In defense of psychedelics

I didn’t drink regularly until I was 23 and I didn’t use marijuana until it became legal in Nevada, so when I say I tried LSD twice at age 35, it was a big deal for me.

The motivation and reasoning were simple, dull even. My friends were advocating for it, including a very Christian, very goody two-shoes friend.1

Anyway, I’d always thought that I would try all of the drugs at the end of my life, when my career and mind didn’t matter to me.2 I knew that some scientists recommend it to treat depression and business leaders microdose to improve their productivity and creativity. I just thought that it wasn’t worth the risk. I was wrong.

The first trip was good, I got to see myself in the mirror and not recognize myself, see myself aging and getting younger. I had convoluted thoughts and could not follow the plot of Disney’s Hercules. I also mostly accepted that I wasn’t responsible for other people’s emotions.

The last trip was also good, but this time my hands grew and shrank to be dwarven or enormous, the lines grew deeper and more distinct, and I couldn’t focus on anybody. I was funny and melancholy. Then I went for a walk and thought about all the harm I’d caused in my life. About how I’d gotten engaged and broken someone’s heart. How all I could think of was what wasn’t going on and how I’d wasted seven years of my fiancee’s life, vindicated all of her fears, and hurt her worse than I’ve ever hurt anybody. How I wouldn’t have wished the same thing on my worst enemy.

I cried deeper and longer than I think I’ve ever cried in my life.

I don’t know if that was a good thing, but it was a necessary thing. I wish I’d been able to share that with her. I wish we’d done that together early on in our relationship. Acid has a way of dissolving boundaries and revealing what we hold most dear. There’s a difference between seeing the bottom and experiencing it.

It’s too late for us and too late for me, even. But I wish I’d not been afraid of it sooner. Sigh.

  1. Is the idea that good people have only two feet or that they can afford two shoes? I have never considered this idiom in detail and I do not like it. []
  2. I just didn’t realize how soon that would be. []

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