Asura's shroom trip experience - 12/30/2022
- Start of a trip
- Never alone
- Watching myself in third person
- A man from the future
- A lust for life
- A dream I had
- Post trip
Background: I am a veteran trying to return back to the military. I thought taking a trip would take me out of any inhibitions and bullshit I tell myself, and I can see things objectively to make a decision. I wanted to see if going back to active duty is something that I really want if I just clear my mind. Maybe I'll realize I can be happy in the civilian world and live a normal life after the trip. I also thought if I get knocked out with ego death, it might cure another issue I have or tell me something I don't want to hear or never thought of. I intentionally did it without a sitter. Whatever was inside me, I wanted to face it alone. I was in so much emotional pain that I didn't comprehend just how much worse I could feel. I thought I was brave enough. I decided to use the couch as a designated tripping spot since I didn't care if I made a mess on it, water bottles for hydration, and a bucket in case I throw up.
I took more shrooms and citric tea to really get it in my system. I don't know how many grams I had because I don't have a scale, but I took 4 ghost apes and some tiny ones (they were also called albino teachers).
I started small to see how I feel, and slowly ate more and more. In the first few doses, I felt good and my muscles were relaxed. I had pleasant and entertaining hallucinations, like the wall and random objects looking like paintings. Fractal patterns. No more pain in my body. Whenever I had to go to the bathroom, I stared at my body in the mirror and admired it. I got really muscular and it seemed my work the past year has paid off. Usually the only time I see my body and realize how fit it is, is when I see a reflection somewhere and didn't realize it was me.
Start of a trip
After taking more shrooms, I no longer hallucinated much for the next couple hours. I wondered why everything looked normal. I decided I had enough shrooms and stopped taking more as I didn't want to waste any if I wasn't going to feel anything. I waited a bit, and still saw nothing. Maybe my brain just stopped processing any more psilocybin. Well, time to sleep, I thought. I went to floss my teeth, sipped water to rinse with. I looked in the mirror and holy shit. My face was terrifying, and I realized why people suggested not to look in the mirror. It was the face of death and decay, what my face would look like if it was sloughing off six feet underground after death. "It's coming" I thought, and rushed to my couch and faced down in case I throw up. I didn't want to drown in my own vomit. "I am ready" I told the oncoming sensation of chaos.
I wanted the ego death. Reset my mind. Reset my body. I thought I was ready.
I wasn't ready.
Similar to what the face looked like
I saw realistic hallucinations which "popped out" like a 3D movie. I felt overstimulated, like everything was not only hyperrealistic, but "more real than real" It felt like I was at the cusp of a rollercoaster ride, about to slide down in extreme speed. For the first time, I had auditory hallucinations. Every little noise felt extremely loud and chaotic. It felt like my consciousness was getting electrocuted, and there were really loud sudden noises as if I was having a sleep paralysis. It was like I was in a Black Mirror episode. I pulled the bucket I prepared closer to me, because I was convinced that I will vomit black bile as the "rollercoaster" rolled me back into conciousness. My hands were inverted and looked bizarre. My shoes were jumping and snapping by themselves in front of me and I knew that could not be real, I was losing touch with reality and I didn't like that. I muttered "Oh no no no, fuck this. Fuck this."
I read about it beforehand: let it take you, don't fight it. But holy shit... at the last minute my animal instinct kicked in and I was fighting off the void and shaking like a leaf. I fought it and begged it not to take me. I didn't want to experience a death-like experience, even though I knew it wasn't real. I didn't care it wasn't real. I thought I was ready. I wasn't ready. I didn't want to deal with this alone.
The "thing" was talking to me in a silent non-verbal language, my native language. I realized why people called it the "teacher". And for whatever reason, she was a woman.
"Just come with me"
"No, I am too scared. I am not ready."
I felt like a little kid at a swimming class at the YMCA, wrapped in floaties and scared to jump into the water while the teacher patiently waited. I lingered on the edge of falling off conciousness. I felt sensations in my muscles and different body parts. Something was going through my body and touching things, saying "these need to be repaired." even though later I realized I was just cramping from laying on a shitty couch that was hurting my back.
"But you already came so far. You asked for this. You purposefully took a lot of shrooms to get here."
"I change my mind. I regret this, I wish I didn't take so much. I thought I was ready. When I read about it I thought I can handle it, but now that I experience it I realize I really don't want this."
"You don't want to know what's in your mind? You can learn a lot from this."
"Fuck no, I realized I rather not. I am okay not knowing. Please."
"It's safe. Just do it."
"No. Please, god, no. I am good."
I was scared of the void. I was trying not to panic. I've never panicked before in my life. I've never been this terrified in my life. I was scared that the void was pretending to leave me alone but will turn around and rush at me and snatch me up the moment I let down my guard. I pretended the trip was like a run. I controlled my breath as if I was running several miles at an even pace, just focusing on my breathing. When I felt brave enough, I reached for my water bottle to stay hydrated. If I opened my eyes, the water bottle was warped or in a random place, and my hand was just a huge thumb and a deformed finger. It was creepy as fuck. It was fucking freezing though the temp was at 80 degrees. I pictured myself in Ukraine during winter, and I thought "fuck that". I wondered about who could've tripsat me, or who I could have called - there wasn't anyone I felt close enough to. I also didn't want to bother anyone in the middle of the night. I was determined to face this alone, and realized how scary it actually is. I felt so alone. I laid there wishing I had friends I was close to, instead I slowly let people drift away due to depression. I desperately yearned to be close to people, but always felt like I was forced to hide such a big part of myself. I desperately wished I had a husband (not a wife), though I didn't intentionally seek a partner because I was focused on returning to the military and due to my sexual issues. I wanted to call someone, but was afraid that I'll call someone and talk to them... only to realize it was a hallucination and then feel even more alone and then get snatched up by the void. Or if I open my eyes, I'll see something horrifying that will take me into the void. Whenever I opened my eyes, it felt like there was a Photoshop filter over the vision. I started needing to pee because I drank so much water, but was afraid to go to the bathroom in fear I will be forced to face the mirror and see something horrifying. Or I can avoid staring at the mirror, but then find something horrifying sitting in front of me anyway - maybe my own decaying face floating in the toilet. I was afraid of collapsing in the bathroom if the void takes me, hitting my head at the corner of a counter and then actually dying. I felt like the "teacher" was lurking around the corner, waiting to pounce if I made the wrong move. I desperately wanted to be held.
"You don't have to call anyone. You're not alone." another entity (or entities) came into picture. It just felt like me talking to myself. I imagined the brave men of the past, the warriors and the martyrs, the bards and writers, the people I admired, the people who had faith in me, people I have lost, the people I have never met who have the same dreams that I do, and the people I will meet in the future. Women who I will meet in the future held me, and I felt less cold.
I was told that I was never alone, that many have walked the same path I did and many will walk it after me. I was told I may not realize this while feeling so alone. "You feel like nobody believes in you, and every progress you make, nobody was there to celebrate it with you. Every struggle was done alone. But you were never alone. There were always people watching you." I started tearing up a little, until I suddenly thought "wait then were they watching me masturbate too?" (This was not funny when I thought this, though it's funny now that I write it.)
I realized that the void wasn't just the void. There were other people on the other side, waiting to catch me as I fall. The teacher never told me about the people in the void, but the other entities surrounding me did. The void people were silently watching me struggle, waiting for me to pick myself up. The martyrs and heroes of the past, the men I read of and admired, were waiting for me on the other side on the void. They didn't look down on me. They have a place for me among their ranks. I will never be alone, even in death.
I was told I have something I have to, and I have people to meet. That I have people to train. "There are people waiting to meet you. Your troops, they're waiting for you."
A man from the future
I started to get a grip of myself. The void people began disappearing deeper into the void, leaving me alone. Other entities immediately surrounding me started decreasing in number as well. There was one (or maybe a combination of many people in one) person, I think a man, still sitting with me so I am not alone while trying to fight off the void. I got the impression that this was someone I will come across in the future, or a combination of people I will meet including women. I wouldn't be surprised if down the line, someone one day tells me "I feel like I met you before." He was simply present as I lay there shaking. He seemed unphased. He was the one who said my troops were waiting for me.
I laid there, humiliated and pathetic. I didn't want to be seen like this by another man, being taken care of by another man. He helped me shift around whenever I got uncomfortable laying in one position, telling me how to adjust my body, and reminding me to focus on my breathing. I got the feeling that my new buddy represented an NCO who would advise me if I was an officer. I was even more ashamed, already making a fool of myself in front of him and being so dependent when I haven't even met him yet. Laying there panicking and emotional, scared of facing the void even though I know none of this is even real. Overestimating myself thinking I had guts and taking a stupid amount of shrooms, or doing drugs at all. What a great example. "I must be making a great first impression", I thought. "He must be thinking wow this bitchass wants to be a ..."
I wanted to ask him who he was (or who they were if he's a combination of people), but sensed that I should hold off and let the future unfold and show me as the time comes. When I calmed down a bit, we were talking about random shit to keep my mind off the void just around the corner, with the teacher still lurking in the corners of the room. I talked about my faith and how I don't know if I am sinning right now by taking on shrooms instead of God, and how I don't think demons show up in ways that people usually think they do. I wondered what the "teacher" actually was. It's just a psychological gimmick, right? I don't think it's a demon and doubt that demons try to meddle with us that much, we already do a great job being evil by ourselves. My buddy stared at the void, "I don't know what it is either." and we wondered if it was actually an angel, and maybe God assigns angels to different posts around the world both physical and metaphysical to catch people flying off the rails. There were still other entities coming back and forth, talking to my buddy, looking at me or touching my body parts, and then leaving. Regarding body parts, some of them commented on how some of my body parts are broken or need work done, examined it by touching, and left.
After the other entities stopped touching me and left, I laid there with my buddy still sitting next to me. I was shaking and sweating. It felt like my conciousness was spinning like a ball. I was repeating to myself "I was never alone. They are waiting for me." over and over again. I thought of my granddad who died a year ago, and how he was still alive for hours despite being braindead and off the machine. An uncle commented that our granddad is a fighter with a strong personality, and he must've been trying to fight the void. I imagined this is what he must have felt like, whatever that was still alive within him. That survival instinct. Even if he was braindead. I calmed down and tried talking to my buddy again and he turned around to look at me. I told him I write stories, and I was laughing at how in my stories I send so many young men off to their deaths, yet I am too pathetic to face it myself. They weren't even real but I still felt bad for my characters on a visceral level, sending them off into the void like that. It was a way of dealing with and exploring my own fear of death and a wasted life. They had in them what I felt like I lacked in myself. I want to be an officer, but during the trip I felt like I can't live with myself if I had to strategically send men to their potential deaths as the commander.
I don't know how General Mattis did it.
I thought of Swenson sitting somewhere in Miami, going back and forth on a bunch of meetings and having to make decisions that will affect a bunch of lives under his command. It all seemed so tiresome. My buddy said "it's not for everyone." I told him that I want to be a woman and live a normal woman's life, yet here I am. The expectations and obligations put on men are heavy and I don't know if I have the guts to carry them, especially the expectation to face death. I get it, many men check out of it and just don't do it, they become neutered males and tell themselves excuses that they don't even believe in, and I can do what they do and relieve myself of expectations - but I can't live with myself if I do that, to lie to myself that way. I thought of the many men who chose roles where they face the risk of death so that others don't have to. I thought of all the men and women down at the theatre, walking at the edge of the void. I thought of the martyrs who were facing death, and didn't understand how they overcame that fear. I thought of the berserkers hurling themselves into battle with nothing but the bearskin they were wearing, and their desire to reach Valhalla. I don't know how they did it, and I was deployed myself at one time. I knew rationally that being deployed was risky, but I didn't internalize it or feel it. I just didn't care enough to think about it, unlike now. Did others have the same fear I do deep inside, or am I just extra sensitive? How do they take risks like that?
"It's not a lack of fear of death. Nobody wants to die. Deep inside they have the same fear, but they do it anyway."
Watching myself in third person
I was cognizent the whole time, but I don't remember when during the trip I suddenly saw myself from a third person persective. For a moment I saw myself from the perspective of another person at the gym. I saw myself running barefoot, doing exercises and jumping around barefoot. I was fit as fuck. I looked like a wild man, someone batshit crazy and unpredictable. Undefeatable. I felt primal fear and intimidation as the bystander looking at me. I knew that I might weird people out and that some people might have a disdain for me because I exercise without shoes on, and I show up every day and work out for hours on end. But I didn't know that they might be so fearful and envious of me as well. I never saw myself that way. I don't know about women, but I believe that every man at one point in their lives have dreamed of being brave and fearless. I intensely felt how the men in the gym looked at me. I had my combat boots next to me. The combat boots that I was deployed in and never threw away because I was broke and these shoes weren't broke, the shoes I was self concious wearing because being military was coded as working class and stigmatized in the city. The shoes of a job that got me ridiculed and looked down on by people from my white collar family and hometown. I wore it anyway. The other men saw these boots and knew that I did things that they will never have the guts to do, and that they can only live a life of a true man vicariously through movies and someone else. I may not think myself this way, but to the men at the gym I was animal instinct and fearlessness. They were sizing me up. They both admired me and resented me. They show up with their fancy gym clothes, fancy new shoes, fancy personal trainer they pay $100+/hour for, and the do these lame ass repetitive exercises and then they spot me in the corner of their eyes just doing it with none of that shit. With my beat up combat boots tossed to the side as I run around barefoot and do exercises without needing someone to tell me what to do. I just show up and do it. They can't just buy their way into physical prowess, animal unhibitedness, or whatever they think I have. No amount of tech bro money, CEO authority in the board room, white collar prestige, none of this shit will matter when all artificiality is stripped away if they face me in the alleyway or out in the wilderness. Nothing beats pure physical animal power and the willingness to get dirty. The scariest man is the one with nothing to lose and doesn't care if he feels pain. The other men can tell themselves whatever the fuck they want, but deep inside they wish they had allowed within themselves what they see in me instead of larping as civilized apes.
A lust for life
My mind and focus came back to myself, laying on my couch. I had no idea where that gym thing came from. I don't ever remember conciously feeling contempt for the other gym goers. I felt my buddy still sitting there in the dark with me. I wanted to break the silence. I told him that I want to return to the military not because I don't care about death but because I want to be alive. I told him "civilian life is safe but I saw how civilians decay far beyond what they should be at their age. It's like they're the living dead. When I join the other recruits, I am surrounded by young people who are aspire for something more than just comfort and convenience. I see how full of life they are. I've been trying to go back, despite the risk of death. It's not because I don't mind death, it's because I want to live! I don't want to be held back by fear. What's the point of living if you're wasting away in a box? Life is meant to be used, to burn bright, and I want to use my life instead of trying to preserve it and losing it anyway like I've seen so many people do. I want to be alive!"
I think I always had a fear of death, but it was masked by the lust for life, desire for adventure, desire for greatness, and a desire to be like the great people we admire and want to emulate. I thought of the martyrs, how they all had this fear of death too but their love for god, their desire to join him on the other end, was stronger than their fear of the void. How the berserkers must have wanted to join the legends in Valhalla more than they feared death. How those Japanese kamikaze pilots loved their country more than they feared death. I realized that others have the same fear of death that I do, but most lacked the aspirations that overwrite that fear of death. So, most people are reacting and avoiding death until death catches up to them anyway, instead of pursuing and proactively working towards the life they want. I was so, so scared of the void but I knew that once I wake up, I might forget how scared I was and still pursue active duty and end up running along the edge of the void anyway because I just loved life too much.
Study of conciousness
Realized that my desire to study conciousness and my former dream of devoting my life to researching artificial intelligence - was also related to my fear of death. My vigorous sexuality, my intense need to create, and my need to mold the environment around me and leave a mark all stem from a lust for life.
During my trip however, I feared knowing more about the science of conciousness and how the mind works. I feared studying the consciousness in dissected bits and pieces, only to deeply understand the fragility of the human mind and how fragile our material reality is. The mind relies on the physical reality that supports its structure, and I understood this deeply as I was hallucinating and feeling things beyond my control due to the shroom. I feared being captured and tortured by having my brain and mind fucked with, and being captured was a reality for soldiers. In my stories, I have a character who gets captured and gets brain damage and bleeding during torture, and struggles to say his last words and thoughts to his captors as he loses control of his mind. I was terrified that I came up with this.
A dream I had
I told my buddy about the weird dream I had several years ago. A general wanted me to do a favor, and I told him I would do anything for him. Then he commanded me to switch to a specific MOS to take care of his men there. A much harder and dangerous MOS. I was surprised because his task for me was unlike anything I would have imagined myself capable of doing. I was a nerdy type who wanted to devote my life to scientific research. He listed his plans for me that I never would have dared to dream of, telling me that I was made for this and there's a reason why I went through everything I did. He said he will make me the architect of men, and that I will have many children. I will groom my troops to surpass me, and they will be stronger than me and I will shoot them like burning arrows into my targets with precision. That I will watch them thrive and go on without me while I am buried in the soils of Ukraine. The whole shit sounded so cryptic, I had no idea what the general was talking about but I didn't question him. I didn't even want to know. I have no idea what the general meant that I will be buried in Ukraine, but I thought that meant I will die while carrying out his order (this was way before the current war started). I was confused, doubtful, and honestly scared but I obeyed him anyway. I didn't see myself as someone who would pull off whatever that the general expected of me, but I gave up a lot and have been working towards that goal since then.
I gave up a lot of other opportunities in my life that would be more practical or expected. I could've been set career-wise. I could have been safe and comfortable. It would have been so fucking easy. I had no idea what the dream meant or what I was supposed to do once I got to where the general told me to, but I set everything in motion anyway by instinct. I often wondered if I was just crazy, lonely, or schizo. If this dream actually meant something or if it was just a delusion of grandeur to feel better about myself or put some meaning in my life - especially to rationalize my internal struggles so I feel like I am not suffering in vain. It all just sounded so ridiculous.
It's like the general's command was a demon that has possessed every part of me, and every cell in my body was devoted to struggling towards this goal, to become a hand of god and carry out his will. To become an agent of the incredibly powerful, monstrous force that was backing me up and nothing will stand in my way. I remember being told that by myself I am actually really weak and retarded, but that immense figure that has chosen me as his instrument isn't. I never told anyone about the dream. Nobody was supportive of my decision, I was laughed at and even dealt with passive aggression. I felt so alone in my pursuit like everyone was just waiting for me to give up. I felt people look down on me. No one has ever believed in me throughout my life so I was used to being doubted, and I don't know where the strength came from. During the trip I didn't see the general, but I was begging him to relieve me of this duty as I don't want to die and I don't want to have to risk my troops' deaths. I told him I don't have what it takes. I want to live a normal life and be content with it like most people, though I knew I would never be content with a normal life while sober. I wished I was normal and not wired the way I am because my current path would lead to a predicted death. It seemed like God always takes the broken desperate ones to be his kamikaze pilots. I don't want to be a kamikaze pilot. I never asked for this. I didn't come to the general, the general came to me. Why did he put this on me?
My buddy called me by a non-verbal name that was neither my legal name nor my chosen name of my mental sex. He called me my "original name", which is apparently something that every person has - like we are assigned a serial number before we begin conciousness. He said to me, "____, he did it because he cares about you. He wanted something better for you. He knew how much it would thrill you, to have this job and to have someone believe in your capability. Did you realize it was always the greatest ones who supported you or at the least, stepped out of your way?"
My buddy was right. After I warmed up to the idea after meeting that general, I found it was exactly what I wanted. The general knew me better than I knew myself. I think that general was actually god taking on the form of someone I respected so I would listen to him. He loved me and knew me in ways that others cannot see and that maybe I can't even see, and he designed me exactly the way he wanted to - even if it meant pain for me. I thought of how there was this magnificent and powerful force, a higher power that is larger than the system and above the system that traps and suppresses us - was watching me the whole time. How there was this magnificent force watching me struggling in pain and fighting, when I felt so abandoned, neglected, and rejected by the people who should have been there for me - my own blood family, my own ethnic and cultural group, and my own religious community and religious elders. Only God understood my pain and this was his gift to me, even if it may not seem like a gift to me - more like a gift to himself. A real gift would be to just take the pain away, right? To just let me live a normal life, to be just a man among men, like other men? A part of me thought, God has plans larger than life itself, but what about my own safety and happiness?
For a second I realized that the military was the only place where I didn't feel completely disappointed or abandoned. I remembered that I was not designed for myself, I was designed for the people who will need me - whoever they are. I have to go where I am the most needed, not where I will be the most comfortable. Maybe I always wanted this but that dream was a way for my mind to give me the permission to do what I really want despite all the social conditioning not to.
As I was talking to my buddy throughout the trip, I eventually got the impression that he didn't expect to be here with me either, he was just sent here with no idea what he was supposed to do, but did a good job figuring out what he's supposed to do when he saw the other entities gathering around me.
I told my buddy that in a way, I think that working towards this goal saved me. If it wasn't for this goal, I wouldn't have finished my degree. I wouldn't be in a much better shape. A lot of my health issues got better or even went away as I began working out vigorously. I would not have gotten speech therapy and done surgeries that help improve my standard of life. I wouldn't have something to look forward to, to challenge me and force me to grow. I wouldn't have people to look forward to meeting. I told him about how I came back to see my relatives after a decade of not seeing them, because I wanted to give tribute to my granddad before he died. And I noticed that I looked different from them. I was in good shape, while they don't run or lift. I had an air of confidence and strength that they didn't. They said they started having physical pain and feeling out of shape by my age, while I still felt perky and full of life. Often when I sit with them, they're talking about being tired from a walk around the neighborhood, or how they have to work out to maintain their health but even that seemed so difficult for them. Yes, being military is dangerous and I could die, but in a way it feels like it gave me an actual life and I have a chance to be truly alive. I was a life burning brightly. I had beautiful muscles. I had beautiful skin. Full head of supple hair, no gray in sight. I told my buddy that "when I see the young people that the general wanted me to go to, they seemed so full of life. I saw them and knew that this is fertile ground to cultivate strong bodies, minds, and souls. I would be happy to die on this hill. I want to know that I helped these young people to reach heights that I will never reach and a happiness that I only dream of. This is is what I want to think of at my last hour, on my last breath." My buddy seemed pleased to hear this, and said he can understand where I am coming from, but didn't add much to the conversation himself. I wished he would talk about himself.
It was getting really hot and clammy now. I was sweating. It was 80 degrees in the room and I was starting to feel it.
I kept my eyes closed most of the time. I didn't want to see the hallucinations and kept telling the void I wasn't brave enough. Even though I knew these weren't real, nah fuck that. One time, I took that test that my NCO made all his subordinates take, and my biggest strength was bravery, followed by cunningness. I didn't believe it. I think I am a coward, I knew how none of this is real and I still can't deal with it.
"Bravery isn't something you feel. It's something you are, based off what you do. Even right now, you tried to face the trip alone, and not many would attempt that."
I thought to myself that wow, I am very good at talking to myself. It must be the years of loneliness and self soothing that gave me practice. I told my buddy that I knew he was just me talking to myself, and he stayed quiet and just smirked for a moment. It was the first time I was able to crack through him and finally make him react, or smile. He said my mind is very good at protecting itself.
I mentioned that I haven't gone to the recruiter in a while, and that I feel guilty because it's like I haven't been putting in the effort that I could have. He reassured me, "It's the holidays. Nobody is thinking about it right now. They haven't noticed that you were gone because most of you were. Just go back after New Years." I paused for a bit and wondered if this was really just me talking to myself or a separate entity.
I was cognizant for the whole trip. "I started at 11. A few more hours to go and this is over" and "just breath. Breath. I am not actually going to die. I am on my stomach in case I throw up. I did a good job preparing for this." I told my buddy I can feel myself coming down now and that I may not be hallucinating as much anymore, that I should be good now.
"Open your eyes and check."
I took a deep breath, "okay." I looked out the window and everything looked normal. "I think I am good."
As I was coming down however, I realized it wasn't just my mind. I thought he was just my mind first but the more I came down the more it felt more like he was actually a separate entity just like the void. But if I felt like he was a separate entity approaching me, I would've freaked the fuck out while at the peak of the trip. Maybe that's why he smiled and said my mind is good at protecting itself.
It was humbling. I felt so dependent and helpless. I was embarressed that the sergeant had to babysit me and listen to me ramble. I felt submissive to the teacher and the void, and she was touching my face in a condescending manner. I felt humiliated by my lack of guts. It was not a fun trip at all.
The bizarre thing is, when I was tripping it felt like I've done this before. I've never done it before.
What did I learn? Well, I didn't learn anything particularly new. These were already things I knew or tell myself. My emotions were amplified, and whatever emotional anesthesia my mind was giving itself to survive daily life has worn off.
I was hoping that the shroom trip will make me realize I just have low self esteem because I was bullied as a kid or something, that all I have to do is just chill the fuck out, enjoy my short time on earth, and validate people no matter what their bullshit or some other hippie kumbaya. I thought the shrooms can make me realize that I can be happy with a sedentary civilian life working for Facebook or some other prestigious company after all. Instead, the trip just reaffirmed what I was already doing and dig my heel into my ego even more. Possibly because I refused to completely black out and reset my mind like the teacher suggested. I still have the same old thought process as before, it's just that all my emotions and anxieties were amplified. The shame, fear of death, and loneliness was very real on a visceral, animal level. I realized just how much I don't want to die.
The sergeant and I had a conversation that I never get to have with anyone. I got to say things that I would never say to anyone in reality. In reality, people have described me as "aloof" and "stoic". In reality I am pretty quiet, but during my trip I was talking at the imaginary sergeant, partially because I was so terrified and wanted something else to focus on other than the void. No matter how others see me, I never felt stoic inside. I am not aloof and uninterested in people, I am just broken.
I realized I really, really fear a loss of control. Which is something I already knew because I generally don't do drugs, I don't even really drink. Anything that makes me lose control, I hate it and fear it.
What's funny is that during the trip, nobody said anything about my sexual issues. Like it wasn't a fucking problem. Everyone just accepted me as my mental sex and spoke to me like one without humiliating me like real life people do when they find out. I was hoping that getting knocked out and seeing myself "objectively" will cure my sexual problems or make me realize my problem isn't what I thought it was, that I just tell myself that because I lack confidence or something. Nope. I am the same as before the trip. I was hoping that during the trip, it will turn out I don't need to go back to the military after all and that I can be content in the civilian world - but no, despite being more scared of going back to the military, I feel more pressure to do it now.
During the trip where I was thinking of the people I might be able to call, a lot of them were chaplain sources or others I met during service. I realized just how dependent on the military as an organization, and part of why I was so attached to it is because it was the only place where I felt like people had expectations for me and in a way, I was living up to male ideals. In my life I always had to believe in myself, push myself, and work towards goals alone - nobody else expected much of me to amount to anything. Of course in reality this isn't true, I had a few people throughout my life helping me and being impressed with me, but I didn't think of this during the trip.
As I was coming down, I knew I didn't have to actually talk to anyone. But I just really, really felt like talking to someone anyway. I felt so alone during the trip. I think I was sober enough that I can make a phone call without it turning out to be a hallucination. I called the chaplain, and he asked what is going on. I told him this is embarressing and I was struggling to get myself to just admit I was high on shrooms. I said I am a hot mess and I am sorry for waking him up like this, I am coming down from a terrifying trip and I just really don't want to be alone right now.
"When did you start taking it?"
"I wanted to see what was really in my mind and make some decisions. Usually there are trip sitters but I did it by myself. I wanted to face it alone. I thought I was ready. I wasn't ready. My survival instincts kicked in."
"Are you thinking of doing it again?"
"Oh, hell no. Fuuuuuck no. I only planned on doing it once and I am good. I don't regret it though. I feel like I learned a lot."
"Well, what did you learn?"
"Nothing particularly new, but one thing I realized is how much I fear death. I was at the edge of losing consciousness, and my survival instinct kicked in." I told him what ego death was, and how it felt so close to dying. "What I read online was to not fight it if it happens. I thought I was ready, but I wasn't ready. I wasn't able to do it, even though I knew it wasn't real. I didn't care, it was too much for me. I think of the people who get deployed and risk their lives. I thought of the martyrs who face death. People who risk their lives. I don't know how they do it. I don't know if I could do it."
The conversation was only 15 minutes, but it felt like an hour. It was good enough for me. He was still on the phone when I peeked into the bathroom to see if my reflection was still fucked. "I am going to check the mirror to see if I still look fucked. Oh thank god, I look normal now." and the chaplain chuckled and said that's good, and recommended that we should catch up in person.
That said, I think shrooms are a good psychological or mental health tool. I personally don't consider it a spiritual tool, unless you're using what you learned and experienced with it to decide on some spiritual matters. Like I don't think the "teacher" is a spirit or anything, it's just in your head and probably a natural part of human mind. I don't think my buddy is actually a real person or people out there, but was likely a reflection of my own dreams and desires for the future.
Just treat it like medicine, or a drug - because it IS a drug. It's the context that makes it good or bad. Antidepressants alter your mind too and can be abused, but it's not a sin unless you're abusing it.
It felt really raw. I am still affected by it even though I can't remember just how deep and raw the emotions felt. I still feel very vulnerable even over a week later.