From Beautiful to Terrifying
DMT, MDMA (Ecstasy) & LSD
Citation: Hypersphere. "From Beautiful to Terrifying: An Experience with DMT, MDMA (Ecstasy) & LSD (exp80226)". Erowid.org. Oct 6, 2010. erowid.org/exp/80226
Background: I am a 24 year old male weighing 120 pounds, in good mental and physical health. I take no medications although I do use marijuana and yerba mate on a daily basis. I have extensive experience with psychedelic drugs, and consider myself very familiar with tryptamines (mushrooms, LSD, DMT and 5-MeO-DMT alone or in combination with harmala alkaloids), phenethylamines (MDMA, Trichocereus cacti, 2C-I, 2C-E and 2C-B) and have some experience with dissociatives (Salvia, ketamine and DXM).
Set and Setting: I was feeling uncomfortable in my crowded and chaotic home, and had a burning desire to get out of the house for a night. I had been worrying a lot about my financial security and the safety of my home, and just wanted to escape for a while. Conveniently, I was minding a beautiful home which I would have all to myself. Peace and quiet! Plus, the MDMA monkey was on my back again, urging me to scratch that itch. I have used MDMA a lot in the past, and have trouble controlling my usage. I tend to do too much, too often and have often used MDMA in a recreational and abusive manner. MDMA is my “problem drug” you could say.
I had picked up a gram of MDMA recently, doing so sneakily so that my partner wouldn’t know. Not that she judges me, but I feel my use is not really healthy and not something I’m proud of, so often I am scared to tell her. Sneaking around the bush never helps though, in fact I always end up breaking down and telling her after the fact how much I had taken. It is simpler and less emotional for me to just tell the truth from the beginning.
The Experience: So out I went, a pleasant warm spring night’s walk on my way, winding through parks and along the edges of a golf course. I stopped to climb into a golden willow’s branches and smoke a bowl. I had only intended on taking one or maybe two of the MDMA capsules (each containing 100 mg) tonight. Instead, by the time I got to my destination I had already taken three, and then proceeded to bump a little more when I got there. In total I ingested roughly 350 milligrams.
I quickly became aware that I had taken too much. It was pretty shitty MDMA, I think there was some speed in there for sure because I felt a lot of jittery nervous sensations rather than the mellow relaxation of good, clean stuff. And the nystagmus! Man, my eyes were twitching like butterflies, I could barely see straight and my jaw was clenching pretty badly. What about my short term memory? I used to have one of those, now where did I put the damn thing?
So, what do you do to fill the hours from 1:30 AM to 8:30 AM while high on speedy MDMA? Creating a giant mandala of plants, rocks and other random household goodies, of course! It started off pretty simply, but by the time morning rolled around… well, you couldn’t call it structured, simple, or even harmonious. Crammed, overcrowded and chaotic would all apply. I kept obsessively going out into the garden to pick handfuls of leaves, vines, fern fronds and spring flowers to decorate my mandala. I had nearly all the plants in the house piling up around the edges too!
So in the morning, feeling rough around the edges and having trouble regulating my electrolyte balance (drinking lots of liquids, but not having my thirst quenched) I called my partner, asking her to come over and meditate with me around my mandala. Haha. I was way too ADD to focus for more than a second, and instead of meditating just kept fiddling with bits of leaves and flowers, making small, obsessive changes to my decorations. My partner looked pretty sad, especially when I said I was going to stay here today and do some “introspective, looking within myself” (also known as, getting real fuckin’ high on drugs!). She went home still sad. Secretly, she knew I was high on MDMA. And secretly, I knew that she knew I was high on MDMA. But neither of us had said anything about it yet.
It was about 1 PM now, 13 hours after taking the MDMA. I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours and hadn’t eaten for about 17 hours. So you might say I was permeable to the spirit realms, having drawn a little closer to death myself over the last day. I feel MDMA particularly makes it easier for me to see shadow people, spirits and other spooky stuff. It takes me nearer to death and thus I can see behind the veil more clearly.
I was pretty sure I was setting myself up for an introspective nightmare. Nevertheless, I went ahead with my plan, dropping four hits of good acid and a capsule of about 200 mg of MDMA for good measure (or because the monkey was on my back again, already! Stuff’s got a sinister compelling edge to it!).
And so, stage three of my plan of epic and debaucherous mind-dissolution: rolling a DMT doobie. I had a half gram of high purity Mimosa hostilis root bark extract, and decided to go heavy. Super heavy, actually, I used about half the vial (roughly 250 milligrams!). I had just a pinch of marijuana shake left, so I had to bulk out my plant material with some finely shredded labrador tea, bearberry leaf and a little bit of yarrow. These three herbs were still somewhat fresh, retaining a little moisture, which is a good thing for DMT doobies. Slow burning, warm enough to vaporize the DMT but not so hot as to scorch it. I added the finishing touch, a generous sprinkling of Coca tea, figuring it would numb the throat in a pleasant way.
Half an hour later, the MDMA and LSD I had taken were coming on, so I ventured out into the backyard for my special doobie. It was a beautiful sunny day, blue sky and green grass. I lay down with a shirt over my head to shade me from the sun, and sparked the joint. I smoked a couple hits, finding the taste extremely mild and mostly unnoticeable after the first toke. Very smooth, thanks to Mama Coca. It wasn’t really hitting me hard the way a marijuana plus DMT joint usually does, but I shugged it off and puffed some more. Just keep smoking…
The transition to DMT space was startling in its rapidity. One moment I was puffing, and perhaps the trees had begun to fractalize just a little. The next moment, BAM!!! Fully in. I vaguely remember sitting up and pushing the towel off my head as I went into the trance.
The trees were doing the most amazing dance ever! Thick, grey bark wrinkled up and down their trunks, the branches defining the planes of a complex three-dimensional space around the tree. There was this incredible sound, humming and hawing going up and down, warbling through different tones. A whirling, clanking mechanical sound like an amusement park ride, and these electric zing-ziiing noises. The trees were bouncing, dancing up and down as the sounds grew in intensity and pitch.
When the vibrations reached a critical threshold, the trees would do a quarter-turn clockwise twist. Turning a corner, with a flash of green leaves, and then EXPLODING out the top with a hundred squiggly, purple-red octopus tentacles, as well as amazingly intricate diamond-block patterns in pale blues and black. It was the happy dancing tree carnival!
I had this neat omni-vision thing going on, being able to see in every direction simultaneously. I would see the dances trees, oh yes, and the fractalizing sky, and even the grass I was lying on. The grass looked so crazy, it got all tall and spiky, looking like astroturf from a far distant planet. Everything in my vision was hyper-saturated in colour, a palette of blues, greens and the grey of the tree trunks.
The feeling went on for a long time, in repeating waves. Slowly, the waves became a little gentler, a little farther spaced apart. I began to piece my mind back together, realizing that this green stuff was grass, and that I was still lying in the yard. As I dropped totally out of the trance, I flipped myself over in a jarring way, which was an abrupt end to the trip. But WOW! What a trip! Possibly the most beautiful and amazing DMT experience I have ever had. The setting was what made it really magical. With the acid and MDMA on board, I stayed in the trance state longer than usually, probably 10 minutes or so. In other experiences I have noticed that LSD extends the duration of the DMT, and MDMA reduces my threshold to breakthrough.
What I had just experienced was so magical, that I contemplated diving again, having enough material for one more doobie identical to the one I had just smoked. I thought of a better idea, however. I rang home again to my partner, after struggling for several minutes trying to remember our home number. Ahem… yes, there’s that short term memory loss at its finest. Thanks MDMA, it will probably be a few more days before I can remember my own phone number again. When I finally got the number right, I convinced my partner to drop what she was doing and come back, right away. No, don’t walk, take the car!
I was super excited to share this experience with her. I figured having the exact same ratios of DMT and plant material as in my doobie, plus the exact same sunny backyard setting, and she should have a similarly amazing experience. She has smoked DMT before, but never gone all the way through, often feeling fearful as the intensity ramps up. I wanted to give her the experience I had just had, so that she would gain a comfort level with the breakthrough dose. I knew it would make her happy.
It was more difficult to roll this doobie, since by now I was really high. I couldn’t actually see straight to put in the filter, so I got her to do that when she arrived. I rushed her into the yard almost as soon as she had walked in the door. Getting her to lay down the same way I had, with a view of the trees and sky,and I lit her joint. She puffed, once, twice, a couple more times. Her body started shaking all over, her hand still holding the doobie was trembling. After a few minutes she opened her eyes, saying she had gotten scared as the experience became overwhelming, and so she didn’t want to smoke anymore. She enjoyed the level she went to though which was nice. She had smoked about the same as me, probably stopping just one toke short of the breakthrough point.
By now I was over-excited and twitchy feeling. The eye wiggles had started up again, and I was pretty sure this, or my enthusiastic speech patterns would give me away soon enough. I wanted to dive again, so I tried relighting my doobie. Oh yeah, I hadn’t smoked the whole thing! After rolling the doobie for my partner, I said to myself, “wait a minute, I couldn’t possibly have smoked that whole thing!” There was a cardboard filter at the bottom, for one, so I must have flailed it somewhere as I came out of the trip. Sure enough, a quick search and there it was. I had only managed to smoke about a third of it, apparently having fallen into the trance as I was smoking. Factoring in a little loss due to smouldering plant material, and that the DMT runs down the joint away from the heat, I figure I still got around 75 milligrams. A hefty dose. With shaky hands, I tried lighting the joint again, but three times it went out right away. Perhaps I should have taken that as a sign…
My partner said she would like to try the DMT again, if I would go first. I guess she wanted to see someone else in the deep trance, for reassurance. Well, reassurance was definitely not on the plate this afternoon.
A reminder, that I was under conditions of sleep deprivation, fasting, drug abuse and still coming up on 4 hits of acid plus 200 mg of MDMA going into this experience. Yikes, sometimes I really disgust myself. I lay down in the sun again, with the rest of my doobie. In retrospect, it was a bad idea to be lying down while smoking a DMT doobie. I should have stayed sitting up until going under, you will see why soon…
I puffed once, twice, good deep hauls. I could see the trees begin to shimmer and twist just a little, thinking “here we go!” This is where my experience of events and her experience of events diverge rapidly. I will tell my side of the tale first, and then follow it up with what she observed. In my experience, I started taking a third haul on the joint. All of a sudden I sucked a big chunk of hot ash and leaf material into my mouth, I felt it hit the back of my throat. An acrid bitter taste and smell permeated my mouth. At the same time, in my visual field the delicate lace-patterned trees were no more. This contamination, a black spot at the centre of my vision, grew outward rapidly like a mold or rust fungus. Everything it touched turned black, and then crumbled into ash. I felt the tone and feeling of the trip change, from light to dark.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
“Yes,” I replied. Feeling not too deep in the trance state, despite everything being a fractal blur, I leaned over to spit out the ash from my mouth. My partner’s voice drifted over to me, and my head followed the sound very rapidly indeed.
“Papy, I’m dead!” She said.
“WHAT???” I cried.
Her bottom lip was quivering as she asked, “How can I be dead? I wasn’t dead two seconds ago!”
Our eyes met, and we both simultaneously said, “Fuck!” I dropped my eyes in anguish. “Fuck!” Everything in this DMT space was the polar opposite to my last trip. Instead of vibrant blues, greens and greys, the landscape had a lot of neon green with a malevolent washover of magenta. This was supposed to be my trip, my experience, and now instead she was dead!
“Papy, look at me!” She demanded. That brought my gaze up fast. I looked into her left eye, seeing the iris open up. I knew that I was taking an exact imprint of her, in that moment. I realized something then. You know what they say about love, when you find The One, you know. I knew in this moment, that she was The One. I had found her. Only through a cruel twist of circumstances, my going into DMT space had prematurely snuffed out her life. Something had gone terribly wrong. We were perfect for each other, but it has her fate to die and mine to live. I knew I would be lonely after she died. She was The One, and now she was dead…
Her demanding me to look at her had made me aware of the essence of her womanhood, and it aroused in me an irresistable compulsion. I had to take my pants off, and do her right here! “No!” She said, “You can’t do that here!”
All I could think to say was “I DON’T CARE!” I needed her, but she wouldn’t let me take my pants off. “FUCK!” I said again.
“Why do you keep saying fuck? It’s okay, Papy!”
“How can it be okay that you are dead???” I asked.
“That’s the way it is now,” she replied.
“Fuck!” Then, after a moment, I said “You’re right. This is the way it is now. I guess I can accept that you are dead.” It was brutal but also okay that she was dead. “This is the way it is now.”
Slowly, slowly my mind began to scrabble at a return. I wasn’t yet aware of it, but as she now asked me, “Why do you keep saying fuck? Who are you talking to?” it was the real girl I was hearing, and not a hallucination.
“Why do you keep saying that I am dead?” and I could see tears in her eyes.
“Well, look at you! You’re dead.” Indeed, as the veils had lifted a grey pallor had come over her face. It was obvious to me that she was dead. The burning need to get naked and do her, right there in the yard, was still strong in me, but again she stopped me from taking off my pants.
“Why do you keep touching your penis?” She asked.
“Because I need you!” I reply. I was getting closer, the fractal blur seemed to thin just a little… As usual, dropping out of the trance state happens just as abruptly as going into it. A bump, bump, bump and back into my body. I realized that what I was experiencing had been just a trip, and not reality. It was like waking up from a terribly twisted, sadistic dreams. Coming out of my trip, and realizing it didn’t actually happen, gave me the hugest rush of relief and happiness.
The first sane words out of my mouth were, “You’re not actually dead!!” and I bearhugged her.
She sounded really scared when she said, “Are you okay?”
“Yes!” came my emphatic reply.
“What happened?” she questioned.
“It was just a different experience. The first one was all light, and this one was all dark.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked again.
“I am 100% okay, other than having sucked a bearberry leaf into the back of my mouth. I guess I can accept one bearberry leaf in return for having had a different experience.”
“What are you talking about?” she asks, sounding lost.
“I sucked some ash into my mouth. Probably a bearberry leaf, you have to shred them pretty fine. I can feel it back there,” and I hawked some phlegm.
I started tripping out on the fractalizing trees behind her head, but she said “Papy, look at me! Stay with me!” and so I did.
She looked at me as if I were crazy, and I told her not to worry, that everything was okay. “You’re The One, love! I am never going to leave you.”
Then, she dropped the first bombshell: “Papy,” she said, “you dropped the whole joint in your mouth.”
“… and I didn’t know if you had done it deliberately or not. I was going to take it out, but then you chewed it up a bit and spat some out.”
“Seriously? No wonder my throat feels so raw!”
”Why did you keep saying fuck? Who were you talking to?”
“I was talking to you, except that you had died. Somehow, when I went into the trip you died. It was just apparent to me that you were dead.”
“How much do you remember of your experience?” she asked.
“All of it, perfectly.” I said, which is kind of true. I remember my side of it perfectly.
“What was all that rolling around on the ground about?” She asked.
“Was I rolling around on the ground?” I asked, baffled. After that initial surge of relief, I now experienced an acute wave of paranoia. I was SO GLAD she wasn’t dead, but realized I had probably been shouting my side of the conversation outside, for the whole world to hear. That’s the kind of behaviour that gets you committed to the insane asylum, for sure. “Can we please go inside right now?” I ask, not waiting for a reply and just running inside, all freaked out. Hoping the cops wouldn’t come knocking at my door, which I closed and locked.
We sat down and began to piece together our different versions of what happened. I was quite surprised at how different our two accounts were. My partner was super shaken, she had thought that my mind had broken, and that I wasn’t going to come out of this trip. That she would be dead to me hereafter. It took a while of reassurances and me talking sanely to convince her I wasn’t permanently loco. I also came clean about my using MDMA the last couple days, which was nice. I had that sense of clarity, to realize that lying, stealthiness or sneakiness get me nowhere. They are entirely counterproductive. I asked her how loud I had been, had I been shouting? She said it wasn’t that loud. Also, of the stuff I said to her in my trip, only some of it did I actually say out loud. I also apparently said some stuff that I don’t remember at all.
This seems a good place to start my partner’s side of the story, how things actually happened: The first two tokes, are the same in both versions of the story. It is on the third toke that they diverge from one another. In my version, I take a third drag, not feeling much yet… In actuality, I was already inside of the experience without knowing it. Extremely fast transition.
My partner said it looked like I was going to take a third toke, I brought the doobie close to my mouth… paused a bit… and then dropped the whole fucking thing into my mouth! This is why I said, not smart to smoke a DMT joint while lying down. Apparently I chewed it up and spat out a little, but I ate the filter for sure and probably a good chunk of the joint as well. Gross. No wonder it tasted so bad.
Then apparently I crawled around on the ground for awhile, kneeding the earth spastically. She asked me what I was doing, and apparently I replied “Rolling around on the ground and having fun!” I have no recollection of this, and I certainly wasn’t having any fun!
“Do you remember me restraining you?” She asked.
“WHAT???” I said again. “No!”
She said I kept grabbing the ground, and her flesh as well, pulling with a strong force. I got pretty forceful when I was trying to take of my pants and do her. She apparently told me “I don’t want to have sex right now! You don’t even know who I am!”
“Yes I do!” I said (again, I have no recollection of this conversation).
“Who am I then? What’s my name?” All I could do was stare blankly. She tried again,
“Do you know who Star (our very close friend) is?” I continued to stare blankly. Getting forceful again apparently, and she pushed me to the ground. She must have been absolutely terrified, thinking I had just gone mad forever. She said sometimes I would look into her eyes, almost lucid, but then would just zone out again.
Integration: I was in the trance state a long time, probably 10-12 minutes. Acid tends to lengthen the effects of DMT, and MDMA definitely reduces the threshold to breakthrough. My partner suggested that my body might have been possessed by spirits while I was in the trance state. Certainly this is possible, having sudden intense finger strength, and saying stuff I don’t remember while experiencing something totally different from the world around me. Having uncontrollable sexual compulsions. Could also just be my mind working on a sub-conscious level, my conscious mind being totally involved in a terrifying experience activating some primative survival pathways in the mind.
The way everything turned to black in my vision, when the joint hit the back of my mouth, makes me wonder if a nasty entity snuck its way into the joint between sessions. It’s pretty odd to drop a joint in your mouth, I remember doing it only once before in all my years of pot smoking. The way the blackness in my vision spread was like a mold or a disease contaminant of some kind. I also pondered whether the woman I had been interacting with was my real partner. Possibly another entity could take on her form and appearance, in order to trick me and try to gain control over me. Reminder to self: specifically state, only entities who are friendly, benevolent and helpful are invited!
By the time we were finished discussing, my partner was pretty calm. I, however, was trying to come to terms with what I had experienced. I began to worry, fearing that some aspect of my vision might actually be true. That she would die, maybe not soon but a whole lot sooner than me, and that I would have to live my life without her. Afraid that maybe, somehow, I had actually killed her through my actions. Talk about unforseen consequences of drug use! I was freaked out, and then some.
It took a long, hot bath, a lot of crying and a cup of jasmine tea before I calmed down a little. Coming out of the craziest, scariest and most harrowing DMT trip I have ever had, peaking on four hits of acid and 200 mg of MDMA seemed pretty tame, in comparison. The emotional shock was just that, shocking. I was overwhelmed by my experience, trying to wrap my mind around it and failing.
Time went on, and we went home and ate some nice grounding food (I hadn’t eaten in a long time), I slowly came back to being okay. I decided that it is not within my power, by smoking DMT, to kill another individual. Certainly it is within my power to believe I have killed another person, while under the influence. What can be really frightening about these sorts of trips in DMT space is that it feels absolutely, vividly real while you are there. More real than real, almost.
I realized though, that it does not matter whether what I saw is “real” or not. We live our lives the same, regardless. Whether we die today or in sixty years, there is nothing we can do about it and no way to know the outcome before it happens. All we can do is live our lives fully, in each moment of every day. I wondered why I had been shown this vision. If DMT is a teacher medicine, then I should be learning lessons from this experience. I guess too, if she were to die, this gives me a reference point for that experience. DMT teaches us a lot about the death process, leraning to let go smoothly. I don’t believe that what I saw is real, however. Not everything you see and hear in DMT space is real or reliable. A lot is trickery, illusion, or something shown so that you can grow from it. I question everything that I see in DMT space. I feel I was shown my biggest fear through this experience, the fear of being alone.
In retrospect, I don’t regret this experience. It was hard for a while, seeing what I had and knowing there is no way to go back in time to before you went through the experience. If I wasn’t ready for the experience, then it wouldn’t have come to me. That said, I do not ever want to go back to that particular place. Some trips you have once, so you know that type of trip is possible… and then you don’t need to have it again. I couldn’t sleep that night, still feeling freaked out, and I wrote the bulk of this report to let it out of my mind and gain some peace. Pushing 45 hours awake, and the sleep deprivation hallucinations were kicking in.
Addendum: It has been two months since this experience. It has been a challenging experience to integrate, I would say I am about three quarters of the way through the integration process. The experience was so real that just thinking about it is enough to get my heart pounding. I was left with a lot of fear, a lot of lingering dread that what I experienced was real. I am learning an important lesson, how to live my life in love and not in fear. I have to choose, day by day, to let go of the fear. I have to choose to live in love and be happy.
I have had one “flashback” to this experience. I had been at an intentional dance that day, a guided dance where we would bring up and express different emotions such as fear, ecstasy, anger and so on. This guided dance had brought my fears to the surface. Later that night, we ate some mushrooms with a capsule of harmala alkaloids. When these substances came on, I experienced a moment of pure fear. I worried again that what I had seen might somehow be true. My body actually went into shock, and I got really chilled and shaky. Though challenging, this was a good process to go through. I feel that by bringing up the fear I was able to start letting go of it, realizing how irrational fear is. I was able to face my fear, and allow it to pass over and through me.
I have not felt called to work with DMT since the trip, I don’t feel I can have a new experience until I finish integrating this one. I did roll a small joint with just a little bit of DMT the other day, with the intention of understanding my relation to the substance, and to let go of my fears. I choose a calming natural setting, and took a couple puffs. Just enough to be aware of the energy flow, nowhere near a breakthrough dose. I could see the trees around me dancing again, but was lucid enough to know the reality behind the dancing trees. The trees themselves are real, but my perception of them is very malleable. This is what DMT does, it plays with my perceptions. What I experience in DMT space is a construct of my own mind. It does not have its own reality, all DMT can do is show me things. It shows me aspects of my mind, but does not create reality. That is comforting.
One thing I keep coming back to is respect. Respect for the medicine is crucial. Set, setting and intent are crucial. I was in a pretty dark place when I had that scary trip, pushing myself too hard and abusing MDMA again. Had my preparation and intent been more solid, perhaps I wouldn’t have needed such a harrowing trip. DMT is an extremely powerful substance, and I had been using it recklessly and in combination with other drugs. I respect its power a lot more now.
This was a very powerful learning experience for me. I feel one aspect of the experience does ring true: my partner is The One. This experience showed me clearly our connection, and what I would feel if I lost her. Doing MDMA sneakily behind her back, generally disrespecting myself and her as well, is not a healthy place to be in. It makes me truly grateful for my ordinary everday life. Truly grateful to live in love with this wonderful woman. DMT is a teacher, and this harsh lesson was there to nudge me back on my path.
Thanks for reading, may you live each moment of every day to its fullest, choosing to live in love and not in fear.
|Exp Year: 2008
|Age at time of experience: 24
|Published: Oct 6, 2010
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|DMT (18), MDMA (3), LSD (2) : Various (28), Relationships (44), Difficult Experiences (5), Combinations (3)
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Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the authors who submit them. Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the authors who submit them. Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.
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