VISIT THE HIPPY'S NEW SITE: Spend some time chilling out with the hippy...He used to be "the most shroomtastic stoner on the internet!" until the UK banned fresh magic mushrooms. He's still "the biggest internet celebrity you've never heard of!" He'll make you laugh, he'll make you think...he'll make you wish you were a hippy too!

Monday, February 07, 2005

What do we know about hippies and plans? Well, we know that this hippy and anything pre-arranged never seems to work out. Sometimes are worse than others. Welcome to my Saturday.

For starters, the contest winner had to cancel. Don’t worry, we will reschedule sometime soon, possibly even this coming Saturday. I don’t ever want to let a hippyfan down! I should be ready to shroom again by then.

Why wouldn’t I be ready? Well, this is where my weekend turns weird. I had my first “out of control” experience with magic mushrooms.

Let this be a cautionary tale to all your shroomers out there! If it can happen to this hippy, it can happen to anyone!

Once the contest winner cancelled on Saturday, I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself, I had the entire day planned around their visit. Being me, there was only one thing to do, take some shrooms anyway.

I decided to enjoy them in the evening. I agonized all day over what time to take them, finally electing for a 5:30pm start, thinking I might come down and be hungry by around 11pm, which made a pizza delivery possible. Even this simple plan was too much for me.

I decided to take the Hawaiians I still had, since they were going to go off soon anyway and I didn’t want to waste them. The first time I tried them, a week or so ago, I did about 17grams of them and had a light trip. This time, I nearly doubled the dosage to 33grams, thinking it would be ok.

Now, here’s the thing: In my experience, the recommended doses for different strains tend to be quite low. I’ve seen Colombians being touted as producing a strong trip with 15 or 20 grams and in my experience at least 40 for were required to get anywhere. Hawaiians (or Copelandia Cyanenscens to use their proper name) were meant to be strong at 10grams. Since I had already discovered that was not the case, I thought I was safe to increase the dose.

Boy, was I wrong!

Magic mushroom trips are described on a scale of intensity, consisting of 5 levels. The has an EXCELLENT EXPLANATION of these different levels, which you can check out for yourself. Go on, it’s not that long, you can have a quick read and come right back.

I’m trusting you that you went and read that page!

Normally, I aim for level 3 or maybe 3 and a ½, nothing more than that. I’ve never tried to reach level 5, never planned it, never expected it. But guess what fuckers? That’s exactly where I ended up.

If I may be so bold as to cut and paste directly from the “Total loss of visual connection with reality. The senses cease to function in the normal way…. Merging with space, other objects, or the universe. The loss of reality becomes so severe that it defies explanation….This level is different in that the actual universe within which things are normally perceived, ceases to exist!”

Shit yeah, fuckers. This hippy didn’t know what hit him!

I’ll try to describe what happened as best I can, but a good deal of it is a bit of a blur. What I did was not terribly smart, clever or recommended. Don’t try this at home! Please!

So as I said at 5:30pm, I ingested over 30 grams of fresh Hawaiians, thinking this would provide me with a moderate trip. I then sat at the PC, surfing, waiting for the come-up. After about an hour, I noticed all the usual signals that things were proceeding as planned, a slight buzz in my head and a little queasiness in my belly were the first indications.

After about 90 minutes, the computer and I were not getting along. I’ve written about this before, how the keyboard stops doing what I want it to do. So do my fingers. Again, this is not abnormal and is a sign that the trip is coming along nicely.

I gave up on the computer and settled down in front of the television. I had some music video channel on, I do not recall which one. The buzz in my head was becoming increasingly distracting and I was having trouble focussing on the videos. My attention span seemed to be waning and I was starting to feel slightly agitated. I lit a nice spliff to try to ease the anxiety and relax.

It was at this point that it dawned on me that I might have taken too much. Well, more than I would have wanted to do, had I known the effects would be so strong. I tried to stay calm and reassure myself that everything was all right. Everything was all right, I was just on a heavy dose of shrooms.

My vision started to become distorted and angular. Things didn’t appear as they should. I was starting to panic a bit now, because the effects were getting stronger and more intense than anything I’d every experienced on shrooms. It was even more intense than the couple of times I’ve had LSD.

I knew I hadn’t even peaked yet, there was still more fun to come. I tried to throw up, but at this point, 2 hours after eating them on an empty stomach, there was nothing to bring up. The dry heaving only made me feel more anxious.

I started pacing around my house, up the stairs, down the stairs, in the kitchen, the living room, back up the stairs again. I didn’t feel comfortable anywhere. I tried lying on the sofa, but that didn’t work. I tried lying in bed, but it didn’t feel right either. I tried it with the lights on, with the lights off, my clothing on, my clothing off, I couldn’t relax and get comfortable.

I knew the best thing I could do was try to fall asleep, but with all that psilocybin rushing around my brain, that was impossible. It was like I could feel all my synapses, individually firing faster than they were meant to do. Too much information was flowing too quickly through my head.

At this point, the visual disconnection peaked. What I was seeing was not coming from my eyes, through my optic nerve and into my brain. What I perceived visually was a product of my brain.

I couldn’t see properly, I remember being in the bathroom and it was like the room split into a geometric design, which I found somewhat distressing, but I was aware it was the drugs.

I went back into the bedroom and lay down, I was overwhelmed by what was going on. With the lights on or off, my eyes open or closed, all I could see was a geometric pattern of three-dimensional, brightly coloured blobs, encompassing my entire view and stretching to infinity. And beyond.

Yikes. It was like this visual pattern was flowing over me, like waves cresting on the edge of the ocean. I tried to relax and enjoy it, experience it for all it was worth, but the anxiety was still running high.

Throughout this entire experience, I never lost the awareness that it was being caused by the substance I had taken. I didn’t lose sight of this for one instant. And I kept reassuring myself that everything was going to be OK, and in time the effects would subside.

I got a valium and took it, thinking that in about 30 minutes, it might take some of the edge off what I was feeling. I lay back in bed and surrendered myself to the mushrooms. I couldn’t fight it, it was just too strong. I’m not sure of the time, as I couldn’t make sense out of the clock, but I’m guessing it was around 8pm.

I stayed in bed until around 11pm, so three hours in total. I don’t think I fell asleep at all, though I might have been in some sort of hallucinatory trance. I know I was lost in thought, that I was conscious, but I couldn’t tell you a single thing that went through my mind.

I finally decided to get out of bed, it was just after 11pm. I went downstairs and gradually started feeling like myself again. I had another spliff.

I was tired, but my perceptions were returning to normal. I was still seeing things about weirdly, but it was all very manageable. I had time to think about what had happened.

I didn’t plan on a trip of this intensity, consequentially I wasn’t prepared for the effects to be so strong. It would have been one thing had I elected to reach a level 5 state, but I didn’t, it was totally unintentional.

Yes, it was stupid, I was stupid, I underestimated the effects of the dose. I didn’t pay proper respect to the potency of this particular strain of shroom. I didn’t follow my own advice, which is to increase the dosage gradually. I thought I knew what I was doing, but clearly copelandia is much different from my usual p.cubes. I won’t be making that mistake again.

I don’t regret the experience, I often wondered what a “heroic” dose is like, now I know. I’m sorry I didn’t make more of the experience, but the anxiety and sheer panic of knowing I took too much prevented me from really enjoying it.

It was scary, but had I been prepared, it might have been a journey of self-discovery, which could have taught me something valuable. Well, it was a voyage of self-discovery in a fashion, but I could have maximized its potential more.

It was the sort of trip that shaman prepared for years to experience. I sprung it on myself as a surprise. At least I don’t think I damaged my brain, though I do feel a little happier, so who knows?

It hasn’t put me off shrooming, but it has made me more aware of the need to be sensible and careful. I handled it well, I didn’t freak out, call an ambulance or wander the streets naked. I stayed cool, as calm as I could and rode it out. I survived and feel much stronger for it.

The really worrying thing is that I probably would have taken the same dosage if the contest winner were here. I don’t think I would have given her quite as much, but it wouldn’t have mattered. I would have been fucked in the head with a stranger here that was nearly as fucked. It could have ended really badly.

When I do shroom with the contest winner, we’ll stick to sensible amounts of p.cubes. I like to be in control when I trip and on Saturday I was anything but…

Anyway, sorry for the delay in posting this, as you can tell it’s been an eventful 24 hours in the life of this one crazeeeee hippy in north London. Being the “most shroomtastic stoner on the internet” does come with cost. But hey, “I’m living that hippy life, so you don’t have to!”

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