In my last post, I told you a bit about my experience with ayahuasca on the beach in Mexico with my friend Zach when I was fifteen. That experience changed my life, but not in the way I was expecting. It opened the doors for my obsession with hallucinogenic drugs, which eventually led to my psychotic break.
When we got back from our school trip to Mexico, I wanted to try other drugs to see if I could have a similar experience. I felt so alive and different after trying ayahuasca. I thought if I could feel that way from the one drug just one time, how will other drugs make me feel?
I wasn’t interested in cocaine or ecstasy or anything like that. To me, those were “real” or “hardcore” drugs. In my mind, I categorized hallucinogens as “natural” and “safe,” even though in reality hallucinogens are often anything but natural or safe.
I read online and found out from friends that the closest I would be able to get to something like ayahuasca at home would be magic mushrooms or LSD. I hadn’t heard of these before, except when we learned about Woodstock in a history class one time. I knew some of the greatest artists and musicians were known for their use of LSD, like The Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix.
I wondered where I could go to find this stuff. I landed on attending music festivals, which were notorious for drug use.
I found a Grateful Dead cover band that was playing an outdoor festival at the start of summer break and bought my ticket. I drove out to the remote area where the festival was and got excited about my next trip.
It was almost laughably easy to find mushrooms at the festival. People were eating, selling, and sharing them like crazy. I traded a grilled cheese sandwich and a few bucks for my first bag of mushrooms.
They tasted awful, and I learned to stick them in a sandwich or some other food to mask the foul flavor. I remembered that ayahuasca had tasted terrible too, and took it as a good sign.
Soon, the colors and patterns started to emerge. It wasn’t quite like ayahuasca, though. It was a less intense experience all around. I didn’t throw up, but I didn’t see visions of my ancestors or spirit animals either. It was just like the world was more colorful and playful and fun, and the music sounded gorgeous. In some ways, I liked it better than ayahuasca because I was able to cling to reality and just enjoy the melting colors and sounds around me. But I was also disappointed that I wasn’t gaining all the knowledge and wisdom I felt like I had gotten from the ayahuasca.
Keep reading to find out how I chased my high until I landed in a psych ward.