Set and Setting... That is what shapes any chemical induced experience. I have known this for nearly two decades but a lapse in judgment can take a night or lifetime and swirl it down the toilet bowl of your own self awareness.
Now, I haven't used illegal substances since I was a high school student some 15 years ago. Alcohol just fit my personality better than the laid back high of marijuana. So at some point in the middle of my high school years, I said good by to pot, acid, shrooms, and the other stuff I had experimented with on a much smaller basis and I took up drinking.
Fast forward >> a bunch of years. Drunk at a Halloween party and some trippy-hippy-dippy young kid is telling my girl about some wild new legal drug called salvia. You'd think this dude had stock in a Salvia farm somewhere in Mexico the way he was talking it up. My girl was sold but I was skeptical so I researched it the best I could. There wasn't much info available at the time, salvia was fairly new occurrence on the American market, but everything I read sounded more and more intriguing. I kept thinking back to my old 'shroom days. Indeed, 'shrooms were the only drug I ever missed since those long past days of chemical fun.
Fast forward again. A year later, with quite a bit of fun and interesting Salvia trips now under my belt. My friend and his girlfriend were over, and they were fighting pretty bad. I myself was in a poor mood and was generally irritable. My girl decided to try and talk everyone into smoking some salvia. The other couple was sold but I was trying to talk them out of it. The over all mood and our mindsets were just not right for a hallucinogenic! But she prevailed; persistent she is.
Everyone took their turns tripping and was having a good time. I started to lighten up and thought maybe I was just being overly cautious. Now it was my turn so I took a couple big hits and I was off.
It hit like being blind sided by Mack truck, just as salvia always does. I felt like I was sinking in quick sand but I was sitting on the concrete floor of my basement. The concrete engulfed me. I was gone, but still there. Forever lost, but I found myself standing on a vast chess board with no one and nothing else as far as I could see in any direction. Alone and scared, I sat down holding my head to my knees rocking back and forth. I called out, but no one replied. Only echoes of my pleas for help. In this space, there is no objects, no people, no anything, just the checkerboard floor and myself. There is no time in this space. I felt as if I was there for days and doomed to be there forever. That led me deeper into panic. I screamed, I yelled, I trashed about punching at the air.
Some time later, perhaps weeks later, I remembered smoking salvia and I remembered who was there with me. I called out to them hoping they would bring me back to reality but there was no reply. "That's it", I thought, "stuck here, forever, and alone. There is no way out, my brain is too far gone now. My body must be in a coma in some hospital bed." Just having these thoughts means the salvia is wearing off but you're never conscious of that at the time. Time. There is still no time. Even with these thoughts in my head I feel like more days are going by.
Slowly the darkness gives way to fuzzy images in my basement. I'm scared and confused. I don't know what I am seeing and this is a big change from the checkerboard blackness I've been stuck in for all this time. The images clear, and I realize where I am. "I made it! I'm back!" I was so excited. I look around but my friends are nowhere to be seen. I am still alone.
I give myself a couple minutes to get my ability to function back, as I dwell on the fact that even though I made it through the trip I was still abandoned. Yeah, that after glow still makes your thoughts irrational. I was a stewing pot of anger and resentment now.
Things became clearer, and I could see everyone smoking just outside the sliding glass door only a few feet away. I stood up and walked out to them. I scolded them for leaving me alone, abandoning me when I needed help. I tore into them. My friend looked at me and said, "Dude, what's wrong? you were sitting on the floor laughing your ass off the whole time. We thought you were fine and even told you we were going to jump out side for a smoke and you laughed and said ok."
Clearly, I found I have abandonment issues. Yay. I never touched Salvia again, and I never will.