H.B. Woodrose & Alcohol
Citation: SoaV. "Trip Through Memory Land: An Experience with H.B. Woodrose & Alcohol (exp65221)". Erowid.org. Nov 12, 2007. erowid.org/exp/65221
[Will be referring to Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds as HBís throughout]
Date of experience: 11 August 2007
Previous experience: alcohol, magic mushrooms, weed, speed, MDMA powder, ecstasy, herbal ecstasy, H.B. woodrose
Setting: in my messy but beloved studio flat, alone. Had not eaten for about six hours beforehand. Prior to taking the HBís, consumed one 70cl bottle of 5.1% vol. alcopop and three glasses of vodka mixed with an energy drink over a period of six hours.
Mood: somewhat sleep-deprived, a bit ill with a cold and generally feeling quite amused with but detached from reality.
Expectation: low. Suspecting that my last HB trip may have been due in part to a slight fever. Wanting to do something creative during my trip, if it does occur, to truly capture it and try to do it justice.
Itís 2:45 in the morning and I have decided to take two HBís to examine how they mix with alcohol. Removed husks, chewed well and kept in my mouth for about 30 seconds, quite possibly less Ė I find the taste sickening.
Supposed placebo effect playing up: Iím experiencing disorientation, a sense of impending nausea and mild dissociation. Having another drink, this time vodka coke. Feeling rushes of exhilarating, almost dizzying come-up effects. Iím not too familiar with the effect of the seeds so I canít tell if the sensation is real or imagined. Also feeling slightly nauseous, as expected: a sickening sensation is creeping down into my arms, not unlike when Iím about to faint. Wavering between going to the bathroom and staying in my chair waiting it out. Feeling very depersonalised, as though Iím just a pair of eyes rather than a subjective individual. Switching from hard-trance to a somewhat softer type of trance (Underworld, to be specific) appears to alleviate the nausea somewhat.
Am feeling cold Ė in stark contrast to last time I took HBís when I felt very warm. Briefly amused by a TV program about great football goals Ė it was showing last time I took HBís and I loved it. I still find it funny but Iím not getting any laughing kicks this time. I suspected HBís and alcohol would not mix well for me, and my instinct appears to have been correct. Itís like my soul has been disconnected from my body. Iím feeling the effect of the seeds coming on properly now: I keep closing my eyes to float off into my own strangely dark and shapeless but comforting world.
Taking another seed Ė probably ill-advised seeing as Iím already feeling sick. The seed tastes bitter and foul and I swallow it almost immediately. Getting some water. The water tastes good but Iím still feeling nauseous. Struggling to turn my thoughts inward. Iím guessing this is caused by the alcohol as I had no such problems last time I took HBís. Short-term memory obviously affected: rolled two roaches for one cigarette without realising (note: I use roaches for cigarettes as well as joints, the latter of which I smoke very rarely Ė more due to lack of access than lack of want). Currently blowing smoke-rings and indulging in their beauty.
Went to throw up as my body seemed to be begging me to expel some substances. Was unable to vomit properly and the ďnauseousĒ feeling in my arms remains, however at the same time Iím enveloped in a sense of contentment and euphoria. Noticing a mild double vision effect in that the black-on-white letters on the computer screen appear shaded, and colours and sounds also appear very sharpened. Iím regretting slightly having presumably dimmed the effect with alcohol.
Feel compelled to close my eyes and trip. No CEVís whatsoever but itís still very pleasurable. My body feels content and cosy: Iím sitting practically horizontally on my computer chair and my thigh is complaining, but I barely notice. My sister is playing scrabble online and when she presents to me a sequence of letters over instant messenger I find myself able to rearrange them very easily in my head. Memories are also extremely clear in my mind, right down to the smallest detail. I canít quite choose which ones to display but the ones Iím touching upon are pleasant and very vivid. They relate more to the general scenario at the time than to a particular feeling but the clarity is such that they are captivating regardless.
Losing concept of time and am struggling to calculate how long itís been since my first dose. Iím feeling good: the sense of nausea remains but itís not overpowering. Iím not smoking much and I feel quite disgusted by the thought of having more alcohol.
Enjoying music a lot. It doesnít take on as much depth and significance as it does with MDMA, but it sounds beautiful. Iím still feeling unpleasantly cold even though Iím wearing a sweater. Donning a robe. Suddenly Iím back in the town where I lived four years ago. The strength of the memory is distracting. Feeling pleasantly lethargic: relaxation quite unlike what Iíve ever felt before. I keep getting distracted by mundane objects, not because theyíre interesting but because my eyes just glue to them and donít let go.
Still struggling with calculating time-lines. Also still speaking to my sister, with which I have no problems whatsoever even though Iím feeling distinctly off baseline. Iím getting the pixellated mushroom effect: everything appears overlaid with a thin web of geometric patterns. Feeling giggly. Not quite able to control what mental images to view, so Iím just enjoying them as they come. The visuals are almost exclusively memories and not the swirling-colours-and-breathing-walls ones I know from mushrooms. Overall Iím having a very pleasant experience. I can feel no alcohol effects whatsoever at present.
Completely lost concept of time Ė I have to count on my fingers to calculate the time-line. My body feels incredibly heavy. Leant back in my chair for a minute, arms hanging limply by my sides, and felt like I could stay like that forever. Going to switch the lights off. Shit. Keep freezing physically. Not quite seizing up but something similar. Went to throw up and sat hugging the toilet bowl for a few minutes, experiencing the overlay web-effect especially strongly (as I always do in bathrooms Ė presumably due to the brightness of the tiles and porcelain). The nausea has magically vanished and now a smile is literally plastered to my face. I realise I should be worried as Iím going to a party tomorrow at four (itís now 4:55 a.m.) and I want to look and seem at least human, but somehow I just donít care. I have an amazing view of the impending sunrise from my room. The sky appears very two-dimensional but incredibly beautiful, however the realisation that I am too tired and distracted to make something creative out of this sunrise Ė like a painting or even a drawing Ė makes me feel melancholic. I change the music from Underworld to Infected Mushroom, infusing me with a sense of novelty and interest.
Feeling physically fine Ė good, even Ė but mentally I am slightly confused. I keep being assailed by memories: currently I am seeing the garden of the house where I grew up. I can see the neighbouring garden and nearby playground very clearly, and sharp as a photograph is the small patch of forest where I used to play and the collection of bushes where my beloved feline would lie watching over us all. I can definitely see the use of LSA as a therapeutic aid Ė with a bit of guidance, I imagine it could lead to some serious personal revelations, especially with regard to retracing old memories. Currently deeply contemplative.
Cigarette smoke looks absolutely beautiful. Contrasting the effect with mushrooms, I donít have such a sense of the borderline supernatural: with mushrooms (specifically Mexicans Ė on Hawaiians I experienced little more than disturbingly invasive visuals and a feeling of sickening restlessness) I always had a deep sense of togetherness with the Universe in all its beauty. Iím experiencing a similar sensation now but am somehow completely detached at the same time. In a lot of ways I would consider this trip stronger than mushrooms, but it feels more controlled and there isnít such a sense of all-encompassing awe Ė also, it was years ago that I last took mushrooms (tragically), and perhaps Iím not doing them justice. Am continuously stroking my legs in an autoerotic fashion.
My gender means very little to me at the moment. Iíve experienced that sensation on mushrooms before: I know I am straight, and female, but I seem to lose touch with my gender identity very easily, almost as if my soul is inherently sexless. I canít quite identify myself with my name either (experienced many times before on mushrooms) but I feel that I know myself on a level so deep as to be positively profound. Speaking of profound, I am unexpectedly burdened by a profound sense of loss. All the memories shooting though me Ė my beautiful childhood, my first love, my first experience with soft drugs, hard drugs, university, loss of friends, gaining of friends, loss of relationships Ė make me feel absolutely sick with loss and mysterious longing.
I am struggling under a cloud of memory overload. Almost exclusively neutral ones but itís difficult to take them all in.
Having another glass of vodka coke at T=3:25. I could feel a vague heartburn sensation approaching as I was about to pour the alcohol and am guessing that it was psychosomatically induced. Noticing that my visual acuity is incredibly precise but my peripheral vision is all but nonexistent.
My left arm is feeling tingly and strange. Immediately fears of cardiac arrest enter my mind, but upon feeling my pulse I find that itís steady. Decide to search the web for othersí experiences with HBís and alcohol but get sidetracked immediately.
I think Iím coming down slightly. I feel sad that I havenít drawn anything whilst tripping Ė I really wanted to but Iíve not felt able to somehow. Just drew a picture of myself standing on a free-floating plateau watching Earth from a distance. The idea behind it feels supremely apt but my drawing style is very abstract and ugly. I am also much too meticulous about my precise vision to enjoy drawing. Having strong flashbacks to my last trip, where I felt like I was standing on the brink of another dimension. Every single word I read, every single thing I see appears to me like a sharp, tangible message from that Other Side. I am again experiencing the grotesque feeling of ultra-real familiarity that intrigued me so much during my first HB trip. It is not necessarily pleasant but I canít help but feel drawn to it.
My mirror image looks aesthetically beautiful, smooth and vague like a painting. I, however, feel like an apparition. I feel like a shadow. I feel like a ghost. I feel like I am not here. The notion of ďIĒ has lost its meaning entirely. I am experiencing a mild case of ego-death Ė mild because Iím sure it could be even more profound, even more all-consuming. I would rate my current high as a +3 but I should note that the strongest substances I have taken besides this one are MDMA, psilocybin and amphetamine. I want to try LSD some time: I used to think that it would be too strong for me but now I think I can handle it. In fact, I think I am mentally much stronger than I ever realised.
Some words Ė such as ďtooĒ, ďmeĒ, ďlifeĒ, ďbutĒ, ďnormalĒ Ė affect me so deeply that itís an actual, physical struggle to write them. A bit of net surfing reveals that my vision is extremely two-dimensional. Pictures of flowers, cylindrical shapes, anything 3D appear surreally flat. Only semantics allows me to comprehend what the pictures actually represent. Itís no wonder that I am unable to draw at the moment: the inspiration is there but I have no sense of visual depth. Very painful headache, almost turning migraine-like with my left eye tearing up. No more alcohol for me.
Intense trailing effect. Everything is still overlaid by a shimmering web and the two-dimensionality is still as present as ever. I do have some control over it but not much. Still experiencing a distinct sense of ego-death. Iíll be surprised if this high doesnít affect my personality in some very real way. My hands have strange black marks all over them, like soot. I have no clue where I got them from. Actually, wait, that was stupid: itís obviously from when I was drawing.
Flashbacks of ships, sledging, gravel roads, forests, losing things, finding things. My whole life. I often think of the meaning of my existence, but never like this. I have the answer. Itís right there in front of me and I canít question it: it just is, and I just am, and that thought is so frightening, so awful, so terrifying that I feel physically crushed by its weight. But I still find life beautiful. I can still enjoy it. It still has meaning to me. Drinking some water to combat extreme thirst. It tastes very good and looks beautiful. I feel very tearful.
Memories are still very, very clear but neutral, like photographs. Only by logic can I attribute feeling to them. That other dimension I keep sensing is the world I experience in my dreams. I know they are actual realities, I just donít know if they are real in the same way as my sober world is real.
Coming down, almost suddenly. Itís now 7:45 a.m. and I feel very similar to how I felt 30 minutes into the trip. Iím exhausted in a fairly pleasant way. The prospect of the party later today should worry me but I have a feeling that my sleep will be very restful and satisfying.
Itís now been 48 hours since the initiation of my trip. I struggled to fall asleep and lay awake reading for about two hours after going to bed, finding the characters in the book very sympathetic and real. Once sleep came it was deep and restful: when I woke up at four the next afternoon I felt better than I normally would have after such a limited period of sleep, as well as slightly euphoric and gently amused by life in general. I did find it a little difficult to relate to people at the party I went to at first, but eventually I ended up drinking a lot of alcohol and having quite a good time Ė I did bawl miserably for 15 minutes or so when I came home, but that is not uncommon for me when drinking.
Now, two days after the trip, I feel completely back to baseline but some fuzziness is definitely present, and Iím feeling a little emotionally tumble-dried. I have decided that fascinating as the effects of HBís are, I cannot continue to take them weekly Ė theyíre just too strong and I could easily see myself overusing them as the effect is so interesting whilst not being as debilitating as that of mushrooms.
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