Citation: Etard Knievel. "Taught a Lesson: An Experience with 2C-E (exp82978)". Erowid.org. Feb 12, 2010. erowid.org/exp/82978
||(powder / crystals)
This is a long report, but I'm sure I've typed ten times as much over the years extolling the virtues of psychedelics, and it is only fair that, now that I've had a big fat fucking dose of Vitamin Reality Check, that I am equally fervent in de-glorifying it to the rest of the world.
I've read enough to know that most 'Difficult Experiences' start off saying something like 'I'm a seasoned psychonaut with years of experience, and before this day I'd never lost my shit or had a bad experience on psychedelics before...', and so does this one. I did all the research I could about 2c-E and tried it in lower dosages a handful of times. These things made me overconfident, they led me to think I could disregard integral things like set, setting and careful dosage, and I made a number of mistakes. I was daring 2c-E to give me a 'religious experience', a trip so intense and lifechanging that it could get me out of the 'rut' I had been in for several weeks. Well, 2c-E delivered that in spades, and she did NOT appreciate being taken lightly and told me so in no uncertain terms.
A number of discouraging factors had culminated around this time. I had been tripping (on LSD, 2c-B, 2c-E, 5-MeO-DiPT, MDMA or some combination of the above) every weekend for, what ... 6, 7, 8 weeks? It all blurred together. During the week I hadn't been much better, smoking pot pretty much daily despite efforts to cut back, taking stimulants to work on my art and drinking when I went out or just to chat with friends at night. I couldn't even remember the last time I had gone a whole day completely sober, and the ones where I was even on only one drug were few. During these weeks of hi-octane living, my home business had been going well and I somehow managed to get a great day job, which I enjoy very much and feel completely competent at, enough that I didn't feel I had to rein in my lifestyle (even though, in retrospect, I had done a few things worth being fired for already had my boss not been so kind).
Several days prior I had made a stupid, careless mistake that could have gotten me and friends in SERIOUS trouble, but luckily just ended up costing me a significant amount of money, and I had been stressing out about that. I made an ass of myself in front of neighbors and family at a holiday party, and my parents had been growing weary and suspicious of my antics. So what do I do? Ditch them on Christmas to dose 2c-e with my buddy at his home wherein his roommate's dog was currently in the process of dying, weakly rasping on his pillow and leaving piles of vomit and sadness around the floor. Needless to say, this was not the recommended set and setting for a high level psychedelic experience.
I dosed 3 of the 2c-e edibles I had prepared that contained 6mg each. Because I was worried about degradation, and was with a buddy who I knew to be a competent ally, we also drank a bit of solution containing 2c-e that had been crusted onto glassware, I would guess not more than 2-3 milligrams of it each. So, I ingested at maximum maybe 22mg, and at minimum probably at least 17 or 18. This blew every previous 2c-E experience out of the water. It is very much true that this substance has a steep dosage curve.
The first five hours or so were fairly fun and uneventful, so I'll gloss through most of them. Fractals, rainbows, back massages and mumbling, etc. We went on a walk through downtown to look for incense, where everything was abandoned due to it being Christmas, and saw a sad homeless junkie slumped over on the steps in her own little world. I bought a pack of gum and chewed it for a while. We went back to the Dog Death Christmas Hole and hit the bong. I noticed that the gum was dissolving in my mouth, and remarked that because this only happened when I was fucked up, and no one else seemed to have problems with the brand, the polymers of the gum must have been loosened by my jaw clenching or the constitution of my saliva; i.e. my being fucked up had a tangible effect on the physical world.
This chewing-gum-train looped for a while, and my friend made a 'joke' about it having a special device inside that called the cops, which I knew to be patently untrue, but the revelation that the gum knew I was on drugs 'unlatched the mental window' which was to open. Everyone knows what I'm doing! I haven't been hiding any of it! I laid down under the covers and watched helplessly as the last several months of life replayed themselves, completely differently interpreted now that I understood that NO ONE is fooled by ANY of my bullshit. All the uncomfortable moments, the awkwardness, the bizarre behavior, no one thinks I'm just 'eccentric', at best they know I'm fucked up and at worst they think I'm going insane.
I wasn't and never was as good of a liar as I thought. In fact, I was the only one dumb enough to not see through the wool pulled over my eyes, that everyone I knew was involved in a vast conspiracy to 'teach me a lesson'. The things I had chalked up to ignorance and stupidity on the parts of my friends and family were in fact, highly deliberated love and acceptance, they were fully aware of my flaws and were trying as hard as they could to try and 'save' me.
Not only that, but in this 'unpleasant reality', because everything that I thought I had pride in and accomplished, such as my job and my school program and career, were engineered to try and 'help me get sober', I could take no credit whatsoever for the positive things in my life. My stubbornness and hedonism failed me from seeing that I am being placed on the path to success, and jumping off at every moment when I should be motivating myself, relying on drugs to motivate me and lead me in the direction and going 'oops, well, guess I'll just be high for a while' when it didn't work.
I was seriously tempted to run back to my parents, to explode at them for wanting me to stop doing drugs and simultaneously weep and grovel on my knees for all the things they had done for me. Instead, I just stayed in my cocoon. Upsetting revelation followed upsetting revelation, though on some level I was glad this was happening on 2c-E and not on LSD: while the thoughts were equally profound and intense, and the body load feels much more toxic, it kept me in a very neutral, fair-judging mindset instead of flying off the deep end into dysphoric insanity.
I was climbing a massive tree of life-possibilities, simultaneously with two different future realities to choose from in every moment, one where I gave myself up for goodness, and one where I wholly gave into drugs. Seeing these pieces in front of me I could tell that neither were completely true or feasible, that I had to find my own middle ground. Trying to put together these pieces into a respectable whole felt like nothing but hopeless desperation. Everything about my identity was shattered - my lack of motivation and inspiration, my bodily health, my love life, all these things I had been making excuses about and hurting people and half-assing for years as I faffed around with drugs. My frontal cortex throbbed and ached from the scope of this massive mistake I had made.
For the remainder of the trip, I confronted all of the problems in my life from this new perspective, scrawling down all the most important decisions as to not forget about them the next day. As I came down and reality crept back in, the paranoid thoughts subsisted, and I was left with deciding exactly how to let this new information change my life, which revelations to disregard as being 'drug nonsense' and which to listen to. Should I quit doing all drugs completely? That one was pretty high on the 'disregard' pile but the 2c-E allowed me to give it a fair look unclouded by knee-jerk emotion.
One thing was for sure, I could no longer be such an outwardly unapologetic proponent for drug use, not if I was going to continue to dabble in things that might attract legal attention. As much fun as the Oms and tie-dye shit is, I was inching closer and closer to being the kind of person who used psychedelic drugs as a substitute for a personality. My art, my writing, my social circles, everything revolved around goddamn drugs!
Could psychedelics be the cause of the memory loss, depression, surliness, lack of interest and all the other things that were making me seriously question whether I enjoyed living at all? Have I always been the kind of hippie flake who spouted shit about 'healing', 'fate' and 'fortune'? More importantly, do I WANT to be that kind of person? Was I being true to myself at all by nurturing my interest in such matters, or just clueless to what a burnout I look like to the rest of the world?
Well, fate and fortune aside, the timing was still good. My last party plans are for New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day is traditionally the time to cut out bad habits, I'll have my friends and family to help motivate me and replace all that stuff with constructive and healthy hobbies. Habitual psychedelic use WAS fun, and I maintain this most recent experience was valuable because it gave me the reality check I had pushed myself to the edge of desperation for, but it's clear to me that if I want to have a good experience on them ever again I absolutely must keep tripping as an occasional reward for accomplishing a goal in my life, not as something to do when bored, and certainly not weeks and weeks in a row.
Whether I'm ever going to take 2c-E again? I don't know, as Timothy Leary would say, I've definitely got the message, so I plan on at least for now hanging up the phone, and getting rid of a great deal of it to people in need. I'm certainly not ready for another revelation of this caliber any time soon. Needless to say, 2010 will involve a lot of apologizing to people I've wronged, regaining my independence, and flourishing to the extent that I can still have a handful of days of hedonism, free from the trappings of guilt and shame. May the New Year be filled with health, love and wisdom for all of you.
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