Citation: Cirape. "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: An Experience with DOC (exp54608)". Erowid.org. Oct 18, 2006. erowid.org/exp/54608
I'd heard some good things about DOC, and had been interested in trying it. I consider myself an experienced user of entheogens and other mind-expanding substances, and have had only positive experiences previously.
Before now, I have used: Psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, Salvia Divinorum, Ecstasy, 2C-I, and 5MEO-DMT.
I have never, ever, had a 'bad trip.' I have had experiences that were challenging, but which always resulted in me working something out, or learning something. Normally, my experiences are extremely positive in feel, and very pleasurable throughout.
But I'd have to say my DOC experiences, while character-building perhaps, were less-than-glowing. I don't regret having had them, but I believe I'll refrain from ever using this substance again.
My first time, I'd just arrived in town after a long move. I was not in a bad mental state, particularly, but was a bit stressed from the move, and had some worries about whether I'd made good choices and had chosen well in where to live and what to do with the next year or so of my life. I'd basically taken a leap of faith, and while I'm used to doing that every few years, for some reason this time, I had more misgivings than normal.
I had not done any sort of hallucinogen in a long while, and when I showed up at my friend's place, he offered my SO and I some DOC to try. We each took two tabs, at about 11PM (I'm unsure what the dosage is in a tab). My SO and I had both had one alcoholic drink - I normally do not drink when I'm going to be doing anything else.
The friend who gave me the DOC left us for the night, so my SO, another friend who had helped us with the move, and I sat down to watch the Russian film, Nightwatch. I felt nothing in particular through the whole movie - it took a long time for the DOC to take noticeable effect. I didn't care for the film, but mostly because it just seemed a little dull and contrived and depressing. I didn't find it scary or anything.
Everyone had been up since early that morning (approx 9AM), and we didn't seem to be feeling any effect from the DOC (at about 1AM), and we were tired. Our friend who drove us decided to go to bed (they do not take hallucinogens, anyway), and my SO and I decided to go ahead and call it a night. We'd been assured that people can sleep on DOC.
Well... as soon as my SO and friend were asleep, I began to feel lots of muscle twitches and some cramps, though no teeth-grinding. I couldn't fall asleep, but I seemed to be coming up, so I decided to try and enjoy it, or see if I could get something out of it.
Suddenly though, I began to feel incredibly lonely. Normally, I am fairly self-contained. I love the company of my loved ones, and people to talk to, but I usually don't _need_ it.
And then, all of my worries and concerns began to just magnify. Normally, when I'm under the influence of something, I recognize the beginnings of 'stinkin thinkin' and either think positive thoughts, or just focus on letting the unpleasant ones wash over me without resistance, clearing my mind and letting the unpleasantness pass me by. This is something I learned to do to combat depression (which I overcame years ago, before doing any entheogens), so it's second-nature to me.
Well... it didn't work. I just began to feel worse and worse. But I didn't want to wake anyone up and bother them. I'd been feeling like something of a burden on my loved ones for a while. I didn't want to let my burgeoning bad trip bring them down, or inconvenience them.
But I just continued to feel terrible. My surroundings seemed to be filled with an immense, negative energy. I don't really like cities, and I was in the heart of a big one. It felt like I was just surrounded by an immense storm of foulness and negativity, like I was in psychic cesspool.
I began to worry if the friend who'd given me the DOC, was not the person I thought - if I'd misjudged him, or placed my trust in the wrong person. At the same time, I felt incredibly bad for even considering that idea. Then it seemed that the whole place was full of his energy, but that it had combined with all the worst parts of the city, becoming just this towering, raging toxic construct.
Note: When I say it felt like this, I'm not implying any actual metaphysical energy necessarily - I know I was tripping balls at this point. But it felt like that.
I went outside to smoke a cigarette and calm myself, see if I could get centered. Often, when I smoke, I make a short prayer, to all the directions, saying 'all my relations.' This usually gives me a feeling of connectedness, where I feel like a helper to others, and helped by others.
But to my surprise, I still felt terrible. I felt almost deserted.
My SO came out, around that point. Apparently, he'd woke up, and couldn't go back to sleep, and was tripping pretty well. I tried, for a while, to keep to myself, put on a nice face, and not contaminate his trip with my bad one.
Throughout all this, by the way, I kept having terrible muscle cramps and skin tics. If I concentrated on relaxing, they'd reduce in intensity, so I'm fairly sure that part of them was psychosomatic, because I'd heard it could cause aches and tics, and my bad trip was intensifying them.
Eventually though, I just had to break down and ask for help - worried, the whole time, that I'd drag my SO down into the same pit I was in, if I weren't careful.
No such bad luck though. He spent maybe half an hour to an hour - hard to say - talking me through the bad spot. I didn't really feel great, but I did feel an enormous weight lifted from me, and he got me through the worst of it, without ending up 'down' himself.
A short note: I'm a smoker (yeah, yeah, it's bad for me). But while on the DOC, every cigarette felt like I was breathing pure, unadulterated poison - but I still craved them intensely. It was very similar to how I feel if I try to smoke while on 2C-I, only more intense. Every smoke was a nightmare. I actually tried to quit smoking again the day after, and if I'd had more nicotine gum, think I might have succeeded.
We went to lie down and relax a bit. Things were a lot less terrible from that point, though I still had some physical discomfort and racing thoughts.
But then, lying there, we started cuddling a little, and kinda fooling around a little bit... and the physical sensations of pleasure rapidly became mind-blowing. We did not have full-on sex, but even just the heavy petting was so mind-numbingly fantastic it's hard to describe. During that time, it overwhelmed any negative physical effects (if I was still cramping or ticcing, I could not feel it), and I no longer felt any psychological negatives either. The closed-eye visuals and fantasizing were vivid and erotic and intensely beautiful. I'm sure I had about twelve orgasms.
After fooling around for _hours_, we finally tried to nod off again. My SO slept fitfully, but I mostly remained awake. The cramps began to feel like fever or flu cramps all over my entire body. I tossed and turned for hours, and could not getting physically comfortable.
However, sitting there bored and uncomfortable in body, but no longer really in mind, I decided to just poke around in my brain and see what I could find. I ended up finding a whole slew of my earliest memories as a small child. These were memories I simply hadn't looked at in ages - decades.
As an aside, I remember my early childhood with extraordinary clarity, and always have. I can remember my first birthday.
But I found a whole pile of old memories that were just waiting to have the dust blown off them. I replayed things that I used to think about when I was maybe two years old, as my brain was just getting the hang of perceiving, thinking, working. It was very much like finding a box of old, favorite toys, that I'd long outgrown, but remembered fondly. There was a faint feeling that somehow these memories were fragile, and that if I were too 'rough' in handling them, they'd become damaged somehow.
It felt as if, by 'reading' the memory, that there were processes that read by erasing and then re-writing, so I had to be slightly careful not to let the 'rewrite' process go poorly. At the same time, there was also an impression that my brain's 'backup' processes were very good at their job, and that I didn't need to be paranoid about it.
It felt a little bit like a 'behind the scenes' look at some of my brain - though I also had an impression that it was impossible to see everything going on with that, because it would be a little like trying to look into your own eye. :
I delved way back, much farther into memory, and discovered all sorts of things - it felt as if I could go all the way back almost to when the first neural paths were forming that became my physical consciousness. There were incredibly strange perceptions that I recognized as memories from before my eyes and ears were even good at having their data interpreted by my brain - it was like watching memories of my infant brain building itself, to become a vehicle for consciousness.
I remembered learning to talk, and to piece ideas together. I remember a time when I sort of had my own 'baby language' - sounds I attached to ideas, before I learned to necessarily attach the ideas to words that the people around me did.
I have no major doubt that all of these were real memories - my long term-memory and the way I seem to access it are well-known to me, and these did not feel like the vague 'fantasy' memories or 'the way I'd like to remember it' memories.
Unfortunately, I also ended up, eventually, getting stuck into a period of 'circling thoughts' for a while. When I was a young child, I went through a brief period of obsessive-compulsive behavior - where I'd have to turn a light switch on and off a dozen times before it felt 'right'... stuff like that. I'd long ago sort of 'Walled off' my mind from those little mental traps, but I kind of stumbled on what felt like this little encapsulated bit of obsessive-compulsiveness, and spent some hours just kind of worrying the same thoughts over and over again, until I got a handle on it. It seemed like I'd only crudely fixed the problem before, but now had an opportunity to fix it more elegantly and completely.
The next several hours were pretty much just come-down, very slowly. I did not reach baseline (or get to sleep!) until about 18 hours after taking the DOC.
I've heard from others that they had intense visuals. Other than a very surreal 'feel' to everything I saw after I came up, I had almost no visuals - except that complex surfaces seemed to become 'simplified.' Like, if I stared at the dirty concrete out back, it would seem to smooth over, unless I made an effort to look at the way it really looked. I had very few closed-eye visuals, as such, although when I attempted to fantasize, or visualize something it came _very_ clearly... more clearly than is normal for me either on or off a hallucinogen/entheogen.
I spent most of the day after the main part of the trip feeling strung-out, physically weary, mentally drained. I also felt like my heart was pounding, and physically exhausted - as bad as when I had pneumonia a long time ago. I have _never_ had a body load this severe, even after being awake much longer, or doing more X than I should have (though I only did that once - I'm careful with stuff like that).
For a couple days afterwards (even after plenty of sleep, vitamins, decent food and drink), I felt like walking up a flight of stairs too quickly might give me a heart attack. I was physically less able... my movements were sluggish, I could not lift as much as normal - a real pain when moving. It was hard to focus on mental tasks, but not impossible.
Most of this trip was negative, physically and mentally. I believe though, that most of that was probably the headspace I was in at the time.
Also... I normally approach these substances with a great deal of respect, even courtesy, and usually with the idea of expanding my mind, rather than solely for entertainment (although work and fun go together for me, and I'm not against using hallucinogens for pleasure).
I think that part of my problems, mentally, were simply that for the first time, I didn't respect what I was taking enough. I was all 'Ha ha! I'm gonna trip! Yay!' I treated it like a drug, not like a mind-expander, helper, or tool. And I ought to know better.
Now, the physical effects of this drug ensure that I'll never take it again. I took a smaller dose, one more time, about a week later. I had a nice time, but for days afterward, I was physically exhausted, and the morning after, my heart was pounding, and my chest was hurting, until I feared that I had damaged my heart. I'm still a little worried now, a week later - I still feel like I have not fully physically recovered.
I'm now concerned that even if I'm willing to accept the mental roller-coasters possible with this substance, that the physical effects of it on my body might possibly be dangerous and long-lasting. Much as I liked the amazing orgasms and explorations of the deeper areas of my memory... and as cathartic as it was to finally have a bad trip, I don't think I'll ever use this substance again.
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