Nagging Questions: Bad trips and more
Posted 23 April 2008 - 03:13 PM
I just recently discovered psychedelics about five months ago when I took mushrooms for the first time, and I have done them five times since to total six trips in all. I have not tried any other psychedelics to this point.
After having tripped a few times the affects of psychedelic drugs have begun to interest me more and more and I have read as much as I can find on the internet , but I have not found really solid answers to any of the questions that plague me the most.
I guess I'll start by telling a little of my personal experiences, though I still have only a few. My first trip ever was a great experience. Two of my friends and I took about 3/4 of an eighth a piece and it kicked in after about 45 minutes. The body high was incredible and everything was just a laughing good time. My head high was nothing special, sounds were a little distorted at times and everything was fuzzy and moving around a bit, but nothing crazy. There were no snakes coming out of the carpet, that's for sure. The whole experience lasted about six hours or so and was a blast the whole time. I was excited to try it again and maybe get some better hallucinations. On my second trip though...
Just a few weeks later, the same three of us tripped again, and again it was in our apartment. We rented a few movies we thought would be cool to watch during the trip and when we got home we threw in Pink Floyd: The Wall (the movie), and ate a half ounce between the three of us. The drugs kicked in within probably an hour. Coming up on the trip was great, and the head high was definitely a different thing from the first trip I had. I wasn't seeing anything crazy, but the high was of the thinking sort for sure. I began thinking too much and even began wondering just what a bad trip would be like, which was almost certainly my first mistake, but nothing bad stemmed from the thoughts right away. The trip got more intense than the first and everything was great for all three of us. My trip was an energetic one, not the lazy type as my first. I was moving a lot and trying to do things I thought would be fun with a lot of speed and determination. I went to our music room (the other two with me are my roommates and two of us play guitar and the other plays bass) and picked up my guitar. I turned off all the lights and played some very melodic riffs and outside the window the trees were going crazy with lights and movement in their silhouette from the light poles in the parking lot beyond them. After a while I decided I wanted to call some of my friends that I hadn't talked to in a while, I don't really know why. One girl in particular I ended up talking to quite in-depth. Our conversation lasted a good hour in which we talked of bad trips and good, as well as many other things. Not long after I settled down to watch Shrek 3 with my roommates things took a very bad turn. It was probably three hours or so into the trip when the movie began and a bad vibe just came over me. I think what triggered the full blown bad trip was when I looked at my friend Joe and everything in the room froze. I could hear and feel Joe and Gerrad moving on the couch, but they were just frozen, as with everything else in the room. Things downward spiraled from there. Everything in my mind, on the movie, and elsewhere repeated over and over. No matter how much I tried to calm myself down, things just got worse. Everything started to feel like a riddle in my head as I thought more and more (another mistake), and it was one I couldn't escape from. At one point the whole room turned into that painting where all the staircases are going in all different directions, (up, down, diagonally, I hope you know the one I'm talking about), and all of the characters from the movie as well as Joe, Gerrad, and even myself were walking around on these stairs. Eventually I thought I had gone crazy, then thoughts of death, then thoughts that I was dead and I would be stuck in that apartment for eternity. I thought that I needed a dramatic change, something big, thoughts of needing to just "wake up" circled around in my head. I thought some sort of intense physical pain might bring me back to reality and I considered jumping off of our second story balcony or even getting a kitchen knife and cutting away at my arm. But, remembering tales of other people's bad trips driving them to such insanity brought me down a little. In the end it was as simple as asking my roommate to put in a different movie and then good feelings came back again, but my insanity was far from gone. As I became happy agian I felt like anything was possible. I was rich, could travel through time, anything I wanted I could just make appear. I really thought all of these were things I could do. This entire time both of my roommates were well aware of my bad trip and were just trying to keep my grounded, trying to avoid me going off and attempting to do any of the things I thought I could do without making it obvious. As the drugs wore off I came back and realized just how out of my mind I was. I also learned that during my entire bad experience, Joe was also having a terrible trip. Apparently he could handle it better than me, because he didn't make his apparent for fear of bringing Gerrad and I into bad trips as well, and he really felt the need to keep it calm after I VERY openly expressed how bad my trip was going.
After the bad trip I was very scared of trying psychedelics again. I had heard tales of people going into a trip and never coming back, going flat out crazy. Others of people committing suicide or murder, even killing loved ones, while on their trips. Convincing themselves that others are the devil and such. This is when I started studying the drug and came to the conclusion that bad trips can cause people to do unimaginable things, but it's normally people who do them wrong. I'm well aware of set and setting and state of mind. I'm a very happy person, which is why I was so surprised at such a bad trip. But there are a few questions that still stick with me.
Is it really possible to go insane from psychedelics of any kind? If so, which ones? It seems that there are certain psychedelic drugs that are prone to causing long term psychosis. I have also read about people who had great breakthroughs in their lives with psychedelics. Anyone know anything about this? Personal experiences would be great to hear about.
I have learned to deal a little better with bad trips. On my last trip I ate nearly two eighths of shrooms over the trip and had a mildly bad trip somewhat similar to the first. I was very scared and confused, but I handled it much better. I knew it was the drugs, and despite what I was feeling I waited it out to let myself come down and come back a little.
All comments are greatly appreciated
Posted 23 April 2008 - 03:44 PM
Your experiences on psychedelics are like walking a tightrope that is underwater. You feel fine at first, but you don't sense the loss of balance til you're sideways and beginning to spin and its too late by then.
One thing I haven't any control over is the telepathic waves that blast from my companions if I am in a group trip. Group dynamics is a whole subject unto itself, and I've read that such psychic potential grows chaotically with more people.
I've found my way out of bad trips by learning 'psychic mechanisms or tools' which give me something to focus on when I feel things are getting out of control, something that normally I associate positive feelings with. For me, learning some basic mystical rituals of protection have worked for focusing personal power and setting aside fears and distractions. I've heard of others using their meditative techniques to quiet their mind and gain control of their trip.
Recently I've been following The Hemisync Gateway Experience by The Monroe Institute. A bit off subject, I'm mentioning it because in the first few lessons I have learned a couple more such 'psychic tools' that are meant to quiet and focus the mind while relaxing the body, in preparation for lucid dreaming/remote viewing type activities, but once learned, they are tools and can be used at anytime to aid in bringing focus and calm.
The Energy Conversion Box: Visualize a large, strong, secure box, not anywhere but in your head, close your eyes if you have to. Now open the box, and place any of your fears, concerns, anxieties, distractions in there. And close the box.
Harmonic Resonance: Deep breaths in through your nostrils, imagining bright clean energy filling your body, and out through your mouth imagining dirty old energy being expelled from your body, cleansing you. As you exhale, vibrate your lips and say ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom, or uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum, or aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuhhhhhhm. something along those lines. If you have multiple people you'll sound like the Mystics in the Dark Crystal.
I haven't experimented with these while tripping yet, but I feel that they will be useful in the future.
If you are concerned about this wild recreational ride getting out of control and starting to realize that you never put your seatbelt on, then you might want to consider attaching some associations of Sacredness to the ritual of taking something as powerful as an Entheogen.
Besides this hokey mumbo-jumbo, I have found great aid in reading the thoughts of the explorers who discovered this stuff long before me. I listed a few of my favorites in this post.
Posted 23 April 2008 - 04:08 PM
Posted 23 April 2008 - 06:01 PM
Posted 23 April 2008 - 06:58 PM
I always try to trip in the woods. A connection with nature is a HUGE positive engagment of my mind. I've tripped in city and apartment environments and it has never been as cool as the woods, throw in some water, a lake or a stream and my mind is taking off on the complexity of it all.
That makes so much sense.
Posted 23 April 2008 - 06:58 PM
The second breakthrough was my Ayahuasca trip... Well... that was definitely the deepest experience I've ever had in my life and I don't think that anything stronger by any means can happen. I saw my previous life... I don't think that there's much more to tell about. It's quite personal too.
As for the bad trips - they usually don't come from nothing. Psychedelics can show you both your Heaven and Hell, so treat them with respect. They should be a spiritual journey even if you're tripping your balls... I've had a lots, lots of bad trips and I continued to dwell on the reasons why I'm having them for a long time. My reason was karma. I've come over most of this material and I'm not having bad trips anymore. Except the moments when I catch some things that bother me. I can say that I am somewhat experienced in psychedelics and for most ppl who are starting to have a bad trip I strongly advice just to lay down, close their eyes, try to calm down and DON'T fight with anything, just let everything happen. You will eventually fight your fear or more accurately experience a relief through katharsis but if you are afraid of being afraid, you're only making thing worse, because you become restless and the fear is slowly eating you from the inside. If you're feeling that it is coming, just tell it that you're gonna destroy it and let it happen! The best thing about it that even if you start crying, even if your Hell nearly kills you, you always survive and get out of it a whole lot stronger than before. You reborn! In fact, I believe that tha bad trips teach as much, much more than the good ones. They are hard lessons though. You will eventually discover many spiritual truth on your path, but as I said before - respect The Flesh of Gods and let it be your teacher. It is a doorway to The Unknown.
Posted 23 April 2008 - 07:03 PM
Everything becomes so much clearer and simpler.
Posted 23 April 2008 - 08:08 PM
whatchamacallit: "My suggestion would be to use smaller doses until you are comfortable with them, then slowly up the dosages as needed to achieve the goal of the trip."
These fellows have some good advice.
I would also add this... just something to consider. Generally speaking, I believe that not all bodies and brain chemistries are the same. Don't feel like you have to make this work. It may just not be for you.
Posted 23 April 2008 - 08:19 PM
Posted 23 April 2008 - 08:26 PM
Posted 23 April 2008 - 08:30 PM
Posted 23 April 2008 - 09:04 PM
Hehe, we could discuss that in some other thread :). I love sharing the thoughts reached through psychedelics.
I think that instead of a doorway to the unknown..the magic is a cleaner of the lenses ..making what is hidden by cultural stigma become transparent.
Everything becomes so much clearer and simpler.
Posted 25 April 2008 - 05:27 PM
For what it's worth I'll throw in my
LSD was my first drug of any sort,
and over time and travel I became aquainted with
some of the nicest people I've ever met...
that have taught me.
My last experience with the above,
ten years ago-
two grams of it were poured into the bowl.
At the end, at the bottom, like sugar crystals thickening
the coffee at the bottom of the coffee cup...
we wiped our hands in the pure crystal thickening at the bottom
and wiped it over our faces and arms.
Set and setting,
only with closest friends something like this,
Look at Leary's writings,
to experience the power of the structures
you are asking about
we have to drop the roles
that we all play out in our daily lives.
On a practical scale-
every thought and emotion flowing through our brains.
A mere negative thought, clinging to a codependent
could turn a life upside down-
as it may be magnified
a hundred fold.