Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Bad Trip

In hindsight I am on the fence about whether or not that period of time where I used LSD recreationally was a good thing or a bad thing for me. My mind is set to where I inevitably would have come back to whats important - I am too driven and motivated to get caught up in some sort of addiction cycle. I could only abuse it for so long before I would eventually say, "hey you know what this isn't working I need to be serious, I need to use this with a purpose. You have set, setting, mindset and then you have a one purpose. What am I going get out of this trip? " Sometimes Psychedelics take to to places you don't want to go. The next phase for me was dealing with bad trips. and that's no walk in the park. You can imagine a living nightmare no longer subject to just the physical limits of the world, you've just made a 12 hour commitment to Hell. And you've got to go through hell just to get out of it. There is no backing up and saying "I'm just gonna go out the way I came in, you want to get out of Hell you've got to go all the way down into the belly of the beast because that's the only way out. The horror movie "As Above, So Below" is probably the best analogy of the anatomy of a bad trip that I have seen. There is no way out of it except to go all the way into the belly of Hell and somehow it becomes some opposite paradigm where it becomes easier the more you face it and the further out you come. It was scary and I didn't want a part of it, the very idea of a bad trip kept me away from psychedelics for a while but I had this nagging feeling in the back of my head; everything I read about bad trips told me "its all mental, this is all in your head" and of course I have had some friends that have NEVER had a bad trip.

"it's your mindset, it's all in your head"

This nagging feeling just ate away at me, like i had failed myself, i let it beat me, I wasn't in control. It ate away at me for months. This ordeal was a reflection of my life, how I approached the world. A reflection of who I was at my very core. When things got tough I quit... That was the person I had become. And I knew I was so much more than that. And so i decided i would do it again but I was still scared, this time I would do it with a sitter. I planned out my trip entirely, I did it with another friend, lets call him R. R had done LSD many times and never had a bad trip. In fact, R couldn't even conceive how someone could have a bad trip. and it got me over the anticipation of taking another trip. At one point I started going down a bad trip and R kind of got me out of it, but it wasn't defeating the bad trip it was distracting myself - this is a lot of times what recreational drug users do when they start going down a bad trip or experiencing paranoia, they have to distract themselves because the more you think about the idea of a bad trip, the more it amplifies. What most people do to offset this is they distract themselves, they'll start watching NETFLIX or a movie or listen to music or a friend will just keep talking to them to make them forget any negativity around them and it works. But if you focus on the negative it just amplifies and amplifies and amplifies like quicksand, the more you fight it the faster you sink. This is all happening very fast and before you know it, in the blink of an eye you're full blown paralyzed - cowering in terror in the corner of the room because you're seeing haunted faces in the walls and everything is just collapsing around you, and you're absolutely positive you are going to die but you're about to experience a fate worse than death. 

Unmitigated Terror. 

Going down a bad trip is a very scary thing its something that you typically would want to avoid, I don't blame anyone for distracting themselves out of a bad trip. But eventually I had a bad trip that I couldn't avoid. I was deep in it, and just on a personal level i knew that if i let this thing beat me, right here right now i was gonna carry it with me for the rest of my life. i would know on some secret level inside of me, that that was the person i was, that was the person i chose to be - someone who chose to accept defeat. someone who let the outside world dictate his circumstances. and in that one moment - the most terrifying experience of my life, i overcame it. i said, "im gonna beat this even if it kills me" and i meant it. In my mind it was very real, i was gonna die. but if i was gonna die i was gonna die on top, i was gonna die in complete control. Rather than running from this thing, i wasnt gonna run, i was gonna beat this thing and i did. And I've written about it, i will share it and continue to write about it. As scary and terrifying as that experience was, it was also the greatest experience of my life. because i had beaten myself, i had won against my limited mindset and i came out such a stronger person, a much stronger person. That victory has carried out into so many other areas of my life. its like a Keystone Habit you change one habit or behavior and it changes almost every other thing in your life. Facing and overcoming the fear and negativity and self doubt that I have in my own mind is probably the greatest epiphany i have ever had and i know i never could have had that experience sober... not unless i climbed Mount Everest... maybe then... but it was truly the most profound experience. Lao Tzu says, "Mastering others is strength; Mastering yourself is true power." There is no greater friend or enemy than what you choose to be for yourself.

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