Citation: penfold. "Stuck in a Loop: An Experience with Mushrooms & Cannabis (exp83415)". Erowid.org. May 5, 2020. erowid.org/exp/83415
During my second year of university there was a special summer. Illegal drugs had entered my life a few years before but had consisted mostly of bad weed and nasty cocaine. That summer my friends and I started taking mushrooms. To make life that little bit easier it was during the period in the UK when a legislative loophole allowed for the legal sale of fresh psilocybin mushrooms (sadly now closed).
As summer moved into autumn it became too cold to comfortably spend eight hours outdoors, as had been our standard trip practise. I still had a couple of boxes (years later I can't remember how many grams each contained, but in general one was enough to get me going, three would send me sky high), so I invited a friend of mine round to help finish them off.
As things turned out Steve did not arrive till late, it was already getting dark outside. We sat for a bit and smoked some heady London skunk while watching Trailer Park Boys on a laptop. Then I broke out the mushrooms. Steve suddenly decided against doing them, he was hungover and shot from several late nights. So I took both boxes, a large dose, but not heroically so. Then I settled down and waited.
For some reason (perhaps because I had kept them for a while and so they had dried out?) the effects were slower in arriving than I was used to. I got it into my head that they had perhaps lost their potency so decided to get stoned with Steve instead. I rolled a bulbous tulip and we made ourselves very high. About half an hour later I started to giggle, and a felt rush as, joy of joys, the mushrooms finally kicked in.
The first hour was fun, but lacking in the euphoria that I had come to expect. I was beginning to get strong visual distortion. I remember looking at the clock in my kitchen and experiencing a weird form of synaesthesia, the numbers were all associated their own colours, I remember 1's were a light green and 9 a yellow.
About an hour later we were up in my room. Steve, the world's most unreliable drug companion had smoked much of my weed and had finally succumbed to being horizontal. Pretty soon he was dead to the world, snoring away on my floor. I remember around this time a growing sense of claustrophobia, and a powerful realisation that all the prior summer trips had been outside and that I hadn't ever hallucinated indoors. (I had never had claustrophobia before)
I began to freak out. It was awful and indiscriminate; the mushroom clarity, which I had grown to love, had been replaced by a confounding fog. I could not remember where I was, or why I felt like this. I would close my eyes but become overwhelmed by intensely coloured visuals, open them to be assaulted by distortions, only to close them again.
Then my behaviour became even more circular. I decided I needed to go into my garden (it was past midnight at this point) as it was a more open space. Then when outside would feel compelled to go back in where it was warm (the cold had become an enemy; I would shake and feel so weak). I must have been following this loop of behaviour for an hour. I would check the clock each 'lap' as though somehow knowing the time would make it go faster. I can never properly explain time dilation to those who have not experienced it. Everyone knows that a boring job will drag that last hour of work out, and that a weekend with a new lover feels like a short afternoon. But this was qualitatively different. The most vivid memory I have of that night was watching my clock's second hand and counting to fifty in my head between each movement. A minute felt like half an hour.
At some point the worst was apparently over and, kicking Steve, who resentfully got up, spent the comedown wrapped in duvet, clutching a cup of tea and watching the Usual Suspects (which seemed so intricate, like a strange geometrical toy – obviously not completely down yet...), till eventually I fell asleep.
This trip more than any other changed me. I was such a different person for the subsequent six months or so that my friends and family were getting concerned.
I was such a different person for the subsequent six months or so that my friends and family were getting concerned.
To be honest I think even to this day there is a little iteration hidden in my brain that will occasionally pop up; a moment of vertigo or claustrophobia will suddenly hit and set me off balance, it's never a pleasant experience.
With the odd exception I have moved on from hallucinogens; these days my drug diet consists of carefully sourced hash and the occasional MDMA day (I am not one for clubs, for me a wide open space in the sun with a good friend is how that drug should be done). Despite being unpleasant that night taught me something valuable. There is no mystery to drugs, no higher knowledge, no redemptive meaning. It's chaos, nothing but purposeless biochemistry. I plugged a chemical into my brain and changed my mind. That's all.
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