Citation: prosss. "I Thought Everything Had Changed Forever: An Experience with Cannabis (exp81941)". Erowid.org. Jun 28, 2018. erowid.org/exp/81941
A couple of years ago in college I started smoking weed. Not to the point where I would consider myself a stoner--but I liked smoking it a lot, alone, in my dorm room. Five few years prior I had had a traumatic weed-related experience--I took a huge drag and felt 'high' for the first time, which I interpreted as something going completely wrong--and I had a terrible panic attack and felt 'off' for about two weeks after. But that was years ago, I figured, and I thought I knew my limits now--I 'know' what its like to be high.
Well, I continued to smoke for a couple of months on my own with no real problem. I liked the experience of being high, and all was well. I should mention that around this time I started getting pretty terrible headaches in the rear portion of my head/neck area--I was prescribed Fiorcet for this, and I took about two a day. It wasn't advised that you drink while on the medication, so I avoided drinking. I wasn't really smoking much either.
One evening in November, some friends and I met up at a pizza place near school and had a few pitchers of beer. I had a couple of glasses, and I was really pretty buzzed (I'm definitely a light weight) . We went to my friends house afterwards (friends who like to smoke a lot) to smoke. I was used to smoking a little bit from a pipe, and not a bong. They were using a bong. I took a rip and didn't clear it out, to which my friend said 'cmon clear it out!' and I did--which I didn't really want to, but I was sort of the outsider and felt like I had to to fit in, I guess. I coughed, and I remember a guy saying 'uh oh time for the infinite coughs' .. I guess figuring I did it wrong and I would be coughing all night. I didn't really like hearing that though for some reason, it made me feel weird. My lungs hurt a little bit from the huge rip, but I figured I was alright. I wasn't coughing as much after a few minutes.
I guess a couple of more minutes had elapsed when the beginning of what would be the worst night of my life started to develop. I felt 'weird' .. Kind of tired-ish, and figured I needed to lay down. I was starting to feel a body-stone--where I'm all tingling and cold everywhere, so I needed to rest. I walked into someones empty bedroom with the lights out and fell down on the bed. I hoped it would help, but this weird feeling was getting stronger and stronger. It was freaking me out that I couldnt make it stop
It was freaking me out that I couldnt make it stop
, and it reminded me of what I felt years ago when I had that bad experience and felt like I was 'drugged' and was going to die. But I tried to tell myself that it was just a normal reaction and to chill. I got up out of bed to walk to the kitchen to get some water--while I was still feeling pretty bad. Thats when I lost it.
I remember sort of looking at myself--my hands and my chest--my body--and thinking 'this is ME' .. Like realizing 'I exist' .. To which I never really 'thought' of that in this way before. This was SERIOUSLY a new experience, I thought everything was totally different. I kept walking and was really freaking scared--I walked into the living room where everyone was still hanging out and I was like I, I don't feel good. Something is wrong. I basically felt like what had happened was I had made a mental breakthrough and I was now seeing the world for the first time--all of my memories up until this point were just illusions and this was a new awakening to reality. I then started to think that I was dying. That was it. That bong hit did something to make me go insane, and I was about to enter a new 'place' .. I started to feel like reality on earth was a definitive point in which we exist and when we die we are going to enter a new 'place' -- I really believed I was leaving this world and entering some other place. I was dizzy walking in circles and I heard the sound of the 'bankrupt' sound on wheel of fortune. The falling awwwwww sine wave sound.
I was panic-ing so hard. I ran back into the bedroom and laid down trying to keep my feet on this earth, and on the way I had a quick remembrance of my parents whom I love and thought I would never see again. I put my head on the bed and thought I heard the sound of groaning and grinding, and I felt like I sort of saw this red orb-olike hal9000 light in the back of my mind. I got back out of bed and staggered into the kitchen where one of my friends tried to calm me down--I got some water from a cabinet and I, still terribly terrified, sat down and tried to tell my friend what was going on, that I 'existed' and 'we exist' and I needed to go home. I went back into the bedroom to get my jacket and staggered outside and remember stepping on a worm and looking up at the sky. I looked back down at the worm and it had been crushed into like 30 little pieces but each one was still moving, to which I looked back up at the sky and felt realized we were just floating in space. My friend gave me a ride home where he tried to comfort me in downplaying it kind of just like 'yeah man we're just a rock in space dude'.. It sort of helped, because it made me less scared.
He brought me home and I took 10mg (I think) of valium I had in a drawer in case of anxiety, which I had had in the past from OCD. This sort of did two things. I kept thinking that nothing 'man' can do could save me now, because knowledge of medicine was simply man-made and NOTHING could 'fix' what has happened to me--it was beyond human comprehension. The valium also made my thoughts seem to radiate moreso inside my head, like I was an observer of a battle going on. I took a shower and I felt like my brain was emitting energy from a singular source. I felt like the reason why marijuana was illegal was because someone higher up figured out that this was what they were trying to prevent people from figuring out--the 'truth' about the world. I was so profoundly fearful to the fact that I would feel like this forever, like I had been permanently changed. I remember having moments thinking about suicide, but never contemplating attempting it. Just actually thinking about dying and how certain every-day objects can kill, e.g. knives, and the objects are portals into entering a different plane of existence. I also thought about being scared of the self, and scared of others. I contemplated evolution and whether I should be scared of the fact that we are products of evolution--I questioned my religious faith (I was raised Catholic).
I spent months feeling like this, with occasional relapses of feelings of extreme paranoia and panic attacks. I was scared that I would be institutionalized, or worse, fear some guy I used to talk to online suggested that I would never be the same--some fucking help he was. What I needed was reassurance that I wasn't crazy. I found my help through my sister, who is a psychologist.
What I needed was reassurance that I wasn't crazy. I found my help through my sister, who is a psychologist.
Although she couldn't give me professional assistance, she did give me sisterly care, and I remember one thing her asking me was why am I 'fearful' of all of these new-found post-marijuana discoveries. Why was I 'scared' of this. Couldn't I perhaps see it as insightful? In the same way that philosophers find these kinds of discoveries fascinating, and not 'scary' ? She helped me realize that I wasn't crazy and to just trust her that my experience and reaction was perfectly normal symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder.
I started to feel completely better months later. Although I seriously thought I had a skewed perception of the world and would never get better. About a year later, I started seeing a different psychologist who helped me confront my 'fear' of thinking about the experience--which would always start to give me a panic attack if I tried to relive and rethink the experience. Trying to prevent my mind from thinking something seems to be what triggers panic attacks--fearing the fear itself, like a vicious cycle.
I feel like I need to share my story with the hope that anyone that has an experience such as mine can find this and get a sense of reassurance and hope from what can feel like nothing will ever be the same--I definitely refound my equilibrium over time.
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