Citation: Yet_Another_Tripper. "Healing Takes More Than a Trip: An Experience with Mescaline (extracted from Cacti), Nitrous Oxide & Melatonin (exp90366)". Erowid.org. Apr 28, 2012. erowid.org/exp/90366
This is a story about how I expected too much from a drug.
Let me start by giving you some information about myself. This is long, but I want you to understand my long-term mindset.
I'm a 20 year old male living with my mother and sister. I lead a lonely and isolated life. Needless to say, I'm not satisfied and need to change. Four months ago (before writing this) I tried to commit suicide by nitrogen asphyxiation after my father left our family, my computer addiction gave me RSI (chronic pain) and college that I had just started didn't live up to my expectations (turned out to be hard and boring so I quit). I've been depressed, have had low self confidence and anxiety attacks for a long time. I could go on but I digress. You probably get the picture by now.
Ever since I was a little kid I was scared of drugs. The horrors people around me said about them... My parents, teachers at school and various other sources of propaganda.
This changed in high school. A few of my classmates were potheads and they would always joke around with me about drugs since I was the only one in class who had never even touched alcohol. Where I live drinking alcohol in high school, even sooner, is very common.
One day when I was sick and tired of everything I finally gave in to peer pressure and bought a gram of weed off of a school mate. I wanted to escape reality. Around that time I had read many trip reports about various drugs on the Internet. I was shocked and felt betrayed. No one ever told me drugs could be fun or even help you gain insight. I thought they only caused damage in people's lives and didn't get why anyone would ever use them. What people wrote in their reports fascinated me. I was especially interested in psychedelics and MDMA. I had to try some! I needed to feel what those altered states of mind were like. And so my search for magic began.
My first experiments with weed were clueless. One time I ate a whole gram of marijuana (using peanut butter as the vector). It wasn't nice. Way too intense. In retrospect I'd call it a bad *trip*. (yes, I do believe weed has psychedelic properties) Later I figured out how to do it right and experienced the more usual effects like music enhancement. Eventually I learned to smoke. I had some very nice experiences but never fell in love weed.
Since then I've experimented with various drugs obtainable from smart shops. None of them ever seemed worth while. Except nitrous. But I hate how addictive it feels and seems so hollow (as in an 'empty good feeling').
Being such a loner I thought I would never have the opportunity to get access to psychedelics. But then I found out about mescaline. Much to my surprise it was something I could buy on the Internet in the form of dried cactus. Still, it wasn't easy to get it shipped into my country since even the psychoactive cacti are illegal here. But I managed. When it came I extracted the mescaline in order to be able to measure the dose precisely. I extracted the mescaline using HCL as the acid. I did three extractions from the same plant matter. I'll refer to them as 'pulls' from now on.
When I tried to trip on mescaline the first time I took 250mg of the second pull. The whole experience was like getting stoned on weed but it felt 'cleaner'. On the whole it was pleasant, with a lot of euphoria, but I was disappointed as I expected to perceive the world in a whole new way, confront my inner demons, learn something about myself and perhaps experience synthesia.
At the time I was mostly alone in my family's house as my father would only come home at night and my mother moved away for the time being. This suited me well for my experiments. After my first trip attempt I decided to wait at least a week before trying again as I didn't want my tolerance to interfere. But, as luck would have it, my mother decided to move back during that week. Still, I was firmly decided to trip. No matter what. I had been waiting for it too long. I decided I would do it mid-week in the afternoon.
Phew, what a long introduction. Now let's jump to the day my trip happened on.
It was a warm and sunny spring day. However, several uncommon things happened to me. Mainly meeting a lot of people by my standards. During a boring lesson at college where I go just to kill time an old friend from whom I haven't heard for some time texted me. I decided to ditch the class and meet up with him instead. We met and just hanged out in the city. He's very serious about pursuing a career in management and politics. I am the exact opposite. When he preaches to me about 'working diligently' I somehow listen with curiosity, but also with aversion. My parents, too, keep pushing me in this direction. I find this to be a typical trait of some 'judging' personality types of MBTI, in case you are familiar with it (I'm an INTP btw). After these 'lectures' I end up feeling vaguely guilty. Today was no different.
When we separated later I got on a train back home where I met another old friend. This guy is a high school drop out. On the train he talked about how his life was going. It wasn't so good. In fact it sounded like he was having a hard time. He literally works his hands to the bone, has little money, bills to pay, his girlfriend just left him and his friend got addicted to crack. But despite all that he was optimistic. He kept laughing about his problems in such a sad way it really got to me. I felt sorry for him and disgusted with myself for being so spoiled (as I'm still leeching off my parents and don't have such worries).
Notice the bad vibes in the preceding paragraph.
I was decided to take the mescaline once I got home. Another surprise awaited. My father came to pick up some of his things. Luckily I somehow got around my parents, headed straight to my room and began measuring the dose. I had each pull stored separately. I was going to double the dose since last time to 500mg. The first pull yielded 360mg. While extracting it I burned it by mistake so I was expecting it to be very weak.
17:13 (T+0:00) - I ingested 360mg of Mescaline HCL. Some people write they put it in capsules because they hate the taste. But I put a lot of effort in making this and was proud so I wanted to experience the most of my creation. I ate the raw thing to taste it. It was very bitter, tasted a bit like burned clay. Cool! I started to measure out the rest of my dose from another pull, but became reluctant to take it for some reason. In the end I didn't take any more. In retrospect that seems like a wise decision.
17:40 (T+0:27) - I grabbed two delicious looking apples, a bottle of water, my mp3 player and headed outdoors to watch the sun set in the nature. On my way out I heard my mother crying in her room. She does that every other day due to her own emotional issues. What a pain in the ass.
17:55 (T+0:42) - On my way I started noticing *subtle* (let me stress that) changes in perception. Colors were becoming more vibrant. Walking up an alley of tall trees, slowly, they started to seem enchanted. A bit like taking a walk in the morning when there is mist everywhere. Or perhaps like a scene in a fantasy movie. I was getting immersed in my thoughts when I met yet another former classmate. What a coincidence. She called out to me and just asked where I was going. When I replied it was to watch the sun set she seemed a bit puzzled.
17:57 (T+0:44) - Leaving the classmate behind I arrived at my spot. The sky was already orange, red and purple and I was starting to feel the mescaline take effect.
It already felt much more potent than last time. The first thing I noticed was my regular brain fog getting worse. My stomach felt slightly sick and I was getting anxious. I started to sweat and felt hot. Soon I stopped focusing on these unpleasant symptoms and they faded.
18:00 (T+0:47) - I checked what the time was and noticed it seemed to flow by fairly slowly. It surprised me when I realized that I had talked with the girl just a few minutes ago. It seemed more like an hour. Time remained stretched for the rest of the trip. By this time I had completely forgotten about any negative symptoms from three minutes ago. Anyway, I started paying attention to the sun. While staring into it I remembered an old warning that you can damage your eyesight when being fascinated by the sun on LSD. I found that pretty funny.
The sun was setting over a valley that I visit once in a while. But this time it seemed like a different place. Like I was in a fairytale-ish land. Although subtle, this feeling kept growing over time. A large redish aura surrounded the sun. Birds were flying in flocks and airplanes were drawing trails high in the sky. Now don't get me wrong. This was NOT the most beautiful thing I've seen in my life. Nevertheless, I spent about half an hour admiring the scenery, munching on apples in the meantime.
After the sun set I decided to go home. However, there were some people down the road. I didn't want anyone to disturb my feeling of peace so I decided to head in the opposite direction. It felt like the classic plot in video games. The road is blocked so the character takes a ridiculously long detour on which they experience many adventures. Walking felt like I wasn't moving at all. Somewhat like when you try to run on an escalator in the opposite direction. When I concentrated on it, the feeling stopped though. Too bad, it was fun.
On my way I decided to listen to music. It felt great. But very different from how it feels on weed. I wasn't getting more gratification. Instead it felt like the music tapped into my emotions - directly connected, bypassing my consciousness. Unfortunately, I don't remember the exact feeling anymore. Lets just say each song completely set the mood.
I was enjoying myself so much that I kept extending my route by taking the longer path on each crossroad. These were all dirt roads in between fields to give you a better idea about the setting. The thought of eventually getting home made me sad. It was getting dark when I arrived at a dog pound. The dogs were barking out loud as I passed along the fence. There was a large pile of manure lying around. The smell combined with the barking and Japanese pop music I was listening to at the moment created an amusing sensation. This is the closest I got to synthesia during the entire trip. But again, it was only subtle.
In the darkness visuals were becoming more prominent. Something seemed like an old scarecrow, but upon closer inspection turned out to be a bush. Next I passed through a tree tunnel while listening to some darker music. I was still coming up. My surroundings were getting a bit frightening. I wondered if I'm acting recklessly and perhaps pushing myself to far. But with the bit of fear came a sense of wonder. The night was mysterious. I climbed on a hill and watched all the lights in my town glow in the night, feeling euphoric.
Now it was pitch dark and the temperature was dropping. I also wondered whether my mother was going to become concerned about me so I finally went strait home. On the way I was wishing I would have more time to explore the wonderful outdoors.
19:00 (T+1:47) - I quietly creeped into my room, not meeting anyone. It felt like my outdoor exploration took half a day. I noticed I was drenched in sweat and red in the face but didn't worry about it much. It was probably because of running around outdoors.
I took a camera and recorded a short video clip of myself rambling. In the video I have an ear-to-ear smile. I am whispering very softly. Partly because I was concerned about my mother hearing me, but mostly because I was so overwhelmed by happiness it was exhausting. I kept trying to describe the experience but couldn't come up with any meaningful words. I kept saying phrases like 'This is truly amazing' and 'I feel so happy'.
I imagine MDMA feels like this. Also because I had a strong wish to share the experience with someone else. Too bad there wasn't anyone available. If I ever find a girlfriend we definitely have to try this together.
I started writing a post on a drug-related image board on the Internet but didn't post it in the end because I thought it probably didn't mean anything. I put on some music. Here my memory gets hazy. The rest of the trip is hard to recall, so what follows may be somewhat inaccurate.
19:10 (T+1:57) - I decided to masturbate while watching porn. I'm not comfortable with my sexuality so masturbating on drugs always brings out repressed feelings. I thought the time had come to make my trip more serious. While masturbating I felt distant from my body. My body was doing it's thing but my mind thought: 'Not this shit again' and 'You're making your RSI worse'. The sensations were diminished. The experience itself wasn't very interesting. It was the complete opposite of marijuana that makes me feel everything in greater detail and gives me more gratification.
Sure enough, when I finished, the usual disturbing feelings, thoughts and images (in my imagination) surfaced. But it was nothing new. All of it was familiar from when masturbating on marijuana. Somehow, these associations are connected to my childhood. I'm not aware of being abused as a child so I don't get it. They have such a Freudian feel to them. For instance certain objects I saw as a toddler come to mind and strongly remind me of a penis. (for the record: I'm heterosexual) There's more but I don't feel like writing it here. Meh. It's bullshit. And that's what I kept telling myself. I would imagine talking with my subconsciousness saying 'Is this all you got? Can't you do better? I know your old tricks'.
19:26 (T+2:13) - My mother came into my room. She was weeping. I could tell she was about to start confiding her problems to me once again. This time relating to my fathers visit. I swiftly interrupted her by saying I wasn't feeling well and asked her to leave. Thankfully she did and didn't disturb me for the rest of the night. It seems that while I am normally quite submissive I become more assertive on some drugs. Immediately after she left I felt proud of how I dealt with the situation. But soon I started having second thoughts.
Suddenly I became worried about my heart rate. How unoriginal, right? Somehow I calmed myself by remembering that no one ever died from taking mescaline.
After that I started feeling like my teeth were bleeding. In other trip reports I've seen this being referred to as a 'teeth falling out' sensation. Anyway, I already knew this feeling from the time I ate 1 gram of weed. That time it was much worse. I knew it was only a feeling so I wasn't particularly bothered by it.
I started recording another video clip. In this clip my former smile is long gone. I look worried. It seems I had trouble keeping a strait line of thought. I kept explaining over and over again that I was whispering because I didn't want anyone to hear me. I remember talking felt very mechanical. It was like watching my lips move. It wasn't 'me' who was speaking. Interestingly, my voice sounds robotic in the video too. The video ends by me saying it's probably time to do nitrous and laughing hysterically.
~20:00 (T+2:47) - The thought of suicide returned albeit in a different form. I was sick of myself. I was angry at myself. I was going to kill my ego. Using nitrous. I still had two whippets left. I pulled out my gear. As I cracked the whippet a cold sharp hiss followed by a soft whine pierced the silence of the room. Just like when I turned the valve on the cylinder with nitrogen when I tried to gas myself, I thought.
Now I held a pink inflated balloon in my hand. Telling my ego 'prepare to die' I inhaled two full balloons.
Oh, nitrous feels so good. But it always leaves me wanting more. Overwhelmed by warmth I collapsed on my bed and lay there still. As if a heavy blanket was thrown upon me. Visuals were changing. What looked like high frequency 'snow' noise was replaced by two large red and blue lights. They were slowly pulsating. Everything slowed down. Ripples formed around the lights. There was red and blue everywhere. Aligned in a chess board pattern of sorts. With it came a sense of detachment from this world. I felt like I was lying in front of two huge fans that were turning slowly, humming. There was a mixed sense of comfort and fear of something so different. Suddenly I remembered. This is *exactly* what I felt like when I breathed pure nitrogen. But I had forgotten. Now the memory was back.
It makes sense I think. This is my amateur explanatory hypothesis: During my suicide attempt I either had a near death experience and my brain released DMT, or nitrogen in high doses has psychoactive properties, like nitrous oxide.
[NOTE: I strongly advise AGAINST trying to breathe pure Nitrogen for it's potential psychoactive effects. Unless you are trying to die. It takes a lot more Nitrogen than Nitrous oxide. And by the time you have inhaled that much there is next to no oxygen left in your bloodstream.]
Then it came. The most intense moment of my trip. I 'felt god'. It was a moment of futility. I felt extremely powerless. This omnipotent force was all around me. I started laughing because there wasn't anything I could do. I felt slightly abashed by the universe watching me. I imagined the flow of time since the big bang in fast forward. So many people were born, lived and died. When put into perspective, life is so short. In the rapid flow of time I felt a spark. That was my life. This was in slow motion for a change. It looked like when you record a match igniting on a high speed camera and play it back slowly. I could hear the flame burning. A moment later it got lost in the infinite sea of entropy.
That was my entire life. Everything I'll ever think, perceive, feel, do. So short, so meaningless. I started crying. 'I don't want to die.' 'Why must the world be like this?' 'Why is there no purpose?' 'Why am I here?' Yeah, here were the most basic human fears and insecurities. The fear of death in particular overwhelmed me. Being an atheist I quickly snapped out of feeling god. It became clear to me there is no god. I was on drugs.
My thoughts: So this is how religion works. It's built so deep into the human psyche. I bet DMT feels like this. I burst out laughing: 'How can anyone take this seriously?'
'Actually, I am god. This is *my* burning match. I have the power to influence my life profoundly.'
Then the feeling of god came back and left a few more times. In waves. Well, I'm still an atheist as I write these lines, I wonder if DMT will get me when I try it :D
When the last wave passed I realized every single human on Earth is subject to the same fears I have. 'Everyone is terrified of death and shares my insecurities: All the people I'm scared of, all the people I hate, even the people I admire, respect or love, even those who look down on me.' I've read about this before in other trip reports. The feeling 'all humans are the same' Well, I'm my case it was 'All humans are the same losers as myself'. Funny, how everyone interprets this differently, huh?
20:24 (T+3:11) - As I was coming down from nitrous I got obsessed about forgetting what I had learned. I took out my camera one more time. This time I'm struggling to explain: 'You will forget everything. You'll try to come here [as in psychedelia] again but won't understand. It will keep going on like this forever. Give it up.' Who knows what the hell I was talking about.
I proceeded to leave a few messages in my computer, cell phone and on paper. I set my computer wallpaper to the text 'Do something about your life you weak piece of shit!'.
Another interesting message read: 'I've been in psychedelia. There is nothing here, just your subconsciousness. It's empty. Next time you come here bring something with you.'
Here the 'final part' of my trip begins and my sense of time ends. I can recover something based on timestamps on files on my computer but take it with a grain of salt.
I spent most of the time listening to music. It seemed like I kept going to pee all the time. Each time one part of me had to lead my body to the toilet just like an adult leads a small child. The same part of also comforted me at times.
Open eye visuals were escalating. Let me make a note here. When reading various trip reports I've always imagined visuals as 'photo realistic'. For instance when somebody described a fractal I imagined something like a fractal visualization in an audio player on a computer. My actual experience was very different however. All visuals in the entire trip (except one 'breather' in the very beginning) looked like being on a new layer placed in between my sight and the world. Think of looking in the sun, turning away and closing your eyes. You will still see the shape of the sun glowing. That's what it looked like.
I wonder if this is what people talk about when they say 'filters came off and I could see reality as it truly exists'. But to me it felt like the opposite. Like a new filter was being added, not being removed. This let me down to be honest. I kept waiting for the visuals to begin only to realize they had begun a long time ago.
There was a lot of static noise. Various random images kept emerging from it. It started out as many small blue and red spots. Later these would shift into different shapes. Unsurprisingly, the darker my room was, the more prominent the visuals became.
I would get all sorts of stuff. Some of it was projected onto surfaces, other times things were hanging in the air and finally some images seemed to be present in another space entirely. One of the first objects was the Rolling Stones logo - the mouth with a tongue. Later the blue and red spots turned into neon green skulls. It wasn't particularly scary though. I even got pictures of those stereotypical gray aliens with huge eyes that I'm normally terrified of. But it didn't do anything to me.
A very interesting effect I got looked like holes in my vision. Imagine medium sized solid black circles everywhere you look. It wasn't just an image. They had a unique feel to them.
21:17 (T+4:04) - For some reason I searched the web for a picture a particular anime character. 'Haruhi Suzumyia' if it makes any difference. Later I looked at myself in the mirror. That didn't give me a bad trip at all. Actually I thought I looked really cute and I was a girl. Oh wait, I actually looked just like 'Haruhi Suzumyia'. What a mystery.
[On a side note: during one marijuana trip all female anime characters looked just like my sister, whom I find unattractive. I'd say something weird is going on here]
The next thing I remember from this time fragment is a bizarre sensation in my abdomen and a my brain. The abdominal one felt strangely good actually, but my brain felt nasty. Like a metal rod touching the surface through my forehead. It only came in flashes though and didn't hurt per se.
[[I have no idea what happened to this time]]
22:06 (T+4:53) - I decided I would find out what nostalgia feels like on mescaline. By chance I had an ancient National Geographic magazine from May 1991 lying around. The month I was born. Normally I feel somehow attached to old things like that. To my surprise there was no nostalgia. Instead, flipping the pages quickly looked like a slide show of pictures. That was fun. But then something *horrible* happened. I stumbled upon a photo of an elephant corpse. It was pure evil. This was the worst moment of my trip. The picture was taken at night. The dead elephant was torn apart. Another elephant was standing nearby. It's eyes were glowing.
First I remembered the old 'accept the trip, don't fight negative feelings and let them pass through'. This simple piece of advice helped me many times before. I recommend to anyone who will be tripping for their first time to make sure they understand this phrase. So I stared at the photo, 'not fighting it'. But this time it didn't work. I hallucinated a scary sound. No. Screw this. I closed the magazine.
On the front cover there was a really creepy shadow. I took the magazine into another room and that was the end of that. Even now, it still gives me shivers though.
I thought: this must be another 'primitive, animal fear'.
[[Time went away once again]]
I spent the rest of the trip listening to music. I started to feel exhausted. I contemplated taking melatonin to fall asleep but decided I would bear it all till the end. The majority of songs seemed the same. Weed is much better if you want to enjoy music from my experience. Some songs stuck out though. I was reminded of the time I heard them first. Some other songs just made me dance wildly. I had no idea what I was feeling at the moment. Everything was mixed up. Mostly there was sense of sadness I'd say.
23:44 (T+5:31) - I listened to the song 'Runaway Train' by 'Soul Asylum'. I didn't think much of this song before. I had listened to it just a few times. But now every word of it seemed to capture my then current state of mind *so well*. I thought the author must have written it inspired by a psychedelic of some sort. I made a note: 'words can't capture beautiful madness'.
And this is where I decided to call it a day. I was too tired and had experienced enough. I tried sleeping but the persistent mindscrew made it impossible. My brain was still being raped. I was still melting into the bed. If mescaline is a 'forgiving psychedelic' I am glad I wasn't on LSD at the moment. I would fall asleep for what seemed like hours and then wake up frightened ten minutes later (I looked at an alarm clock). My chronic pain was amplified. Someone once said that if psychedelics take you to hell you might as well suffer. And so I did. It wasn't *that* bad though.
But finally at about 2:00 AM (T+8:47) I got tired of that and took 1.5 mg melatonin. Did you know it's a tryptamine btw? I fell asleep.
--- The next day:
8:00 (T+14:47) - I woke up tired, with a feeling of dread. I guess I dreaded reality. There were still some mild visuals but I was sober.
I went to school. I was irritated and cynical the entire day. Maybe some suppressed anger was being released, but I was probably just tired. For some reason I only remembered the negative aspects of my trip. It seemed like I just wanted to have a good time, but being so empty there was no magic for me. Only the day after I started writing this report and remembered the more positive parts.
It's now been five days since my trip. What is there left to say? I expected a miracle and it didn't happen. Obviously. I indeed did perceive the world and my life from a new perspective and even met an inner demon or two. But it wasn't enough. If I'm ever going to change my life it's going to be by making one step at a time by myself. Not by waiting for an external force to reshape me. I have yet to understand that.
In any case, it was definitely an interesting experience. If I could decide again I'd still do it. The way I see people *has* changed, but it seems to be fading away quickly. It's just like Timothy Leary said. Psychedelics only show you the possibilities. It's up to you to chose and follow them.
My mood swings are still the same, if not a bit worse. But at least I didn't go insane :D .
I should really get my life back together. Especially try another university.
The next psychedelic I'll try will be DMT.
Anyway, Life goes on...
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