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15g breakthrough therapy
I LOVE YOU !!!!
I LOVE YOU !!!!
That’s what I wrote when I could still barely muster the motor skills to type. I was elated and couldn’t wait to tell the world. I wrote other exuberant things like SHARE THIS WITH EVERYONE!!!
It felt like I put myself through a lot of physical suffering! 4.5 days of fasting then scarfing down an insane amount of a mushroom that does not want to be eaten! (15.05 grams dried golden teacher)
But I transcended it and saw something else. The reason we’re here and need to connect and love each other. The reason I was going through this. A pulsing wave of colorful energy branching up from a deep universal network. It was feeding me and strengthening my connection to it. I saw other people in my life connected through their own branches and it was showing me why I need to connect with them. Because of this greater thing that exists beyond our normal reality.
My intention was to treat life-long depression. I had some psychedelics in the 90s, but nothing this strong. I only recently started trying mushrooms again after learning about the new research on depression. I said more about that in this report of my first failed attempt at an ego-dissolving experience.
After that, I had a few more trips that I went through with my ego intact. The seller gave me another 14 g free. I tried another 5 g, then later 8 g (and a couple microdoses), but didn’t get much further.
Two weeks prior to this trip, I had 5 g from another source. That was much stronger, but still didn’t get through my sense of self. I alternated laughing and crying, then just crying thinking of how I recently hurt someone. I thought of what I wanted to say to that person, then about things I wanted to say to other people. It seemed like an endless stream of things I wanted to say that was coming too fast and I started saying “it’s so much”! Afterwords there wasn’t much that I could retain and put into real words. But there was some of it that I did write to the person I hurt. I felt fatigued and had a headache for a day and a half, which made me decide to fast next time. I thought it might give me more resilience to that and lift my mood.
I wanted to go deeper because of research findings that benefits were associated with “mystical-type” experiences. This paper just came out a week prior.
Quality of Acute Psychedelic Experience Predicts Therapeutic Efficacy of Psilocybin for Treatment-Resistant Depression
I never wanted to trip this many times and was tired of messing around with it. It’s really kind of a burdensome experience even when it’s weak. I wanted to have one good one and be done, at least for while. That’s why I went way up to 15 g. I still had 17 g from the second source. I ordered 14 and got 22. Mushroom growers are generous.
The setting for all these trips was described in my first report above. I made myself a playlist of mostly jazz and Grateful Dead jams with vocals edited out. I reclined in a high-back chair with eye shades. Unlike the first trip where I made tea, I ate the mushrooms plain the rest of the times.
I get cold on mushrooms and the previous trip, it was really bothersome. I had to get up and get more blankets and turn up the thermostat. This time I started with a super warm comforter that was handed down to me, but I didn’t use because it was too warm. It seemed perfect for this occasion. I also wore thick thermal underwear and sweats, put on a down winter coat, two layers of warm hats and turned the thermostat up to 87. I still got cold, but not as badly as last time and I was out of my body pretty soon.
I ate the mushrooms at 11:30 AM and it started coming on in about half an hour, much faster than previously. There was the usual sedated feeling with intricate colorful patterns.
A lot of what happened early on I can’t remember. I wish I would have had more like 10 g because of that. I do remember struggling a couple times. I felt nauseous at one point. I grabbed a bucket I had next to me for that and leaned my head into it, but didn’t vomit. I threw off the headphones and was just stuck in misery for a minute. I thought, “remember there is love” and typed that out in a note I had open with lines to tell myself if it gets challenging. Upon writing that, I felt fully relieved and went back into the music, eye shades and memory blackout.
I came back again with a worse episode. Though not nauseous, I was breathing hard and fast and thought I’ve really damaged myself now. I wished I had been more gentle on myself and thought I’ve taken the hormesis thing too far. Fortunately, that didn’t last long and I soon went back in.
The next thing I remember was what I wrote above about the universal network. It felt like an important revelation. I eventually got into a thought loop. One thought led to another as if through deductive reasoning until a thought led back to a previous thought and so the cycle continued through the same thoughts over and over again. Each thought was a color that morphed into the next in a flowing wave similar to the branch that connected me. I don’t remember what the thoughts were, probably nothing articulatable in this world, but they seemed deeply insightful. Like something that explained the interaction between this world and the one I just witnessed.
I became aware of the music and sounded better than ever. The visuals were part of it. I began to think about what I want to do next and what to say to people. I wrote that “I love you” thing in my head and other parts of the beginning of this report that I’ve since toned down.
Once I became aware of my body, I realized it needed care. I lamented leaving the music, but felt an urgent need to get out of the comforter and coat, turn down the thermostat, and drink cold water. This was about 5:50. My muscles felt disconnected, but I could execute the actions I wanted with some focus.
I ended up lying on my back on the bed filled with awe and joy watching the bright wild ceiling, eager to proceed with life and integrate the experience in days ahead. I was also relieved to be through it and felt like I don’t want to do that again. The fatigue grew heavier and the colors persisted. I was surprised I pulled off flawlessly frying some eggs around 7:30 because I still felt unstable. I kept looking at the clock thinking of how long it was lasting and it occurred to me, there was no end. It was just beginning. I thought it will be with me the rest of my life and felt warm and confident about that.
As the exuberance mellowed, I got pessimistic. There was a lot I wanted to write and a lot I had to do for just for my job. I was worn out and couldn’t see myself getting productive in the coming days. And I started remembering how much I don’t like interacting with people and was unsure how I would go about being more connected and if that was really what I wanted. I began to worry this “breakthrough” could just be something that was in my own head one afternoon and not produce lasting change.
The next couple days, the world looked beautiful - the sun, snow and bare trees. The next day I went to a float tank for the first time and tried to reconnect with the world I saw during the trip. I couldn’t, but the patterns were still there in the dark and it felt comforting to meditate on them. There was a striking feeling of contentment even when nothing special was happening. It wasn’t as strong as the after effect of ketamine, but good enough. I also focused better when meditating.
The night after the trip, I slept like a baby over 8.5 hours, but the next night insomnia was terrible. Sleep problems persisted in time that it’s taken me to write this (6 days after the trip). At first, I seemed surprisingly resilient to it. I still felt happy and was able to work better than usual. But after a while, it caught up with me. 5 days after the trip, it seemed like the benefits were over. I couldn’t keep myself awake during work and then my boss suddenly got up my ass and pushed me around. I was back to wanting to die and had to hold back tears. But still the contentment somehow came back that evening, and especially the following day.
As far as interacting with people, there weren’t a lot occasions for it. I realized it was impressive how I managed to establish a life with close to zero face-to-face human interaction on a typical day. I could have made proactive efforts, but had a lot of work to do. When I did talk to people, I felt like I made more eye contact, smiled more, and got more engaged in what the other person said.
Today there was an unstructured social event at work. I never go to those things because of social anxiety, but I pushed myself to go and test what it’s like now. I did feel somewhat anxious going in and looking around for how to get involved, but perhaps less than I normally would. I ended up just talking to one person, which is cheating. My social anxiety really depends on the number of people in the group and a one-on-one conversation isn’t so much of a challenge. But it was a good experience and I normally wouldn’t even do that.
So it hasn’t been a big transformation like people talk about, but it’s a positive step.