Citation: Vastness. "Nocturnal Torment In an Alien Forest: An Experience with H.B. Woodrose (exp54450)". Erowid.org. Jul 23, 2006. erowid.org/exp/54450
The dose described in this report is very high, potentially beyond Erowid's 'heavy' range, and could pose serious health risks or result in unwanted, extreme effects. Sometimes extremely high doses reported are errors rather than actual doses used.]
A few days before, I powdered in a coffee grinder 4 doses of 25 of the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds I had ordered from an online vendor. They were from Hawaii, allegedly with a very high germination rate and, according to several other sources, very potent.
Since I and my friends I would be tripping with had already done 800 seeds of morning glory as a first time dose, I assumed 24 seeds would be an equal dose. I was confused, however, by the fact that a website put the potency of HBWR at 25x that of morning glory, which would put our dose at 32 seeds. Since, however, we would be tripping in a tent in the forest instead of a house this time, we decided to go with a slightly lower dose, and I decided that rounding 24 to 25 would probably be a slightly weaker trip than before.
I woke up at around 10:30, went to school for my final A level exam that day, then met one of the 3 close friends I would be tripping with (let’s call him J) after school. We picked up a quarter of ‘green’ (cannabis), bought some food (four chocolate yogurts, bourbons, crisps, cookies and apple juice) and stopped to smoke a joint on the way to meet M and R, who would be setting up a tent in the spot M and J had picked earlier. J apparently found it slightly more difficult to find the spot due to the effects of the joint, but we found it quite quickly anyway. On the way to it, I was told we didn’t have a light, which worried me a bit since we would be tripping in absolute blackness, but I wasn’t TOO worried, surprisingly. M looked disapproving and I thought I heard him say something like “You look SO stoned”, to us, but I could have imagined that.
I think before we put the tent up, J and M, in that order, took a few bong hits of the 40x salvia extract R had bought with him. We didn’t have a torch lighter, though, so probably weren’t smoking it too efficiently. They both reported a feeling of something leaning into them (which was interesting, because I’ve read of this being a common effect, although I never experienced it personally), and then decided it wasn’t very good really and wasn’t worth doing again, which is a shame really because I don’t think either of them experienced anywhere near what salvia is actually capable of. I’m sure I’ll convince them to do it again anyway, though. It was while we were sitting out here that I realised I had absolutely NOT considered, AT ALL, bringing more clothes for the night. I was wearing jeans, a thin t-shirt, and a jacket, so it could have been worse, but I could have been warmer, all the same. R, however, had left the jeans he bought at M’s house, only having a jumper, calf-length shorts of some kind, and a thin blanket.
Finally we put the tent up, while listening to music (portable speakers attached to an mp3 player) which was more difficult than it needed to be because there were some poles missing, which meant the tent needed to be tied to some trees on either side of the path to hold it up. The tent was VAST, though. Seriously huge. I had imagined it would just about have sitting room for four people, but nowhere near what it actually had. There was an outside porch section which could be closed up, and then an inner room completely closed off with zips from even the other inner part of the tent, with 2 side compartments itself, which could be closed off or opened up. There was standing room for all of us, easily. I admit I actually didn’t do too much to help setting up the tent myself, because I was still quite stoned, which always makes me feel pretty exhausted. I did what I could, though, and soon enough we all moved inside the front section of the tent. I was initially bothered by all the bugs that had got into the corners of the roof, but quickly forgot about them.
I got out the ground up seeds, which I had packaged neatly into bags, and those who hadn’t seen it yet were pleased by the small amount compared to the bagful of morning glory we had to ingest before. We had been going to use the yoghurts, but they were hard to drink and we decided just to bomb it (wrap it in rizla and swallow) in one (or two, as some did). R put some in his yoghurt before realising he didn’t like the taste, and then had to split it into bombs, which was pretty inconvenient for him. We washed down the bombs with apple juice, despite the fact that we had 2 big bottles of tap water, as I had read the fluorine (in the UK) in tap water destroys the lysergic alkaloids. R didn’t seem to believe this (and I might have been wrong) but was still slightly uncertain about drinking the water for a while.
We smoked some joints on the comeup (and more were rolled for later, given how impossible we knew it would become), which, I expect, helped the initial nausea quite a lot. Coming up just sitting around the front of the tent was far easier than wandering around as we had done before, although R, it appeared, soon began to feel quite sick anyway. M and J threw away their yoghurts at his request, and also because they weren’t very good after all, but since I still felt OK I simply moved mine behind me out of his sight, since he was lying down with his eyes covered anyway. I soon moved and knocked it over, though, so I threw it away when he asked again and mopped up the spilt yoghurt with some sort of teacloth, which I then threw outside the tent with it.
Suddenly J began to feel nauseous as well, and went to throw up. R, maybe feeling slightly better now, went with him. I think everyone then went back inside the tent for a while, while I sat at the edge of it needing to throw up as well. It wasn’t TOO bad at this stage, though. The mental trip was starting, and while I felt very sick, lying with my head outside the tent was comfortable enough and as long as I didn’t move, I felt quite good. M was outside the tent for some reason, either throwing up or just lying there, and eventually J came out, munching on some crisps. I rolled over, satisfied that I probably wouldn’t throw up now, and began to stare into the leaves. This was seriously AMAZING, and was when the trip truly began to start. I told M to look at the leaves, and I think J did as well after a while. R, I think, was still feeling sick (or just confused) inside the tent.
I can’t really describe what the leaves looked like, but I’ll try anyway – firstly, they were oak leaves, I think, and they started to take on the shape of tessellating clubs, as in a deck of cards. They also arranged themselves in what appeared to be almost an infinite tunnel of leaves, meaning the treetops looked a lot higher than they probably were. The circular parts of the clubs flashed green yellow colours, and faded in and out of being in a geometric grid that superimposed itself over the patterns of the leaves. The leaves looked like they were arranged far too geometrically in any case.
Looking at the tree trunks was also interesting – the spaces between the trees began to take on a newly three-dimensional appearance, whereas the tree trunks themselves looked like cardboard cut-outs, with a slight luminance about them. When I looked at the tree trunks closer to the tops of the trees, however, it looked as if the trees were grouped in small clusters, which all reached out to a single uniform, circular mat of flat leafy, branchy material at the top of the group. Each group swayed as one, while distinctly from the other groups. I began to realise how much they looked like alien mushrooms, and immediately the tree trunks began to look like veins in the skin of huge, invisible mushrooms, with the circular mats of leaf being the caps. The sky took on an alien colour as well, as if the composition of the atmosphere had changed, and I began to think of what an amazing variety of experiences there could be in self awareness, the realisations I gained staying with me even now.
In sober life, it appears, humans are extremely condescending towards what I can only describe, even now, as “lesser” forms of sentience – animal life. While we acknowledge, usually, the struggle of their existence, we always bear in mind HOW MUCH LESS they can feel (or so we think) than us. How much less intensely they feel emotions, and enjoyment and fear. For, surely, they have such simple brains! I’m not condemning this – in fact, I don’t think there is a practical alternative viewpoint to have, much as we cannot bear in mind the utter complexity of the universe lest we lose focus on our lives entirely. We have been designed evolutionarily to play a part, and attempting to circumvent our built in safeguards (such as the ability to necessarily ignore huge aspects of the existence we dwell in) will negate our importance in the human game. But I digress – it appeared to me, and does still, now, to some extent, that the processes occurring in my brain could not have been THAT complicated. Granted, LSD acts on a vast variety of receptors, I’m not sure how other assorted lysergamides compare, but it seemed to me that was only a function of my brain density. IE, how much brain matter I have as a human.
At the same time, it seemed like my fascination with the invisible mushroom forest I seemed to have found myself in was taking up a very small part of my entire field of self-awareness. And surely, I realised – an animal with a brain equally saturated with chemicals (even if it WAS smaller) – could feel with just as much intensity as I was now. I reeled at the implications – another creature could live it’s entire life in a similar state to this, if it suited it, interacting with its world under a completely different set of base assumptions. I wondered how many arbitrary concepts had worked their way into the human communication game. How much more real were ideas such as “forest” to group areas of trees as “mushroom clump” to group groups of trees in the forest? While this is an extreme example which I’m not entirely sure I believe now, I remain convinced there may be less obvious examples that are so intrinsic to our daily life that they remain unnoticed.
J had talked before this trip of how some sort of deep-ocean fish might simply be tripping all the time, if we could experience it’s mindset, so my memory of this probably influenced my realisations significantly. I imagined, as well, that we were at the bottom of a vast sea, at the bottom of a coral reef of some sort, the appearance of which the forest was quickly taking on. Experiencing the life of a species in a far vaster alien ecosystem, or the clumsily translated perceptions of one in our own? I was lost in a maze of thoughts of perception and self-awareness.
All through this, note, I had been rambling quickly and probably quite clumsily as I tried to convey my thoughts and experiences to my friends – I do this a lot on mushrooms, also. I was occasionally amused at my rapid talking about sometimes exceedingly abstract concepts, and would stop to ask if anyone understood me. Sometimes they said no, but surprisingly often the answer was yes, which I was pleased about. I talked a lot here, something not that usual for me. We also talked about how immense the coming night was going to be, and how much our situation would change in the coming years. This was somewhat saddening, but we had a whole night of insanity ahead of us for the moment.
R, finally, came outside the tent. I had come out of my very mental trip (although I had been conveying it by talking almost the whole time), and was leaning against the fabric of the inner room of the tent. We realised we all felt quite out of breath, but it wasn’t at all uncomfortable. However, R mentioned “breathing” in some context, and J, it seemed, got quite worried suddenly about his own. He then apparently kept passing out for short periods, which I don’t really remember, but I was tripping quite hard so I don’t doubt it. My memory is a bit fragmented at this point also, so I have a few memories of everyone sitting outside the tent in different positions. I think M might have felt sick for a while here, as he was still lying in a way that made me think he was, but I might be wrong.
Everyone then began to move into the inner room of the tent, perhaps because it was becoming darker and colder outside, and also because we were beginning to trip quite hard. I remember, at this point, I was beginning to feel quite uncomfortable. The nausea was back a bit, and I was rapidly losing track of where I was and what position I was in. This happened near the end of the morning glory trip, but it was coming on extremely early this time. I remember someone asking M how he was, and him saying he wasn’t sure if he felt OK, and, suddenly, everyone moved inside. There was such a huge amount of stuff outside the tent, though, which concerned me a lot – green, rizla, people’s rolling tobacco, CD players, speakers, CD cases, bags, jumpers, food, phones. None of us had considered it earlier, and while I could probably have just gone inside the tent and left it and no-one would have objected, I realised how much more intense the trip might get and decided it would be best to start getting everything inside before it was dark and we were all utterly incapable.
As well as this, I would be comforted by the fact that everything of any importance was safely in what I was thinking of, for the moment, as the “inner sanctum” of the tent. I first started selecting people’s things individually, and reaching in to hand them to them, but either this took me fucking ages or it got quite a bit darker quite quickly, or the trip just picked up speed as I was going (probably more likely) because I was soon more fucking confused than I have ever been about where the fuck I was, feeling like I needed to throw up continuously, all the while still frantically clinging to the thought that I just HAD to get ALL THIS SHIT inside the fucking tent! I think R may have offered to help me a few times, maybe the others did too, or maybe they were tripping too hard, but I still felt I could get this done and the task of doing it was an affirmation to myself that I was still slightly controlled.
Also, not out of any particular distrust at other people’s ability to do it properly, I just felt like it would be more satisfying to do it all myself. Thinking of it now, though, I wonder how much more confusing it would have been with someone else helping me.
I was also still able to enjoy myself a bit, despite the onrushing nausea and confusion, knowing the reward would be to sit in the comfortable warmth (I wished) of the inner room of the tent having got everyone’s shit safely inside. I had by now begun dumping random objects and loose papers and everything I could find just inside the door, but it took me a while every time to find even this. Note also that at this time I had absolutely no idea what sort of lighting there was outside and was almost scared to even step outside the boundaries of the tent’s floor mat in case I got lost and couldn’t find my way back in, even though there was presumably enough light to see by. I kept repeating “Where the fuck am I? I don’t know where I am. I can’t work out where the fuck I am.” All the while stumbling around, occasionally chancing on some random item and getting it inside like I was triumphantly slamming a ball between goalposts (not physically, because some of this stuff was quite fragile, but in retrospect this was the sort of feeling of achievement I had).
I heard my friends being slightly amused by my stumbling around, and was amused in some part of my mind myself, still, despite my utter bewilderment and sickness. FINALLY, in any case, I had everything inside the doorway to the tent’s inner room (except the bottles of water, which might have spilt – or maybe someone moved them outside later), and clumsily lumbered inside, muttering to everyone exasperatedly how they would just have to hunt through the pile of shit in the entrance for whatever they needed, and lay down on the floor.
At this point it was getting so dark it was basically impossible to see. I had NO IDEA where I was inside the tent. I wasn’t even sure I was inside the tent sometimes. The proportions of it stretched and contorted in the blackness, once taking on the shape of a circus tent, and I actually thought there was a large cage like object sitting some distance away from me, although I never stopped to properly think about this. Light sprinklings of colours spiralled in the darkness making imaginary patterns, and I occasionally grabbed random things before putting them down, utterly ignorant as to what I had just been holding. I kept looking up, wondering what was going on, lying back down again, and listening to people talk. I heard someone (maybe M) say they weren’t sure if they’d be able to move if they needed to throw up and someone else (maybe J) reply that they knew and just to move away from the centre. In the dark, actually, the tent seemed far bigger than it was. I felt like I was lying with everyone in different parts of a small circus tent.
If it was lighter and I had realised that it wasn’t actually THAT big I would probably have felt a lot more secure. But then, I might have thought it was big because I felt cold, which was probably because the door of the inside of the tent was open, and all the outside doors were open, and exposed to the night.
The ground was SO UNCOMFORTABLE, also. I just can’t express how astonishingly uncomfortable the ground was. Sticks and pieces of rock jutted into my sides and my back no matter which way I lay, and I just couldn’t get comfortable. Comfort soon stopped being the priority, though, and it became instead making sure not to stay in one position long enough for any limbs to fall asleep. I don’t think there was music, but there was some sort of insane tune in my head, and it felt like I was moving up and down where I was lying in time to it, like the ground was made of (hard) rubber. It wasn’t at all comfortable, though, because lying over it all was the feeling of intense discomfort that the sensory psychedelia did absolutely zero to negate. I soon realised I wasn’t sure I could even breathe, and kept suddenly taking great gasps of air. I immediately wished I hadn’t smoked any joints earlier, believing the lingering burntness of my respiratory tract to be making the situation worse.
I actually think I was breathing, now, since I can breathe quite easily with barely perceptible inflation of my chest, but at the time the fact I couldn’t feel my breathing was fucking terrifying, and of course the panic this caused only made things worse. I thought I heard M say something like “I can’t… breathe, properly…”, or maybe it was someone else, but in any case it was a sentiment I shared. I was actually wondering, for a while, what the fuck we could do. I was imagining a huge variety of different scenarios of just being found by the police, or leaving fucking everything and stumbling to someone’s house, even though I realised how absolutely we could just not do this and how much we would regret it if we even tried.
I also thought a lot about my family situation, something I was led onto to some extent by the fact that I thought briefly about how absolutely we could not go back to my house – it was seriously horrible. I don’t even like to think about the sensation of it now, although, of course, I can’t really envision how I was thinking at the time. I was just thinking, mainly, about how different I seemed from my family, and how incomplete my relationship with them was in general. I regretted not being closer to them, but at the same time I really didn’t think I needed to change in a manner that would improve my relationship with them.
I absolutely had no idea what I could do to solve it, which just caused me to mentally despair, but now, I’m going to blame it (and I don’t think this is a cop-out) on the way our society is structured. Family groups are so absolutely different from how they were as we evolved, and it is an evolutionary patchwork that allows us generally to ignore this fact. While this may be sufficient for a normally functioning brain, a brain in the midst of an abnormal chain reaction sparked by one of nature’s most powerful psychoactives is too laden with hidden passages and alternative routes of thought for this rudimentary barrier to do anything to protect us. Hopefully, in any case, I’ll eventually find a way to resolve this situation to my satisfaction.
It was also so impossible to move. Absolutely insurmountable lethargy. But, once again, it was just necessary to force myself to change my position every now and again, even though the new position would be no better – in retrospect maybe it did help a bit, but at the time I was always moving on the hope of a minor abatement of discomfort, and keeping my aching limbs awake. The former hope I never felt was satisfied at the time. I was very worried I would just pass out in a weird position on the uncomfortable ground, and wake up with certain parts of my body having died from lack of blood flow.
J was talking occasionally, but I wasn’t sure what he was saying. I heard the words, but I could not expend any mental energy on grasping the concepts, since it was all focused on just enduring. I would occasionally grunt, and I think M did more than me. I maybe talked once or twice – mainly just to state that I realised rationally that I just needed to endure it, but at the same time the internal psychoemotional torment would just not relent. I could barely think most of the time, except to say how bad I felt. Some time in this eternity of torment, R came back in, apparently having gone outside to throw up. There was some sort of light, I’m not sure if it was from a torch or just a lighter, but he was standing up and saying he could get things for people because he now felt so much better. I think I might have asked for some water, but I’m not completely sure.
I think I lay for longer while I vaguely listened to R and J talk for a while – one of them (I think R) said that the seed husks were probably what caused the nausea, and I had neglected to remove them because I had read it was a myth. Having experienced such an overwhelmingly bad feeling, however, I’ve since found myself reconsidering many of the supposed “myths” about these seeds – the husks contain most of the nausea causing chemicals, the seeds themselves contain cyanogenic glucosides, etc, etc. As far as I can tell, there’s no hard evidence either way, and those that are sceptical of such claims may just be more tolerant to the aforementioned chemicals than others. The way I felt sounds very similar to cyanide poisoning, some symptoms of which being, off the top of my head, extreme lethargy, bluing of the limbs (my fingers hurt to move at times, at least) and extreme sickness.
Shortly after this, though, there was a light outside my closed eyelids, and J was sitting up with a surprisingly bright torch – we had a light after all! Perhaps it was the same one that had illuminated R earlier, perhaps not. The light briefly washed away my utter internal lack of control, and for a few precious seconds I forgot how uncomfortable I felt. M had just gone outside to throw up, and J told me to do the same. I had, truthfully, felt like I was going to throw up for so long, but could do nothing about it. I have no idea at what stage in the trip I was in at this point, but I clumsily stumbled outside.
I stood there for ages at the front entrance of the tent, holding alternately onto one of the supporting poles of the tent, and one of the trees we had tied to the tent with a rope to support it. I worked this out by feeling alone, since it was utterly black. There was presumably some starlight, however, as I could tell there was a crumpled carrier bag lying directly in front of the tent. These landmarks, anyway, and stumbling between them and using them to orientate myself (note that none of them were anything more than a meter from each other, probably less) would make up the next few hours. I stood there for so long, dry heaving at the ground. Just needing to throw up. I needed to throw up so much it was unbearable. I said “I just NEED to throw up!” in an almost panicked tone so many times. I felt I was just about to throw up for so long, leaning against that tree or grasping at that pole. Finally I heard M throwing up and he went back inside.
Apparently he hadn’t actually thrown up and had just given up, though, which I didn’t find out until later. Still, at the time, his going back inside worried me so much, since it seemed to me I was being sick for abnormally long. I had been the last one to throw up on morning glory as well, so this shouldn’t have surprised me, but the nausea was SO bad. I bent over for ages, attempting to compress my stomach and force out it’s contents, to no avail, and then simply kneeled, dry heaving and spitting at the ground. My worry over my breathing came and went, but I’m positive it was with me for the rest of the night. I can’t express well how much discomfort I was in, in writing, and can’t even, really, imagine it now, but know that it was in that night that I felt the worst I have ever felt in my life. The badness I felt absolutely cannot be conceived from within a normally functioning mind.
The next few hours were utter freezing torment. I would kneel on the ground, keel over, sit up suddenly, worrying I’d got vomit or saliva on my hair, run my fingers through it, get dust from the forest floor over my face and on my lips, try to get a piece of dirt off my overwhelming dry tongue, and stand up, kneel, heave, repeat. At some point when I was sitting I realised I had taken my shoes off earlier, and apparently neglected to bring them in when I had embarked on my mission to get everything else inside. This worried me a lot. I worried I might have pissed on them or thrown up on them or that they might just be in the forest and lost. I reached out – and found a shoe! For a moment I was completely overjoyed, and it is odd to consider, in retrospect, that I could experience such enjoyment in the midst of such agony, even if it was at such a small mercy at a found shoe. I said how happy I was to anyone who was listening inside the tent, tried to put my shoe on, found it didn’t fit, asked and wondered if anyone else had left their shoes outside, and left it again.
I then realised I might have been trying to put it on the wrong foot. Suddenly I was hit by a new wave of nausea, stood up, and threw up forcefully. For a few moments I felt so utterly relieved. Then the nausea was back. I was utterly devastasted at the fact that I still had NOT FINISHED throwing up! I decided to try the shoe again, grabbed it, and it fit my foot. I grasped around in the dark and found the other, and put it on. I was so happy, on top of the nausea, for the simple mercy of having been allowed to put shoes on.
I stuck my fingers deep down my throat, feeling my contracting tonsils and root of my tongue, and spewed acid from my throat. I immediately felt a pain in the root of my front teeth from the scorching biogenic chemical I had just brought up. I did this several times, then simply could NOT throw up anymore, even though I still felt like I needed to! I used my finger to force my stomach to contract completely, stomach walls meeting each other (at least, it felt like this), but nothing came out. I grabbed for the water bottle, knocked it over, picked it up, drank some water, sloshed it about in my mouth, spat it out, drank some more. I had done this several times when I was trying to throw up also.
This was probably where the trip got the worst. I just could not stop imagining how bad things could be. All the horrors over the short reign of humankind (and even those without) flashed through my mind. There’s really not much I can write about this, since the essence of it is fairly inconceivable, but I don’t think there wasn’t a potential horror I didn’t consider, or a bad light in which I didn’t look at my life. I became overwhelmingly depressed about how bad things WERE, and was further depressed by how much worse they could be. Was there no end to badness that could be felt?
I then realised, much to my dismay, that I needed a piss. I stood up, stumbled around in my confusion, reached down to feel the boundary of the tent floor mat (I had to do this several times as well, in addition to feeling for the tree, the pole, or looking at the white plastic bag in the faint starlight). And immediately staggered back, worried I was standing in my vomit. I knelt down inside the tent, and stupidly announced I needed a piss and asked for suggestions. I received the obvious (“Get your cock out, and piss.”) with a warning that seemed like an afterthought not to piss on the tent. I stumbled back into the porch of the tent, knocked over another water bottle fucking everywhere (how many fucking bottles were there in this tent?!) and stumbled out of one of the side entrances of the porch. I then pissed a lot, worrying I might start to throw up while I was pissing. I went back inside the tent porch, resumed my position attempting to throw up, and then found, much to my utter dismay, again, that I needed a piss again but this time just couldn’t piss. I physically couldn’t force the urine from my bladder. It may have been, in fact, that I actually didn’t need to piss after all and it was simply very cold, and in retrospect this seems very likely given that I had just pissed a lot. But I couldn’t risk this. I knelt on the ground to throw up some more occasionally, as well, while complaining how I couldn’t piss. I tried so hard to piss I thought I might shit myself, which may have been more possible than usual because of the havoc the seeds were still playing with my digestive tract.
I once stumbled back inside the tent, stupidly asked if I could come in, then just told everyone I still needed to piss and throw up and went back outside, knowing how pointless it was to go in, in the first place. I resumed my routine of kneeling, standing, and just moving so that none of my limbs would fall asleep, and found it so difficult to breathe properly. I listened to J and R talking inside the tent and became very paranoid at points. There was really no reason for me to be paranoid, although it’s possible that at times they may actually have been talking about my condition, because they’re both extremely good friends, but I was feeling so unhappy and uncomfortable and overwhelmingly despairing that I couldn’t help looking at every situation in the worst light I could. It’s worth bringing up here that throughout this trip I wasn’t sure if I would ever come down – I thought about the famous LSD flashbacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, and wondered if I would ever, really, be happy again.
FINALLY, anyway, I managed to piss. Not very much at all, but enough to say fuck it and go back inside. I washed my hands first quite thoroughly with some water (more for the benefit of those in the tent, given how long I had stood just holding my penis in the dark – probably half an hour at least – all the while ranting about how unhappy I was about the fact that I just couldn’t piss although I needed to). Earlier on I had been asked by people inside the tent if I was masturbating – apparently they thought I might try this, since I had wondered if I just needed to warm up my genitals enough to be able to piss. Another thing – throughout the night, my testicles felt so uncomfortably tight. R later brought this up, apparently having experienced this as well.
As I stumbled inside I knocked over a water bottle again, righted it, now used to such an occurrence, and lay down next to everyone else, who was under a sheet. Lying down felt amazing for a moment. I had stood in the dark for so long that lying down, even on such hard, uncomfortable ground, was so relieving. I still needed to throw up, but by now I just decided that if I couldn’t throw up I might as well fight in the opposite direction and suppress the urge. It seemed to be coming in waves now, anyway. Another problem remained, though – I was seriously SO COLD. Unbearably. J had told me several times earlier that there was another jumper in his bag, but I maintained I was completely unable to get it, and finally someone threw a jumper at me (I assume it was the one in J’s bag) to which I simply responded “Ahhh, man, I can’t express…” as I draped it over me. There was no way I could work out how to put it on.
I still felt nauseous and uncomfortable and found it hard to breathe. I kept waking myself up suddenly with great gasping breaths. I said I needed to throw up again several times, and said maybe I would just throw up in my bag. I was told (I think by R) that there was a plastic bag next to me, and I reached over to it, clumsily pushed it to my face, and threw up burning liquid which I quickly inhaled and spluttered out, my throat and lungs rasping at the effort. During throwing up, I thought I felt vomit running down my side, and was quite sure that in my haste to throw up, I had thrown up onto the bottom of the bag or something, and it had all trickled out. I was incredibly relieved, then, to feel the comforting feeling of a full and warm plastic bag. I suddenly realised I felt SO MUCH BETTER. SO MUCH. SUCH a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I said this a lot, apparently in a much more high-pitched voice than usual. J and M were mostly asleep by this point, but J mumbled that was what he had been talking about earlier. R asked me to pass something to him (a tin, I think, and cigarettes) and finding them was so enjoyable.
It was still quite dark by this point, but I was so overwhelmingly happy. The ground didn’t even feel so uncomfortable anymore. J needed to throw up suddenly, and I gave him the plastic bag, but I don’t think he did. He then went outside, M with him, and I found out later that they both threw up at this point, marking the first time M had thrown up at all. At this point, despite the remaining cold, I felt so good I decided to try to put on the jumper I had been given earlier on. I finally gave it to R to sort out while I took off my jacket, and then I put it on and the jacket over it, once again saying how much I “can’t express” (…my gratitude – being the implication). Someone who had been outside had also closed up the entire outside porch of the tent and zipped up the inner door as they came back in. The room was pleasingly enclosed when everyone was back inside. I went outside to find the mostly spilt water bottles later in the morning, and took them inside (along with a lighter I found with them), closing everything again as I went.
I then sat up for ages with R talking about the night before. I think, in retrospect, I was acting quite weirdly in the way I spoke. Slightly like I was pilled, but also just generally strangely. It was enjoyable, though. It seemed our trips had been quite similar in the overall fact that they had just been such a terrible night, but we both shared the utterly strange feeling of what a good experience it had been at the same time, and how glad we were it had happened. While I was talking I noticed I was still very confused, though, and at times it felt like I was forgetting what I was trying to say in the process of saying it, relying on my memory only of what the next few words were going to be, and utterly forgetting whatever I had been saying by the time I had finally said it.
I began to eat, and while biting hurt my teeth because of their earlier acid bath, the flavour was too good to pay attention to this. I actually managed to eat basically all the crisps, which I felt a bit bad about later. Some cookies, also, and a few bourbons. We may have smoked a joint at this point, but I’m not 100% sure of this. There were some dog walkers, and a few dogs barked at the tent and seemed to sniff around it, but fortunately the outside was closed.
M went out later on briefly, I think to piss, and we heard some guy talk to him briefly, saying something like “Could you not do this somewhere else?! You’re right across the path! Don’t think you’re even allowed.” Apparently, M ignored him completely, which I find pretty funny. A spider landed on the roof (at least, what I thought was a spider) and neither R or I could work out whether it was moving or not, or what it was doing with it’s legs – it looked like it was whirling them around at some points, but when I focused inwards again, they became normal sized legs for a spider that size.
M woke up briefly, reached over J to the water lying on it’s side, drank some, and put it down upright next to J. I thought J would probably move and knock it over, but then thought that no, that probably wouldn’t happen after all. Later on in the morning, J woke up and said he’d knocked over the water. After everyone got up for a while, we all went and stood outside briefly, opened up the tent again, took some valuable stuff from the tent (but left a lot as well) and went out to the golf course with apple juice, water, bourbons, and green. It seemed everyone had had a bad trip besides J, oddly. We smoked quite a few joints and ate quite a few bourbons (finished them, in fact). Lots of golfers walked past us, and all said something about how we were going to get hit by a ball. Some guy on a ride-on lawnmower machine came and told us to move, and we walked for a bit. I realised that I just couldn’t move, though. I seriously felt like I would pass out if I stood up for too long. I think everyone else probably felt similar, as we all sat down probably 10 meters from where we had been before. Some younger people came up on a converted car of some sort and told us to move again, and we just stumbled back into the forest and back inside the tent. Smoked more joints, tried to hotbox the inside of the tent, finished the green, talked about how good food would be. We had stayed in the tent for ages, really. It was almost 4 o’clock PM by this point.
Suddenly, anyway, I decided I wanted to smoke some salvia. No-one seemed to want to do it with me, but I wasn’t phased. I always find salvia fun in such a weird way, a feeling most people don’t seem to share. The 40x was either all gone or lost, so I only had some packets of 6x. There was also no torch lighter, so I would just have to smoke as much as I could. There was no water, either, so taking a huge hit would be difficult. Despite this, I loaded the bong with 3 quarters of one of my bags of 6x salvia extract, lit it, and began to inhale. I took several hits, each time until I felt I might cough, and held them all for varying lengths of time. I did several things wrong, really, even with the lack of proper salvia smoking equipment. I didn’t hold the lighter on the salvia for every hit, just let it burn, and I just didn’t take enough hits or big enough hits in general.
Despite this, I got some interesting effects. I mainly noticed I was being affected when I noticed first some minor effects, and then tried to explain them and noticed how slurred and messy my voice sounded. J was moving around a lot, it seemed, while still sitting down, and when he moved his arms I realised what it looked like – it looked like people’s body’s were made up of a selection of blocklike pieces – much like they were Lego men, in fact, but perhaps with slightly more definition, like one of the many imitations of Lego people. M looked a bit more like a Duplo man, but it was very similar. It looked like people had the joints of toy men like this. The smoke gave the room a weird western feel, as well, and I felt like I was in a children’s cartoon, or a toy in a toybox. I feel this a lot on salvia, but often I feel more like a child in a toybox, or a playroom, whereas this time I was also a toy. I didn’t look at R too much in this experience. But when his arm moved in the corner of my eye it looked like a wave on the surface of his blanket.
Although I felt everything I’ve just described, the experience was in fact quite mild compared to some salvia trips I’ve had. I noticed immediately how slurred my talking was, and how much it felt like something was leaning into my body, probably because I had been with people experiencing that yesterday – but, in this case, something was leaning into me, because I was lying into the fabric of the tent at an odd angle. I was disappointed to find the green was all gone, because the comedown from salvia feels very weird and not that enjoyable.
Finally we started to clear up the tent, picked up everything, packed it up, left the rubbish, and went home. I was so overwhelmingly exhausted, and my face looked so tired. I had some bread and butter and something that may have been a pear at M’s house, and then decided with R, perhaps stupidly, to buy the cheapest ticket we could get to get into the station so we would have some money for chips. There was someone at the gates at the other station, so we had to pay, after which we couldn’t afford food.
I got a bus home, ate a pizza, an orange, and drank loads of some ultra fat content chocolate milk I was surprised to find in my fridge, then went to sleep, having eaten far too much too quickly and feeling extremely bloated.
I’m surprisingly glad about this experience, and actually felt amazingly happy the next day for no apparent reason. I’m so glad that night happened. I truly feel like it’s added an experience of great value to my life.
It is true, having experienced such an overwhelmingly bad trip, that I can appreciate how not that bad everyday life actually is a lot more. The fact that I survived it is also, to some extent, a testament to my own mental resilience, a lesson about my personal limits and a lesson in just how much a person can actually endure. Most people will never experience the sort of relentless hellish torment that powerful psychedelics can provide, and while I don’t mean to deprecate physical suffering in any way, and am aware that the ability to inflict such an experience on oneself is itself an indicator of an abundance of physical comfort – psychological suffering is in some ways on a level completely distinct from that of physical sensation, something revealed quite obviously by the fact that so many would not even consider embarking upon a such a path, or touching a psychedelic. Having emerged from such an intensity of it unscathed (and, bear in mind, some people definitely would not) does feel unshakably like a triumph. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about myself.
I don’t feel scared away from psychedelics at all, and, really, can’t wait to trip again.
I do enjoy thinking about the insanity of the attempt, though. Taking 25 (!) of a strain of Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds known to be extremely potent (despite numerous warnings not to take too many in an unfamiliar environment), in a tent, at night, in a forest. Haha, fuck.
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