Citation: beach-cabiner. "With Someone Dying of Cancer: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp115723)". Erowid.org. Sep 7, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115723
Mushrooms With Someone Dying of Cancer
I'd always wanted to do mushrooms, having been told (erroneously) that they were relaxing, mostly visual, and fairly low intensity as psychedelic experiences go.
I'd had 5 or so LSD trips of varying intensity and happiness and a fair amount of pot smoking so I felt I could handle whatever the mushrooms threw my way.
A friend whose husband had been dying of cancer for several years said that they wanted to go to the beach with me and do mushrooms. Somehow the risk-of-a-bad-trip alarms didn't go off for me -- all I could think of was, "Hey cool, I get to hang out with M & N, and try mushrooms, and be at the coast!" Easy choice, I said yes.
The cabin we stayed at was high over the Oregon coast, an absolutely gorgeous setting. No neighbors close by to bug us. It was full of books, and had a ton of windows looking out onto the ocean. It was very big, so it was easy for people to be at far ends of the house and lose track of where the other people were.
M was a wreck from cancer, N was a wreck from caring for him for years, which had only gotten more intense as the disease had progressed.
Anyway, I wanted M to not give me too much...I didn't want to be super stoned, especially since it was occurring to me that this might be a pretty intense situation. He didn't listen. He made a tea with the mushrooms, and N and I both threw up shortly after drinking it -- mostly water. That wasn't surprising, and wasn't too upsetting.
The effects hit me very quickly. The happiest part of the trip was at the beginning, sitting on a chair looking out over the ocean, watching the sky, rocks and ocean melt together. I saw a ton of triangles and star patterns warping into each other, and for maybe 10-20 minutes I was perfectly happy. But after that I got a little nervous about the intensity of the experience, and I could tell that I was going to have to actively "manage" my mindset to avoid being overwhelmed by the visual and psychological effects -- I can get nervous, slightly paranoid, worried, etc, sometimes when I'm stoned.
I could tell it was going to be extra challenging because M was a very chaotic person, and honestly kind of an asshole. He was rambling around making noise, changing the music, playing his guitar, yelling at N, yelling at me, asking for help with things. But the size of the house meant that people could be off by themselves, almost out of earshot of the others. I worried about whether M and N were doing ok, and N felt the same way about M and me.
One management technique I used: Keep track of what song is playing, and notice when another one is playing. This means that at least 4-8 minutes have gone by! This means time *is* passing, and eventually I'll be less stoned! This helped a lot, because I had to keep reminding myself over and over again what was happening, where I was, and that I wouldn't be miserable and stressed out forever.
So...trying to manage my own agitation, trying to placate M, trying to soothe N...it was all a lot to absorb. After that first 20-30 minutes, I didn't get much time to relax. I'm calling this a "challenging" trip, not a bad one. Heaven forbid I ever have to deal with a truly bad situation while stoned.
It was dumb of me, because one thing I thought I'd learned from my acid experiences was that choosing the setting and companions is *so* important for making a trip good or bad. Apparently I haven't learned it well enough! I hope to try again with a smaller dose of mushrooms someday, in calmer environs.
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