Citation: Dr. Plastic. "Some Real Soul Searching: An Experience with LSD & Coffee (exp114476)". Erowid.org. Jun 16, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114476
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As I was past the halfway point of my college experience, for whatever reason I became fascinated with LSD. I’ve known of the drug for a long time but never read about it in detail until this point in my life. After a few hours of researching it one day to get things straight and clear up any misconceptions I had on the substance, I quickly got to the point where I told myself “I have to try this”. This calling grew stronger in the coming days, and I eventually asked my brother for help in attaining it. It took over a year to get some, so I had plenty time to prepare myself for the experience.
It took over a year to get some, so I had plenty time to prepare myself for the experience.
Getting the LSD was quite a journey in itself, but that’s another story.
When my brother finally got it, he came over and plopped a trading card in my hands. I pushed the card out of its sleeve a little to reveal a strip with eight doses. I remember thinking how small the tabs were. It was surreal seeing LSD in person. I was holding in my hands the item my brother and I had been trying to get for over a year. This mysterious stuff I wondered all throughout my life if I’d ever get to try. “Didn’t we buy a ten strip?” I asked. My brother stuck his tongue out to reveal the two missing tabs resting on top. “Jesus, spit them out. Each of those is supposed to be 200 ug. That’s 400 ug of LSD you’re taking. What’s wrong with you?” He irritably spat them out and said “Okay, yeah fine, whatever. You’re not really helping my mood right now. Don’t worry I’ll be fine.” I was a nervous wreck for him, but somewhat relieved in a shameful way that he was testing it out first. He went back to his house with a friend that night and actually did end up being fine. We later figured out each tab was the standard 100 ug instead of the “200” ug it was sold as.
I decided to take LSD for the first time four days later on Thursday, March 30th 2017. That day made the most sense to me as I had no classes, wasn’t meeting with anyone, and wasn’t expecting any calls. I woke up around 9 am and had coffee and some breakfast, then spent the next half hour relaxing and mentally preparing myself for the experience. I even had a little black notebook to document the experience.
+0:00 I cut out a single tab and took it at exactly 10 am. It didn’t have any taste, I made sure to swallow it right away. I was a little nervous, so I decided to calm myself down with a hot shower.
+0:25 I wrote down in my notebook “Some anxiety, no noted effects.” Then went to rest on my bed and wait for the acid to kick in.
+0:45 I started feeling this sensation in my back. I got out of bed to write down in my notebook “Weird energy feeling just hit.” This will turn out the be the last entry I make in the notebook.
+1:00 Still in bed and watching tv, I suddenly realize “Wait… something’s different. I definitively feel different.” As I thought this, my peripheral vision almost felt as if it was expanding horizontally. I think my pupils were dilating. It wasn’t a sensation I was hoping for or even expecting. I was thrusted into this alert mental state that felt like a mix between energy and panic. My headspace was surprisingly crystal clear. I’ve had weed before and that’s a fuzzy stretchy kind of head space comparable to how it feels when you stretch your leg out to the point where it feels really good but kind of hurts too.
+2:00 At this point I was pacing around my room trying to calm myself. I heartrate peaked at 141 bpm according to my fitness tracker. At one point I was so anxious, I felt like running upstairs to the room my brother was in, waking him up, and telling him to call an ambulance. To calm myself down in the moment I sat down in a sofa chair and thought to myself: “This is what I’m dealing with right now. If it gets any worse, and it probably won’t because this has got to be the worst of it, but if it does go upstairs and get help. But what’s more likely is this is as intense as it’ll get and you can handle it, just wait for it to ease down.” I then snuck downstairs to get a snack, avoiding going through the bathroom because I was afraid to look in a mirror. I got a glass of water and an apple. There was a little ant crawling on the apple. It freaked me out at first, then I kind of admired the ant and let him crawl off onto a table.
After that little pep talk and snack, I started feeling better. I was starting to figure out how to manage myself in this altered mental state because I finally figured out how LSD was changing my emotions. The best way I can describe it is the drug amplifies my emotions around 5 times or so. You can imagine from that statement alone how this drug can either be a heavenly blissful experience or terrifying nightmare or everything in between. When I tried to calm myself down by explaining to myself why I'm feeling this way, the explanations didn't match the emotion I was feeling.
For example, imagine a totally normal sober person waking up in the morning and walking into their bathroom and starting to feel a little anxious for some reason. They quickly remember they saw a spider in the bathroom last night and realize it still might be here. Sure, that makes sense. “Why am I feeling a little anxious right now? Oh, because there might be a spider around here. I see.”
Now the exact same situation, except this person is under the influence of LSD. They walk into the bathroom and start feeling this sense of impending doom. They quickly remember they saw a spider in the bathroom last night and realize it still might be here. Okay… so a spider might be in this room I’m in, that doesn’t explain why I feel like I’m about to be murdered. Even repeatedly telling yourself “It’s not me, it’s the drug. It’s the LSD making my emotions out of wack.” won’t work too well at all because the drug is so clever at affecting such a core part of your mind, you truly think you should be feeling these intense emotions. It’s no wonder people have developed PTSD from this drug. Can you imagine experiencing something a sober person would consider traumatizing while on LSD?
+3:00 I was a little calmer at this point, but certainly still had to manage myself. The intensity of the drug’s effects came in waves every 3 minutes or so. At the peak of each wave, time felt like it was passing by so slow. I always noted to myself weed felt like it slowed down time by about 3 times. I know that seems like an arbitrary value, but there’s been plenty of times where I was high and looked at a clock and only 15 minutes have passed when I thought 45 have. I would guess at the peak of these LSD waves, time felt slower by roughly 5 or 6 times.
I could only lay on my bed, watch TV and fare through it. I couldn’t get myself to record anything in my notebook, get on my phone and listen to music, or any creative activity that required focus. I remember watching Batman Begins, it was near the end when Bruce was talking to Rachel, and Christian Bale’s face was like purple. I turned on CNN, and Vladimir Putin was on speaking, but he looked fat and orange, with white flaring rays around him. My leg hairs looked really gross and black in contrast to my skin. It was as if someone opened my vision up in photoshop and increased the field of view, enhanced the contrast and brightness, and was slowly changing the color hue. The walls of my room would be yellow one moment, and then purple maybe 15 or 20 seconds later. I couldn’t perceive the color change though. Imagine watching the hour hand of an analog clock. At a glance it doesn’t appear to be moving, but if you watch for long enough, you’ll have that epiphany/realization moment that it has definitely moved, but you didn’t see it happen. Just apply that same feeling to colors changing on LSD. I didn't perceive the wall’s color changing from yellow to purple, I just knew it was yellow and now purple, with no transition in between.
+4:00 Around this time my dad called me down to bring in a couple heavy groceries from the porch. Yes, I panicked at that moment, worrying if my dad would figure out I was on LSD. I couldn’t really figure out a way to talk my way out of having to do it, so I just went for it and went downstairs to get the groceries on the porch. Going outside felt like such a nice break from my room. I was anxious thinking an open environment would be even more stressful, but if anything, it had the opposite effect. Being outside and on the front porch felt much warmer (emotionally) and playful than usual. It also felt more expansive and novel, to the point where this area I had grown so familiar with felt foreign. When I took the groceries in, my dad was cooking in the kitchen. As I walked up behind him, I felt this aura around him. Nothing visual, it was a pure sensation, that grew stronger the closer I got to him. It was almost as if I was feeling his kind personality.
+4:30 I’m back in my room watching Impractical Jokers. The ONLY reason I was watching that show was because their laughing seemed to help me take the whole situation less seriously. Around this time, my brother upstairs woke up, came downstairs, and visited me. I quickly acted like I was trying to nap so I wouldn’t have to talk with him much. I wouldn’t even open my eyes because I remember thinking it would be too intense to look him in the face for some reason. He eventually left and took off in his car with my dad so I had the whole house to myself. I walked around a lot at this point, exploring the house. I felt lighter than usual while walking. I found this teddy bear I use to play with that I gave a personality to and made voices for, but it just felt like an empty teddy bear with no presence at all.
+5:00 I would say I had passed the hardships of the trip at this point.
+5:00 I would say I had passed the hardships of the trip at this point.
I was laying in bed, doing breathing exercises, when this wave of relaxation washed over me. I felt so peaceful and remember thinking “I wish this would never end.” Quite a turnaround from the situation a few hours earlier. I also had this deep sense of satisfaction that I had finally tried LSD and felt quite proud as the trip was coming to a close.
+8:00 Around this time I was finally feeling like myself again, as most of the drug’s effects had worn off. I told my brother who was back at the house I had taken a tab, to his surprise. It was very difficult explaining what it felt like at the time. I was just emotionally exhausted after dealing with that altered state for so many hours. As drained as I felt, I still had trouble falling asleep that night.
In the days following my trip, I felt calmer than usual, especially in public places like my university. I told myself “It’ll be a while before I even contemplate taking LSD again.” As fascinated and eager as I was to take LSD before that day, I had immediately lost all interest in it after that single experience. Some other notable effects after the experience include not feeling like drinking anymore (lasting a few weeks), smoking weed taking an additional couple minutes to kick in and having a more psychedelic effect once it did (this eventually began to wear off after a couple years), and my peripheral vision being more reactive to moving objects (I think).
At this point, it’s been over three years since that day, and while I wouldn’t actively search for it again, if someone had offered me a tab I’m pretty sure I would take it, or at least save it for a special occasion. Recently, I gave myself a month break from coffee, and noticed its subtle effects after I started drinking again. I never gave attention to this before, but coffee makes me anxious around 3 hours after I drink it. Because I drank coffee about an hour before I took LSD that day, that may explain why I was so anxious 2 hours into it. Anyway, if I ever choose to take LSD again, I would avoid any substance that would make me anxious. I could imagine meditating on the stuff and doing some real soul searching.
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