Citation: Michael. "Loss of Ego, Loss of Phobia: An Experience with LSD (exp71403)". Erowid.org. Jun 8, 2018. erowid.org/exp/71403
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I have had an EXTREME phobia of centipedes my entire life. I am completely fine with other bugs. And even, if thereís a wasp or spider in my room, I will catch it and let it outside. When a centipede crawls across the wall, however, my heart skips, I get very nauseous, and every muscle in my body tightens. Where I live, there are many bugs, and including centipedes, so itís common to see one. The phobia has been very negative. If I were to see a centipede in my room, and it would get away before I killed it, I could not sleep in my room, out of fear. I would close my roomís vents in the summer time, since thatís where many centipedes come from, but I would be pouring sweat because of it. If I see a centipede, my moral value that itís not right to kill an insect, completely ceases to exist, due to the crippling fear they give me.
Last Saturday, May 17th, I had decided to take some LSD. I've taken LSD more than 50 times, and I am pretty familiar with it, I've never had a serious bad trip it either. There would be the occasional odd sensation that would make my heart skip, but nothing serious. I had bought 3 average strength hits a couple days before, and decided to take them on a day that felt right, and when I was in a good mood (something I usually doÖI could wait a couple days, or a couple weeks).
I took the three hits around 10:30 PM, in my room, by myself. I do not recommend taking LSD alone. My brother was in the house so I figured if I had a bad trip, I could go to him. Around 11:30 I went outside and smoked a joint, which I find, sort of sets off the trip. At 11:40 I was walking in, and felt really high on the weed, and I could feel the acid starting. I walked in my room, flung my sandals off, and went to lie down on my couch. At this point I was VERY happy. For a couple hours it was like any trip, I was listening to Daevid Allenís ďStroking the Tail of the BirdĒ, and far from this world.
At around 2:00 AM, I was still listening to music staring across my room, when suddenly, a full grown centipede made its way up the wall. Even though I was high on pot, and tripping on acid, my reaction time was swift. I realized right away that it was a centipede, and a big one. At this point, I became really worried that it would trigger a bad trip; I knew I wasn't in any state to go get a vacuum, or smash it with a shoe. I thought about going to another room, but with my brother downstairs I decided to avoid an awkward confrontation. At this point my heart was pounding. I had all the usual symptoms, nausea, racing heart, and tense muscles, but greatly intensified. As I tried to ignore the effects of the LSD, so I could keep an eye on the centipede, they seemed to intensify. The effects of the LSD were like a blindfold, and being in the same room with my worst fear, while wearing a blindfold is very uncomfortable. I felt like I was on a roller coaster, and I wanted to get off. I was tightly gripping the couch cushions, and I felt like screaming.
As I was staring at the centipede I felt I was being pulled to it, and it looked like it was getting closer. I also felt like I was merging with it, which made me jerk around, as if it was crawling up my leg. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore, and I sort of plopped over onto my side, with my head on the armrest of the couch. I was staring at the centipede still, it would move across the wall a little, and stop, sometimes disappearing behind a book shelf. I began to take deep breaths, and calm myself down. As I stared at it, I remember that there were translucent clouds of colors, originating from the centipede, and moving out like a ripple. I continued staring at the centipede, and all of the sudden a felt a calming wave. I began to see not the centipede, but its being. I had a feeling that the centipede and I, were in some other plane of existence. Not a human and a centipede, but two identical beings. I was completely focused on it, and I felt that it was completely focused on me. It was like we were telepathically connected. I immediately realized what was happening, and I was stunned. It brought me extreme joy, that I had the privilege to have something in my body that could strip away my most intense phobia.
It brought me extreme joy, that I had the privilege to have something in my body that could strip away my most intense phobia.
I began to deeply think about the centipede, and its life. I thought about all the centipedes I've smashed or vacuumed up. They come to my room, and see it as a warm, dry, paradise, only to be killed. I thought, in my whole life, a centipede has never attacked me, and would actually run away from me. By the time I started to focus in on my surroundings again, the centipede was gone. Knowing that there was a centipede somewhere in my room, out of view, didn't bother me one bit. Once again, I was amazed at the capabilities of LSD. The rest of the trip went well. I watched 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas', and 'Alice in Wonderland', and honestly didn't think on bit about the centipede.
I was up the whole night, and the next morning I went down to eat breakfast. I went outside with a cup of coffee and sat in my hammock. I had the usual post-LSD glowing, refreshing feeling. I thought about everything that had happened the previous night, and I was still shocked at what happened. A couple days later, I was watching TV late, around 2:30 AM, when I saw a small centipede crawl into view. At first, the movement had startled me, but when I saw it, I remembered everything from my trip. Amazingly I didn't feel nauseous, or stiff. I could ignore it, and go back to watching TV. I soon went to bed, and as I was falling asleep, I felt really good, and had the sort of feeling I would get from doing charitable work. The same exact thing happened last night too.
This experience has made me even more amazed with the power of LSD. I had always heard about how it can stop alcoholism, and help solve problems in peoplesí lives, but never have I heard of it instantly destroying a phobia. My idea is, the LSD forced me to face my fear of centipedes, except it, and then see the centipede in a totally different way, and that stayed with me.
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