Citation: nsystem. "Breaking Problematic Psychosomatic Response: An Experience with 2C-E (exp111500)". Erowid.org. Jan 26, 2018. erowid.org/exp/111500
In 2012 I bought some 2C-E which I dissolved into a solution of ethanol and distilled water. I experimented with it a couple times, had some mixed experiences, and then stored the solution away in a cool, dark place in the house. I did not have the desire to use the 2C-E for a long time.
In 2014 I moved to a beach community and decided I would learn to surf. I would often get a headrush feeling when I swam under water or during a wipeout. I had noticed this headrush feeling start a few year prior in swimming pools. I would feel dizzy, my vision would go dark, and sometimes I would get that confused ‘where am I?’ feeling that comes with waking up from a blackout. A few times in the surf I did black out and came to struggling in the whitewash. My anxiety increased, but surfing was very rewarding so I continued.
By reading and experimenting with breath-holding exercises above water and underwater (in a more controlled environment than ocean waves), I determined my blackouts were psychosomatic. Sitting, standing, laying or exercising above water, holding my breath never produced any blackout/headrush effect. Underwater, I came very close to blackout after holding my breath for just a few seconds even without swimming or any stressful movement. Ironically, wipeouts in serious surf conditions never posed a serious blackout/headrush effect. Often wipeouts in smaller waves did produce a strong headrush or near blackout.
Near the end of 2017 I was still struggling with these blackout feelings when swimming in pools or occasionally surfing. I was also snorkeling sometimes, but would never go underwater. When I did go under, I would feel the headrush effect coming on.
I tried rationalizing with myself to think past the blackouts. I would acknowledge there isn’t an obvious physical reason for this problem and do a minute or so of meditative breathing before going under. The results of these experiments largely failed. Occasionally I would be able to go under for a few seconds but could still feel the headrush coming on, if slightly reduced in intensity.
Also near the end of 2017, I started experimenting with micro-doses of the 2C-E solution while working at home. Dosages were between 3 and 6mg. I work in a technical corporate role. I didn’t find the micro-doses very helpful for attention to work, but did enjoy the mental and physical acuity it brought along with a lightness in mood. I noticed it seemed to effect anxiety in some positive way. No explicit visual effect occurred at this level.
I decided to take a slightly larger dose (10mg) one afternoon and go snorkeling. Times below are approximate.
T+ 0:00 – 10mg (in a 2.5ml solution) drunk in a glass of water
T+ 0:00 - 1:00 – Limbs feel energized and jumpy. Some slight nausea. Overall similar to drinking a whole lot more coffee than one would want to.
T+ 1:30 – Some thoughts occurring which I would label as ‘psychedelic’. I connect ideas which normally would not relate to each other. Attention is unfocused and jumpy. I’m trying to do a little more work but can’t generate a lot of interest.
T+ 2:30 – Limbs still have the energized feeling and the nausea has abated a little bit. No open or closed-eye visuals are seen but things look a little more interesting. I feel uncoordinated overall, but when I put my snorkeling gear in my backpack and ride my skateboard down the hill toward the ocean it feels amazing. Every turn is exact and I can feel the wheels slide over individual pebbles in the macadam.
T+ 3:00 – I enter the water and swim out to some rocks about 100mtrs off the sand. There is very little swell, a bit of wind chop on the surface, and the visibility in the water varies from bad to just OK. As I swim out I think about how psychedelics have been used in therapy and treatment of anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc and I think, “Maybe a light dose of 2C-E will help me to get over this issue I have been having with going underwater?”
I spend another couple minutes snorkeling, preparing myself. After taking a few controlled meditative breaths, thinking about what I was about to do, recognizing there is no objective danger, I dive down tentatively and come back up a second or two later. Seems good. I dove a little deeper for about 5 seconds and I felt the familiar flutter, like a muted panic that would precede the headrush. Somehow, I was able to diffuse the start of the headrush. I surfaced thinking, “hmm, this is promising.” I dove again and again, extending the depth and time up to about 15 seconds under water. 15 seconds isn’t close to what I would like to achieve eventually, but it feels like a massive step forward and I’m stoked. On a couple goes underwater I still felt the flutter but was able to diffuse it again.
T+ 4:00 – After a long enjoyable snorkel, I return to my things on the beach. I’m energized because I feel like I have made a breakthrough and I also just love being out in the water. I no longer notice any physical effect of the 2C-E. Visually, everything is interesting with that generic low-dose psychedelic sparkly look. I get dry and put in my headphones and listed to ‘Dark Star’ by the Grateful Dead. I know, I know, total cliché. 😊 I skateboarded back home and pottered around waiting for the family to return.
T+ 5:00 – all good, feeling great, have dinner with the family and do the regular evening things.
T+ 8:00 – No effects. Went to sleep without issue.
Since the 10mg 2C-E dose I have not taken any more. I have gone snorkeling a number of times since then and each session have gained confidence, swimming deeper and longer distances on each breath. I believe this psychosomatic response I had developed was started as a the result of anxiety and stress in my personal and work life at that time. As I started surfing, the anxiety and stress continued in my life and the underwater response became worse when I started to worry about wipeouts and being held down in waves. This created some sort of feedback loop which made the response stronger, making it nearly impossible for me to go underwater holding my breath on purpose.
I believe the snorkeling session with 2C-E helped me to break this loop. It has been less than 2 weeks since this experience, I hope I will not see the headrushes/blackouts return.
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