Friday, 4 September 2015

High Dose / 25mg session.

I had some good sleep and got ready to start the session. I felt very nervous again and was worried that the higher dose would be too overpowering for me. But anxiety has been the theme throughout this trial and I've got though it most of the time by just "turning up anyway". Once again I was greeted warmly and taken around to the session room. It looked great and we sat down. I managed to bring my own breakfast (porridge) and avoided the sick-nervousness feeling that I had last time. I made myself comfortable on the bed and we spent about 45 minutes talking and then Robin pointed out that it was 10:30am and time for the dose. I hoped that it would be only 2 capsules like last time but it was 5 and that made it seem a lot more serious! I took them one-at-a-time and said "there's no going back now"! It took longer to start this time, around 35 minutes but again it was a gentle start. The feeling of being cold returned, as well as changing frequency but I felt colder and started to shiver uncontrollably for about 10 minutes. Then as I started to move "out" my breathing felt weird and heavy like I had to concentrate to breath and the automatic process had gone offline but this was most likely down to anxiety. Mark and David assisted and supported me though this period; David measured my oxygen levels assuring me that they were OK. Once the transition anxiety had passed I started to let go into the turbulent inward psychedelic space.

The colours (wavelengths) felt correct this time, as I expected them to be. It just felt "right". The 10mg dose felt weaker in hue colour-wise. The vibration was stronger too and the journey to the peak effects felt more visual and turbulent with the sound taking on the beautiful physicality. When I opened my eyes the first time, at the peak, I was amazed at how gorgeous the room and lighting looked and I noticed the ceiling was moving and bowing slightly, but it was really interesting and I enjoyed watching it for a while. I looked at Robin and David and they had a strong visual effect over them and looked almost like a subtle version of this example. Robin seemed to be completely on my wavelength and understood what I was seeing and seemed to find it as funny I as did, which was really nice and he felt like an ally. I started laughing at how huge my arms suddenly looked and paid attention to them before David gently suggested I put the eye-shades back on and to go back in with the music. I was worried at this point that the psilocybin effects started to wane but the music kicked it back up again and I was off. One track suspended me in a state of subdued ecstasy as the beautiful violin music vibrated through me. I surrendered to the music and vibrational sensation and felt awe at it. I noticed a few tracks were different this time. One of the last tracks being a really unusual version of "Love lift us up where we belong" that felt profoundly meaningful, truthful and almost sad. Music was so very important and in this trial the playlist was superbly crafted; as I may have said already, I even liked the stuff I didn't like. At another point I wanted to know the origin on the word relent and Robin looked it up. That seemed so enjoyable discussing the nature of the word and as Robin described the meaning and background I could almost see the images of 15th century England and windmills coming out of his laptop-screen light.

I would have been okay to had gone a bit deeper, for the vibration to be a touch stronger. As I said the wavelength was perfect but the vibration needed to be stronger and I know that may not make sense to someone reading this that hasn't been there.

So apart from being mostly astonished and amazed at the journey through the psychedelic space and the change of sensory input experience, I was also able to look at my life, my outlook, my past and how I deal with things. A kind of life or situation review where I could see the best way to deal with things or to behave once all the pettiness and trivialities had been stripped away. I also saw friendships at their core - the loving parts rather than the outer crust of resentment or daily frustrations that I may have let grow around/over some of them. A realisation that I get too frustrated about silly things and I should let go of small things is another way to say it. The whole experience has also been a lesson in anxiety management even before I took the first low-dose. The MRI, 10mg, 25mg before and during each dose all caused strong anxiety.

I talked with David and Robin, went back inwards, talked again and eventually the session ended and I wished it could have been longer. It was wonderful. I had something to eat and took the cab home. I asked the cab driver to play whatever his favourite music was which turned out to be Nigerian drumming music and he seemed surprised when I asked him to turn it up a bit. :)

As the cab arrived home Chris pulled into my road; we had tea, a talk and then made our way to Anthea's where I talked more in detail about the day and Anthea cooked a lovely dinner. We were laughing a lot and I wondered if I was being a bit rowdy as I was still a tiny bit dazed. Anthea commented (unprompted) about how calm and happy I seemed. I went to bed slightly nervous about being back in the MRI machine in the morning. Below is a video pre-dose and post-dose, combined. I managed to include a clip from the film I mention in the video but here is a link to it. Contact, staring Jodie Foster, which was released in 1997. My spine and legs were tingling (in a good way) when I watched it again. There are so many parallels from the film with the psilocybin experience. The colourful-turbulent transitioning, the letting go, surrendering, the beauty, peace and gentle return.

 Video of before and after the 25mg session

1 comment:

  1. Hi KirkBear,

    Thank you for sharing, that's a truly fascinating experience! I've read the papers that came from these studies so it's really nice to read the perspective of a participant.

    I'm a third year Psychology student and I'm looking for data to use for my dissertation. I'm hoping to look at people's experiences with magic mushrooms when used to treat depression in a qualitative study. Using the phenomenological approach I will examine how people create meaning from their experiences. First, I wanted to ask your permission to use what you've written here.

    As a dissertation project, my project will not be seen by anyone outside the University and read only by the relevant staff.

    If you have any further questions, please contact me at:

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,