Citation: Anatoli Smorin. "Clarity of Silence: An Experience with Floatation Tank & MDMA (exp112677)". Erowid.org. Jan 20, 2019. erowid.org/exp/112677
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.
With the exception of the time spent in the isolation tank, I kept detailed written notes in combination with an audio recording device in order to write this report as accurately as possible. I am confident that all timestamps are correct to within a + / - 60 seconds.
I am not feeling the best today. My lifelong stomach condition has begun to flare up resulting in internal stomach pain and a few extra trips to the bathroom throughout the morning. I have been working at home all day and my to-do list was relatively small so my mental stress levels are minimal. It has been quite some time since I have taken MDMA specifically (about two years), but I have experimented with an array of other stimulants in that period of time, of both the euphoric and non euphoric varieties. Iím a little anxious about taking MDMA but nerves are normal for me before any substance ingestion, particularly if it is something I have not taken in some time.
My tolerances to the other substances taken in this report are non-existent. It has been over six months since I last ingested clonazepam and over a week since I have taken any other benzodiazepines. I have not had any alcoholic drinks for the three days leading into this experience and cannabis has only been smoked a handful of times in the weeks prior to the day described below.
My intention for this float is to achieve a solid roll, in what I would deem a low to medium intensity. I am not trying to be absolutely faced in the tank, but want to make sure I do not under-do it. I do not have many expectations for how the sensory deprivation and stimulant will feel as a combination. Upon initial review, I thought these two might no mesh particularly well. After more thinking on the matter, I decided there might be some intriguing inner dialogue and emotional discussion and internal review that would be easy to focus on given the lack of music, movement, and interaction with others that I generally associate as pillars of my MDMA experiences. Also, other substances, such as ketamine, have felt markedly different in a float tank than they do in a more standard environment. I went into this experience with a very open mind and few expectations.
The substances used in this report were reliably sourced. The MDMA came from a vetted chemist and I performed several reagent tests to confirm with relative certainly (less precise than an NMR or Mass spectrometry analysis Ė but sufficient to make me comfortable ingesting the substance). I did take a small sublingual allergy test of 3 mg the day prior, which turned out no negative reactions. The clonazepam was sourced from a pharmacy, was circular and yellow with one side imprinted ďTEVAĒ and the other side with ď832Ē and a break mark on dissecting the pill in half. The zolpidem was also sourced directly from a pharmacy and was a white oval imprinted on one side with ď79Ē and the other side an ďEĒ.
Floatation Tank: Clarity of Silence
T + 00:00 [3:00 PM]
I weigh out 29 mg of MDMA and crush the small crystals as finely as I can. The crystals were mostly 2-4 mm in size and an opaque white / light tan color with a slightly sweet chemically odor that is relatively noticeable when wafting the bag. The crystals crush up fairly easily after a minute of work, using a library card and a lighter. The resulting powder is whiter than the crystals. I insufflate the small line and sit back on the couch to finish up a few work items.
A slight sting develops about 30 seconds after the insufflation but it is not a deep burning sensation like some more caustics substances such as some of the fluorinated amphetamines, 2C-X family, and X-APB substances. The discomfort is noticeable but not particularly annoying.
T + 00:01 [3:01 PM]
The first bite of the back drip is present. The taste is chemically but with that twinge of poorly created fake vanilla flavoring. The nasal pain has all but dissipated already.
T + 00:07 [3:07 PM]
I am perhaps just now detecting some effects that I would qualify at the Ī level on the Shulgin Rating Scale. There is a very soft tingling dancing around my exposed skin and my air hair in particular seems to be hyper sensitive. This is a gentle breeze of sensations; much less obvious than the powerful rush that some other stimulants provide me. This is delicate, soft, and gentle. I write down a note commenting that my current condition is the perfect definition of a Ī. If this passed and nothing further developed, I could nearly dismiss is as placebo or a false positive detection of effects.
T + 00:18 [3:18 PM]
The sensations I have been feeling have not disappeared. I weigh out and grind up 21 mg and promptly insufflate it. I notice the powder is a bit clumpy and decide to insufflate a small amount of water to assist in the absorption. Just as before, a sting develops after about five seconds post insufflation. This rapidly dies off and my nasal passages are pain free within a minute.
T + 00:25 [3:25 PM]
Iím feeling cold physically and make my way from the living room to my closet in order to retrieve a flannel shirt and wool socks to boost my comfort. On the way back I feel some minor tremors in the lower jaw. No major euphoria was shown up yet but I do feel more alert and awake. My stomach discomfort has also started to melt away.
T + 00:32 [3:32 PM]
A pleasant mood is developing inside me. A sense of well-being and happiness have formed without external causes beyond the MDMA ingestion. As is typical for me, the first physical sensations manifest in my biceps and forearms. A warm slow pulsation of pleasure washes up and down my arms. A similar softness is felt inside my head, as if I am feeling the opposite of a headache; relaxing warmth can be felt seemingly in my brain itself.
The warmer clothes are making me feel much more comfortable which in turn seems to release some more prominent effects. My fingertips are vibrating with energy and feel like they are physically shaking. Upon inspection I find that the vibration is internal, my fingers are visibly still and steady.
T + 00:49 [3:49 PM]
Knowing that I have less than an hour left of dosing time, I decide to start moving this along faster in order to ensure I reach the intensity level I am aiming for. At this point I am surprised at the lack of effects. I weigh, crush, and insufflate 20 mg. This time there is barely any pain from the insufflation.
T + 00:53 [3:53 PM]
My mind is drifting towards a simplified and emotional space. Analytical functionality is possible, but unattractive to me at this point. I attempted to edit some writing but I am having trouble concentrating and making decisions. I quit the editing and put on some music and cuddle with my dog Gee on the couch. Her fur is soft, but not significantly softer than when I am sober.
T + 01:04 [4:04 PM]
Making my way to the scale I have set up on the kitchen counter, I go through the preparation process and insufflate another 25 mg of the MDMA.
I am still feeling very articulate and donít think I have reached a + yet. I know my decision of small staggered dosages will likely begin ramp up effects soon. Unfortunately, I am pretty bummed out and underwhelmed with the current status of my intoxication.
T + 01:16 [4:16 PM]
I should be leaving the house now in order to be on time to my float appointment. I make an in the moment decision to load up one more dosage before heading out. An additional 41 mg is prepared and snorted. This is followed up with a cleansing insufflation of water. I clean up my dosage station, with a few paranoid thoughts running through my mind about leaving anything in plain site. I hate running late and given the traffic at this time of day, I am sure I will arrive at least a few minutes after the set appointment time.
My partner Kai is hurrying me along to get down to the car. As a last minute addition I grab a small bottle containing 50 ml of vodka [40% ABV]. My intention is to drink this right before I enter the tank to act as a catalyst for the MDMA. As I exit and lock the door I am a little disoriented, checking my pockets multiple times for my essential items: keys, phone, wallet, and notebook. We finally make it out the car and take off towards the float shop.
The drive feels fun, like I am a child riding in a sports car for the first time. Acceleration makes me giddy and the sunshine and wind hitting me from the open window brings back simple and happy memories from days past. I am now at a solid + and am starting to feel relieved that the substance is finally kicking into gear.
T + 01:40 [4:40 PM]
Traffic was abnormally busy so Kai drops me off at the front door of the float shop and I give her a quick kiss before jumping out and walking inside. I donít feel particularly social with the employee as I check in but this could have been because I know I need to get into my float in order to not cause a delay in their scheduling.
I get into my float room and immediately disrobe. Iím stimulated: removing all my clothes in just a few seconds and throwing them in a haphazard pile on the floor. The wax earplugs are rolled and inserted quickly as I take a sip of water. I check the clock and it has only been three minutes since I got out of the car. I am performing actions quickly and with great excitement.
T + 01:43 [4:43 PM]
I open the bottle of vodka and take a small taste test sip. I nearly gag at the taste. My stomach is churning with mild nausea due from the MDMA and the slight anxiety I have from showing up late the to float. I am still not above a + and decide to force down the rest of the vodka. Thankfully the larger gulp produces less of a reaction from my gag reflex and I put the bottle away.
T + 01:44 [4:44 PM]
I take a deep breath to try and slow down the pace of my thoughts and ground myself. I open the tank lid, indulge in one final sip of water, and then climb in.
I shut the tank lid behind me; I am now in complete darkness. I lie down in my favorite float position with my arms bent but extended above my head to take in the initial sensations of the MDMA in this unusual environment.
As ďentranceĒ music today, I have selected a simple track that is five minutes of soft ocean waves crashing on the shore. I generally mix up the music selection between classical piano, ocean waves sounds, and a Tibetan bowl ringing. I was hoping the waves might be the most calming and could set the float off in a nice direction. In reality the sound is a little cheesy. It seems forced and almost as if the speaker, which resides underwater, is a little crackly or blown out (it was not actually). I find myself listening to the ocean sounds waiting for them to be over so I can begin my experience. The five minutes seems to drag on forever but finally the last of the sounds are heard and I am left in a stunning silence.
A few differences jump out at me immediately between what I feel right now and what I have felt in previous sensory deprivation sessions either sober or on numerous other substances. I am struck by the absoluteness and clarity of the silence. There is absoluteness to the quiet. Even the earplugs that sometimes produce a rustling noise, similar to what one hears when pressing on the tragus of oneís ear, are inaudible. Visually and emotionally, the tank seems less welcoming than I normally find it.
Visually and emotionally, the tank seems less welcoming than I normally find it.
Typically the darkness and warmth of the air and salt solution are comforting and natural; a special womb-like space I can relax within. Today I am harshly aware of the synthetic and man-made nature of this plastic capsule I find myself lying inside.
I attempt to stop my analyzing and comparing and instead explore the float less critically by taking in what it has to offer. This proves to be fairly difficult. My thoughts do not want to limit themselves to the topics I suggest to myself. Rather than battle against my own mind, I decide to try just breathing with conscious effort on paying attention to the in and out pattern. I breathe in, and then out, and then in, and then Ė god damn it is hot in here! I try again with about the same success. I canít make it more than a few breaths before my thoughts careen towards some other topic.
It is extremely warm in the tank. I am not sweating, but not far from it. The heat seems to be exacerbated by the air temperature rather than the salt solution. Each breath is humid, hot, and stale: not refreshing or revitalizing. I donít have any legitimate concern about overheating. I have prepared by consuming plenty of water throughout the day and know that the air and solution temperatures are not kept at a high enough level to cause my physical damage. Knowing this does not make the heat any more enjoyable.
The discomfort of the heat triggers thoughts about how much longer I have in the session. I am not sure I really want to be this overheated for the duration of the float. I estimate that the music just stopped a few minutes ago and I must have at least 50 minutes remaining. I decide to try to distract myself by playing to some of the aspects of MDMA I generally enjoy.
I begin to make various noises in the tank. I tap on the walls, bump my feet against the bottom, and even whistle briefly. None of the resulting sounds are extraordinary. I drop my hand to the surface of the water. The small splash that results has astounding acoustic quality. I begin to drum patterns on the surface of the water using my fingers and upper section of my palms as my arms lay at my side. I can seemingly hear every molecule in every drop collide back to the surface of the water. Even with the earplugs in I am hearing with incredible clarity. The volume is intensified as well; I have played with the surface of the water before in a number of floats and this is by far the loudest the tiny splashed have been. Beyond the volume and clarity, there is a beauty to the pinks and plunks the droplets make. Each seems musical and there is a vast variety to the tone the splashing makes, far more than I believe I have the ability to process when sober.
I grow bored with the water noises and decide to attempt an inner dialogue with myself. Knowing that meditation and conscious breathing were unsuccessful earlier, I thought this might be another productive activity to attempt some personal growth. I begin by thinking of the positive and negative items in my life right now: where am I getting the most pleasure and where am I finding myself the unhappiest? I only get a basic list structured before I am distracted and begin to think about the near future (i.e. my plans for the rest of the afternoon and evening). I try to refocus back to my list, trying to tap into the empathy I have often experienced in the past with this substance. At this moment however, I just canít access that magic.
My thoughts are moving quickly, which makes time feel like it is passing slowly. This is making me increasingly uncomfortable. I am not afraid of the darkness, but I simply am not enjoying the quiet, the darkness, the aloneness, and the lack of control of my thoughts. I am trying to not write off MDMA as a good material to pair with sensory deprivation but at this point, I canít help but think to myself this isnít a good match.
Knowing that sometimes my float sessions have only a few moments of productivity and that there is no wrong way to float, I do not give up and abandon the tank but I do decide to try some different techniques. I turn on the internal light in my tank that illuminates the water, sides, and lid of the tank. The light is controllable to either stay on one color or to rotate through the rainbow, fading from one color to another exploring a gradient of shades as it changes. I elect to let the colors change.
I find the soft glowing of the light more comfortable and a better match for the space my mind is in than the complete darkness.
I find the soft glowing of the light more comfortable and a better match for the space my mind is in than the complete darkness.
My thoughts slow down and I am able to let go of the constant wondering of ďhow much time is left?Ē There are no notable visual effects. There is not any color saturation or increase in sharpness in my vision; the tank looks very normal.
I begin to actively move around the tank. First I push off the back wall behind my head until Iím curled up at the end where my feet are. I then push myself at a fair rate of velocity back towards the top of the tank and catch myself with my hands above my head. I attempt several repetitions of this movement as well as other variations of moving side to side. There are no unique sensations to the movement that I attribute to the MDMA. The solution feels like is has a thicker viscosity than normal but only by a small amount.
The temperature continues to be an unpleasant distraction. I decide to try something I have never done in a float session before. I open the lid to allow some cooler air to circulate. The small light from the tank allows me to steal a glance across the room at my phone that has just received a message allowing me to see the semi-illuminated screen [and most important to me Ė the time on the phone].
T + 02:18 [5:18 PM]
Although I have been very conscious of and concerned with time during the float, I am surprised those 34 minutes have already passed. I thought far less than that had elapsed. This cheers me up and calms my nerves. The real blessing is the cold air that is channeled into the float tank. I feel immediate relief from the uncomfortable heat. The feeling is similar to leaving a crowded concert venue after a long session of dancing and the cool night air makes me blissfully chilly on sweat soaked clothes. I feel like I can finally get a refreshing breath of air. I sit in the front of the float tank with my feet and butt contacting the bottom of the tank. The breeze is extremely euphoric. My skin lights up with sensitivity and the colder air charges my skin with an electricity type buzz that makes me breathe shallower due to sheer intensity of the euphoric feeling.
I turn off the light but leave the lid of the tank open. I remain seated as I adjust to the comfortable air temperature that now allows the salt solutions temperature to feel very pleasant, like being in a hot tub during the winter. The darkness is absolute even with the lid propped open. I know what scene lies in front of me but even when I strain, even my dilated pupils cannot make out the faintest outline or shape. Iím feeling far more relaxed in this upright position and the utter silence and darkness provides me an interesting environment to exist in. I cannot feel physical sensations beyond my extremely sensitive skin reacting to the different temperatures. I begin to feel uplifted in my mood. Things are simplifying in my mind. I think of Kai and am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for her being in my life. Some of that famous MDMA magic is beginning to shine through.
I donít dare move, I am at the center of my personal universe; seated in the center of a pure darkness with no sounds disturbing me. I feel mentally and physically pure. Iím feeling incredibly grounded and peaceful. My breath is smooth and even but slightly faster and shallower than normal. The substance is emanating from my inside. Specifically my lower stomach seems to be emitting pleasant rushing waves of euphoria that spreads outwards throughout my body. This is a powerful sensation, but not as strong of a feeling as a medium dosage of a euphoric opioid such as oxycodone. The best aspect of my current state is mental. I have stopped thinking about the upcoming afternoon, the float, or anything. For a blissful few minutes, I am lost in an ethereal state where I can feel very little of my body and my mind is stupendously blank but at the same time saturated with a sense of positivity and well-being.
I snap out of this trance and lie down once again. I feel no need to shut the lid of the tank. I cannot notice any minimization of the sensory deprivation beyond the slight breeze that now exists. With the temperature more comfortable, I feel my thoughts slow down and I can focus them a bit more easily. I am also calmed by the knowledge that I have less than twenty minutes remaining based on my deduction from the one peek I got at the time.
Iím not particularly comfortable. Some phantom neck pain flares up seemingly no matter what position I am in. I cannot tell if the pain is based in muscle memory and Iím just tensing in an attempt to fight the unnatural sensation of letting my head be supported by water, or if there is actually some stiffness present. I try putting my hands behind my head and this provides at least temporary relief.
The salt solution has formed fine crystalline bits all over my body anywhere it is exposed to air. I attribute this to the colder air temperature. This sensation is not particularly enjoyable. I feel like I have just exited an ocean after a swim and then immediately rolled around in dry sand that then coats my body.
A slight headache is developing in the front of my brain. As I begin to concentrate on it I hear the soft crash of a wave . . . The ending music for the float session has begun. I canít help but crack a smile and practically leap out of the tank, flipping on the light as I move.
The automatic lights turn on in the float room but I barely break stride as I hop into the shower. My eyes have no issues adjusting to the brightness after the extended time in darkness.
I turn on the water and enter the shower immediately. The cold water feels great at first, but then it seems to take an eternity for the water to get to even a reasonable temperature. Once lukewarm arrives, I begin my standard post-float process of cleaning from the head down using a trifecta of specialized shampoo, conditioner, and body wash designed to remove the salt as efficiently as possible. I have not even managed to wash out the shampoo by the time I feel some frustration. I desperately want this process to be over. I feel like a bratty child early on Christmas morning that is in a poor mood because they are so anxious for the fun to begin. Having made it through the float session doing my best to not
be looking forward to the end and make the float as productive as possible, I am having trouble now denying the fact that I am very excited for the rest of my evening.
Iím certifiably stimulated. I nearly get out of the shower prematurely with the slick body wash still present on my legs. I am thinking a mile a minute: going over sentences to include in this report, music to listen to when I get home, and a variety of other topics. The rapid-fire thoughts are nothing special. They donít seem extra insightful and I am very aware of their synthetic origin. This feels less natural and smooth than I remember MDMA being in the past.
T + 02:48 [5:48 PM]
I finally exit the shower and collect my belongings that were strewn about the float room. I donít feel chatty or outgoing as I check out with the shop employee. Iíve stayed and talked to this individual several times for an extended period of time. For several of those occasions I was on substances I planned on escaping with as little interaction as possible. Today I am a feeling inwardly focused and I exit with very few words shared.
I meet Kai and give her a quick kiss before drinking several large sips of water. I can tell Iím dehydrated, the most tell tale sign of this is the minor headache that is lingering but not worsening. During the ride home we discuss some of the challenges of the float. My thoughts are slowing down to a more comfortable pace but I continue to feel antsy. I donít feel the urge I often do on stimulants to send messages to my close friends. I feel a bit out of place, like something is slightly off but I canít tell what.
I turn my attention to the task of searching for any traces of the ďpost-floatĒ glow that I experience after almost every floatation. I am not detecting anything obvious but I continue to scan my mind and body to try and suss out if I can attribute any sensations to a source besides the MDMA. As I sift through my system I do detect something, something very positive, that I think is actually contrasting the MDMAís effects and is traceable to the sensory deprivation and salt exposure. Battling the borderline annoying and synthetic mental unease is a layer of calmness. This calmness emanates from within me. It offers a change of pace within my mind and once detected I begin to try and tap into it; giving it power to move myself towards a tranquil and peaceful headspace. Physically it can be felt as well. The floatís effect is turning the energetic MDMA body high down a notch until it feels akin to a low MDA dosage that leaves my body a tiny bit sedated. I am very comfortable sitting without movement in the passenger seat on our ride home.
T + 03:13 [6:13 PM]
Kai drops me off at home and then immediately departs to meet a friend who she has plans with out of town for the weekend.
I flop down on the couch Ė the silence strikes me as odd. With Kai and Gee (my trusted dog) gone, the house is eerily quiet. For the first time since the come-up however, I am having and processing thoughts at a comfortable pace. The at home environment is oozing relaxation. Almost instantaneously I feel like I have settled into the substance; hit my stride; struck a groove. This is what I have been waiting for and searching in todayís experience.
T + 03:27 [6:27 PM]
With the flip of a switch, or flip of setting to be more accurate, I am smiling calmly as the substance sheds its ugly synthetic awkwardness in exchange for a shimmering pleasant set of effects. The effects now align precisely with the after-effects of the float tank. Iím sliding rapidly into a beautiful space. The music that is currently playing is not notably enhanced but still enjoyable. Iím concluding some notes about the experience thus far and my handwriting is a perfect measure to show how the substance is balancing now. The handwriting is still fast paced and clearly excited but it remains legible and it's satisfying to see the ink manifest across the paper.
T + 03:39 [6:39 PM]
I make my way to the kitchen to fill a glass of water and get a cold beer [4.2% ABV] from the refrigerator. The beer is far more refreshing so I make my way through it before the water sees much attention. I donít know if I would say I am ďrollingĒ right now, but Iím pleasantly lifted. Iím above a + but have fallen just shy of a ++ today.
T + 03:48 [6:48 PM]
I open a second beer [4.2% ABV] and adjust the music to some slower tempo favorites. I donít even attempt any dancing. Iím not in the mood and donít have the energy. I have no issues navigating my phone in order to communicate to a friend that I will be staying home tonight and likely turning in early. My messages are articulate and I have no urge to converse beyond what is necessary. Now that I have committed to a low-key evening, I lie back on an oversized soft pillow and kick me feet up on the couch. My limbs are relaxed without any jitters or tremors. Even my jaw is free of tension.
I reflect back on the time in the tank. Iím happy to be looking back on it rather than still experiencing it. Even given my increasingly stable, comfortable body and bright, bouncy mood, I am much happier on my couch than I would be returning into sensory deprivation.
T + 04:06 [7:06 PM]
The background music begs to be turned up. I indulge and adjust the volume. There is more emotional connection to the song that is playing than I experience when sober. It triggers memories of the first time I heard the track and the special relationships I have with the people who where there. In a physical sense, the audible sounds of the song simply sound better. Each note is sustained for the perfect amount of time, the highs were immaculately sharp without being shrill, and the lows were just oh so low.
T + 04:18 [7:18 PM]
Iím tidying up the house a bit and can note some fine motor skill impairment. Walking and general movement are no issue but tasks that require a bit more dexterity, such as neatly stacking a pile of business cards takes several more attempts than it would if I was sober. As I float between rooms I can tell Iím a little spacey. I would say that I am distracted from cleaning except there are no thoughts in my head distracting me. Iím pleasantly forgetful.
T + 04:39 [7:39 PM]
I can feel the MDMAís effects beginning to recede. The peak has ended and Iím pleased to not find myself fiending for more. Iím in a smooth and peaceful mood. My mind feels silky smooth. Thoughts link together with ease and all have a rose-colored tint to them. The physical sensations persist in the form of a mild and lovely sedation that weighs on my whole body from the top of my head on down to my toes.
T + 04:58 [7:58 PM]
I recall a recent conversation about combining benzodiazepines with stimulants and the health benefits that can result as the two classes of substances offset some of each otherís negative effects. Being on the comedown, which I expect to be a long slow taper, I decide to take some clonazepam. I open a new beer [4.2 % ABV] and swallow .5 mg of the benzo.
T + 05:25 [8:25 PM]
Music is still enjoyable and preferable to other forms of media entertainment. I opened a book for a few minutes but quickly abandoned the idea. The physical task of reading seemed like too much work and overall doesnít seem appealing. The clonazepam is starting to intertwine with the MDMA. The mental stimulation of the MDMA is still active but it has a very pleasurable softness to it now. My legs and arms are completely happy resting motionless.
T + 05:34 [8:34 PM]
I prepare and vaporize 77 mg of an indica dominant strain of cannabis. My hope is that this strengthens the euphoria and relaxation I am currently feeling without mixing in too much of the cannabis specific effects. I end up coughing a bit from the smoke and soothe my throat with a heavier IPA beer [6.3% ABV].
T + 06:10 [9:10 PM]
The cannabis did bring about some black and white vibrating dots, much like static on a television across my visual field. This is not uncommon for me when I smoke cannabis. I am really melting into the couch now. I feel slightly lonely with both Kai and Gee missing from the house. My motivation is pretty much zero as I lie and absentmindedly listen to a mix of ambient electronic and slower classical music. The clonazepam has hit full intensity by now and the MDMA is really tailing off. Given the clonazepam, cannabis, and alcohol Iím still overall at a net +. The MDMA is adding a light layer of positivity and alertness. My thoughts are not focused on any one topic and they come and go, sometimes with extended pauses where Iím just soaking in the music and allowing my mind to take a break from any work.
T + 6:40 [9:40 PM]
I decide to make the move into bed and bring tonight to an early closure. I take 10 mg of zolpidem to make sure I have no issues falling asleep. I choose an extremely mellow hour-long mix to listen to as I attempt to fall asleep.
T + 07:03 [10:03 PM]
I have felt less of zolpidemís psychedelic effects than I would if no other substances were involved. There is some minor visual distortion such as color saturation and even some breathing occurring on some items in the room. I donít pay much attention to these effects. I am happy to feel my eyelids growing heavy and the energy from the MDMA seems to have lost the battle. Iím exceptionally comfortable and fading fast.
T + 16:08 [7:08 AM + 1]
I wake up. The laptop I was playing music from is still open and on the bed. I initially feel a slight lingering of the zolpidemís effects, a minor sluggishness and widened headspace, not unlike the initial onset of diphenhydramine when I have taken it therapeutically in the past. Feeling the need to urinate I stand from bed without the internal convincing that I sometimes require in the morning to get moving. By the time I finish washing my hands the odd mental sensation has completely evaporated leaving me feeling pleasant and well rested. I begin my day by organizing notes from the previous evening without appetite but with minor thirst.
After the float, there was no strong desire to re-dose. This is not abnormal for me, I find myself re-dosing perhaps 50% of the time with this particular euphoric stimulant. The next day was rather pleasant, spent being productive (mostly writing), but also was restful. I did not notice any strong hangover or day-after effects. There was no anhedonia although I did require some extra convincing to go for a long run in the afternoon following the experience. Overall my mental state felt clean and slightly simplified until I had a few beers about 28 hours after my initial ingestion of MDMA. At this point, the alcohol effects overcame any straggling effects. I did enjoy how the benzodiazepine combined with the MDMA for the return to baseline. The dosages meshed nicely as did the effects; there was no battle for dominance between the two and no sledgehammer of sedation from the clonazepam.
I was able to verify with an employee at the float center that my room and tank was slightly warmer than average. The air temperature in the room was at 77-Fahrenheit degrees compared to the norm of 75. The salt solution was also slightly warmer than normal at 96-Fahrenheit degrees compared to a standard of 95. While this aligns with my discomfort, I undoubtedly attribute the heat vexation to the substance I ingested. In addition to the uncomfortable heat, I did experience a bit of tension in my neck throughout the float. This discomfort was not present prior to getting in the tank and vanished as I stepped out. It likely was due to my mental inability to truly trust in the solutionís buoyancy and thus refusing on a miniscule level to fully relax the muscles keeping my head above water.
In case it was not apparent in the body of the report, MDMA was not my favorite substance to use in a sensory deprivation tank. In fact, I think I can call it my least favorite in my experiences thus far.
MDMA was not my favorite substance to use in a sensory deprivation tank. In fact, I think I can call it my least favorite in my experiences thus far.
I am slightly curious if waiting until the substance completely settles before entering the tank would yield more enjoyable and productive results. Iíve thought about taking an oral dosage three or so hours before a float but have never convinced myself this was worth the effort when compared to other substance options.
Even though I spent much of the float wondering, ďhow much time is left?Ē When I reflect back, the float actually seemed to have passed quickly overall. I think perhaps there is something of worth in this duality of time perception. When living too in the moment, my thoughts careened without guidance. Later with a calmer mind, the troubles were a blip on the radar. I documented in my report notes a reminder to myself to try and think the ďfloat went by quicklyĒ version of time when Iím struggling and living ďI want to be out of thisĒ type moments.
Beyond the esoteric lesson in time perception I learned when reviewing my experience in a retrospective light, this experience was worth my time in other ways. It was a great way to practice some aspects of sensory deprivation I find challenging. Releasing into a ďno thoughtĒ zone and relinquishing a string of repetitive thoughts, such as ďhow much time is leftĒ can be difficult for me, even out of a tank. MDMA challenged me to do this with its increased thought processing speed but also offered an elevated mood to assist with the efforts.
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