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Grateful for My Sitter
by Scudder
Citation:   Scudder. "Grateful for My Sitter: An Experience with LSD (exp112379)". Sep 29, 2018.

T+ 0:00
1 tablet oral LSD
  T+ 12:00 0.5 mg oral Pharms - Lorazepam


Dose: 1 barrel-shaped tablet; actual dose of the medicine is unknown. It was given to me by an experienced psychonaut who vouched for its purity and potency.

Set: My intention was to let LSD take me wherever it wanted to take me. I was particularly interested to experience ego dissolution and to discover what remained after the mind was obliterated.

I am a self-professed agnostic and do not have any spiritual side to my understanding of the universe. I was open to having a spiritual/mystical experience and was eager to experience the oft-cited underlying noetic sense of unity/all-is-one.

I was committed to trusting the molecule and my own inner healing intelligence. I was hoping for some beautiful closed and open-eyed visuals. I hoped to see what might be behind the free-floating anxiety I occasionally suffer from.

My intention was also to have fun with the man who agreed to sit with me. We’ll call him “W.”

Setting: I took the medicine at W’s house. W is an MD who has been trained as a facilitator/guide for people doing psychedelics as part of scientific protocols. He shared his beautiful house two blocks from the ocean. He offered to provide dinner and breakfast the next day. We agreed that I drop at 2PM and I would stay the night. He had a wonderful sound system and a playlist of music that he curated himself specifically for people who are tripping. Spacious, comfortable, relaxed, and safe.

T: 0:00 I swallowed the pill with a sip of water and did 15 minutes of my usual meditation practice.

T: 0:30 My body was beginning to tingle, and I experienced subtle vibrations at the periphery of my visual field. I began to feel gentle waves of energy the way it feels halfway through the first cup of coffee in the morning—only much more wavelike. W was tinkering with his laptop. Impulsively, I sat down on the armrest of his chair and rested my head on his shoulder, asking if he minded if we cuddled a little bit. (He’s straight and I’m a gay man.) He was fine with that.

Very soon after I felt like it was time to “go in.” I put on a soft sleep mask and a set of killer noise-reducing headphones and laid down on the couch.

(Note: times are VERY approximate and are reconstructed from a review the next day with W.)

T: 1:00 The music took on a depth and richness that was breathtaking. I felt the music in layers that I could slip in between. My mind seemed to be turned off, so I wasn’t really thinking about anything. I just kind of merged with the music. We started with music I brought on my iPod, all trippy electronic stuff from the 70’s plus a few more current pieces.

T: 1:30 Halfway through a Sigur Ros song, I had to lift the eye shades and take off the headphones. I remember saying that this was “way too much music to absorb.” The room felt like it was undulating and I was a little nauseous. I told W that I didn’t want to be responsible for the music and asked him to take over. What I really was saying was, “I don’t think I am in control anymore,” and wanted him to take over. I laid down on the couch.

I had this sense that things were building in a way that I couldn’t explain.
I had this sense that things were building in a way that I couldn’t explain.
My visual field was distorted as if it were a wet painting that someone was running their fingers through—like finger painting. I started to get a little anxious, so I asked W if he would hold my hand. He did. Almost immediately I began crying—deep racking sobs. W came to me on the couch and held me against his chest while I cried more-or-less continuously for the next two hours.

Very little of “me” was there any more. I don’t really remember anything very specific from this time. My mind was in pieces. Language was unavailable. To the extent that there was any “self” there, “I” knew I was the source of an unimaginable volume of radiating love and gratitude for R’s presence. I knew I was safe, and I was ready for what might come.

T: 3:30 I started shaking. I have peripheral neuropathy in my feet that makes them feel intensely restless and like there are minor jolts of electricity shooting through them. Only now it was happening to my entire body. All my muscles began to spasm in involuntarily contractions from my core out to my fingers and toes. Bolts of electricity coursed through my body and gave off brilliant white crackling sparks.

Everything was completely black around me. I was absolutely disincorporated. I directly felt what was going on in my body, but I was diffusely separated from what was happening. I remembered my intention and decided not to try to resist the spasmodic electrical discharges, but to trust my inner healer. I was certain that this was what was supposed to happen and was happening for a good reason.

During brief periods of consciousness, I felt like I was adrift in infinite blackness. I knew the blackness was in no way malevolent, but what simply was. The elements of my personality/self floated in the blackness in fluid puddles like oil packets in water. Occasionally, it occurred to me to wonder what the blackness was or what might be on the other side of it—if there was another side. I pretty much decided that the blackness was “everything/nothing,” but I didn’t feel like I had the energy to be too curious. I was content just to float in between the spasms. This continued for about two hours.

Occasionally W would say things to me. One thing I remember was that he thought there was something inside that needed to be let out and he asked me if I could let it out. I think I just shrugged. At some point W changed my shirt because I was drenched in sweat. I don’t remember this.

T: 5:30 The shaking stopped and I began to recover a sense of my surroundings. My cognitive processes were still totally scrambled, but I was regaining a sense of self. W kept asking me things like what I wanted to do or if I were too cold. I kept answering him with, “I really don’t have any capacity for measurement or comparison.” This seemed amusing. I just wanted him tell me what to do.

At one point, I found myself in the bathroom. I’m sure W took me in there. I don’t know if I asked or he suggested. I was not wearing my glasses during any of this, which left me unable to distinguish much visually. In addition, visual reality was again undulating and distorting. I tried to remember the mechanics of peeing standing up, but this was mostly muscle memory. I wasn’t sure whether the urine was going in the toilet, on the floor, or in my pants. This was really upsetting and made me feel guilty for maybe making a mess. I crawled around on my hands and knees with toilet paper determined to clean up anything that needed cleaning up. Fortunately, I found no mess and my clothes were dry—I think.

Somewhere over the next two hours, W cooked dinner while I lolled in and out of consciousness on the couch. The smell of cooking meat was vile and the cilantro was so pungent it was painful.

T: 7:30 W told me the next day that around this time I was starting to reincorporate and kept making suggestions of what I might like to do. I had no ideas. I was still profoundly incapacitated, so he had to walk me everywhere. He had this amazing patio with outdoor flame heaters. I found myself unable to tolerate more than the dimmest lighting without actual pain in my eyes and a flooded sensorium.

As W escorted me around, it occurred to me that this is what it would be like to be old and in a nursing home. I flashed on a friend of mine who had recently died of cancer and I thought this is probably what he felt like in the last days of being in the hospital. Oddly, this was not a depressing thought, but a neutral, affect-free observation of what the future might hold.

W kept trying to engage me in conversation, but I couldn’t make words work. Another flash: like how it must feel to have a stroke. I was feeling tremendously grateful for W’s diligent caretaking and at the same time guilty for making him have to do what felt like to me such a lot of work. I kept trying to ask how I could pay him back or what I could do to pay it forward. He was SO gracious and kept saying he was enjoying himself and felt privileged to be with me during my journey.

T: 9:30 Still unable to make words work very well, control over all my other functions was gradually returning. I kept asking W to tell me stories. I was definitely responding to him as a father figure and found great comfort in being treated like a son—which is weird because I’m probably 20 years older than he is.

As it was nearing midnight, I could tell W was getting really tired, so I finally convinced him that I was safe to be on my own (as long as he put out all the candles). He told me I could do what I wanted as long as I promised not to go outside. At this point I was getting a lot of trails and colorful vibrations at the edges of objects, especially things with bold designs. I really liked this.

My cognitive faculties and motor coordination were still pretty scrambled, so after W went to bed, I wandered around the house remembering how to do things and practicing basic motor skills.

By about 1AM I felt like food was a thing that could be reintroduced into my reality. The flavor of pesto on a cracker was sharp, explosive, and rapturous to my entire body. I practiced locating all the things I had brought with me (phone, iPod, tablet, wallet, glasses, etc.) and was very relieved to discover I was beginning to be able to function again. I texted some friends to practice word-using, and opined that I had just been through something immense and that I would need some assistance “fitting the pieces back together again.”

T: 12:00 I was still seeing colors on the edges of things. My mind was very awake and racing, but not in a “speedy” kind of way.
T: 12:00 I was still seeing colors on the edges of things. My mind was very awake and racing, but not in a “speedy” kind of way.
My body was definitely tired. I decided I was ready to be done with tripping and took 0.5 mg of lorazepam. This put me to sleep for about 2 hours.

T: 16:00 I woke up as the sun was rising. I got dressed and walked down to this AMAZING little beach where families were out with their kids and guys were fishing. I felt rested, but very “inward” like I was still not ready to interact with other humans verbally, but being nearby was pleasantly reassuring. I felt battered, but alert. After a while, W came by on his hoverboard thing. We went back to his place and had a really nice breakfast, while he filled me in on what happened that I couldn’t remember.

Integration: Three days later as I write this, I am still unclear what happened and what it all meant. I was surprised that after my mind was removed what I found was a deep, endless blackness. I’m wondering if this is what death is like; returning to a black everything/nothingness.

I puzzled with an impending old age (I’m 65yo) and I wonder if I was projecting myself into that possibility. I am realizing that I have a lot of anxiety, not about dying but about being incapacitated and in pain. Perhaps I don't have anything to fear? I had a lot of energy in me that needed release. Why it came out in tears and shaking/spasming electricity I have no idea.

There are a lot of unresolved feelings relating to my dad and a strong desire to be forgiven by him that were definitely needing to be experienced. Pervasive was a yearning to be taken care of by a man.

Exp Year: 2018ExpID: 112379
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 65 
Published: Sep 29, 2018Views: 2,266
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LSD (2) : Small Group (2-9) (17), Guides / Sitters (39), General (1)

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