Citation: JPaps. "An Interesting Time of My Life: An Experience with Diphenhydramine (exp89036)". Erowid.org. Mar 15, 2018. erowid.org/exp/89036
My curiosity for Diphenhydramine began when my cousin and I were discussing various drugs that we had tried. My cousin J mentioned that he and some of his friends had tried sleeping pills before, and they had experienced audible hallucinations, visuals, etc. At this point in my life I had been trying to get away from the drug scene, but my curiosity has a habit of getting the best of me. Not long afterwards, my brother, who I lived with at the time, went away with his wife for a few days, leaving me with the house to myself. I went to the local 24-hour grocery store and perused the selection of OTC meds, and finally found a sleep aid labeled “Nytol”. I noted that there was herbal, regular, and extra strength. The extra-strength bottle contained 50mg of Diphenhydramine per tablet (as opposed to 25mg per regular tablet) yet they were priced the same and contained the same amount of pills. Naturally, I went for the extra-strength.
It was around midnight by the time I got home, and I decided to pop four of the tablets to start. I hadn’t even known about sites like Erowid at the time, so the only knowledge I had of the drug is what my cousin had told me. After dosing, I went and sat on the couch to watch some TV. After almost exactly an hour, I noticed my vision beginning to blur and I got extremely tired. Being barely able to stay awake, I sat up in a semi-uncomfortable position out of fear of stopping breathing. I noticed that I was quite thirsty, so I managed to muster up the motivation to grab a glass of water. The darkness of the kitchen was a welcome sight for my eyes, as the bright glare of the TV was sometimes hard to focus on. When I grabbed the glass from the cupboard I noticed that I was shaky and weak feeling. Despite these few negative affects, I decided that the positive aspects of the drug outweighed the negative.
The high lasted quite a while (3hrs) before I felt the effects start to fade. I went to bed and slept sound through the night. I had great difficulty getting out of bed the next day and I felt like I could have just kept sleeping.
This first high was an overall pleasant experience, which led me to do it again the next night. I upped the dose by one pill (250mg altogether) and waited. But nothing happened. I didn’t even feel a little tired. I went to bed disappointed.
Realizing that my body must be quickly developing a tolerance, I decided to take the remaining 11 pills (550mg) the next night. Unlike the previous night, I got high –really high. I began to hear a lot of audible hallucinations, but not anything overly weird. I heard three groups of two people all having separate conversations, at different volume levels and speeds. I remember one man saying “Here, we can split a quart”; another man said: “Analyze me slowly”. While all of this was going on, I was still fully aware that I was high and I didn’t for one second believe that any of it was real. Lying back on my bed, I watched a CD that was out of its case grow a thin layer of rainbow hair, which was obviously the colorful light that reflects off a CD playing tricks with my mind. Then, my insecurities got in the way. My brother, who had returned that night (and had gone to bed hours before) started having a conversation with his wife. Now, I was in the basement and his room was two floors above mine, so I know that in retrospect none of this was real, but it still really scared me at the time. I heard my sister in law complaining about how much she doesn’t like me living in their house. My brother replied “I know, but what are we going to do?” To make matters worse, the voices were coming from the vent on the ceiling, which made it all the more believable. All of this stemmed from my irrational fear that they didn’t want me around and only kept me there out of pity. I am a good roommate, quiet and relatively clean, but I was still afraid of that.
As the weeks passed by, Nytol became as regular as sleep itself. My tolerance grew to the point where I would consume an entire 1000mg bottle every night. I remember one night I decided not to get high, and I literally could not fall asleep. Finally at 7am I went down to the 24hour grocer and bought some. I was addicted.
I would wake up every day groggy and insecure. I remember walking down the street fearing that everybody was watching me, so I would involuntarily walk in a stiff, Frankinstein-esque fashion. I noticed that my libido was virtually non-existent, and my kidneys were very sore. For some reason my urine had become very cloudy every time I went. Also, this drug made me anti-social. I had dosed a few times around my friends, but I always found it very uncomfortable and it was difficult to talk. This drug made me so incredible insecure that I would have trouble responding to my closest, most trusted friends. They would ask me something and I would respond with something that made literally no sense at all. I had seen this happen to my friend C once before. I was asking him about something and he started off responding to what I had been saying, but then in mid sentence he started rambling about some girl drowning in a lake. It scared me.
The visuals I got from Nytol were mixed from time to time. I once seen a cat walking in my buddy’s living room (he didn’t own a cat). The strange thing was, the cat looked like it had “active camouflage” (if you have ever played Halo). So I could see the outline of this invisible cat, but I had thought that the cat was really there and that I was only hallucinating it to be partially invisible. I was trying to coax the cat over to me so I could pet it, but the cat was stubborn and refused to come. I eventually gave up and went back to sitting on the couch.
I also came out of the bathroom that same night and walked toward the couch. My baseball cap was sitting on the backrest of the couch, and underneath my hat was a demon, sitting where I would sit. It looked like the demon was sitting there wearing my hat. My heart leapt to my throat and I freaked out a bit, but as I got closer it disappeared.
Over time I managed to give up Nytol. Upon doing so, I began to appreciate life a lot more. I didn’t like how I would always be looking forward to get home just so I could get stoned, and I was tired of wasting my life away. I spent about a year and a half heavily into Nytol, and it took a toll on me. Even now if I walk into a jewelry store I gag because, for some reason, jewelry stores often smell just like a freshly opened bottle of Nytol. I found this drug to be cheap, effective, and easily accessible, so this was primarily the reason that I became a habitual user.
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