Citation: atrocitic. "A Trip Through Hell: An Experience with Amanita muscaria (exp73990)". Erowid.org. Mar 2, 2011. erowid.org/exp/73990
I'm writing this the day after my experience, so it is still very fresh in my mind. I'm going to give as much detail as possible. For those who don't wish to read that much, the short version is NEVER TAKE AMANITA MUSCARIA WITHOUT A SITTER no matter how experienced you think you are!
I had an entire Sunday with nothing to do, so I decided to finish off what was left of my Amanita muscaria caps. This would be my fifth time taking Amanita. I thought I was prepared. I was very wrong.
I had ordered Washington State Grade A++ dried caps from a reputable online retailer a few months prior, and my first two experiences were with this (2 medium caps for a nice buzz lasting about 6 hours, 4 medium caps for a stronger high lasting 10 hours). They were quite pleasant, aside from the occasional muscle twitch with the stronger dose, so I decided to try the Latvian Grade A+ caps from the same seller. The Latvian caps were not nearly as potent as the Washingtons, and I was quite disappointed (2 medium caps did nothing, 4 medium caps gave me a light buzz for about 2 hours). I decided that I would finish the Latvian caps and the Washington caps at the same time; 4 small-medium Latvians and 4 small-medium Washingtons, so I was expecting about the same high I experienced with the 4 medium Washington caps previously. I'd estimate that this was about half an ounce altogether, maybe 20 grams at most.
Note that for all 5 of my experiences, I ate similar food in similar quantities (a light lunch consisting mostly of grains, like pasta and bread), about 30 minutes before consuming the caps. I experienced no nausea whatsoever, as some others have reported.
The caps began to set in about 1-2 hours after consumption, as usual. It started with a feeling of my body getting lighter, then my vision started to be affected and it was difficult to focus on details. The effects increased, as they had previously, for about 4 hours. At this point, my vision was clicking on and off, as if someone was flipping a light switch every second or so. I had experienced this before with the stronger dose of Washingtons, but this time it was a bit more intense. It was difficult to focus on the TV, so I decided I would take a nap until my vision returned. There wasn't much else I could do at that point. As I stood up to go to bed, the effect suddenly became much more intense. Instead of a light switch flipping on and off every second, it had become a very rapid strobe. I could barely see where I was walking. Then, the effect changed.
Now I was getting a still image smaller than what it should be, as if I was looking through binoculars backwards, and it was rapidly zooming towards me. This repeated over and over again with the same image (because I was standing still staring off into space), increasing in speed with each repetition. Then it felt like I was repeating the same moment over and over again, as if time had begun to repeat itself rather than just the image zooming at me. At this point, I completely lost my mind.
I came to the sudden realization that I was in hell. Hell was realizing that your entire life up until that point is nothing but a false memory and that you will continue to experience that moment forever, and it would always be fresh. Nothing that I thought I did in life mattered, and it made no difference which choices I made, because ultimately, at some arbitrary and anticlimactic moment, I would realize I was in hell and that I would repeat my life over again from the beginning without this knowledge I had suddenly acquired. I screamed, 'Oh god! OH MY GOD! I'M IN HELL!!!' I am an atheist, so I don't believe in a god, or hell or eternity. The horror faded briefly, but it was quickly replaced by something that, to me, was somehow more believable and even more terrifying.
This next part is very difficult for me to describe without a diagram, but I will do my best. I felt like my consciousness floated out of myself, and looking down, I could see what I interpreted to be the universe. It was a vertical loop, like a roller coaster track, and I was above it observing the whole thing. It was segmented into pieces with the largest at the bottom and they got progressively smaller as they came to the top, then larger on the other side until they met the bottom again. The very bottom point was my birth, and the largest segment was my life as I thought I had experienced it up until now. Each segment was my life again, starting at my birth and ending with the moment I realized I was in hell. The size of each segment corresponded to the speed at which I lived it, such that as I came around the loop, my life sped up each time I experienced it until I reached the top, then it began to slow down again with each lifetime. I had already repeated my life several times, and now I was at the top where I could observe everything. The universe was nothing but my consciousness in this infinite loop. I was the only thing that truly existed, and I was doomed to live out a pointless imaginary life over and over again for all eternity, peaking at a moment of truth, loneliness and sheer terror, then returning to ignorance to repeat the cycle. I began screaming uncontrollably, 'IT GOES ON LIKE THIS FOREVER!!! OH FUCK!!! IT NEVER STOPS!!! IT GOES ON FOREVER!!!' This was worse than any nightmare I had ever had. I have no idea how long I continued to scream, but my throat was sore the next day.
As if that was not enough...
For some reason, I thought I could control what was happening in this moment as it repeated. I felt like I could make things better for myself by choosing to repeat a happy moment over and over again, instead of realizing I was doomed for eternity. So I tried to imagine I was doing something fun. It didn't work. It wasn't enough to imagine it, I had to actually 'do' it. Since I believed nothing mattered now and that the outcome would always be the same no matter what I did, I had no fear of death (I was sort of already dead), no concern for the well being of others (they were just figments of my imagination), and no cares about consequences (there's no such thing as prison or police!). So I tried to go outside in an attempt to change things. It took me awhile to get the door of my apartment open, but eventually I did. Not before I got so frustrated that I threw a bookshelf across the room, however.
I felt like I was in a dream now. The single moment was no longer repeating, but I still had no grasp of reality. I ran outside, down the stairs, and into the street. Luckily, the speed limit around my apartment complex is only 5 MPH and there are lots of speed bumps, so I was in no danger of being hit and killed. Cars were driving by me, at least one of them honked. I was yelling at drivers, 'It doesn't matter! Nothing matters!' I distinctly remember looking one woman straight in the eyes as she slowed down to drive past me. I yelled at her, and she had a look of fear and confusion on her face that I will never forget. I kept running, and for a second I thought I could fly. I leapt into the air, but I came back down. I decided this was because I had not mastered the ability to alter the laws of physics yet, but that eventually I would be able to. I wandered around for quite some time, lost in the maze of apartment buildings and parking lots. At some point, I walked through a pond that was waist deep. I was talking loudly to myself, stumbling about, soaking wet, and yelling nonsense at the few people I saw. I distinctly remember having the urge to strangle someone, just because I could, thinking that it wouldn't matter. Thankfully, I didn't.
I climbed on top of someone's car in the parking lot at some point, and while I was up there, I began to think, 'Uh oh... Maybe I'm not in hell. Maybe I should go home...' I eventually found my way back to my apartment, and I immediately called my friend.
'Am I in hell?' I asked.
'Am I in hell?'
'Where are you?'
'In my house. In hell.'
'...What are you on and how much did you take?'
'I don't know. All of it. Whatever was left.'
'I'm coming over. I'll be there in a few minutes.'
I was fine from that point on. Talking to someone I knew was enough to bring me back to reality. I calmed down, and gradually returned to 'normal' again over the course of the next 4 hours or so. The core effects lasted about 12 hours, but I still feel like curling up into the fetal position when I remember the sound of my own screaming.
Remembering all this, I'm surprised the police never showed up. I was EXTREMELY lucky that I was not arrested, killed, or seriously injured. I'm very glad I didn't hurt anyone else, either, because I'd never be able to live with myself if I had. I'm not sure I will ever take Amanita again, but at the very least, it will be in smaller doses and NEVER without a sitter, just in case. I know now how dangerous it can be.
NEVER TAKE AMANITA MUSCARIA WITHOUT A SITTER!
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