Citation: JetLagger. "Chasing (Ego) Death: An Experience with LSD & Alcohol (exp115083)". Erowid.org. Jan 26, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115083
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It was a Saturday, my major exams were finished for the semester, and Iíd bought a relatively large amount of acid to use over break earlier in the week. Iíd used LSD a few times before in my life, and purchased a large quantity as it had a profound psychotherapeutic effect, and worked well for treating my various mental health problems. Iíd observed that the dosages in the 100-200ug range were effective for a few months, but symptoms would slowly resume after, so I planned to try 400-600ug after reading various experience reports and discussing it with those more experienced online. I woke up a couple hours later than Iíd wanted too, and took the initial dose at around 11:40.
A quick note before I begin, Iíve had multiple episodes of psychosis growing up, but nothing in the last few years, and nothing while using psychedelics, including this trip. Iíve found that alcohol is an extremely effective antipsychotic if used sparingly in moderate doses, which is why I reached for it here, more on that later.
I took 4 tabs, each 100ug. Iíd tested this batch before, having taken a single tab when I first got it to make sure the dosage was correct. Sticking them under my tongue, I headed into the shower. Within 20-30 minutes (I like to take long showers) I could feel the effects come on.
I got out, dried off, got dressed and went to grab something to eat from my kitchen. My memory begins to be a little hazy at this point, and I felt fairly disoriented. I stepped into my backyard to get some fresh air, and noticed everything in my visual field begin to twist into itself. I headed inside. My kitchen felt strange and alien, though I felt like I was managing alright. I decided to take another 100microgram tab.
Somehow, and I only realized this after coming down, Iíd managed to boil some eggs without burning my house down because at this point it was very difficult to complete basic tasks. In any case, I grabbed a popsicle, checked that I had my wallet and phone, lighter and transit cards, and headed outside for a walk around my block. I usually go out in public alone while tripping, and I was starting to get worried, so I figured some fresh air, and being around other people would help me calm down. I was about halfway around when I started to feel really weird, so I got back to my house quickly so I could sit on my couch or lie down or get a drink to calm the possibility of paranoia and prevent hallucinations (though, Iíve never really had any on psychedelic drugs). I circled round to my house, went to open the door, realized it was locked, reached into my pocket to grab my keys, and thatís when I realized Iíd left them on my desk.
Doing something so stupid wasnít unordinary, and I donít think the acid was the reason I forgot my keys--it was probably just bad luck. I knocked on the door desperately, my heart was beating incredibly fast, and on top of all this, the acid had really set in, the ďego deathĒ experience which Iíd read about online, which I was chasing after with this dose as a way to permanently fix my problems, was beginning to set in. It was at this moment that I kept cycling between three thoughts: Iím going to be put in a hospital, Iím never going to get out of this trip, and Iím going to die. My immediate concerns of course, were practical. I didnít want someone calling the police on a deranged, psychotic man beating a random door down--though when I think back to this, it was extremely unlikely, as my neighbours were familiar with my antics, and probably wouldíve helped me if I needed it. I called my Dad, who had plenty of experience with psychedelics. He told me to breathe, I did. He told me to calm down. He asked how much Iíd taken. When I told him, he was shocked. He said he never took that much at once himself. This was not what you wanted to hear while approaching ego death sitting on your stoop. He then asked if Iíd called my roommate yet, and then I remembered I should probably call him. But he was asleep, heíd been sleeping in very late so there was no way he would answer his phone. I called, I tried desperately knocking a few more times, no answer. I called my Mom (who also had experience with psychedelics), told her what was going on, and asked her to pick me up. She was as shocked as my Dad when I told her the dose, and thatís when I thought Iíd really screwed up. She stayed on the phone with me as I paced up and down the sidewalk. Finally, after a length of time I canít possibly measure, she arrived. I got in the car and held onto her desperately as we drove away, still freaking out.
My Dad called again to talk, and somehow, being in the car with my Mom, with my Dad on the phone, I was lucid enough to hold a conversation, even lucid enough to tell my Mom not to snipe at my Dad, since theyíd been divorced for years and it was enough already. My Mom led me into her house, and I went straight for the liquor to prevent psychosis from setting in (I need to note, as Iíve mentioned it a lot at this point, I DO NOT use alcohol regularly, only in emergencies and occasionally with friends and family). The alcohol went down very easy, it was hard to measure how much exactly Iíd consumed, but my Mom stopped me from having too much. I began to calm down, lying down on the couch with my Mom, listening to music, I let go of all sense of self, all attachments, and the world began to melt around me. According to her, for the next few hours, I was repeating the same words over and over again. I remember very little from then, and before I knew it night was falling.
My roommate called me, according to him I managed to give him the basic details of what had transpired, and also that I needed him to let me back into the house when I got home. I remember going to the bathroom several times, each time it was different. Once, everything in my vision was ďbubblyĒ, another, I thought I saw eyes in the tiles on the wall. I had a number of visual distortions, things popped and moved in strange ways, there were so many at once it was hard to describe, but at this point I knew I was beginning to come down. We watched a movie, peopleís faces were distorted and cartoonish, and I felt cognizant of underlying social structure which the film pulled from, but which seemed obvious to my Mom; I had difficulty putting together the meaning of a scene sometimes. I cried during the film because it was about a queer kid, and I was a queer kid, and I realized my Mom was just trying to understand me. I told her not to pause it.
My Mom had to make a skype call to another family member, she asked if I wanted to be in it but I told her I didnít want them to see me ďlike thisĒ. She went into her room, and I was alone in the living room. I lied down and thought about how dangerous it had all been, how worried I made my parents, who loved me so much, and why I fucked myself up so much, and how much it must hurt them to see me get so fucked up, and what if I had actually died, in a way I was trying to die, I was trying to screw myself up beyond recognition. I cried so much, I cried more deeply and longer than Iíd cried before. After, everything felt clear, like a great torrent had flooded out of my body, my soul, and many of the visual distortions had cleared up. My head was clearing up, too, and I was at the point in an acid trip when I start to notice patterns in everyday objects I hadnít seen before, but magnitudes more intense. I noticed the light fractals in the refraction of a magazine page, I mustíve stared at that for 20 or 30 minutes. In general for the next few hours I was staring at shit around the living room, and picking at a cyst on my back that was really bothering me, and noticing how uncomfortable my lower back was from standing on two feet, like, was my ego the thing that made me stand on two feet woooooh, and every time I saw something cool I would loudly exclaim wooooah and my Mom would laugh. She made me dinner at some point, the alcohol had given me the munchies and I was eating plenty of salty and fatty food so I felt fine.
I cried again about something else, I canít recall, it was more painful but less teary. I was fairly lucid at this point, but my eyes were still dilated. Not to the extreme they were before, where my pupils were blown out waaaay larger than Iíd seen them on my lower trips. My Mom got me an Uber to get home, and I called my roommate to let him know, repeating exactly what Iíd told him a few hours before. I felt very calm on the ride back. I hugged my roommate when he answered the door, went to grab my keys, and went straight back out of the house to check out some christmas light decorations Iíd seen in the car. I spent about an hour tooling around and staring at various lights and ornaments before heading home, expecting the trip to be over soon so I could finally get some sleep.
But it didnít end. I was extremely hungover, and I felt like absolute dogshit, and I couldnít sleep, and I still felt weird, and I was still tripping. For the next twelve hours, I did nothing in bed but watch ďsafeĒ youtube videos to keep me distracted while cycling between getting water, shitting, and lying in bed. I took some melatonin at 2 or 3pm the next day and finally slept for a few hours before being popped awake.
Itís been over a week. Iím basically back to normal but I still have weird visual distortions which are gradually receding. My thoughts are slowly becoming less racy, my regular habits and psychological states being brought back. It was valuable, but I'm never doing this again. I havenít touched a psychoactive drug aside from melatonin since, in the fear that it will slow my mental recovery. In terms of my mood, Iím usually calm and collected, but about once per day Iíll feel my heart begin to race, my thoughts grow unorganized, and my visual space become slightly distorted, but then predictably within 30-45 minutes it recedes and I feel closer to normal. Iím sure within a few weeks to a month Iíll feel totally fine, but for someone with such a history of psychosis this was incredibly risky and probably inadvisable, although after this it would be hard to say that itís still something I should worry about. It wasnít a ďgoodĒ trip, nor was it a ďbadĒ trip, it was a fucking hell of a ride, but I got what I wanted out of it, I probably ďcuredĒ my mental health issues, for whatever it's worth.
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