Mushrooms - P. Atlantis (scleroti) & Cannabis
Citation: Parker. "Uncomfortable Learning, I Loved It: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. Atlantis (scleroti) & Cannabis (exp116301)". Erowid.org. May 1, 2022. erowid.org/exp/116301
My first experience with psychedelics happened during a trip to Amsterdam last weekend with my girlfriend. I had done a decent amount of research in the weeks prior. I think it’s important to note that I had been smoking cannabis quite regularly and heavily in the 4/5 months beforehand.
I had been smoking cannabis quite regularly and heavily in the 4/5 months beforehand.
I had some unpleasant weed highs during this period, and it was during these highs that I felt the most apprehensive about psychedelics.
We arrived in Amsterdam on Saturday, and during yet another uncomfortable weed high that evening, I once again questioned my readiness. I decided that I would have to reassess my mentality the next day when sober and rested, and that I wouldn’t force it if I didn’t feel ready.
Sunday came and I felt ready. Well, more curious and excited than ready. It’s hard to know when you’re ready for a new experience. I bought 10g of Atlantis truffles from a headshop close to our hotel and then went into a different headshop to get a second opinion. We were undecided on whether or not to tripsit each other. All of the staff that we talked to said that no trip sitting was needed since we were taking a beginner dose and strain, but to do whatever would make us feel more comfortable. The girl in the second shop was especially encouraging, and after she enthusiastically answered all of our questions we felt ready to go. My girlfriend decided that she would take 10g of galindoi truffles. We bought some sugary drinks to calm the effects in case things went south, but we knew that the sugar was more for comfort than anything else.
After arriving back in our hotel at around 4pm, we unpacked and went straight to consuming the truffles. I had been fasting for approximately 4-5 hours prior to consumption, but had a few bites of a croquette to help the truffles go down. Surprisingly they didn’t taste as awful as I expected - apparently Atlantis truffles taste milder than others. My girlfriend took her dose about 15 minutes after me. She was feeling slightly apprehensive and decided to take around 7-8g instead of the full 10g.
+00:30 - 01:00
It was around 30 minutes when I first started feeling the come up. A body high began and I noticed that the room felt very light and full of movement. Colours were more noticable and my emotions began rising. I knew that it had begun and so I decided to roll myself into a comfortable burrito with our blankets. I could feel how soft and comforting the blankets were, and after a moment I began to notice that they were moving and breathing. I felt pretty content. I was describing my experience to my girlfriend, who didn’t start feeling any effects until about another 20-30 minutes. She was happy to listen and keep an eye. The first few tingles of the come up were quite smooth, however things escalated quite quickly in the next 30 minutes. The rest of the come up did not feel very smooth at all - it was jittery and jarring. One moment to the next things began to drastically change. I wasn’t scared per se, but it did feel quite overwhelming. At some point I blurted out that I probably needed to cry about my grandmother who was recently admitted into hospital. I never got around to talking about her though.
I don’t really recall how it began, or the order of my realisations, but the first set of conclusions that I came to were that all drugs are the same, they help you escape, but not a single drug can fix you. I recall saying that ‘you need a good base’, and that ‘drugs don’t show you something new, they just point out everything that’s already there’. At some point I began talking about my teenage drug use, about all of the excessive weed and alcohol usage that often ended in vomiting, tears and paranoia. I also began to cry, and I recall feeling momentarily very frustrated about drugs as a general concept. I think I was confused by the sudden onslaught of information and was trying to ground myself by comparing it to other types of familiar intoxication such as weed and alcohol. Perhaps I was upset that the trip felt comparable to the bad weed highs that I had been experiencing. At some point, I suddenly realised that I expected way too much out of drugs, both when I was younger and also recently. I began to understand and accept that I have a history of using drugs as a crutch. I felt somewhat empathetic towards drugs, almost sorry that I blamed them for my uncomfortable experiences. My perspective shifted from being upset to understanding, it’s like something just clicked. And the fact that I was understanding bought me a lot of peace. My frustration went, and I started feeling more curious and explorative instead.
During my first few introspections, I recall that the room was very vibrantly blue from the paint on the walls and the daylight. Everything felt very liquid and there was movement all around me. I remember looking at my hand and seeing my first distinct visual, my fingers started to shrink and expand. The blue wall next to me appeared to have this ghostly overlay, and the room seemed to be intensely bright.
After I finished rambling, we decided to try and watch a cartoon on my phone. My girlfriend had started to come up as well. While watching the cartoon, I felt increasingly confused, and although the cartoon was familiar I couldn’t keep up with what was happening. The feelings of confusion were quite unpleasant and I stopped watching after a few minutes. We both agreed to just do our own separate things at this point.
The next hour is hard to describe. What happened has become very lost to me. The state of mind that I had during the peak of my trip is so far and distant to my current sober mind that I can barely comprehend it in retrospect. I remember distinct moments but can’t accurately place them in chronological order. I can’t exactly tell you how long these moments lasted either because my sense of time was so incredibly distorted.
At times I recall feeling very overwhelmed. It felt as if my mind was expanding due to the neverending torrents of incoming information. It felt as if the shrooms were showing me so, so much but I couldn’t understand a single thing and I felt lost in all of that confusion. I had moments of clarity doing certain things that grounded me, such as writing and walking around, and those moments felt very nice because those activities were ‘normal’ and I could prove to myself that I was still functional. But those moments felt very fleeting, because before long I would start to drift again. It felt like I kept losing myself. It’s hard to describe exactly, but there were moments at the very peak of my confusion where I can’t recall a single thing except my mind. As if nothing existed except for my confused thoughts.
Moment to moment felt like complete whiplash. I recall opening my eyes and the entire room distorting counter-clockwise in a spin. I recall closing my eyes and seeing a tunnel of red cob-web patterns. I remember moments where I was completely fixated on the walls, since every time I looked there would be a different pattern or texture. At some point I went into the bathroom. While sitting on the toilet it felt like I was folding into myself, and the tiles in front of me were melding together. I remember being very entertained by the coat knobs sliding up and down the length of the door.
All throughout this hour I was jumping in and out of writing. I remember trying to find a very specific graph that I had previously seen - it’s the graph on erowid that shows the intensity of a mushroom trip over time. It felt like it took me forever to find it, and once I found it I remember staring at it for a while. I felt accomplished that I found the graph but I couldn’t really comprehend the graph well. I just felt content that I had found it and I very excitedly showed it to my girlfriend. I remember very closely looking at the fonts of the text on the graph, they seemed so strange to me for some reason. Fonts were also weird whenever I wrote, sometimes individual letters would squeeze and shrink, and sometimes they would dance around on my screen. At some point they were doing the Mexican wave - I was very entertained by this. The black background behind the text was also very interesting, it seemed to have its own 3D space within my phone.
Here is an excerpt from what I wrote, and what I found to be an important mantra that I had to repeat and embrace the entire trip: ‘’Felt like a lot, hard to control. Had to let go, felt good to let go. Breathe in, breathe out, everythings okay.’’
About 2 hours into the trip, things started to smooth out. The intense confusion and drifting that I felt earlier subsided and was then instead replaced by intense excitement. I have never, ever felt so much excitement before in my life. I was simply bursting with it. I felt an intense desire to connect with other people. I was so excited that I made a list of people that I wanted to talk to and tell about my experience.
I felt an intense desire to connect with other people. I was so excited that I made a list of people that I wanted to talk to and tell about my experience.
At first I was hesitant to message people while being high, but after my girlfriend encouraged me, I began messaging a few close friends. All I wanted to do was tell them was that I loved them, so I did. And that felt amazing. My girlfriend was still very engrossed in her videos, but now and again we would hug. It was quite amazing how incredible a simple hug felt. Every time I checked in on her she seemed very content, and I won’t ever forget her beaming smiles during her trip. All I wanted to do was connect with people and that was such a beautiful, beautiful feeling. The intense joy was wonderful.
My visuals were still going quite strong at this point. Faces in particular were very interesting. At times when I looked at my girlfriend she had a very particular green or pink hue. The most disturbing visual of my whole trip was this one particular moment where I looked at her face and saw these dark intense swirls all over her face. It seemed as if distorted eyes had appeared, similar to those deep dream photos generated by AI. Things in my environment continued to move, I remember looking at the edge of the wall and seeing it oscillate quite intensely like a sine wave. The restlessness from earlier was still around, I hurriedly jumped between doing different things, but the trip was quite enjoyable at this part.
+03:00 - 05:00
After about 3 or so hours, the intensity of the trip started to subside. As we started to slowly come down we started to talk more. At the peak of the trip it was difficult to talk, sometimes sentences would be hard to form or we would get distracted by visuals/thoughts mid-sentence, but during the come down it was rather nice to reflect together. It was quite obvious that we were on two completely different trips, and we had quite a laugh about all of our different antics. Laughter was very pleasant, and at times it would just build up out of nowhere, leading to fits of laughter. We settled with some cloud watching and enjoyed seeing the sky slowly turn towards its darker shades. All throughout the trip I had an underlying feeling of nausea which I ignored for the most part, but during the come down I started to feel knots in my stomach. I tried to eat and drink at this point but food and water tasted quite horrible. It was jarring to be reminded of my stomach during the trip.
Surprisingly, I had another epiphany during the come down. I started to reflect on the fact that I felt very carefree and had no anxiety. I tried to think about all of the normal things that would be heavy on my mind, and I was struck by the sudden shift in my perspective. I thought of all of the normal ways I would normally deal with my anxieties - overthinking, predicting, thinking of alternatives etc. and found it all to be so dumb. It was so strange, seeing your own behaviour in such a light, but it made me feel like there are better ways to deal with stress. I really believed it, felt it. I started to cry again, but these were tears of relief. I couldn’t remember the last time I was so carefree and stress free. For the first time in possibly my whole life, I had not a single drop of anxiety.
+05:00 - 09:00
After we felt reasonably ready to go out, we decided to go for a walk to help clear our heads. I was in an incredible mood. Everything around me seemed so interesting, and I continued to feel tingles of the same awe and excitement from earlier.
Things were going well until we decided to smoke a joint. I didn’t take much, only a few puffs, but that was enough for the effects to hit hard. While tripping on shrooms it felt as if the boundaries between my brain and thoughts dissolved, and once I smoked weed it felt like everything came crashing back into my own head. The shrooms made me feel like I was floating up and above. The weed made me feel like I was trapped in my brain. My inner thoughts were so loud and echoing. I could really feel how ‘in my own head’ I was. I hated it. I was upset that maybe I had un-done all of the wonderful perspectives that I had experienced on the shrooms trip. Very surprisingly, I noticed some light visuals. I noticed that things would leave a lasting imprint in my vision, and that there was some ‘noise’ in my vision. I distracted myself with some interesting documentaries and then drifted off to sleep.
+24:00 - 48:00
The next day was a rainy one, so we decided to spend it in a museum. Once again I decided to smoke more weed, not learning from my earlier experience. After a few puffs the effects came crashing in, but they were a lot stronger than the previous night. I could really notice the music being played around me, how it bounced around the walls, how the high notes drifted in the air. I was really fucking high.
Although I do have quite a low tolerance for drugs, this high was particularly unusual. I was a solid 10/10 blasted by the time we entered the building. I took less than 3 puffs and usually this level of high would need a whole joint or bowl. Before we ventured into the exhibitions, my girlfriend left me alone to go to the bathroom quickly and I almost panicked in her absence. There were moments where my inner voice was so jarring that I almost thought I was going crazy. Of course I knew I was just very high, and tried my best to shrug it off, but I was so uncomfortably and overly aware of my thoughts. They were too present. I was too aware of my own head, my body, where I was standing - it was the opposite to how the shrooms made me feel. Shrooms made me feel I was erasing the boundaries between me and everything else. Weed made me feel like I was strengthening those boundaries.
After a while I was able to shift my thoughts towards a more creative headspace after getting more immersed in the artwork. It felt nice to distract myself from my own thoughts, as thinking too much about myself and my situation felt too unpleasant. The weed high felt very wavey, much like the shrooms trip, and there were times where I felt almost sober but then got sent back to a solid 8/10 after hearing my own inner voice for too long. It’s hard to explain exactly, but the weed triggered the introspective headspace from the shroom trip again. While high on the shrooms I couldn’t concentrate on much because of the overloading of information, but in the museum I was able to wade through that headspace again. The headspace itself is hard to describe. To put it simply, it feels as if I become very open. Like my mindscape itself becomes open and I am able to see and understand more. It’s a very, very unpleasant and overwhelming feeling, but it allows for much exploration.
The night before I was disappointed because I thought that the weed had somehow un-done all of the learning and realisations that I had from the shrooms. This really wasn’t the case. Once again, I was expecting too much out of drugs. I wrongly assumed that the shrooms would magically change me, that once they erased my anxieties I would suddenly stay carefree.
I wrongly assumed that the shrooms would magically change me, that once they erased my anxieties I would suddenly stay carefree.
I had quite the humbling experience in the museum. I realised that shrooms don’t change you unless you yourself are willing to change. That change takes work and time. While high on shrooms I was able to see the path towards various goals and ‘truths’, but I myself have to walk that path and navigate it myself in order to reach that goal, if I wish.
I started to explore what those goals and ‘truths’ were, and what they meant to me. I noticed that during the come up and come down of the shrooms trip, while I was more lucid, I had some realisations that were related to me personally, i.e. MY childhood drug usage and MY anxieties. During the very peak of the trip, those realisations and perspectives didn’t centre around me anymore. My perspective was like white noise. It’s like in order to see the bigger picture, your perspective has to zoom out in order to fit it all in, and in doing so you’re no longer centred on yourself. The more you take in, the less of yourself that you focus on. I think that’s why, at the peak of my trip, I felt like I was nothing but a limited and confused perspective glimpsing into something that’s way, way bigger and ever encompassing. I don’t come out of that experience with any solid realisations, I can’t even begin to speculate what that big something might be since it’s such an abstract concept to my sober mind. In the museum I started to think that maybe there are other ways to see that same perspective of ‘the bigger picture’, maybe that’s what some religious/spiritual/meditation techniques go towards, embracing that feeling of being less of you and more of everything else?
I also started to explore why I hated the feeling of ‘being in my head’ so much and why the weed highs have been so unpleasant. I noticed at one point in the museum that my senses were all heightened. I could feel a lot of movement all around me but I felt like a barrier to all of that movement. The shrooms made me aware of the barrier between myself and everything else. As some others have put it, there is a ‘shell’ that you are in, and in the museum I could feel the movement flow around my shell. On shrooms, I could feel less of my shell, but the weed seemed to accentuate it. I disliked how strongly I could feel that barrier, that ‘shell’, and I felt a desire to become less self-centred. At the same time however, I didn’t wish to rid myself of that shell completely. Implying that I could rid myself of this barrier is a very abstract concept of course and it seems almost impossible, but if it could be achieved, what would happen then? Various questions start to arise, almost defensively, and it makes me wonder if this is the first time I have ever engaged with my ‘ego’, my definition of self. Again, I thought back to other religious/spiritual/meditation techniques, and if they also have similar concepts of ‘ridding one’s personal shell’.
I was in this bizarre headspace for almost 5-6 hours before I started to feel sober and ‘normal’ again, even though I took a seemingly tiny amount of weed. I definitely think that the shrooms from the previous day played a strong influence. I even think that in a more abstract way, the shrooms permanently opened up a certain perspective (what some might call the ‘third eye’ etc.) and this perspective can be poked again with weed and other drugs. I also think that there are more ways to enter this headspace, as I mentioned earlier, with other religious/spiritual/meditation techniques, although I have yet to experiment.
It was very hard to feel normal again. This amount of introspection is not exactly fun or pleasant and it differed from normal over-thinking in that it felt very raw and heavy. For a while, I struggled to enjoy my day to day life. It was hard to feel okay with going about normal things again. Anytime I felt normal, it felt like I was just distracting myself from something. I had no desire for fun, no appetite, and all I wanted to do was lay down and mull over what happened. It felt like an empty depression and it led me to be very absent in the real world due to my mind coming to terms with the experience. The experience was almost traumatic due to the intensity. But I knew that I would feel better eventually, and despite all of the unpleasantness and discomfort, I still hold this entire experience in high regard. The moments of emptiness have faded, and now I feel more at peace, both with the experience and with myself in general. I recognise that I still have a lot to learn, and that not all learning is pleasant. I’ve decided to quit weed and focus more on my physical and mental health for the next while, and I’m very excited to do so. I think I will definitely experiment more with psychedelics in the future, but not for a long long while until I feel that I am ready to explore again.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.