Citation: Canned Brocccoli. "A Cloudy Day with Beny: An Experience with Diphenhydramine (exp93953)". Erowid.org. Apr 4, 2012. erowid.org/exp/93953
My experience with drugs began about two years before this experience. I have smoked weed, drank, eaten nutmeg a couple of times, taken psilocybin mushrooms on three occasions, and this would be my sixth time doing benadryl for psychoactive purposes. The largest dose I have taken is 500 mg, or 20 pills, with only a minimal amount of hallucinations when taken after smoking cannabis.
My family was out of town for the day, so I decided to break into the box of liqui-gels I had. Once I was sure they were leaving, I swallowed 15 pills, three at a time, and got some printer paper for writing things down on later. At this point I was listening to Steely Dan.
Soon I became more clumsy and disoriented. I bumped into things and continuously forgot what I was going to do next. From what I've read, diphenhydramine most commonly diminishes one's libido, but mine usually skyrockets - more so than with weed. About an hour after having taken them, I listened to the song Kid A, because I listened to the album the first time I did benadryl. I felt like I could truly appreciate and connect to the song as much as I did initially, before I got used to it.
I put on Modest Mouse, and throughout the entire album I thought I was on the last song. Whenever the next song played I would think it was a hidden track or something, at first. Besides that, I suddenly noticed numerous poetic devices present in the lyrics, and I realized what a lot of the lines meant. The emotional intensity of the music was overwhelming. I thought about my girlfriend and I was overcome with happiness - which is weird, since in the past I hadn't felt anything resembling an emotion while on benadryl. I haven't been paying much attention to my surroundings at this point.
After that, I began listening to Joanna Newsom. Again, more attention paid to lyrics I've been glossing over for months. I was startled every time she began to sing. I looked at myself in the mirror for a long time, and my eyes looked odd and cartoony. I contemplated drawing them, but once I picked up the paper I either forgot or my hands were shaking too much. I never ended up writing anything down on the paper. I stared at the styrofoam creation my little sister gave me a few birthdays ago, and I laughed out loud at its face. I couldn't remember if the face was actually there or not, but when I checked later on, it still was. For some reason I just didn't recognize it.
At the present time I would often space out for a couple of minutes, during which I would have miniature (dreams? hallucinations?) regarding my surroundings. At one point the aforementioned styrofoam creation started talking to my guitar about expanding to the western lands and giving the Indians their own territory. It seemed amused. The guitar listened respectfully, without commenting. I snapped out of that one and had several others. The other dream/hallucination I remember was the stuffed penguin in the corner of my room getting surgery to have its wig removed.
The CD ended, and although I told myself beforehand I would continue listening to music throughout, I never put anything else on. I hadn't set out any CDs beforehand besides Modest Mouse and Joanna Newsom. I sat in my chair and stared at things for what may have been 30 minutes or an hour. It was windy outside and I repeatedly had to look out my window to check what was making the noise. Occasionally I would see a person in my peripheral vision, but they wouldn't be there when I turned to look. The objects in my room would continue to talk to each other without acknowledging me, but not until I stopped paying attention to them. Once or twice I heard my name, but I knew it was just the benadryl so I didn't respond. A lot of things in my room would ripple or vibrate when I wasn't looking at them directly.
I stared at the mirror again, trying to creep myself out. It worked. If I looked at my reflection long enough, it would wink, or look to the side, which wasn't as unnerving as I would expect it to be. At one point it opened and closed its mouth repeatedly, eyes spinning. This was a lot subtler than it sounds - there wasn't much light in my room at this time. At another point I would see my real face, followed by my face covered in wrinkles. The images would alternate back and forth, and some voice was telling me about it, although I didn't physically hear the voice.
About four hours after I had taken the benadryls, I wanted it to end. The trance-like effects were definitely subsiding, but my vision was still blurry, I couldn't speak, I was knocking shit over, my breathing was shaky, my leg spasmed occasionally, my mouth was dry, my eyelids were heavy, and I felt depressed. I couldn't think of anything to do that would make me feel content. Since I expected my family to come home at any minute (they didn't end up coming home until three hours later), I left a note and walked to the nearest park. I brought my ipod 'just in case,' but I never listened to it.
I walked through the park, and then back to the other side before selecting a bench to sit on. It was pretty overcast, and raining a little bit. I saw two different kids from my school, and they both said hi to me, but when I responded my voice was distant and airy. I couldn't manage much volume. I suspect the first kid didn't actually hear my reply.
I moved to another bench in front of the aviary. I watched a peahen and its two babies - they were fascinating. An old couple walked up to me, and the man asked, 'Are they struttin?'
What the fuck is he talking about? 'What?'
'Are they spreading their tail feathers and showin off?'
'Oh,' I said faintly. Not knowing how to answer, I settled for 'I wasn't...really watching them.' I was pretty sure only male peacocks did that anyway.
'Wasn't watching them, huh?'
'Well, they look like they're gettin ready to.'
I had no idea what to say. They left. As I continued observing the peacocks, for a split second the mother was a pushmi-pullyu peahen, with a head at both ends. I looked at it directly and it was normal again.
There must have been something strange about the way I was sitting. A high school- or college-age girl, whom I'd seen walk into the park with her dog earlier, stopped by my bench. 'What are you doing?'
'Just...sitting.' It took an incredible amount of effort to get those words out.
For some reason she told me her name. I told her mine.
'How old are you?'
I thought for a few seconds. 'Sixteen.' Why was she asking?
'And you're just chillin here on the bench?'
'Cool. Well, I live right over there, so you're gonna see me walk into my house.'
'Okay.' Why were people acting so weird today?
I was tired of having to respond to the friendly townsfolk, so I just went back home. The house was still empty, so I talked to the cats. I went back into my room and tried to read, but my vision was still blurry. I put on my mother's reading glasses but they didn't help at all.
By this point, even though my vision was still blurry, I could move without bumping into things. I got a call from one of my friends, who happened to be one of the kids who said hi to me at the park. She wanted a ride to 7/11, since the rain was pretty bad by now. I really wanted an excuse not to, but by this point I knew I could drive safely, and besides, I hadn't talked to her in a while. I told her I wouldn't be very fun to talk to because I'd been having a very quiet day, but I would give her a ride. I wasn't sure if she knew I'd done benadryl, so I was pretty vague about the 'quiet' of my day. [Erowid Note:
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
When I got there, though, I felt almost normal again. Talking to her wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be, so this showed me that the benadryl had worn off.
Overall, I'm probably not going to do diphenhydramine again. The after-effects are terrible - for me, at least. You can't sleep through them, either. It's definitely an interesting experience though, and you should try it if you're considering it. Just don't make it a habit; that goes for any drug. You can get addicted to anything. The dosage is not the same for everyone, obviously. Try a moderate amount first to be sure that you don't take too much. The best advice I have for enjoying it is to make a plan and stick to it. I went into this intending to take a lot of notes (to remember everything that popped into my head) and listen to a lot of music. Don't let laziness take over.
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