The Mind, when Viewed as a Mere Toy...
Citation: Lost Shepherd. "The Mind, when Viewed as a Mere Toy...: An Experience with LSD (exp67788)". Erowid.org. Nov 26, 2011. erowid.org/exp/67788
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Date and Time: It was the weekend of Halloween, and Devil’s Night (the night before Halloween) to be more exact. It was Monday, October 30th, 2006.
Long-term Background: I was attending Bridgewater College for my first semester. It was midway through, and I was absolutely annoyed with life on that campus. I sought a way out of it wherever and whenever I could. Drugs and alcohol become the easiest means of escape, and that is mostly what those chemicals were used for, like one who prays once to some god and expects all of his or her problems to be instantly solved, at least for some time.
I had experimented with various substances up to the point of LSD, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, zycam, psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, hashish, xanax, cyclobenzaprine, seroquel (taken ignorantly), and dextrostat. The use of those drugs was spread out over the period of a year. The most recent experience I had prior to my LSD experience was the mushroom experience, which was amazing, and which will be mentioned in another post. I used mushrooms about a month before LSD AT MOST.
My girlfriend’s birthday was to be taking place on Halloween, the day after my LSD experience. She made me paranoid about using because she hated drugs of all kinds, and she hated when I used them in particular. She had threatened to end our relationship prematurely on several occasions when she discovered my mere monthly marijuana use. This may have attributed to the negative after effects of this LSD trip which I am going to discuss. I attained the substance through a guy for a very fair price, and even having the substance on me made me rather paranoid, because I knew if my mother or father or anyone outside my sphere of trust discovered my possession of it, they would destroy it. So, there was a great deal of fear revolving around the substance the entire time I had it, as well as wonder that I even had it in the first place. Attaining it was very easy, and yet finding the time and place to use it was very difficult. I locked it in a safe, and hid the safe in a closet. I could’ve sworn I would return to my dorm room one day to find an officer waiting there to handcuff me and put me away forever.
Short-term Background: I was in Waynesboro, VA, which is where the trip took place. I was alone in my room. My mother and father had drifted off to sleep, and I had the house to myself. Unlike most other experiences, I had no purpose for this trip. I was anxious to experience it, but without a purpose, I feel the resulting lack of focus and chaos attributed to the anxiety I later experienced.
10:00 PM. I put a hit in my mouth. I waited.
10:10 PM. I could not recall how long LSD took to react with the mind, so I put anther hit in my mouth. I was beginning to fear I was sold something inactive.
10:15 PM. Since I had three more hits left, I decided to throw one more in just to seal the deal, and be done. If nothing happened, I thought to myself, nothing happened. If something does happen, it will be very pronounced. I licked some whitish powder which was at the bottom of the bag thinking it was pure LSD. I believe it was actually cocaine, as my tongue went slightly numb. I walked down the hall to the room in which my computer was humming to itself, basically waiting for me to hop onto erowid and look up LSD experiences.
10:30-11:00 PM. I still didn’t feel anything pronounced. I was reading that LSD could take up to an hour and a half to react, so I grew more patient. I started to read people’s reports, some of which were negative, which was probably a bad idea given the circumstances. I began thinking to myself “Well, there is no way back now. I must ride this wave back to the shore.” I printed off a pornographic image to see how LSD effected one’s perceptions of sex and sexuality. After attempting to jack off, I realized how uninteresting the image was, as well as the premise of sex itself. Pornography had always repulsed me unless I was aroused prior to looking at it. I was becoming a bit drowsy. “Hmmm…”, I thought “I should probably leave. I don’t want to wake my parents up if I start making odd noises or knocking things about.”
11:00-11:30 I began my quest walking about Waynesboro. I called my brother and told him of my predicament. He laughed, and said “Well, have fun ____, and don’t laugh too hard!” I felt very childlike, which was nice. I was full of wonder, and could not easily recognize things. I would look at a trashcan and notice the top, which i could set something on, or the sides, which I could use as walls. I did not see it as something to merely put trash in. I walked down a street known as Woodrow, which I thought would be pretty. It was mostly frightening. The shadows seemed to know of my mental state and picked on me by taking the forms of dark, cartoonish monsters. Although the street is named after the president, it could easily be mistaken as being named for the row of trees planted on the sides of the road. The trees themselves were beautiful when I looked up at the sky through they’re branches. Those were my limbs, and I was reaching skyward.
11:30-12:00 I called my roommate. I was very paranoid. It was late, and if any of you are familiar with Waynesboro, there is nothing there to do after around 9 except go to Wal-Mart. Occasionally a car would pass, and occasionally I would hallucinate the sound of a car coming up behind me. There was no one out but me. The entire town was dead, and it felt awful to experience it as such. I was so lonely. I was constantly turning around. I recalled a time 2 years previous in which 5 cop cars in a row traveled down the curvy Wayne Avenue hill during one of my early morning outings. I was not 18 when I had seen those cars, and was subjected to curfew laws if discovered to be a juvenile out after 12. I feared the same thing would happen, and this time they would mistake me for a juvenile only to discover I was 18 (an adult who can be punished as such) AND under the influence of LSD, with two hits remaining on my person. I really did not want any contact with the police at that point. My roommate helped me keep my head.
12:30-1:00- I made it to the post office, and realized how close I was to the police station. The sidewalk tiles began to lift up and spin about under my feet, which obviously made it very difficult to maintain my composure. I believe I did quite well, considering. I took a side road, and walked through some residential neighborhoods, and remarked something like “Man, this whole town is dead. The dreams of these people are only found in sleep! They would be repulsed to know my condition, and yet they will be very intimate with me in the grave! The grave is not something terrible, but a union, a negation of hatred and love which forms neutrality and sameness.” Then I sat down. The sky and the earth became a sphere, the shape all things attempt to maintain. The stars were swarming about in the sky like bees, and I felt as though they were producing the sweet, honey-like sense of well-being I was experiencing.
And then I realized I was lying on someone’s front lawn, became extremely paranoid, and ran down the street. Motion interrupted all of the visuals, I realized. Sitting down was a terrible idea if I didn’t want to look suspicious, because the experience became VERY heavy when I did (the next time I use anything, I will be stationary for the majority of the time, or moving only slightly). I eventually made my way back to the curvy Wayne Avenue hill. Upon passing the YMCA and crossing the bridge, I began to fear I would jump or fall off, so I walked very slowly. I cannot image what I looked like walking about under the influence. My limbs felt absolutely EXHAUSTED. I don’t know whether this is common, but I experienced a similar lethargy with mushrooms (although the mushroom lethargy also granted EXTREME euphoria). This lethargy felt more like my muscles were shaking and losing strength than being actually tired. I was slightly trembling, and sweating a bit. I definitely wanted to sit down. I was more coherent than when I use marijuana, and far more coherent than when I used mushrooms, but I felt as though I was imagining my ability to rationalize and speak, when in reality, I believe I was speaking and thinking like a lunatic. I felt as though I was imagining everything, which was a sentiment which stayed with me for nearly a year. Before making it back to my house, I felt as though a little white man, reminiscent of the little white man with sharp teeth in the album art of Future Sound of London’s “Dead Cities” CD, was right behind me, peering over my shoulder with a smile. I could feel his nails on me, and no matter which direction I turned, he was always behind me. This terrified me, and resulted in another phone call to my roommate.
1:00-2:00 AM: I made it home. I got into my car and became afraid I would try to drive it. I made sure not turn the engine on. I listened to some Smashing Pumpkins and closed my eyes. I was afraid I would hallucinate something hideous outside my car, but I did not. Instead, I saw every word Mr. Corgan sang in the very center of my mind, and expanding out millions upon millions of times, infinitely. The word “car” showed me the image of every car I had ever seen, coupled with every car I could imagine. Of course, I did not see them all, because to see the entirety of the infinite is impossible, but I saw as many as I could see while the words filled my mind. Every word, including words like “and” “that” “lesser” “hi”, had sensory richness associated with them. Eventually, I realized I should call my friend while she was preparing to go on lunch with my best friend (who didn’t have a cell) so that they could pick me up.
2:00-3:00 AM I was picked up by my friends. My best friend (male) drove me and my other friend (female) to his house. When we arrived, he told me not to make any crazy noises. I didn’t. In fact, I communicated very little with them. I mostly had conversations with them in my head, and I could never tell when we were really talking or not (my male friend later told me much of what I thought I talked about with him was never even mentioned). There was a very large knife in his kitchen. In my mind, I asked him “Do you mind if I pick up this Knife?” and he said “No, be my guest”. And I said “Given my current mental state, you do not feel any regret in saying that?” and he said “No, why should I?” and then I said out loud “Because you just sealed your own doom!” and laughed. He said this made him very uncomfortable, and he left the room for a moment. I held the knife. It felt nice to grip in my hand, and I didn’t want to let it go. I felt the power associated with wielding a weapon. I held the knife in front of my face and looked at my friends. It seemed we were in a bad horror movie, and I was the horror. I thought my role to play would be to use the knife on them, but then I realized how bad of an idea that was, and how much I loved them both, and how my mental state did not accommodate friedns and knives equally (try to keep weapons out of the trip). I set the knife down, and went into my best friend’s room, where I proceeded to crawl under the covers and discuss how much it felt as though I was in a cave made of mystical water. I was swimming in his blankets.
After a while, he told me it was time to go. The light in his house demolished my eyes, so I wasn’t too unwilling. I just didn’t want them to leave me alone! I missed them both beyond understanding, and yet they were right there in front of me. I was predicting their departure, and my future loneliness.
3:00-5:30 AM (Trip ended by sleep around 5:30) I made it inside, and walked down the hall to my room. Everything was very large. I crawled into bed and listened to the Smashing Pumpkins some more. Billy was in my bed, naked and singing to me, which was soothing. I felt intimately bound with my mental perception of the man. And then I heard a noise from the intro of one of the songs which made me think of a huge wall of old fat women’s heads, gnawing at their fingers. These heads had black eyes, curlers in their hair, very red lipstick on, and fat faces. They were biting their fingernails, which were also very red, and grunting. They seemed to look through me. I could not tell whether the red was cosmetic or blood. Needless to say, I became paralyzed by fear. Then I changed the song, and my peace returned within 30 seconds. I remembered that I wanted to experience masturbation under the influence, and so I jacked off. It was very difficult to attain an erection, but the orgasm was supreme. I seemed to be stuck in the peak moment of my sexual arousal for about 2 minutes! “WOW”, I frantically texted to my female friend, “Orgasms are AMAZING on this, although it is very difficult to attain one!” (She used my remaining two hits the next day, and said she tried very hard, but could not reach climax, which was a vast disappointment to her, given my reaction to climax under the influence). Falling asleep was difficult. My mental image of myself kept conversing with my actual consciousness. I learned from this that I am a very annoying, inconsiderate person to myself when I am trying to sleep! I was yelling, and telling myself not to fall asleep, because I didn’t want to be bored awake without myself. And then I fell asleep, much to my imagined self's dismay :p.
AFTER EFFECTS: The after effects of this experience, an experience which would otherwise be rated as mediocre and fairly meaningless, are what caused it to be rated as a bad trip. I felt paranoid for a full year about whether or not I was “changed forever.” I eventually realized, a year later, that all the paranoia was nothing more than fantasy, or a theory which, like most philosophic theories, cannot be proved or disproved, only entertained. I decided to stop entertaining the idea of me being somewhat insane, and the effects went away within a month! After all, even if I WAS insane, I was still very happy, and very much able to function in every day situations without difficulty. Oh, and this insecurity manifested primarily at night, or when I was fatigued, so it might just be that my expectation of a permanent change was attributed to something with no relation to LSD, such as mental fatigue, and therefore LSD didn’t change me at all. However, the fact that I was so insecure about my state of consciousness has made me wary of LSD. Using LSD CAN AND WILL make known whatever is in your recent memory and current subconscious, so it is a relatively bad idea to use it without a purpose during a time when life is not very good (as I did), or in a place which is not very suitable (as I did). Having a purpose can make the experience much more rewarding. I will probably use it again at some point, but for now, I’d much rather stick to the psilocybin. So before you experiment, remember how serious a substance LSD is. It gives the mind much power, but that is power which it can use to destroy itself with paranoia or doubt (as I believe it did in my case), or make itself more beautiful. Remember: it really is all in your head...
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