05 Nov A nervous girl’s psilocybin
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
“To be enlightened is to be aware, always, of total reality in its imminent otherness –to be aware of it and yet remain in a condition to survive as an animal. Our goal is to discover that we have always been where we ought to be. Unhappily, we make the task exceedingly difficult for ourselves.”
(Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, 1972, p44)
It’s now 14:26 and I’ve been trying to take my psilocybin capsule since about 10am. It isn’t going too well but I haven’t given up yet. I am hopeful that by teatime, I will have swallowed said capsule but am currently stuck in an unhelpful cycle of thinking –which is why I probably should take one in the first place.
The capsule that I have contains 0.08g of powered psilocybin. It is a very low dose, known as a microdose. I have been told that I will not experience a trip and I very much trust that source of information. I will feel golden! The full benefit of the microdose will be experienced tomorrow when I will feel creative, be productive and feel amazing.
So why am I staring at the capsule in terror? I acknowledge that I know why I’m doing this. I am frightened because of past experiences. In the hazy days of my youth, I distinctly remember collecting many a haul of liberty caps. Out in the fields, searching, there was always a concern in the back of my mind that maybe the ones that I had collected weren’t psilocybin but were, in fact, deadly toadstools. What if you’ve got it wrong? What if you end up poisoning yourself and your friends? What if you die? Hmmmm… I did used to worry myself about things like this; thinking back this was likely what led me to having some interesting and occasionally unfortunate experiences with this form of LSD.
Today, I want to begin a routine of microdosing because I have read about the benefits and have seen how this incredible mushroom has transformed people helping them with mental health issues –such as depression and anxiety – both very familiar yet unwelcome visitors to my life. In addition, the gut benefits tremendously from microdosing and produces more serotonin. This would be good for me too, but I am still scared so I sit, glancing then gazing at the capsule –knowing the magic that awaits and wishing that I were brave enough. I have become accustomed to this feeling of overthinking. It is part of the cycle. The ‘certainty versus uncertainty’ monologue that only I can hear. It is boring –arduous even.
Shall I just take it now? YES…NO…. I message my friends. I haven’t taken the dose so continue my day a little disappointed and a little relieved. I tell myself that I will try again another day when I’m not really thinking about it and I haven’t built it up into something ridiculous. It leads me to think about this from a different perspective. I have experience of psilocybin and I have memories about its effects. I worry about the potential to experience a negative response even with such a tiny dose. This must be, in part, what might prevent others from trying it, particularly those with no experience of this hallucinogen. Perhaps it’s the thought of being on ‘drugs’. But there are many studies on microdelics and their healing powers and as of last week, Canadians are able to receive medical prescriptions for these substances.
A few days later, one Wednesday, I pick up a capsule and without a further thought –or before I can think- I’m not sure which, it’s down the hatch. Here we go. I await the doors. Fifteen minutes later and I can feel it. It’s starting.
“What do you feel?”
“Nothing bad or anything particularly different. Actually, I just feel exactly the same as I did an hour ago.”
And so the internal mono-dialogue goes.
I make a cup of tea and read some of my book. Angela Carter. I never tire of Angela Carter. An hour later and everything’s still normal, my breathing’s normal, my heart rate is as normal as it can be. I flick on a playlist on my phone and sit back. The songs sound iridescent and refined with a depth I had forgotten about. I am being. I am relaxed and, well, wondering why I was worried. There was nothing to worry about. This isn’t what I thought it would be, this is normal and this is good. I share some songs with a beautiful soul and we chat. My heart fills with love. A gentle hug, a delicate warmth- a glow- and a delicious kiss from the psilocybin –my new friend.
The night passes without incidence. I relish the music and the evening. Sleep comes and dreams sweep. I awake vibrant and alive. I feel.
I will definitely be doing this again.