Citation: Paradoxical. "Quitting Smoking: An Experience with Mushrooms & Nicotine Withdrawal (exp26446)". Erowid.org. Sep 20, 2006. erowid.org/exp/26446
(A note to the reader-- I was still tripping when I wrote this. The first section is about quitting smoking, the second is about the trip and goes into the discovery I made into human brain chemistry. I will divide them because reading a long and detailed report about quitting smoking isn't the most interesting thing in the world.)
Let me give you some information on the situations leading up to this night. I've been smoking for three years. It's a bitch of a habit, it's really bad for you, we've heard it all. We've all said that we can quit, but there's just no reason, et cetera, et cetera, but every day we find outselves down at the store buying a pack of butts. Your friends are making fun of you, 'You said that before.' Your relatives bother you. Your non-smoking friends might tell you to stop.
I finally got the chance of a lifetime. I got offered a thousand dollars to quit. The deal was, if I'd quit the next day, I'd get a thousand bucks. That's definitely worth it in my mind (Especially since my friend had told me three days earlier that she was offered the same deal. She declined, and has been cursing herself for it since.). It's funny how few of us act towards the long term in favor of the short term. I'm glad there was this short term motivation to kick this long term habit.
So, I smoked my last few cigarettes. Trying to get every last bit of enjoyment out of them. Salem, Marlboro, Salem, Camel, Winston, Parliament. I had every kind of cigarette with me just to have some sort of variety in life. I enjoyed them. Just sitting aroud having a great conversation with a friend, like the best of cigarettes were. I had my very last one at around 8pm.
The rest of the night was fine. I woke up the next day, and it was tough. No morning cigarette, no cigarette after a meal. There was a higher motivation to it all. I wrote '$1,000' on a Salem and puffed on it. DIdn't smoke it though. I knew that if I smoked it, it would be like smoking a thousand dollars, and what would the point of that be? I could keep smoking and hide it (I have a friend who did that for years), but I realized this was the time to stop.
I also consider myself a scientist of sorts. As Terence McKenna put it, an explorer may be a better definition. If I am given a chance to figure out something that will link just one more piece of the puzzle of life together, then I'm happy. Here, I saw my chance.
I read online a lot, and I stumbled upon an article about nicotine withdrawal causing an endogenous MAOI type activity which had something to do with tribulin levels in rat brains. 'Well,', I thought, 'This would be the perfect time to figure out if this is true in humans. Also, I'll be able to figure out if there's a way to have a safe MAOI for an ayahuasca mixture, that's naturally produced. As well as learning whether an MAOI potentiates tryptamines, or just changes the nature of the experience.' So, I seized the opportunity. Never did I expect what was actually to occur.
Three days prior to this, I combined MDMA and mushrooms for the first time in my life. It was an amazing experience. I learned so much about myself and overcame deep seated fears which I had previously decided I would not face. It's tough not to change when you're confronted with such harsh truth, and a situation which would bring it to light, as well as opportunities to change it. However, that's besides the point. The point of this paragraph was supposed to be that I had taken the mushrooms before, and knew their potency. They were very body oriented during the beginning of the trip, but would get much more intense mentally later on. A gram on an empty stomach was good for a decent trip.
So after I got these mushrooms (A very crazy situation indeed, with numerous police encounters), me and my friend start going back to the house. We end up going the wrong way on the highway after originally going the right was due to so many different types of confusion, which encapsulated a crazy day turned to night all for the love of mushrooms. At that, I decided to consume around a gram on an empty stomach. While I was eating them, I realized that this was going to be quite the trip if the MAO inhibition were actually to happen. Fortunately, it did.
I understood at that time that it was going to be quite the mental conflict, tripping while trying to quit smoking. What I did not understand at the time was all of the factors involved, which I do now. They were, as follows:
If I smoke a cigarette, I lose a thousand dollars. I took too little shrooms to really make me trip hard, so my trip was resting on the potentiation. If I smoked a cigarette, it would be like wasting all those shrooms I just ate, and by not smoking one, I would be propelled into a trip harder than I could imagine (A lot of people, including me, have the immediate reaction to smoke a cigarette when they're in distress. When they're tripping too hard, just to bring them back into the world). On top of all this, I'm having the worst (and last) nicotine craving of my life.
As I start to come up on the shrooms, the situation in which I'm in becomes more and more apparent to me by the second. The situation dynamics playing themselves out. I'm down in my room and start to peak. The situation becomes more and more insane. My keyboard doesn't work, so I'm typing with my mouse. The people I'm with are talking, I feel that I am insulting them. They're about to leave. What am I to do now? What am I to do later? The situation gets more and more ridiculous by the second. As I want a cigarette more and more, I start to trip harder and harder. The more frustrated I am, the harder I trip. The futility of this endless cycle is apparent. I still want a cigarette, but I know I cannot have one. I trip harder, and harder, and harder. I feel like I'm in a Picasso painting. That is the only way to describe it. Every thought I am having, every situational dynamic, every single thing is getting crazier and more incomprehensible by the second, my desire for a cigarette is endless. Obejcts are morphing, changing colors, souds don't sound the same-- I'm feeling them. A confusing sense of multidimensional synasthesia was the only thing I could feel. Everything connecting from the principle of disconnection-- is it even possible? Was this insanity ever going to stop?
Did I care?
No, I fucking loved it! At that moment, I realized that I could actually love the feeling of not having a cigarette! I love tripping. I may be young (Under 18, that's all you need to know), but the impressions on my mind which are left after a good trip are completely unmatched by anything.
After all, haven't we all wondered what it was like to live the life of abstract art? Well, let me tell you... It's a wonderful life. Smoking may be a habit that I enjoyed, but mushrooms are always going to be my favorite. They're healthier, anyways. Whenever I want a cigarette, eat a mushroom? Souds good to me.
Well, the rest of the night was disappointing. I left the house, tripping harder than I ever had (The most recent experience is always the strongest... Is it just memory, or am I pushing my limits every time?). By the time I got to the gas station to meet my friends, the cigarette smoke in the air, though it was a feeling of physical relief, was bringing my trip down, never to come back at such extreme levels. I would say it was unfortunate, but I had a fun night. Friends are always good to be aroud. Perhaps I can inspire them to quit as well? Who knows.
As I said, I'm a scientist of sorts... Out exploring the unknown in everyday life. Well, after trekking the depths and heights of an amazing combination (Mushrooms and quitting smoking as an MAO inhibitor), I can say that I am quit pleased at the otcome. A trip is always a good way to set my mind for something, and a quit smoking trip is perfect. Not only am I rewarded by not having a cigarette with a more intenst trip, which will allow me to break the thought cycle of having a cigarette because I'm overwhelmed by something, etc... I get a cheaper trip, and infinite potentiation from a completely free, natural source! Talk about good deals, this is the best one I've ever had. I don't, know how long this will last, but I plan to take advantage of it as often as possible. I'm going to miss wanting a cigarette because of what it does. Psychedelic drugs all depend on environment -- Set, setting, we've heard it over and over again. The trip can be brought down to a comparative nothing just by breathing in cigarette smoke from the air aroud me, or it can be propelled into the most surreal abstract adventure of a lifetime (year, month, week... whatever your preference may be) just by staying away from cigarette smoke.
I've always had trouble concluding things-- I feel I always have more to say, or left something out. Always something wrong. However, for the first time, I feel differently. All I can hope for is that people will read this and decide to kick the habit, as well as give something back to the ever-growing knowledge database that exists on the internet.
Open your mind to new experiences, and always be the explorer. It's truly the best way to live.
End report. However, I would like to note some things that may or may not have been related to that in particular.
I took those same mushrooms at a higher dose the next two nights after that. I felt like I was living two lives -- One in reality, and one in the mushroom, all at the same time. They are both seperate and completely interactable, but still there. That lasted for four days. I felt this state more intensely whenever I wanted a cigarette.
Take care, and explore.
Oh, and quit butts if you're motivated to do so. You wouldn't believe how much better life is without them.
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