Citation: DeflatedCupcakes. "The Void, Religious Crisis and Psychosis: An Experience with LSD & Cannabis (exp110159)". Erowid.org. Aug 11, 2018. erowid.org/exp/110159
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This is the story of my first trip two years ago, early May 2015. It was with my ex, Eric.
Introduction to Drugs
I was 25, and less than a year out of college. Most of the people I knew moved after school, but I was trying to build up an art business despite my computer science background. Eric was a friend in school and one of the only people I still knew in the area. We had a good connection then, and we started talking about life struggles and he offered me a lot of support and wisdom. I was bored with my pretty sheltered life, and I knew he smoked a lot, so we decided to hang out, us both excited for him to introduce me to weed. Things got intimate. We had an incredibly strong connection, but there was a lot of conflict (which is normal for him, but not me). We had so much in common, that, for you Jung fans, I think made me serve as his shadow.
Despite the conflict, I loved and trusted Eric a lot. I was really enjoying weed and wanted to try more psychedelics. I didn’t know much about LSD but I was curious. He advertised it as something to help me get past some anxiety issues and fix some of my internal world. I was mainly concerned with doing something fun and interesting.
He advertised it as something to help me get past some anxiety issues and fix some of my internal world. I was mainly concerned with doing something fun and interesting.
I read into it to ensure it was safe and learned about it, and became more and more excited. I was especially excited to have the deep, connected, spiritual sex on it I read was possible.
Technically, my first experience was with a microdose and a lot of weed, and we just had a lot of incredible sex. But after, he was upset because apparently I made it too much about me and he wanted time on his own. I was confused because he seemed fine at the time, but I felt guilty and was worried about accidentally upsetting him and consuming too much of his time going into our trip.
A few weeks later, we planned on actually tripping, and I remember him asking me what I wanted from it. Looking back I was scared of giving the “wrong” answer, but I said I’d love to overcome some personal problems, but I’m not expecting it and just want to enjoy it. A big reason is it was actually something interesting to spend time doing together. We were in a poly triad, and he’d do things with the other girl, but our relationship was just sex and him stressing over existential dilemmas while high to me – the lack of doing things together upset me and it was a point of contention – he saw me asking as disapproval which further worked against me.
We decided to do 1.5 tabs, a bit before dark, at his apartment. We went to the park. He got annoyed when I tried to hold his hand while walking. We got to a bench, and I was pretty horny from the excitement of doing something new, and I tried to kiss him but he pushed me away. I remembered his concerns about taking too much of his time so I tried to focus less on him.
We started walking back during the come up. The first thing I really noticed was the ground. There was a tiled area with steps that got very warpy, and it was difficult keep my footing. Eric guided us back, and I saw a metallic piece of trash on the sidewalk, and it kind of blew my mind. I motioned to Eric in excitement and he said “yes, I see the shiny thing.” That amused me a lot and I had trouble not laughing loudly and making a scene.
We got back just in time before peaking. The first thing I saw was one of his tapestries. Fractals danced and flowed though the patterns, and I practically started crying over the beauty of it (Eric later said he thought I was crying because I was confronting things).
We listened to music, I mainly remember Pink Floyd, as I watched another tapestry. After a while we talked for a bit. I was seeing these Tim Burton-esque figures in the tapestry and tried describing it. I was also seeing kawaii cupcakes in it, with rainbows flowing through them. Eric commented on that being my totem.
He brought up a miscarriage I had told him about, that caused me a lot more pain than I expected at the time, saying he thinks “it all” comes back to that. I said “hm, I didn’t think of that,” but I didn’t think so, and luckily I was well past it. He talked about struggling with his weed dependency, and I commented that maybe it was because it was a big part of his identity. At this point I never analyzed him like he did me.
I was a bit upset over turning 26 in a few weeks because of a hang-up I have about missing out on fun, social experiences in youth. I was chubby and awkward as a tween, and was intensely bullied. Then I had a really fucked up experience in a small Catholic school I went to for a year, ironically to get away from the bullying. I got depressed and a bit weird and lost all of my old friends because of it. I grew out of that ugly/weird phase, and through college I found a lot of confidence and was well past those things, but I struggled to find the life experiences and social life I’ve desired. Eric was trying to make me feel better about my birthday by telling me 26 was great, because the 26th was his birthday, the exit to his parent’s house, and I think another thing related to him. It was cute, but I think that later made me feel deeper tie to him throughout that year of my life.
Things were going well, and I didn’t feel an ounce of fear or discomfort.
I didn’t feel an ounce of fear or discomfort.
We bonded some more, and eventually tried to have sex. It wasn’t flowing, which was odd for us. We were in the mood in his living room, but changing to the bedroom threw it off. I went in with some expectations of emotional, connected sex, and he initially asked for a blowjob and that he’d take care of me after. I normally loved giving blowjobs, but that wasn’t really what I wanted from this, and I was a bit upset. We recognized things were off, and he motioned to back up in a cute way, I assume with the intent to try again in a bit.
We were past the peak, probably around 5 hours since dropping, and he decided to smoke. I was sad knowing it was wearing down (though looking back I still had plenty of good trip hours left) so I followed his lead and took a pretty big hit. After, I think he started stroking my thigh (still not wearing clothes from before).
I was staring at his mandala tapestry, and it turned into a tunnel that completely took over the room. It pulled me in and a sensation came over me that was completely beyond words. Before that, I still felt in control and pretty much on Earth, just a magical, rainbowy, fractaly one. The weed took it to an insane level completely outside of comprehension. It felt incredible, and I remember thinking “holy crap, now this is something different.” I was really into it. It was sexual but not at the same time – I think I was panting/moaning the whole time; it was unbelievably intense, physically and mentally, and a completely new sensation.
The tunnel broke away and it was like the entire universe revealed itself to me. I was beyond normal seeing, but what I retained was an image of an octopus constellation. At some point I must have regained some thought and realized I was no longer in control, that I was gone, and that I was vulnerable to the power of the entire universe. I started freaking out a bit. It wasn’t bad-bad yet, but I was shocked and scared. What I felt was so out of my normal realm of comprehension that I started to think I must have died. I was saying “holy shit, I just saw the universe,” and asking how to get back to myself. I told Eric I could never have understood him before but now I do. I kept saying “the cupcakes” to try to remember myself. The room started coming back.
I could be wrong, maybe he was just trying to explain, but I think Eric was trying to help me get back and to fight it. He really should have known not to do that, not fighting it is rule #1, but he was freaking out too. He’s scared of the void himself, and would later tell me he had a horrible void experience. I forget if this was during this or after the trip, but he had expressed that you should never look too deeply into the void. He also warned me earlier not to look in the mirror.
For the rest of the trip I’d go in-between states of hallucinating hard, kind of being in reality but scared shitless, and being in some hell void.
I’d go in-between states of hallucinating hard, kind of being in reality but scared shitless, and being in some hell void.
There are some gaps in my memory and time got wonky. I had a few different interpretations of reality that would weave in and out. For much of the parts I was capable of thought, I was sure I was dead. A lot of it turned into a religious metaphor (I was an atheist for a decade, but raised Catholic).
We were on his couch, but I didn’t see the apartment, it was like we were in some vessel in space. He was talking to me, trying to explain and help. I don’t remember anything that he actually said for this, but I saw him as this golden, glowing figure. While the metaphor was based on my Catholic upbringing, the imagery had a Greek mythology quality - he looked like a Greek god in a glowing sort of chariot like thing. He assumed the role of Lucifer (I don’t think I thought of him by name, but he was clearly that figure). Not Lucifer “the devil,” or an evil figure, but the light bringer, and the knowledge the acid imbued in me was like eating the “apple.” It seemed like through him was the path to truth and true salvation. But that’s some crazy, heavy shit, and I didn’t fully trust it. I was scared of being tricked and that it was wrong to reach out for what Lucifer offered, and God would punish me for it, or Lucifer himself was tricking me to follow him into hell.
Through this I had another narrative running in parallel. I thought Eric, and others that did acid, were changed on a spiritual level and turned into “acid people,” and I didn’t know if that was good or bad. For parts I figured Eric had to have known this would happen, and I figured he was lonely and wanted to pull me into his world so he wouldn’t be alone it in, and needed to trick me to do acid with him to do that. I wasn’t mad about it, I understood, and I cared for him and considered going with him beyond this life, but wasn’t sure I was ready to give up my life as a human.
Eric’s attempts to talk me back to myself and reality weren’t exactly working and I started to panic more. Everything turned black, and it was this horrible, torturous emptiness and intense fear that lasted an eternity. Like the fear of a nightmare, infinitely multiplied, with a sort of electric quality. It was like it drained all of the light and love, all of the humanity, from me. You’d expect the experience of nothingness to not have a feeling, but there was something so deeply disturbing and horrifying about it. It felt evil. I can’t imagine any torment in normal reality that could compare to this.
For a moment, when I was back and more aware of reality, I was scared I’d grab something off his table and try to kill myself to end the torture. I know I went in and out of that void multiple times, each lasting an eternity to me, at various points while still in the apartment. Some of my memories are explicitly in the third person, from above. I saw myself cowering, trying to back up into the corner of the couch as if something horrifying was in front of me.
At some point I managed to get clothes on, I think with Eric’s help. He was trying to change the setting to take me outside (it was around 2am probably). I don’t remember why, but we ended up not doing that.
I remember asking him if he killed me (in a scared, childish way), and asking if I was in hell and being punished. I also asked if this was ego death, so part of me understood. At some point Eric was freaking out too, but I don’t know what he really experienced. I remember him saying things like I was this good person with a lot of potential that he ruined, expressing that I was going through a hard time in life, and that I had no self to get back to. I know he had this idea that I didn’t have a strong identity because I didn’t have decorations in my apartment (because all my money went into my business, I actually love decorating) and other stupid, superficial things. To hear from the person you trust as the experienced party that your self is gone forever and you’re ruined is hell in this state.
We had one mutual friend still around, his ex, that he was going to call but I told him not to (she would have been so pissed at him, and we weren’t that close). I said to call Adam, who I dated before Eric for 7 years, since I trusted him and the dude is a rock. Somehow I managed to call him and leave a message that I needed help, and I think I got Eric to actually get ahold of him.
In the brief moments of understanding I knew Eric couldn’t handle this situation. I tried to express to Eric that it wasn’t personal. I don’t think I felt I was actually choosing between them, at least not romantically. My ex will always be like family to me but I had no desire to get back with him. There was some element of choice though, and I said something along the lines of “I’m sorry, I wish it could be you”. He later said he was just happy to have someone come deal with the situation.
I was asking for Adam, mostly for him in reality, as I was sure he’d make things better, but I think it also played into the religious metaphor – I wanted to stay with people and Adam’s name represented humanity. At some point Eric left to his room while I waited for Adam. My memory is mostly black here but I know it was hell waiting, I think I went back to the void.
I was really excited to see Adam, thinking that would make things better, but when Adam came, not much changed. I felt safer with him but I was too detached at this point. I think Eric told him to take me to the hospital. He actually started to take me back to my apartment, but I think I asked to go since Eric said I should. I experienced a looping eternity that was slightly different in the car; it may have even been the worst part. I’d describe it as sharper and less pure, with some visual component – blackness but with streaks of light coming form the streetlights. The loops made it more horrifying, but it’s hard to compare at that level. I probably only think it was worse now because it was actually less intense and more comprehendible, and there was a bit more self present through it to create a more solid memory of the experience of it. Apparently I seemed calm through this.
Suddenly I was checking into the hospital, and I told them that I took LSD and then smoked weed. From this point on I was completely in a raw, childlike state. While there, I spent a lot of time questioning reality, trying to use logic to determine what was real. I spent a lot of time talking though things, trying to make sense of it all, seeing connections and meaning in everything.
I spent a lot of time talking though things, trying to make sense of it all, seeing connections and meaning in everything.
There was a thread of me that understood what reality was, but I wasn’t sure that reality was true. I knew if it was, I should be careful what I do, because I may have to deal with the consequences in reality. I was also scared I’d convince myself that I had to do something that would be embarrassing or destructive in reality. Part of me knew I could believe anything in this state.
I was a bit scared I ruined my life for being “caught” doing an illegal drug, but I didn’t dwell on that too much. I was confused because I recognized that me tripping balls and freaking out would look pretty funny in reality, but no one found it entertaining. One nurse sort of had the expression of “ha, stupid girl tripping,” and I actually really liked that, it made a lot more sense and felt more real than everyone else being so apathetic. Adam called him over but it was awkward.
I was pretty sure the hospital was purgatory. Everything played into the metaphor, and I went back and forth between thinking the staff were angels and being scared they were demons. The rooms were in a circle, and sometimes someone would push a cart full of stuff past the rooms. I remember, each time, the stuff being pushed past got larger (I think it actually did in reality). I was scared of what would be next. It seemed significant.
Adam stayed with me, talking to me kindly. For someone with no drug experience, he did a great job. I thought he was God, but sometimes I’d get scared and think it was a trick and he was actually the devil, or that he was God but God couldn’t really be trusted. His face would transform between this almost rock like texture that was God, and a cliché red devil when he smiled. When that happened I’d get scared and ask him why he was so ugly - luckily he didn’t take that personally. I think I explained how his face was transforming. At some point it made sense that he was actually God in my life all along.
While Adam was firmly God in my head, I asked him a lot of questions. I’d get emotional about a topic and switch it quickly. My mom has MS, and I was very upset about her suffering, and suffering in general. My relationship to my mom is a bit weird; she’s in her own world and is hard to relate to. I don’t talk about her much normally but I have a lot of guilt associated with her. I asked him a lot about why suffering exists - it didn’t make sense. He kept saying things like “that’s just how things are,” but I wasn’t really taking that and it frustrated me. I thought God was full of shit. It bothered me how unfair things in life were.
I discussed some other things with God. I thought I could see things in a certain way, and see beauty in things that many others could not. I asked about that, and wanted everyone to see the beauty in things like I did. I don’t think I was just referencing the tripping visuals, though that was part of it. I thought I really saw things differently than the average person. Not to sound like a special snowflake or say I’m unique, but that I had some gifts. I believed I was highly creative and that my ability to love, empathize, and see connection was pretty far down the bell curve. I felt like if everyone could see things more like I did there wouldn’t be hatred and violence in the world. I felt a strong child force in me, and I was very scared of losing that.
Though he was God to me, he was also my ex. I told him that I really loved Eric, that he and I were “of the same” or something like that. I was without filter, but I then realized that could hurt him and felt bad, and told him that I’d always love him and he’d always be really important to me. I tried to explain, saying he and I didn’t have that type of bond, and that he couldn’t really understand me on a deep, personal level because he wasn’t like me. I felt bad about that afterwards, he had a girlfriend but wasn’t completely over me yet. Luckily he understood.
Before the freak-out, Eric jokingly expressed the importance of staying hydrated. He had a blue plastic cup. I was very thirsty, and asked for water in a blue cup, thinking that would do something. The hospital staff refused to give me water until they checked some blood work to see what I took (which I don’t remember them taking at all, but Adam says I fought it a lot). I was getting very dehydrated; Adam told me my lips were even cracking (I could sort of feel that but I was pretty detached from my body). That started to get me thinking more that the hospital staff really were demons trying to trick me, because who would withhold something as innocent and life giving as water? I was very scared of being tricked into hell. I obsessed over water and its meaning.
I was still scared I ruined my life for being caught on drugs, and I wanted to be back with Eric in his apartment. At some point I was getting the message loud and clear that I could choose my own reality. I thought I could change reality and get back before the bad parts happened. I wanted to be with him. I thought the water would take me, but shockingly enough, when I finally got it (it took hours), nothing happened. To be fair, it wasn’t in a blue cup, that’s probably why.
I saw a magic door appear in the hallway. It was incredible, kind of like what you’d expect a door that took you to some trippy dimension would look like. It had elegance to it, and I think it was hollow and with purple, glowy details, like an elaborate gate, with a bit of grey alien meets grateful dead look. Still confused over what was actually good and bad and what was a trick, I debated if I should go towards the door. I thought it would take me to the next plane of existence, but at the same time thought it would let me control reality and get back to Eric. At some point I apprehensively decided it was worth it and tried to go, but Adam held me back. I then decided I wasn’t ready and needed to be back with people. I asked him if I’d be ready next time. I felt comforted knowing I could go back to people. This may have happened before getting the water.
The hospital wanted to give me an IV because my heart rate was way up and I was incredibly dehydrated (no shit -.-). I was very scared of that; I was pretty sure it would trigger something significant. At this point I was mostly back to the “devil tricks” interpretation, and I thought the IV would take me out of purgatory, permanently killing me, or take me to hell. I remember saying no firmly, that I didn’t consent (I never talk firmly like that), but they told me it didn’t matter because I took an illegal drug. They got a big security guy to come. Adam said he came clearly expecting someone aggressively resisting, but then realized I was just very scared. He was nice, they did the IV, and, another surprise, IVs don’t actually teleport you to hell.
Adam had to leave for a bit. When he was gone I went pretty deep into psychosis, talking to myself the whole time, trying to figure out what was real. I knew how long acid lasted and the parts of me that knew I was reacting to a drug kept looking at the clock, desperate for this to end. Time was still behaving oddly. I don’t remember much after that; I assume they gave me some drugs and I think I fell asleep.
Adam came back. I wasn’t really tripping anymore but still very out of it. He tried to help me eat but I couldn’t stomach much. I think it was at this point, but it could have been earlier while I was still tripping, Eric got his mom to call me – she had experience when she was younger, and she was the only voice I truly trusted. She was calm and it helped a lot to talk to her – I was really touched by it. I wanted to talk to Eric, I asked about him, I was worried and wanted to know he was okay, but she said he was dealing with his own stuff right then.
He also got his friend who is very experienced to reach out to me. It was hard for me to believe what I experienced was something other people had, it seemed way too insane, but he told me it was “normal” and talked a bit and made me feel much better.
I was still out of it for the rest of the day and I don’t even remember going home. Adam and I both passed out as soon as we got in. I think 6, maybe up to 8 hours passed in the hospital before I was finally able to sleep. I felt normal again the next day.
I was actually completely fine and happy after this trip. It was hell but so interesting, the experience itself and the insight I gained through being in that raw state. Despite all of the fear and apprehension, I appreciated myself for how I reacted in many ways and what seemed ultimately important to me. The love I felt for Eric made me feel strong and I even wanted to try again.
I asked to see him, but he didn’t really want to yet because it would be too hard for him. He said that he spent the rest of the trip worried he’d never be able to have sex again. We talked a lot, and it was a good conversation, so he agreed to see me for a bit. We talked outside (he couldn’t deal with me being in his apartment), but he shortly had to leave to go to the movies with his other girlfriend. I was in a very good mood with an open mind so that didn’t bother me then, but now it does.
He broke up with me a few weeks later, on my birthday, online, during an argument. I wasn’t expecting to be so shattered. I’ve had hard breakups before, but everything between us and the trip made it too much for me. He refused to talk for a month, but then we were friends for a bit. I felt better with that but his selfishness bothered me and I needed him to acknowledge how he wronged me and the pain he put me through (not the trip, I didn’t blame him for that, but abandoning me and other ways he treated me). I kind of asked for some of that acknowledgment before but wasn't getting it, so I just told him it was too hard for me, that I loved him and missed the intimate bond too much (which was also true), but that I’d always be there for him if he needed me. I really thought he’d do the same.
I was unfortunately very alone in a time of change in my life, and I believe this trip opened a door that allowed me to tap into the intense emptiness and discomfort of the void. I suffered greatly. Being alone after this was worse than I could have imagined, but I couldn’t feel right about new connections I was trying to form. Every day I’d wake to a horrible feeling of dread that everything was wrong and I’d panic. I didn’t know it was possible to feel that bad. I wasn’t sure it wasn’t a “normal” reaction to having your life fall apart, but there was something about it that felt too much like the trip. After more, good trips I occasionally feel something good that definitely came from tripping, so I’m pretty sure this bad feeling is related as well.
Everything with Eric started to get to me, and I realized just how wrong so many of his actions were. I learned that he’s been very destructive to others. He has a way of picking people apart, responding to anything he interprets as criticism by spinning it back around and telling the person why their opinion is invalid, citing personal things that are “clearly” tainting their judgment.
I knew he didn’t want to be an ass and would truly try to be better, but his discomfort with guilt and need to feel perfect would stand in the way. He is a broken soul, but I saw in him a good heart and loved him to the depths of mine. I didn’t like that he was clearly troubled and neurotic, but there was a certain chaos he possessed that I found beautiful. He was introspective and open to many perspectives, and should have been better than this selfish control-freak living in denial and running from himself.
Throughout our relationship, he analyzed me a lot and tried to “help” me face problems he assumed I had. I tend to entertain and explore ideas, so in the beginning I felt he was helping me explore and challenge myself and I could grow from it. I enjoyed the level of openness. I now know this wasn’t about helping me, it was his selfish way of dealing with his own problems though me that allowed him to bypass personal discomfort and stay in control (subconsciously of course, I highly doubt it was intentional, though he does actually choose to be selfish).
He projected all of his problems onto me, and did the opposite with the other girl, to the extent where he couldn’t see any good quality in me that she also possessed. It became too much for him, and I feel he later discarded me in an attempt to discard the problems he projected onto me, citing his right to do what he needs to in the pursuit of his own happiness. The contrast with the other girl, who was actually a lot like me in many ways, would torment me. I truly wanted him to be happy, but the pain of knowing they were doing all of the fun things together that I wanted to do, while I was struggling to cope with this, was torture. Images of them having sex were burned into my mind, and I couldn’t do anything sexual without seeing it.
I reached out asking for help, saying that I needed some acknowledgment. He refused, saying he didn’t think he did anything wrong, except not warning me about how much more intense weed makes a trip. My love for him was still important to me, despite everything, and I couldn’t come to terms with his lack of compassion for me. I went a little nuts, trying to explain how I felt and how this hurt me, and how I understood and still saw goodness in him, but that some of his actions were blatantly wrong. I trusted his intentions and was hoping he’d understand and just say that he was sorry, but he just saw that as me being abusive to him. He made me feel guilty for demonizing him, as someone he had strong feelings for and loved endlessly. He said he only ever wanted to help me find happiness. I’d get frustrated, because his actions didn’t seem to be those of someone who loved me and cared about my happiness.
For 6 months I’d spend all day crying and having panic attacks (this interfered with my business, so I was unemployed and living off savings). At my worst I’d ask Eric for help – still feeling like I needed a conversation about this, but he refused, stating he didn’t think that would help me and that maybe he’d be willing after 5 years. He’d talk a bit online, but to him, this was his past, and now was entirely my problem and my responsibility. Part of me believed that, and I felt guilty for trying to get him to talk when he didn't want to, but I felt like it was something we got in to together, him knowing the risks that I couldn’t really understand, and I felt betrayed.
I became friends with the guy who talked to me during it. He is very experienced with an incredible understanding of psychedelics, and he helped me have a good trip a year later. We did two tabs, he helped me get past some fear, and it was like the void but opposite; the universe gently opened up and I floated down this white light that felt like heaven, still very intense, but pure bliss. I felt like I was able to break some of the ties I felt to Eric, but I still cared about him deeply. I had a couple more good trips with this friend and handful on my own, and it definitely helped a lot, but I still always think of Eric, and it’s always heavy and intense – not like how it was in the beginning with Eric, before the tunnel.
I’m still alone, and still suffering, struggling to feel right about new people. It’s not that I think they will hurt me, I’ve met some great people who I know I could trust, but I just can’t feel right about it. I feel like I lost a lot of myself, including that child in me, through my struggle with coming to terms with my ex and the abandonment after such an intense and profound experience. I’m moving soon and I hope that a new place will help me rebuild myself, but he will always be a part of me. It’s like he was a large part of the material I used to rebuild myself after my ego was shattered, and now he is embedded into the foundation of who I am. I hoped killing my ego again would erase that, and it almost felt like it did, but I can always find him there; I think the first time is significant. I just hope one day it will be easier to live with.
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