I have read study after study that suggests that the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, psilocybin, can be a beneficial treatment of PTSD, panic attacks, and anxiety. So, I decided to do my own experimentation a few months ago.
My first experience with mushrooms was around the age of 18. A group of us all gathered at a large piece of property in the woods, off the beaten path so we wouldn’t be around people or civilization, just in case. Most of us were inexperienced with this and didn’t know what to expect. Boy, did we learn quickly. And it was amazing.
So the group of four that I “took” the ⅛ of mushrooms (3.5 grams) together were a little late to the proverbial party, and by the time we got there only the vets, if you will, were coherent enough to greet us. The rest of us were sitting around in a stunned silence and blank stars as they were being consumed by the body high which is so intense, some compare it to a mild form of paralyzation for the introductory period. We were about 30 minutes or so away from our trips. Which turned out to be a blessing for one of our comrades, Nick, who had a rough start to the experience.
We walked up with our case of beer and claimed our spots around the fire that were available. As we were setting up our lawn chairs or blankets, dealers choice (see what I did there), Nick fell completely backwards in his chair and his legs landed in the bonfire.. My friend Ross reacted instantly and dragged him out of harm’s way of the fire. I don’t know how he avoided even minor burns, but he did. That problem was avoided, but we still were in the middle of nowhere, on drugs, and worrying what was going on with our friend? Thankfully, he snapped out of it a few minutes later and was back to sitting around the fire like nothing happened. What a relief. But, that is not exactly the thing you want to see before you embark on an eight to ten hour journey of your own.
Eventually, we settle into the deafening silence of a group of ten 18- 23 year olds. You would have never thought this to be possible. Who said drugs are all bad?! Kidding, kidding!
At this point everyone had settled in nicely. You hear about “ bad trips” in this type of group, which essentially means, they couldn’t relax and spent the better part of the allotted time in a panic. That is why it is crucial you embark on this decision with people you trust 100 %. Not everyone in our party fit this description, but it all worked out.
So, some things about tripping like this; your hands and trees are the most amazing things you have ever seen in your life. Your hands will change lengths and look as if they extend up to six feet long at times. And tree, oh man, let me tell you about the trees. They sway seamlessly to the rhythm of your heart beating. Almost as if they have a mind of their own. A few branches will go one way and afew the other. And for me, the tree bent down to hover over me like it was my own personal Alice In Wonderland prop. I was astonished!
After having a couple beers and enjoying the scenery that evening, I took focus in a deeply intense manner on the flames of the bonfire. After staring at it for what seemed like hours, and quite possibly could have been, I had no concept of time at this point, I saw Tiki gods in the flames having fencing battles with one another. It was so captivating and that’s when I first realized just how powerful the mind truly is. With the assistance of a chemical that grows in meadows and woods in the Rocky Mountain area, my mind was capable of making what turned out to be my very own other worldly experience.
So after we had been sitting around for close to four to five hours or so, Jon, a veteran of this type of experience decided to lighten the mood a little. And by lightening the mood, I mean scare the living shit out of most of us; like the cunning vet he was, he managed to crack a larger glow stick and pretend that it was coming out of his stomach and up through regurgitation. As he laughed to let us all in on the joke and ease the tension, he chucked the glow stick into the trees which some stayed behind to watch, while a small group of us decided to walk.
Did I mention we were in the middle of nowhere??? Well, that is the first though I had to myself as we took a walk and ran into an older man on a four wheeler after midnight. As it turned out, he stopped to talk to us. Naturally, we thought it was the cops before he introduced himself to our friend Brett. He said, “excuse me guys, have you seen a dog running around here?” to which Brett replied, “Sorry mister, we haven’t. But if we see him, we’ll have him call ya.” We all burst into uncontrollable laughter. The man had to know we were all gooped up on gop, but i hope he found his dog safely.
I don’t have very many fond memories of my youth, or that that resembles my youth, but this was one of them I’ll never forget.
As for my recent experience, it was a dud. I didn’t eat that much because of the SSRI’s I’m on and really never “got off” from the experience. But I was grateful it took me down memory lane. Sometimes, a good memory can carry you to a far off bewilderment that helps you escape the repetitive nature of real life. I’m thankful for that.