Citation: Cloob. "Lame First Trip Becomes Thought Loop Hell: An Experience with LSD & Cannabis (exp108504)". Erowid.org. Oct 4, 2017. erowid.org/exp/108504
NOTE: This report was written a few days after my initial trip with a few updates made after.
BACKGROUND: I've considered myself a sort of depressed and anxious person for a very long time, but lately I've been doing relatively well. I have never felt that my mental health was poor enough to warrant a therapist or medication, and I did not think that I have enough legitimate problems to cause a bad trip.
My three friends and I dropped what was supposedly 125 mics of LSD around 2:30 pm at one of their houses. The girl (E) had four or five trips under her belt while the boys (S and V) had only tried 1/3 tab each before. It was my first time.
We played a card game while we waited for the effects to kick in. Just as I began to understand the rules, I was no longer able to play because everything seemed so damn funny.
One of my friends claimed he wasn't feeling anything at all, but his pupils looked like saucers. Even though I believed him, this notion was hilariously ironic to me.
After about thirty minutes of tear-inducing laughter, everything suddenly ceased to be as amusing. I felt almost sober. I tried to eat a cookie but it didn't taste like much and was very dry and weird.
We messed around with this game (don't know the name) where you manipulate the music and the environment. I just kind of watched while S and V talked about how the human brain interprets lines as environments, seeing patterns in what is essentially nothing. S thanked V for the (like 2 hr long) conversation and claimed that it was allowing him to stay grounded in reality. V said he felt the same. I didn't really know what they were talking about. Instead of having racing thoughts like they were describing, my mind felt empty and foggy, like any thoughts I tried to make had to slug through molasses before they registered. I didn't understand how one could even begin to stray from reality on this drug.
E talked to me a little about the enhanced colors and distortion effects. I could only really notice the distortion when I was looking at uniform lines, and I couldn't tell if colors looked slightly brighter or if I was just being more perceptive because I thought they would. I had no idea what she was talking about when she said things looked like they were melting. The only effects I noticed were that I kept thinking that a stuffed seal was a real dog and that a green bag was a kid wearing a minecraft creeper hoodie when I saw them out of the corner of my eye. This was only mildly entertaining at best. I felt very bored and kind of lonely this whole time.
Soon a sober friend dropped by and offered to take us for a ride before he had to go to work, and I readily agreed so that we'd have something to do. I sat in the middle seat in the back between the two boys, S and V. The sober friend, T, rolled down the windows, opened the skylight, and played some bass-heavy chill electronic music very loudly. I tried to ask T to turn it down but he just kind of scoffed at me, and E seemed shocked that I do not like loud music. And so, my request was denied.
T drove through some scenic back roads. V stared out the window. S sat on my left looking pensive. E kept taking photos of perfectly ordinary 'beautiful' clouds through the skylight. I just kind of freaked out.
The car seemed much more spacious than I had previously noticed, which would normally be comforting, but up until the point I had been convinced that I was essentially sober, so the fact that my sense of reality could be distorted without me even realizing it jarred me.
I had been convinced that I was essentially sober, so the fact that my sense of reality could be distorted without me even realizing it jarred me.
My ears felt stuffed with sound, and everything seemed so big and overwhelming. I tried to talk to the others but I couldn't speak over the music, and my inability to communicate caused me some distress.
A surprising amount of people were out on the streets. I felt really conspicuous, what with the teenager-filled car blasting music as we went through small neighborhood roads. I was very glad when we returned home.
I sat around drawing for an hour before I got bored again. I felt very antsy and very lonely. I am not an affectionate person, but I wanted someone to hold me. My mind was still empty.
I wanted to go outside, but no one wanted to go with me, so I went by myself. I sat on a bench for a couple of minutes, but I was no more intellectually stimulated and no less alone. I went back inside.
We ate microwaved pizza around 8. We weren't really hungry, but we knew that we should eat. It didn't taste bad, but it felt kind of slimy and the act of moving food around with my tongue seemed really unnatural. I then hugged S while he was talking. He didnt react.
Afterward, we walked to the lake (20 minute walk, tops) and looked at the lit up boat docks. They were pretty, but no more than usual. E also found a wild cockroach in the street. She tried to pick it up, which I found disgusting and terrifying, but no more than usual. We sat under a tree and felt the breeze while looking at the stars. It was very nice, but still no more than usual. I was very underwhelmed by the trip. I noticed that I was seeing patterns appear in the grass and and the stars start to rotate, but I dismissed these visuals as nothing, since they were very mild and I thought it was too far into my trip for me to be peaking.
We returned home and decided to smoke weed around 10:30, 8 hours after dropping, which I assumed would be safe. However, I weigh roughly 110 pounds, have next to no tolerance to marijuana, and do not usually react well to weed. So this was indisputably an awful, terrible, no good idea. But I ripped that bong anyways.
I took my second hit, and it was fucking huge. I was already a bit out of it from the first, but the second made me start coughing and gagging a little. I left the bathroom and flopped on S's chair. I remember barely being able to see (like when you suddenly stand up, but worse) and V coming over to ask me if I was alright. I don't remember what I said in reply.
At around this point I began to 'hallucinate.' It was more like vividly imagining, only I had no control over what I was seeing or my reaction. The first thing I remember after I briefly blacked out was being trapped in my own thoughts. I felt as if I were being 'forced' to have certain thought patterns. I was spitting out code, the basic code that codes for feelings and responses to stimuli. But my brain's code was broken. A frame corresponding to a code word would flash in my vision, and then the next, and the next, and so forth. For the most part, these happened incredibly quickly, like frames in a movie, 24-30 per second, but often consisted of a slow buildup before it reached full speed. Chains of code would result in an incredibly intense feeling that would build up in my mind and exit via my temples in an almost painful fashion. The final strength and length of each chunk of code varied, but generally became stronger and stronger as time passed, progressing from an uncomfortably intense feeling to a feeling akin to extreme overstimulation via vibration, like a painfully strong orgasm.
At this point I was rambling that I was a computer simulation and shuddering/twitching/seizing up whenever a particularly intense wave came upon me. I was convinced that our brains are essentially incredibly complex computers that function on a system of multiple inputs as code (as opposed to binary, which has 0 and 1, or DNA, which has GCAT, brains have dozens of different code words such as blue, square, and five, all of which I remember saying out loud robotically).
As I experienced the primal coding of my human brain going haywire, I felt like a robot. I understood that human consciousness is just a result of electrical impulses in a fleshy computer, and I was thoroughly aware of the simplicity of it. This made me feel unworthy, like a disgusting and lowly creature. Realizing this would not have been concerning in the least if I was not convinced that my brain code was completely wrecked from me taking LSD.
In the worst part of my thought loop, I was a slave to the code. I would think a thought, which coded for the next thought, which coded for the next, and I could not stop. My brain was becoming overloaded, causing it to lag heavily.
Back in reality, everyone else was feeling similarly overwhelmed. S and V found that they had little control over the direction of their thoughts. V thought it would be a good idea to put some music on, and asked for suggestions. S requested 'light comedy music' (???) so V put on the Book of Mormon soundtrack. (I did not learn of this until later.)
In my consciousness, my brain lag made the song seem really awfully out of time, like it was switching time signatures every bar. It sounded like the worst song I'd ever heard. I asked V to turn off the 'cowboy music.'
I was vaguely aware that control of my main train of thought has been wrested from me by my broken biology. I became increasingly convinced that these loops of broken code were what people in vegetative states (or with schizophrenia) experience and the reason for why they are not all there. I somehow also convinced myself that my subconscious would take control of my body for me and have me continue my life as a paranoid schizophrenic, guiding me through life with my basic animal instincts, while my actual ego would remain trapped in this infinite loop. I began to consider death as an outlet, a way to escape, but I quickly came to the conclusion that this was exactly what death was like, only death was guaranteed forever. I cryptically and said 'Death is this' at one point.
This went on for what seemed like at least 4 or 5 hours (though I'm pretty sure it didn't even last 20 min in actuality). Eventually I was no longer stuck in a timeless dimension and was again fairly aware of my friends around me, though I kept fading in and out of reality. I told them to kill me if I ever tried to do this again. Several times.
The codes were still flashing in my imagination. Each code from before began to correspond to a pattern. Patterns were the building blocks of everything. The world is made entirely of patterns. The universe is made of patterns. DOGS are made of patterns. This realization completely shattered my worldview. I couldn't believe, I REFUSED to believe, that this whole time, dogs were just patterns, yet I knew this fact to be indisputably true. My entire life felt like a lie.
The patterns kept flashing by until my mind's eye zoomed out. I could see that they were all flashing by on a stream, like a film reel, which warped and transformed into a stereotypical psychedelic tunnel. I was shooting down this multicolored roller coaster track of sorts and began to get lost in my own past.
I started remembering things from my childhood and the way I thought when I was a child. I remembered how I perceived and what I thought of stoners, recalling all this in the form of intrusive 90's skater dude montages. I was incredibly ashamed and angry at myself for ever abandoning the strong morals I had and becoming a piece of shit stoner. I hated my friends for doing it too. I hated the pseudo-intellectual bullshit they were spewing and I hated myself for involving myself with them. I thought about what held our friend group together and my reasons for staying and I hated it all. I began to grow angry at them- angry to the point of loathing them.
I felt a great amount of contempt for S's acid-induced pseudo-psychology. How could he think what he said was profound? How could he laud this drug for its introspective properties when I didn't feel shit before I toked up? What was I doing hanging out with him? And what was I doing hanging out these other people? We had long stopped doing anything together but smoking weed. I only hung out with the female in the group because I, along with every single one of my friends, had a massive crush on her. I hated her for manipulating me and leading me on, but not as much as I hated myself for being such a beta fucking cuck and failing to see that she simply wasn't ever going to see me as more than a friend. I felt like not only a piece of shit stoner, but also a shitty fedora-donning neckbeard for ever pining for her like I did. I simmered in loathing for everyone and everything, particularly myself.
I felt as if I had let down my family by doing drugs. I would check my phone desperately, making sure that in the meantime I would not let my mother down by not responding to her if she ever texted. I wished I had chosen conformity over shitty rebellious teenage drug use. However, as I thought about what my life would be like as a 'normal' person, I felt anguish thinking about how empty and meaningless it would be. I continued riding the rainbow half pipe of patterns, images, explosions, and half soggy crackers, hating myself more and more every time I realized how classically 'psychedelic' of a trip I was having, equating myself to the likes of Shaggy and Ashton Kutcher. I desperately wanted the trip to end, but every time I wished for peace, I'd be reminded that when I was sober, I'd have to return to my piece of shit boring life. I was having an unbelievably awful trip, yet I believed that real life was immeasurably worse.
I became incredibly disgusted with society and human behavior. Thinking about how we exploit others for our own selfish gains, I wisely proclaimed 'we all sell CATS for a living.'
At some point I calmed down considerably and was moved to the couch. I took some melatonin and rested my head on V's lap and continued to loathe my piece of shit meaningless life and the meaningless relationships I had with my piece of shit friends, while relying on V's sick babysitting skills and feeling concerned for E, who was also having a hard time and seeing everything like it was an animated film.
Within about 30 minutes I almost completely stopped feeling anxious. I sat up and tried to explain what happened to me but my brain was too fried to function. Everything that happened in the past 3 hours seemed like a faraway dream, and every once in a while, I'd remember what had just happened to me. It was really hard to comprehend the fact that I actually experienced that, that I was trapped in cerebral hell.
I will not be smoking weed or doing acid for a long time. And I will never mix the two again. If I do, please, kill me.
Update: 2 weeks later
For a few weeks after my trip, thinking about what happened to me left me pretty spooked. It was (and is) hard for me to look back and think that that ACTUALLY happened to me. I managed to smoke weed once (a small amount) and had a very enjoyable time, likely because I didn't smoke myself into the state where it feels as if I am no longer myself. This is surprising because I have been rather anxious regarding my well-being when smoking or tripping again, especially because I consider the kush to be the main cause of my bad trip.
However, lately I feel my condition has deteriorated. Though I have spent much time pondering my trip, as of late, thinking about it causes me to doubt my reality. My belief that what I experience isn't really real fluctuates in intensity, and during a time when I don't really feel affected, such as the time of writing this, it is difficult to relate to and remember my feelings during my delusions. Even so, I will attempt to write about them.
I am especially prone to this state of mind when thinking about my trip or near my druggie friends. Wednesday, two days ago, was when I first noticed the effect was getting scarily pronounced, and I found myself wholeheartedly believing that the world around me wasn't truly legitimate.
I found myself wholeheartedly believing that the world around me wasn't truly legitimate.
What made it fake, I can't exactly describe. The primary factor was that the trip had shown me that my brain is completely capable of deceiving me and of showing me falsities. At times I am sure that the world around me is merely a construction of my subconscious. A second factor is that the behavior of my friends seems so canned and so fake, that I cannot believe them to be genuine. This type of fakeness is almost exclusive from the other, as the former relies on the assumption that everyone is as genuine as they could be, since they are and have always been part of the simulation, and the the latter assumes that my friends are real but simply acting in a formulaic and manufactured manner. Despite this apparent dichotomy, somehow both notions coexist in my mind.
Though I'm sure that if I'm in a delusional state that everyone I talked to would seem similarly fake, so far, I mostly feel this way towards my druggie friends, with the only non-druggie exception I can recall being my little sister. Thursday during lunch, I felt entirely convinced that the world was a simulation constructed by some malevolent being who put me in a coma and was controlling my dreams.
The topic of my trip happened to come up during one of my 'episodes'. V joked about me being messed up because of the experience. I not-really-jokingly-but-in-a-nonetheless-joking-manner replied, 'I'm ruined,' and he asked for clarification. I told him that I am constantly questioning reality. He laughed at me and asked for clarification, saying that I said that before and that I'd never actually explained what it meant. I hated his fake canned response and I hated myself for thinking that opening up to a construct of the simulation would make me feel better. The feeling did not go away until about an hour later, when I was able to take my mind off things.
Today I did not feel particularly terrible. Semblances of this delusion appeared throughout my day, one even prompting me to write this, but I was mostly okay. I was able to tell myself 'don't be silly, all this is real' and halfway believe it. During an episode, I am almost always able to tell myself that, but I always get the very strong feeling that I am lying to myself.
Update 1.5 months later
Almost immediately after that last report I got better, and I haven't felt super weird like that since. I'm considering doing LSD again, but I get the feeling I'll regret it.
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