From start to finish, as honestly as I can possibly describe this...
So, my friend and I decide we want to try shrooms, and I get ahold of a friend who can provide and also babysit. I had read plenty about what a first trip would potentially be like, and was prepared mentally and physically for it... though it's nothing like I had originally thought. My friend drove up yesterday with some psylocybe cubensis. We stopped at the grocery store and picked up some cheese cubes (?), peanut butter, and some drinks to wash it all down with, and then headed off to the bio reserve, eating the shrooms along the way. They didn't really taste like anything, especially with the peanut butter. The entire time we're talking / walking around thinking out loud that nothing's gonna happen. We both felt perfectly fine and relaxed.
We get to a secluded little path in the bio reserve, plop down a blanket and smoke a bowl. This was about 30 minutes in, and I started to feel a little funny but chalked it up to the weed. And then it hit my friend, who was staring at things for inordinately long periods of time, covering her mouth with her hands, grinning, giggling, laughing, and then staring again. She mentioned something about how everything looked like paper cut outs and then started mentioning something about being introspective and at war with herself. I didn't feel anything more than the pot for another 10-15 minutes, and that's when I looked at the grass. We were on a slight incline and when I looked down at the ground, it was moving! Peacefully moving, weaving, a lot like a kelp bed. The ground was waving slightly in a relaxing sort of way and I began seeing trails - of my hands, my eyes blinking, and my friend moving around. At one point I thought we were going to slide down the hill, so I started digging my heels into the dirt to keep myself in place. I thought I saw a face in the trees and everything began to look like one of those 3d pop-up books. It was a really weird feeling. Colors also became really bright - red specifically; my friend was wearing my red and grey jacket and I couldn't stop staring at the red...it was getting brighter and brighter and just felt so RED. Then I turned around to look at our friend and he looked like a black-and-white photograph, except for his lips and ears and the tip of his nose which were extremely pink. It was beautiful. Then I began to hear everything in crisp detail... cars going by on the distant highway sounded like colors (synesthesia) ... I remember one sounding yellow and one sounding maroon.
I began to spend more time with my eyes shut and that's when the visuals began. I didn't see too much when I opened my eyes (things moving, waving, melting) but in my head I was going places and seeing the wildest things - the images were coming and going so fast I missed probably thousands in my memory. There were a lot of kaleidoscope images, mostly 2d - snakes in triangles in a yellow circle spinning around... a lot of yellow and red and orange and happy feelings and a lot of images of snakes. I felt yellow when I was happy. Yesterday was overcast, and we were surrounded completely by plants and dirt, but no flowers. It reminded me of a war, and I began picturing soldiers in their uniforms, a really dark, olivey green color, them hiding in the trenches and fields and wherever, armed and ready to fight. I pictured wives solemnly looking out windows, wondering if they'd ever see their husband again, and I felt their heartache, I was living with them, I was one of them. Mind you, this wasn't current-day war I was picturing. It was more like WWI stuff. I felt the hardness and the roughness of the soldiers, I felt them blocking out the fear they felt, I watched them watch their comrades fall. Then I felt dark red and heavy for awhile, and it reminded me of the young man I saw on the train on the way down to New York City once, he was wearing a black-and-green pinstripe suit and was sporting a mohawk and a guitar. That day I spent hours fantasizing about where he was going - picturing dirty apartments, crushed red velvet, cigarettes and drugs and hardwood floors. I was thinking about all of this and New York and how I would live there one day, and I'm getting all these visuals of colors and where I'm going and swirls of thoughts... opening my eyes was rather disappointing.
We were silent a lot of the time, but would occasionally look at each other and comment on what a weird feeling it was. And it is a weird feeling - completely distinct from pot or alcohol. The closest thing I can compare it to is when you're deliriously sick, but it's still nowhere near this feeling. I felt off-center... like there was a point in the middle of my vision, in the middle of my being, where my mind usually resides, and it was like I was way off to the left of that point. I felt that way the whole day. It was also an incredibly personal feeling. I found myself trying but unable, and also unwanting, to share what I was seeing and feeling because it was personal and deep. I think I ignored our friend a lot of the time because in my head I kept thinking about how he couldn't possibly understand what I was feeling, but the girl I was with did so I looked at her a lot.
I was swaying back and forth and moving my head around while I was thinking.... and then the giggles hit, out of nowhere... I kept turning around and looking at this one cream-colored leaf sitting in the middle of the grass behind my right shoulder, and thought it was playing a game with me. It looked funny, and I decided it was a "he" and wanted to give him a name. I would look away and then turn my head back really quickly to see if he was there, as if playing peek-a-boo. I don't know. This leaf was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me and I asked my friend if we could take him home. He interrupted my thoughts once or twice and I'd swing back around to make sure he was there and then fall over in a fit of laughter. I felt a kinship with that leaf and if I think hard enough I can still feel how happy it makes me - like seeing an old friend that means everything to you, someone you've waited years to see, someone who knows exactly how to make you happy.
Then I start picturing a sandstone-type mountain with a road curving upward. I'm looking at it from a distance, but it's my journey and that road is where I'm going. It reminded me of something out of a Grand Turismo game (an old Playstation game) and for awhile I felt like a controller. I remember having a fleeting thought of Nintendo games. Through all of this, it just kept escalating, and it felt like every time I took a breath I was tripping more. Every deep breath was a new level, higher and higher. And I began to not feel like myself. The world around me when I opened my eyes felt dumb and dull, and fake. I literally felt somewhere else. If you had asked me where I was, I would have been able to tell you exactly, except I would have told you that I wasn't there. I know this was the peak and I literally felt loony bin crazy. My friend even turned to me after we'd started heading back to the car (the atmosphere didn't feel right and I kept saying I didn't like it) and asked if I thought this was how crazy people felt. That was a terrifying thought, to think that someone could feel like that while everyone else was normal... it freaked me out.
We tried eating mints, but my tongue felt disgustingly weird in my mouth, like it was separate from me and I had no idea why it was even in my mouth. Before we got into the car, I remember spinning around in the gravel as the thoughts were just coming and coming and coming, there was just so much FEELING. I was feeling EVERYTHING. And I was leaving myself and becoming something else. I pictured what I usually picture when I try to meditate... in stunning clarity with 3d feathers falling all around me - there was an old, curved wood door with a wrought iron handle and when I opened it, I was in a bright white feather room, feathers falling all around me. It was so soft and happy. After that I went to outer space, and I remember feeling like something dark brown with brightly colored sprinkles... a Pop Tart? An ice cream cone? And I was in space looking at Earth (below and to the right of me) and Mars (ahead and to the right, swirly red/orange and beautiful), and I could see all of the stars. I felt like a star. I kept saying there was so much feeling and I felt further and further from myself.
Branden drove around for awhile and while I usually get sick over lots of hills, I absolutely loved the feeling and seeing everything rush by. It was beautiful. And then he turned on some Bassnectar... there were bells, or chimes? in the beginning and I thought I was going to go insane, the way I felt that sound inside me was insane. It was so strong (but not bad) and happy. Everything felt like rolling hills and my thoughts pulsed to the music. Going over rolling hills when the hills are physically rolling...I can't even describe it to you, everything was just rushing by and it was all YELLOW, and red, and orange. Like a pretty sunrise. I know at one point I said I felt like mornings. I had no concept of time and it pretty much didn't exist. I was moving around a lot to the music, rolling my head around and all that (Branden later said it looked like I was having an orgasm. It felt good but... not that kind of good). Colleen was still in the back, not really saying anything but just staring. At one point I looked down at my hands and I could see my veins and my bones. I looked right through my hands. Branden had to stop for deer at one point and I was terrified we were going to hit them, but they were SO BEAUTIFUL.
We got back to campus and instantly I was self-conscious. I wanted nothing to do with anyone and walking up the stairs to my dorm was hard. I could feel people looking at me and they all knew I was tripping, every single one of them, and it was terrifying and I hated it. They were all fake, anyway. I just wanted to get away from them all. I kept thinking that I felt "stoned." The word "stone" stuck with me the whole trip and that point I mentioned earlier, where my mind usually resides, was the "stone" and being away from that point was being "stoned." We got back to my room and I called my mom... which was weird and I didn't like it at all. It sounded like she was mocking me and I think I hung up on her... she kept asking if it was good and I wanted to be like "WTF, it's not like getting drunk, you're an idiot, it means so much more than you could possibly understand." Conceited, but that's how I felt, as well as an overwhelming uncomfortability, if you will.
I felt like I had been split into a million pieces and wasn't human... or that there were two me's... that's not really accurate. More like there was the human me, and then there was the non-human me, but the non-human me was actually really dynamic and had so many different parts and shapes and colors and images.... I was two things, but many things. Many times I felt heavy, and like I was melting. My friend was on my bed and I was sitting in my chair, with my head on the laptop feeling like I was becoming one with the desk and computer. I flipped it up because it had been quiet for far too long, and threw on Pink Floyd's DSOTM. MISTAKE. I flipped the fuck out. It was terrifying and I felt like something huge was coming to kill me. In less than thirty seconds my heart was racing and I felt like crying. Throughout the whole experience I felt disconnected and numb from "human" emotion (love?) and felt connected to the universe but no single person specifically, except partially my friend because she understood what was happening. Everyone else didn't matter.
I tried turning on Iron and Wine, which wasn't bad, but wasn't good either. The atmosphere was weird...we had all of the lights off except one muted white bulb and these purply-pink christmas light strands on my bed. My friend looked completely orange and pink and she said I did, too. We tried to draw for awhile which was actually really fun, and we made a very interesting drawing with markers. I remember not liking the orange I put in the drawing because it reminded me of the atmosphere I began to not like the feeling and started thinking about bad things - about death, and about myself, my human self, and how I just hated it. I looked in the mirror at one point and couldn't handle it at all - it was more disgust than fear, an overwhelming disgust. Eyes began to look weird to me, and scary. I couldn't look Colleen or Branden in the face because their eyes would come forward from their face and way too close to mine. Humans started to look so strange, with their legs and faces and... it was just really weird, like looking at a bunch of aliens.
We changed atmospheres and walked out onto the quad, which was when the trip began to come down ever-so-slightly. I was still thinking everyone was fake, the world was fake, college was fake, everything was constructed and how can we live like this? Trees were all right, though, and flowers, because they were wise and had been there so long. I thought I felt hunger pangs and started to really get down on myself for always feeling hungry, but then I realized I had peanut butter and handful of mushrooms for dinner and half a sandwich for lunch, so I probably was hungry. I felt like an animal for awhile before I felt human again. I felt like I was becoming wiser and growing so, so much.
But bit by bit, I could handle people again, and even liked them again, and could acknowledge that I was myself. There were some guys having a party in the dorm and we could hear them singing Miley Cyrus and then something else, and I just felt this euphoric happiness of being at college and being alive to hear people shamelessly having fun. Seeing familiar people was the best, too. When I looked over at the lights between the buildings, I could see the distant flickers of downtown and the athletic center and it filled me to the brim with happiness because it looked like a city, it felt like New York, it felt like I was doing something right in my life following the path I'm on now. It was so happy. I kept smiling and smiling and smiling. Our friend took us to go get some food, and through the drive-thru we kept having massive laughing fits (or maybe it was just me, my friend was going on and on about the guy at the drive-thru window talking about him being a carnie with a mustache. I was crying with laughter).
When we got back, our friend went home and we laid down and watched some TV for awhile before drifting off. The only bad part was that right after we fell asleep, the fucking fire alarm went off and we were stuck outside in the rain, tired, weak, and weird-feeling, for close to a half hour (I think). It took us awhile to sleep after that, but when I did drift off again, it was very deep. I woke up today feeling weak and a little shaky and tired, but overall okay.
Would I do it again? Yes. Not for a long while, and I would make sure to be by myself or with others who are tripping and that's it. It's not like getting high, or drunk. It's not social, it's introspective. It literally is a trip.
Will I ever forget it? Hell no. That was the strangest and most deepest, personal feeling I've ever had in my life and it's made me realize a lot of things. It was scary, those two hours I didn't feel like myself and went batshit crazy, but when that changed and I felt like myself again, it was much better. I had so many ideas for art, for paintings and sculptures. I'll make sure to be around paints and markers next time...