Citation: Alyssa. "Finally Saw the Other Side: An Experience with LSD & Alcohol (exp107759)". Erowid.org. Mar 26, 2019. erowid.org/exp/107759
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Last night I had an experience that gave me newfound respect for the power of LSD. I have tripped acid and shrooms each about a handful of times scattered over the course of the last 3 years, usually taking care to keep my trips spaced out chronologically so I have time to fully ďrecover.Ē I think it takes some time to get reacquainted with reality after a powerful trip. Before last night, the last time I had taken LSD was October 2015 (3 months ago), after having tripped in both May and June of the same year.. all great trips.
Last night I had been drinking for a while already and was definitely feeling the effects of that at the time I dropped tab. I will cut to present tense now to make this easier to recount.
Iím downtown with my boyfriend and some of our friends, shooting some pool and just kicking back, everything is cool so far. Around 12:30 AM we make the moves to leave and everyone is lingering outside the bar getting in that last cigarette. I make my way back to P, my man, who surprises me by saying he wants to trip tonight, that this girl here was ready to sell him some tabs right now. This is surprising because he has sworn off psychedelics for the last 4 years. Also surprising because itís generally a hard rule with me that once 1am is on the horizon and nothing wild or compelling is happening, itís time to pack it up, go to sleep while everything is still good, and not introduce any major game changers to the night such as LSD. I have seen that things can go very wrong very quickly and leave me wondering when that even happened.
Mistake number one on my part, as I see it now, was drunkenly agreeing to eat that tab. I firmly believe, ever since my first trip which I found very spiritually transformative, that acid is NOT a ďturn upĒ drug, it is something very serious and heavy on my brain, not just something to party with. Iím also kind of a homebody and definitely just a social drinker, so it being close to 1am and me already a good bit sloshed, I feel like Iíve done my part and I wanna go home and snuggle up with my honey, smoke a doob and go to sleep. But P has other plans and being drunk, I ignore my instincts
being drunk, I ignore my instincts
Ė Mistake number two as I know when things start feeling a little hairy, thatís when I need to trust my intuition and do the best thing for myself, which for me would have been the plan I just described.
I even tried to pass the tab off to my friend T after having had it on my tongue for only 5 or so minutes, but then changed my mind (to Tís disappointment) because I wanted to be with P while he went through his first trip in a while. Fuck it, I said then, itís one tab, I have done more than this before and had the time of my life. Why not? Now you know a little about my philosophy on mind-altering substances in social settings, I had to get that out of the way so you understand a little bit the ďtypeĒ of person I am. From here I can just tell the story. Iíll timestamp according to the moments that had significance to me.
12:30AM: P and I eat our tabs standing in front of our bar. Itís been a chill night so far, downtown is kinda dead on a Thursday night but like I said we have a solid group of the homies there with us and itís been good. We decide to call it a wrap, we wanna go back to his and throw on some records and see where this acid takes us, we start scheming for a ride back to Pís. (A quick note of context, just last weekend I was driving in my car and got t-boned on my driverís side, so at the point of this story I am newly car-less and have 9 fresh stitches over my eyelid where I got slashed by glass from my window in the wreck. Had I still had my car, I probably wouldíve DDíed my friends downtown, stayed sober, thus maintaining my sense of gut instincts for self preservation and this trip could have been avoided. But anyway.)
1AM: Pís buddy C offers us a ride to Pís house on his own way home and we accept, but only after P and I get into a little drunken spat as I realized and vocalized that I really hadnít wanted or planned on tripping tonight. Itís not as if he forced me to eat the tab, understand I was drunk and feeling a little prissy and uncertain. Spontaneous trips can be great, donít get me wrong, I just canít shake off the feel that the odds are stacked against me at this point in the night, and Iím lashing that sensation out on P since it was his idea. So I rip the tab off my tongue and throw it on the ground at his feet (this was also awhile after I had contemplated passing it off to my buddy T) and P points out that itís already done its damage. And I am truly feeling unsettled, like the way it usually goes when I am on the verge of tripping balls.
However remember, I am also drunk, and thinking maybe this queasiness and the fact that Iím feeling a little spinny is just due to all the beverage and the fact that I have already had a long day and definitely not enough to eat (mistake number 3, I wish I never tripped on an empty stomach because while itís not like I feel hunger in the midst of my trip, I do feel that my body needs some damn nutrition and sustenance if itís going to endure an 8+ hour hallucinogenic adventure where my appetite usually becomes the last thing on my mind). Plus I feel that I can direct my trip in the way I want it to go by trying not to overanalyze my situation and just take everything as it comes. Of course with this drug I donít really get a choice, but it still comforts me to think about that in those uncertain moments before the acid makes itself at home in my brain.
1:30AM: P and I are at his house, we have made our way upstairs and are in his room, as I still deal with this increasing queasiness and the sense of something being dramatically ďoffĒ or not quite right. I often feel this uneasy sensation immediately preceding a heavy trip. When I start questioning myself ďam I about to trip, is that what this is?Ē that is the go-to sign that in a very short amount of time I will indeed be tripping balls. The more intensely uncomfortable I feel in the moments before my trip, the more intensely and vividly I seem to experience the trip itself. So my instinct is telling me this is going to be very intense, because I feel fucking STRANGE.
This is like the normal come-up queasiness, but much, much worse. I feel paranoid, skittish, anxious, that I have made a grave error and am doomed to experience whatever effects this tab is going to have on me. NOT good and a very far variation from my normal ďkeep it lighthearted, go with the flow, try to control your trip by reminding yourself to let go of controlĒ mindset. Iím trying to voice this to P but he is drunker than I, and evidently not feeling the L yet. He keeps saying, ďIím telling you, that acid was junk, you just think youíre tripping and your imagination is running with it.Ē But I think he was just saying that to comfort me, and really was feeling ďoffí too, because of what happens then.
~1:45AM: Our friend B comes knocking on Pís door. BANG BANG BANG! All Pís roommates are asleep, weíre both sprawled out having wasted no time getting naked, and now B is totally hammered and appearing out of nowhere on the porch after us parting ways with him downtown. On top of this, B had already been giving P shit earlier that night and they were kind of throwing aggressions back and forth while we were downtown. I attribute this to drunk boy behavior, they have been friends for 7 years, close enough to get annoyed with each other now and then and not fall out over it. So this scared me, when rather than going down and telling B to go home or just asking him to please shut the hell up and offering the couch to sleep on in return (which would not at all be out of character for P):
BANG BANG BANG! P and I both: ďwhat the hell?Ē he checks his phone, the ringer is broken so he doesnít get notifications, but of course now we see backed up messages from B ďyou home? I am coming throughĒ ďbe there in 5Ē ďI am on your porchĒ etc. Ok, nothing serious, we were downtown together not that long ago so he probably assumed we were awake and just drifted through. But P loses his shit! ďFuck noÖ after he was being a dick to me all night. My roommates both work in the morning and now I have to explain this shit tomorrow,Ē etc, he goes downstairs and I hear him SCREAMING. ďGET THE FUCK OUT OF HEREĒ and all this horrible shit to B. I canít even hear Bís answers because P is so fucking pissed and loud. To be fair, B was really being a dick earlier and I witnessed that, but damn. I mean jeez P. Well mission effective, both Pís roommates come out asking questions. Meanwhile I am naked and afraid, if you will, in his room still, ears to the ground trying to decide what to do. I donít want P to come back up here and me in my frazzled state have to deal with him all angry.
Understand this. My sweetheart is as gentle as a lamb. I love it about him, he never would lay a hand on me and sometimes heís polite to me even when weíre fighting, which is both charming and infuriating. He is a mellow fellow to the core. I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen him truly angry. So for him to have snapped on B like that is totally out of character and I know there is another factor to Pís reaction, and Iím thinking the acid because my nerves are on edge right now too. Without thinking it through I get dressed, go downstairs and slip out the door, which P has just slammed in Bís face. B is bewildered on the porch but I have no explanation for him and just feel the need to flee.
My house is 4 blocks away from Pís. I practically run there, feeling paranoid about being alone on the street at 2am, being a 120~ pound female with no self defense experience. My roommates are still downtown together and I know thereís no guarantee at this point that they will end the night at our house. I decide the best thing to do is sleep this off, being that I am still not quite tripping, and as of yet just feeling really unsettled. I slither into bed and pull the blankets over my head. P is calling me, where did I go, why the fuck did I leave, etc, and things start to get confusing. I find myself calling him back but unable to express my feelings or motives for leaving. Instead I say to him, as I realize it myself, ďI do not want to be alone for this.Ē I feel so internally jumbled that I know this is going to be a strange trip. I have exceeded the point of being able to assess my feelings and say to myself ďmaybe this is just because Iím drunk.Ē I know with all certainty that this feeling is not normal and I do not want to experience it alone when P is just 4 blocks away. However he does not want to come to me and I hang up on him, frustrated, crying.
I realize suddenly I am exhausted Ė I had spent 12 hours earlier today in the studio, attending my classes and making progress on projects (I am an interior design student) and on top of that had not really had a sufficient dinner, as I had had a class from 5-7:30pm and had gone straight to Pís afterward, where I had begun drinking. So I am feeling weak and glued to my bed. But I know I need to go back to Pís, and the more I think about it, my limbs begin sort of tingling, like I am somehow simultaneously full of energy, envisioning myself running and skipping the four blocks back to Pís, and also excruciatingly tired. Still crying with no explanation, just feeling frazzled, I suck it up and throw off the blankets, change into sweatpants, and made the walk back to Pís. At this point he is not answering my calls. Itís been about 15 minutes since I hung up on him. Knowing his phone doesnít ring and the door is locked, I might have to just turn around and go back home once I get there, I take my chances.
During the walk is when I feel I begin to truly trip. I am no longer afraid of the dark streets or paranoid of meeting strangers here at this hour, being more focused on the appearance of my shadow cast on the sidewalk in front of me by the streetlights. ďItís like I am walking with a friend,Ē and other vague scattered and disassociated thoughts follow. For a moment I feel compelled to lean against the wall of a house on the corner and stare up at the sky, which is vividly blue and shining bright with stars. I canít tell if I am cold or not (itís January). I have the urge to run all the way back downtown, feeling a strangely intense desire to skip down the middle walkway of the city park (which is about 15 blocks away from my house), I envision myself running around the central fountain under the streetlights, riding my bike through the dead streets in the middle of the night. At the same time, I feel as if there is an invisible string tying my forehead to the pavement, pulling me down. I feel like I need to lay down, but that if I lay down, I will be similarly convinced that what I really need is to run around and expend some energy.
I keep walking, calling P the whole time, alternately leaving mostly unintelligible messages in which I profess my need for company and plead for him not to have fallen asleep. Reason being that he is a very heavy sleeper, almost nothing will wake him up from a good slumber, I know if he locked the door and went to bed Iím fucked. Iím on his porch and still no answer, the door is locked, the windows are dark. I knock softly three times and sit on the steps to call him again, unsure of how to proceed. Mercifully his roommate comes to the door after about a five-minute period of silence, saying he thought he heard a knock. Thank god, as I was feeling too timid to knock again and had just been sitting there, my thoughts swimming.
2:30AM: I go upstairs to P and this is where things turn heavy, as I am grappling with the onset of this strange new type of trip in which I feel the return of that constant ominous presence that lurked over my come-up. I am crying again and P, who has now finally realized the acid was not junk, is cupping my face and snuggling me and only making partial sense. In fact I briefly suspect he is sleep talking and ask him, ďare you awake?Ē which confuses him, so I know he is awake and definitely tripping a little bit. From here on though I cannot describe what he was feeling because I was completely lost in myself.
For the next six hours I lie next to P, at some point again ripping off all my clothes as I desperately try to make myself more comfortable in any way possible. I grind my teeth, turn over and over in his bed, and sob endlessly. I remember, at several points, him holding me while I cried so hard I shook, and then we would pause and laugh as he made some crazy observation of his own trip, and suddenly I was sobbing again with no explanation. I remember putting my hand to my face and feeling no semblance of my own face, just rubbery foreign lips covered in leaky snot and tears. I remember actually feeling awed by the sheer quantity of snot on my face, thinking wow, that all came from me, it feels satisfying to cry this heartily. Yet with the exceptions of fleeting observations such as that, it was, in short, awful. In the intervals of P taking a break from consoling me to deal with his trip on his own side of the bed, I keep turning over onto my stitches and am only dimly aware of how painful that really is. I have flashes of memories also from this time period of lying on my back and touching my hip bones, looking down my abdomen at my ribs and stomach and being distracted from my tears for just long enough to question, whose body is this? I didnít recognize it as my own. I felt it looked malnourished and was almost repulsed. Whatís more painful is this sensation:
Between the hours of about 3 and 8AM, what I remember most vividly is the feeling that I had accumulated all the suffering and emotional anguish in the world and was tasked with the responsibility of letting every cry be heard
what I remember most vividly is the feeling that I had accumulated all the suffering and emotional anguish in the world and was tasked with the responsibility of letting every cry be heard
. I felt that I had no choice but to match every single cry of loss and pain that had ever occurred in the history of humanity. The tears just kept coming, I was even amazed at how long I would go on sobbing without taking a breath, until my sides hurt and my cries made no sounds. I had no personal, logical explanation for my tears and yet felt wholly justified in my endless wailing. I envisioned an infinite sea of people- like when you see footage of a music festival and the camera pans out in an aerial view of a huge crowd- and they all saw me too, but that huge crowd was crying in unison, some screaming, some silent and lost in their pain, but just all of these humans crying and suffering, and I felt somehow that it wasnít enough for them to all suffer individually. I felt that I needed to echo that pain as if to validify it, as if to say, I know you all are hurting, and I am hurting too, just for you. Their pain was my pain, and so it felt natural to cry for so long and so strenuously given that we were all suffering so much in our own private worlds. What I am emphasizing though is that although I knew my crying wasnít due to any personal factors, it still felt deeply personal. I felt as if I had nothing in this world, as if I had never had anything at all, and somehow had lost everything anyway. It was baffling and agonizing. The overwhelming sadness was too much to take. I remember P asking me numerous times, genuinely concerned, ďwhy are you crying so much?Ē and my genuine answer, I feel like I want to die.
Describing these feelings in Earthly terms sounds pretty grim. The truth is that this feeling wasnít all scary. Like I said, it felt natural to cry about everything I had lost, everything I had never lost or even wanted, and everything that had ever been lost to anyone. The tears just kept coming as I kept finding new sources of pain inside myself. I wasnít scared, just tremendously hurt.
~8:30AM: I ďwake up.Ē I never actually slept, but large chunks of the night that I spent facing the wall, curled up on my side with my back to P, are completely lost from my memory. I look around Pís room feeling like this is not where I have been for the past 6 hours, I was someplace else, but knowing with absolute certainty that I had not slept. It was as if I had been erased from the physical world while I spent some time grieving for all of humanity in my own private world. What I am saying is I feel like I literally disappeared into my own head for a span of at least five hours. This does terrify me.
I unsteadily walk to the bathroom at this point and go pee. My lips feel rubbery and numb; in the mirror I realize I have bitten off lots of skin there while crying. My head is pounding and in addition to the pain in the stitches over my left eyelid, both eyes are swollen with tears to the point it looks like I got sucker punched twice. I carefully wash my face, clean my stitches and spend some time looking in the mirror.
Here I experienced something that has happened to me on acid exactly three times before. I look at my reflection and have the sensation of looking at another person, a stranger to me. There is no sense at all of my self residing in that body. I observe my facial features and naked body out of curiosity, totally free from self consciousness. It was unsettling the first time I ďleft my body,Ē but I have come to see it as a rare and precious experience and treat it as such when it happens. The harder I stared though, changes began to occur. I felt almost intrusive, in the way it is uncomfortable to openly stare for great lengths of time at someone you donít really know. Standing before my reflection truly was like standing before a mysterious stranger with whom I felt no more than a distant connection. I looked into ďmyĒ eyes and thought things like, ďyou look aloof but I know you.Ē And I grappled with the intense strangeness that I was observing this other person from behind her own eyes and she didnít even know it. It was like my thoughts and the body and face in the mirror were two parts of an equation that you know is true, but just donít add up.
Soon my reflectionís head begins subtly shrinking while her hand, which has come up to rest under her cheek, slowly grows. The result is unsettling and revolting on a primal level and I turn away as my face begins to warp. I have regained only a partial sense of self, I donít feel at one with the body in the mirror but I know now that it is mine and I will come back to it soon. I donít need to look in the mirror any longer and see my face distort into something else, now that I feel connected to my face again I find the changes to it personally frightening. Feeling like I have been run over by a train as I gradually ďreenterĒ my body, I go downstairs for a glass of water, which feels like it weighs ten pounds in my hand. I have to lean on the sink and hold the glass with both hands to drink steadily. I leave it downstairs because I am not strong enough to hold it in one hand while climbing the stairs and holding the rail with the other hand. I feel that if I donít hold the rail, I will either fall down the stairs or float away.
P is sleeping in his bedroom. I have the sensation that the bed, which actually is about knee-height for me, is level with my chest, and the far side is higher up, so itís tilted towards me. P is splayed out on top of it, somehow precariously balanced on this slope. I blink my eyes, the bed is so tilted, shouldnít he be sliding onto the floor? It is deeply unnerving. I lie down but my head still aches and I am in physical pain, and as I close my eyes my rushing thoughts take over, but there is nothing substantial there, just choppy memories of the prior six hours, and fleeting observations about the night which come together like puzzle pieces. I make a long note in my phone detailing the feelings from the worst part of the trip, as they are still fresh and coming back to me and because, still riding out the tail end of my trip, I know I will want to hear my own words in this state once Iíve come down. It takes about twenty minutes to record everything I want to say. When Iím done I roll a joint and smoke it very slowly, feeling myself gradually calm down and listening to P breathing next to me which I always find very soothing, and he feels very warm. I snuggle up and the toke puts me to sleep until 11am.
Now itís about 6pm of that same day. I still havenít slept beyond those 3 hours and I feel very bad. My head hurts, my limbs ache, I find that walking feels like floating and sinking at the same time. I have a shift at my restaurant in half an hour and debating how to tell my manager I physically cannot do this right now without losing my job. Oh well. I wonder what was it that made this trip different from all my others.
I wonder what was it that made this trip different from all my others.
Was it my attitude going into the trip, i.e. ďI donít think I really want to do this right now but I have no choiceĒ? Was it the acid itself? Was it just that the universe decided I am finally ready to open this door into myself, and to see the dark side of acid?
I had never had a ďbad tripĒ with acid before this. Only one bad experience with mushrooms that does not even begin to compare to the pain and discomfort of last night. Now I know acid can be life altering and enlightening, but it can also turn me onto some things in myself I would rather not see, and be life-altering and enlightening in that sense too. I am still searching for an explanation, and to fully regain my sense of connection with this reality. I think I have seen all there is for me to see in that particular book and will probably not be doing acid again. I think there is an extent to which it is healthy to separate the mind from the body, the ego from the soul. For every individual itís a different line. I have crossed that line of my own and no longer feel comfortable leaving my body.
Now sober, the note I made in my phone at 8am reads as if written by a crazy person, which I guess it was. One quote of my own stands out to me: ďI have felt the pain of everything at once.Ē After this long-winded story, that sentence alone sums up my trip. I am exhausted. Be safe everybody.
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