Citation: Chris. "Didn't Know What I Was Getting into, Hit Hard: An Experience with LSD (exp56437)". Erowid.org. Oct 22, 2006. erowid.org/exp/56437
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When I look my first and so far only hit of LSD, I really had no idea what I was getting into. I had really only heard of the visual and auditory hallucination part of LSD, and figured all the rest was media fluff. I didn't think it did anything really profound. I thought that I'd lay in bed and watch funny pictures for 8 hours. I was totally wrong.
I'd always been curious about substances, but never had the opportunity to try any. My friend told me that he had some LSD, and made it apparent that he'd give me a hit for free. I was really interested in trying it. The only research I'd done so far on LSD was about any medical side effects or illnesses or death. After hearing it was very rare, I decided to go for it, not understanding all the effects it had on the mind. But come to think of it, even if I had understood the effects to the mind, I would still have done it, but I would have been better prepared.
So there was a psytrance party type thing that my friend was intent on going to. I wanted to go see it too. We were going to possibly drop some LSD there, but it turned out to be very disappointing, and I am very glad that we decided not to take the LSD for reasons that will become apparent as I explain my experience.
We went back to campus and he gave me the hit of LSD he promised (which I did not take yet, but wrapped up in some paper and left on my desk), and we went to hang out with some friends for the night.
A day or two passed, I can't remember, and during these days I slept very minimally. Bad sleeping habits and tiredness were not a new thing to me, and it was perfectly normal for me to walk around like a zombie for a day or two before being able to get a good night's rest.
Anyway, one afternoon, I remembered about the LSD. I decided to take it. I'd heard from my friend that if you turn out all the lights and lay in the dark, it's very intense. I thought that was a good idea, but the problem was it was daytime and my shutters didn't close entirely. What I ended up doing was taking thumbtacks and tacking up thick towels over the windows, using the wood trim to press the tacks into. Then I rolled up a towel and laid it along the bottom. Now there was no daylight entering my room, and when I turned the lights off it was pitch dark aside from the faint light that came out the bottom of my door. Perfect!
My mindset was, I thought, very good, but it turned out to be the wrong sort of mindset for LSD. I was ready to have a new experience, but I wasn't ready to lose my state of consciousness and have everything I know to be true torn apart at the seams. I didn't realize how attached to reality I was. Nonetheless, I was happy, excited, and wanted to have some fun.
I was in my dorm room, where I spent 99% of the trip. It was the weekend, so the dorms were not as busy as usual, many of the students having gone home. I was comfortable in my dorm room, having spent many hours in there quite happily. The surroundings were very familiar. I had lived there for about 7 months.
I took the acid at 1:30 PM, half an hour or so after I took my ortho tricyclen. In hindsight, that might have been a bad idea, because tricyclen (birth control) has noticable effects on certain medications and drugs. I haven't been able to find any info about its reactions with LSD, but it's possible they had something to do with how hard this hit me.
I turned out all the lights, laid down, and got ready to see fucked up stuff. However, within 10 minutes I started to feel very paranoid. I was staring at the towels that I had tacked up over my window, and I was extremely frightened that something was outside, trying to get into my window, even though I knew it wasn't true. There wasn't any amount of rationalization in the world that could tell me not to be scared of this. I knew for a fact that nothing could climb up 3 stories and try to get into my room through the window, and even if they could, why would they? There was no reason to be scared of this, and suddenly I was very afraid of the dark. I took the towels down, and that eased the fear away. I was still slightly worried, but being able to see outside my window really helped.
From here on, everything is really kind of a blur. I can't tell exactly what order the rest of these events came in, so I will try my best, but it's possible that one thing happened before another, so any inconsistencies in my story should be taken as evidence of the fact that the traditional notion of time had very little meaning to me.
As a result of my sleep deprivation, I think, I passed out on my bed. I came to, to the sound of my don slipping a package of papers under my door. I had forgotten that I'd taken LSD, and I didn't know how long I'd slept. It was probably only a half hour, but it wasn't something I was worried about.
I didn't realize I was tripping, and I started leafing through the papers, having nothing better to do. Gradually, little signals started going off telling me that something was wrong or different. Soon I realized... holy shit, I'm tripping. I was so concerned with my state of mind that I hardly noticed any visuals, which I wish now that I'd paid more attention to so I could describe them. I chatted with people on MSN for awhile, and was very concerned with trying to get them to understand that time is a fractal, recurring, repeating, etc. At this point I felt like a genius. I was in euphoria over the knowledge I had acquired. The more I thought about time, the more I agreed that it was like a fractal, for reasons that I can't remember now and could never actually put into plain english.
I remember my pattern of dialogue with the people I was chatting with was very odd, but it didn't seem odd at the time. When somebody asked me a question, I'd repeat it back to them as a statement and elaborate on some things that really did not matter but seemed extremely significant to me, 90% of the time. For example, somebody would ask me 'Did you feed your fish?' and I'd say 'Did I feed my fish.... hmm, I feed my fish often. Whether I fed my fish today is irrelevant. He can live for weeks without food.'
It was suggested by some of my friends that I lie down, so I did. What happened next is not a phenomenon that I've heard about as an effect of LSD, but my friend seemed to think that it wasn't unusual.
I laid down and I think I tried to take a nap. But what happened was I was thrown into a state where I was not sleeping, but I wasn't quite awake either, and it was much like a nightmare. I was repeatedly and recursively plagued with images of a very frightening looking face, telling me how I should not have taken LSD, that it would make me insane forever. It seemed like a madman, going on and on about the effects of LSD in a haunting, angry voice. While I was experiencing this repetitive nightmare, my soul seemed to be outside of my body. It felt like my body was an empty shell, and I was an observer, watching myself experience these things. In this not-asleep and not-awake state, I began to go into convulsions that I can only describe as seisure-like. My body twitched repeatedly, especially my legs and arms. They would jerk repeatedly toward my right side, in a manner much like the twitches that I experience during an orgasm, but stronger and obviously without the orgasm.
I got very warm and sweaty. I kept twitching and having this nightmare for about an hour to two hours, before I snapped out of it. I was trying to 'play along', the way I'd been told my trip would be easier if I did, but I was sick of this nightmare, and wanted to do something more productive. I decided to eat.
I got up, still very warm and dripping with sweat, and looked in my minifridge for some food. I got out some strawberries. This is when I think I first noticed visuals. The strawberries appeared to be VERY LARGE, and I thought it was extremely comical when I took a bite out of one. I was distinctly aware of the pattern made by a strawberry's seeds, and realized it was a pattern based on the golden ratio, that the seeds spiral out in two directions, in a circular fashion such that it wrapped around the strawberry. This seemed profound to me, and I sat for awhile just staring at the strawberry, laughing occasionally.
Eventually I ate the whole carton of strawberries and was still hungry. I ate some other stuff that I can't quite remember, and then decided I was very thirsty. I had a jug of water in my fridge and started to drink that too. I was amazed with the pouring of the water- it made a light twinkling sound and the light from my window caused playful rainbows to appear on the surface of the water. To this day I still notice these rainbows, which makes me wonder if they always existed and the LSD just let me see them.
This entire time, I was distinctly aware that my ability to concentrate on anything except the things I was conjuring up in my mind was very stunted. I remember, in particular, my trip to get some water was very slow and agonizing. I would stand up from my bed, find something to be interested in, and think about that for about 5 minutes before I remembered that I was going to get some water. So I'd take another step, and I'd get distracted by something in my mind or something that I could see or hear. It felt like it took half an hour just to get a glass of water. To me, it felt like I was 'getting lost in time' every time I tried to do something. It was like I 'couldn't remember why I would want to do anything at all'. The quotations are lines of thought that I recognize as being directly from my acid-influenced state. They are not my sober words - they are words that I remember thinking while I was under the influence.
I chatted on IRC for awhile with my friends, including the one who had given me the LSD. I thanked him a few times. I think, not quite sure anymore, that he was also on LSD. Or he might have just been on pot at the time, I can't quite remember. But we had a short discussion about the nature of reality and time, which intrigued me greatly.
I felt like I had to go to the washroom every fifteen minutes, which was probably true because I was drinking a lot of water. I seemed to be occupying my time with drinking water and going to the washroom. I was extremely aware of how much of a hard cycle it was, and that I could break it by stopping drinking water, but I didn't want to stop drinking water. I felt rather dehydrated.
I felt like I had very little control of my bladder, though I seem to have had full control. I never once wet myself, though it felt like my bladder control was very weak and every time I went to the washroom, it felt like I had to go very badly, but it turned out that there wasn't very much pent up urine, and I only tinkled a little bit each time, but it felt like a huge relief.
One time, I was talking with a friend on MSN and I was very frank about my washroom situation. I told him that I had to pee really badly, and he asked me 'You didn't pee yourself, did you?' and I said 'I don't know, did I?' and as I said this, I don't know how to describe it. It was like I was experiencing an alternate timeline to my own, at the same time that I was experiencing my own timeline, and it felt extremely real. In the alternate timeline, I had actually peed myself, and I saw the wet spot on my pants, exactly as if I had peed myself. I looked at it in horror and told him, yes, I did pee myself. All this felt extremely, exceedingly real. I was not aware that it was not happening. If somebody asked me if what was I experiencing was real, I would have said yes.
But of course, it wasn't real. Suddenly I snapped back to my own reality, and realized I was sitting in my room, had to pee really badly, but had not peed myself. At this realization, I rushed to the washroom. But, when I opened the door of my room, I was suddenly very scared to go outside. I really didn't want to go out there. So I closed it again. This triggered a 'time spiral', as I would best describe it. I felt myself open and close the door again, and then I saw many versions of myself opening and closing the door, some versions closing the door, some opening it, all of it happening repetitively, recursively, and like a 'living fractal'. It was like I was watching a movie of myself, repeatedly opening and closing the door.
I have no idea how long this went on. I have no idea how long it appeared to go on. It was timeless. As this was happening, the concept of the passage of time as we see it was non-existent in my mind, and none of these actions actually involved time. They were timeless. To this day, I don't know how many times I actually physically opened or closed that door. I only know that eventually, time 'flipped' over, much the way you would flip a card. There was a huge heave and time flipped itself over, with much inertia, and began to spiral 'outward' until I was back to my present state, outside of the door, waiting to go to the washroom. I was glad the dorms were mostly empty, because I'm not sure what somebody might have seen if they were watching me at this time. They'd surely know something was wrong, that's for sure. I wasn't acting normally at all.
I felt like I had just been dropped into a black hole of time, and had somehow struggled my way out of it, or through it, onto the other side. I remembered that I had to go to the washroom, so I rushed down the hall, and the walls pulsated and changed colours around me. I got into the washroom and there was a girl there. I froze. I wondered how weird I looked. I had to try to act normal though, so I smiled and said 'Hi.' She did the same, and didn't seem to realize anything was up.
When I got into the stall, I was suddenly afraid to pee. I knew that I had to, but at this point, I realized that I could no longer tell imagination from reality. I couldn't tell if I was imagining something or if it was actually happening. So, if I released my bladder in the washroom, I could actually be still sitting in my room. But the release of my bladder would be real, and I would pee myself.
I had a bit of a breakdown when I realized this. I had to resolve it to continue. I made confident in my mind the idea that I had to TRUST myself. There was no other way out of it. If I couldn't tell reality from imagination, let it be so. I had to trust myself that I was actually there.
So with that, I released my bladder, and as soon as I did it, I realized that I had done the right thing. I was actually in the washroom, and I had done right to trust myself.
I came out of the washroom feeling like I had just conquered something important. I ran through the pulsing, breathing hall, back to my room, and told my friends on MSN that I had managed to go to the washroom! It was a big deal to me, and they realized how fucked up I was, so they seemed supportive, though I don't think they realized how big a deal it was for me. They might have thought I was just acting silly for the hell of it.
Around T+6 hours, I knew that the LSD had to be wearing off sometime soon, but I still felt just as high as ever. I was tired, so I laid down and tried to take another nap, but I had completely forgotten what happened last time I did that. I fell into another state of non-awakedness and non-sleep, complete along with the nightmares and dissociation of my mind from my body, and for awhile I just rolled with it, no matter how terrifying it was. It was like pure fear embodied as a visual entity with a voice. That's what I thought it was, pure terror. I don't know why I allowed it to affect me for so long, but I know I was definitely ALLOWING it to affect me, and this time the nightmare and dissociation went on for another 1-2 hours, but it was definitely longer than last time.
Eventually I realized that I had laid down trying to fall asleep, and remembered that the same thing had happened last time. I realized that this probably meant that I couldn't sleep until the LSD wore off. I got up, once again sweaty and hot from my seisuring, and decided to take in all the beauty around me.
I looked out the window. It was evening and dark. I looked at all the stuff around me and appreciated the beauty in everything I saw. I decided to look in the mirror.
I looked like death. I looked like I had been to hell and back. My face looked 'dry', is one of the ways I can describe it. Dry and hot. My eyes were shot, and I looked very cranky and slightly insane, like I could start giggling maniacally at any moment. I realized that I was looking at an insane person. The thought occurred to me, am I ever going to be normal? I had to convince myself that I was just on a drug, and it would wear off. But the things I had seen and experienced would be with me forever. How was I going to live with everything?
By now I was tired of tripping. I wanted to be normal again. I tried my hardest to ignore the trip and go on functioning normally. I had to try to think of what would be 'normal' for me. 'Normal' for me would be to sit on my computer and chat on IRC, but that was far too unfulfilling. I really didn't want to do that.
My friend told me that having an orgasm on LSD was really intense, but I didn't feel at all like masturbating. I started, and tried, but I just wasn't in the mood. Nowhere close to it. I wondered how he could ever have the motivation to do such a thing while tripping. It was the last thing I wanted to do.
It was about T+8 hours, and I didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't want to go out of my room, and I didn't want to do anything that was in my room. I decided to watch some anime - Azumanga Daioh. That normally amused me. But as I watched it, I quickly realized that I could not focus on the storyline at all. It was like I was seeing small clips of the video, one at a time, out of sequence with each other, so that the storyline made no sense and the conversations the characters had were ridiculous and did not follow a sequence. I realized that my state of mind was changed so much that I could not do normal things, so I let myself do what my mind felt was natural and easy for it. Instead of watching the anime with a normal intent, I watched it admiring the artwork, watched the characters morph out of proportion to one another, change colours, etc. I found this so funny that I watched another episode or two.
By the end of these, I knew my LSD trip had to be over, but I still felt high and wired. But I was so tired. I talked to my friend who gave me the LSD, on IRC, and he seemed slightly surprised by the length of my trip, but was not really concerned. He told me to just relax and let it happen. I explained that I wanted to sleep, and he said I wouldn't be able to sleep until it was over, so just take it for granted.
At this point I had run out of things to do and I was desperately trying to find something to keep me from falling into another nightmare. I decided to draw. I became completely involved in my drawing - it felt essential that I draw what the LSD wanted me to draw. But I wasn't making any sense. At one point the pen I was using ran out, so I started using a strawberry to draw with, not realizing that this was not really drawing but smudging the remains of a strawberry all over the page. I had a laughing fit when I realized that the strawberry had killed the pen, or something like that. I wrote 'The evil strawberry attacked the pen!' Or was it the pen attacked the strawberry, I really don't remember.
Eventually I found another pen to write with. I had drawn a few pages, and this new page was going to be special. This page was going to be beautiful. I wanted to make something beautiful and significant. So I began, with trembling lines that wrapped around themselves to form peaks, valleys, and eye-like structures. I only got half done before I got tired. I again desperately wanted to sleep and be rid of this altered state. I wanted to be normal again.
I started to freak out, got scared that I would never be normal again. I couldn't see any conceivable way that I could possibly go back to normal after what I had learned and knew. I pushed these thoughts out of my mind, and decided to 'roll with it' again. Without thinking, I laid on the floor, stomach down, and stared at the floor. I could see patterns. They were rumbling, but weren't quite the same patterns I had seen before. By now I knew the LSD must have worn off, but I was still altered. It was very scary, but I kept rolling with it, figuring that fighting it would only hurt me and there was nothing I could do to help myself.
This next part is extremely hard to remember, but I'll try.
I laid on the floor and spread my arms and legs. I kept shaking and shaking and felt a resonance within my shaking. I thought there was something significant about the way I shook. I thought I was vibrating the way the universe vibrated, that I had become one with the universe. That if I kept this up, I would become pure energy. I kept trembling and shaking on the floor, and felt my body burst with white light. I was no longer in my body, and I saw myself on the floor and thought I was dead. I had a conversation with 'God', some might say, though I've never believed in God. I think of it more as a conversation with the universe. It was not in spoken words, so I don't remember what it was and even if I did, I could not explain it or describe it or remember it.
I also thought that I had died, but this didn't bother me one bit. I realized that I had nothing left to live for, and there wasn't really anything I wanted to do in my life. Through all my life I was a drifting soul, pretty much just seeking pleasure and understanding. That was all. Other people had goals like having a family, becoming a master of a profession, or becoming the best at something. Me, I had nothing. I was in university with no place to go, nothing to lose. And as I realized this, I started to come back to my body. But I didn't want to. I begged the universe to let me stay in this enlightened state, but I was not allowed. I was condemned to my body, but I shouldn't be sad about it.
Nonetheless, I was, and when I woke up in my body, I was frustrated, despite not understanding most of what went on. I laid there on the floor, and once again slipped into a nightmare non-sleep non-awake state. I didn't care anymore. There was nothing left. Nothing that existed mattered. Nothing that I felt mattered. We are just arrangements of vibrating strings.
All of a sudden I realized how ridiculous this was. All the things I'd experienced. By now it was far, far, far past the time that LSD was supposed to wear out, and I was still experiencing open eye visuals and especially closed eye visuals. I didn't want to experience it anymore. I wanted to go to sleep. I got very scared, very very scared, and went back on IRC to talk to the friend who gave me the LSD.
He wasn't there, so I started yelling and screaming in my mind. I needed him. He'd been through this type of thing, maybe not exactly like it, but he'd done lsd. How did he cope? I needed to know how to cope. So I stayed there, waiting, until he came back, at which point everyone else in the channel seemed very concerned. I didnít' want to bother anyone, that was the last thing I wanted to do, but I didn't know what else I could do.
I talked to him and he told me that this was probably happening because of my sleep deprivation, and that if I slept I'd feel better. I explained that I couldn't sleep. Every time I laid down and tried to sleep, I fell into that 'nightmare'. He told me to just roll with it, but I couldn't do that anymore. It was too scary. Too much. I tried a few times, to lay down and sleep, but every time I felt the nightmare creeping up on me I had to stop. By now I was crying, with tears streaming down my cheeks, and I started looking for the emergency number. I was convinced that doctors could get me out of this. They could fix it. I wanted to know from my friends that if I told them about this, that nothing bad would happen to me. That I wouldn't get fined or go to jail or get a criminal record. Unfortunately they couldn't tell me that. It was an illegal substance that I took, so I would be mistreated and nobody would take me seriously.
My friend told me that I had to sleep before this would be over, and I cried, because I knew I couldn't sleep, so I thought it would get worse and worse and worse until I died. Plus, I couldn't function in public, so I couldn't go down to the cafeteria to eat. The food in my room would run out eventually, and when it did... I'd be screwed.
He suggested chamomile tea. Yes! I thought. Why didn't I think of that before? I have chamomile tea. With a renewed sense of 'this can work', I brewed some tea and drank it while I watched my fish. I eventually calmed down. I laid down and tried to sleep, but still the nightmares passed over me. You have to understand that by this time, nearly 24 hours had passed. I had tripped all through the night and experienced more than most people experience in their whole lives. I was trying to handle it, but it was really hard.
I had another cup of tea and suddenly tiredness took over me. It was noon the day after I had taken the LSD, so 22.5 hours by the time I fell asleep, and I slept until 10 PM. When I woke up, I barely knew who or what I was. It took a few minutes to register in me that I had just been through a really, absurdly long and violent LSD trip. I got anxious and checked my closed eyes for visuals. None. I checked the things around me for visuals. None. I waved my hand in front of me. Nothing.
I had never been so happy in my life to be normal.
I slept until about 6 in the morning the next day, to have another cup of chamomile, then went back to sleep until after noon. When I woke up I felt like a million bucks. It was amazing. Life was amazing. I had a renewed interest in life. I wanted to do everything. I was so damn happy that I was alive.
By now, 6 months after the trip, I have experienced a few 'flashback'-like states, where I experienced the extreme paranoia and terror that I had sometimes experienced while on LSD. I am sure they were from the experience, because I had never experienced this sort of thing before. I had always been relatively mentally healthy, if a little bit depressed at times. Despite this, I think my experience changed me for the better. I don't know what it is, but reality seems slightly different. I have learned to be more accommodating of other people, friendlier, and more accepting to different viewpoints. And this is from somebody who has never had an enemy in her life.
The main thing that has stuck with me is that now, whenever I look at some water, if I concentrate, I can see the rainbows that refract from the light entering the water. It's not exactly unpleasant at all, in fact I rather like it. I'd call it a very positive thing. It reminds me that I don't know everything. Life is more complicated than I think it is.
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