Citation: Andrea P.. "A Profound Journey - Retrospective: An Experience with MDMA (exp111996)". Erowid.org. Jun 6, 2018. erowid.org/exp/111996
A Profound Journey - An MDMA Retrospective
I wish to provide a summary on my experience with MDMA since 2005. It has had a profound effect on my life so far, and I wish to impart this experience. This tale is neither meant to cautionary, nor advisory. I will never be able to impart all the variables that put together my collective experience. But here it is.
Now for a little background. I’ve always been a musician and a fan of music, playing instruments in my youth and being more of a consumer as life got busier in my latter years. As a teenager, I began to become interested in electronic music that was played on the radio. Faithless and Chemical Brothers would regularly make it to my mixed CDs. I also began to take an interest in more underground styles, and I purchased the then rather popular MOS Hard NRG trance CDs that I would play in my room and with friends. I turned 18 and was able to head to venues, when the album series was running a tour I was quick to buy tickets and go to my first rave with a couple of like-minded friends.
At that point I had never tried any ‘hard drugs’ and I didn’t really have any friends who used them either, I only had stories of friends of friends. I had used alcohol and marijuana on weekends, and the odd dexamphetamine tablet (which is commonly used to treat ADD here) but that was it.
Myself and two other trance enthusiast friends went to the rave, and danced into the night. All we had were one or two dexamphetamine tablets and a couple of drinks. I remember really enjoying the experience, as the people seemed far more into the music and friendlier than other clubs I had been to. Plus, the music was also great. The experience just seemed much more genuine to me, and this will be a recurring theme in my life – a search for genuine people and experience
this will be a recurring theme in my life – a search for genuine people and experience
After this first evening, we all went to another rave a couple of months later and had a similar fantastic night. More open, non-pretentious people, and more great music. I could chat to anyone, and everyone was so friendly and open. After this night, we were all curious about the other substances that were being consumed, chiefly ecstasy.
I didn’t have any close friends who had used it before, so I got online and researched. It seemed to me that the case against it in popular culture was hugely overstated, and that if care was taken there was a very profound experience that could be enjoyed. I purchased a chemical reagent kit at a local bong shop to test what we managed to find (if indeed we could). I managed to track a pill down to an acquaintance I had from school, in retrospect he was the stereotypical socially awkward psychonaut. When I met up with him, he embraced me tightly and gave me the pill in a bag, a single ‘blue dolphin’. Clearly he was having a good time, so this made me feel quite good about it all.
I tested the pill using the marquis and mandelin reagents, and it came up as MDxx. My friends and I were very excited indeed. So the next rave, we brought it along with the three of us and being so nervous and not wanting to over do it, we attempted to split it into 3 parts and ate one each. Obviously, this did nothing to our disappointment, and although we enjoyed the night somewhat, we were also caught up in waiting to see what might happen and never eventuating.
We managed to go to two more raves, while incrementally increasing the dose until we had one each at the last one. This still had no effect (in retrospect, they must have been very low dose pills) and although we were disappointed in this, we still really enjoyed the vibe of the raves. I remember at this time I was always looking forward to the next one in a few months, listening to music and chatting about it with friends in anticipation. This all culminated in my first true MDMA experience, almost a year after first trying in late 2005.
This time I managed to talk many more friends into coming, like an evangelist co-opting converts into the new religion. It was interesting, as I had never even had the MDMA experience and yet I loved this new environment so much, I just had to share it with my friends. We all managed to source these small, brown, barrel shaped pills that in retrospect I had never seen anything like since. I tested these pills and they came back positive for MDxx, so we were good to have another try. I had spoken to an acquaintance who had talked me into trying two at a time, as all my previous experiences hadn’t worked. This was going to be my method this time.
We got into the rave, setup near the front of the stage and began to dance and party. I remember looking at the two pills I had, eating both and hoping for the best. Within 40 minutes or so, I remember a sweat breaking out and having this strange sensation in my head. It was physically as if I had food poisoning or something, that feeling of having to use the bathroom very quickly with a sweat to match. But there was also this unfamiliar emotional sensation that went with it. What is happening to me? I felt as if I was going to vomit, I had to run to the toilet and I just managed to make it while I threw up with the door open. A man behind me asked me if I was ok, I remember turning around with what would have been saucer eyes and exclaiming “I FEEL FUCKING FANTASTIC!”. (A note in here – from the weak to non-existent effects on my other friends who only had 1, it was clear that these were weak MDxx pills, so taking two ended up being like a single strong dose).
The rest of the night I laid open my love for my girlfriend at the time, the appreciation for all my friends and let all my emotions run bare, unabated. It was as if the entire universe smiled down upon me, all my anxieties on life and relationships disappeared and I just had to let everyone know about my gratitude. This really WAS the experience I had read so much about, it was absolutely magic
. I remember speaking to a friend and naively thinking, as so many do, what if the world all had this, sat down and spoke through their problems. Would there be any more conflict or wars?
After this experience, I remember rather than having a comedown, I had somewhat of an afterglow, a bit of a reboot of my system that gave me a fresh and positive view on life. I really wanted to relive this magical experience, and that I did.
In those early years, I had a rule where once every 6 weeks would be it at maximum between times, and I never had any more than 3 pills over a night. I occasionally broke this, especially when summer festivals were more frequent but generally in winter I would go for longer. I had around 6 months hiatus as well one time when life got in the way.
After around 4 years, I thought I was indeed ‘losing the magic’ as many people report. I had a few experiences where it seemed that the MDMA was indeed having some effect, but not the same wonderful openness, loss of anxiety and peace with the world I was accustomed to. However, those early years were also spattered with pills of dubious quality, it was always hit and miss with the contacts we had on whether they would be good or not. It was around 2013 that we managed to be able to source MDMA crystals and capsules of high potency from reliable sources that I found the magic certainly wasn’t lost, but it was rather down to quality. Set and setting also plays a role, when I am around great friends or my partner in a comfortable environment, without stresses in life coming into the fray, the experience certainly is more likely to be of the best kind.
Now I would like to summarise the positives from these 13 years. I have made and engaged in some of the most wonderful friendships. Many of the people I first bonded with at raves and after parties are still great friends to this day. Having an MDMA experience with someone else in the same state can be like a supercharge to the bond, and it is like giving rocket fuel to new relationships. It is also great chatting to my partner, as things usually come to the surface at these times and we can talk without worry or judgement, with complete love and understanding.
There is also just the fact of the extremely profound experience of having MDMA, is an experience that is almost unlike any other and I feel I would have missed one of life’s great experiences if I had never tried.
MDMA has also brought me particularly close to electronic music of various kinds, which I listen to almost every day, DJ at home occasionally and is a true passion of mine. I can listen to riffs that can bring back a taste of emotion experienced at those times raving, and this helps me at times of great challenge. I also often go to gigs without this drug experience, and can truly lose myself and forget all my worries in a true state of mindfulness and joy, with or without the help of MDMA.
On the negative side, as many people have explained and experienced, there is an element of memory problems to some small extent. It is most prominent in the week or two after an experience, after which time it becomes less obvious. It is mostly to do with verbal recall of words and names. That is, I might be able to remember a colleague’s name for an email, and I will remember everything about him (face, personality, experiences I have had with them) but not be able to recall a name. The same might be with my vocabulary, as I am unable to recall words I wouldn’t use very often. Both of these do seem to get better with time, and it is impossible to say what the long term experience would be if my lifestyle was the same, but had never used MDMA (but still drank alcohol, and occasionally used other drugs). There was a period of time when I worried quite a bit about the down sides, but this was due to anxiety, rather than real concern over effects I actually experienced. I’ve managed to excel in a demanding career and complete a STEM degree over this time, which has somewhat annulled these concerns also.
I also would say that MDMA is often consumed in the company of other more sinister drugs. Over this 13-year experience, I’ve had 2 friends that have become addicted to methamphetamine and completely destroyed their lives. This is something one should be careful about. It is easy to throw any caution to the wind once you get in this scene, and you are not always surrounded by people who have the care, ambitions or intelligence that you do. Play safe.
I also must highlight the importance of chemical reagent testing those ‘MDMA’ products purchased. This has made me avoid duds, but also detect pills that were mostly amphetamine, 2-CB and ketamine. Most importantly, I had friends detect PMA that could have been fatal.
I would also like to point out the wonder of the Trytophan amino-acid supplement for use in the pre-loading and comedown after MDMA. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which will require a refill after the experience. There is a large difference in limiting negative post-effects with MDMA if this is taken in the days following consumption.
Overall, I would say my experience with MDMA has been a positive, profound, and a still (however infrequently) ongoing one. Make of it would you would, and I hope some people may get insight from this, as I have from many other stories.
Thanks for reading.
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