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My Worst Pain
Salvia divinorum (60x extract)
by The Acidmost Layer
Citation:   The Acidmost Layer. "My Worst Pain: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (60x extract) (exp111787)". Erowid.org. Nov 2, 2018. erowid.org/exp/111787

1 hit smoked Salvia divinorum (extract)


A few days before the trip, while researching the pharmacology of Salvia, I mentioned to my boyfriend:

“Salvia apparently acts on the D2 receptor, which is the receptor that antipsychotics block, and on the kappa opioid receptor, which is a dysphoriant.”

He replied, “So it basically makes you depressed and psychotic?”

It was about 8PM, and I was sitting on the hammock we have in the garden. My boyfriend was holding the water-pipe and lighter. I was extremely nervous and excited.

The bowl of the water-pipe was loaded with a completely legal 60x salvia extract bought in a tax-paying California headshop. I knew what I was getting into, or so I thought. I had read people saying things like “Salvia is like a dissociative DMT trip there's no way to plan on having a good time you have to accept what it gives you.” and “No one is ever ready for salvia.” I knew that pharmacologically it was a dysphoriant. I knew that the reason it is legal in some places is that its effects are not sought after anyway.

My boyfriend started burning the plant, and I only managed to inhale once, and cough, before he let the bowl fall on the ground and break. The last thing I could sanely notice was the plant splashed on the ground. Then I was just gone. No drug before had ever made me lose insight or sanity, none before salvia.

In a state with no time whatsoever, I travelled through several different identical universes. Each patch of color in my vision would become its own reality and I would be transported inside it in endless loops. I didn't know which one was the 'real' one.
At some point, I was in a sort of meta-universe which manifested itself as an abstract painting. It felt like the ultimate, truthful reality. Then a very small slit appeared in a corner of the painting, and was transformed into what I guess was my sober field of vision — partially covered by the hammock I was lying on, and very vaguely showing my boyfriend, a wall, and a glass door. That slit grew and took over my entire field of vision, which felt very wrong — I suppose partially because I had no sense of gravity whatsoever.

Like it happened when I first took acid, but to a much greater extent, I wasn’t myself at the time. I was just an observer, and was very confused by what I saw. Was that the ultimate reality — Mary lying down in a hammock in a garden floating in a slit of the meta-universe? That made no sense.

Then I guess my eyes closed for a while (but that's just a guess) and I started experiencing hypnagogia. It enticed strong sense of ominous déjà vu — I had been there before, and it was terrible. “Not yet,” I tried to reassure myself. “It is just hypnagogia. It is normal.”

The hypnagogia then morphed into a very abstract image of my boyfriend guiding me by the hand in a light green background. Except that there was no “me.” Around that time, the depersonalization evolved into full-blown ego death. My mind was nothing more than a committee of passive watchers of the 2D psychotic reality show with me and my boyfriend. The universe was them, they were creating the universe and morphing into it. Their image would twist and loop several times and that felt important. At some point, even the sense of subject went away. “I” became the universe, which was made out of my 2D field of vision repeated and looped in small mosaics, as a sort of TV with bad signal.

When even a little bit of my sense of self came back, it was absolutely abject. The universe was still my field of vision jerked and looped like in a TV with a bad signal, and it felt so, so profoundly wrong. The dysphoric effects of salvia that I had predicted hit me hard.

At that point, I knew that all that mess had been caused by me, and there was nothing anyone could ever do about it, and that was profoundly bothering. It was the same feeling I had in my most severe depressive episode — that my agony and suffering, that the profound wrongness of my world, were no one’s but my own fault, and it was literally physically impossible to stop them.

Finally coming into the right dimension felt like zooming in into actually seeing the world where it was. When I had the sensation I arrived in the right dimension, the first thing I did was urge water. I needed it as a reassurance. Only if I was in the right dimension, and not just observing a screen, would I be able to leave the room I was in — change the field of vision through my own actions — and put things in my body, I reasoned. So I did just that — I ran to the kitchen, and forced water into me. 'Huh, I'm really in the right dimension,' I thought. 'So weird that it would be the one in Diego's hair, but okay.”

I came back to the room I was in, and asked Diego “How long has it been?” I was feeling deeply dysphoric, I didn’t want to endure even a further second of that madness any longer. That was the most suffering I had ever felt, it was extremely unbearable.

At some point, Diego closed a drawer. That profoundly bothered me. He was reaching out infinitely, we were zooming out in the universe and his hand remained in the drawer whereas the rest of his body was by my side, getting farther and father away and lengthening his arm. I imagined myself saying, 'Don't do that infinitely! Don't do that infinitely! Do it finitely!' in profound, sincere urgency.

Then I lay down on the bed, and decided to just stay there and try to minimize effects as much as possible. At some point Diego lifted a blanket in front of me and it felt horrible because he'd create a new subdivision in my visual field and soon it would feel like the true reality was inside it. I urged him to just cuddle me, and that’s how I spent the last minutes of the trip.

When I finally gained insight of having smoked salvia, it didn't make me feel much better. It made me a little angry for having done that. Why would anyone ever do that? I would never, ever try salvia ever again.

Then I thought — had that been my salvia experience? It felt so uninteresting. My friends would be waiting for a trip report and they’d be disappointed with mine.

Not long afterwards, I interpreted such thought to the dysphoriant effects of Salvia causing lower self-confidence.

Very quickly, I started gaining my long-term memory and sense of self and sanity again. When at most one hour had passed since I smoked salvia, I was completely fine.

Exp Year: 2018ExpID: 111787
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: 18 
Published: Nov 2, 2018Views: 690
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Salvia divinorum (44) : Small Group (2-9) (17), Difficult Experiences (5), First Times (2)

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