And now for something completely different

I’ve been working on a post for awhile, but it’s been coming together slowly, hence my recent lack of activity. It’ll be about my experiences with and as an Otherkin. Hopefully it makes for intriguing reading.

At present, I had the notion that I ought to put together a post on a subject which, to my knowledge, almost no one ever talks about. I certainly have a bit of inspiration, being that it’s still ongoing: I’m having a drug trip. I imagine a lot of people have experiences with drugs and there are just as many who will abstain from all use altogether. I don’t want to pass judgment on anyone, as my experience, I suspect, is atypical. I’m writing this as somewhat of an educational piece, though perhaps it will offer some entertainment as well.

Oh, and for the record, I do live in a state where marijuana is legal.

Trigger warning: Drug use, description of hallucinations, complete dissociation from reality.

About a decade ago, I was hanging out with some friends, cruising around rural Michigan and enjoying the ambiance of jovial people laughing and joking amiably with each other, when one of them accidentally passed me a joint. I say “accidentally” because up to that point, I had never expressed any interest in smoking anything. My lungs have never much enjoyed breathing in smoke of any kind and marijuana in particular had a nauseating effect on me. At this time, though, I was feeling curious and a little emboldened, so I took it and had a few drags. The smoke reminded me of what a burning corn cob might smell and taste like. It was very dry and not particularly appealing. It didn’t take effect until well over an hour later when I was on my way home.

Suddenly I felt very disoriented. It seemed as though I were separated from my body by a barrier through which my thoughts and commands could perform osmosis, but not without an extra layer of dislocation being added to everything I thought and did. It was as if I were moving my body with a remote controller, and thinking through text messages. I had a hard time keeping track of where I was and what I was doing. I would have moments of just losing all comprehension of what was going on.

Fortunately, the effects wore off after about half an hour, leaving me none worse for wear. I realized that what I had experienced hadn’t been at all pleasant, certainly none of the things I had ever heard or seen someone else experience, so I decided it had interacted in some strange way with my body chemistry. If I wasn’t actually allergic to marijuana, it at least had effects which I would prefer to avoid. That was a decision I kept up until last night.

A few days ago, my roommate heard through the grapevine that a friend-of-a-friend-of-an-etc. had made cookies using pure hash oil and was giving them away to friends. Said roommate offered to acquire one for the two of us to split. Once again, I was curious, and my prior bad experience seemed long ago and possibly an anomaly. Moreover, I felt like I really needed relaxation. The night before last, I had caught a scent of wood smoke from one of the neighbors’ fireplaces and had a panic attack, which prompted a flashback in the middle of the night and caused me to wake up completely drenched in sweat. With the calming properties of marijuana on my mind, I thought, “Why not. I’ll just try it.”

While playing a puzzle game on the laptop, I ate a little piece of the cookie and settled in to see what would happen. I played for awhile longer, making some decent progress, and began to wonder after about half an hour whether I was actually going to feel anything or not. I didn’t feel particularly relaxed in any special way, but maybe that inability to feel it was part of the effects themselves? I kept playing, and began to realize that I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. It felt like I was having a conversation with someone, but I couldn’t remember having spoken out loud or having heard anything. I played a little more before it dawned on me that I wasn’t able to pay full attention to the game anymore. Instead, I kept imagining vivid scenes and seeing them before my eyes at the same time that I was watching the action on the screen.

It was at about that point that I called for my roommate and said, as clearly as I could, “I’m having a hallucination.” Only my mind insisted that I had actually said “Fragh spetz rillecudon.” And then I was in the bathroom having my very first drug trip.

The symptoms of this trip were highly unpleasant and akin to what I would think disorganized schizophrenia might be like. I will try to break them down and explain how I experienced each one separately.

I had no ability to recall time. From the explanations of my roommate, it seems like I was experiencing time compressed into smaller subjective spans than what objectively taking place, so what seemed like a few seconds to me was actually several minutes at a time. I couldn’t remember ever not having having a trip. I had severe déjà vu, and my attempts to communicate kept being thwarted by the sensation that I had already said it all before. Then, when my roommate would reply, my mind would insist that I had already heard her say such things before. To the best of my knowledge, we were not actually repeating ourselves; I was just unable to properly perceive time.

I was unable to perceive spatial relations properly. When I sat on my bed, it seemed to stretch in both directions for at least another five feet. When I walked down the hall, it felt like I had traversed miles. At one point, I remember looking up into the shower and seeing a wash cloth hanging above, and thinking it was impossible that I could ever hope to reach it. The thought of standing up triggered a fear of heights. Geometry seemed to follow no coherent rules that I could predict. If I closed my eyes, I felt like the world was tilting crazily.

I hallucinated vividly, both internally and externally. Overlapping with reality, things I remembered, imagined, or imagined remembering twisted together into visualizations and mental images which I was unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy. It felt as though I were seeing animations frame by frame, but only every third frame or so was related to reality. The rest was filled by worlds, images, entire histories which were completely alien to me. I was completely unable to concentrate on anything, utterly overloaded with stimuli, all of which insisted it was precisely the way it had always been.

My ability to comprehend language deteriorated significantly. Every thought I had, every way of comprehending what I was seeing and experiencing, was filtered through a now dysfunctional part of my brain which rendered everything into gibberish. Even now, I struggle to elucidate my experiences properly as that part of my psyche has yet to fully recover and renders words incomprehensible, or tries to supply me with words I know to be nonsensical. Combined with my other experiences, this mad gibbering in my mind made it even harder to comprehend what was happening.

I was terrified. Even now, the thought that this won’t stop (it is now almost 24 hours later, including having slept for eight hours) is incredibly disquieting. I was unable to remember a time when I wasn’t hallucinating like this, since any thought of previous experiences was subject to the same lack of temporal cognition and linguistic recognition — in other words, I couldn’t distinguish memories from an ongoing hallucination. Even now, I’m struggling to maintain a coherent thought pattern, although now it feels more like every tenth or so “frame” is missing instead of only getting every third “frame” as reality. At the time, I couldn’t imagine that it was truly ever going to end, or that it hadn’t been this way all along, and my inability to focus on anything enough to keep track of it between so many overlapping layers of nonsensical stimuli was enough to make me physically ill several times.

It’s hard to pick out what was the worst thing about it, but I think being unable to perceive time correctly was near the top. Any given moment felt like the way life had always been and yet also felt like something that had yet to happen. I had continuous, intense déjà vu and yet also had a sense of jamais vu, the state of not recognizing something one has already experienced. What I perceived, including the hallucinations, my mind insisted were happening in real time, had already happened and were being foretold as something I would experience moments before I did. When I tried to latch on to whether or not I was genuinely having precognition, however, I couldn’t identify predictions from things which had already been said — even things I was in the midst of saying.

Illustration of how disorganized my thoughts had become: At one point, I walked out of the bathroom to stand behind the couch in the living room. At the same time, I imagined myself to be a toddler with three eyes pushing its buggy car through a store window. My roommate said something; I heard it as “hruntz, sneh.” A coiled spring of red on a purple background darted around the room. This was the way it had always been. My roommate was going to say, “How are you feeling?” and I had already said “Not well. I can’t. The words aren’t right. I’m seeing two languages.” I couldn’t remember what my mother said. I was a toddler with three eyes. I pushed my buggy back to the bathroom and got sick some more.

Eventually enough of the symptoms subsided, allowing me to lay down without becoming ill again. I slept eight hours away and woke up feeling much more coherent. However, the symptoms hadn’t completely dissipated. Even now, nearly a full day later, I still feel detached from reality, not entirely sure whether my thoughts are real or not. I’m not sure if this is a sensation to which I could become acclimated, since every moment still has a tinge of feeling unique and never before experienced.

I realize I’ve probably repeated myself a few times throughout this rambling explanation, so I hope it turned out coherently enough for everyone to read. Again, I am not making judgment on anyone who has done these drugs, and I recognize that my experience is not what others usually do. It is enough of a unique experience, in fact, that all I want to do is share it.

And hope it ends.

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