Citation: Seanty Cooze. "I've Never Felt More Alone: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp53960)". Erowid.org. Sep 8, 2006. erowid.org/exp/53960
Forward - This is a description of the most intense experience I have ever had on any drug, and quite possibly a defining moment of my short life. It has been several months since this venture and I now feel compelled to share my experience, as there has been ample time to reflect upon it and witness how it has affected me. Unfortunately, since it was so long ago, and because my memory wasn't quite 'on' at the time, some of the details may be forgotten or skewed slightly, but I will try to remember as best I can. I actually took a fairly long voice recording (about 60-75 minutes) of myself, explaining to myself, what had just occurred as I was coming off of the trip, but I unfortunately deleted several weeks later due to fear of it being found by my mother. It did however, give me a very detailed explanation of the trip with estimated times and emotional reflection.
Background - I am 17 (16 at the time of trip), 6'1' 165 pounds. I live with my mother who teaches 6th grade. I have a close-knit group of friends, who, by most standards would be considered the 'cool' kids at school. Some would call me, 'that kinda 'hippie' kid who hangs around with the 'popular' kids', If you want to stereotype it. I had recently gotten my first job at Pizza Hut, and at the time of the trip, was working quite a bit, as well as going to school, which may have added some underlying stress. I am generally happy but, occasionally I have random mood swings that take me from content to depressed quickly.
Several years ago (ages 12-14) I was depressed most of the time, and for about a year I had frequent panic attacks (which lingers in the back of my mind often times when taking some drugs 'What will happen if I have a panic attack on this?'). Overall, for more than a year before the trip I had been the happiest I'd ever been in my life, and I considered myself ready for such mind altering drugs. I have experimented with drugs for quite a while. I started smoking pot and drinking alcohol at 13, and have tried many things since then.
My drug use was/is infrequent however, varying between months-days between uses, with an average of about 2 weeks apart over the course of 4 years. Originally, my drug use was more of a childish escape or a wish to defy the rules, but more recently (the last year, age 16-present), my focus has shifted more to expanding my mind and experiencing new perceptions (cliche' I know). This is where my sights set on hallucinogens.
For months I researched LSD and searched for a supplier (for the connections of a high school sophomore aren't particularly good). Finally, one day, by chance my friend and I managed to grasp 4 very expensive hits, 2 for each of us. Eagerly, I took them, they were very low quality and I barely tripped at all, but it gave me a glimpse of what was to come.
Precursor - Mushrooms had never been very common in my school due to their scarcity in my area, and lack of connections. That is until early '06. Because I had been working so much recently, and because I had very few bills, I decided to splurge a bit and stock up in case they disappeared from the market again. Friend F, a co-worker, sold me an eighth of an ounce for 25. This was the remainder of his stash that he was selling because, a few days before, while tripping, he blacked out and ran off of the road damaging his car and scaring him into sobriety. Another one of my co-worker's brothers, B, sold me a quarter ounce for 80 (I now know it wasn't the best of deals) and told me they were very potent. I learned later that F had gotten his from B as well, so I now had 3/8 of an ounce. Another friend from school, J (who is now also a co-worker), approached me about splitting a full ounce with him. I complied, and we bought an entire ounce for 190. This left me with 7/8 of an ounce. I hid them in my closet for a couple weeks, waiting for the perfect time to trip.
On my first trip I ate one half of an eighth and was blown away, in a good way. It was one of the most pleasant experiences on drugs up to that point. The visuals, the euphoria, the thought patterns, the increased interest in music, and never any paranoia. I laid on my couch and watched The Wall for the first time and had a merry ol' time.
The Set-Up - I can't remember how long after my first trip it was, anywhere from two weeks to one month afterwards. I was scared that the shrooms may lose some potency for sitting so long in my closet, but there hadn't been a time that I felt comfortable tripping. My plans had fallen through for the night and I was stuck at home. My mother had gone out of town as she often did, and I had the house all to myself. Unlike my first trip, which was carefully planned and anticipated, this trip was spontaneous and done out of boredom, which may have had some effect on its outcome. My initial intention was to have a nice, mellow trip about the same intensity as the last. Throughout the trip I was glued to the clock, so I remember what was going on best by the times that stick out in my mind. These experiences were cataloged on my MP3 voice recorder as I was coming off my trip. Those recordings, and a spotty memory can hopefully give an accurate report of the events that unfolded.
The Experience -
T+ 0:00 - 12:00 AM
I opened my bag, now containing roughly 3/4 an ounce and pulled out a nice size cap and two decent stems. I estimate the dose to be about 2 grams, slightly more than what is usually sold as 'a half eighth'. I popped them in my mouth and chewed them into a paste that I held in my mouth for a few minutes. Many people complain about the taste, but it never really bothered me. I walked into my mother's room, which houses the computer. I started to talk on AOL Instant Messenger, to one of my closest friends, G. I told him I'd just taken some mushrooms and we started discussing them as I waited to come up. G is a sheltered guy who has always been fascinated by drugs because he almost never has the chance to take them.
I started feeling some threshold effects about 30 minutes after ingestion, such as strange body sensations like twitching, glowing lights, and an added emphasis of color. I was thoroughly enjoying myself and was now ready for an eventful trip. My conversation with G progressed and I said that I was thinking about taking some more. He said he didn't think it was a good idea, because I was by myself and you never know what might happen, he was right. At one point I told him quote 'I'm going to outer space tonight, baby'. He told me to be careful and to call him if I needed to, then signed off. I was starting to trip by now, although still coming up, all the major hallucinations were taking place, the dotted wall paper on my mother's wall started to walk and the flowers started to wave, the acoustic tile ceiling was particularly pronounced. Whether consciously or unconsciously, I decided on taking a 'little' more. I walked back into my room and pulled out 2 caps and 3 stems (to the best of my memory) and ate them in the same fashion as before. I am not 100% sure how much I took upon the second ingestion, this is mainly based on what I can remember visually (which isn't very reliable) and how much was left in the bag the next day.
I walked back into my mother's room, still in the very best of moods, completely ready to trip hard. I put on Dark Side of the Moon and lay down on my mothers bed and enjoyed the hallucinations. The music was very pleasantly accented and the ceiling tiles would move along with the melodies. This fascinated me because I had read about 'seeing sounds', and now I was actually experiencing it. Toward the end of the album and into its second time playing, I could feel the second dose starting to hit me. My body began to pulsate strangely and my heart began to beat a little faster. My beating heart overcame me for a small while, I listened to it even more than the music playing in the background. I thought I could feel the blood travel through my body, my heart would beat and my fingers would feel the warm sensation of recirculation. I started to doze. I closed my eyes as I sank into the bed. During 'On the Run' the second time playing through, my heart kept beating faster and my chest felt a touch of cold. This was what the beginning of a panic attack had always felt like, so I bolted upright. 'Whoa.' I grabbed my head trying to make the uneasy vibe go away. I turned the music off thinking it was just too trippy and went into the living room to watch some TV.
I fell onto the couch, which seemed particularly comfy. Above my couch is an enormous painting of my mother's (she majored in art in college). It is a pastel painting done in different shades of red, it is a close up of her smiling face, her hands on her cheeks. I had a quick comical thought that she was my guardian angel looking over me, and although I had a rebellious 'Hey mom, I'm doing shrooms right under your nose, nyah nyah!' chuckle, it was somewhat comforting. I flicked on the TV and searched for something, anything to get my mind off of the trip. I decided to watch The Latin Kings of Comedy for a while, because there was nothing else on. I don't think I actually listened to anything they said, I kept trying not the focus on my heartbeat, which was self-defeating. One thing I remember particularly well, is during one of the acts, the comedian's face would blend into the red backdrop. His outline would disappear and it would just be a completely red floating face telling jokes, creepy.
T+ 2:30 [Between 2:30-4:15 I consider to be when the plateaus of each dose met. The information may be slightly out of order.]
Continuing to come up, and my heart continuing to race, I made my fatal mistake. I turned off the TV, rolled over facing into the couch and tried to sleep it off. It was so quiet, everything was muffled and felt very far away. I started to feel increasingly detached from the outside world. I was beginning to retreat into my own body. The only sounds I heard were, my breathing, heartbeat, and the blood-flow in my head (Or as I said out loud to no one 'Mindflow'). It was in this stage that I began to feel nauseous. My guts began to feel twisted and over inflated. This sensation was probably intensified ten fold by my increased awareness of my bodily functions, nonetheless it was very uncomfortable and only got worse with time. I began to feel very sick and felt that I should try to vomit. I got off the couch and stumbled into my bathroom. The bright lights and white walls hurt my eyes. I collapsed in front of my toilet hugging the rim, it felt incredibly cold and unpleasant on my skin. The inside of the toilet had tie dye colors quivering on the water line that would bounce around every time I disturbed the water. Breathing heavily, I slid my finger into my mouth and tried to touch the inside of my throat to induce vomiting. Gagging felt like every muscle in my body was tensing at once.
Again and again I tried to get the shrooms out of my system, but my throat would only close around my finger and I was no closer to vomiting than when I had started. I laid back on the floor facing the ceiling and released a pitiful sigh. My long hair had fallen into the toilet and was now wetting my face. The ceiling of the bathroom was slanted and the shadows it cast danced eerily around the room. The white walls were flashing different colors, each solidly a single color but different than the ones adjacent to it (almost identical to 'disco mode' in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2). The unbearable nausea subsided somewhat and I looked into the mirror. The skin on my face was crawling, and upon each refocus of my eyes, my face would have a different expression and position, while the original face was still present, looking as though I had two or three or four faces with a single neck.
[Aside - This was one of the most spiritual visuals of the trip. Although my thoughts were racing at the time, my mind stumbled upon a realization that often times a person has many different sides or 'faces'. Thoughts and feelings are sometimes hidden underneath a mask and are not understood or even considered. The weeks following my trip I thought about this more and even tried to change this aspect of myself. I drew a picture of this visual about a month later.]
I walked back into the living room and laid on the couch, again trying to fall asleep. Bad as ever, I tossed and turned, staying in no position longer than thirty seconds. I stared at my VCR clock, so slow. I had my mind set that if I made it to 3:00, everything would be fine. I started to sweat. I flicked on the ceiling fan. The fan in my living room has a loose screw and has shook from side to side for as long as I can remember. The fan became a spinning circle that would speed up and slow down randomly (much like how car tires appear to change speeds and even spin backwards when they are moving very quickly). The fan was calm and nonthreatening. For about five minutes my trip may have been steering in a good direction, in this stage I was still uneasy but not terrified, I even turned out the light. Then it got hot. This sensation is hard to explain. I went from kind of warm to excruciatingly hell-like heat in seconds.
In normal heat, even very hot days, the heat is external, it's an annoyance. This heat was everywhere, it felt as though it was coming from inside of my body and there was no escaping it. I have never been that hot in my life, I recalled how much cooler my friend's sauna felt than this heat. That thought terrified me. I ran over to my old air conditioner and fumbled to turn it on the highest possible setting. I stood in front of it, but I only got hotter and hotter. I screamed at the top of my lungs into the air vent, 'GET COLD!'. I lay on my hard-wood floor in front of it. The cool wood felt good against my skin, so I took off all my clothes except my boxers.
It helped cool my skin but, I still felt as though there was an internal heat that was causing my discomfort. I stood up and started to walk to get a glass of water from my kitchen. At the end of the hall (which is short, 20ft. maybe) a single window is visible. The window was the only source of light in my vision, and I was solely focusing on it. As I walked down the hallway all other objects were blocked out even the sound of my footsteps were completely unnoticed. For about 5 seconds I believe I left my body a literally 'flew' toward that light. Once I reached the window, I immediately snapped back into reality, and continued into the kitchen. There was a passing thought of how similar what had just happened was to the classic 'approaching the white light at the end of the tunnel' death scenario. If it had been a different situation and I hadn't been so God damn hot, it may have been a religious experience. I filled a glass of water in a dirty cup and returned to my living room, finishing it before I'd even sat down.
I lay back down on the couch, letting out a slight sigh as my head hit the pillow. I saw (whether it was in my mind or visually) the sigh come out of my mouth as a spray of orangish color. I wondered if it was my feelings of terror or my lifeforce leaving my body, little by little, with each pathetic sigh. My innards were still on fire, but the glass of water had helped cool me down to a normal 'burning up'. The pitch black visuals were quite possibly the most terrifying part of the trip. Flashes of light, literally as powerful as camera flashes would randomly appear out of the darkness. I later realized this was the blinking light of a DVD player reflected off of a picture frame. At times I would be staring off into the blackness, eyes open, and see intense, dream-like, 3-dimensional 'things'.
It is difficult to describe how I was seeing these 'things'. It was as though I was seeing with my eyes, what you see with your mind. The 'things' would appear completely independent of the real world but remain within it. The only example I can think of is a film projector. The film is the real world and the hallucinations are the shadow puppets made by the guy in the back row. I would open and close my eyes frantically, but the hallucinations remained as though they were dancing on my corneas. The most pronounced and terrifying visual of the entire trip was during this stage. It came from my right field of vision slithering out from the inside of my brain. Uncurling itself, it appeared to be a ghost-like disfigured snake (I'm terrified of snakes anyway) with a long face and large overbite. It had pulsating lights upon its belly of varying color. I shook my head and closed my eyes, and it was gone as quickly as it had come.
Time had ticked passed the overly-anticipated 3 o'clock mark and was making its way deep within the bowels of another agonizing hour. Because I had so strongly convinced myself that everything would be okay if I could make it to 3:00, and because I was so damn sure that when I got cool I'd be able to gather myself, my horror was only intensified when those events occurred. I concentrated on my breathing, which was nasally. I would often get the same sensation of my breath being a spray that was the slow dispersion of my lifeforce.
At some point in the midst of all this (somewhere within the 3 o'clock hour) one of my saviors came to me in the form of a soft, eight pound, angel. My sister's cat lept onto my stomach and nudged my face with its, and let out the most innocent sound I could possibly imagine. That single 'mew' was enough to bring me back to baseline, if only for a split second. I was so glad there was something there to take my mind off of myself. I pet her for a few minutes but, eventually shooed her away, in fear of hurting the animal.
T+ 3:40 [3:40-3:50 was the absolute peak of the trip, the only Level 5 stage]
'Three-Forty. Oh my God.' Thats the voice recording I have recalling this stage. Three-Forty was the estimated time I gave myself afterwards. However, it could have really been at 3:59 and lasted only one minute, or it could have started at 3:20 and lasted almost thirty minutes, either is possible. At some point I turned to face my couch. I was still very scared, but it was a less confused terror, I felt as though I could almost think naturally. I felt myself slip away into the cushions, down into the floor, down into the basement, down into the Earth, and then down into nothing. I was no longer in my house, or on Earth, or even in this plane of existence, I was there. I was inside myself. There was no fear, what was the point? There was nothing, only me, only my soul. I was a shapeless being, floating in a shapeless plane observing the shapelessness. I had all my senses intact and undisturbed, I could very distinctly see, hear, and feel as though I was in reality.
Although there was nothing to see, hear, or touch, I knew I had the ability, much like a man knows he can see in a deep cave where it is impossible to see. I now wonder if that feeling is the same as unbirth or death. I didn't realize I was there until I had returned from it. It was like falling asleep, but not realizing I've fallen asleep until I wake up. I jolted back to consciousness, feeling the rush of reality coming back to me.
The terror returned and I was back into the stages of the 3 o'clock hour. I glanced at the clock, Three-Fifty-Something. 'If I can just make it to 4:00'. A thought crossed my mind, if I was reverting back to previous stages, was I coming down? This severely heightened my mood. Hope. I also remembered what someone had told me so very long ago, 'If you need me just call'. I reached over and picked up the phone, which was apparently right next to me the entire time. The light of the caller ID burned so brightly into my eyes, that think I can still make it out if I close my eyes. I searched for G's number and pressed autodial. It felt like an eternity, but was probably only four or five rings.
'Hello?' He said in a voice that showed he had just awoken from a very deep sleep.
'Hey, Uhmm.. It's me.'
'Uhh.. (several second pause) I don't even know why I called.' [A lie]
'Are you okay?'
'Yeah, sorry I called'
'Man, are you sure?'
'I swear to gaahd.'
'Alright see ya.'
'Damnit! You idiot!' I yelled to myself.
I may have not had help on the way, but I did feel better knowing that there were other people in the world. I sat up and put me feet on the floor. The sensation of the beginning of a panic attack resurfaced. 'Fuck! I thought I was passed this.' I felt that I needed to get my mind off of myself, so I needed some sort of distraction. I had recently bought 'Morning View' and had been listening to it nonstop. The song Aqueous Transmission crossed my mind, the thought of it made me feel calm. Of course, nothing in life is easy, and the CD was in my car, miles away in my driveway. I heroically set out on my quest to retrieve the holy CD. Off the couch and into my room. Open my wallet to get my house key and car key. Walk to the front door and fumble with my house key to unlock the door, in the dark. Open the door and walk across the yard. Fumble with my car key to open the car door, in the dark. Stick the key in the ignition and eject the CD. Turn off the car and lock the door. Walk back across my yard and back inside, locking the door behind me. Put the CD in the player and hit 'forward' 12 times. The room was filled with the most beautiful music I had ever heard.
I laid back down on the couch and let the music overtake me. Although still frazzled and uneasy, I was able to at least enjoy the music, that was so greatly emphasized.
Unfortunately, I could not figure out how to put the song on repeat so every seven minutes and forty-six seconds I would have to get up from my comfortable pallet. I decided to return to my mother's room and play the CD on the computer. I laid down on the bed and heaved a relieved sigh. I had unknowingly passed my 4 o'clock marker and felt as though everything was going to be fine. During the 4 o'clock hour, I was not at content, I would still consider this stage to be a 'bad trip', but it was infinitely better than the previous stages. I probably pissed over 15 times in this hour. I had been pissing a lot earlier in the trip as well (maybe five or six times), but not enough that I noticed anything unusual.
Every few minutes, if I felt any urine at all in my bladder, I would go squeeze it out. By the end, my dick hurt really bad. This stage of the trip was similar to 1:30 AM in that I would concentrate on my heartbeat and have it overwhelm me. It was a tough hour, but comparatively manageable.
Sleep never found me. No matter what I did I wasn't tired. By this time, the 5 o'clock hour being reached, my mood was almost happy. It is possible that by this time, I had almost completely come down from the first dose and was coming down from the second, or maybe Aqueous Transmission had just changed me. I turned on the bedside light and started up Dark Side of the Moon again. I actually enjoyed watching the open eye visuals similar to those of 1:00 AM.
From across the room, I spotted my voice recorder. Still tripping, and very eager to recount the events that had unfolded, I broke it out. I then recollected every minor detail I possibly could about what had happened, and I'm very glad I did. Many of the details (especially those of three-forty), I had completely forgotten by the next day, and only remembered them upon reexamination of the sound files.
I recorded for almost twice through the album, I had 73 minutes of footage at the end. My last file sounded something like this:
'This year... Damn. I've been slacking. I've got the worst grades I've ever had [I finished with A-B-C-C, terrible by my standards], and I'm doing stuff like this. I can't keep doing this. And my friends... Damn. (click)'
It was very uncomfortable seeing things from that angle, and made me think a lot about what was wrong in my life. FINALLY, at about 7:15, with the light creeping in the window, I fell into a deep sleep.
The Next Day - I awoke that day at about 2, surprisingly energized. I lay in bed for a while recollecting what had happened the night before, in a sober mind-set. I listened to a few of my sound files and thought about what I meant by some of my stranger rants. Later that day I met up with G and told him what happened. I don't think he realized how intense it was, and how much he had helped me by just saying a few words.
The Aftermath - I was scared to death by this experience. For about a month afterwards I felt more detached and somber that usual, and during this time made some important emotional breakthroughs (whether thats a good thing or a bad thing, I guess we'll see). I never ate my remaining mushrooms, I sold them for considerably less than I bought them, and always strongly cautioned about taking too many. Now, about 3 months later, I think I've almost fully recovered. I'm almost considering another half eighth trip pretty soon.
Recollection - Writing this, I think is the last step of my recovery from it. I can now put it in the past, and only recall it when I feel necessary. It has shaped who I am now more than I think. I find it much easier to critique myself. I've also found a new attachment to relationships and it is more clear how important friends, family, and lovers are to us. It may not have been all bad in happening, maybe even necessary. All I can say for sure is that I will never forget that night.
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