Citation: Candry. "Seven Hours of Nausea No Visuals: An Experience with LSD & Lorazepam (exp106837)". Erowid.org. Aug 15, 2019. erowid.org/exp/106837
...In a nutshell...
My first LSD experience was this last Sunday, Aug 9 2015, and it went poorly. By far the biggest driver of this was seven hours straight of nausea / body load. It was much the same physical sensation as nausea would be in the stomach, except it was coming from every part of my body from the scalp to the toes, all at once, as though every single cell of me needed to throw up. Far too late into the experience, I discovered that lorazepam was an almost magical silver bullet that rescued what remained of the trip.
A friend, R, recently tried LSD and had a great time. My best friend B then expressed interest, since R had some left over. I was very uncomfortable with this - partly because I didn't entirely trust B to treat it with more respect than the likes of pot or beer, and partly because, well... he's my ex and I have abandonment issues about him going off on adventures without me, though I try not to let it show.
So I did a little reading up on LSD. It did sound very interesting, so between that and the personal issues, I chose to change my mind about illegal drugs and give it a try. (I've never even tried pot... cigarettes and booze are enough vices for me, I don't want any more.) I do have a diagnosed anxiety disorder that's usually under control, and also a history of turning out to be unusually sensitive to various medications. So I knew these were risks. But I decided: screw that, grow a pair and do it, it's not like I'm getting any younger.
...Set and setting...
R agreed to sit for me and B for our first acid experience, in R's apartment. We brought a few trip toys and our laptops, plus folding chairs, blankets and pillows, and an airbed, because R's apartment has almost no furniture. R would control the music unless there was something specific one of us wanted to hear, and the plan was for him to remain sober so that we'd be comfortable with the circumstances.
I didn't want to be hung over for the trip so I didn't drink the night before, but I had drank the five nights before that (for social reasons), which is way more than usual. But then I couldn't sleep and got only three hours, so I was not at my best.
This was for recreation, not spiritual exploration. To reduce likelihood of anxiety I skipped my ritalin that day (I have ADHD) since it can make me jumpy
To reduce likelihood of anxiety I skipped my ritalin that day (I have ADHD) since it can make me jumpy
, and instead took 0.5mg of lorazepam. Result: very little nervousness, not worried about anything, looking forward to an interesting experience, relaxed and anticipating some fun. So far so good. I gave it the green light.
At 3:00 B took one hit and I took 2/3 of one.
By 4, B was reporting visuals, grinning like a fool, and saying 'whoa' randomly. Me: nothing. My legs felt slightly rubbery when I stood up and that was it. I started to worry I was going to miss the fun since it should have started already, and took the other 1/3 hit that I hadn't before.
By 4:30 my legs were very rubbery/shaky and I was a little nauseated, but still no other noticeable effects.
At about 5 I was laying on the airbed, nauseated and waiting around glumly for something more to show up, when something I said was so stupid that I cracked up. I began rapidly cycling between laughing and crying.
I began rapidly cycling between laughing and crying.
Extreme emotional dysregulation: the moments of hilarity were excruciatingly intense and I'd sob and crumple up from the pain of them, only to shriek in laughter at something else a moment later.
A few mild visual hallucinations finally started; R prompted me to look at the wood grain in his floor, and it was all little streams of flowing liquid! But no bright colors. No geometric patterns. (These never did arrive.) There were some tactile hallucinations though, like feeling as though the floor were cupping and gripping my body.
Around 5:30, with R as our shepherd, we went out to a little park across the street where there weren't too many people. Still no colors, lights, or visual patterns. I still kept wanting to puke up everything I'd ever eaten. But at least the trees and the grass and even the parking lot gravel were all fascinating to look at - they looked no different from normal, but I was paying full attention and seeing all their details as though for the first time.
The laughing-crying cycle had settled down and no more types of experiences were showing up, so we all (wrongly) thought I had peaked. But somewhere along the way I lost my ability to think. Concepts were hard to hold in mind. Speech was difficult. All memory was fuzzy and distant. The few thoughts that did occur to me were rudimentary and slow to take shape. At one point R asked me to explain why grass bent in the breeze, perhaps expecting some insightful comment, but I just sat there struggling to understand and explain the fact that grass is not rigid. Another time I swung my eyes around trying to find R and B and grew agitated that I couldn't see them, until I finally remembered that I could change the direction I faced by moving my head.
To be clear, I do not mean that I THOUGHT I had become dumb. I was beyond even noticing it. But the memories of how things were to me still got recorded and I can look back at them.
I was still nauseated. I began feeling very exposed and unsafe - that the world beyond our little lawn in the park was threatening and might intrude at any time. R kept saying he wished he could trip too, but he wouldn't if I'd be uncomfortable with it. I had long since lost lost my judgement of anything beyond the present moment, and said I was fine with that. So he took a couple hits.
...Four hours of hell...
We went back to the apartment around 7:30. Out in the park the evening had been pleasant, and despite the nausea I was carefully clinging to an adventurous frame of mind, so my mood was largely alright. Back inside, it was not alright.
Most of the next four hours I can no longer recall. Some bits and pieces that still come back:
- endless complaining about the endless nausea
- crying on B's knee while fearing I was ruining his trip by being such a big baby
- major spatial distortions, such as the room seemingly squashed flat at one end and wide open at the other, or hallway walls trying to squeeze in on me (mostly more funny than bothersome)
- intermittent terror that there was nobody sane to look out for us
- talking to another friend on IRC, N, who (I think) advised me to stop fighting the experience and try to accept it; this helped for a little while, until I forgot all about it
- R's choice of music being the wrong mood for me and my being too feeble-minded to convey or really even understand how much a problem it was
- uncertainty what was real; no experience of time passing; no longer understanding that I had ingested a drug
- believing I had been nauseated in R's apartment for my entire life thus far and that I was stuck that way forever
- one time, deciding to jump off the balcony and die in order to make it end... I was about to get up and do it, but something made me state my intention, and R and B stopped me (I don't remember how)
- their telling me the trip would end on its own, but I didn't believe them
- sometimes remembering that N existed and I wanted to talk to him, though moving enough to get to the computer was too difficult; B kept saying 'but I'm here, so talk to me instead'
- continual difficulty breathing, and fear that I was a victim of brain damage due to hypoxia
- taking refuge from R's music on the balcony and curling up in blankets there on the airbed (B helped me pull it out there), taking in the night sky and the reassuringly normal-sounding restaurant hubbub below, though B stuck around me like glue while I out there. I must have given him a fright with the suicide thing, though by this time I myself had forgotten about it.
...Rescue and comedown...
By 11 PM time and thought were returning, and I can remember the remainder of the evening. At 10:54 (I had asked the time) it finally occurred to me that I'd brought my lorazepam along in case anyone had anxiety problems while tripping and I took half a milligram. By 11:30 the nausea vanished and I was dramatically calmer and more comfortable.
Around midnight we walked up to the grocery store and bought food and I did fine. I successfully cooked the frozen pizza we'd bought. I kept trying to come up with insightful thoughts (under the belief that acid is supposed to make you have them), but nothing I could come up with was actually worth remembering. To give you an idea: one of them was a long, painfully-thought-out line of reasoning that led up to the mind-blowing conclusion that blue and green were the team colors of the Seattle Seahawks.
But this last phase of the trip was far more agreeable than the previous ones. I was still disappointed about the lack of color stuff - I'm always a sucker for pretty colors - but things took on a feel I don't know what to call beyond psychedelic, or dare I say, groovy. Juicy, somehow. People and spoken words took on shapes and curvy lines, not visually, but as strong mental associations. A certain drum rhythm kept going and going in my head throughout and I kept wanting to dance to it.
By 5 in the morning B had come down enough to safely drive, so we went home and went to bed.
I didn't sleep well: about four hours of restless, dreamless sleep. I woke up around noon feeling awful. I felt like I was still tripping a little, and I could not think or remember much.
I spent most of the day in a profound brain fog. At one point I picked up a receipt on my desk and stared at the numbers, and I knew there was a relationship between them, but the nature of it (addition) just would not come to me. This was extremely disturbing. I knew my IQ should have been higher than THAT. It was also very hard to remember much anything. The trip and my life before it was all difficult to bring up in mind. I spent the afternoon with my mind in idle, my jaw hanging slack, and my eyes staring off into space. What thoughts I did have were mostly cloudy fears that I had somehow indeed suffered brain damage, either by hypoxia or else from the LSD.
By evening it was a little better, but that night I slept nine hours straight (six is more usual) and woke up the next morning almost totally back to normal. I can only assume the combined effects of the rough trip with sleep deprivation were simply too much for my brain.
Would I try LSD again? Actually, yes. Even though much of the experience was horrific, enough parts of it weren't that I can see what it should have been like.
Even though much of the experience was horrific, enough parts of it weren't that I can see what it should have been like.
So now that I can see in hindsight what mistakes not to repeat, I want a do-over.
And if anyone is wondering: I have no reason to believe it was not real LSD or otherwise 'bad' acid. R and B's doses were from the same blotter paper as mine, cut by R shortly before we took it - and both of them had typical acid experiences with full visuals, typical onset and comedown times, and none of the nausea or cognition problems that I had.
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