Mushrooms - P. semilanceata
Citation: Verntelk. "Tripping Over Myself: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. semilanceata (exp104734)". Erowid.org. Jan 2, 2021. erowid.org/exp/104734
I picked these mushrooms with friends in Wales a few weeks ago. It was our first time picking but we were confident or at least cautious about IDing the right ones. If any specimens looked doubtful we avoided them. We ate 30 each and walked around the hills for four hours, stopping to pick more occasionally. Came home with 60 mushrooms, dried them and stored them in a jar of honey.
Background to this trip:
I've taken mushrooms before a few times, and this is the second time I've taken them since trying ayahuasca for the first time two months ago. Out of an interest in micro-dosing I'd had a few half-teaspoons from the jar earlier in the week (to subtle and pleasant effect), but I was waiting for a good time to experiment with tripping alone (to study the effects on drawing and music). The opportunity came today whilst looking after my mum's flat, and thinking I was giving myself a comfortable dose to begin with, I took a teaspoon of the mushrooms in honey.
The first hour was fascinating, enjoyable and surprisingly intense. I sat in the living room with a ukulele and pen and paper, playing and watching the visuals arrive. The carpet rippled and the blinds waved around a bit, and the sunbeams seemed to coincide with my playing. I was restless and indecisive so put the ukulele down and began drawing. As my eyes focused on the pen moving around the paper I noticed in the periphery of my vision that there were people kneeling against me, some sitting at the sofa, one on the floor resting against my knee. All faces were turned to me and some of them were patting my legs and shoulders. I kept staring at the paper but was surprised and glad to see it was the same group of dark blue/black beings I met whilst taking ayahuasca.
Thoughts at the time:
-Complete surprise at the intensity of the visuals and setting. Someone described the feeling ayahuasca creates as that of 'an inhabited space', and this felt like exactly the same 'room'.
-Curious and glad to see the ayahuasca gang here in the mushroom kingdom, I paid more attention to them out of the corner of my eyes than caring what I was drawing, and at this point felt convinced I was holding the pen on their behalf and drawing what they wanted.
I needed the toilet at this point, and from then on my headspace dissolved into complete panicked incoherence. I walked between all rooms of the house looking for something whilst undressing, trying to run a bath, turning the boiler on and off and beginning to feel very nauseous. The sound of the water coming out of the taps exacerbated this. As my panic increased I tried to check the situation against former mushroom use.
The facts as I had them:
-'Every trip you've had, you've eaten more mushrooms than this.'
-'You've never felt sick before taking mushrooms, and even expecting some mushroom nausea, such a strong reaction from such a small dose is very concerning.'
Feeling that nauseous, I decided to cut to the chase and make myself sick. I did so but it didn't make me feel any better. In this worried state I then began to doubt my mushroom IDing and sorting
In this worried state I then began to doubt my mushroom IDing and sorting
, and as I grew hotter in the face and my heart started racing I began to wonder if I'd been poisoned. I began to panic and tried to find my phone to get numbers of friends I could call whilst also trying to check online to see what lookalike species I may've picked (I'd already looked this up a few weeks ago but didn't find a comprehensive guide). My inability to focus on anything at all drove my pulse up as unconfirmed stories of friend's friends (and the guy who wrote the horse whisperer) getting poisoned by shrooms flapped around my head. In a crescendo of fungi paranoia I bit the bullet, flushed my jar of poisoned (and thus useless) shrooms and called an ambulance on the house phone.
Following their instructions I sat waiting with my wallet and the scrapings of the jar for ID purposes and written phone numbers of the next of kin I could remember, furiously scribbling down a note of my last thoughts. I was convinced I was dying and even remarked how strange that was, given that my vital signs were all ok. My head was getting lighter/out of body and my vision was spinning out, and this combined with the panic made me think I was leaving the world.
The ambulance arrives, the two paramedics take one look at me and roll their eyes, stick me in the back so as not to make a scene on the doorstep and we have a chat. Well, sitting in a parked ambulance tripping my tits off and chatting with these two seemed to calm me down. To say they were cynical is an understatement but they answered my questions and conceded I actually wasn't the biggest time waster they'd had. They said I could come to hospital if I really wanted but I didn't seem to be having any more poisoning symptoms than the average tripper, and if it was something odd in the batch I'd probably vomited it out. I spent the afternoon coming back into coherence, lying in bed listening to an Eno/Fripp album and enjoying the last of the closed-eye visuals.
Not the day I wanted but definitely what I needed in terms of a reminder. This experience was me being grabbed by the head and rubbed through the shit of two obvious lessons I'd read but not learnt.
1. Have 100% veracity on the mushroom sources with no room for doubt. A rough and ready psilocybe approach (can ID liberty caps but patchy knowledge of lookalikes) has served me well so far and I doubt the mushrooms were poisonous, but I'd rather know, and for me that means familiarising myself with any lookalikes.
2. Start soloing with a sitter on hand. The bigger lesson probably. If I'd ever had a bad trip before, I don't think I would have tried solo tripping for the first time without a sitter.
I lost some self-respect (especially next time I see an ambulance pass) and what may have just been a decent jar of super strong mushrooms, but on the plus side I couldn't find my phone so didn't call all my friends and family with my last will and testament.
I'm still very surprised that a teaspoon of dried caps sent me a visit from the ayahuasca family. At most this was maybe a quarter of the mushroom content of the jar (the rest of the 200ml jar was filled up with honey). That would mean about 15 liberty caps. This is a generous estimate as it looked smaller, but I'm trying to account for the intensity. Perhaps its a strong year for UK shrooms.
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