I would stare at it for a second or two and then it would scoot off to the right. After several minutes of this I came to the realization that what was happening wasn't external and that it was just my eyes being unable to focus, but before I realized this, the experience was extremely surreal.
This freaked me out a bit (in a good way) and so I decided to get up and walk around and see what else I could see. I wrapped myself in my comforter and went to the main room of my apartment and sat down. I looked at the table in front of me and it looked 'strange' in some way. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it and I got bored and so I went to the balcony. This is when things got really weird.
If you look down from my balcony, you can see this courtyard in the center of which there is this elevated brick circle with a white concrete perimeter. I was staring at just this, just sort of letting my mind wander, trying to see the 'strangeness' of it like I did with the table. And I did. Very subtlely, the white perimeter started to spin and levitate. I could 'make' it do this and it felt like something from a comic book. It would only last a few seconds before it would go back to where it 'normally' was, but every time I tried to make it levitate, it would go higher.
After doing this for 20+ minutes and cackling loudly, I noticed I could see the 'strangeness' of the bricks in the middle of the circle. When I concetrated on them, they would go up and down, like waves or ripples on the surface of a lake. Like with the concrete perimater, the oscillations got more and more pronounced until the bricks seemed to be 15+ feet in the air. Keep in mind that I was about 50 feet up and so I was looking down at all of this. When they got to this height, I began to see patterns in the bricks. At first it was just a swirling inside them but eventually, they looked like people. Not really people, though. They looked like aliens to me. This was simultaneously hilarious and terrifying at the time and I decided it would be best if I just went inside and went to bed. I did this and got the best night's sleep I'd gotten in many years. I slept for 11 hours and felt completely rejuvenated. Normally I sleep for 2-5 and feel like shit.
Before I end this, however, I should say a few more things. Ambien is really, really powerful. I did it several times after the above experience, but never had the hallucinations to such a degree again. Every time I did it after the first time, it hit me like a freight train within 15 minutes. The only thing I can compare it to is like getting more drunk than I've ever been in my entire life all at once. One time I took it while typing at my computer and about 10 minutes later I was literally drooling on my keyboard, completely unable to type anything.
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