This is a story of depression, stupidity, and luck. Although the events you are about to read are only a few hazy memories, flashbacks, and witness reports, I hope you will find my journey into the depths of the hell that is Diphenhydramine to be an interesting tale.
VITAL STATISTICS: This happening took place a few months after my 15th birthday. I had been in a deep depression for well over a year by now. I am male, and although I was quite tall for my age, around 5'10, I only weighed around 110-120. This was partly because I am just skinny, and partly because I rarely ate. It was no eating disorder, I was just too damn sad to do anything. I had been smoking pot frequently, I found it helped with the stress and depression, and it helped keep me occupied. This escalated to a daily smoking habit after this event. I have no drug allergies that I know of.
I'll keep this short since my life story is pretty boring. I was a sophomore in high school, and it had been a little over a year since I stopped taking Prozac. I was prescribed this in 5th grade, and it messed me up bad. I felt like it made a bubble around me, keeping out all the sad things, but all the happy things as well. I felt like a zombie. In the summer preceding my freshman year of high school, I abruptly ceased use, dealt with a lengthy and extremely unpleasant withdrawal, but came out of it relatively unscathed. I began high school with a new found hope for happiness. This was quickly destroyed by the death of my grandfather after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. My mother was a wreck, unable to take care of me and my little brother. My best friend in the world, my stepfather, was fighting off alcohol withdrawal after quitting his 12 pack a day habit cold turkey. My father, who I was very close with, lived 250 miles away, and I only saw him every other weekend. I slowly recovered from this over the winter, and just when it seemed things were getting better, I received two pieces of crushing news. My grandmother, on the other side of my family from the already dead grandpa was diagnosed with cancer as well. My father, delivering the news, knew that the worst was coming, but remained hopeful. Right around this time, my mother informed me we would be moving to be closer to my dad. Leaving my step dad 250 miles away in the process, and eventually causing their divorce. This was equally crushing, and although I was happy to be around my dad, I became even more depressed. I started school and was miserable, I spent my 14th birthday in the hospital with my grandma where she died 2 days later, my only friend I was able to make moved out of town. I was miserable. I wanted out.
DOSING AND THE COMEUP: The regular text is from my own memory. [Parts inside brackets like this are things I was told happened by witnesses to the happening.] I tried to keep things in chronological order, but I really cant remember the exact context of events. This is a tarentinoesque retelling of the story. Way out of whack time-wise.
Here is where things get hazy. It started with the desire to escape reality. I had no weed, and I was feeling a bit more... self destructive. I had researched dph, and figured why the hell not. I ate dinner, and then took a decent dose of it. I marveled at the ease with which I could take the pills. As time went on and I felt nothing, I took more. I counted 900mg. “Whoa there buddy” said my subconscious, “you know this is too much, just wait for it to kick in, you don’t want to over dose and die, do you?” I pondered the question. Did I? Of course. I just didn’t have what it took to pull that trigger, push down on the blade, step off the chair. But taking those pills had been so easy, I could go out in a drug fueled euphoria, not even noticing as life slipped from my body. The idea sounded more and more appealing as I counted 1500. I could be gone. 2000. I could get away from this all. 2500. Nobody would ever again have to listen to poor little me, wallowing in a pool of self pity, crying myself to sleep every night. 3000. Of course I want to die. I need to die. The worlds better off without me. 3500. I’m better off without me. I stop counting. Handfuls of pills down my mouth. There is no turning back. I have condemned myself.
I tip the bottle upside down and nothing comes out. Have I done it? Have I taken enough? There were 250 25 mg pills in that bottle. It wasn't brand new or anything, but we got it when we moved in, and its not like you consume that much benadryl in 5 months. I figured I should be good, and sat at my computer, waiting for the darkness to envelop me. I don’t know how long I sat there waiting to feel something, anything, to signal my impending doom. I look up at my bedroom wall and see a crack. Not even a crack really, just a little line in the paint. As I stare at this seam, a tarantula creeps its way out from it. The delirium had set in, and although I was convinced what I saw was real, I was only mildly interested. I look closer, and realize that tarantulas are not normally a foot and a half long. He seems to react to this realization, and begins to fly through the air towards my head. About a foot away from impact, it vanishes in a puff of smoke. Intrigued, forgetting immediately that I had taken enough benadryl to kill and elephant, I text a new friend of mine describing the spider and its flight. He responds, worryingly asking if I am okay. I respond with an “lol ill tell you tomorrow in school.” I look up from my phone, and there he is, sitting in my room. I remember the exact clothes he was wearing, khaki pants, hiking boots, a black petticoat, and a Detroit hustles harder hat that was black with purple writing and a green brim. His headphones were draped around his neck with the cord trailing into his pocket. Probably plugged into his phone I thought. Wait a minute... what is Joe doing here I thought as I snapped back to what I believed to be reality. I forgot this soon enough though as he struck up a conversation with me. I don't remember the words, but his presence was comforting to me. It was nice knowing there was someone to accompany me to death.
[Soon, my mother, in her room next to mine wonders who I am talking to. She calls out to me, and I respond saying “It's just Joe, he stopped by to get something he left here.” She lays back in bed, reassured. That is until she realizes that the only person she hears talking is me. She calls out but I do not answer, probably lost in my own world. Worried, she knocks on my door, and when I don’t respond, she opens it to find me sitting on my bed, talking to people who aren’t there. She does not know if I'm on drugs, or just having a mental breakdown. She takes me into her room, trying to comfort me as I apparently became agitated when she entered my room.]
THE PIECES OF THE TRIP:
I am immersed in soft. What is this soft white all around me? My math homework? This seems right, as equations trace their way across the white fabric of the comforter in my mothers bed. I am immersed in it, rolling around as complex theorems and numbers incomprehensible to the human mind raced across my vision. I try to solve the math with a sharpie. My mother is not happy about me ruining her blanket.
My ego breaks through. For only a moment. I'm being torn apart inside. Reborn. An endless cycle of death and rebirth. I would reach the peak of an incomprehensible journey, only to be ripped back to near baseline. Then I would sit in confusion as the other dimensions started to creep into my peripheral visions. I'm finally me again! I made it! Wait, where am I? How did I get from my living room to this strange place? Who am I? I'm me again! And so it continued. I died thousands of times. Every death as real to me as the computer I type this on. Tangible. Was this what I wanted? Why?
[I become incredibly interested with the way things work. I start to take things apart, my little brothers halo action figures. As I struggle to pull the arm off, my eyes roll back and I collapse to the couch yet again. Off for another journey. My little brother looks for the arm but to no avail. It is still missing to this day.]
I walk up the stairs. I'm not seeing things anymore, but my ego is nowhere no be found. Where are you? You little devil. My dad is here now. He walks up the stairs behind me and turns me around. “How much LSD did you take?” he asks. He knows about that kind of thing, he was a dead head. He saw Jerry. This isn't like that dad. There's No love. Nothing to learn. Only me. It's awful. Its dirty. This is on a whole other level. A bad level. Its almost funny. I chuckle to myself. “I didn't take any LSD” I say as I chuckle even more. Why the fuck is this funny? He looks at me. “I'm your dad, I love you, I'm not mad at you at all, but we need to know whats happening to help you.” Wait... this clown thinks he's my dad? Thats fucking hilarious. “You aren’t my dad” I cackle, almost maniacally. Oh look, whats that creeping over my field of vision? Is that me? I better go find out. As I am transported to another world yet again, I look into my dads eyes and chuckle again. It really is pretty funny.
[I sit on the couch in the living room. My dad just carried me here from the stairs and put me here. I'm already alive again, my deaths were often but short lived. My parents pace around me, trying to convince me that they are in fact my parents. I am still quite amused, and continue to assure them that they most certainly are not. All the while, I am holding back fits of laughter. This is the laughter of a mad man. The way The Joker laughs while he commits horrible crimes. I am insane. My mother can take no more, and slaps me in the face, hoping to snap me out of whatever she thought was happening. I bite her hand, and she pulls back, shocked at my savagery. I see the madness. Now I have made her see the madness]
I am sitting on a lump. A mound. It is black, the only color that I can see. Around me is an endless field of gray cloudy ground. Above me the same. I sit for eons. As I sit, a circle of tall, black, humanoid figures rises out of the ground around me. They seem to be about 12 feet tall, and are quite slender and devoid of any features. They are made of the same cloudy mist that seems to make up every thing in this world. I am at the back of the circle, the being behind me is quite close, and the one in front of me is at the opposite end of the circle, about 10 feet away. I sat there, immobilized with fear. I finally found it. Death. This was what I wanted, at least, I think that was me that wanted that. Why did I want something so scary? I'm a fucking idiot. I need to get out of here. This isn't where I belong. Shit. It could be where I belong, I don’t even know who I am. I could have been born here, I will die here.
No. I'm not just letting them take me. I can feel it. We have been here for weeks. They will make their move any time now. I need to strike first. Ill have the advantage. I forget about the beings behind me, and stand up. I am ready to kill every thing in sight. I'm going out kicking and screaming and shit, I forgot about the ones behind me. I have been stabbed, its done. In done. I scream, a scream of pain, of fear, of regret. The wound in my back takes its toll, and I fall to the ground. I am dead. For real this time?
[It has been a little over 34 hours since I began tripping. My little brother watches me, sitting on the bottom bunk of our old bunk beds in his room. I was a wreck. Sitting there, fearing for my life. Eyes wide with terror. Pupils like dinner plates. I'm covered in sweat. What must I have looked like to him. His older brother, I took care of him. We only had each other for so long, now here I was slipping away. As he looked at me, I stood abruptly. In the process, I hit my back quite hard on the top bunk. I scream that same scream of fear, pain, regret. I scream, and I scream, and I scream. “For real this time” I say as I fall to the ground. Now it is his scream. My parents rush into the room, and carry me down stairs onto the couch. My dad kneels beside me. There is nothing he can do for me now. He just sits by my side, holding my hand.]
My eyes shoot open. I gasp awake. What the fuck am I doing on the couch? Why is my dad holding my hand? Shouldn’t I be getting ready for school? I look at my dad, and remember the sight of the bottom of the bottle. That’s right. I’m dead? I ask my father, “am I dead?” He looks at me, wondering if this is really his son speaking, not just a drug. I hug him. He hugs me. We burst into tears. “No, you aren’t dead. You are right here. With me. You are safe now.” he says. This is quite reassuring. I am quickly rushed to the hospital. I do not say what I did, instead, I say I took 8 (200mg) trying to fall asleep. The doctors think I am allergic to the drug, and also an idiot. I am drug tested, and I come up clean. This is surprising since I smoked weed not 3 days earlier. Huh. I go home, still feeling not quite right. What happened? All I remember is a tarantula, and then dying. Dying over and over again. I still feel off. Things still look off. There is a distinct tonality to every thing that was not there before. I fall asleep early that night, hoping to sleep off these damn aftereffects.
THE AFTERMATH: It has been years since that happened. I am still seeing things. Visual snow clouds my whole vision. When it is dark outside, I am treated to a beautiful fireworks display of thousands of millions of exploding dots of color only I can see. When a car drives by, the lights leave distinct and long tracers. I close my eyes. Right now, as I write this, I close my eyes. Huh, a rainbow, and a sky, and a beautiful forest. All on the inside of my eyelids. Now the rainbow and landscape are gone, I can see plaid. Soon that gives way to god only knows what that is. It is entertaining, almost. I open my eyes, and can see shapes, places where the snow is more dense. It is making my wall polka dots right now.
My mind. What a dump it has become. My train of thought has no fuel. I jump randomly from one thought to the next, too quickly to ever properly articulate myself in a conversation. Something else feels off up there, like if you left your house for a very long vacation, and returned to find that everything was in a new place.
I feel better, mentally. I’m not quite so fucking sad all the time. By no means am I cured of my depression. I still struggle with it very often. Weed helps, so I smoke every day. This doesn’t do much to help the HPPD but I sure as hell would rather see shit that be that fucking miserable.
That summer, I experimented with Research Chemicals that I was led to believe were LSD. It was actually 25-i the first time I dropped, and AMT the second time. The 25-i was amazing. I saw so much beauty, and had not felt that comfortable in my own mind since the happening. The second time I got cocky. The AMT got me in a pretty bad head space. I did it with the spider friend, Joe. He had since become my trip buddy, having much more experience than me with blotter, although he sure as hell has never been as far as I have. We had the same conversation at least ten times while we biked around. I was terrified, but I knew that I could handle it. I thought about the benadryl and scoffed. This was nothing. I would be fine. That ended my foray into psychedelics, that is until we found a hook up for real LSD. This is when the pieces of the trip started coming back to me. My first dose of LSD I didn’t notice for a long time. It was difficult for me to differentiate between the shit I already saw, and the shit it was making me see. I thought about that trip a lot, and slowly, I remembered seeing Joe in my room. Other snippets of memory came back to me after that trip. I had a flashback, where I was back on the stairs, cackling like a madman at some guy who thought he was my dad. I remember a cloudy landscape. But not the whole picture.
When I finally figured out what that cloudy area was, I was on 2 hits of LSD. Me and Joe had been on a bit of a binge, and that was the third maybe fourth weekend in a row I dropped. Me and Joe were trying to get 2 other friends into psychedelics, and wanted to give them a great time with their first real acid trip. I sat outside in a driveway, I was next to Denny. Joe and Jacob were inside. We sat together for a good amount of time, and I slowly noticed a presence. It was me. The little piece of myself that I left in the void. It was calling to me. I COULD GET IT BACK! I look at Denny. We seem to communicate without words. I start to flashback. I’m in that cloudy landscape, will I find out what it is? I see the figures, I stand, and am struck down. Just like before. I cant get that part of me back. They have it, they have it forever. I snap back to reality, and look up at Denny. He is clearly shaken. I ask if everything is okay, and his response destroys me. “I just had your flashback” I sit dumbfounded, trying to comprehend what he just said. I ponder it for a good while, but I never have a chance to explain, as Joe and Jacob come outside laughing like crazy. Cigarette time.
I cant really make sense of all this, I probably never will be able to. I know this isnt a traditional trip report, but these are all of the things I think were meaningful components in the trip. Many things happened before and after that I felt were related, and needed to be included in the story. This is the story of the time I died. This is the most important story I have ever told. If only I could remember the whole damn thing. Oh well, maybe that’s for the best.