Citation: villager24. "Fighting Writer's Block: An Experience with Dimenhydrinate (exp110599)". Erowid.org. Oct 21, 2020. erowid.org/exp/110599
My Background: I first started smoking marijuana in college, in March 2016. Prior to that, I had been intensely curious about psychedelics and the human mind, but had never really known much about where to find them. Instead, I simply meditated, wrote, and read books. I enjoyed the hallucinogenic and challenging psychological aspects of marijuana. Since then and the date of this trip April 26, 2017, I have experimented with Nutmeg (really enjoyed it, used four times afterwards), Morning Glory Seeds (a very positive and introspective experience), mushrooms (absolutely horrifying at first, eventually became very spiritual and useful. Have used a few times since in varying amounts), LSD (also terrifying, but one of the most valuable experiences of my life). For depression and anxiety, I have also been prescribed citalopram, bupropion, venlafaxine, and buspar.
Beforehand, I had done a lot of research on the anticholinergic deliriants and found them horrific yet fascinating. One day, on a road trip, I developed motion sickness, and took two dramamine pills. I had some extremely vivid dreams, which mystified me. Dreams, to me, are some of the most critical aspects of my life and I look to them for guidance. Once I discovered this effect, I took a dramamine before bed to help be fall asleep and to enhance the dreams a few more times over the following months. The only substantial side effects I noted were a next day drowsiness that would wear off as the day went on. Such usage was sparse and irregular.
I am studying for my Master's right now and was working on a story and a project all semester. The approach to my project had been catalyzed by an experience with psychedelics. Around the start of May, I hit a point where I felt very stuck in all of my projects. I was taking citalopram at the time, but also craving personal insight. Some things about my life--a possible marriage, the masters degree, the research, my job--were perplexing.
I listened to a few podcasts on the acetylcholine receptors one day, in the midst of this writers block, and went through another binge of trying to understand the dynamics behind the hallucinations reported from datura. Hypothesizing that the experience built off latent artifacts of memory, I decided that I would like to explore the effects of the system itself, to explore past traumas and current anxieties tied to memories. I resolved that night to trip on Dramamine, so I told my girlfriend. I explained the risks, and after we'd discussed it a bit, she thought it would be fine, so long as I told someone at home that I was going to do it.
THE ACTUAL TRIP
I got in the car, and drove calmly to a gas station. 'Why are we doing this?', I thought, imagining how long it must take for shamans who use anticholinergics in a traditional context to learn to approach the substances, and how absent my culture was of any spiritual frameworks to assimilate the experience. I entered the station, trying to appear as motion sick as I could, before I grabbed a tube of Dramamine original formula pills.
On the drive home, I tried to understand my intentions. Was I tripping for the sake of tripping, or did I have an objective?
I tried to understand my intentions. Was I tripping for the sake of tripping, or did I have an objective?
The initial answer was that I wanted to learn about acetylcholine and anticholinergics, so that I could write a convincing story modeled on datura. Beyond this, I fantasized that I might encounter my ancestors (psychologists and chemists who I would love to tell about my research, even if metaphorically), or any of the people from whom I have lost contact with in the past.
I got home, went upstairs, and after talking to my mom about what was vexing me in my projects, I told her I was planning on taking dramamine, and that I would probably be up late watching TV. I also warned her I might be talking to myself, and that she shouldnt worry. She said alright, and that she probably wouldnt wake up anyway. We parted ways, and I started with 3 pills. A small dose, but I didnt want to be that grad student who takes an entire tube of dramamine and ends up running through the streets naked trying to yell at satan.
I took more pills every thirty minutes as my comfort level increaded. Between 11:12pm and 12:30, I consumed 11 pills, totaling 550mg. During this, I watched a nature documentary on Madagascar. The animals, I recall, looked stupendously real. I felt amazed by them. They seemed like they could crawl off the screen. Scrolling through the texts sent during the trip, I can see I was amazed with the sonic environment, and was overwhelmed at points by the following parts of documentary:
1) A chameleon hissed. I did not know chameleons hissed.
2) A centipede appeared on screen. I was mortified of the centipede.
3) On Madagascar, there is a big field of spikes. It was pretty neat.
I described the experience as it was happening as: 'Mellow with a faint tension. I feel cognizant of the way the acetylcholine system works. It almost encodes your actions into muscle memories. Your anxieties into patterns. So that they linger in your flesh, almost. Like invisible tattooos. I can feel my anxiety there but its not connecting fully with my mind. Its a physical part of my nervous system, in parts of me that are beyond my brain. Your whole body is a brain. Its all a brain'
I kept waiting for the ancestors to appear. At times I felt that there was someone right around the corner, and something sinister seemed to lurk in the darkness. I certainly felt heavy. Every time I heard a noise, Id jump. Around 2 in the morning, I grew too tired to stay up, and headed to bed. I was knocked out until the morning. I remember having dreams almost indistinct from reality. But I do not remember them. I remember, though, on the precipice of letting go and waking up, accepting that they were something ephemeral.
But the trip didnt really end when I woke up. I guess my body took a while to metabolize the dramamine. I walked out of bed with a heaviness in my limbs and a still palpable tension. Listening to music on the drive to drop off something at one of the schools where I work felt insanely vivid. I contemplated the nature of the mind and body, and the memory on the drive. I listened to Modest Mouse. Somehow, even if I felt my fear response was engaged, I felt unable to connect with it mentally. I only observed it. I felt a drive to finish my projects and an acceptance of the means Id chosen to expand my mind and develop my ideas.
That night, I took a small amount (3mg) of pot in an edible, and hallucinated as I fell asleep the strangest kaleidoscopes of sound. I could control them, vaguely. It was like a psychedelic orchestra in my mind, adapting the timbres from Modest Mouse that Id listened to earlier with ideas from John Cage and other experimental musicians. It was unlike normal cannabis intoxication at that level for me.
I had a similar control over my dreams, which were intense and lifelike. Here is what I told my girlfriend:
'I found last night the experience of coming OFF of the dramamine and trying to cope by using pot made it more psychedelic than the actual trip. I had very vivid and complex auditory hallucinations. Gorgeous instrumentals that I wish I could replicate in real life. Then when I fell asleep, I had insanely realistic dreams. I had one that matched more what I expected from the trip. My dad entered my room in a hallucination and lectured me about time and meaning saying 'days are meaningless. Weeks are meaningless. Months are meaningless. Time is meaningless.' and some other things. I also vaguely remember directing a sort of weird film where you and I took a road trip with some of my friends and we smoked a lot of weed and had fun. I wish I remembered more of it. It was such a beautiful but strange experience. The psychonaut wiki notes that almost everyone has a terrible time on dramamine and most people hate it but I actually feel like it was a worthwhile trip. What I think makes it significant to me is that it all disappeared. I felt my brain creating songs and movies and stories but they all disappeared when I woke up. Its a very zen type feeling. My dad sort of showed up in between dreams as a datura/dramamine type hallucination to challenge the ideas I was exploring in the segments of the first dreams.'
Looking back in retrospect, I would love to experiment with dramamine again by trying it in smaller doses. The thoughts I had continued to influence me and to make a tangible impact on my daily life as the months went by. I feel like it significantly reduced my anxiety afterwards. This experience seems atypical, however, and possibly stems from the slowness of my dosing and the fact that I expected and looked forward to the parts of dramamine that people usually hate. But who knows. When I try it again, Ill probably do it in the morning and try to make sure I am conscious the entire time.
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