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Learning to cope

Over and over I'd heard it said: Respect the Mushroom.

Over and over I'd heard it said: Respect the Mushroom.

I think it's one of those things you have to figure out for yourself.

I've taken light doses of mushrooms several times. I'd sort of been led to believe by my friends that shrooms were about the level 1 or 2 experience (as described here) but never really talked about high doses and what goes with it. I came here, though, and read about the insane shit at higher doses and wanted to try it. I ate about 1/3 of an eighth of pretty good shrooms.

I was alone in my house. That was my first big mistake. Right from the start, I was feeling really, really bad. I was sitting at my computer and saying to myself "damn, I didn't do this to feel THIS way! This isn't cool!"

And then it got worse. And worse some more. I found myself wandering around my house trying to come up with a plan for making myself feel better. I tried music. I tried TV. Everything just seemed to make my agitation worse. Then the visuals started to really come in, every object in my field of view was pulsating bigger and smaller, bigger and smaller, and they were all pulsing to their own tune. Along with the negative emotions, it was just too much.

I decided maybe I should take a bath. Don't ask me why I thought that, I never take baths, I only shower. I started running the water and was like "this won't help." So I turned off the water and stood up and went to find something else. Then I'd think "This won't help either." And I found myself just doing stupid confused shit trying essentially to run from the bad feelings. Eventually I got in bed in my underwear and just tried to talk myself out of being unhappy.

"You're just tripping, you're going to be okay, you don't need to go to the hospital..." I'm sure many of you have had the same thoughts on a bad trip. That somehow you need to find help, that there IS help. But when you've got a hallucinogen in your system, you're in it for the long haul, and nobody on God's green Earth can help you but *you*.

The fucked up thing was that by the time I tried hiding in my bed, I looked at the clock and realized that technically I wasn't probably peaking yet and it was just going to get more intense. In that moment, I would have given almost anything to have the shrooms out of my system and feel normal. I'm glad I didn't get to take that devil's bargain, however, because it turned out there was light at the end of the tunnel.

Maybe five minutes after that (oh how the clock goes slow when you are having a bad trip) a thought occurred to me: Every time my brain was trying to go off in some direction, which I thought at the time was a negative direction, it was like I was trying to clamp down on every thought and force myself away from crazy, illogical thoughts and negative, bad-feeling thoughts. I realized my brain wasn't going to function in the normal way and that probably most of my problem was related to being afraid to let it just happen, whatever it was. So I decided to just let go, completely and say "take me" to the shrooms. Do with me what you will. I can't fight it anymore so I'll just give in. For some people, that kind of release is easy, but for an old 30-year-old uptight codger like me, it's very difficult.

Almost immediately I felt better. Well, what I felt was lost in the shrooms. I think for five or ten minutes I peaked even higher than level 3, with some characteristics of level 5 "ego death" where I had no sense of even being a living person, just a vessel for experience without a conscious mind or sense of self. I think that must be what it's like to be an animal. That alone is an interesting and valuable insight for me.

Anyway, I was having closed-eye visuals, and they were really "encompassing" is the best word I can come up with, but they were not of anything recognizable. But I started to have a feeling of real pleasure and serenity that kicked in at that point. Looking back on it it's hard to imagine going from feeling that intensely bad to that intensely good inside of ten minutes. You sure as hell aren't going to do that when you're not fucked up on something.

Suddenly I found myself back down to a lower level of intensity, and I decided to get up, feeling totally awesome. My computer is right outside my bedroom and it was on, so I just started messing with that. I ended up ICQing with a guy whose probably never had anything stronger than beer who I know over the internet and it's interesting to me that he never had a clue.

I listened to MP3's until I got so I thought I could sleep, then I went to bed.

To me, this trip is worth sharing not because I did anything exciting while I was tripping but because I learned a valuable lesson about how to make the shroom experience a positive one.

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