My partner (H.) and I had been hearing from friends about their amazing experiences with LSD, and were curious but scared. I had also been reading about research on psychedelics and therapy for PTSD, end of life, and other issues, as well as about microdosing. My only past experience with psychedelics was New Year’s Eve two years ago, when I’d eaten a single mushroom at about 1 a.m., at home with H. and another couple. That wasn’t one of my favorite experiences -- I felt nauseous, and saw closed-eye, moving patterns of color that started out positive and turned darker. I ended up going to bed earlier than the rest of our group in order to end the experience. H. had better experiences with both mushrooms and 2CB, which gave him some visual effects.
Like most people, I’d heard about bad trips and psychotic breaks and flashbacks and so was somewhat fearful. However, we did extensive research and I looked at recent studies showing few if any short or long-term negative effects. We also talked with people with more experience and prepared our setting (at home, together, with food like fruit and candy available). I had a migraine the day we’d planned to do it, so we delayed a day and a half until I felt completely better. This still left both of us with three vacation days to recover, should we need that long, with no plans or responsibilities.
We started at 4 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon. In retrospect, we should probably have noted the advice we got to start earlier in the day, so we could be outdoors part of the time when it was light out and also be finished by the time we wanted to go to bed. We had initially thought about taking our first trip with a group or one at a time. However, we were glad we were trying it together as we were able to have this new experience together, and we were definitely pleased to be at home where we didn’t have to interact with anyone else or navigate unfamiliar territory.
We each took a 125 mcg dose of liquid LSD administered via sugar cube. We were in a good mood, excited if anxious, and we texted each other funny faces and memes while we waited for the sugar cubes to dissolve in our mouths. Then we settled in for a movie, a comedy we’d chosen because we wanted something lighthearted and amusing. About an hour in, I went to the bathroom and found myself staring at a corner of the shower that was for some reason absolutely hilarious to me -- the way the light hit the wall was both fascinating and giggle-inducing. I returned to the couch to tell H. that something was happening. We both started glancing around the room and finding more amusing areas of the wall and ceiling. H. was taking notes about our experience but I wasn’t feeling very verbal and drew a flower on his notebook.
I was giggling and silly still but noticed that I could very easily shift to tears, which I did for a second or two before purposefully steering myself back to laughter. I was beginning to understand what I’d read about how suggestible this substance can be. Throughout the next nine or so hours I drifted toward darker or more introspective, philosophical thoughts many times and decided to steer away from that direction, instead focusing on the visuals, colors, and patterns. In a future experience, however, I would be interested in exploring the deeper thoughts and perhaps setting a different type of intention. I just wanted to enjoy the first time without much if any darkness.
As we watched the movie, I noticed the faces on the screen morphing and changing. At this point H. got a text from a friend and started to respond, as I looked on, but the screen was flickering and changing. I also noticed the next time I went into the bathroom that I didn’t like the way I looked in the mirror. It’s hard to explain, but I saw myself as “meat” and it wasn’t attractive or sexy in any way. I saw all the small details of my veins and pores and hair. H. says he didn’t have this same reaction to his appearance in any way. This continued for me through the rest of the night whenever I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
Overall, I felt awake but not energized or eager to dance or move. I also didn’t feel sexual or aroused at all, and I was rather put off by my own body and the thought of eating or other activities. We did have sex later in the night and it was not unpleasant at all, more a bit strange -- I felt curious about it rather than driven.
Back to the first few hours. Time was passing slowly as we watched the movie but also paused to look around the room. For me, the ceiling and everything else was “breathing” and the lights were sharper and different. It was hard to follow the plot of the movie or to concentrate. Getting up for the bathroom or to go downstairs was somewhat challenging -- I felt like I needed to navigate carefully, though I wasn’t stumbling and it wasn’t like being drunk at all, where I might have used counters or door frames for support. I wasn’t uncoordinated. In fact, when I focused I felt like i could think clearly. It was more that everything looked different and I had to figure it out all over again. This reminded me of what I’d read about an acid trip being sort of like traveling in another country, which requires the traveler to be “awake” and pay attention to everything because it’s new and different.
We went downstairs to snack on fresh pineapple H. had prepared earlier. The taste was amazing, very sharp and fresh and wonderful. However, we both saw the color of the fruit as very vivid while any brown spots were dark and disturbing.
We went back upstairs and watched a second movie. I wish we had selected our entertainment beforehand - for some reason, we chose one movie, not thinking about the fact that we would be up for 10-12 hours, and the choices in our Netflix list tend to be very dark! We ended up with a teen movie that didn’t make a lot of sense to me. At this point I had trouble concentrating or following the plot, and the faces were changing and morphing into animal faces. Next time I’d like to be able to go outside in the sunshine perhaps at this point, in the day time. We did both want to stay together in the same room rather than going off to be alone, which we’d thought might happen but neither of us felt the urge to do so.
Instead, we decided to get into bed. We lay on our backs under the covers and looked at our white ceiling and the art work on our walls for what seemed like - and may have been - a couple of hours. This is the point where I was having the most vivid visuals. The ceiling is white plaster with texture and some patterns, but became a rolling field of colors. For most of the time I saw a layer of white “smoke” extending down about a foot from the ceiling and the colors. Green was the predominant color for both of us, and for me also pink.
We were describing what we saw to each other and reassuring each other that we were seeing the same types of things (whether we were or not it’s impossible to say). However, I was very interested in the inner life of the corner where the ceiling met the wall over my left shoulder. We also have a painting of a woman washing her hair that fascinated both of us. The woman in the picture was flipping her hair and moving around in a very animated manner. Other art on our walls was far less compelling, but that picture of the woman with the hair would not stop moving.
Eventually the visuals settled down a bit. At this point it was about 10 p.m. and I think if we could have gone to sleep we would have done so. We both felt like the trip had gone on for a very long time. However, I was far from being able to sleep. While I didn’t feel hugely energized -- I didn’t want to jump up and run around, or go anywhere, or dance -- my mind was busy and active.
We went outside briefly to feel the cold air and look at the sky. It was dark and chilly, though, and we didn’t stay out long. We went back inside and ate sourdough toast with melted butter, which tasted incredible. At this point I perceived that H. was eating quickly and intensely and was anxious or upset. This is the only time I was worried about him during our experience. I was urging him to slow down and he was telling me he was fine, just hungry. I thought he was a bit manic but he says that was just my perception. I also think his experience lasted longer than mine. At one point after I’d stopped seeing visuals, we looked out a bedroom window at the tree across the street and it was alive and moving for him in a way that wasn’t entirely tree-like, while I just saw the usual tree in the wind.
We went back to bed and started searching for a comedy or sitcom, something light. We ended up watching five episodes of “New Girl” and laughing until my stomach hurt. We tried turning out the lights and going to sleep at least once or twice during this time, but it was impossible. This was when I also started feeling my mind slipping into more philosophical paths of thought, though I can’t remember my conclusions in great detail.
Finally, around 2 a.m. we turned off the light for the last time, about 10 hours after we’d begun. At this point H. decided he wanted to have sex, and I was curious about it too, though not especially aroused. It felt good but I wasn’t able to have an orgasm, or even really interested in trying to have one. Afterwards we cuddled up together and fell asleep.
We both felt slightly tired the next day, perhaps more because of the late night, but otherwise fine. I didn’t feel any after-effects, physically or psychologically, other than wanting to discuss the experience at length. We both agreed that it had gone on longer than we preferred, though I think if we had started around 10 a.m. it would have been better since we would have been able to sleep at a more normal time. Neither of us experienced anything that felt like dissolution of the ego, perhaps because of the relatively low dose, and that’s something I might like to explore further. I was glad to have tried it, and while I don’t think it’s something I would want to do regularly (once a month, for example) I would definitely try it again, maybe in six months or so.
My first experience sparked my interest and since then I’ve been reading and listening to everything I can find to learn more.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.