Citation: SynapseSurfer. "Is My Hair on Fire?: An Experience with Unknown (Sold as LSD) (exp69139)". Erowid.org. Sep 18, 2014. erowid.org/exp/69139
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Let me start by explaining that, in retrospect, I was in need of having a bad trip when this experience happened. I was only 16 years old and I had been very reckless with psychedelic drugs. I would take a couple hits of acid at school quite often and only feel the LSD equivalent of being stoned. This is how much tolerance I guess I had built up from tripping all of the time.
If I wanted to actually “fry” I would often eat more like 10 or 15 hits and although the hallucinations would be intense, I could act “normal” in front of my strict parents who always made me come home at night. When I was in this abusive mindset I was also taking Zoloft (anti-depressant) and this may have been weakening acid and mushroom trips.
I had previously had a psychotic breakdown triggered by mushrooms but more due to anxiety, insomnia, and depression. After being heavily medicated on Haldol and losing any sort of self esteem or confidence. I became rather self destructive and obsessed with hallucinating. My psychiatrist and parents were convinced that I was a person who couldn’t even smoke pot without becoming delusional and paranoid. Needless to say they were full of shit. This became especially apparent when I would here these lectures while tripping balls and nod my head in fake agreement.
On the other hand they had a good point. If I cared about my self at all I would be smart enough to abstain from psychedelics at least until I was very comfortable with who I was. In addition to the psychiatry visits, I also was getting drug tests from my parents and usually testing positive for cannabis. To try and pass these tests I would often try to stick to drugs that wouldn’t show up on drug tests like LSD and mushrooms.
It was a beautiful spring day in Northern California. I had bought some 40 hits of white blotter acid. It was on very heavy blotter paper which leads me to believe today that it may not have been LSD as it could fit doses of less potent drugs. As far as me knowing whether it was 25I or DOB or 3cpo or R2d2 whatever the hell... I have no idea. Anyway it was kind of cheap and I was told it was really strong which every acid dealer would tell me. My plan was to take a few (4 or 5) to gauge the strength and then dose hard later at the show. I don’t remember exactly how much I took and I may have touched it too much. It went something like this...
00:00 I’m at my friend K’s house with many of our friends. Many of the people there are in my punk rock band and we don’t always get along. I tear off a few (4 or 5) hits of the thick white blotter and chew them up. It tastes very bitter, I usually only taste paper.
+00:20 A strong speedy buzz is coming on while I’m playing the guitar on a sunny deck. Instantly there is a pixilated spiral on the pavement and helixes rising up the redwood trees. I note that it is kicking in rather strong and very early. I promised K that I wouldn’t do the acid until we left his house as he was tired of me tripping and using his house as a safe house due to his much cooler parents. Especially since he had had a bad trip long ago and quit dosing. I felt a rush of guilt as the “acid”? was beginning to manifest itself in a way it never had even on strong trips in the past.
+1:00 We leave the house to score a sack of weed. I am still able to maintain control and act “normal”, however the high is not comfortable or all that fun at this point. Oddly the visuals are milder than they had been when it kicked in.
+1:30 We arrive back at K’s house with a sack and everyone is now aware that I am tripping as the visuals are strong and I can’t help talking about them. They are much sharper and pixilated than previous acid trips I’d had. LSD always had a twisty sort of oily texture to everything. These visuals were more like what I experienced much later in life smoking DMT. My friend K is semi-annoyed but not angry with me.
Another “friend” of mine (the drummer in my band) is gleefully fucking with me. He tells me my hair is on fire and I start smelling it burning. I feel hot fire burning my scalp. I ask everyone around if it’s really on fire. K’s mom sees this and looks worried but just looks me in the eye and says that my hair is not on fire. She is a very open minded woman and would probably not call my parents if it wasn’t an emergency so I wasn’t that worried but I still played it off and told her I had lit a cigarette and smelled burnt hair. I doubt she bought it. Things were spiraling out of control.
2:00 After people become aware and concerned that I am having a bad trip. I retreated to K’s room and lay down. I have tripped many times and only had semi-difficult shroom trips where I could lye in the fetal position for half an hour and then come down a bit and feel great. This was different, lying down only made everything more intense. I saw demons angry at my carelessness and ready to punish my feeble brain. I felt the sun piercing into my pupils and I felt long, thin needles going through my pupils and into my brain. At this point a female friend who I did not have any sexual tension with, came in the room and hugged me telling me it was going to be OK. This helped immensely and the embarrassment that my ego would normally suffer was non-existent. I wanted to cry but I’m really bad at doing that.
+3:00 Three of my friends and I went to a nearby park to take the possible situation away from K’s mother who has asked many times for no drug drama in her house. I was not in terror mode as I had been before but I was pretty much peaking and totally out of my fucking mind. I would beg for a cigarette and then light it, take a few drags and throw it away only to beg for another a minute later. I punched one friend randomly and sent him flying into a tree. Keep in mind I was 150 pound and couldn’t throw a punch to save my life. I would run screaming, not out of fear but out of simple lack of self control. Strangers were asking if I was OK. My friends felt they had to do something or I would most likely end up getting picked up by the police.
+4:00 and on My friends have me contained in a ditch. I’m cold and it’s getting dark. They told me they had a friend coming to pick me up. “I’ll be damned, I’m coming down” I thought. Things were finally mellowing out a bit and I was going to be OK. They told me our ride was here and I got up out of the ditch and saw my uncle standing near a phone. “&*^$^”he said, “are you OK?” I thought I must have been wrong about coming down because my uncle was standing there and talking to me in the dark. Then I saw my father looking worried but playing it cool.
I looked at K. “You mother fucker” I thought. “You narced me out and now my life is over” The sobriety intensified as I was now in the company of my oppressive family. I tried to play it off as though they were misinformed and I was totally sober. I arrived at my house to see my mom crying and my aunt consoling her in the living room. I tried to make normal conversation but couldn’t quite cut it. I took a shower and sobered up to a normal LSD trip which I could easily handle. At this point I knew there was no way out of being in trouble. I was fucked and my friend set me up. The strange part was that the after effects of whatever the fuck I was on were helping me keep from dwelling on how screwed I would be the next day.
+6:00 My Mom comes in my room and explains what happened and that I should let her know if I started to freak out again. Yeah like I would go talk to my freaked out Mom to help myself calm down. I was now only experiencing pleasant after effects and the not so pleasant reality of the situation.
The Next Morning: “@%^%%* get your fucking ass up here! Your Mother and I want to talk to you” My only thought was “why didn’t my friends just ditch me in the woods?” I had a huge paper to write that Sunday and that was all I did that night other than almost knock my dad out for trying to strangle me, then get thrown out of the house in pajamas only to get picked up an hour later. K called me and apologized. I totally understood his choice to call my parents, although I do think that his parents being so cool and understanding helped him choose that decision. My parents now thought he was the greatest kid when they had hated him before. For some reason this pissed me off.
That night other parents called and accused me of distributing acid to all of my friends. One of them H who was bi-polar had totally flipped and cut himself while so tranced he didn’t recognize his own mother. He was put in 4 point restraint and taken to the hospital. Police were involved but I was never officially fingered. The truth was that I had given the rest of my stash to a girl and told her to flush it down the toilet or whatever. She turned on like seven people, one of them being H. He had had previous trouble with acid and was on meds for bi-polar disorder (very very dangerous!). I was blamed by everyone including my parents. My other friends who took it with him never really vouched for me because they thought I was a great scapegoat and I was known to be the druggy.
One thing this experience taught me was that I was not like H. I had psychological problems, not neurological problems. Everyone reading this please recognize the difference. Brain Chemical imbalances are serious and require a different attitude towards drugs, Especially psychedelics. That is not to say that I was not incredibly stupid to treat these powerful tools without respect. I didn’t touch LSD for several years after that and ended up a much stronger and self respecting person.
As for my parents, I feel a debt of gratitude for what they went through both before and after this experience. To them the thought of they’re disturbed son having a bad trip on LSD was far more frightening than it was for me. They had seen me totally delusional and catatonic before. I did not respect them at all until after this experience. I never ended up with any mental problems after high school, and I almost find myself strengthened by temporary mental fatigue. As for H, he still has serious problems that require a strict lifestyle of not drinking or drugging and diet exercise etc.
There is no doubt in my mind that if he never tripped he would be doing a thousand times better. So please don’t give me that LSD can’t hurt anybody crap. It is neutral, it can help a lot of us and destroy others. Tripping is great, but sanity is WONDERFUL.
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