Citation: Psyck Of It All. "Getting Drylled: An Experience with Diphenhydramine (exp65888)". Erowid.org. Jan 26, 2010. erowid.org/exp/65888
The first time I took Benadryl, it gave me this weird feeling of familiarity, like I've experienced a high like it before, but to this day I can't quite place it. It's sort of like alcohol, in it's downer effects, but more like weed, in its mentally disabling effects. The overall feeling is nothing like either, though.
If I really had to express what it feels like, I'd say it is VERY similar to being extremely tired, and staying up late into the night, being in that weird, dreamy state, when you know you should be heading to bed, but you stay up because you have something or other to do. This may seem altogether undesirable, but the strange sedation is only in my mind. My body is still (mostly) functional, though slow and heavy. It's as though it exhausts my sense of reality, and that is the reason for the severe hallucinations it causes. Kind of like living some vivid dream about life itself. The entire trip feels very tiring. Also, the weird feverish feeling I get from taking it seems to have a lot to do with the effect. It's indescribable. Euphoria can actually occur in the right setting, but that basically entails finding a comfortable place to chill, and just listen to psychedelic music through headphones. It is a really weird drug...
What I'm about to share happened during the Summer at my Grandma's house. It's a little long winded, but it's a worthwhile read if you're really interested in doing diphenhydramine. At the time of this experience, I was feeling really pissed off and 'used'. I'd read quite a few experience reports about Benadryl, and had used it 3 or 4 times prior to this happening. Those experiences consisted of doses between 300-500mg. I had never hallucinated on the stuff before this night. This was the culmination of several months' emotions, and a general desire to just rip, go insane for a night, and say 'Fuck Off!' to the whole world. On this moist July night, I would get my wish. No need to elaborate on why I chose to do this. Those familiar with the drug culture understand the fucked up things that can happen: mentally, physically, and spiritually...
I had bought a couple of nice, $2.50 a box packages of the generic brand Benadryl aka, 'The Dryl'. There were 24 tabs per box with 25mg of diphenhydramine in each. So since I took 800mg of this crap, that means... let's see... holy shit, I guess that means I took 32 of these little pink bastards! Heh, the things we do when we don't give a shit, eh?
Anywho, this all happened at somewhere around midnight. There were 2 other people in the house, and both were sleeping. Well one was TRYING to sleep, as you'll see later, haha. My grandma had gone down the hall to bed, and I couldn't restrain myself anymore. Too much rage, too much depression. I just wanted to get fucked up! I took the goods and a smoke or two, and some unsteady hands into the bathroom, where I swear I must have spent 10 solid minutes 'deshelling' pills from some very inconvenient tinfoil containers. After it was all done, I'd unthinkingly downed half the pills at a time with water from the bathroom sink.
When I went back into my cousin's (the second person in the house) room, he was laying on his bed, talking to someone or other on his cellphone. He finally got tired of them and I generously gave him a hit or two out of my stash. I figured that would occupy him for a while.:) I declined the bowl myself. I wanted this experience to be raw. I wanted to know what kind of insanity the Dryl would wreak on it's own.
About 30 minutes in, and not feeling anything, my cousin told me to go get the DVD player out of the living room, so we could hook it up and jam out to some Infected Mushroom! This seemed like a good idea. I always like IM on Dryl for some reason.
Diphenhydramine is definitely a much more musical drug than pot, at least to me.
I leave the room, with the light still on, closing the door behind me. Now that I'm up and about, I'm starting to realize those old familiar effects... no euphoria, but a noticeable sedation, fever, blurred vision, and a very disconnected feeling to reality. All I knew was that I was about to be fucked out of my mind! Woot!
Now ANYONE that has taken Dryl knows that it pretty much rapes your memory for the whole duration of the trip. Standing in the middle of the living room, I completely forget why I'd come out here in the first place. I suddenly realized my throat was VERY dry (Dryl is way worse than dope in that regard). I walk to the kitchen, and get some water or tea from the fridge. I don't really remember which. I remember bowing my head a lot, because of the heavy sedation, during which time, I would completely forget where I was, and what I was on. Then I'd throw my head back and choke out a low, whispering laugh, then remark on how completely fucked I was, to myself.
Eventually I decided to go back to the living room. My coordination was careless and clumsy. I was afraid of making a bunch of noise if I tried to unhook the DVD pl... my thoughts stopped dead. Where my grandma's house is, there are a shit-load of REALLY big, REALLY nasty cockroaches. We call them waterbugs.
Since I was small, these little shits have scared the HELL out of me! I vaguely remember sliding a flip-flop off my foot, and pounding his ass to mush, then scraping him up with a paper towel. This occurrence triggered something in my head. The next thing I know, I'm thinking about those cockroaches, thinking about how fucked I am, and how hard it was for me to be on guard against those things. Suddenly, I'd feel a weird tingle on my leg, and I'd silently jump and start slapping my leg with the shoe.
I looked down at the ground, my vision blurring like someone put my eyes in a blender. Straining, I couldn't see anything on the ground. I then remembered that Dryl will make you itch and tingle a lot, and I sort of laughed at myself, still out of breath, when I feel another tingle, and there I am, beating the fuck out of my leg again, grabbing at the bottom of my shorts, thinking I had a waterbug trapped in a fold of cloth. I squeeze hard with my hand, believing I just crushed the bastard, and when I let go to make the dead critter fall out, nothing happened. I continue this insanity for a good while, completely losing track of time.
I only looked at a clock twice during this entire drug episode. Once I think it was somewhere between 1 and 2 AM, at which time, I wasn't too messed up, that being the only reason I had the forethought to check. After getting tired as hell, hopping around on the living room floor, fighting invisible cockroaches, I switch weapons. I grab a flyswatter, and start darting my eyes around the room, paranoid as all hell, probably making an amusing caricature of Hunter S. Thompson.
I've read that people forget completely that they are high when they take this stuff. That isn't the case with me. I knew I was high, but it was subconscious. The fact that my mortal enemy among all of God's creatures was scampering all around me took complete precedence over the fact that drugs were in my system. Because of this, very obvious facts, such as 'All these cockroaches are pure hallucinations,' never came to mind. To me, all that I saw was the gospel truth. This was the infallible, physical world, and these fucking cockroaches were out for my blood!
I was so tired from pacing the floor, hitting myself with shoes and flyswatters for what was, in retrospect, hours! I just wanted to sit down, but when I approached the couch, I saw another waterbug, go crawling up the seat, and over the back. No way in hell am I sitting there!
It was the same with all the seats in the house. I must have paced for a good while longer, doing the head bowing thing, and making whimpering/laughing noises, shaking and darting my head around, before I finally grab a chair from the kitchen table, carefully, examined it for cockroaches, then set it out in the middle of the room. I was able to prop myself uncomfortably there for a while, before I started feeling the tingles again.
A good way into the pacing, I realized, uncaringly, that there were people sitting on the living room furniture. My aunt was on the couch, my grandma was sitting in her blue recliner, and I'm sure my cousin was lounging around there somewhere. Certain facts about reality screamed at me to realize how impossible this was. They even arranged themselves in a list:
1. You're on drugs.
2. There are only 2 people in this house.
3. Those 2 people are dead asleep by now.
4. They're sitting on couches covered in 'roaches'!
5. You're on DRUGS!!!!
The dryl had pierced my eardrums like an icepick. I was deaf to sanity. I remember looking helplessly toward my family, and all they did was give me these looks that said, 'We'd like to help, but... uh... we're just figments of your imagination, man.'
Stupid, worthless ghost family.
At one point, having temporarily forgotten about the roaches, the thought struck me that I was supposed to go back to my cousin's bedroom for some reason. I return to his room, empty handed. The light is off, and he's fast asleep. Of course I don't give a fuck, I'm high. I hit the light switch, and go perch on the edge of his bed. I remotely hear some pissed off grumbling. I guess he woke up, and was about to bitch at me for waking him up, but he got too weirded out, because later, after I'd told him what I had done, he said I was just sitting at the foot of his bed, staring off into space, mumbling shit to myself, as if having a conversation. This deterred him from saying anything to me, as I, in his words, '...was really creeping me out'. He flicked the light back off, and I tried to lay down to sleep, exhausted from my battle with the cockroaches. I grabbed a blanket, and went to spread it on the floor next to the bed. 3 or 4 cockroaches appeared in the middle of the blanket, running around all over the place.
Fuck this! Fuck cockroaches. Fuck waffles. Fuck the moon. Fuck lobsters. Fuck fiddler crabs. Fuck everything!
I got up, stomped to the door, flicked the lights back on, and left the room, closing the door behind me, again. This made me laugh later though, when my cousin told me how I kept pissing him off, by waking him up.
Seconds or hours later (did I mention dryl completely warps your sense of time?), I'm back in the living room, talking to my grandma. Well actually she'd say things, and I'd mutter, 'What was that?'
After doing this several times she gives me this strange look only my grandma could give. It was very familiar. Looking back it's unreal how, uh, real she looked. heh. I was just staring at that look, waiting for her to repeat herself, when suddenly I felt this *insane* reverberation throughout my body and my mind. Everything felt like it was shaking. My skin trembled, reminiscent of that feeling you get when you are suddenly scared really bad, and your hair stands up. I wasn't scared, it was just the same physical feeling. Everything in the room felt like it was vibrating, getting stronger and stronger, like the world was a gong, and someone just struck it. In one instant, my Grandma faded away as I was looking at her, and melted into the chair she was sitting on, leaving no trace that she was ever there. I can not stress how insane this felt. It was probably the most moving part of this whole experience.
At the time, this all seemed pretty dull, mundane crap. Now that I think about it, my mind bellows at me 'I-N-T-E-N-S-E'. Throughout the night, I walked out the front door, and wander down the road, and around the yard quite a few times, trying to get a little peace from those skittering sons of bitches inside.
While in the dimly lit yard, I could have sworn I saw several more roaches running around the ground. I saw several things I believed to be carcasses of large crab-like creatures. These turned out to be clumps of grass.
Once, when I went outside, I realized it was unusually bright for being so late. I stumbled into the kitchen to look at a clock for the second time, somewhat curious. 6AM. It was fucking morning! What felt like an hour or so of wandering around aimlessly, turned out to be a six hour taste of schizophrenic psychosis, most of which is probably completely forgotten. Incredible! The drug had subsided a bit, and though I was still blasted, there were no more cockroaches appearing and disappearing like clockwork. I was still too edgy to lay down and sleep. I didn't trust those damned things one bit.
Around 7:00 or so my aunt came in from staying at her boyfriend's house that night. Since she was used to me waking up at noon every day, she was sort of wondering what the hell I was up to. I told the truth, as I still percieved it, in a weak, dull voice,. 'There were fucking cockroaches everywhere last night! They were on the walls, the furniture, in [my cousin's] room! Fucking everywhere! There was nowhere to lay down, so I've been wandering around the house all night!'
I don't really remember how she responded, but I do remember catching some movement out of the corner of my eye on one of the chairs. I thought it was a roach, so I said, 'See! There's one right there!' Looking closer, I saw some big, 8 inch long or so, alien creature, like a huge bug with a dozen or so big, spindly legs. It was stuck on its back and wagging its little legs all over the place. My lord, it looked so DAMNED REAL! I poked at it cautiously with my flyswatter, my aunt just looking at me in amazement. Suddenly it disappeared, and I said something like, 'Ah shit, it got away!'
She said, 'Boy, I think you're hallucinating. You need to get some sleep.'
My brain was laughing at me. Today, I'm laughing at me.
Oh, I have one last relevant hallucination to share, which I found particularly strange. I *think* I was crouching in the middle of the living room, resting my head in my arms, eyes closed. Suddenly I *felt* as though my cousin and one of his friends was in the room. I could see them in my mind, which formed an image of the setting around me. My cousin's friend said something to the effect of 'Chicks are just objects, they're only good for fucking.' I told my cousin this later, and he said that same friend told him something along those lines a couple of days prior. The rotten motherfucker. It just seemed really strange to me.
I stayed up the whole next day too. It WAS the 4th of July after all. Heh... how weird.
After this episode was all behind me, I had time to sit and reflect. To me this wasn't just another night of getting fucked up. It meant something. I was miserable. For days after the effects are gone, I felt groggy and stupid. My mind still didn't know what was real. I didn't want to have to deal with people. Why do we do the things we do? There will never be an explanation. Not in my case. I never went to sleep that night, yet at times, I think I've never woken up. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and find I've dreamed the last few months since I dropped those little pink pills, so carelessly. I've done some drugs... but the dryl is the only thing that has ever made me question my own reality.
Though what I've scraped together in this report is mostly a collection of pieces of info disconnected from a timeline, many of the things that happened are still somewhat vivid in my mind. Even now, I can see my sweaty, drugged-out self, shuffling back and forth the livingroom carpet, occasionally slapping myself with a flyswatter, and muttering things to myself, and people that were never there. There was this strange, muted effect to everything, like seeing things from inside an aquarium. Every once in a while, I still feel that 'muted' effect, shadowing reality, and it makes me stop and question everything around me.
If fighting phantom cockroaches and talking to ghost granny wasn't enough to make me realize I'd gone batshit, I guess I should just accept it. There are some very positive effects to Benadryl, actually. For instance, even though it seems terrifying to realize you were talking to ghost-like figures, and to be chased around by humongous fucking cockroaches (unless you're not a pussy like me, haha), there was nothing in the experience I can really recall as extremely horrifying.
What dryl does is parallel the 'real world' in such a way that I reacted to the hallucinations like I do everyday things. For example, when sober, I'm afraid of big ass roaches, but not in a way that makes me run for my life and start screaming. They just creep me out a bit. The same applies in the wonderful world of diphenhydramine. Of course in real life I'd be scared out of my mind if I realized I was talking to ghosts, but on Benadryl it seemed perfectly normal that there were hallucinations of people I knew everywhere, so it didn't bother me. After the people disappeared, I did, however feel a bit lonely. :( I got over it though.
Oh, also, the ever-present paranoia associated with weed and psychadelics was completely absent. Dryl, if anything, makes me nearly impervious to everyday fears, by detaching me so much from my accustomed reality. That was one of my biggest reservations about tripping on this stuff in the first place. I was afraid of going insane with fear from the things I saw. As a matter of fact, there is nothing even remotely psychadelic about this drug. I would best describe it as anti-spiritual. It grounds you in the same dogmatic way you ground yourself to your supposed reality. I've never been one to look for inspiration in drugs. It's just not something I believe in. I think you should form opinions while in your right mind, not while taking some esoteric vacation to another fucking galaxy.
There is something Benadryl taught me though, despite being the least inspiring drug I've ever taken. The intensely realistic hallucinations I experienced had such a hold on me, and were such convincing lies, that it wasn't until DAYS later that I even began to ask myself if the things I saw were real or not. This was compounded by the fact that I didn't sleep until I was completely sober, the next day. And I'm a fairly level-headed person.
From all this, I learned that there is no indisputable basis for our existence in this universe. Science, is a hobby that society came up with to amuse itself, something we'll tinker with until we realize how much we've lied to ourselves, and discard it for the garbage it is. We've told ourselves a comforting story, that the laws of nature are set in stone, and that up is always up, down, down, trees, trees. We've told ourselves that we are all at the whims of the laws of physics. We've told ourselves that if we can perceive it with our senses, it's real.
I encourage anyone that thinks God and the supernatural and such can be explained away with 'logic', to go get drylled. No, I challenge you. Go get drylled, and you tell ME what the fuck is real. As for myself... I don't know anymore.
Thanks for reading.
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