Citation: Verdant. "Love and Lust, Loss and Loneliness: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp56357)". Erowid.org. Jan 25, 2008. erowid.org/exp/56357
It was to be a birthday present for my friend, but it ended up being a lot more than I had planned on, and a lot more than I was probably ready for. It happened about two weeks ago.
Some background, undoubtedly, is in order. I am a 20 year old college student, about 180 lbs. I have suffered, and I think still do suffer from some kind of depression, though it hasn't been able to really paralyze me for a few months now.
I'm not entirely sure how deep this trip went in me, but I know it connected a long ways back. I believe it begins with my old partner. We'd been together, and we'd been in love, probably moreso than we should've been. As all good things apparently do, it had to end. She lost her financial aid, and couldn't afford to stay in my town. In love we may have been, but we both realized (or thought we did) that we couldn't jeopardize both our lives by staying together. So she left, and I struggled with that aforementioned depression and emotional instability for a number of months. That was 9 months ago.
Fast forward to the present. By this time, I'd tried mushrooms a couple of times, and swore by them. They were gentle, both on the climb and the come down, with no nasty after-effects. And they gave me such a beautiful insight into my life and the world. Each time I took them, I came out with a new feeling, a new understanding, however you'd like to characterize a perceptual epiphany. So my friend's birthday was coming up, and as he also enjoyed the occasional psychedelic, I decided to get some for him. I also invited a girl I had become involved with to join me. And the plot thickens.
She was in an open relationship and, as I have come to understand, really had an entirely different idea of what a relationship meant to her. Mine was the classic romantic's - In a way that's probably entirely sweet, and wholly unhealthy, I gave a part of myself to the girl that I loved. What they did with it afterwards was often a problem, but that rarely stopped me. Hers was a bit more liberated: she in an open relationship, though not polyamorous. Essentially, she had sex with her close friends, and they remained just that. So I was one of her close friends, but my own perception of the relationship was a bit more fucked. But at the time, I was okay with that. Just being close to someone again was enough. Yeah, I know, dumb move.
Our environment was to be the housing cooperative where they live and I work. We're all a great group of friends there, and an accepting drug culture, limited to 'Hippy' drugs: marijuana, salvia, acid, mushrooms and the such, so it was a friendly place. Lots of murals, lots of places to explore, and a short walk from a forest and a garden.
So one night, we meet and take them, walking to the store briefly to grab some food before they start to affect us. By the time we get back, it's starting to hit me. We all flop down on the couch, and I have a sudden and vaguely familiar feeling of an artificial (solely in the sense that it did not arise naturally) but normal feeling of elation. My emotions seem to take a rise then, along with both of theirs, who have started to feel them as well, and we end up a laughing mess for all of fifteen minutes, which felt to be about an hour. For a reason that I can't particularly recall, we moved into our large venue room, which had many a couch, mural and other assortment of curiosities. By this time, the visuals began to kick in viciously, and for the next hour or so all we did was sit, looking at various things, laughing madly and commenting on them occasionally. A birthday present come true. And we were still rising.
Then the disconnect began.
I had wanted to look into their insights, to hear their musings, to talk about the things that I had seen and understood as well. A stereotypical philosophy major, I wanted to think in words. But they were what I perceived to be 'stuck' in the surface attractions of the drug. For some reason, this hurt deeply with my on/off friend/partner. I wanted to create some sort of connection, and she wanted me to give her some quiet time to enjoy the face in the light. So I did, wandering off to another part of the house. I think it was around then that I started to peak, and I was definitely out of my normal state of mind. I stopped at a door, perhaps no different from any other. But it had words and poems and paintings on it. I stood there and read them, taking them each in turn, and I felt alone. Very, very alone.
I don't exactly know why, but I felt the need to touch it, so I leaned up against it, putting my face and hands to its cool metal. I should mention that at this point, I still had an awareness of dichotomy. That is, there was still a part of me that was fully aware that I was in fact tripping, that I was in an artificial state of mind, that things would eventually end. Subconsciously, I knew things would be okay. But I digress. The feeling, cold metal though it was, was comforting. The *contact* was comforting. To hold, touch something. I melded into it, felt the house, felt the people, but did not connect to them. I suddenly felt trapped, though it did not cause panic. I just realized that in order to understand...Why...I needed to get outside. I needed to see. I needed to get on the roof. Before you gasp with fright, the roof of the houses are large, flat and safe. I'd been up there many times, and had a strong understanding (at least at this point) of my own safety and capabilities.
So I eventually detached myself from the door and its poetry, and returned to my friends, who were still enjoying what we had begun to call 'The Room.' I asked them, calmly but urgently, to come with me to the roof, to find something meaningful. Their response, that I remember strongly, was 'That they couldn't handle it right then.' Again, this hurt me deeply, though I made no comment on it, as I knew that they meant no harm in it.
So began my journey to the roof.
It's three floors until you reach the attic, and I was on the bottom. For some reason, the trip up took a long time, though I knew that little time had truly passed. I was lost in my thoughts. I brooded on them, on the question of why I was like I was then, why they didn't want to join me, why I felt so alone. Why I couldn't get over the feeling. Was it because there was something there that I did not understand? Or was I just being foolish? And then came the attic. It was dark, and I felt a distinct sense of foreboding in it. A metaphor hit me, in that my thoughts had climbed and hit the wall of fear, the veil between my pain...And understanding. I could retreat into my ignorance, and avoid the fear, but the pain would remain. So I pressed on. I climbed up, step by step of the ladder, pushed open the trapdoor.
And there it was. The world, the lights, the sky. It was all there, and all of my dichotomy, all that I had anchored in a true sense of reality, was rushed away on the wind. It had been raining that night, and light purple clouds rushed by in the midnight background, illuminated by the light pollution of the city. I looked out over them, and I realized...Fully, truly...That we are all alone. That the pain that I had, that burst within me and leeched the life out of heart, was universal. That the only thing that really made life worth living were the connections, the breakthroughs of that veil that we made to each other. That love was the only thing that had ever given me real happiness, that I knew this because I had felt it, and lost it, and known the empty hollowness that accompanied it. I saw my friends, sitting in the Room, alone. I also felt that my conceptions of gender suddenly became meaningless. If I loved a man, or a woman, what matter would it have? The verb remains the same. It would remain as love. I stared up into the sky, watching the clouds stream by into the distance, and the words from Fight Club screamed into my heart and my mind.
'This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.'
Somehow, that sentence recovered me from the sudden desire to just lay down and die, while at the same time obliterating my hopes to feel happiness again. Perhaps it would come again. Perhaps not. The brooding on it just made it worse. I would suffer, yes. But what else was there to do? This was life. I might as well try and live it. This went on for a time, before I felt the need to talk to my friends of this, to try one more time to bring them to the roof, to give them my revelation.
I, apparently, returned a very changed person. My features had become intense, and I somehow had a more feminine cast, or so my other, more sober friends had described. My fellow trippers noticed as well, but more in the feeling of me than anything else. Walking into the Room was like intruding on something. They were still there, staring with wide-eyed amazement at the murals and walls. I was like a creeping shadow to them, my elation drained and I myself some harbinger of something heavier. My persuasions, as you might imagine, failed. But unlike before, I didn't care quite as much, as if a local anesthetic had been administered at my chest, and numbed away the feeling. I instead wanted to see what the other house members were doing with themselves on this night.
A drum circle. They were laughing and boozing, talking and playing. And I was entirely separate from them. The people I talked to seemed concerned or scared for me when they looked at me, though I reacted entirely calmly. All except for one dear friend of mine, who looked into my eyes and then embraced me. It was only after that I found out that he was breaking off a relationship of his own.
The story from there is more of the same. I wandered, trying to find something to love, something to hold onto. And found nothing. My sometimes partner and my friends' trips were entirely different from mine, something I think we all regretted. But my perceptions of love and sex both changed dramatically. As did the rest of me, it seems, as since then I've seemed a bit 'different' to a few of my friends, and when they ask if I'd had a good time, I can only respond that it was good, if not happy. If only they knew.
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