Scarred, But Alive. A Toe Dip Into Insanity.
Citation: Unix Arcadia. "Scarred, But Alive. A Toe Dip Into Insanity.: An Experience with Mushrooms - Panaeolus cyanescens & Quetiapine (exp115676)". Erowid.org. Sep 14, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115676
The following story is gonna be tonally silly as I think these things should be approached with some semblance of positivity so it's not completely grim.
So let's start off with a little history on my sort of... obsession with psychedelics.
To make a long story short: I tried LSD in 2020, an objectively bad year for the entire world and it was great. Didn't hallucinate much, my trips seem to be more cerebral than visual; A far cry from the experiences of the friends who introduced me to psychedelics from what they said it was like for them. Soon enough, I decided to try Psilocybin mushrooms which I got from a plug I trust. I took a 2 gram dose one fateful morning (separate from the forthcoming dose) and had a very pleasant experience. I took a walk in my neighborhood and everything was beautiful. I learned a lot about myself and learned not to let other people determine my worth. Great experience. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Anyways, it's been a while since then. My future psychedelic experiences would be much more varied in terms of how the trip went. Some good, some bad. I have OCD so trips can really only go two ways depending on how I'm feeling that day.
I have OCD so trips can really only go two ways depending on how I'm feeling that day.
After being between jobs and my life going all over the place, a smidge of stability came into my life and I had finally gotten a job I love. I decided, now that things are falling back into place, it'd be the perfect time for another trip. I took 2 grams of blue meanies (Panaeolus cyanescens) and decided to go for a long bike ride.
Chapter I: I am a lion.
About an hour into this bike ride, I was on my favorite bike trail and it started kicking in. Everything was glowing as I expected, I felt really in tune with the world around me. I was alone in the middle of the trail. I took my shirt off. "This is what Phil Elverum was talking about. This is feeling Immortal like Jedwill. I am a lion." I thought to myself. I basked in the moment for a bit, then decided to head back. Here's where things get midsy.
Chapter II: On the corner of Zooted and Deluded.
While biking back, I inadvertently pushed myself a little too hard pedaling and I was drenched in sweat, dehydrated as all hell, but still really enjoying just how colorful everything was. I laid flat on the ground staring at the sky trying to regain enough stamina to get back onto my bike. I downed 2 48 oz bottles of water and pedalled back home while "Driving Directly Into A Concrete Wall" by Gupi blared into my ears from my headset. I was really feeling those bassy kicks and synths. I felt like a speeding bullet. I stopped by a Walgreens and, of course, the anxiety started to kick in.
While waiting on a long ass line to buy water, I was immersed in the breathing and moving texture of the countertops. I was starting to get incredibly anxious and impatient. After staring at a counter and progressing along the line, I finally got to the cashier. She was fucking beautiful. I complimented her, she seemed flustered but then again, I was pretty deep into the trip so who knows if she was absolutely freaked the fuck out by this chubby very obviously queer person with dilated pupils complimenting her beauty. I walked out of the store and biked my way back home.
Chapter III: The Plunge, Ceaseless Judgment.
Once I got home, I put my bike away and headed inside to shower. As Frank Ocean said, "This showerhead feels so amazing." Although, that was a double entendre for getting a blowjob in the shower. Anyways, I set the shower cold and really enjoyed it, which is unusual for me. I got out of the shower and headed into my room. Recently, I've been feeling pretty shitty about how my life really only consists of smoking pot then secluding myself in my room doing whatever on my computer. Mostly playing Apex Legends, which is a Battle Royale game. (Similar to Fortnite, if you're familiar with it.) As I headed into my room, my thoughts started to spiral.
(Just a warning, the following paragraph will go into detail about the thoughts that were going through my head. They will get very aggressive and things will get very dark. If you are sensitive to harsh and self-deprecating language then you should probably read another trip report. It's okay for these things to bother you. You aren't being "sensitive". Bad trips are scary.)
I couldn't stop thinking self-depreciative thoughts. "Are you really about to do this again? Go back to your room, high on drugs, glued to a screen, either doomscrolling or drowning in your escapism. You're not gonna make music now. You don't have a lick of creative juice in you. You're too drugged up. Your room is a fucking pigsty. Your life is a mess. You put no effort into your appearance. You want to be beautiful and express yourself? You don't have it in you. What the hell were you even thinking? Taking a Psychedelic when your mental health is still all over the fucking place? You literally just went to therapy this morning. You still have OCD, Dumbass. You are trapped with this demon forever. I'll make sure you'll pay for this." I stumbled into my computer chair. The Windows interface looked completely fucked and unreadable. I thought I was having a stroke. I managed to open Apex Legends, hoping to just drown myself and tune into the action. I couldn't. I just stared at my character in the Lobby.
After struggling to play video games, I thought back to what a friend told me about bad trips and how they cope with them. "I just kinda lay in bed and ride out the insanity." That was my only option. And so I did. I locked myself in my room. Repeating "I am so pretty and I am so brave and cool." Desperate to push some sort of positive thoughts of myself to drown out the insane thoughts in my head. I kept thinking terrible intrusive thoughts about the people I love and myself. I remember feeling somewhat aggressive at some points and I was so afraid of blanking out and committing an atrocity like all the terrible trip reports I've read. I've also heard of the infamous "Acid King" incident in the 80s. I thought "I fucking hate Erowid for setting this expectation for me." An admittedly silly thought. Of course reading these negative experiences will set that expectation for you when you've got OCD. It is what it is.
Anyways, I locked myself in my room and tried my best to drown out my thoughts with anything. I remember playing a YouTube video of an Apex Legends streamer I like watching. Really bad idea. The gunshots were incredibly overstimulating. Here's where I really figured out what auditory hallucinations and "hearing voices" was like. At least for me. They were sort of drowned out. Dormant. They felt like they were coming from inside my brain and rumbling throughout my body and in the back of my mind. I heard painful moans, screams full of agony. It was too fucking much. I sprung out of bed and put my PS4 into rest mode and yelled "Shut the fuck up!" at the top of my lungs. I'm pretty sure at this point, my brother and his girlfriend knew I was tweaking. They didn't wanna fuck around and check on me though. God, am I thankful they didn't. I'm sure they would've tried to calm me down, but that wasn't gonna work. Not when I'm this aggressive. I gotta handle this myself.
Chapter V: Stumbling About.
I popped 225 mgs of Seroquel that I took from a partner of mine who had been sleeping over, but was out to drive for Uber. I faced that shit like it was nothing for the remainder of the trip. I was too afraid of blanking out and unlocking my door to unleash whatever demon was inside of me. I wrapped myself in blankets with the fan in my face, shoving handfuls of sunflower seeds down my gullet hoping the flavor would help. The taste was awful. I downed it with more water. Staying hydrated is important for maintaining a trip, and it would be a life saver several times throughout the trip. Every time my throat got dry, it got worse and the cold water flowing through my body felt so grounding. I pissed a lot. The only time I ever left my room through this trip and I made a beeline for the bathroom to do my business and return. I tried spitting my seeds out into the cup I had for the discarded shells. My hands were trembling so much that I spilled them all over my bed. I let out a loud "Auuugh!" akin to Charlie Brown. The hallucinations started shifting from seeing faces with ominous grins and horrified expressions, to everything being flat shaded like some sort of shitty PS2 game. I decided to just keep myself in bed for the remainder of the trip.
For the next two hours or so, I was constantly fighting the need to just black out. I still had some awareness of time. I guess the shrooms didn't have sv_timescale set low like most psychedelics do. I couldn't tell if it was the Seroquel or if I was slipping into a dissociative state. It was most likely the Seroquel, but I didn't physically feel tired. I didn't physically feel shit but my blanket, the vibration of my trembling body and the air against me. I tried putting my grounding playlist on Spotify and started to calm down somewhat. The music was distorting from very discordant to sonically orgasmic. I laid in bed listening to whatever the shuffle gave me. Mostly Sufjan Stevens. I remember after fighting another blackout, I heard Sufjan sing "I've made a lot of mistakes. In my mind. In my mind." I interpreted that in two ways. I've made so many mistakes that have directly contributed to my mental state; but at the same time, I overthink literally everything so maybe my "mistakes" weren't as detrimental as I thought. In fact, most of them were merely just me being young and dumb. I'm only 21. Now's the time to live my life. I'm young. I still have so much ahead of me. I really started to internalize this. Alas, this is when my parents and my partner would get home.
Chapter VI: Don't Think About Your Parents Coming Home Because They Definitely Will.
Earlier in the trip, desperate to find some sort of affirmation that I'm still grounded in reality, I called my Father. He had done shrooms before so I thought calling someone I love and that has experience would reassure me. It was, but part of me thought I had gone insane and I had actually blacked out. I thought that them coming was just my brain defending myself from seeing whatever I'm doing. I was so afraid. My Mother immediately noticed how swollen my face was and kept pressing me about what was going on with me. I caved in and told her I took shrooms and I was having a bad time. She kept asking who gave them to me and things of that nature. "If you love me and truly care for me, please stop pressing me. I'm already doing terrible right now and I don't want to panic." I felt a burning in the back of my throat and the aftertaste of the shrooms. I went to try and throw up but nothing came out, no matter how far I shoved my fingers into the back of my throat.
Chapter VII: The Calm After The Storm.
My parents decided to just let me ride it out, thankfully. They were distracted by this new cat they had just come home with. I remember being really happy. She's the most adorable little kitty. My partner and I decided to go back to my room and the trip started to calm down. I was so happy he was here. We had been arguing a lot lately and I felt so sad about how we've been getting with each other. I apologized for how angry I would get to him and he apologized for his part in it. I understand that I've been really impatient with him. He understood that I need space sometimes and so does he. We snuggled in bed and sang along to Mirror by Porter Robinson. The School of Life sample at the end of the song played and we both sang along with it. "Sometimes the inner voice is encouraging, calling for you to run those final few yards. You're nearly there, keep going, keep going, keep going, it will all be okay in the end." I am okay. I was still in reality. I was okay the whole time. I was safe in my room. Home. Alive.
For the rest of the night, I felt a mix of emotions. I was safe and I was sure of that. I still felt awful though. I still had terrible intrusive thoughts. Until midnight, I was still fighting the need to black out as I was still afraid of doing something terrible. It's strange because I wouldn't hurt anyone or do anything atrocious. I was really confused about this. Why am I thinking all of this? Why do I think crazy shit randomly even when I'm not tripping? This is when I realized something.
I struggle with OCD. I have a mental illness that I'm working on. Of course I'm going to think these wild ass things from time to time. It's all in my head though. I know I wouldn't hurt anyone. I know who I am. I am kind. I am good. I am beautiful. I am a creative soul with a very vivid and free imagination. I am in tune with my inner child. Sometimes, my inner child was afraid of crazy shit! I am brave. I didn't black out. I am resilient. I will never lose to OCD. I am strong. I can conquer anything. I've beaten most of the Dark Souls games for fucks sake! I can do anything. I am my own worst enemy, but I am also my own best friend. I know that side of my brain that gives me intrusive thoughts is an enemy, but it isn't me. It's a part of me. "I know who my enemies are.", to quote Jeff Mangum. I thought back to the ending of one of my favorite games, Celeste. I won't spoil it. The game is truly worth the full experience. It's difficult, but rewarding, and life changing. Much like a bad trip, if I'm gonna be cringey about it haha. I finally felt things return to normalcy. I felt physically tired again. I closed my eyes and it was over.
Psychedelics are weird for me. I get the life changing realizations, but I get even more after. Today, I woke up feeling really guilty. I went to my Mother and apologized profusely for having her see me that way. She's already very averse to psychedelics. Her sister had a very traumatic experience that unfortunately caused her to spiral and she hasn't been the same since. I don't want to go into detail because it's my family business, but it was really fucked up. I felt like shit. My Mother wasn't as upset as I thought she would be. "You know I'm always gonna be on your side. This is why we support you going to therapy. We want you to get better. But you can't be frivolous with this shit you're getting off the streets." She was right. I shouldn't have done this given my mental state. Yet, I felt humbled.
I had lived through a really rough trip. It was a relatively small dose, but it kicked my ass. I have a really sensitive brain that can't really handle the intensity of a trip, especially if my mental state is as tumultuous as it was. I say was because throughout the day, I slowly started to feel so happy and appreciative of my life. I went shopping with my Mother and bought myself a new outfit. I looked so beautiful in it. I cleaned my room. I beat the first boss of Demon's Souls. (I had just purchased it a day before I tripped) I am so happy to be alive. I am so happy I haven't completely lost my mind. I am so happy I have a job I love. I am so happy I'm able to buy stuff I want and not have to depend on my parents so much. I am growing up. I used to be so afraid of adulthood, but now I feel like I can still be an adult and not lose touch with who I truly am. A goofy, creative, kind-hearted childlike musician who is destined for greatness like all humans are. No one is truly hopeless. Everyone is loved by someone. Cherish those who love you, even if they don't always make you happy.
Anyways, that's the end of my trip report. Reader, I hope you've enjoyed my trip report and I wish you nothing but the best. Have a great day.
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