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General notes from the author of this reader submission:
- Time Ingested: Late Afternoon
- Time to Kick: 20 min
- Total Length of Experience: Approx. 6hr
- Food & Drink: average size dinner, one hour before
- Mood: hopeful, relaxed, feeling general anticipation of the experience
In an attempt to treat my PTSD and ADHD symptoms, I had my first experience with a medicinal dose of mushrooms this past weekend. As someone who has suffered from PTSD for a very long time, I am looking for a permanent solution – if one exists. In my research, I have read about very successful treatments using heroic doses, a dose intended to enter you into a prolonged trip, of psilocybin mushrooms and other strong psychedelics, such as DMT (N-dimethyltryptamine) and ayahuasca (Grandmother). I have dabbled in psychedelics before at pagan festivals as part of a ritual experience, but never with the intent or intensity needed for medicinal purposes.
I will preface this entry with the fact that I’m not sure how to really put all of it into words yet. It’s like trying to describe a very complex dream to someone that doesn’t speak the same language as you. It’s very, very hard to describe, but I’m going to give it a go because I want to try to document my progress as thoroughly as I can. Not only for myself but for others.
I decided to go with a psychedelic tincture, called a lucid elixir, which includes a ginger fermentation mixed with a honey mead distilled tincture of lion’s mane, ashwagandha, skull cap, St. John’s Wort, passion flower, blue lotus, and hibiscus. In addition, it includes an ethanol extraction of penis envy mushrooms – that’s the magic part. (Note: I am also using the same tincture, at a rate of .1mg per day, for my microdosing treatment.) I paired this with 20mg of THC, which was taken in 10mg doses, one at the beginning of the trip and one part-way through.
I settled into my recliner, wrapped in a soft blanket, and waited for the come-up to start. It is also important to note that my partner & best friend was my sober guide for this trip. She comically referred to it as “babysitting”. She was there, with absolutely no judgment, to talk to me and help me process along the way. She would also serve as a witness to document the experience from her perspective so that she could share this with me once I came back down.
First Wave: Tummy Trouble
Note: I am going to refer to the different levels of this experience as “waves”. I am actively doing research and may find a better term for this, but for now it is a good descriptor of what it felt like. It was like waves washing over me as I descended deeper and deeper into the trip.
It took about 20 minutes to start feeling anything. The first wave was just nausea and this was expected based on my past experiences with mushrooms. I had my rubbing alcohol handy and ready to go. Small sniffs from time to time kept the purging at bay completely. This only lasted for 10-15 minutes at most. This feeling was exactly the same as my previous experience with magic mushrooms. As compared with dried or fresh mushrooms, the tincture’s nausea effects are very quick and not entirely unpleasant. It was easy to get through this level quickly and I was able to remain relaxed through it.
Second Wave: The Happiness
The second wave consisted of a super happy feeling washing over my whole body – it felt both physical and emotional. Again, so far, this is the same experience I have had with a 1mg dose of the same tincture, as well as dried and fresh mushrooms. This is such an amazing part of the experience. It is subtle but builds up slowly. It’s like a handshake from Mother Nature. She’s saying hello, welcoming you to the collective, and letting you know that it is okay to proceed. You are safe.
I’m always amazed by this wave, no matter what the drug of choice is. I often think, “ is this what it feels like to be free of stress, trauma, and anxiety?” and wonder if there are people that always feel this lightness. When you walk it literally feels like you are walking on clouds because you are so free of negative, stressful thoughts. This must be what it was like in the 60s & 70s to experience the release from these psychedelic trips in the midst of so much societal angst, loss, and literal war. I firmly believe this is why they were outlawed. The economy of rage and war cannot succeed if everyone feels connected at a molecular level. The powers that be could not allow us to “become one”.
Try and imagine what the world would be like if we all felt this connection at a spiritual level.
Third Wave: The Grid
The next wave added visual elements. Everything, and I do mean everything, had a pattern overlayed on it. I don’t know how to describe this accurately. It was as if I was looking at the pixels of the world; the building blocks were exposed to me. Again, it is very hard to describe in a way that does it justice. Going forward, I started to lose track of time and “reality” pretty quickly.
Note: A couple of things of note while reading this. The first is that the intense trip portion of this journey was somewhere between 4-6hrs (Saturday afternoon & evening), however, to me it felt timeless. If you had told me it had been three days I might have believed you. This was followed by a 3-4hrs of coming down (still feeling the effects, but only in a very pleasant way) and then another whole day (Sunday) of napping and processing. I have no idea if this is normal, but that’s what it entailed for me. Second, the time frames referenced in this description of the trip are from my partner’s description of what was happening. She explained what she observed and even took some videos for me to look at later. I was unable to tell how much time was passing between and during each wave.
As I slowly walked around the house, I could see that everything around me was composed of these “building blocks”. I had queued up a playlist of my favorite tribal, pagan folk band, Heliung, on television. As this played, the beat was overwhelming but in a super pleasant way. I definitely know now why many people choose to pair their own trips with this type of music. I received a deeper understanding of how Heilung’s music is inspired by their own experiences & rituals involving magic mushrooms. The music itself, but even more so the imagery, in their music videos enhanced this wave in a way that it hard to describe. It was transcendental.
Fourth Wave: The Oneness
As I entered the fourth wave, the roof of the house didn’t exist any longer. I could see the night sky, the stars, and the galaxy. my partner said at this point she could see my eyes fixating on points in the air as if I was seeing things and even interacting with them. From her perspective, there was nothing there, but she could tell it was very real for me.
I went deeper and deeper very quickly. Time and this reality started peeling back rapidly. I felt an overwhelming oneness. Not like I was connected to something. More like I was part of something, part of an organism that transcended time and space. Part of this organism or consciousness, but not separate from it. “Part of” is not accurate enough. There were no “parts”. Just everything all at once and at the same time. Everything, including me, could be molded and changed as part of the whole.
Fifth Wave: “The Pilot” & Death
At this point, I “left my body” slightly. As in I was just adjacent to my body. When I looked at my hands in front of me I could see that I was also covered in this moving pattern that everything else was comprised of. My whole body was slightly translucent. I could see my muscles and bones beneath my transparent skin. As I moved my hands in front of me I thought “How fascinating this vessel is”. I had a vast, soothing feeling that I was simply a pilot of this temporary vessel – the body was just a disposable suit that would turn back into matter, part of the collective when needed. I’m trying to think of how to describe the feeling more accurately. A comparable idea would be that my body was compost – like that’s how unimportant my body is, while also being very sacred and unique.
While still tripping, I started trying to explain this wave to my partner. I told her that I had heard that there were hospice facilities somewhere in the world where they were guiding dying patients on mushroom trips as they transcend and that I thought that was an amazing idea.
Around this time, I took the second dose of THC in the form of a 10mg pineapple-flavored gummy.
I’m going to try to explain this next part correctly. I felt like death didn’t matter at all – like it was beyond trivial. From the perspective of the collective organism that I was part of, death is as simple as a passing thought. You are no longer piloting this vessel – you are part of the collective. What’s a different way to explain it? Okay, so as part of this collective, this organism, you never really die – you simply “reorganize” into a different physical vessel. This might be a body, a tree, a flower, a seed, a grain of soil, or a tendril of the mycelial network. “We” have observed the world, the galaxy, and the universe for billions of years. I had a sense of time being relative and could easily grasp spans of time measured in eras, thousands of years at a time, and I felt how that informed the perspective of the whole.
I want to be clear. This was not, and at no point was, a desire to die; just the understanding that death isn’t what we perceive it to be. I have been consumed with a fear of death since I was a teenager. Something I have had lengthy conversations about both sober and intoxicated. At one point my partner asked me what I was thinking and I told her, “I’m trying to decide if dying is actually a thing and does it even matter”. Hence, my understanding of why giving this experience to someone who is dying is such kindness. It would allow someone to simply transition from this form to the next. With absolutely no fear at all.
My partner took another video of me during this wave (these videos will never be shared) as I was trying to explain this concept to her. It was a lot of me starting to talk and then hysterically laughing. I would start to explain that it was so “absurd the difference between where you are and where I am, but…you and I ARE at the same time…BOTH ” – referring to the oneness that I felt while being tapped into this larger collective organism, but it is deeper than that. I can still remember the experience so vividly; trying to come up with words to explain the feeling and visuals I was experiencing. I just couldn’t and still haven’t found the words.
Sixth Wave: The Final Wave, the indescribable
I then spent what felt like endless hours upon hours (My partner notes that this may have been about 2hrs from her perspective) exploring my mind, looking at trees and stars through the roof of our home, walking among the stars, and just swimming through the universe. I could rewind and fast forward time by simply twisting my fingers as if there was a knob that could rotate forward and backward. Again, there is a video from her, that shows me “interfacing” with these controls in thin air. It looked as if I was manipulating a knob and moving things from side to side. The only pop culture reference I can think of would be a cross between “Minority Report” and “Dr. Strange”.
Somewhere in this wave, I took a shower in the dark. This was an amazing experience. The water seemed to flow right through me. I went through phases of feeling like I had no gender at all, feeling like I was in a very feminine vessel, and even feeling like there was no vessel at all. That I was the water, not the human. Running my hands slowly over my body I could feel every little detail of “my body”. An attempt at an accurate description of how I felt was “not binary”. I didn’t feel like a zero or a one. I was something fluid, changing, adapting – a state of flow.
There’s so, so much more in this wave that is simply impossible to put into words. At some point, the journey slowly came to an end. The visuals faded but the overwhelming happiness and feeling of lightness did not. My partner and I talked and eventually, I simply fell asleep.
The Come Down & After Effects
The next morning when I woke up I felt very light and refreshed. I felt none of the normal stressors I feel when I wake up every day. No thoughts of what the tasks of the day were, what the week might stir up that will challenge me, nothing. Just existence. I took a shower and went for a walk on the beach. I was, and still am, noticing the smallest of sounds or the feeling of the wind on my skin. I mentioned to my partner at some point during the day that “I felt like I was getting used to this body again”. Not that it felt foreign, but it felt like I was coming back in sync with this reality or this timeline.
I feel privileged to have experienced something that feels like a peek behind the curtain of existence. I am grateful that I was able to surrender so completely and so fearlessly to immerse myself in that which, in some moments, seemed to border on an experience of madness.
The effect so far has been lasting in multiple ways. I am now sitting at 48hrs since the trip and I still feel very light in my body, not stressed or triggered at all, and I keep smiling at the smallest of things. Music has an even stronger effect on me than it did before and I was already a person that experienced very strong frisson while listening to music.
Moving forward, I am going to keep up the routine of the daily microdosing and save these larger trips for a once-a-month or so experience. I will document my progress and adjust as I need to. Microdosing in itself has already been beneficial. Since I started microdosing, I have only had one flashback and I haven’t had any night terrors at all. I’ll also note that I am not currently taking my PTSD medications and no sleeping medications either.
I hope this shared experience helps someone else out there in need of some relief from panic disorders such as PTSD. Thank you for reading.