Please understand that I still value mushrooms highly, and will most likely trip again.
Also understand that this trip may fall into the Level 3 category, but because of the extreme nature of some of it I've called it a Level 4 trip.
Approximately one sixth of an ounce of mushrooms (believed to be Psilocybe cubensis) were finely powdered in a grinder and mixed with orange juice. The trip began RAPIDLY, within 15 minutes. Perhaps powdering the shrooms makes them more absorbable?
I was with my sister and two friends. The trip began normally enough, with the distortion of senses that I can't quite explain but recognize quickly enough. It hit much more rapidly than I am used to, but other than that it seemed muc the same. I got down on the floor and looked at the bottom of the couch when things started to get intense.
That was the first sign that things were really different.
I have a white couch. Along the bottom there is about a 4" border of fabric held to the bottom of the couch with a raised seam. As I relaxed and looked at the couch, the most beautiful pattern of electric pastel paisleys floated along this border. As I watched this with interest, I realized that the border itself was becoming translucent, and I could see the belly of a snake--a BIG snake--undulating against it. If you've ever seen a snake trying to shed it's skin, you know what it looked like. I watched, fascinated. Then I closed my eyes and visions of cartoon demons writhed around, making lewd gestures. Weird, but interesting. The gestures got ruder and ruder, until I opened my eyes.
I opened my eyes when my sister spoke to me. Speaking to her seemed to bring me out of it a bit and things got a lot more normal--still shrooming, but no outright hallucinations. Until I looked at the hardwood floor about an hour later. I have a hardwood floor in my living room. I love it. My sister told me to look at the floor, and when I did, I saw the most lovely pattern of leopard spots floating over the surface of the floor, almost as if there was about 2" of "soft water" over the floor. The spots weren't gold and black like a leopard, but rather reflected the color of the floor itself, in beautiful reddish-brown wood tones.
Then I went outside, and things took a distinct turn for the worse.
We had just been chilling on the front lawn, enjoying the sun and the grass under our feet. I'm not quite sure how it happened or what was said, but suddenly I was lying on my back looking up at the sky. It was beautiful--a perfect, cloudless blue sky with a gorgeous abstract repeating pattern tiled over it--again in the same electric pastels as the paisleys on the couch. I looked up into this, and distinctly remember hearing/thinking/saying one word, "WHY?". I'm not exactly sure what was going on at that point, but it seemed to me that I was challenging the Creator or God or whatever...Why sadness? WHy joy? Why, in short, ANYTHING? It sounds very simplistic and stupid now, but it wasn't then. The beauty of the sky seemed to be empty rather than joyful.
I was starting to feel a bit unsettled so I went inside. I realized I had to go to the bathroom so I went. ANd suddenly I was sitting on the toilet, looking around at the dingy tile and the somewhat dirty floor, and thinking, "Is there any real reason to exist?" And I couldn't think of any reason. I have never been more fundamentally depressed in my entire life. I seriously could not come up with one good reason to not blow my brains out.
Call it an existential break. All I could think of was how HORRIBLE everything was, how fundamentally POINTLESS it all was. Why oh why did I, or anyone else, or the universe itself, exist?
I realized that I wasn't doing very well so I asked my friend S. to come into the bedroom with me. He realized I wasn't okay so he did. I laid on the bed for what seemed like an eternity (and ended up being a few hours) and grappled with something. I honestly can't say what it was, entirely, but I truly feel that I was forced to make a very visceral decision about whether or not to kill myself. In S.'s words, "You were deciding whether you existed or not".
The weirdest part was this: I was crying in deep, jagged sobs every now and then. Not constantly, but every little while I'd sob. At some point, I rolled onto my stomach and was face down on the bed. Some sort of weird, sticky, gross mess started coming out of my mouth, eyes, and nose. It was not quite snot and not quite spit, and there was a little blood. All I could think while this was happening was "Where will I put this???" It was thick, and I remember it coating and adhering to my mouth and face in a really creepy way. Just as I was starting to think that I was either going to completely flip out or decide to kill myself, I was slowly dragged out of it by the sound of my neighbors in the backyard, having a barbeque.
When the goo finally stopped coming out (it started to dry up when I noticed my neighbors), I cried normally for a little while, with normal tears and a normal runny nose, let S. hug me (who was next to me during the whole thing) then slowly came out of it.
I have NEVER had a shroom trip like this before. I don't know what happened and although it was a really intense experience, I don't even know if it was a "bad trip". It was weird, and the closest analogue I can think of would be some of the depressing philosophy of Sartre and the guy who wrote _The Stranger_ (Camus?)