I have done shrooms three times. The first time, last fall, the second time, a few months ago, and the third time, about a month ago (it being June of 2000 right now). The first two times, I had ate about a little less than an eighth of an ounce, and had had very interesting experiences, very profound change in perspective, but only a few frightening moments as the trip was building. That third trip on the other hand, is the one that I wanted to share. It was the end of the semester, I go to school at Berkeley, finals were just over, and many of my friends were soon leaving, including one of my best friends who I tripped with my first time, and who I smoke out and get drunk with all the time. Three of us had been planning on getting shrooms for this night, because it would be the last time we were all together for a few months, but it had fallen through, so we were just getting drunk and stoned. But around 11:30pm, my friend remembered that another friend of hers had mentioned buying shrooms from a guy that lived down the hall from her. So we take a little walk to her place, and lo and behold we find the guy. It was really cool actually, he had about 7 gallon zip-lock bags of dried shrooms. We all had a little more than an eighth and then we proceeded back to my apartment. This is, of course, where it starts to get crazy. We're all hanging out in my room, with another friends drunk-ass girlfriend who I really dislike and with my roommate Brian (who was not tripping). OK, just for background, you have no idea how much I dislike this girl. She is always whining about something, always offended by something, always sarcastic, and always negetive, and gets much worse when she's drunk. We were was watching him play video games on my computer when it was starting to building up. My senses were already getting really distorted. The light was way too bright, so I dimmed it to an almost imperceptible level, and the music sounded like it was way too loud, and I was worried about the people living below us getting pissed, so I turned it way down. I don't remember what the music was, but I do remember it was not a good tripping choice, it was just what was in my CD player at the time. It was NIN or something, and it was really freaking me out, so I turned it off completely, which my two friends who were tripping appreciated greatly. I was sitting on the floor at first, but had to move up to the bed, because there was an ashtray on my desk, and I was afraid I was going to knock it over with my head, even though it was about two feet away. But as I was sitting on the bed, I kept getting the sensation that I was on the very edge, and was going to fall off, but at the same time, I felt like I was crowding everyone else on the bed.
Meanwhile, my friends annoying drunk girlfriend kept bugging me to make her the mixed drink I had made earlier, and I kept having to tell her that I really couldn't handle it at the moment, but she wouldn't let up bugging me about it. I tried to explain what the drink was, margarita mix, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and rum shaken with ice, but everyone else seemed to think that was really complicated, even my sober roommate, so no one else would make it for her either. Eventually, my roommate gave her a mountain dew with a little rum in it. Anyways, everything was kind of putting me on edge, and I was feeling a little overwhelmed by the sensory distortion, so I guess I was a little grouchy. Just to fuck with me, when my roommate left the room, he left a message on the computer screen saying, "God Minus Jesus = Steve's Forceful." My name is steve btw. And of course I see this, and it fully freaks me out, I could barely read, and I wasn't sure if what I thought it meant, was what it really said, but from then on, I was afraid that I was offending people and that everyone was mad at me.
This was only the beginning of the trip. My friend who hooked up the shrooms put on some trance, and we watched a Winamp plugin for what seemed like forever. During the course of this time, I became fully emersed in the trip. My body felt incredibly wrong and all I could do was lay on the bed with my eyes closed, which was maybe not the best idea, because the things I saw with my eyes closed were a lot scarier than with my eyes open. I kept imagining everyone's faces melting and turning into spider web type designs. And then all the sudden, my thoughts stopped making sense. Every thought that I thought to myself, sounded like meaningless gibberish. As I realize this I remember thinking to myself "Oh shit" but it sounded like "blablablickyblackity bla." Which freaked me out even more, to which I responded to myself with an even more emphatic nonsensical sound. At this point I was completely immersed in my own little bizarre world, and my friends were all getting a little worried. But I couldn't respond to them, because I didn't want to talk, and have it all come out gibberish. So they thought I had just passed out, and left. It was probably 1:30 or 2:00 when they left. The fact that all my thoughts were gibberish scared the bejesus out of me, in a way I cannot describe. My body felt incredibly hot as well, and I thought I had a fever. I had just seen Jacob's Ladder two days before, and was recalling the scene where he has the intense fever and almost died. I had had a fever of 105 once as a kid, and I was also recalling that, and I thought that what I was feeling was exactly like that fever. So I was convinced that I was near-death with a fever of 105+ degrees. And the reason that my thoughts made no sense, was because my brain was melting. All the cells were breaking the normal connections they have with each other and becoming completely liquid, just floating around. I could see all this happening every time I closed my eyes, but I was too scared to open them, so all I did for quite a while was feel my brain melt, and listen to the gibberish going on in my head. Luckily, I had plateaued by now, and it wasn't getting any worse. But for a long period of time, I couldn't move because my body felt too weird. I was afaid that if I tried to get up I'd pissed myself or lose bowel control or something. Eventually, I got up, and went into the living room where my roommates were watching TV. A small part of me had realized by now, that I wasn't really being destroyed, but was only having a bad trip, but I was still sure that I had a fever. I asked Brian if I looked OK, because I felt really awful, and he said I looked fine, and began to reassure me. My thoughts were beginning to clear up a little, and I could talk now, and it felt really good to have someone tell me it was just a bad trip and it would actually be over sometime. We watched some weird late night TV, and I was still scared shitless. Every unpleasant thought I could have was popping into my head. I thought that I was never going to see my friends again. I just felt more profoundly than I ever have incredibly lonely, and incredibly vulnerable.
One funny part about this was that my other roommate who is an asshole told me I looked like a drug addict, and my roommate who was trying to calm me down punched him for saying something dick like that. It actually didn't bother me at the time that he said it, I was pretty detached and didn't care, but I did find it funny when he got punched and was all "Why did you do that?!!"
Anyways, my roommate Brian, who has shroomed many times before, and is a really good guy, stayed up with me until I felt better, about 4:30am. By then I was coherent and calm enough that I told him it was OK, and to go to bed. I was still tripping somewhat though and stayed all night so i could call my friend at 7:00am and say bye before she flew back to the east coast for the summer. I felt incredibly bad that because of the fact that I couldn't handle the trip, I wasn't able to say bye. So yeah, I was completely sober by about 6:00am, called her at 6:45 or so, which made me feel a lot better. And I think I finally got to bed at about 9 or 10.
It was definitely an unpleasant experience, but I learned a lot from it. First off, how important a controlled atmosphere is when you're tripping to keep you in a good mindset. For example not tripping around annoying drunk girls that you dislike, and just in general, not tripping when you have a lot of things on your mind, like being sad about your friends leaving for the summer, that sort of thing. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely do it again, as unpleasant as it was, because it brought a lot of issues and emotions out that I had been shoving down in the back of my mind for a while. Tripping like that gives you a kind of self-awareness that changes you forever. I haven't been the same since, and I think I'm a better person for it.