After about 5 separate trips over the span of 2 weeks on the hollandia truffles and starting to feel invincible as the mighty Zeus, I decided it was time I pushed the limits as a full pack of hollandia truffles didn’t take me too far to be scared. One night, I decided I would take 3 packs of hollandia truffles at once and see what happens. I consider myself to have a very strong psyche in a sober state and not much can rock my world.
As the taste of the hollandia truffles is quite bitter and metallic, I decided to mix the truffles with some chocolate and gobble them down that way. It took me around 3 minutes to eat all the truffles, which was enough to cause 2 hours of mental torture and agony.
The come-up before the peak of the truffles was very unsettling, I felt nauseous and my stomach was upset. That eventually passed, but I only wish that would have been the only negative effect during my trip. I had told my girlfriend I would be home by 8 PM, but by the time the truffles kicked in, it was already 7:30 PM, which tainted the whole trip with a negative undertone of guilt and desperation. I knew about the golden rule of “set and setting” before any psychedelic journey and I had always taken it into account; I would never have my cell phone on, walk around outside and always made sure I was completely interrupted and in a safe place. I didn’t, however, consider with the set as much.
The first thing that I realized was complete depersonalization. A massive wave suddenly rushed through me and I realized I am losing contact with reality. After a few minutes of trying to reason with myself and telling myself over and over that I had just eaten truffles, I managed to calm myself down a bit, but all my thoughts kept looping back to the feeling of guilt and telling myself I had lied to her. Now, in my sober state, I, as well as all human beings, always tell white lies (don’t say you don’t), but even something as small as this had a huge impact on the whole trip. All the closed-eye visuals had symbolic meanings in the form of satanic forms and symbols and due to my altered state I couldn’t dial the number and say I was going to be late, either.
After a while, I started forgetting about the guilt and came to a new, much scarier conclusion – I had lost all contact with reality and myself. My body was numb; I felt as if I was living a dream, my ears were ringing as if I had tinnitus. The waves of depersonalization scared me, as I had never experienced something so strong, so it pushed me towards having an anxiety attack, which made the depersonalization and loss of reality even worse. At one point, I couldn’t even tell my friend from the objects in the room since the visuals had kicked in much harder than I thought psilocybin could ever do, everything was crumbling to pieces, I was seeing gear wheels from the silhouette of my friend and things that are impossible and pointless to describe, simply ineffable.
To make matters worse, I decided to stand up and find Valium and some water to calm me down. I mostly dislike looking myself in the mirror while under the effect of any psychedelic drug so I made it clear not to look in the mirror in the hallways that I was bound to pass. Unfortunately, I happened to look, which scared me more than anything ever has in my life. All I saw, was 2 black holes in my face, discs for eyes. It felt as if the left side of my face was cloned from the right, looking identical in a very weird way and eventually, I could see nothing but my eyes, mouth and nose, all moving and speaking to me.
Once I had found and taken the Valium, I decided to lie down and just be with my thoughts, as the visuals were getting too overwhelming and very exhausting. However, when lying down, it came clear to me there was no escape from the effects, as the truffles don’t just affect you visually, but it can and will take hold of all five senses. I was trapped in my looping thoughts, seeing apartments in my jaw with people falling out due to lying, thoughts of psychosis and insanity, constantly trying to remember what reality was like, if anyone is real, I couldn’t feel my body, I couldn’t see things normally or make out what was what, I couldn’t smell, I couldn’t feel the touch of things right. When laying down, it took me about 10 seconds to lose track of which way I was or whether I was even laying down. Needless to say, after having my eyes closed for a minute or two and opening them, seeing the real world and realizing it still didn’t look real hit me like a sledgehammer in the face, another shockwave of “where am I, where did I just go?” came on.
My friend, being on the couch and tripping nearly as hard as myself, was unable to calm me down as he was surfing around in his own dimensions and everything he said, had reverbs and echoes that made it impossible for me to understand what he was saying. For a while there, I was considering the possibility of him trying to prank me by speaking in some foreign language.
This also added another layer of restlessness, as I knew he could do nothing that could help me and was just as lost as I was. At some point, I was actually scared of him, because he didn’t look anything like a human being to me, couldn’t utter any human-like sounds or words and I was convinced I was going insane.
In conclusion, the worst part about tripping too hard or having a bad trip might not even be the thoughts and the visuals, but the immense loss of reality and feeling like you are living a dream, which looks nearly like a sketch out of Alice and Wonderland, except the land wasn’t so wondrous. I believe the worst kind of torture may not even be physical, but mental. If you are driven insane by your own thoughts, lose all grasp of reality and feel as if your head is going to explode from overload, it might as well be the only thing I wouldn’t even wish upon my enemy.
To everyone that is new to psychedelics, here are some possibly life-saving pointers:
- Do not underestimate the power and the extent of psychedelics before taking them. Psychedelics are not like any other body/mental high inducing drug you have tried. Read about them before trying to at least try and figure out what to expect.
- Always think of set and setting – never have trouble of any kind on your mind and make sure you are in a safe environment. I suggest turning off your phone and logging out of IM chats.
- Always start off with a smaller dosage, you can always have more the same day or another, but you can’t un-eat those truffles, and believe me, you will wish you could.
- Make sure you have energy and aren’t tired, avoid eating truffles ~5-6 hours before you are planning on going to sleep.
- If possible, have a friend who is experienced with psychedelics, around you, or at least available on the phone.
- Do not look in the mirror if you are feeling uneasy.
- If you are starting to feel bad and feel like everything is too much for you, have Valium or any other benzodiazepine, if possible. Benzodiazepines are usually prescription sedatives meant to calm you down and diazepam (the acting ingredient in Valium) is what is usually given to people who have taken too much of a psychedelic substance.
- If you don’t have Valium (or even if you do and have taken it), set a timer to however long the trip should last and when you should start calming down. This brings continuity and a touch of reality back in your mind, which can have an easing effect.
- Try not to overthink negative thoughts and steer clear from them – if there is something taking over, change the music, turn the lights on, and have water.
- Avoid staring into bright things such as a computer screen, TV, phone, etc., as those seem to have the ability to suck you in and make your mind do backflips.
This led me to taking a break of at least 2 months from psychedelics. I used to think I could do truffles almost daily if it weren’t for the tolerance that builds up, but thankfully realized that the tolerance is just nature’s way to keep you in check and not overdo it. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can only have truffles once every two months, but you will have to respect the power of any psychedelic substance and realize you will need some sort of breaks to digest your last trip and to make the next one enjoyable.