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How I got accidentally exposed to a hallucinogen

In my past life before I entered and escaped the mental health system, I didn’t do enough to celebrate successes or mourn losses, so this time around I try to get with my friends and party. I got some great news about grants I could apply for about a month ago, so I joined my bike friends at Critical Mass for a wild night that ended up at the Nine Blue Sheep in the The Secret Concrete Canyon which has now just been almost obliterated by “anti-graffiti” police. I had smoked enough cigarettes and other stuff and decided, “One more and I’m done,” but the “one more” turned out to be my first ever accidental hallucinogen exposure, not what I was expecting at all. I ended up riding around some more with the bike people then pulling off to lay on my back in parking lot to stare at Children’s Mercy Hospital and make a 3 am emergency drunk call to a friend I’ve trusted before with this kind of stuff.

“Hey Phil, does Children’s Mercy Hospital have an 8 degree tilt to the roof?” So he talked me through it and helped me decide what to do next and tried to help me figure out what had happened.  I have a really hard time making decisions when I’m not together and this kind of accidental hallucinogen exposure certainly qualified as “not together,” not at all. I kept listing all the options to him and they kept on changing as I got more and more out of it. Eventually he and I decided I’d go to the hip hop concert my bike friends were at.

Riding out an accidental hallucinogen exposure

I found myself at a hip hop concert that eight of my poets friends were at, too. I asked if I could get on stage, if the even had an open mic, and lots of people said no.

So I started breakdancing in the crowd since I realized a few months ago that I could just do Judo moves and people thought it was breakdancing. One particular push up thing from a standing position turns out to be called, “The Worm,” and I guess it’s theoretically hard or something.  So I got the crowd to start cheering for me instead of the people on stage and then the band rapper finally stopped and I got and stage and started dancing.  I was hot by this time so I took off my underlayer sweater and people thought I was taking my clothes off and they yelled even more. Since I had about 15 friends there it took a while for the guy to freestyle something out about “Get off the stage,” so I did.

There's a lot of great poets in the Kansas City poetry scene, and I'm  not the best by any means.

There’s a lot of great poets in the Kansas City poetry scene, and I’m not the best by any means.

I tried to talk shop with one of my poets friends outside and she said, “Corinna, are you drunk?”

I said, “Well, yes, plus something else I haven’t figured out yet.” So she told me we’d talk later and I packed up and rode off to the local coffee shop. By the way,

Q: Do you know the difference between riding a bike drunk and driving a car drunk?

A: You aren’t going to kill anyone else.

So the hippy dudes at YJ’s, the local coffee shop, helped me figure out what this accidental hallucinogen exposure might have been. It couldn’t have been acid because you can’t smoke LSD because it’s too volatile, it would just evaporate. And it probably wasn’t K2 because that tastes like potpourri and I remembered a piney taste. Later my stepmom told me it wasn’t speed because that tastes like burning tires. The guys said, “Don’t fight it.  If you did get an accidental hallucinogen exposure, the best thing is to just ride it out. Don’t try to sober up. Just keep doing stuff that helps you calm down and relax and not get too scared about the whole thing.”

They suggested alcohol, but for me that’s a stimulant. So they also said maybe writing, so I went inside the coffee shop and found some blank paper and hot chocolate and started writing stuff down. Half an hour later I told my new friends, “Oh, I figured it out what happened. It was an accidental hallucinogen exposure, but I finally figured out, it was hashish.”

I chilled out some more and eventually went home and rested up and then went crazy for a whole month. Which is the story of many other blogs,

like this one on Mad In America, plenty of others on this site, and some on my business blog, about takeway lessons other people might be able to learn about how to deal with what comes after an accidental hallucinogen exposure.

Two bicyclists entering the Secret Concrete Canyon about a year before its destruction, where I was during the accidental hallucinogen exposure

Two bicyclists entering the Secret Concrete Canyon about a year before its destruction, where I was during the accidental hallucinogen exposure

Was it malicious or not?

People kept saying, how can you have an accidental hallucinogen exposure?  Well, I thought I was smoking one thing and it wasn’t, it was something else. Other people, especially the doctor I ended up seeing, said, “Those people are not your friends. No one who likes you would do that do you.”  But that’s totally not understanding the context. We were sitting as a group of cyclists, our common oppressed minority rebel warrior community, sitting in solidarity at the end of a long night of adventure. They all knew I was celebrating a victory after a long dry spell.

We were looking at this beautiful piece of art that I’d shown them that many of them had never seen before. It was the only piece left of a mile of similar art that had just been destroyed. In the face of this kind of tragedy, we were all brothers, all one.  They offered me a gift of love. They were sharing the moment with me.  They just didn’t know I was more sensitive to that kind of stuff than other people. And they, of course, couldn’t have known about the other stuff that was going to come next to make my life hard, like my grant meeting for $200,000 and my spiritual emergency and my dog getting mauled by a pitbull. No it wasn’t malicious at all, not in any way. It was just an accidental hallucinogen exposure, and not something I’m at risk of happening again, since I’m swearing off all glaucoma medicine in the future.

And I did learn some incredible new things out of the whole experience, had some glorious, beautiful, exciting, powerful, insightful moments. It was awesome, indeed. It was everything it could have been, and more, so much more. I wouldn’t take it back, but I don’t plan to repeat it again, either.

6 comments to How I got accidentally exposed to a hallucinogen

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