My Odd Little Magic Mushroom Trip

I had always been fascinated by psychedelics, even when I was just barely 13. The largely illegal status of psychedelics have made psilocybin or “magic mushrooms” difficult to obtain, so it was only just recently that I had my first dose.

Late last year, I was finally able to try mushrooms for the first time through my friends when I visited the west coast.

The experience was fairly unconventional in two ways: one was that I was the only one tripping in the entire group of people. This is a major factor in the quality of the experience, as people in groups typically trip together.

The other is related to the first in that we weren’t sure if we could get shrooms until the last minute, and so plans that required some traveling were already set for that night.

I obtained a large chocolate bar innocuously packaged in a Wonka-themed wrapper. I can’t say precisely how much I ingested, but it was anywhere between 200mg and 2 grams — roughly between a microdose and a regular dose.

For the first hour, there was absolutely no change, which my friends had prepared me for. As evening approached, we drove to the beach where we threw around a frisbee, waiting for the effects to kick in.

By the second hour, there was a small yet perceptible change. A fuzzy, floaty sensation emerged. The surrounding environment seemed to expand, the flatness of the beach landscape appearing more panoramic. My visual senses in the foreground heightened while faraway objects became fuzzy.

My immediate surroundings seemed to become, for lack of better words, very real and up-close. In one direction, tire trails in the sand winded into the distance like roads to an imaginary destination. It occurred to me even then that my thinking was becoming more metaphorical and self-aware than usual.

This wasn’t the most comforting thought. Choices became difficult as I became aware of my own physicality. What to do… I heard that people enjoy water when tripping so I walked to the shore.

I stopped just short of going into the water, wondering why my vision was getting worse. My friend, let’s call him Dan, approached and explained as we walked from the shore that this was normal, alleviating my worries that I needed new glasses.

I was sleepy and slightly nauseous. The chocolate-mushroom combo wasn’t sitting well with me. I laid down, expecting to blast off. Dan smiled and said to settle in for a long ride. It occurred to me that there was no going back now, and a question stayed with me the rest of the night:

Why did I do this again?

Secretly I had believed that I would experience some kind of euphoria complete with trippy visuals and crazy realizations. Although that’s pretty much how a lot of people experience their trips, that night I learned that there are many different ways to have one.

All I knew then was that I had wanted this, I’d asked for this, and so there was no point in wondering why I had done this. It occurred to me then that my choices have very real consequences.

I had become a walking experiment, both for myself and my friends. Nothing to do except see what happens next.

The following car rides to and fro my friends’ place and our final destination were disorienting and full of jamais vu, like I was sleep-walking or experiencing some sort of derealization.

Going to the bathroom, I was filled with anxiety. I was experiencing a new feeling, a foreign feeling of not relating to my body, of not wanting to be me. All of my subconscious insecurities were now in the forefront of my mind while at the same time my physical surroundings appeared hyper-real.

Coming out of the bathroom, one of my friends asked me what I was seeing.

Oh no. Not a question. I can’t answer questions right now. My response was little more than the pronoun “I…” followed by blank staring at the pattern on the kitchen tiles behind him.

The question seemed utterly ridiculous. Why would I be seeing anything? What could I say not to disappoint him? I was completely lucid and I did not feel high; in fact I felt as if my “sober-mind” so-to-speak had been sharpened, crystal-clear.

I wanted to say “I don’t feel anything,” but I thought that would’ve perturbed him a bit.

Before leaving, I looked down at my sleeping mat. I wanted nothing more than to lie down and nap, but that was out of the question. Nothing to do but to continue on.

I began to peak as we pulled into a burger joint. Most of the group were experienced trippers and assured me that I didn’t have to go in as they knew it wasn’t an ideal environment for a trip. Following the suggestion, I sat outside in the cool west coast night air.

At that little table, I felt alone. A most intense loneliness, because I felt apart from “myself,” whatever that was. I guess “myself” involved my hopes, dreams, and ambitions. I related to none of them. I had thought about ego dissolution before and now I felt it, and it felt like my personal attachment to my identity meant very little in the grand scheme of things. I felt alone in my thinking, that perhaps I was the only person who would worry about such things on shrooms.

Deciding that this was a pointless exercise, I quickly tailed after my friends.

The five of us sat around a table, looking at my corner of the booth. I felt like a lab rat. It seemed everyone’s attention in the restaurant was focused on me.

This is not like being high. It’s more lucid than lucid, the most lucid I’ve ever been.

The restaurant worker came up to our table and handed me a bag of food. Huh? I hadn’t even approached the counter. Why would he think it was my order? The guy at the table across the hall appeared to cautiously observe me from the corner of his eyes. I couldn’t have been imagining things. So much reverent silence from my friends seemed to be influencing the environment.

Dan asked me what I was thinking. I replied, “this is not like being high. It’s more lucid than lucid, the most lucid I’ve ever been.” As he listened, his eyes had a faraway look to them, widening as he recreated the experience in his mind. “I’m getting a contact-high,” his girlfriend grinned from across the table.

The event for the evening was a mutual friend’s birthday. As I walked into the house, all eyes turned on us.

The room was darkened, faces distorted by the shadows. People I knew, but didn’t recognize. I had already been in this house twice but it felt foreign to me. The host came up to me, smiled, and asked “want a drink?”

A simple question. So simple that it should’ve been a yes, an immediate yes, I would love a drink of alcohol. A more impulsive me would’ve grabbed the moment. But I forgot how to communicate with humans by that point.

The room fell silent. I must’ve looked disturbed by this friendly offer, because like clockwork, someone solemnly approached me and gave me a small “I’m here for you” hug with a ghostly look on his face.

Things got better after that. The lights turned on. Much better. The room had a warm glow to it now, Christmas lights on a wall twinkling with tracers. Although I hadn’t reached a “true” psychedelic peak, I was relieved that the past ordeal was behind me. I felt open to the party around me, I felt integrated. I could recognize people again and no longer felt detached.

Would I recommend mushrooms? Not really. If you’re ready to take them, take them, if you’re not, don’t. Like life, there’s always something to gain from a trip, but whether it’s positive is up to you.

Would I do it again? Absolutely.

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English teacher for non-native speakers and casual writing enthusiast. Follow for demotivational content.

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Ken Imai

Ken Imai

English teacher for non-native speakers and casual writing enthusiast. Follow for demotivational content.

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