Citation: CognitiveScientist. "Hurled Into the Deep End: An Experience with LSD & Escitalopram (exp111972)". Erowid.org. Oct 18, 2018. erowid.org/exp/111972
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Trip Report: 225 micrograms (give or take), ingested in thirds, with the first third ingested an hour before the second two; 20 mg escitalopram (SSRI) taken the morning of the trip
TL;DR: Hurled into the deep end of a swimming pool filled with honey
I am writing this primarily so that people can get some insight about the SSRI/LSD combination. It is often said SSRIs are trip killers or inhibitors but I did not find this to be the case, with my trip even lasting much longer than 12 hours.
Background: I take 20 mg of an SSRI, namely escitalopram (brand name Lexapro) in the mornings daily for social anxiety and panic attack disorder, and this day was no exception. I have no other psychological disorders or health problems. It is said SSRIs have strong inhibitory effects on LSD. I did not find this to be the case, but it could be the LSD was especially strong or I am uniquely sensitive—this trip seemed as strong or stronger than several others’ who had ingested equal or greater doses, but it’s impossible to know this for certain. I have no previous experience with LSD
I have no previous experience with LSD
, but around 9 years ago had a profoundly negative hallucinogenic and paranoid delusional experience reminiscent of a brief episode of schizophrenia after smoking cannabis that may or may not have been laced with PCP (whatever the case, the effects were nearly identical to descriptions of the effects of PCP). This experience was nothing at all like that in any way. I have smoked cannabis countless times, but only do this occasionally. I have also tried salvia years ago but barely experienced any perceptual changes with it.
Note: Some of this has been edited to include information learned afterwards
5:30 am (time elapsed approximately 15.5 hours)
As I write this it is difficult to keep attentive to the task at hand. I cyclically zone out (around every 5 seconds) and become distracted by non-thoughts and forget what I was doing. It is as if a resurgent wave has taken ahold of me, or maybe I’m just paying more attention to it in solitude. My skull and body feels tense, like there is an internal pressure pushing outwards, but it’s not painful at all, and is easily ignored. I also feel a positive internal energy and am simultaneously tired and wakeful. The computer screen begins to warp and twist and move in strange ways or expand as if I’m being sucked into it or that its shape is coming towards me to envelop me, all the while its contours are shifting in dynamic, motion-like ways (but which are never mistaken for real motion on the part of the object). The letters and words move like waves. Sometimes my slideshow of desktop wallpapers changing, for instance, to an aerial photo of Saint Helena that seems extremely bright and colorful, distracts me and I have to stare at it for a little while. The fabric of the percept seems to have a fuzzy, multicolored character lurking closely beneath its surface, but not in a menacing way. In fact the perceptual distortions are pleasing and reassuring—phenomena that I now greet as old friends who I missed dearly after having to see less of them as the first waves of the trip tapered off, although they were always there if I devoted my attention in that lazily unfocused way required to find them (this last word I accidentally wrote as “me” instead of “them” at first and that too may be apt).
We had started by diluting one drop of LSD in a glass of water. Some people drank an entire glass. This was reckoned to be 300 micrograms or more. Others split the water in half (150 mcg) and drank that, or split the half in half (75 mcg) and drank that, all very approximate. I drank half of a half glass of water. I was extremely nervous but also resigned in an upbeat way to what was to occur, secure in the knowledge that I was in safe place, wasn’t taking very much, and my SSRI would inhibit the effects (and that, should something go wrong, I had Klonopin, a trip-killing benzodiazepine, in my pocket). I had written a list of goals to shoot for, mostly vague things like “presence, peace, openness, connectivity, oneness, clarity, appreciation, pay attention to time, let go, relax” but also concrete things like “try reading, learning a language, and playing chess.” I had hoped for cognitive enhancement but in reality impairment was so substantial the latter tasks became extremely difficult (chess was not even attempted).
I began a stopwatch to keep an objective measure because of the known effect of time dilation. Everyone nervously waited for something to occur and listening to music while sitting on the geometric patterned carpet in H’s bedroom. We all tried to stay positive and reassuring. Initially, K was going to be a trip sitter, which was also reassuring. At about forty minutes I began to notice numbness throughout my body coupled with a gradually increasing euphoric feeling that became extremely intense. At about this time someone asked if anybody was getting anything and I immediately, impulsively said “oh yeah” although what I was experiencing was a tiny fraction of what would occur next. X was laughing uncontrollably but said she wasn’t feeling anything.
The next thing I noticed which was quite saliently different was the undulating floor. Not the carpet but the perceptual experience of the floor itself, although it couldn’t be said that I was tricked into thinking it was actually moving. At this point I was feeling very good and the euphoria became an all-embracing pervasive ecstasy filling my torso primarily but also my other limbs and a strange sensation in my head like tension which would remain with me through the trip and wax and wane but was never so unpleasant I couldn’t be distracted from it. It could not be described as pain or a headache but more like a tightness or internal pressure. I determined that whatever was occurring was very good and I would be a little disheartened if the lightly undulating floor were all I could feel and so I decided to take more. Our spirit-guide shaman (experienced user/provider) was able, somehow, miraculously, while tripping hard, to deploy fine motor coordination, normal communication, and generally a functional level of behavior in assisting C, X, and myself in our goal to increase our dosage (they each had something less than half a dose extra). At this point I had a sip of a glass with one full drop in it (probably amounting to something less than 75), but decided it was still not enough and had a further quarter drop diluted, as did K, who decided she should have something to join this bizarre experience (I suppose 75 for each of us) leaving me with a total of something like .7 drops or what J guessed would be 200-225 micrograms (based on his assessment of a single drop—he nor I didn’t do the math explicitly at the time). In fact I’m also just realizing as, I write this that that was the amount I took, and seems like a very large dose now compared to my initial intention to only take 50 micrograms.
In any case my euphoria was really kicking into high gear when I returned and I was unable to suppress my laughter (which I tried anyway so people didn’t think I was too crazy but everyone else was having the same problem—I seemed unusually hard hit by this euphoria however). Laughter was also very infectious, like it is in elementary school. I was overcome by how good and perfect everything seemed to be.
I was overcome by how good and perfect everything seemed to be.
Nothing could be better than the ecstasy I was feeling. It was impossible for me to understand how anybody could ever have a bad experience like this. I was getting a serious kick out of all the visual hallucinations or distortions or whatever they were and I found it all absolutely hilarious. The music sounded very good, and I was able to tune into all the different layers of the audio. The music included Herbie Hancock and later, Talking Heads (“Once in a Lifetime” made an especially strong impression) and Parliament (the album “Funkadelic”), after which the music got trippier, like acid house and trance. At this point looked better or more radiant than normal, but it could also be that they had flushed faces, I certainly did and could feel a warmth under my skin and something like tightness or pressure throughout my body, like my blood vessels were dilating. I couldn’t be sure but I had the feeling acne was worsening or breaking out, but that might have been just a feeling.
We were contemplating a fern plant on the mantle and trying to decide if it was or was not moving and were having a hard time with this task. It became clear it was definitely part of the trip, but additionally the fern was taking on multi-dimensional shapes and patterns that seemed to alternate. There were moments of intense social cohesion and extreme suggestibility where we were all very willing to assent to any suggestion or description somebody was making about their experience and project our experience onto it, or just look at a person and laugh. This made the vibe or atmosphere have a quite tangible or thick quality to it that positively affected our own intense emotional experience. At some point people got extremely interested in the center of the fractal pattern carpet but I was more tuned into social frequencies at this point. Some very abstract conversations were had, usually initialized by trying to understand what was going on but then flying off in a lot of strange and expansive directions (one example concerned Wittgenstein’s private language argument, the beetle in the box, and constructing a language out of shared experiences/phenomenology to communicate our atypical experiences, and how language in general is rooted in phenomenology—oftentimes long-term cultural patterns and shifts were invoked in these kinds of conversations). It was very easy to lose thoughts, or trains of thoughts, or fail to remember them (storage and retrieval became difficult in the short-term); it was, as H said, like C was trying to catch his thoughts with a butterfly net, “Ah what was I thinking? Oh yes, caught it,” he would say. Lying on the floor I began to see more complex visual distortions, like the movement of some kind of silvery structural sinew surrounding this paper lantern (I christened it “the orb” because the words “lamp” and “light” escaped me) hanging from the ceiling. These outlines moved and danced to the music, as did the shape of the object itself in weird dimension-defying ways reminiscent of a live-action cubist painting. I decided to lie down on the bed and let it all wash over me.
At this point I guess I began to reach the peak of the trip and time began to get very weird and very dilated. Looking at the ceiling (especially the intricate molding), which at first was just kind of moving and dancing (fluctuating) to the music, then moving back and forth joyously with horizontal lines expanding and contracting and breathing and the patterns achieving some kind of extra dimensional layer, I eventually felt like I was falling into the ceiling in a series of increasingly complex telescopic distortions. At this point I began talking, which was a bad idea because my cognitive abilities were severely impaired and memory short-term memory essentially nonexistent (even memory of who I was became strained—the tether to reality had become rather tenuous). I had noticed earlier that my attempts at speaking were not fluent and stutter-like, and my attention span had dropped precipitously to maybe 5 seconds, and it was difficult to keep track of very recent memories or follow any line of reasoning or conversation. But at this point when I spoke I had some thought about how, although I had seemed to be staring at the ceiling for a lifetime the time read only 1 hour 40 minutes and I said something like “it’s only been forty minutes” and George said “40 minutes since when” (this absurd line of questioning became something of a theme) and I realized I was truly insane, and his statement brought me tumbling into a new reality in which I realized the previous one or ones had been wiped out. I was very confused and rapidly asked myself, “Has this happened before? Is this real? What just happened? Where did I just come from? What am I talking about? Who I am even talking to? Have I been talking to myself? Have I just projected my own internal monologue onto other people expecting them to know what I’m thinking?” and then quickly, “Whatever just go with it, everything’s fine—actually much better than fine, fantastic!” This was one of the few moments when anxiety almost breached my euphoric bubble.
I thought a good metaphor for what was happening is tumbling, as in a tumble-dryer, and I found out this is a defining feature of hard tripping. “So time is definitely doing some weird things…” said C later (who incidentally was eminently quotable on that day), after his peak had subsided from the park enough for him to contemplate what was happening. Each moment felt like it could have lasted a whole lifetime. From this point on I realized I was thinly attached to reality and I kept experiencing this tumble-dryer like series of re-awakenings where I thought I managed to grasp clarity or some inkling of “real” reality before it dissipated and I’d crash into a new one. Like waking up over and over again. This continued in a pretty serious way and I was having a lot of difficulty having any kind of intelligible thought or conversation as I was being constantly woken up in a new reality like this, and I guessed at this particular time it was hitting me harder than the others, but the others would get there too very quickly.
I think it was at this point we began recommending various objects to get perceptually lost in around the room, with E saying “I’m still at the table” in response to C’s “meet me at the carpet,” (previously after having been enthralled with a red lighter and a painting, and a stationary man outside the window who was indeterminate between a man and a rock). At the same time I was really enjoying the multidimensional motion of the “orb”—a hanging paper lamp. We decided this recommendation service was much like Tripadvisor, and found that so hilarious it hurt to laugh.
There were moments of intense group focus where for me the salient aspect was feeling the vibe and cohesion of the group
There were moments of intense group focus where for me the salient aspect was feeling the vibe and cohesion of the group
rather than the object that absorbed our attention, like a watercolor postcard of chain of monkeys and the central spiral of the carpet. Someone suggested to take a walk but I thought “no way” in this condition and I think the vibe for most people was very much like, “I’m just trying to hold onto this rocket ship for dear life.” However after maybe thirty more minutes of getting lost in euphoria, tumbling reality, and perceptual changes which were often wavy or oscillatory in nature and allowed for an extreme zooming on details which could sometimes explode and overwhelm until you’re snapped back into a new reality, we eventually decided we were sober enough to take a walk. Of course were by no means anywhere close to sober at this point and at least on person reached their peak outside. For myself, I was having trouble discerning what was real and not real and staving off the feeling that I might be dreaming this entire thing.
As a side note, the order of events reported throughout the peak stages (first four hours) is almost certainly inaccurate, as memories became extremely jumbled and detached from distinct locations in time.
Upon entering the landing of the stairs, the change of scenery threw me into completely new perceptual territory. It was impossibly yellow and felt like I was stepping out into a Mediterranean country. The light from a skylight was glowing with ethereal warmth that had an indescribable emotional quality (certain emotions, though positive, were not like ones I had ever encountered before). The spiral stairway also seemed like an M.C. Escher painting that would go on and on for infinity, though I felt it more as dilated rather than eternity. Getting outside gave the illusion of sobriety but quickly relapsed into the series of reawakenings from before. The vague social anxiety about being seen in public was not very strong. Many individuals in the group had the feeling that we had left someone behind, and when one of us voiced this, we all agreed we had that strange feeling, although we were all present in fact.
Walking short distances felt like it took a very long time. We found a place to sit in the park right outside the flat after what seemed like eternity and began to contemplate nature and our surroundings. The conversation got very weird at this point and concepts seemed to take on a fractal quality once again. “Water is another thing topic we could really get into,” C had said earlier as we were leaving the flat, indicating that really any subject could have this quality. An off-handed comment by E to the effect that society is an amazing thing sent me down a conceptual rabbit hole thinking about the workings of society and all its people as components in a well-oiled machine, whose components are not aware that they are operating within the confines of such a machine, along with the somewhat grandiose idea that only we have transcended its confines and attained a higher plane of awareness. Somehow I was able to carry on a decently intelligible conversation about the merits of drug legalization with H. The girls reported feeling empathy with the plants and in touch with nature or Mother Earth as a whole but I didn’t really get that feeling. C and others were really fascinated with bicyclists (“that was a thing” said C much later, which led me to think I’ll have to remember the day as a series of “things” or strange phenomena). A was having paranoid thoughts that everyone was staring at us, although it could have been that he was staring at them, and they were staring back. I too had an inkling of paranoia in public but it was easy to ignore.
The grass seemed highly perceptually stable compared to things in the room before. We determined that low-light environments involve the greatest perceptual disturbances. Nonetheless lying on my back looking up at the sky was incredible. If I let my attention become slightly less focused but still attentive very strange things began happening. On a less intense level some of these things are still happening now: fluctuation, undulating, warpings or wormings of letters and words and the screen itself and the desktop background, which is now of a Tokyo city skyline. In particular, looking at the blue sky I could see geometric patterns began to resolve out of the fuzziness, like three-dimensional polygons tracing the inside of a giant dome. The lines or outlines of the polygons were radiant and rapidly shifting across the colors of the rainbow, and at their intersections were silvery, shining “diamonds” I suppose (in the sky, yes) that became sparkly because of the background wave-like motion going on or oscillatory reverberations or something. The sky was all quite fuzzy and filled with phosphenes but the geometric patterns stopped abruptly at the tree canopy. Some people couldn’t decide whether the sun behind the clouds and fog was the moon or not. The fog over the steeple was very cool. One person suggested the sky looked purple, and at first I didn’t see it, but maybe because of suggestibility it did begin to take on a more violet hue. In trying to argue for the existence of the sun and the nonexistence of the moon currently, I somehow ended up seeing two or possibly even three suns at once, but these might have been tracers as I moved my head.
I mentioned how it was good at least that things were still obeying multisensory integration, e.g. voices synchronously attached to mouths and. Additionally the present was still flowing as normal even if in a stutter-step fashion, with event bundles trundling into each other in fits and starts. It was like we were being pulled into a new event by some salient phenomenon(a), at which points the boundaries became a little fuzzy. We also determined around this point that we were experiencing intense dyschronometria, or inability to judge intervals accurately or compare them in any meaningful way. At one point E remarked that there are some invariant features which must be necessary to consciousness, the backbone of it so to speak, which even the trip can’t wash away, for example the “the black is still on the dog,” of a dog walking by, which we decided was quite good—at least there was that. Similarly the auditory track wasn’t leaving the visual and time was still synchronous. This entire time I was getting very strange signals from my entire body, my muscles, and my internal organs, almost mimicking the oscillatory waves found in the visual field, but usually much more saturated. I went through periods of pervasive numbness and also pervasive euphoria regularly, which may have distracted from other interoceptive signals. When this subsided I could feel that my stomach was just slightly upset.
We decided it was too cold and went back inside, although I was not very cold, and continued to trip in the flat, although by this point it was less pronounced, but still occurring in waves. It was still possible to get quite lost in the ceiling, but by this point C talked in the past tense about how, “that was really quite something. Quite something indeed, yes.” We were almost like wine experts discerning subtle textures and tastes—as the peaks subsided we were now able to apply ourselves to more fine-grained exploration without so much “tumbling” as before. Waves and undulations continued to characterize a lot of my vision, especially of patterns, and horizontal lines especially were discernably weird and warping. In addition the feeling that the ceiling was expanding and moving towards me, or dancing and moving along to the music, continued. I experienced two distinct moments lying on the bed when I felt like, after I had closed my eyes, my euphoria may be transforming into dysphoria after a negative looping introspection but I was able to distract myself from that by standing up. It also might have been that the SSRI was still protecting me from negative thought loops. Tastes, especially of chocolate—a dark chocolate bar filled with raspberry— and lime and coriander popodom crisps were fantastic and multi-layered. My ginger ale tasted especially shiny and euphoric. An red apple had a really unpleasant aftertaste.
I tried to play Amazing Katamari on my phone and even though I had very little high-level awareness of what I was doing I was totally immersed and sucked into the phone screen and the colors and animations were stunningly vibrant. Although I could barely form a sentence or remember that I had been playing I somehow performed very well and lasted a very long time on one life. Afterwards I tried to just enjoy the music and feel at one with the universe and kind of melted into the bed.
An overriding thought pattern of “let go, everything is okay, you are everything, everything is good, you are at peace” took hold. I tried reading Steppenwolf, which was lying on the bed, and found reading to be quite difficult but also really interesting and I was very interested in what was being said but I was distracted by conversation. Others were lying on the floor and I could see the floor breathing in tune with E’s breathing. The collective social unit seemed to have a palpable positive vibe influencing me and there was a general feeling of shared experience and commonality. Conversation had a grounding and sobering effect, which was probably good, possibly essential. Being alone would be substantially less tethered to reality I thought. From the bed, intently gazing through the window intently I momentarily saw the edges of the window melt or “run down the sides”—this seemed to be an elaboration on the more general phenomenon of seeing silvery outlines to shapes which move and alter of their own accord. I migrated often to the floor from the bed and back and finally ended up in a red armchair by the window looking out onto the foggy park. At this point I think C said, “so this acid thing, there’s something to it,” which, typically for him, was an understatement of colossal proportions. He had a special knack for remaining absolutely calm and scientific even through the peak of his trip in the park when he said, “I believe I may have gone insane and I fear this might last forever.” He was also apt to say “ah yes,” and “indeed” whenever a new reality came upon him, very much like a wine expert tasting different notes. A even thought that at one point in the park that C’s voice had become his own inner monologue and was verging on descending into a panicked rabbit hole thinking it might be stuck like that forever.
In any case, I was contemplating a particularly bulbous and attractive tree through the glass, which was radiantly shimmering and shifting colors (mostly vibrant greens and golds but occasional pink, red, orange, and purple as well) and I could see various patterns take hold and become more solid objects. One of these was a Star of David, but also salamanders and other things, and I could see sometimes little spiraling round things like eyes appear from the fuzz, and it all seemed quite a lot like Google’s Deep Dream visuals. In the background I saw another tree resolve into a grotesque demon like shape, possibly having sex, it was unclear (with what I don’t know, just suggestive of that). None of this was scary however. In fact contemplating the tree and the fog through the window I approached the deepest level of serenity and peace I had ever felt in my life for what seemed to be a nearly eternal length of time. My body was completely insensible or numb at this point and I felt like was embraced by the universe, which of course, was me.
Besides this deep inner peace, probably the next most remarkable thing was listening to the introduction to a Wagner opera (Der Ring des Nibelungen, Das Rheingold Act 1: Prelude-Part 1), which is one extended chord representing a river, I later discovered. I did not know this before a couple days later when I found a description on youtube by the user Wagner Leitmotifs, but specifically the music was a spread chord of Eb major: “the opening of Das Rheingold is the most fundamental interval of music—an octave of Eb major on bass followed by Bb in bassoons, making a perfect fifth, and then 8 horns one by one with the same motif, the simplest chord, the major triad. This building up, not only of complexity, but also in pitch and volume represents the development of the universe from the primal nothingness. It is pentatonic as it represents nature.” I was lying on the floor. The walls, my internal being, my physical body, and my hands (which I was holding up) were all moving of their own accord with the vibrations of the music. I felt like a thinly stretched piece of string and the water of reality was flowing all around and through me. It was an intensely euphoric, connective, and serene experience, with waves of pleasurable bodily feelings of a never-yet-before-experienced kind, which was very different from the euphoric, tight-chested energy of the early parts of the trip. I felt as if I had reached the highest heights of awareness and connection, bordering on or maybe even submerged in nirvana. All anxiety and thought had dissolved completely. In that moment I had attained harmony with the universe (again, it must be said, and in a different and more palpable way than before when I was sinking into the chair and gazing out the window). I said to C, who had put the music on, “Thank you so much for this incredible gift you have just given me.”
Throughout the trip, everything was fascinating, every small detail and its intricacies. I took a look at the postcard that the others had been blowing their minds at by looking at earlier but which I hadn’t yet seen and zoomed in very close to this one tiny little man standing on a dock in this seaside town in the South of France (“an insignificant detail,” as C might say, “…in the grand scheme of things”) and felt an enormous amount of empathy and compassion for this man and sort of felt his life extended forwards and backwards from the moment captured in the postcard.
I should also mention that in the bathroom, despite problems with something like dizziness but which was not, and the feeling of the wall moving inwards and outwards besides me, I also looked deeply into my reflection and noticed that I looked some years older than I really was and more detailed and colorful, like a finer resolution. Also in the bathroom it seemed like the lightbulb in the ceiling was strobing or flickering regularly, although I don’t believe it was.
At around 10 pm, on the way back home through the fog I was still noticing disturbances in the force—things were very far from being normal and everything took on a kind odd tone, especially the random passerby, almost like we were walking through a world that wasn’t our own but merely observing as entities they could not see. The light through the fog was also cool, and I was really intrigued by a growth on a tree. When we got home I made pasta for myself, E and C, who were still tripping, and drank a beer. I had cottonmouth and felt very strange in my body, and very tense in the facial muscles and my skull, and also felt tightness in my shoulders. Looking at the ceiling I could tell waviness was still occurring and tracers from my hand movements were still present as well. We watched Planet Earth on the projector but the ceiling and the perceptual changes were far more interesting. A timelapse video of autumn foliage changing colors reminded us of what we had seen in real life not long before. When they left I realized I was still tripping fairly heavily with the visuals and distortions and it was very intense to splash cold water on my face, despite a feeling of something like numbness, but which isn’t numbness. We had determined our memories were severely affected and even in conversation at home coming down it was difficult to keep thoughts straight and be coherent or carry a sentence through to completion. Nonetheless we agreed it was tapering off. However, after they left it might have been another wave came onto me (maybe because of staggered ingestion) and so I sit watching the computer screen warp and twist. Mostly I’m writing to preserve memories that I worry might be extinguished. Hopefully this will not be the case.
Trying to understand it all as it was unfolding was quite interesting, and also that we were able to keep somehow lucid and attached to at least a present that was tumbling into the next, even if beyond the moment was contentious. The layering was ever-present as well, stacks upon stacks, whether it was layers in a conversation, which took on ever greater and more expansive shades of meaning or literal visual cascading and collapsing, or even an introspective spiral. The entire world became deeply imbued with fractal geometry, including the matryoshka doll-like stacking of realities or time slices or events that continually tumbled into the next one and replaced it, only to be obliterated and overlaid by a new moment or event package or whatever it was.
Event segmentation seemed to have gone haywire in a major way, and I was curious whether there was some root cause that took precedent over the other perceptual disturbances and gave them a form in its shadow, like this stacking, tumbling feature, increasing complexity. Some of us seemed to turn our telescopic gaze inwards, an act fraught with peril in my opinion. As for me I tried to avoid introspection and focus outwards (or when I didn’t, I would bottom out at some kind of “everything is alright, make peace with the universe and yourself” kind of sentiment). I was in any case profoundly captivated by the “external” (i.e. exteroceptive plus interoceptive) distortions taking place, which fully occupied my rapt attention for most of the experience, such that staring into the ceiling became an event to be celebrated, more fascinating than anything we tried to play on the computer (although I did have the feeling that a certain sea-life video was eerily corresponding to unrelated music from the stereo and that characters in the Safety Dance music video had grotesque facial expressions and a quite special significance). In general the shape-shifting that was going on often seemed to synergize or bounce and move along with the music that was playing. There were really interesting cross-modal effects all around, and time itself might have been involved in that, or at least event boundaries.
Update at 6:30 am (time elapsed 16.5 hours—unusually long by now)
Low-light conditions in solitude seemed to bring out the trippy aspects even more and returning to the trance-like unfocused focus state (default mode network/resting brain state?) also allowed the visuals to run free. I was continually testing to see whether the trip was still occurring, staring at the horizontal beam of the window frame and watching it warp and move. I then focused on the corner of the room, which was rippling towards me in concentric circles spiraling outwards, along with undulations in the wall and ceiling. In my strange focus mode the effects seemed to become magnified and black-ish cracks seemed to appear at the wobbly intersections between shapes in my visual field (e.g. wall and ceiling joint) where it almost seemed as if the fabric of reality was coming apart; being shaken apart. The room has been shaking and vibrating in its entirety like there is an earthquake. Thick rainbowish fuzzy borders around shape boundaries, distinct from the thinner, often dynamic, silvery outlines persist. The fingerprint-like fuzziness permeating vision resolves itself in complex ways and patterns, constantly shifting in an indeterminate way. Shadows and light seem to become objects in their own right with their own boundaries demarcating lines and thick borders. Rapid blinking produces geometric shapes like I had seen in the sky and radiant phosphenes, eventually mutating into a full telescoping geometric pattern kaleidoscope effect, that I imagine can become a much more intense part of a peaking trip. Distorting shapes (e.g. of the pillow and blanket) could be felt even with my eyes closed (distorting after-images?).
The next day I still felt slightly cognitively impaired (especially memory/ability to recall recent thoughts, attention, sequential thought, and ability o follow external thoughts, read or spoken, in sequence, for an extended time), but deeply good and peaceful too, and found the memories of the previous day’s perceptual alterations irresistibly funny. Although in the morning checking for visuals seemed normal, when I listened to the introduction to the Wagner opera again and lost focus in my vision I was able to see geometric patterns with gold color-shifting outlines against my wall and waviness along with the rainbow-fuzzy object border at the juncture of the wall and the ceiling. This was only present when I attempted to return to the perceptual state I was in on the trip, and not without effort. There did seem to also still be motion of right angle junctures in low-light conditions and a high degree of technicolor fuzz, and although I was able to convince myself that might be a normal sober thing I hadn’t noticed, it was definitely not, as it went away later that night.
The next day also included a distinct afterglow where everything seemed subjectively better, like a reverse hangover
The next day also included a distinct afterglow where everything seemed subjectively better, like a reverse hangover
, but especially affecting mood, however contrast was also turned up and colors seemed more vivid and objects more beautiful. There was a feeling that everything was right with the world. At the same time my body felt exhausted, as if I’d been strenuously exercising all night when in fact we’d mostly been lying around. We attributed this to our brains having been working extraordinarily hard to process and resolve the barrage of data during the trip and the length of time it was in this state, which had depleted our energy or something. I realized that I startled quite easily, especially at movement in the periphery (like a person’s sudden movement) which may have appeared closer than it was or (as I read happens) because my peripheral had become unnaturally wide. Very late at night I felt slightly anxious and an occasional fleeting sense of unease, but this may be from not eating (appetite is still slightly suppressed) and nutrient depletion. The next night I slept deeply for 13 hours and had very vivid and emotionally intense dreams. I have a vague feeling of having been born again and the day before the trip seems like ancient history. My brain/mind also feels like it is has been rinsed or washed. Overall a very positive experience.
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