This is a cautionary tale in which I am attempting to teach others from my own experience, however I should note that I can't be very sure of the chronology of anything that happens in the middle of my story. Seeing as time had collapsed in on itself, this is to be expected. I have abridged things somewhat as well.
LSD has many myths surrounding it, possibly more than any other drug. Most concern the extent and nature of its hallucinogenic properties. From the irresponsibly misleading data on anti-drug websites to the sometimes misleading or incomplete data on pro-drug websites, there is something of a morass to be sifted through. Personal accounts are somewhat more useful, but usually involve small quantities. These tend to describe some of the more typical effects, probably the most common of which are for objects to get rather "melty," one to see "trails" following motion, and a sensation of "body buzz." A few of the more complete ones will also describe the false sense of revelation that LSD brings on, and that while tripping, everything will seem profound and filled with meaning (this is one of the reasons why people on acid will tend to endlessly repeat themselves for emphasis). Legends abound on how one can see pink dolphins leaping out of lawn chairs if one takes enough (though the norm is having visual hallucinations which alter whatever the user is seeing rather than completely alien things being visible), but most users stick to low dosages and propagate urban legends about what happens on a large quantity.
I can put down in writing one experience that involves a significantly higher dosage than the norm.
One summer I decided to go ahead and try a fair sized quantity of acid. My nephew, very close to the same age as me, who I will refer to as "Simon," would also have some, though not as much. He'd been going to college and there had gotten some initial experience with it. Thankfully my parents were on vacation. I was eager to see new sights and hear new sounds. Having earlier experience with hallucinogens, I was well aware that I would not solve the problems of the world and that any epiphanies I had would be largely false. Based on information from the internet, personal accounts, and my own experience, I felt I had a pretty good grasp on how acid would influence me, and what I should and should not do. My two terrible, terrible misconceptions were as follows.
Misconception 1: The only thing that would cause me to freak out while under the influence of the acid would be if I were unable to handle seeing strange things. People went nuts because they were close-minded and couldn't deal with seeing visions. A sizable LSD hit (100-300µ) would not casually rip my judgment and mental control to confetti.
Misconception 2: The sugar cubes I had bought were roughly equivalent to the blotters I was more familiar with, especially since they were of the same price. I had not been ripped off with low grade crap earlier and had not gotten an excellent deal this time around. I should be able to handle five easily.
And so the tale begins. At around eight in the morning, I unwrapped the cubes, gave two to Simon, and popped five in my mouth. Actually I had to stuff them in, as they were rather large. I then sat and tried to control my slight anxiety. After the cubes had dissolved and been swished around in my mouth adequately, I swallowed and began to wait. After a little while I began experiencing a slight sense of euphoria, and oddly shaped dark blobs began to skitter across the white ceiling in my living room. Obviously the trip had begun.
For a time I wasn't seeing anything particularly cosmic, however the euphoria continued to build. And build. It was becoming almost painfully intense. For a little while I tried hugging a small end table to my chest in an attempt to find some solidity. Simon found that quite amusing, as did I. We decided to head outside. He wanted a cigarette and I wanted some fresh air. I remember being quite surprised his nicotine addiction was strong enough to penetrate his trip. For a time we sat on the hill that descended from my home and looked about. I remember glancing at the sky and seeing the clouds boiling and twisting intensely. My sense of time was becoming increasingly unreliable. One moment we were sitting at the top of the hill, the next we were sitting halfway down another hill, the next near some trees several hundred meters away. I knew I had walked those distances, and could even remember doing so, but I felt almost as if I had teleported about. My euphoria had steadied off just short of unbearable, and for a time I rolled around in the grass giggling like mad (halarity is one of the hallmarks of the first phase of the trip), looking at the turbulent skies.
My eyes were now watering quite a bit, and I was beginning to have trouble seeing anything clearly. It seemed as if I was peering though a heat mirage, and my peripheral vision almost was totally consumed by twisting smoke. I happened to glance up, and see a blurry figure standing by our pool. My vision was totally shot, so I asked Simon if my father had come back from vacation or something. I was worried I'd been caught in a situation similar to the plot of a lousy sitcom, though with more severe consequences.
It was in fact a totally innocuous construction worker who hadn't been told that my parents were gone and wanted to speak to them. Barely able to see anything clearly, I managed to convey the simple fact of their absence with the last remaining shards of my concentration, and he left. But the damage had been done. I had been frightened. My euphoria was rapidly replaced by entirely
less pleasant emotions. Going back inside and sitting in the back porch, I became consumed by paranoia, especially since Simon had left his pot pipe out where the worker might have seen it.
Simon made repeated attempts to calm me, and almost succeeded, however I kept remembering that his pipe had been sitting in plain view in a room the worker had gone through. I was far beyond being able to communicate this concern clearly, as my sense of time was now worthless, and I was somewhat distracted by the fact that Simon was inconsiderately warping from place to place. I decided at this time to see if I could sleep the acid off. I made it to my room, and fell into bed. Closing my eyes did not exactly help matters, as I was constantly assaulted by images from my home and childhood.
I then forgot that I was on acid.
Befuddled by wildly swinging emotions, an absent sense of time, and the inability to sense anything clearly, my short-term memory took a long walk off a short plank, and I began reacting to everything I perceived as if it were real. I came to the logical conclusion that time had ended, and my that soul was all that existed. Everything I saw was wreathed by burning light and my vision was frequently fading to white, so this may also have contributed to said conclusion.
Sometime around this point I entered the most intense part of the trip. I clearly remember my vision and senses distorting in ways it is difficult to convey coherently. I would frequently feel as if I were falling toward whatever I was focusing on, the object growing in size and proportion, until I shifted my gaze. Upon doing so, my previous focus would lose all color and fade, to be replaced by what was now in my view. Given the intense tingling my sense of touch was being overwhelmed by, it really felt as if I were being hurtled though a timeless realm without any solidity.
Simon, feeling helpful, came into my room at about this point and asked if I would like to go for a walk outside again. Or so he claims, because I distinctly heard him repeatedly say "You need to gain control before your consciousness dissolves into the void." In a voice that kept fading in and out, cutting off, and looping like a scratched CD.
I will never forget the sensation of flying into his lightning blue eyes.
Half blinded by my delusions, I apparently wandered out with him, repeating one-word questions like "Eternity?" and "Infinity?" in a monotone voice. Some measure of euphoria returned, since I figured the problems of my life were no longer to be worried about, and that Simon, or God, as I was referring to him at the time, would explain what was happening. Simon, thinking I was still sane, was not forthcoming with the secrets of creation, preferring to walk down by our pond and use my childhood swingset. I decided that God was trying to explain things in some metaphorical manner, and began to react to everything Simon said in that sense. We then had a conversation where things got interpreted in entirely different ways.
"When will this end?" I asked of the universe Simon had apparently conjured at the end of time.
"It will wind down in a few hours," he said of the acid trip.
"What about me?" I asked of my soul.
"Dunno. Maybe we'll have some more of that lasanga." I took this to mean that I was God's equal and would have ultimate power over creation. This may sound funny, and it is, but given the familiarity with which he was treating me, it was perhaps not all that unreasonable.
"But what do I do with it all?" I asked of the power I had been given.
Simon considered, and suggested that I take it one bite at a time. I agreed that this would be wise.
We went back inside, and Simon went off on his own for a while. I began attempting to adjust myself to my new, godlike powers. I attempted to teleport into the kitchen. I succeeded. I then commanded a glass of water to be instantly filled. Again success. Deciding to step up, I decided that I must be infinitely wise, and attempted to expand my mind to contain all the secrets of mathematics. Failure. I became terribly nervous. If I were equal to God, shouldn't I be able to comprehend something puny like the sum of mathematical knowledge? I tried again, and failed. I tried something simple, like recalling the entire contents of a book to my head. Failure. I sat down on a couch in the living room and began to panic again. I tried to conjure a glass of water. Failure. I immediately realized that I was going to be trapped in the ending of time in the universe Simon had created, powerless.
I now felt physically paralyzed. I slouched on the couch, consumed by despair. Events seemed to catch and repeat, clear indications to me that time was "winding down." I lapsed into a catatonic state for hours, convinced that I was experiencing the same moment endlessly.
Eventually I had a "waking up" experience, where my short term memory switched back on, and I rememberd at long last that I was on acid. Things immediately got immeasurably better. I sat up and looked at Simon, who was watching TV, and asked what time it was. He was quite relieved, claiming that this was the first complete sentence I had managed in hours. He said that my last intelligible statement had been "this is so much worse than oblivion" at some point during my catatonia.
After this, my mental recovery was swift, almost instant, though I continued to hallucinate well into the next morning. Oddly enough I haven't been really scarred by the event. Some of the most unpleasant sensations and experiences of my life happened during that trip, but I find I'm able to look back and laugh at myself without much trouble. I suppose that means I'm either pretty resilient or have brains of Jell-O. Hopefully strawberry Jell-O.
Well, that's my LSD overdose story. Not in the end the most exceptional thing to happen in my life, but certainly the oddest to date. If you choose to use LSD or similar drugs, be careful that you don't forget that their mind altering properties are far more significant and powerful than their ability to alter your vision. Be careful and stay safe. If I had believed I was still mortal during the worst parts of my experience, I would not have hesitated to kill myself to escape what I thought my fate would be: an eternal prison in the dying universe of my own living room.