Citation: Rose. "Trapped in a World of Constant Repetitions: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (5x extract) (exp103742)". Erowid.org. Jun 18, 2020. erowid.org/exp/103742
I have had a few experiences with drugs before, that have been relatively mild. I've used LSD, mushrooms, ketamine, MDMA, bromo dragonfly, ayahuasca, and marijuana. None of them had a particularly potent effect on me, and I could barely imagine that anything could really disconnect me from reality or take me to any realm that I couldn't snap myself out of with the power of my own mind.
A friend bought some 5x salvia extract online and we decided to try it together. The first time, we only smoked a very small amount (though we didn't weigh it, we just guessed!) Nothing much happened for either of us except for some light-headedness, and we thought perhaps it was because the extract was quite weak. Also, we were using a bong which I've heard leads to a weaker trip than using a pipe - but I was sure the smoke from a pipe would be too hot for me to be able to breathe in.
A few days later we decided to try again. I went first. My friend added a little more extract than used before. I breathed in the smoke the same as usual. Straight away I knew that the taste was stronger than before - it was like I could feel the leaves themselves in my mouth. I moved my mouth away from the bong even though there was still lots of smoke. My friend said I should take another hit but I knew after a second that I wouldn't be able to. At this point I still had control over my body so I lay down. Then - everything disappeared. My mind tried to make the logical connection that I was fainting, because my vision started to distintegrate and I lost control of my body. I closed my eyes.
When I opened my eyes again, probably after just a second or two, all my senses were altered to the point of being totally useless. I knew something was happening, and I tried to speak and sit up. But those words and actions seemed to be totally impossible to complete. I was trying to move my body, but I couldn't feel it anymore. It felt like I was stuck in the same position, or that every time I made a movement, I would succeed for a moment, but then I would be pushed back, or simply reality would restart from that moment a few seconds ago and I would have to repeat the action again.
I couldn't see anything of the room except what was directly in front of me and my friend's face looking over me, and they were extremely distorted. Everything seemed to be squeezed into a pattern of giant chevrons that kept moving towards me, the only discernable object was my friend's face, that appeared again and again in each layer of the endless layers of chevrons. The only visual effect from real life that I can compare it to is an effect that sometimes happens when you pause a VHS tape, and the repeated image of what you paused endlessly moves down the screen in layers, with a lot of white noise and distortion between each part.
I tried to speak to. I felt like I was shouting 'oh my god' over and over again (my friend told me I kept saying 'no, no, no' ) Everything had become like a stuck record. I felt like I was trapped in that one moment. I had no control over myself. I could see nothing clearly, I could not move my body the way I wanted. I could vaguely hear and see my friend but it didnt feel like a real person. I had two main thoughts passing through my mind - firstly, that I had caused myself brain damage and I was never coming back from this - that I was in a vegetative or catatonic state and basically dead. Secondly, I thought either I was in Hell, or this was what Hell was like - being stuck in a neverending cycle, trapped in the same moment for eternity. It also seemed clear to me in that moment that I hadn't lived my life well and of course I was in Hell for that.
There were a few moments of visual and aural clarity that started to break up the cycle. I saw an image of my legs in front of me as I tried to get up, and I felt like I was moving my body. According to my friend, I did try to get up, and he gently guided me back to the bed so I wouldn't hurt myself (who knows what I would have done if I had managed to stand up). I also managed to speak and tell my friend 'something really strong is happening', and 'something really bad is happening'. I think I must have heard him saying 'everything is okay', because I remember feeling the sensation of lying back down on the bed and closing my eyes.
I felt much calmer and more in control with my eyes closed and lying down. The madness was outside and I was inside, safe. I also felt my friend's hand and I took hold of it (I suppose at this point the salvia was starting to wear off). The sensation of holding his hand seemed to be the only real thing in this absolute sea of white noise and meaninglessness.
Finally I opened my eyes and everything was very suddenly back to normal. I had control again, my vision was clear, I could speak and move and understand what was going on. I don't know if what I felt was relief, or just acceptance that it was all over. When it was happening, sure it felt like 'Hell', but I wouldn't describe the feeling as panic or fear or pain... More like a very acute disorientation.
After that experience, my first thoughts were how silly I was all the times I snorted or took some random powder or crystal or tab from someone in a warehouse. I realised that I can't mess with these things, I can't mess with the body that's given to me. The times before when nothing much happened to me, maybe I was lucky. I also reflected on the feeling that I was in Hell - the same moment over and over. I realised that I have to live each moment of my life as if I had to repeat it over and over, always do the best that I can.
Perhaps I will do salvia again now that I know how strong the effects are and I can mentally prepare myself for it.
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