Citation: Anatoli Smorin. "Embracing Shallow Thoughts: An Experience with Floatation Tank & Esketamine (exp112674)". Erowid.org. Jan 20, 2019. erowid.org/exp/112674
This report is part of a collection of seven reports. The collection consists of a summary report that is retrospective and generalized in nature as well as six more detailed chronicles of my experience with sensory deprivation, or floatation tanks. If desired, please see the summary report
, where one can find links to each of the other experience reports.
A little background: I consider myself to be well versed in the realm of substance use. Previous experiences include opiates, stimulants and psychedelics. A fair amount of my substance usage history includes novel research chemicals often in less than common combinations.
This will be my first time taking a dissociative in a sensory deprivation tank. I do have extensive previous experience with dissociatives. I have used floatation tanks multiple times prior to this experience either sober or while using other substances.
All dosages in this experience were weighed using freshly calibrated .000-gram scale. The esketamine used in the entirety of the experience was all from the same batch that was sourced from a highly trusted chemist. The alprazolam was sourced from a legitimate pharmacy [a yellow rectangular pill imprinted on one side with “R039”, each character divided by a break mark and no imprints besides the break marks on the other side]. It is worth mentioning that after each insufflation of powder, I waited several minutes and then insufflated a small amount of water to aid with absorption.
With the exception of the time spent in the isolation tank, I kept detailed written notes in combination with audio recordings in order to write this report as accurately as possible. I am confident that all timestamps are correct to within a + / - 60 seconds.
Coming into this experience I have not had any alcohol in 17 days, which is an extended period for me. During this time, I have focused extensively on my physical and mental health. I have not ingested any chemicals in the past three weeks besides light daily cannabis use, occasional non-recreational (as prescribed) zolpidem for sleep issues, and two instances of alprazolam usage in a therapeutic manner. I take vitamin D and Asacol HD daily, as prescribed, for a stomach condition (including the day of this experience). I do not believe these had any impact on the experience at all.
Floatation Tank: Embracing Shallow Thoughts
I have spent the day working from home. I unfortunately spend most of my time re-doing reporting processes due to someone else’s error. This is frustrating but I get through the day.
T – 04:15 [1:15 PM]
I finish the pressing / stressful work tasks. I take Gee for a walk to stretch my legs, get some sun, and plan my timeline and dosage for the upcoming float experience. I am using this time to think through my expectations and goals for the float.
Initially was intended to dose between 60 and 70 mg. My esketamine m.o. of late has been small repeated dosages until I reach my desired level of effects. Having to dose a singular time is a different ballgame. I’m experiencing some nervousness about being in the tank on too high of a dosage. I settle on a dosage closer to 40 mg. I plan to insufflate roughly 30 minutes prior to getting in the tank, aiming to be at a solid + when I begin and reach peak intensity during the float.
As I depart on the walk, I am pretty nervous about the upcoming experience. I walk myself logically through the sources of my anxiety. The safety concerns related to drowning are the only semi-legitimate concerns I have. For my first time floating on a dissociative I want to make sure I’m not close to a K-Hole. I know 70 mg via insufflation would not be near a K-Hole for me but I decide to knock the dosage a bit anyways to ease my mind. My m.o. with any new experience is to dip my toe in the water so I can have a positive, if anything, slightly underwhelming experience. There will be nearly limitless opportunities to do a dissociative-infused float experience again. Knowing there are more chances eases my feeling of “wimping out”.
T – 02:51 [2:39 PM]
I am back from the walk in the hot sun. I am mentally feeling much more at ease about the upcoming float. Physically I feel great; I am taking a rest day from the gym today. I have a strained levator scapula that is particularly painful today due to an intensive physical therapy session yesterday.
T – 00:51 [4:39 PM]
I weigh out 44 mg of esketamine and crush it us as finely as possible. I package it up for transport to the float center. I am feeling some anxious anticipation - similar to how one might feel waiting in line for an intimidating roller coaster.
I pack 1 mg of alprazolam in my wallet as a “parachute” in case I get very uncomfortable while in the tank. I believe I could turn around a bad experience without the aid of a benzodiazepine at the planned dosage, particularly if I got out of the tank, but better safe than sorry.
I drive to the float center and park in a secluded spot towards the edge of the lot.
T + 00:00 [5:30 PM]
I insufflate the 44 mg into my right nostril. A slight sting develops moments later, followed shortly after by a very minor chemical taste that features a hint of synthetic minty freshness. I check the time and am surprised to see it is 5:30 on the dot, which was exactly my planned scheduled time.
I take a short walk to allow for the onset to begin. I find my way to a bench to sit down and kill a few minutes before going inside.
T + 00:03 [5:33 PM]
I am having a possible first alert of the esketamine’s effects. I find my mind paying special attention to the beauty of nature and patterns and aesthetics of my surroundings. There is a row of tall and lanky manicured plants that sparks my interest. I am struck by the juxtaposition of the lengthy leaves waving in their unruly manner against the exact linear layout the plants are arranged in.
T + 00:09 [5:39 PM]
As I take notes in my notebook I experience a change in my eyesight focal range. When I focus my gaze on the tip of the pen as it writes, I become oddly aware of my peripheral and intermediary sections of my vision. The ground, behind the object of my attention, the notebook, appears more in focus than it should be, as if the bokeh has been lessened somehow. The depth between the ground and notebook is still normal, but the pavement is almost as in focus as it would be if it were at the same height as my pen and paper.
I look up and catch a flicker of density in the air. I can see the air more than normal. There is no black and white dot buzzing, but a light shimmer that glances quickly and then disappears quickly.
I can see the air more than normal. There is no black and white dot buzzing, but a light shimmer that glances quickly and then disappears quickly.
I also notice a drastic increase in ‘floaters’ in my vision. Some are significantly longer and stringier than I experience normally.
I am very calm as I write. I feel my thoughts shedding the increased pace that happens to me when I am anxious or excited. I am taking nice, slow, even breaths without trying to. The curtain of anxiousness that has been at the forefront of my conscious is fading fast, revealing behind it a curiosity for what is about to unfold.
T + 00:11 [5:41 PM]
I begin to walk back towards the float shop.
T + 00:12 [5:42 PM]
I stop to jot down a note about the shifting headspace that has begun. I am bobbing my head a little. A shifting pressure circulates around my brain and I feel a slight lightheadedness that feels pleasant. I am certainly at a ± on the Shulgin Rating Scale.
T + 00:17 [5:47 PM]
I have a quick and easy interaction with the employee at the float shop. I have been here several times before and thus did not require any introduction to their pod setup.
Once alone in the room I undress and sip some water while I write final notes down about my current state. The colors in my vision are saturated and the edges of objects appear softer, almost slightly fuzzy. My gross motor skills have not yet felt any change in quality, but my fine motor skills are diminished slightly, holding my folded notebook and writing is more difficult than it would be sober. There is a slight numbness in my writing hand, as well as throughout other parts of my body. The sensation is a familiar one for me when on a dissociative. If I was sitting down, I would likely forget I have legs and be unable to feel where they met the surface I was sitting on.
T + 00:21 [5:51 PM]
I am just about to step into the tank when I realize I forgot to put in my earplugs. I take a minute to press the wax plugs into my ear canals.
T + 00:22 [5:51 PM]
I step into the tank and pull the lid closed. This particular tank has two buttons on the interior. One allows the user to turn on a light within the tank that slowly cycles through several colors. The button when press and held allows the user to pause the cycle on a particle color. The second button signals the employee that the user is in the tank and ready to begin.
Once the lid is closed, I press the “start button” and then immediately press the “light button” to enter the darkness. I have elected a five-minute period of soothing Tibetan bell tones to begin the float, as well as a matching five-minute period of the bells to signal the end of my session.
I lay back in the salt solution, which feels no different than when I float sober. I begin in my favorite position, which is supine with a slight bend in my knees and the arms arched over my head with the palms up and a comfortable bend in my elbows.
Within moments of settling in I feel an internal pressure move from the submerged portion of my body to my top half. This feels as if my weight is moving around inside me. It suddenly continues past my non-submerged half and settles about six inches above me. I can feel my mind, my being, my “me”, move its existence outside of myself, hovering slightly above my physical body. This lasts for less than ten seconds and then I feel back inside myself. As this occurs, I wonder if I am in for a wild ride, will the deprivation of my senses result in this non-aggressive dosage significantly more potent?
I wonder if I am in for a wild ride, will the deprivation of my senses result in this non-aggressive dosage significantly more potent?
I inspect my surroundings visually. I know I should not be able to see anything, but when I strain, I feel as though I can see something on the ceiling of the tank. I realize it is not the lid of the tank I am seeing. I am seeing something in the air above me. A swirling series of morphing shapes twist and dance as I watch on. Everything I am seeing is in grey scale, or perhaps ‘black scale’. Everything I can see is black, but pieces of the blackness are darker than others, and the shapes I have been watching evolve in the air have a lighter black hue that create their outlines.
My mind is preoccupied with the enjoyment of watching the dancing array in front of me. I close my eyes to find very little changes; I still see the slowly drifting grey shapes with a completely dark backdrop. I open my eyes once again and am surprised to see the shapes gone, only blackness remains and I am struck by a feeling of claustrophobia. The black void above me seems shallow, as if there is something an inch above my nose, enclosing me in tightly. Knowing my mind is playing tricks on me, I simply stare at this invisible “layer” that is imposing upon me. I audibly gasp as my focal point suddenly breaks through the plane I have been inspecting. I am suddenly looking at a perfectly curved ‘ceiling’, something like an aircraft hanger. The ceiling remains black but has an uncountable number of sparkling dots on it that appear to be small twinkling sources of light rather than dots of a certain color. My immediate reaction was that it looked a lot like a sky full of stars on a very clear night.
Almost as soon as I shift my eyes to explore this skyscape my breath is taken away again as I realize this was also a ‘false ceiling’. My focus goes beyond what I was perceiving as the highest point of my world, suddenly the night sky breaks apart into three-dimensional chunks that I cannot pinpoint the shape of. Looking past the black chunks of nothingness I can see for miles, the blackness has given way to an infinite void.
I have not yet begun any meditation or goal oriented thoughts. My thoughts seem very sober at this point and I have been taking detailed mental notes on the visual experience, which thus far has been very manageable. I test my recall on items I want to write down once exiting the tank and find my memory very sharp. While the visuals have been present and beautiful they have not yet become intense or overwhelming. My mental note taking is interrupted by my right big toe contacting the end of the tank. I have drifted naturally without feeling the motion at all as sometimes happens while in a float tank. I push gently off the wall, expecting to drift softly towards the center of the tank. Instead, I am sucked at great velocity down and upwards (in the direction I pushed, moving my head towards the back of the tank). I feel flying I am flying, covering a great distance. I am confused; I can’t wrap my head around what is happening. My train of concerned thought is sharply interrupted by the soft collision of the hair on top of my head touching the wall of the tank behind it. I have been moving slowly! I reach out with my right arm and push off the tank to once again be treated with a hyperspace ride of approximately 1/100th of a mile an hour. This bizarre sensation keeps me highly entertained as I use the tank more like a child during bathtime, than an adult executing an exercise in mindfulness. The slower I push off the walls with my various appendages, the longer it takes me to get to another wall and the faster and more exaggerated the sensation of rapid movement is.
I slow my movements and settle back in the standard position. I focus on keeping as even breath as possible. In through the nose, out through the mouth. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Even with the earplugs in, the internal sound of my breath is distractingly loud. I have encountered this before during sober float sessions, but this is now obnoxiously loud. The noise discourages me from attempting to reach a blank minded meditative state.
I’m surprised at the lack of visuals, particularly with my eyes closed. Past experiences with this same batch of substance had been more visual at similar dosages. I have never turned on the interior lights during a float before, but I decided to try it, curious to check my level of intoxication in a more familiar environment where I give my eyes something to see.
I find the button on the side of the pod, careful to not splash the solution onto my face as I awkwardly sit up with my feet touching the bottom of the tank, but my butt unable to reach the bottom due to the buoyancy. I push the button with my eyes wide open, completely relaxed in the deep darkness. WOAH – the small light in the tank that normally does nothing more than give the water a tint of color is now blinding! I slam my eyelids shut. This is barely any less bright; I am suddenly seeing a sun shaped object made up of tiny squares that are shaking rapidly. The center of the sun is a magnificent gold color surrounded by a ring of red then orange color hues. The vibrating squares are outlined in a dazzling pure white. The same white color transforms to intricate geometric shapes out through the rings of color. Beyond this, on the outer rim of my field of vision there is a cloudy shapeshifting design in a deep eggplant purple that fades to black at the extreme edges. The intensity of the color is off the charts, one of the most vibrant events I recall in recent experiences. The circle of squares at the center of my vision bulges into a three-dimensional sphere. The squares expand into tiny cubes and I can somehow see the cubes that lie behind other cubes, giving the sun-shape its depth. I sense the globe is gathering energy as it glows unimaginably brighter. Suddenly it shatters and a sheer white light envelops me.
Upon the flash of light, I open my eyes. I can see the smooth lid of the tank, now a light turquoise color. I can’t see any breathing, patterning, or noticeable visuals as I look around the inside of the pod. The light cycles through different colors, and I find the warmer tones lift my mood while cooler ones make me squirm a bit in discomfort. As I lay completely relaxed with my hands now behind my head to offer a slightly more forward leaning position than the salt solution provides on its own, the light fades into a muted lime green and the lid above my floating body comes alive. The smooth plastic surface slices into tiny fibers. The fibers fluctuate in shade and saturation of green as they wave in and out. I seem unable to focus my eyes on anything except a single point on the ceiling where the fibrils dance and shine the most. I cannot draw my gaze away from this central point. The point of concentration draws closer to me. In reality the lid is about an arms length from the surface of the water. Now however, it approaches to within a foot of my eyes. I am swimming with joy inside; the strings of green are now flickering with golden specks in a beautiful artistic display.
The light shifts colors again, and the miraculously complex transformation of the tank ceiling disappears as quickly as it appeared. I decide to freeze the light when it reaches a red color. It feels comfortable and friendly. Despite the good feelings I receive from the red light, I cannot duplicate any visual effects with eyes open or closed. I decide it is time to return to a classic dark float, satisfied that I am at a solid + level of intensity, with the tank perhaps boosting this to a ++.
The button is pressed once again and the completely red environment transforms to a black one. As soon as my world reaches a complete and total blackness, sheer red phosphene activity erupts. No shapes are recognizable, but I am astounded to see a bright red void, with a few holes of blackness replace the normal void of darkness of the isolation tank. The red fades after about five seconds, eaten up by the expanding holes of blackness. After all the stimulation, with open arms (or rather extended overhead) I welcome the calmness and simplicity of the weightless and soundless void.
I have been in a bit of a trance, thinking only of my breathing. At some point my mind become empty of thought, concentration, or intake of information: I suddenly remember to focus on my breath again, unsure of how long the blank period has been.
As I think about how far into the session I am, I estimate I’m about 25 – 30 minutes in. I do this during sober floats as well, and I find myself using the same technique of estimating the time spent during specific sections of the experience and then compiling for a rough estimate. I am not worried about the remaining time in the float. Sometimes during floats I get anxious and uncomfortable. During these experiences I yearn to hear the music signaling the end of the session. Now however I am completely comfortable.
Besides thinking at a more relaxed pace and being very calm, I don’t really feel the esketamine at this point. No visuals present themselves so all I have is my thoughts, breath and awareness of physical stimuli. I try to develop productive thoughts, presenting myself with potential relevant topics in my life, but I find nothing that excites me. I’m bored. I don’t care to think about anything. I’m wondering why I took this substance for the float, as I seem to be limited in mental abilities. As I must do in a tank, I continue . . . floating . . . There is nothing else I can do. I begin to embrace my limitation to shallow thoughts. Rather than try to force “deep-thoughts” and revelations, I embrace the experience I am having. I don’t push for a divine blankness of thought, I don’t press for a life-changing epiphany. The humdrum of everyday life is naturally filtered out of my thoughts, as I lay weightless; in an ego-aware state that allows occasional thoughts to naturally occur. They key difference is that when no thoughts appear; I do not stress, I stare happily off into the depths.
I alternate between the open forum mind state and several breathing exercises. I perform holotropic breathing, but am unable to either set myself into an automated breathing pattern or induce any sort of boost in effects intensity. The only result I find is a few beads of sweat forming on my face. I find more pleasure in taking the deepest breaths possible followed by nearly painfully slow exhales. I concentrate on filling every nook and cranny of my body with air upon each inhale, and then emptying each section one at a time via exhale. The audible volume of my breath begins loud, I am finding it annoying and distracting. The longer I retain my focus on the process of breathing, the softer the breaths become, until either I tune out the sound or they truly fade to an imperceptible level.
I find myself bumping into sides of the tank more often than I have in previous floats. I also can feel minute movements as I drift lazily across the surface of the water. When sober in a tank I typically cannot feel the movement until the moment I make contact with a piece of the tank. Along with the ability to feel movement and positional directionality as I hang suspended in the tank, I can feel the pseudo-weight of my body along with the contact point of my skin with the salt-water solution. This is a surprise to me as I often reach states in a deprivation tank where I cannot feel my body’s contact point with the water and I cannot feel when my body turns or angles. I now am hyper aware of any tiny change in my position within the fluid. Although I cannot get a proper measurement, my pulse feels steady, neither significantly lowered or increased form my normal resting rate. The warm air temperature makes the above water portion of my body borderline uncomfortable. To my surprise forcing my arms and legs under the water cools them off. The lower they reach in the tank, the more relief I am provided from the heat. I can’t recall this ever happening before during previous floats.
It seems like there is a source of light on the horizon of my visual field, like the glow from a sun that has just set. This glow is creating an abstract landscape in the space in front of me, but when I look to find the horizon line, it shifts out of view. I look downward with my chin to my chest. I know I am looking at the water or my body, rather than the ceiling or wall of the tank, but I cannot tell that based on what I am seeing. The horizon line and the mystery source of light run away from my gaze and disappear, along with it the hidden landscape it was beginning to reveal.
I spend the next few minutes relatively thoughtless with my eyes closed. I concentrate on letting any pressure wash away from my body, particularly my neck and shoulders. When I open my eyes again, my field of vision has changed. It appears as though I am deep underwater, with the surface of the water barely visible high above me. I see glancing bits of white and grey color, similar in appearance to light when it refracts through water, creating unnameable shapes with oddly angled lines that dance sporadically.
My sense of hearing continues to be enhanced. I notice I can hear an intricate crinkling noise from both eyelids each time I blink. With my attention drawn to sounds I hold my breath and close my eyes (needlessly) in concentration: ”what else do I hear?” - “Is that the music signaling my session’s last five minutes has arrived?” I have asked this question to myself a few times during the latter part of the float. This time the question is answered with an unquestionable ‘yes’. The second tone of a bell rings clearly into my ears. I have split emotions; I feel the typical exuberance of making it through a full float session, but I also feel a twinge of disappointment that this experience is coming to and end. I decide to simply enjoy the last few minutes of the float accompanied by the tonal sounds, which reverberate through the thick solution. Each bells ring seems to overlap the previous tone. I am particularly struck by my ability to feel the sounds. Each note sends a vertical vibration through the water that I feel hit my skin and then absorb into my body.
Feeling as though I have gotten all I can out of the session, I turn on the float tanks interior light and lift the lid.
The room has a soft white light, but it still seems offensively bright at first. My eyes adjust quickly and I focus on stepping out carefully and turning on the shower. I don’t wait for the water to warm up and step directly into the chilly shower. I begin the systematic process of clearing the salty solution from my body, starting with my hair and working down to my feet. Before I get too far into the process, I stop to marvel at how invigorating the cold water is. I adjust the temperature to keep it from getting warm – I simply love this brisk refreshing experience. As the revitalization continues amidst the chilly water I remove both my earplugs at the same time. There is a rush of silence that somehow seems very loud. The internal drone I hear with earplugs in is gone, leaving the silence roaring in its absence. After a few moments of adjustment, my hearing returns to normal, no longer overwhelmed by the quiet.
I drag myself out of the shower and tidy up the towels, eagerly anticipating my exit from the room as the salt smell is becoming a little overpowering and unpleasant. I can tell I am not baseline, but I would say I’ve retreated to below a + level of intoxication. My vision remains soft, with the edges of objects being less defined and definite than normal. The wood grain on the door lacks breathing, liquid movement, or any other visuals.
The checkout process goes smoothly without any awkwardness in the interaction. During the brief conversation I begin to feel the familiar ‘post float buzz’ ramping up. I walk outside to a surreal environment. The day’s heat has dissipated, replaced by the unmistakably cool air filled with petrichor, the pleasant earthy scent that often accompanies a rainstorm.
I walk to the car in no rush at all noticing that I feel light, as if I am less bound by gravity than when I walked into the shop just a short time ago. My motor skills have made a full recovery also, a bit faster than when I use ketamine or esketamine without time in a float tank.
I stop in my tracks to stare across the large agricultural field to the left of the parking lot. Gusts of wind are carrying dust through the air and I watch in awe as the dust particles move in synch with one another, similar to how swallows fly in unison. I take a quick video on my phone to check later to see what my sober eyes and mind would make of the phenomenon. [Upon review I still found the dust clouds beautiful, but they were less precisely defined and lacked the depth and complexity of shapes I saw in real time.]
T + 01:31 [7:00 PM]
I reach the car and check the time, surprised to yet again see an exact hour. I leave the door to my vehicle open in order to continue enjoying the cool breeze as I write down some notes. I struggle to find words to describe the mental and physical state I find myself in at this point. Most of the terminology that seems fitting is more “hippie dippie” than I would normally use. I can feel two significant physical effects as I sit.
The first is an outward glow that seems to be emanating from me, creating an inch thick ‘aura’ that surrounds my entire body. The aura is like a radiating bubble of . . . Energy? Vibes? None of these words clearly portray what I am feeling, but they fit better than anything else I can come up with. The space directly surrounding my body seems to have a piece of me influencing it in some mystical manner.
The second physical sensation is internal. I feel ‘charged’ with positive energy, almost electric in nature. An internal vibration brings a feeling of being very centered in my body. I’m a human tuning fork that has been struck soundly; resulting in a pleasant outward vibration, like every atom in my body is pulsating rapidly.
I’m a human tuning fork that has been struck soundly; resulting in a pleasant outward vibration, like every atom in my body is pulsating rapidly.
I am processing thoughts much slower than normal. This reduction in pace is not detrimental. On the contrary, my mental space is shockingly sharp and clear. There is absolutely no dissociative confusion to be found. Rather I find that my analysis of input sensory and ideas is occurring at an elevated level where correct decisions are clear as day. There is a mist of calmness and serenity infused within my headspace. My outlook is very positive and there is an overwhelming sense that all things are going to work out just fine and that I am a clearer, improved version of myself at this particular moment.
The combination of these two physical sensations and the slow paced mental tranquility are what I typically refer to as the “post float buzz”. I experience this after nearly every session in a sensory deprivation tank, whether sober or in a chemically induced altered state. The esketamine seems to synergize flawlessly with this ‘natural’ set of effects from the float experience itself. The esketamine seems to have added some depth to the sensations, making them stronger and more tangible, while also providing a touch of distance between reality and myself, which I find very conducive to productive inward focused thoughts. The ‘float buzz’ has in turn dulled the deteriorated motor skills and the generally intensity of the dissociative substance. I feel incredibly clear minded a natural.
T + 01:45 [7:14 PM]
I remain in my car, now watching spectacular purple lightening strikes connect the clouds with the ground. The raw power and electrical charge of this display of nature harmonizes wonderfully with my mood and feelings. I had planned on hiring a ride service to return home, but I feel plenty comfortable in my current state to navigate the drive home. I elect a route on back roads to minimize my exposure to others.
T + 02:04 [7:33 PM]
I arrive safely and am very happy to be home, greeted enthusiastically by my dog Gee who is enjoying the lightning and thunder far less than I have been. Sometimes I find Gee’s over the top excitement a little bit much, but I sit down on the floor and indulge her wagging and licking greeting happily.
I still feel delightfully wonderful. My mind enlightened with a soft glow, populated by calm and collected thoughts. I’m between a ± and + on the Shulgin Rating Scale.
T + 02:09 [7:37 PM]
I have no closed eyed visuals at this time. My nonchalant attitude carries on. I have no concerns or worries. Everyday life seems distant and less worthy of my attention. The normal “filler” thoughts I have when I get bored can’t hold my attention. I find I prefer dropping them and just sitting content with a blank mind.
T + 02:16 [7:44 PM]
I mix up a vodka tonic [2 ounces of 40% ABV liquor]. As I start to sip I recognize the beginnings of a headache, likely due to dehydration from the time spent in the hot room while floating. I decide to begin consciously drinking water to combat this. This seems to fix the problem as the headache dissipates quickly.
T + 02:20 [7:48 PM]
The hum of the refrigerator, my pen scraping across my journal’s paper, and dog chewing her bone are all far louder than they should be. This effect is directly tied to the esketamine rather than the float. There are certainly some esketamine effects still present. Beyond the auditory effects, I am a little out of it. I realize I somehow left the front door propped open when I got home, something I have never done before.
T + 02:25 [7:53 PM]
I take a small hit of a sativa-dominant strain of cannabis. I weigh out 62 mg, which ends up lasting me five hits over the following hour, all taken from a scientific glass water pipe.
I select some low-fi minimal electronic music and it immediately sounds deeper and all around better than when I am sober. I am experiencing the music as a whole as well as able to sense each sound individually at the same time. It just feels so perfectly ‘right’!
T + 02:34 [8:02 PM]
The functionality of my “high” is enjoyable. I am excitedly sharing the float experience with several friends over a secure messaging app. I think esketamine in the sensory deprivation tank has the potential to be a useful tool in self-development (and also a fun time). I look forward to repeating at similar dosages as well as higher ones.
T + 02:39 [8:07 PM]
I am a slightly bored being alone and I am undecided on what I want to do with the rest of the evening. I finish my drink without feeling its effects much. The afterglow of the float is beginning to taper off. I decide to continue with dissociative consumption.
T + 02:47 [8:15 PM]
I weigh out and insufflate 23 mg of the esketamine with the intention of treading water at my current intensity level while I try and decide if I want to pursue a bigger trip or not.
T + 02:49 [8:17 PM]
Since I’m already in the kitchen and looking to avoid drifting towards baseline, I take a shot of .5 ounces of vodka [40% ABV].
T + 02:58 [8:26 PM]
I lay down on the hardwood floor with a single pillow under my head. The music, still my main entertainment source, dictates the intensity of effects. Mid-song I find myself lost in simplistic closed eyed visuals consisting of cartoonish stars that pulse, glow, and stretch. The shapes remind me of the glow-in-the-dark stars that I had stuck to my ceiling as a child. As the track ends I instinctively sit up and feel more grounded and sober.
T + 03:00 [8:28 PM]
I indulge in another .5 ounces vodka [40% ABV] as a shot. I’m dancing now – not having to think about movements, they just flow and occur. My music selection is all over the map; I find almost anything relaxing to be particularly enjoyable. The transition between songs and even genres, in this case classical piano [Philip Wesley – Dark Night of the Soul] to soothing Moroccan electronic [saib. –in your arms.] is so smooth I barely notice when the change takes place.
T + 03:04 [8:32 PM]
I feel generally functional and I can navigate my phone without issue. The last dosage has renewed the depth of the experience, as if I have been floating on a river that was beginning to grow more and more shallow and the last re-dose has led me back over deep still waters. In this metaphor I am still on the surface of the river, but can feel the power stirring in the depths. Closing my eyes gives me a glimpse of the deep with increasingly colorful and intricate visuals. I continue to feel relaxed and untroubled.
T + 03:16 [8:44 PM]
The slight uptick in effects from the last re-dose combined with the alcohol and the great music all solidify my decision to continue. I prepare and insufflate 34 mg of the same esketamine. I feel some immediate effects and while I wait for more, I float around my house dancing, stopping to cuddle Gee, and then repeating.
T + 03:21 [8:49 PM]
The tide is rising inside me. I roll my head side to side enjoying the pleasant pressure behind my eyes. The pressure spreads until it is coursing up and down in a circular motion through my entire body. Left knee, left shoulder, right shoulder, right knee, and then around again it goes as I sit with my legs crossed, letting my body bob and weave with this odd flow.
The background tinnitus is morphing and playing with the normally tuned out sounds of the house. The ambient noise of the refrigerator and air conditioning are actually fairly loud and misshapen. Both sounds are patterned and reach a volume that distracts me from my thoughts. I can feel the esketamine really taking over now; I am departing the afterglow of the float.
T + 03:26 [8:54 PM]
WOAH. Yeah. Esketamine is here.
I am enveloped by the music, nearly collapsing to the floor, pulled by the force of the music. My eyelids drag themselves shut; I feel the coaxing pull of the K-Hole. I indulge the summoning and release my mind to its power. I am in a spinning environment, a formal room with intricate red, white, and gold floral wallpaper. The scene is similar to a “Rotor Ride” at an amusement park, rotating at increasing speed. As the room reaches terminal velocity, it crumples and collapses into a helix of red and white flowers that spins upwards into an infinite deep black void that I now find “myself” in. All this motion occurs in absolute conformity to the music playing at the time. I open my eyes slowly, surprised at the intensity (falling just a bit short of a full ‘holing’ experience). I pull myself up off the floor, now able to open my eyes once again. My body feels almost non-existent; pleasantly numb to the objects it is in contact with. I have surpassed the ++ level now on the Shulgin Rating Scale.
My perception of time has slowed drastically. I thought I was many tracks into the playlist but when I check the computer I see I am only a few songs from the beginning.
I select an extended gentle track [Sonic Yogi –Native American Flute (92hz Binaural Beat)] and begin to meditate. I immediately notice how quiet my breath is compared to earlier in the tank. This focus on my breath brings back a vivid mental picture of being inside the tank. I can see the black void just as I did during the float session.
T + 03:43 [9:11 PM]
I snap out of a blank mind. It feels like I have been meditating just long enough and the music suddenly is too somber for my mood. I put the music back to shuffle and take a hit [35 mg] of a sativa dominant strain of cannabis from a glass water pipe. This is immediately followed by .5 ounces vodka [40% ABV] as a shot.
I am moving slow as walk back into the living room. A beautiful tired sensation is upon me. I snuggle up as a big spoon to Gee. I feel sun kissed, drowsy, woozy, and content. My body melts into the couch upon contact and Gee’s fur is as soft as velvet. No major open-eyed visuals remain. I have rapidly dropped to between a + and ++ level on the Shulgin Scale.
During a trip to the bathroom I watch the wall’s texture, imperfect circular dots approximately 1/8th of an inch in diameter, methodically drift and re-arrange themselves. Sometimes the dots bond to their neighbors creating larger shifting entities. This is visible directly in my focus, not disappearing as I continue to gaze. I relax my eyes a bit, but this fails to intensify the visuals.
I feel out of it, as if I’m watching things unfold in a third person point of view through my own eyes. Very few thoughts are passing through my mind. This is pleasant, but noticeable. I exist mildly and peacefully but as the effects dwindle I feel a twinge of boredom once again.
T + 03:59 [9:27 PM]
I pour myself a vodka soda [2 ounces 40% ABV] and sit down to compile and expand upon a few notes I have been taking.
T + 04:17 [9:45 PM]
Time is flowing more normally now and I find myself becoming immersed into music, thoughts, or a blank mind state with ease.
T + 04:39 [10:07 PM]
I still posses a sense of psychedelic depth but I think I am done with esketamine for the night. But maybe I should do some more right now? I could get far with little material I sense. My memory seems a bit shoddy as I review some notes to check on my previous dosage timeline.
T + 04:53 [10:21 PM]
My stomach rumbles, hungry for the dinner I never ate. I opt for the easiest option, which tonight is a slice of leftover pizza. My taste buds are not as muted as they sometimes are on esketamine or other similar substances. I almost feel like I have a minor case of the munchies. While in the kitchen I take another shot of vodka [2 ounces 40% ABV] even though the alcohol is not doing much for me beyond slightly potentiating the esketamine’s effects.
T + 05:12 [10:40 PM]
Rejuvenated from the caloric intake I decide to ride the seesaw upwards once again. I insufflate 25 mg with the intent that this will be my final ingestion of esketamine for the evening.
T + 05:21 [10:49 PM]
I catch myself sitting on the couch without music on, rotating my head randomly: I am sure I appear intoxicated but the movement is pleasurable and there is no one around to judge me. The cobwebs of sleepiness that have been settling in my brain are being brushed away. The effects remain relatively light but I can sense the large gears are grinding back into motion once again.
T + 05:35 [11:03 PM]
The last insufflation was too little to achieve the “last hurrah” I was aiming for. I prepare and sniff an additional 23 mg. The routine insufflation of water following the powder results in a heavier than normal chemical taste dripping into the back of my throat. I suspect I have really cleaned out the nasal passage this time and expect a nice boost in fifteen or so minutes as a result of this.
T + 05:49 [11:17 PM]
I ponder if the multiple re-dosages are allowing minor short-term tolerance to play a role. I am feeling light, almost floating on my seat. As I sit I am aware of my mind tracking and reacting, in disappointment, to the lack of effects from this last insufflation. I am not worried about pushing things to far like I was with the first few doses. I’m acclimated to the altitude, in a safe environment, and hungry for more.
T + 06:07 [11:35 PM]
I am feeling truly divine. The hurrah needs be a bit grander however – I indulge my appetite with another 33 mg of the esketamine up my right nostril.
T + 06:09 [11:37 PM]
Almost immediately after returning to the living room I feel the pull of the hole again. I’m circling the drain: physically and mentally being pulled somewhere, towards the couch and to a swirling realm without conscious thoughts respectively. I escape the drain, without meaning to do so, and can tell I won’t be going into a hole. This is a blissfully powerful wave of effects crashing down upon me. I do my best to re-arrange myself on the couch but my clumsy body doesn’t do much more than maneuver a pillow beneath my head.
T + 06:21 [11:49 PM]
As I walk through the house, I don’t seem to fit. Things look off kilter and incorrectly sized. The island, counter, refrigerator, floor, walls, everything is too big or too small and angled wrong in relation to each other and myself. I focus on an object and tilt my head, thus changing the angle of my visual field, but the object of my focus remains unchanged. I straighten my head and the slanted objects do not get fixed, or perhaps the focal object becomes the one out of place, I can’t tell. The more I look and try to figure this out, the more disjointed the room becomes as they process repeats itself. Boy, I’m lost in this bitch!
I stare at the abstract Picaso-esque kitchen for perhaps a minute, watching the room’s furniture shrink and expand. Suddenly, or perhaps after blinking, things look radically more normal and put together.
The creative juices are flowing by the time I get back to the living room. A pad of drawing paper and pen are now in my lap. I draw abstractly, like a stream of thought via my hand. I like all the drawings; they feel clean, unique and beautiful. I do have enough awareness to know there is a sober version of myself that will review my opinion tomorrow.
Time is still hard to track. I have been scribbling in the notebook for what seems like a fair amount of time. My mind has actually been rattling at a good clip, trying to keep up with my hand as it dances across the page. Speaking of dancing, I deem the drawing over, and stand to dance. I feel like a witness to the dancing rather than the director.
T + 06:38 [12:06 PM]
I feel that I cannot drastically increase or extend effects or without a large consumption of material. If unlimited, I would go further with the small frequent re-doses. For inventories sake, I will end the esketamine usage for tonight. I’m okay with this decision and pleased that I am not feeling fiendish enough to ignore this logical choice. I have other dissociative substance options but don’t feel like starting a combo experience this late in the game. My eyes are returning to their normal abilities, focusing faster and not finding as many confusing spatial relations. Navigating around the house is far easier now than even a few minutes ago. All signs point to the fact that the effects are trending down.
T + 06:46 [12:14 PM]
I am pleasantly faded and begin to feel the natural beckon of sleep. I take .5 mg of alprazolam to move myself towards bed. I throw Netflix back on without much intention to pay close attention to the show.
T + 08:02 [01:30 AM + 1]
I orally take 1 mg of alprazolam; honestly I’m surprised I’m not asleep yet. I’ve been half-focusing on the television, half-focused on enjoying the warm glow and sedated feelings throughout my body.
T + 08:15 [01:43 AM + 1]
I catch myself nodding out now. I drift to sleep, then jerk awake only to realize how hazy, sleepy, and comfortable I am before I close my eyes again to restart the cycle. My handwriting has become barely legible at best.
T + 15:01 [8:29 AM + 1]
I open my eyes to sunlight shining through the living room windows. I never migrated from the couch to the bed last night. I slept comfortably and heavily and have no desire to get up but I drag myself up to take out the dog and feed her. I am pleased to have no hangover from the booze. I do have a benzo haze along with a bit of lingering psychedelic sensations. My eyes are not focusing as fast as they would when completely sober and my equilibrium feels slightly off.
T + [8:52 AM + 1]
I now feel only the dull afterglow of the alprazolam. I recount yesterday’s adventure and find my memory was working for most of the evening. I am parched, but not hungry in the least, so I limit breakfast to a large glass of ice-cold water as I begin to sort out notes and write this report.
As the day progressed (after the last time-stamp in the report) I gradually felt my separation from reality dwindle away to nothing. I went to the gym for some rock climbing and physical therapy for my shoulder in the early afternoon. The pain in my upper back seems slightly improved, but not drastically so. The pain had faded away shortly after my first insufflation and beyond a moment of acute pain at the very beginning of my float, I had forgotten about the injury completely. I attribute most of the pain killing to the esketamine rather than the float.
After a late morning workout I finally regained my appetite. The cloudiness and laziness of the benzodiazepine ended around this same time. For the rest of the day my mood was relaxed and pleasant. I felt a resurgence of the “centered” energy and positivity of the “post float buzz”. I spent the late afternoon making phone calls to connect with friends, tidying the house, and working on various writing projects.
Overall the experience, particularly the time spent in the tank, was thoroughly enjoyable. I was surprised by the smooth synergy between the effects of the esketamine and the sensory deprivation. I expected the esketamine to steamroll over the meditative buzz that typically follows time in a tank. There were less visuals than I had anticipated and the majority of them grey-scale, which surprised me. The lack of deep thoughts or euphonies was unexpected also. The calm boredom that I felt several times during the float session was something I had never experienced before in a tank before. Although my expectations did not align with the experience I did have, I enjoyed all of the cards I was dealt. A single exception to this is the fact that during the last third of the float (time estimated) I had to empty my bladder. I restrained myself from doing so until out of the tank, but it became an intermittent distraction for the remainder of the float. I also experienced some unshaped tinnitus / auditory effects during my float. This was mostly a high-pitched whine that I would notice, then forget about, and then notice again. The combination of a sensory deprivation tank and dissociative compounds is very appealing to me after this initial attempt. I think there is a lot of important knowledge to be learned, and a lot of fun to be had, as a result of this pair.
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Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.