Citation: Anonymous. "A Profound Inaugural Experience: An Experience with Opium (exp7357)". Erowid.org. Mar 9, 2003. erowid.org/exp/7357
Friday, April 13th is a date I will not soon forget. I was alone at a local club to see one of my favorite local bands. The place has a very cozy or familiar feel to it because of its small size, couches, pool tables etc. I met a few people there and had some good conversation about music. Anyway as it came closer to show time the place filled up, and I found my place in front of the stage with my new acquaintances. It wasn’t too long before one of them whipped out a rather large glass piece and packed it with what I thought was marijuana. They each had a hit and then offered me a hit, which I gladly took. I remember that what I smoked was much easier to smoke than marijuana. There was no burning in my throat nor in my lungs. I took a very large, smooth hit. Smoking it like marijuana, I held it in for about 10 or 15 seconds and let it out. It didn’t taste like marijuana, I remember the taste being rather faint. It actually tasted and smelled like incense. I was still wasn’t convinced, however, that what I has just smoked was not marijuana.
It wasn’t until my new acquaintance turned to me and said, “hey man, you’re down with ope right?” That reality struck. Keep in mind that hitherto this experience I had only been under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. What followed after that first hit was not a pleasant experience. I feel however that the unpleasantness can be attributed to my paranoia and shock after I realized what I had just smoked. I did not know much about Opium other than that Europeans sold it the Chinese and got them addicted to it at one point and that heroin is a derivative of Opium.
So anyway there I was, alone, having just realized that I had smoked Opium. At first I was in shock. I took a step back, pondering what would happen next. What would the drug do to me? How long would it last? How was I going to drive home? These were the types of questions running through my head at the time. I really just didn’t know what to expect. I’d say it was only a matter minutes, maybe less, before it kicked in. I remember taking long, slow, deep breaths and my body began to tingle all over. As I began to breath deeper I felt as though the exterior of my body was very light and felt smooth but my chest felt very heavy. It was like a marijuana high, but it kicked it much faster and hit me a lot harder. I was observing anxiously as my environment began to darken. That’s really all I remember. It got DARK. In the meantime, I kept thinking about what was going to happen to me. I completely lost track of the visual world and found myself lost in thought. I was analyzing in my head and had ignored everything else.
I was very surprised to suddenly find myself on the floor, in the dark, with a crowd of people surrounding me. Apparently I had fainted and fallen to the ground, but I hadn’t noticed. I swore I was conscious the entire time, thinking. But apparently I was not because the band was playing away and they hadn’t gotten on stage before I had smoked. This was too much for me. When I realized that I was fucked up beyond belief on the floor of a concert, alone, I simply didn’t know what to do with myself.
I was moved to a wall where I just sat back and tried to calm myself down. The effects of the drug were very potent. I sat down with my head between my knees. I was so unaware of what was going on around me, I was concentrated ardently with what was happening to me. I continued to think. I remember thinking not about the immediate moment, but what would follow it. I was having profound thoughts about the future. I knew that Opium was extremely addictive and I was imagining myself as forever being tied to the drug. I remember my train of thought was interrupted by a girl placing her hand on my back and asking if I was okay. I then realized that sitting on the floor with my head between my knees during a concert was not a normal thing to be doing. She asked me what had happened and offered me some water. I believe that was the first moment where I was unlocked from my mind and open to my surroundings. I looked around. Things were dark and the music was loud.
The high itself is rather hard to describe. It was much more intense than marijuana. It felt heavy, like my whole body was being impacted… but it also felt very clear and refined at the same time. I decided to stand up. Everything immediately came back into focus. I longer felt heavy and I was very relieved. “That wasn’t so bad,” I thought to myself. Confused, I decided to walk to the bathroom. As made my way towards the bathroom the drug began to kick in again. My steps kind of faded away and it felt like I was just floating over to the bathroom. The scary thing was though, that I was having trouble seeing. My vision was fading. Distinct figures melted into shadows and everything had a sparkle to it. I somehow made way into the bathroom to find that it had no door, no mirror and no stall doors either. Thus I was in plain view of everyone in the room and my attempt to isolate and calm myself had failed. I was instead left with hardly any vision, fumbling around with arms outstretched like a buffoon.
I turned around 180 degrees and marched out to find the corner where I was previously situated. My vision was reduced to mere silhouettes that a had a greenish glow to them… kind of like the night vision one sees in the movies… but darker. My legs carried themselves and I was blindly bumping into people. I felt heavy again and wanted to sit… but my vision was so poor that even though I walked adjacently to a wall, I could not find a place to sit. I could not distinguish between a bench, a trash bin or a person. Somehow, I don’t really know how, but somehow I pushed and shoved myself through the crowd and found my little corner and sat down once again.
This time I was more aware of my surroundings. There were some old, tall overweight hippies next to me who had been smoking marijuana for hours. It showed. The guy closest to me though was very comforting and I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he was periodically checking up on me. It was not long before I was lost in thought once more. Yet again, I profoundly thought of the future… and believed that I had permanently impaired myself. To reassure myself I began to conjure up some things I had recently learned in school. To my surprise the ideas flowed out nicely. Thinking of details I learned in school that day was quite unusual; I normally don't do such things at concerts. I didn’t feel like the drug had worn off very much. I was still lost in my own world. Although my mind was very clear and unimpeded, physically I had no idea what the hell was going on.
It wasn’t just that I was having trouble seeing. My whole body tingled and felt heavy as I described before… I felt as if my mind and body were disjointed. My limbs were very limp. My arms were wrapped loosely around my chest and stomach. I also had no sense of time. I could not tell if seconds, minutes, or hours were passing by. I was aware that music was in the background but I was not engaged. I was trying to cope with the uncanny effects of the drug.
I stood up once more and looked around. I was very lethargic, much like I am sometimes after smoking marijuana. I recall the effect of the drug at that point progressing in oscillating waves. One second it would be intense and I would squeeze my arms tighter and breathe deeply while a second later it would float away and I would relax. I was no doubt still peaking, remember that I had no sense of time. It was around this time that I once again shut out my surroundings and began to analyze. I was alone, I was at a concert, and I was FUCKED UP. I realized I will probably never do this again, so I decided that I should try and enjoy the experience. I mean lots of people love the drug right? Was I just making it worse?
I meticulously relaxed myself and shifted my attention to the band playing on stage. Soon afterward a large smile was fixed on my face. All of the sudden, everything felt really GOOD. I began to rub my arms that were previously clenched to my chest, and it felt amazing. I was getting so much joy out of rubbing my arms and fingertips together that I was practically giggling. My attention then shifted to the music. It suddenly got very loud. The band sounded so good I had no idea how I had missed it before. They were so rhythmic, their voices vigorously harmonized and seemed to project as a physical force. The guitar was both emotionally and physically moving. It sent warm vibes throughout my body will I simultaneously swayed to its accentuation. I was instantly having a blast. I felt very warm and my body continued to pleasantly tingle. I felt as though my mind and body had established a connection that was missing when I had been sitting down anxiously in the corner.
I couldn’t stop smiling. Everything was profound in a very positive way, especially the music since it resonated everywhere. I am often in awe when listen to music when I’m high (from smoking marijuana). I pick out individual instruments or harmonies and follow them closely and usually find a new deep appreciation for what I’m listening to. This time however it was as though the music was so well put together, puissant and poignant that all I could do was marvel in its preeminence. The climaxes were so fierce I felt as though I was going to collapse. I was truly spellbound.
I then realized what the drug was doing to me. It intensified my emotions. I had panicked earlier and thus created a terrifying experience where my emotions and thoughts were wild and perilous. But all of that had turned around when I relaxed, smiled and began to listen to the music. I had the urge to dance ecstatically but still felt constrained and isolated as I had did before. I simply bobbed my head with my eyes closed, a big smile on my face while rubbing the sides of my body with my arms. It actually felt weird and out of place to extend my arms, they belonged at my sides. During the peak of my “happiness” I also paid more attention to my surroundings. I was still being affected in waves. I kept going “in and out.” It actually got to the point where I could almost control going “in and out.” I would relax my head, shut my eyes, listen to the music and bam, I was gone in my world once again. But then again I could also open my eyes and focus on the first object that I saw and whoosh, I felt normal for a few seconds.
It was a very abstruse experience. I imagine that I was coming down at this point, an hour had surely past by because the band was building a climax to end their first set. When the first set ended and the lights came on the place had an entirely different feel to it. It was much brighter but also more chaotic as everyone frantically pushed out outside to get some fresh air. I just went along with the crowd and made my way outside. The fresh air was wonderful. The cool air seemed to wrap around my body. A slight breeze on the back of my neck sent chills that rapidly multiplied throughout my body. Being outside I suddenly had the urge to back inside my room and in my bed. I decided to pass the second set and drive home. Driving wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, I still felt disjointed. I basically had to keep focusing on things and keep myself from “going out.”
I made it home safely and felt amazingly comfortable and nestled at home. The drug had definitely worn off but I still didn’t feel completely sober. I felt very relaxed and at ease and it still felt very good to rub my arms together. I found myself acting compulsively. I would either act spontaneously or do something repeatedly. I found myself for example walking back and forth from one end of my room to the other. Don’t ask. The other task which I felt like had to be immediately resolved was some research on the drug I had just taken. I found myself reading about opium online for a good hour or two. I was pretty reassured after my research and finally decided to kick in. I felt pretty out of it the next day and my mind felt a little fuzzy too. Moreover, I was still anxious. I felt like my emotions were still being intensified the next day which had its up and downs. I was also walking around most of the day with my arms around my chest.
I reflected a lot on my experience the following day and the weeks to follow. The experience was almost too recondite to really take apart. By virtue of my frenzied reaction at the entrance to my high I had set myself up for a somewhat terrifying experience. However I was able to reverse the adverse effects and the result was extraordinary and moving. What I enjoyed the least from opium was the anxious feeling I experienced that night and the following day. What I enjoyed most about the drug was the way it loosely opened up my mind. I was thinking and analyzing in my own little world for most of my high even though I was at a public concert. I don’t think I would do such a thing under the influence of marijuana. I also enjoyed the warm and pleasurable feeling opium gave me once I allowed it settle in. If Opium wasn’t one of more addictive substances on the planet I would try it again under more favorable conditions.
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