Updated: Jan 31
I deserved it.
Seriously. I just got too cocky. I wanted an Experience with a capital E. I’d had tons of great trips, adventurous and magical evenings, but lately, they had been a little mid (most likely due to tolerance build up). So, one evening, not only did I decide to do a ton more acid than I’m used to, I also ended up doing not one, not two, but three additional substances.
I will not claim to be an experienced psychonaut by any stretch of the imagination. My journey and experimentation with psychedelic substances began less than two years ago. I have used LSD, magic mushrooms, and DMT, altogether, maybe around twenty or so times. It’s slowed down this year, partly because of how this trip took me to a place that I had never been before, nor would I even want to go again.
Take this as a cautionary tale:
It was some evening in March that Adam and I decided to try out our 100ųg Bicycle Day tabs. They were beautifully printed tabs with multiple Albert Hofmanns riding his many bicycles during his first trip. I didn’t want to get as high as Hofmann, but I definitely wanted to get 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' high.
Adam and I took a few tabs, hung out, time went by. He felt high; I didn’t. I was frustrated and jealous that he was feeling the effects and I barely felt anything. I took a few more tabs and Adam matched me. For some reason, we also thought it was a good idea to blend some mushrooms into our drinks. So now, we’re on hundreds of micrograms of acid and sipping on a mushroom infused alcoholic beverage.
I still don’t feel high.
I'm not sure how far we were into this trip when Adam starts packing a bowl to smoke out of his bong. A light switch goes off in my head. Ta-da! Maybe a bong rip will be the cherry on top of my psychedelic sundae and help me get the high I so much desire.
Now, Adam’s been smoking weed since he was a teenager. I’ve smoked throughout my twenties, but not to the same extent as Adam. I definitely am not used to bong hoots, though I’ve done them a handful of times before. Because of this, Adam packs me only a half bowl. I light my lighter and inhale through the glass receptacle. As soon as it hits, I feel something inside me shift. Something has finally kicked my trip up a notch.
Maybe ten or fifteen minutes later, we're on the couch, watching something on Adam’s phone, in hysterics over the video. “Why would anyone think that’s a good idea?” He asks, and we laugh. He replays the video.
“Why would anyone think that’s a good idea?” he laughs again.
Adam replays the video once more. “Why would anyone think that’s a good idea?”
I stop laughing. What's going on?
He’s saying it again? Did he just say the same thing multiple times? Am I stuck in a time loop? Why am I in the same moment for so long? Why is this second going by so slowly? Is this moment just repeating itself? When is Adam going to stop laughing at this video? Is he stuck in time with me too? Why hasn’t he noticed? Am I stuck here forever?
I tap Adam’s arm. “I think something’s wrong with me.” “What’s wrong? You’re just high. It’s the weed.”
But it can’t just be the weed. Time is now a flat circle and I’m just ping-ponging back and forth in the same moment, never moving forwards. I’m stuck in time and space and this one moment is going to last an eternity! Nothing has ever felt as awful.
Until it does.
Suddenly every thought in my mind is going way too fast. My comprehension of my own thoughts cannot match the speed at which they are firing through my brain. It's like every stoplight a thought has to stop at in order to process, marvel, and think had all gone green and there was no stopping anything.
I try meditating, I try moving around, I try breathing, I try lying down. I ask Adam to distract me, but he is also becoming affected by my own situation and that, in turn, is making me feel worse. I try putting on music, but everything is overstimulating.
I end up under the covers in my bed in the fetal position. This lasts hours. Every time things feel bad again, I switch positions. I'm convinced I've completely fallen into mental madness and that I am never going to be myself again, that I have destroyed my brain.
But I didn't! As all acid trips do, it passed. While I struggled for a few days recovering from this trip, I can safely say, months after the experience, that it taught me a valuable lesson in respecting psychedelic substances and being humble in their usage.
So what’s the moral of this story? I don’t mean to scare anyone. I don’t want people to be put off by psychedelics. Just learn from my stupidity. Be more responsible than I was that night. Respect the substance. Know the substance.
Here's few key points so you don’t do to yourself what I did to me, or if you’re with someone going through it, you know how to help them out. If you want more information after reading this article, I encourage you to do more research, or even check out some of our other articles: The Do’s and Don’ts of Psychedelics, LSD: A Newbie’s Guide to Preparation, Set, and Setting, and First Time Tripper?.
Here’s what I’d tell myself:
If you’ve taken several hundred micrograms of acid and still don’t feel high, just fucking wait. It’s coming.
Do NOT recklessly mix multiple substances. You can mix certain substances together and have amazing results, but what I did was a bad combination.
Alcohol and psychedelics are generally not a great duo. In fact, drinking when doing acid lessens the high.
Do NOT do bong rips while high on other things, especially when you barely ever do it when you’re on nothing!
This was the true death of me that night. .
Tripping with other people can be incredibly fun and lovely, but when it goes the other way, it can be really difficult for all people involved. Have strategies to get over and out of difficult lows of a shared psychedelic journey.
Remember, this trip will end. It was almost impossible to believe, I was convinced I would be lost in the madness of my thoughts forever, that I had destroyed my brain. The chances of that happening are slim to none.
Breathe fresh air. Be in nature.
Consider a trip-sitter. Someone you trust who stays sober and has the capacity to emotionally support you if the trip goes sideways.
I took a break from LSD for a few months after that and did some reflection and introspective work on why I did what I did and what I'm really looking for when I take psychedelics. Though I’m sure I’ll experiment with dosage more in the future, I doubt I’ll be mixing psychedelics with weed any time soon. But, if I do, I’ll make sure to write about it ;)
Do you have a worst trip story to share? Questions? Email us at email@example.com. We’re also on instagram @hofmannhangout.
Until next time,