Duration: 10 hours
Dose: 0.5 tabs
Shulgin Rating: mostly ++ , some +++
In a phrase:
Nostalgia for the present (read: gratitude)
I felt a heightened sense of anticipation and anxiety; it had been about 10 weeks since I last used Acid. That seems to have left plenty of time for me to build up both my anxious thoughts, but also my respect, for the substance and what it can do. I’d finished reading How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan, and it definitely had an effect on how I think about going on a trip and understanding what it can do for/to me.
Outside of my tripping experiences, I’d been working on myself in ways that were *somewhat* unprecedented: I started meditating regularly, I took month off of cannibas (though I did use it three days in a row before the trip) and had generally been working at developing mindfulness as a part of my daily life. These efforts gave me not necessarily just a sense of respect for the substance, but it also gave me a respect for myself: I was working smart (read: not hard) at being there for me.
In preparation for this trip, I also made a playlist that included songs that I could use to cope with anxiety I felt to let it out in a physical manner. As I’ll point out later, this definitely helps.
The main focuses of my anxiety for this trip included:
Separation Anxiety — on virtually every acid trip I’ve been on, I’ve had issues with being alone, which includes, but is not limited to, going to the bathroom by myself. I find that there is a bit of a vicious loop that happens: I feel anxious to go alone, so I ask for others to be with me. I then felt guilty for taking others away from their trip experiences, which causes more anxiety and build up over anticipation to do what would relieve my anxiety (in this case: peeing!).
Risk of Psychosis — after reading Michael Pollan’s book and witnessing the warnings and red flags coming from psychedelic professionals and guides, I began to have the inevitable recurring thought that I could be gambling with my sanity by taking these substances. To be honest, I don’t know if that lurking anxiety will ever go away, but I’m coming to terms with he fact that psychosis could be activated, but not caused, by the use of psychedelics. That actually eases my anxiety. For once, it feels like I can just leave things up to fate. If it’s going to happen, I would rather be experiencing wondrous things on the outskirts of my consciousness, especially when these experiences have been so meaningful for me. These moments of anxiety and use of coping strategies were present for the trip, though not too overwhelming.
I brought music and my new blindfold with me (mainly as coping and discovery tools), and this was the first trip that I spent much of the time alone (or the only person awake).
Early on in the trip I did a 10 minute meditation to relax myself and get a refresher on natural anxiety-reducing techniques I’ve been learning from meditation. I took the 1P around 9:00pm, starting to see some visual stimulation and effects at about 45 minutes in. I should note that there was nothing about my experience with this substance that would lead me to believe that it was different from the Acid I had taken in the past (other than the fact that I knew that it’s 1P-LSD).
Some members of my family were trip sitting for me for the first couple of hours, with one remaining family member sitting until about 5 hours in. After about 3.5 hours, we went for a walk that resulted in my first retrieved profound and meaningful moment: gratitude.
In my own words, this is what I consider nostalgia for the present moment. In an early part of the walk, we had a moment to take two paths, one being different from any other walks I had done while on trips. I said to myself, and to my sitter, that “this feels like one of those, out-of-my-comfort-zone important decisions to maker, huh?”
What started as a 5-10 minute walk turned into nearly an hour walking all over our neighborhood. In the final stretch of our walk the first “wow, this is a trip” thought occurred to me. In that moment I felt the nostalgia for the present that also felt like a memory I uncovered. I get those feelings every trip, but somehow it seems they are one of the first memories that leave me.
After we got back from the walk, we played some music together and ended up watching some television. I ended up putting my blindfold on and listened to music (and do some semi-meditation). There were a lot of colorful, geometric patterns, as well as recurring images of eyes, faces and wind up chomping teeth. At times it started to feel a little overwhelming, but for the most part it was interesting and worth looking at.
After a bit, my sitter fell asleep and I recognized that the following hours would be different from all of the other hours tripping I had ever done before: I would be voyaging alone.
I spent some time watching Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, then deciding to spend some time in my studio listening to music and enjoying the mood lighting I have set up in there. At a certain point, I began playing my own music, which left me feeling excited and interested in the messages that my non-tripping self had sent to the “me” that was tripping. A particular song ignited a strong emotional response that brought me to tears pretty quickly. I thought of my goals to be a professional musician and how this is not at all working out how I had hoped at 20 years old. I thought of how my conversation with myself in the song comforted me in this moment. It wasn’t necessarily the need for flexibility on my goals that brought me to tears, but instead that through my own music, I experienced faith in myself that I almost never experience when I’m not tripping. This left me in a vulnerable, but emotionally therapeutic state. I went back to finish watching the movie.
I came to not just empathize with Miles Morales, the main character, but his hero’s journey became a metaphor and mirror for my own as an artist (and psychonaut). Just like Miles, I’ve experienced headstrong, stubborn moments of wishing that I could join battle, go professional or go full force into the limits of my consciousness. But seeing his growth into the hero he became showed me that my journey doesn’t have to be so perfectly spectacular and stubborn. Instead, it is patience and hard work that will lead to a place that is right for me. One day, I can take that leap of faith into the space between moments, let go of my ego of my own freedom and choice, and realize that I will not disappear forever, but instead be enveloped in something that will carry me out of that space and up into the sky.