People have made fun of me because when I decide that I want to take LSD, I really prepare. They say I should treat it with more spontaneity, and not be such a goody-two-shoes/control freak about it. I tried comparing this to a literal spontaneous trip that would happen. I have done one of those, where I’ve decided to hop on a bus and go somewhere without much forethought. Though there is a thrill to unexpected adventures, it’s always wise to take your wallet and your good shoes with you, just in case. What you will read will give you tips on how to avoid a bad trip, make the best out of a good one, and basically give you a bang for your buck.
Some tips apply to responsible usage of any drug, while some are particular to LSD.
1. Clear your schedule for up to 48 Hours.
This includes the day of the trip and an extra day to recover. Normally, after a night of LSD, you are sleep-deprived and everything/everyone is strange. (I guess that’s what Jimi Hendrix was talking about). Don’t go to work, don’t go to your grandparents’ for dinner. It’s not relaxing. What is relaxing is to stay at home and eat comfort, but healthy food. Television seems exceptionally bad (it does to me). I like to read books or be in the company of warm friends. I could do with board games also. Anything that you enjoyed as a kid, which is not too mind-numbing. I also like to be in a 100% comfortable surrounding, which brings me to my next point.
2. Clean your room/house/apartment.
I have had experience with both. When you are on acid, and even the next day, you are taking in a lot of visual information. A messy atmosphere may be overwhelming, even nauseating. Also, you really like to be comfy, and feel that everything is in its right place. You want to make yourself as physically comfortable as possible. A noodle on the floor could make you think of a worm. A dirty bathroom will make you not want to go in it (and neither will you have the energy to clean it up at that moment. You will wish you would have done it earlier.) Think of this as baby-proofing. It will be so nice to curl up with a blanket and a hot cup of tea without any clutter poking at your soles or butt.
My friend M is a slob. She won’t even clean up her room when I’m visiting from another province. Yet, she too vigorously cleans her room before a big ‘trip’.
“Why?” I asked,
“So my room’s not yelling at me.”
3. Call your family
This one applies especially to psychedelic drugs. When you take mushrooms or acid, you feel as if your head is far above a cloud, and all your loved ones are really really far away. I remember on my first LSD trip: I was sitting outside with my friends, and I thought of how far away my parents are, all the way on the other side of the planet. It doesn’t seem so far with our technology of the 2000s, but a hundred years ago, the length of this distance is far clearer. Give it another few hundred years (not a long time in terms of Earth’s existence), it would be impossible. I began to cry, and even feel guilt for being as far as I was. But there was no way that I could call her right now (huddled and fucked-up). You will be glad to have called them beforehand, just to make sure everything is okay on their end, and have a conscious-clear trip.
4. Emergency cash
I always like to keep an extra $40 or $60 tucked away somewhere safe, or in my pocket or bra close to me. This will serve you better than carrying around a debit card, which you might lose or forget the PIN number of. Trust me, you will NOT want a trip to the bank, even if it is open. You may need this cash for food or taxi rides.
Don’t take LSD with strangers or even acquaintances. This will only make you miss your real friends. I find it’s better to even do it alone than to do it with people you’re not so keen on. You may have heard people complain about having bad trips. They will say they were at a party, or with people they didn’t know very well, or like very much. What were they thinking? This is an obvious shout for disaster. When you are on acid- or any drug, really- you are in a vulnerable place. Who knows what will pop into your mind? You will need a confidant who can comfort you without judgment.
I don’t even like doing it with certain friends of mine. It’s okay to be picky about who you have your trip with. I even have different friends whom I think would be fun with different drugs. For example, M is great to acid with, because she likes to go on long walks and notice beauty. A is better for ecstasy, because she likes to dance and kiss. L, on the other hand, is not a safe partner. She will abandon you at the very first sight of a cute boy. Though I love K, I wouldn’t do it with her eihter because she can be whiney and annoying. I don’t want to have to baby-sit her.
Think about it. You don’t want to do LSD with a third tier friend, who shares your yoga interest, but has a grating pretense. I mean, you can. But just weigh the risk.
Avoid doing LSD with a couple, because they will want to abandon you to go have sex with each other. This can make you lonely or scared. And if you are doing it with an intimate partner, then don’t invite a third wheel in, unless you REALLY REALLY mean it. Enjoy each other(I’ve heard fucking is great on acid. “More surface area”). As mentioned earlier, I’d rather do an entire trip by myself then get stuck with people are not on the same wavelength as I am, or know nothing about me.
6. Expect to feel some shame
LSD and mushrooms are hallucinogens, and their trip is as emotional as they are visual. Be prepared to confront yourself. It won’t be pleasant, but it’s important because it’s a fresh perspective on yourself.
Once I took acid when I was in my fourth year of university. It was not my most pleasant trip. My friend had a nagging drip in her ceiling, and the wind was icy and unkind, and there was an assignment I was avoiding.
At that time I was taking a writing course for magazines. I had a crush on my professor. It wasn’t a conscious crush, or anything that I wanted to do something about (he was much older and in a serious relationship). Nevertheless, I wanted him to find me intelligent and attractive. But when I dropped the acid, I became ashamed. Stepping outside of myself, I saw my usually charming behaviour as cheap and without substance or self-respect. Here I was thinking I had been beautiful and witty, when all the while I’d been making a fool of myself all semester. I wondered if my professor knew that there was more to me. And that lead me to wonder whether there is more to me.
Please keep in mind, that when I was thinking all this, I was under the influence of LSD, so it’s not necessary that I was seeing the truth. Looking back at it, I don’t think my professor did think little of me, and I can forgive myself for being an attention-seeking 23 year old (we’re all human). It was only a version of myself that I insisted on seeing. I don’t mean to discourage anyone from trying the drug. It simply helps to know before-hand so that once you recognize these feelings of self-loathing, you can deal with it. It just amplifies whatever you are already feeling. Which brings me to my next point.
7. Don’t do it if…
I recommend not doing acid if you have had a big loss in your life, or if you are going through a dark period of any sort. For example, don’t do acid if you are: failing in school, having a breakup, in trouble with the law, running towards a deadline in two days, grieving.
Some good times to do acid are:
- When you’ve finished your exams.
- When you’ve gotten a new job (I once did it right after I quit a HORRIBLE, EVIL telemarketing job, and aced an interview for another amazing job, which I still have and am at right now: pet-sitting!).
- You are bored and could use a jolt of inspiration.
- You got engaged to the person of your dreams.
It’s not necessary to be in a perfect place to do LSD. If you are most people you never will be. In fact, if you are in a dump and need a fresh perspective, it could be just the perfect thing. You simply don’t want to feel heavy in your mind.
8. Things to Take
The emergency cash (part or all). Water. Leave your cellphone at home! Your ringtone is unwelcome. I like to take a journal/pen or my camera (Don’t lose this!).
Don’t bother preparing a playlist.
The first time I ever dropped acid, I made the mistake of making a playlist, full of bands who had inspired the LSD movement back in the 70s (Beatles, Joplin, the other one about the rabbit). Four hours into my trip, when we returned from my walk, I played it. It was trite, and lacked the enthusiasm and feeling from my previous listenings. I thought I was such a cliche to have gone through all this trouble.
What did work musically were spontaneous listenings. Finding out-of-tune pianos in university buildings, or crackling voices from a radio, or looking through your album list on the spot and going with your gut. Don’t make a big deal out of music beforehand.
As millions of other websites will tell you, nature is the best. Your mind will be doing most of the artwork, so you won’t need to necessarily go to an art show or look for art, although that could be a fun exploration! The first time I did acid, my friends and I looked through a photography book full of celebrities. I remember a young Drew Barrymore with grapefruit nipples. The drummer of Smashing Pumpkins looked a bit like a child molester. But none of this was planned, which is what made it fun.
If we said, “We are going to get high and sift through these particular pages,” it wouldn’t have worked. It wouldn’t even have occurred to us. Another thing that we did was lie under a marble table, and look at the light through it, making delicate unicorns and lightning bolts. Another time the vines on the brick wall snaked around themselves. My visuals are usually abstract or design-based, though I have heard of more vivid, 3D ones. If you don’t like what you are looking at, just look away. If you don’t like a bench you are sitting on, go somewhere else. You will know what you need while you are on the trip. With acid it’s easier to change paradigms than on mushrooms. Actually, another reason to have a clean room is to have a safe escape when the outside world is overwhelming. A tidy, familiar space will cocoon you.
For the environment, try to do it when the outdoor weather is nice. Avoid parties, clubs or crowded places. Go for secluded forests or parks, where you’ll feel like the world is your playground. You will feel the true magic of a night-time forest. If you insist on staying indoors, then choose open spaces so you don’t risk claustrophobia. Of course, this is my personal preference, but anything media-related seems stupid. You will see through the effort of something/someone trying to impress you.
For food, I always try to cook something good the day before and keep leftovers, just in case I don’t feel like cooking (though I have cooked on shrooms and it was really fun, as if I was playing house with super-cool toys). Fruits and freshies to munch on are good things to keep around. Mr. Noodles will gross you out.
13. Mixing with other drugs?
Have some smokes on you, if you like to smoke cigarettes. Marijuana, only if you always react well to it. Otherwise it could make things yucky. You know what you are like better than I do. As for alcohol, you won’t desire it too madly. Don’t overdo it.
14. Be responsible
If you are spending the night elsewhere, bring a toothbrush and an extra pair of comfy socks. Be open, and trust the universe!