Citation: Anatoli Smorin. "The Sublimely Simplistic See-Saw: An Experience with Etizolam & Kratom (exp114346)". Erowid.org. Apr 30, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114346
My intention for the experience that is detailed below was to tinker around with using kratom as a performance enhancing substance. My work has been very stress inducing lately, requiring extended hours of focus, and very little time to recharge my batteries before the daily cycle of chaos begins again. There are a number of stimulating substances, from coffee to research chemicals, that I have leveraged to assist with the demands of this schedule, and done so with success. Often I have paired these with benzodiazepines in an attempt to keep myself from stressing out to the point of true anxiety. After all, there is no point in making my train go fast, if it is going to derail.
My previous experience with substance use is extensive. Spanning over a decade, my experimentation includes stimulants, opioids, dissociatives, tryptamines, and phenethylamines. The intent of the usage has ranged from therapeutic to purely recreational. In relation to both of these intentions, I often enjoy exploring combinations of multiple substances, attempting to find synergies.
I take 5000 IU of vitamin D3 daily along with 2400 milligrams of mesalamine for a lifelong stomach condition. I do not consider either of these to be a contributor factor in this experience. It has been over a year since I last ingested kratom and several months since any opioid or opiate has entered my system. I do not perceive any tolerance to benzos being present on the day of the experience described below, but I had taken .5 mg of alprazolam roughly 85 hours prior to T + 00:00.
My company for the entirety of the experience is my trusty dog Gee. We spent the day in our home on a cold, snowy, and beautiful day. Although it is a Saturday, I had work to do, as well as a number of tasks and chores that have been put off due to the excessive hours at the office in the previous week. Later in the evening, my partner Kai and several close friends also entered the frame.
A combination of written notes and audio recordings were used in the creation of this report. I am confident that the timestamps are accurate.
The material ingested in the experience described below was sourced from vetted individuals. The kratom was an ďenhancedĒ pulverized leaf material of Mitragyna speciosa [Thai variety], packed into capsules of 500 mg per unit.
The etizolam was from a trusted source, tested for authenticity, and then personally prepared in a propylene glycol solution [2 mg/ ml] for precise volumetric dosing. The liquid was measured for each administration using an accurate oral syringe. The zolpidem, sourced directly from a pharmacy, was a white oval shaped pill featuring an ďEĒ and ď79Ē imprinted on either side, without any break mark.
I began the experience in a positive state of mind.
I began the experience in a positive state of mind.
Although there was weekend work on the schedule, the load is less than last weekend and the light at the end of the tunnel was clearly in sight. Although snow is falling from the sky, it feels like the sun is shining. The desire to be productive is prominent, not only in regards to work, but also outside of my job: Iím happily hunting for new passion projects to dedicate energy to.
My last meal of the day was two fried eggs over toasted bread and ripe avocado at T Ė 03:35 in relation to the initial ingestion of substances.
T + 00:00 [12:30 PM]
I look longingly through the windows at the snowflakes as they swirl around, riding the circular currents of the wind. Sunlight glints through the clouds giving the whole scene an inviting appeal. I wish I could be out there, pulling cold fresh air into my lungs, soaking in the freshness of the nature. Instead, I face the music and fire up my work computer.
I carefully draw up .25 ml of the etizolam solution [.5 milligrams] and dispense it directly onto my tongue. There is no taste from the etizolam, only the faintly sweet, slightly bitter and synthetic taste of the propylene glycol.
The tasks on the work docket are pretty simple. Yesterday I completed the heavy lifting of the project, setting up the mechanical framework for the data modeling template I am designing. This leaves more menial and repetitive objectives for today. Clacking away on my keyboard, I feel myself begin to breath a little slower as the etizolam makes its entrance to my system just a few minutes after ingestion. This Ī could be easily brushed off as a moment of natural happiness, such as when a much needed breeze arrives on a hot summer day.
T + 00:22 [12:52 PM]
A physical warmth inside my chest emanates gently. It is the perfect manifestation of the strengthening relaxation that grows inside my mind. My worries are melting slowly away; small concerns are completely brushed aside and worries of a more daunting nature are dulled. Challenges that were unscalable mountains become easily navigable hills.
T + 00:40 [1:10 PM]
I swallow two capsules [1 gram] of kratom with a large gulp of water. Very little of the grassy herbal taste of the kratom escapes the capsules.
T + 00:52 [1:22 PM]
I put on a favorite show on my laptop via a streaming application. Almost immediately I can tell this is not a good fit for my mood. I switch from the program to some ambient background music. The decrease in auditory pace and complexity soothes my fidgeting mind.
I focus on some writing, interchanging between the first draft of this report and another more personal project. I find the two intermingling unintentionally. The desire to be productive is noteworthy. Motivation floods me; I want to achieve, to complete goals.
The desire to be productive is noteworthy. Motivation floods me; I want to achieve, to complete goals.
I consider this appetite for accomplishment and at first my thoughts are very basic, how they are on a daily basis; one dimensional. Soon though, things deepen and multiply, gaining dimensionality. If my normal thought process is illustrated as two dots connected by a single line, the way Iím thinking now is a three dimensional web of seemingly infinite linked dots. This new depth translates to a lot of my time spent thinking about why
I think things, analyzing, accepting, and honoring each thought along with its motive.
All of this brings to ponder the macro scale question about how I can leverage or harness my own unique brain functionality in the most efficient manner possible. How can I take the ďnegativeĒ and ďpositivesĒ aspects of my mental character; weigh them, measure them, and put them to use in a manner that is most productive to me? I wonder about my desires, needs, and wants. How do I create a balance between these that best motivates and fulfills me as a person?
All these thoughts and feelings rise from within me and are interpreted with ease. The access and clarity of my emotions is beautiful. Empathogenic, entactogenic, sympathetic; many terms could be used to describe this sensation. Which word is correct? I couldnít care less: this is magical.
While less euphoric and intoxicating than MDMA, the similarities between the effects of this well known substance and how I feel now are obvious. The kratom and etizolam seem to be working very nicely together. The kratom is driving the stimulation; the increased speed and articulation of my thoughts and feelings. Harmoniously, the etizolam is providing the calmness; smooth serenity, stitching my thoughts together with a glowing assuredness that what I am feeling is authentic, and most importantly, alright to be feeling. Iím at a + on the Shulgin Rating scale.
T + 01:11 [1:41 PM]
I eat another two capsules [1 gram] of kratom. The first capsules seem to have fully settled now. Iím not coming up any longer and have reached a pleasant plateau of effects. I plan on continuing to dose both substances throughout the afternoon to explore how the substances interact at stronger intensities.
With the flip of a switch the serenity has swirled away, like warm bath water suddenly gone down the drain, leaving me exposed to a sudden wave of indecisiveness. A number of activities are vying for my attention, but Iím not able to successfully multi task. There are some racquetball matches streaming online I would like to watch, but they make it nearly impossible progress significantly with my writing. Thankfully, I am able to thwart the indecisiveness with relative ease by outlining the positives and negatives of each activity. Given that there are more interesting racquetball matches happening later in the afternoon, I decide to balance the day and focus on the writing now, especially while it seems so attractive to me. Simple enough right? At current time, yes. Normally however, I would second guess this type of decision and distract myself from one activity while thinking about the other.
T + 01:20 [1:50 PM]
I find myself heading to redose etizolam . . . but why? I think about the decision and canít find any reason to go through with it. Iím in a wonderful calm state of being. There is nothing lacking. Iím happy, Iím comfortable, Iím satisfied. The interaction between the two substances is remarkable, each pulling the best attributes from the other. The combination has me calm but not sedated, stimulated but not fidgety. It feels a bit like when I wake up the morning after a larger benzo dosage and am energized from the sleep but still calm from the prior nightís ingestion.
Iím wildly content. My fingers clatter away at the keyboard taking some notes about how I feel. The speed of my typing is slightly increased and Iím hitting each key with more velocity than I normally would. Typos do not seem to be an issue, so I conclude slight performance enhancement here in both mental and fine motor skills.
T + 01:40 [2:10 PM]
I feel that the low dosages are making for a slightly fragile balance of effects. Very suddenly, things are out of harmony; the kratom has surged forward now, destroying my zen state. Iím suddenly too aware of external stimuli, too concerned with things outside of the present moment. Thoughts are no longer perfect. They come too fast, and with less certainty of their correctness. This is not mental over-stimulation like when I take too much of an amphetamine or physical jitters like shaking fingers after too much coffee. The blissful feeling of a cold beer after a hard day at work Ė this is the opposite of that. Putting the edge on, rather than taking the edge off. To address the imbalance, I swallow .75 milligrams of etizolam.
T + 01:54 [2:24 PM]
The first inkling of the latest etizolam dose works its way into my brain. I let out an audible sigh. The perfect balance I experienced earlier is not yet restored, but I can tell Iím headed back in the right direction. I smile to myself as I switch from intensive note taking to another project on my computer that is a bit more ďfunĒ. I still feel great balance and enhancement in my state of being; both analytically powerful and like Iím doing a great job at being a present and productive human.
T + 02:01 [2:31 PM]
The zone continues to elude me. I wouldnít go as far as to call my mood irritable, not in the least, but the writing Iím doing seems to have lost its excitement. The music is no longer exactly
right to my ears. A dreary shadow of dullness is cast over my sunshine mood.
T + 02:36 [3:06 PM]
Iíve changed over to a handwritten notebook now and my notes read: ďSerene Ė perfect Ė oozing between me and the world.Ē
The etizolam is back. My last redose has done exactly what I intended it to do.
I select a random guided meditation type podcast on my phone to listen to. The soothing voice, supported by ethereal background music, begins to gently guide me through basic exercises to force recognition of the connection between my mind and various parts of my body. As I shift my awareness to my breath and the flesh that encapsulates it, I become more aware of a gentle body high pulsing just below the surface of my skin. It is the faintest vibration, dragging me deeper inside myself, deeper inside this moment.
T + 02:48 [3:18PM]
I blink my eyes slowly. Iíve been deeply immersed; unaware of times passing for the last ten minutes or so. The recording is still going, apparently Iíve snapped back a bit early, before the scheduled ending. I have no desire to reach back into the space, Iíve gotten out of this what it had to offer. The ďmeditationĒ was a pleasant mix of conscious thoughts and a ďblank mindĒ state where time lapsed without my noticing. This has not been similar to nodding out on an opioid, or drifting into a daze on a benzo. I have not had the heaviness in my eyelids, and my mind was more active than these experiences tend to be. I was so excruciatingly comfortable, perfectly present, and sublimely simplistic, that I couldnít help but shut my eyes and drift away.
The pace of my writing is notably slower now. The words tumble out at exactly the right pace. There is no sense that I need to frantically document my thoughts before I forget them.
The world seems to bend to my whims; the birds outside the window reduce their frantic, roaring, cacophony down to a few pleasant chirps. The dogs have settled themselves into naps, taking a break from their roughhousing. Even the snowflakes are falling at a slower rate, as the wind has died down, allowing them to trickle from the sky to their resting place on the ground. I imagine their landing is soft and gentle; no longer being slammed sideways into trees, garages, or pavement.
This is a very, very, pleasant state of being. I am convinced in this moment that I should seriously consider incorporating these substances into my life on a regular basis. My awareness of my mental space, specifically the ability to stretch out time is remarkable. I allow each moment to exist as it may, soaking it up and pouring my energy and attention back into it, disregarding extraneous thoughts about the future or past. This doesnít feel manic or intoxicating Ė itís clarity.
I am swept up in the good feelings of the moment. My notes read; ďThis is too important to forget! Less internal distress and overthinking will help me live a happier and longer life Ė I need to pursue this, whether with kratom, etizolam, or via other vehicles, whatever they may beĒ.
T + 03:12 [3:42 PM]
For the past few hours I have been very immobile. Thinking back, I realize I have left my seat on the couch only twice; once to retrieve substances, and once to fill my glass with water. Each trip was succinct, only taking as much time as it required, allowing myself to settle back into my couch palace.
Is there an opposite of ďfidgetyĒ, I wonder to myself? I canít be bothered to use the internet to look up an antonym . . . my notes simply read ďopposite of fidgety.Ē I feel slightly dopey, but there is a secondary layer of my mind that is far more alert and functioning if I had taken etizolam by itself.
I begin to dabble with a puzzle that is out on the table in the living room. Iím not usually one for puzzles, but with the kratomís motivation and etizolamís ďanything will be funĒ attitudes, I find the mix of tactile interaction and the mental exercise pleasant. I fit together a few pieces and enjoy a short burst of excitement. My fingers have no coordination issues as I pick up and place down puzzle pieces.
The pleasant tingle within my forearms has returned. My body is calm and at ease, as though I had been holding tension in muscles and tendons without knowing it, and have finally allowed everything to relax. I have an increased awareness of the inside of my body, something that does not exist when sober, or is at least normally drowned out by more prominent sensory points such as my skin. I receive simplistic inputs from fat, tissue, and muscle, alerting me of their existence and generally positive condition.
Analyzing my physical body a bit more I find that my circulation is good Ė Iím the perfect temp. On many stimulating substances I suffer from cold toes and fingers. No such issues exist now. My resting heart rate is 64 BPM which is right around my sober average.
T + 03:42 [4:12 PM]
My dayís itinerary does not look exciting on paper: note taking, some writing, a brief stint of puzzling, and not much else. All of which has taken place on a couch by myself. Despite this, there is nothing else I would wish I had done. I donít have a particular desire for Kai to arrive home from errands. The internal focus and development has been very enjoyable and I am even a bit concerned about losing this setting which has encouraged and nourished this.
T + 04:20 [4:50 PM]
An itch arrises. Not physical, upon my skin, but mental; a scraping and crawling desire that begins as the hint of an idea, slowly growing until it becomes a full on desire. I want to redose . . . something. I want more intoxication, more of the experience. Taking an analytical view of this ďwantĒ, I find it similar to instances when I have taken slightly too much of an amphetamine study aid and been left with an appetite for a recreational experience.
The difference now is that I donít know what Iím craving. Neither of the substances I have already taken cry out to me. I decide to let things ride as they are, and donít take more of either material, nor add an additional one.
Some friends, and Kai, suddenly arrive all at the same time. The chaos of the dogs greeting everyone at the door is a welcome distraction from the thoughts that something is missing from my experience.
T + 04:52 [5:22 PM]
The conversation quickly moves from pleasantries into a more authentic dialogue, as it tends to do among close friends. The change in pace and setting, via the addition of several upbeat personalities, has slanted the flavor of the effects. The kratom steps into the drivers seat. Although a veil of calmness remains, I almost feel a touch speedy; jumping the gun several times by beginning to respond to people before they have completed their sentences.
T + 05:25 [5:55 PM]
We mill around the kitchen, taking small bites of various cheeses and other snacks people have brought with them. My appetite seems normal, perhaps even slightly increased.
There are no physical manifestations of the stimulation I can feel in my brain. My fingers, even at their tips, are perfectly still when I check for any tremors or jitters during a bathroom break. I had guessed they would be slightly shaky, but am proven wrong.
Interacting with everyone is very easy. Iíve fallen into the cadence of conversation and feel that the etizolam is responsible for this enhancement in my social ability. Maybe Iím getting lucky, or looking into things too much, but I feel as though I am reading other peopleís emotions with great accuracy, both those they are trying to portray, as well any that seem veiled, meant to be hidden. As a result, each little pocket of conversation is exciting and genuine from my perspective.
T + 06:02 [6:32 PM]
A few checks of my recall, looking back at details of the events that occurred today, determine that my short term memory is operating at nearly full capacity. Despite the successful results of my self test, I can feel the haziness of multiple etizolam dosages lurking in the background. I can sometimes go through an evening, constantly succeeding with similar little self checks, only to wake up needing to be reminded of events that transpired. I donít believe Iím near this point yet, but Iím trying to be wary of the fact that this can happen.
Iím in a moreish mood. I find my mind drifting from the conversation to the internal debate of which substance I want to take more of.
I find my mind drifting from the conversation to the internal debate of which substance I want to take more of.
After some back and forth I realize, once again, that Iím actually very happy with how I feel: there is no need for more dosages besides the fact that perhaps more of a good thing might be even more fun. I decide to postpone the intensifying of effects until a bit later.
The stimulation maintains at between + and ++, closer to the + mark. The effects are smooth, without much ebb and flow of intensity. My resting heart rate remains around normal at 67 BPM.
T + 06:21 [6:51 PM]
I swap out my socks for a heavier wool pair. Upon doing so I note the familiar coldness in my hands and feet that often accompanies the use of substances. I canít say if this is caused by vasoconstriction or some other force, but the house is plenty warm and the most obvious variable that has changed is the amount of materials ingested.
T + 06:29 [6:59 PM]
I squeeze .5 milligrams of the etizolam solution onto my tongue.
T + 06:34 [7:04 PM]
For the first time all afternoon my mood drops. There is not anything happening to justify these new feelings but I take it as a sign that the substances are beginning to wear off. My steady stream of dosages has not increased in size throughout the experience and I think Iíve reached the point where either size or frequency needs to increase if I want to keep increasing the effects intensity and/or duration.
I eat two more capsules [1 gram] of the kratom.
T + 07:09 [7:39 PM]
I drop one milligram of etizolam into my mouth as the group begins to dish out a mix of salad and home baked pizzas. I havenít done much of the preparation work, but I certainly indulge in the result of the groupís effort. I often get etizolam munchies, like I do after smoking cannabis or drinking alcohol to excess, and tonight is no exception. The taste is enhanced, each flavor more intense than normal. When Iím full, my desire to continue eating is still strong. A few extra slices are inhaled before I force myself to stop.
Chitchat continues on as the kratomís effects appear to dwindle, clearly now being over shadowed by the etizolam. The itis sedates me. I feel content letting others talk about . . . whatever it is they are talking about. Iím not fully tuned out but there is little chance of me adding to the conversation. Following along is plenty entertaining and takes all the effort I can muster.
T + 08:28 [8:58 PM]
None of the guests have been drinking much or partying in any other fashion, and crew as a whole seems to be winding down. Two folks leave and the rest of us make our way down to the movie room in the basement. A documentary about nature is picked out. I donít have much opinion on what we watch, and this seems agreeable as anything given its simplicity.
T + 09:24 [9:54 PM]
The past hour or so have been uneventful and lacking any noteworthy changes in the effects from either substance. I now almost exclusively feel the etizolamís presence. Even this is starting to wain below a + intensity.
As the episode of our show draws to a close, the remainder of our friends prepare to leave for the night. We say a quick and uneventful goodbye.
Kai immediately prepares to go to sleep and I decide to join her in bed. Iím not ready to end my day, or my experience, so I decide to go for one more dosage.
T + 09:51 [10:21 PM]
Using two tall glasses of water I swallow four capsules [2 grams] of kratom and one milligram of etizolam. Iím above a Ī but as I grow naturally tired, the glow and synthetic daze of the substances camouflages itself with my bodyís natural desire for sleep.
T + 10:25 [10:55 PM]
Both of my most recent dosages are kicking in now. The deeper into the experience I get, the less obvious and fast acting the etizolam and kratom are. The effects of the initial dosages were distinct easy to distinguish as the came on. Now, things seems to sneak up on my a bit more as the layers continue to stack higher and higher. There might be a touch of tolerance developing, particularly regarding the etizolam, since these most recent ingestions seem slightly less effectively when compared of the first of the day.
A state of peace starts growing from inside me. The blankets and pillows are more comfortable now than they were a few minutes ago. There is no tactile enhancement, the blankets and pillows are no softer on my skin, but I am certifiably more cozy. Any position I settle into feels delightful, and my mind is void of any and all tension. A smile is stuck on my face. I smile into the darkness of the room by myself.
T + 10:38 [11:08 PM]
Time flies as I peruse random internet subjects and watch some television shows. The desire to take more of either substance subsides smoothly. The kratom has me in a stimulated state of being; Iím awake and in a groove, sleep seems a foreign concept.
The need to urinate increases until I shift my hips in discomfort. Finally giving in, I make the short walk to the bathroom. During the walk I do not find any coordination issues.
On the way back to the bed, I see no reason to not layer on more etizolam. Another 1.5 milligrams of the PG solution is swallowed without much internal debate.
T + 13:43 [2:13 AM + 1]
Time has been flying past, the minute hand of the clock swinging full rotations when it seems as though perhaps a quarter of an hour has gone by. My awakeness is not annoying, nothing like the ďstrung out / annoyed Iím still consciousĒ tail end of a recreational stimulant experience pushed a little too far. A pleasant mental fogginess is the star if the second act of todayís combination experience. It truly is a delightful ďcome downĒ if I even dare call it that. Like a pot of tea providing the best flavors in a later steep and pour, this might be my favorite part of the night thus far. I float in the bed, still smiling to myself, not caring that my memory of the article Iím reading might be a little hazy in the morning.
The tail end of these two substances together truly is more of a ďsecond actĒ than a dismal comedown. Iíd ride this out through sunrise most likely if I had my druthers. Knowing that tomorrow includes some chores and I did not plan for an inverted sleeping schedule, I elect to use zolpidem to force sleep earlier than it would naturally come.
T + 13:59 [2:29 AM + 1]
I begin with just five milligrams of zolpidem [orally] to see if this will do the trick.
My eyelids become heavy with ludicrous speed. I can almost feel my eyes rolling side to side, jittering, underneath my closed eyelids as they feign an attempt at focusing that would obviously be unsuccessful if I gave them the chance by opening my eyelids.
Within three minutes since ingestions, I am asleep. Hard asleep. My glasses are left on my face and I do not adjust into one of my normal sleeping positions. Kai, who wakes up when I cut the zolpidem in half, confirms for me the next day that the onset of my sleep was swift and heavy.
This experience reinvigorated my interest in kratom. This was the first time I had ever combined benzodiazepines and kratom. While I never trust a single experience to form an opinion of a substance(s), this was a very positive beginning to the exploration of the combination.
I rather enjoyed the playfulness of continually balancing the effects of the two substances. The perfect ďzoneĒ, when neither substance overpowered the other, was not particularly slippery in nature. I could clearly feel myself going in and out of it if one substance overpowered the other. I think a regimented dosage schedule or higher initial dosage would be manageable and effective if I wanted to avoid the constant monitoring and redosing.
I look forward to experimenting with this combination during long work days. I enjoyed the slight increase in my ability to focus and overall lift in mood. Also, my temper seemed tempered; frustrations were more easily soothed than normal, if they even arose at all
my temper seemed tempered; frustrations were more easily soothed than normal, if they even arose at all
. This might help soothe the daily irritations of work.
I imagine both the total dosage and balance between the two substances would be critical if I wanted to attain solely performance enhancing effects. Issues with motivation seem likely if I was to land too far on the etizolam side of the fence.
In retrospect, the experience was enjoyable from nearly every investigable angle. The highlight was the first several hours when the day was slowed by overt peacefulness and happiness. It was like waking up on a sunny Saturday morning to the smell of a home cooked breakfast wafting into the room. An old fashioned good mood was brought on by substances, rather than sunshine, eggs, sausages, and maple syrup. Things just felt right
. A fog had been lifted that I was not aware was there. The slight mood enhancement; the ability to feel happy about nothing, was just divine.
Social interaction was generally pleasant and even desirable at times. The pair of substances were pliable to changing setting. They helped me be in the mood for whatever scenario I found myself in.
There was no nausea or stomach discomfort of any nature in the experience detailed above. In the past kratom has given me gassiness (burping), bloating, and nausea, but I suspect this generally has to do with the sheer mass of material that can be required for higher dosages.
At their strongest, the stimulating effects were more than a strong mug of coffee but not as prominent as say 18-25 mg of either 2-FMA [oral], 22-30 mg of 4F-MPH [oral], or 6-8 mg of dextroamphetamine [oral]. I found it to be enjoyable and it certainly took me off baseline, but the energizing sensations were not particularly euphoric. It was perhaps a 2/10 at most on a scale judging how ďhighĒ I felt when specifically focussing only on the stimulating effects.
Despite the mellow nature of the kratomís stimulation, I was happy to have the balancing characteristics from the etizolam. The shining example of this was my ability to get my thoughts to the paper without stumbling around translating ideas into sentences. There was no rush to get my things on paper. I seemed to know that everything would be written without risk of them being forgotten. Without this constant concern I found that I was able to capture more details, arrive easily at insights, and articulate accurate descriptions of the experience.
I often find that when effects are documented in written word, they can seem more intense than the intended depiction. I feel as though should comment on the fact that this experience was never above a ++ on the Shulgin Rating Scale and felt entirely manageable. The effects were very positive, genuine, deep, and important, but never surpassed a medium intensity.
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