When most people talk about their DMT experiences, one usually thinks of breaking through the mold that confines them to their bodies. Entering a hyperspace reality where great wisdom is shared to them by indescribable intelligent life forces. What people don't talk about, or at least not often, is about the times that didn't happen. The times they felt trapped. The times they were faced with the choice of leaving behind this human experience, and couldn't. The times that third hit was out of reach, or when integration was neglected. In the following, I am going to tell you a bit about my non-breakthrough DMT experiences.
Before I get into my experience, I want to go over what will be discussed in the following paragraphs. For those who are not familiar with DMT itself or some of the terminology that will be used in the following, I want to clarify to make this an easy read for anyone interested.
DMT (N,N Dimethyltryptamine) is a molecule found in many forms of plant matter and has been theorized to be found in almost every living species as a whole. It is the main active ingredient in Ayahuesca, an Amazonian brew consumed in a ceremonial setting. DMT itself, however, is sometimes extracted and found in either a powder or crystalline form. These forms must be smoked in a vaporized form for its effects to be felt as burning the substance will effect the potency, and consuming it has no effect without the combination of an MAOI (as found in Ayahuesca). The effects of DMT when smoked only last between 10 and 30 minutes. Most users report out of body experiences and encounters with intelligent lifeforms in either other dimensions or what is sometimes known as "hyperspace". Most express that what they experience cannot be described in this reality and have difficulties communicating their experience accurately. DMT, despite being physically safe, can be psychologically challenging and overwhelming. Users should always be in the presence of an experienced user or trusted individual in order for a debrief after the experience.
A "Bubbler" refers to a smoking device typically used to smoke marijuana. It resembles what is commonly referred to as a bong, however the structure is slightly different.
Threshold refers to the minimum amount of a substance required to feel its effects. In this case threshold is used to define the minimum amount required to have what is defined as a "breakthrough" experience.
"Breakthrough" refers to the out of body experience most users of DMT desire when using this substance.
A "Dab Rig" refers to a smoking device typically used to smoke a marijuana concentrate (THC) known as "dabs".
The following paragraphs are a result of my own personal experiences with DMT and is not meant to promote substance in anyway but to be available for educational purposes.
The night was young, I arrived home shortly after a class and got myself prepared for what I thought would be the experience that changed my life. For the first time I had the opportunity to have an experience that I knew would shatter my sense of reality... if I did it right. I was new to the experience and didn't have the chance to research proper smoking techniques so relied on what was passed onto me from a friend. All I knew was the basic harm reduction principles of using with an experienced user present, and being mindful of my set (mental state) and setting (environment). But even this I managed to screw up.
I had a bubbler which I borrowed from a friend along with 30-40mg (30mg being a threshold dose) of DMT infused into marijuana, packed and ready to smoke. I lit some fresh sage and cleansed myself as a way to prepare myself for the experience and show my respect to the molecule. But even this couldn't help me shake my anxious feelings of what could be awaiting me. I didn't know what I feared more, being ripped out of my body into something I could yet even fathom, or having an experience that doesn't lead to anything exciting whatsoever. Both were unknown and that was scary enough to make this moment unsettling. I had my partner with me to keep an eye on me and to share my experience with when it was done. But it still felt like something wasn't right. It didn't help that we were in his parent's house, who were lurking not far from outside our door. What if they smelt it and walked in during the experience? How would they react? How would that effect my experience? All these questions and worries floating through my head. Eventually, I had to shake it all off and take the plunge. I treated it like any other bong toke and hoped id be able to somehow hold the thick smoke in my lungs. Was I ever wrong. The taste was wretched and the smoke was harsh. I couldn't help but cough so much that I didn't hesitate to let my drool drip all over my pants.
I almost immediately started to feel some effects. They were very mild compared to the usual reports, but nonetheless very off putting. I felt the need to lay down, and did not think I had the energy required to light another toke, but I also knew that I could not achieve the desired effects if I didn't. So I decided to compromise and suck up the rest of the smoke sitting in the bubbler and then lay myself down. I closed my eyes and knew I was seeing some sort of intense visuals but got so trapped in my thinking I couldn't pay attention to it. My ears began to ring and all I could think at this moment was that I was dying. Not metaphorically but literally dying. Poisoned to be exact. As soon as I realized the taste in my mouth resembled some sort of toxic chemicals, I immediately was reminded of a dream I had where I walked into a room of toxic waste that corroded me inside out. I fought this feeling as much as I could and began questioning my entire perception of these substance I deem to be so sacred. I knew I wouldn't die, and knew I had to let go, but just didn't know how. After a while of fighting what I perceived to be my death, I slowly began to calm down and realized my 'journey' was complete.
A few months went by before I decided to have a second go at my goal of achieving a DMT breakthrough. This time I decided to carefully plan my experience. I had exactly 50mg, and based on research I have done, decided to attempt using either a dab rig or meth pipe to help blast me off into hyperspace. I was inexperienced with both of these methods but was recommended both from an array of experienced users. I knew these devices would be tricky to use for my first time so made sure I did extensive research on their functions, particularly when smoking powdered DMT. I didn't put pressure on myself that day and decided that I would or would not have the experience that night based on how I was feeling. I knew this substance is to be taken seriously and wanted to make sure I was in the right head space for the ride. As the night came, I knew it was right and prepared for the experience. I had set up my room with psychedelic posters, a black light, and lit some incense. I then saged the myself, my partner, and the DMT before setting out intentions for the experience. My partner went first, and was the one to attempt using the dab rig. Unfortunately our inexperience caused us to fuck up this method, causing us to loose out on a dose. We then decided to switch to using the meth pipe, as this method seemed to be more straightforward, and we could not afford to loose another dose. This method was a success.
When it came to my turn, I was calm. I accepted this experience for what it was, regardless of if I were to breakthrough or not. Before I began to overthink, I began melting the substance and taking small hits. I continued to toke, coughing every time it got harsh and holding when it was lit. Eventually, I started feeling the effects, and refused to stop smoking until it was physically impossible. Which never came about. I did require assistance lighting it at some point but I knew this was not going to lead to anything spectacular. One thing I did manage to do, however, was to remain completely relaxed throughout this experience. The taste did not freak me out, and the visuals got intense but this time did not lead to my impending doom. These effects wore off fairly quickly, leaving me in a pleasant groggy state similar to a mild marijuana high. Despite not getting the desired effect, I do not see this experience as a waste. I was able to overcome a lot of my anxiety associated with smoking DMT, which makes me hopeful for future attempts at the infamous breakthrough experience.
Upon waking up the next morning after the previous experience, I realized there was still quite a bit leftover inside the bowl and decided I would attempt one last time for the next while that night. As the day went on, I realized I was having a lazy day. One of those days you don't really want to do anything but sit around and "veg". I knew I wasn't in the right space to attempt DMT but thought I'd give it a go anyway. Almost the same thing happened as last time, except the experience had a different vibe to it. I wasn't as relaxed and felt super detached from the experience. The initial rush was good. It got me to close my eyes and enjoy the light buzzing I felt in my body and the mild patterns swirling in my vision. But then I started to feel detached. My thought patterns began to intersect and reminded me of a shitty shroom or acid trip. I had a moment where I felt as if I were being contacted by an entity but couldn't tell the difference between my own thoughts and the incoming ones. It highly resembled an experience I had a couple years back with psilocybin mushrooms that was very closely tied into communication with entities outside of this human experience. This lasted for a short period and simmered into an unpleasant groggy state that made me feel detached from myself and my surroundings. Not quite dissociative but uncomfortable nonetheless. It's a feeling I have had during psychedelic experiences when I haven't taken the proper time to integrate between doses. This is exactly what had happened. I knew it didn't feel right before embarking on this journey and should have listened to myself. Regardless this experience, like many others I have had, reinforced the lesson of set and setting.
Even though I have yet to experience the inner depths of the DMT world, I am not disappointed with my experiences. Exploring the psychedelic state for me is about building a better relationship with myself and my own mind. I'm not going to go chasing something that may not ever come. I trust that the experiences I get are just what I need for the moment and what I seek will come the moment I stop seeking.
I think the lesson here is that DMT experiences come in all shapes and forms. Everyone's experiences are different, and a "breakthrough" experience is never always guaranteed. Be prepared to accept whatever comes and always be mindful of your set and setting.
Stay safe and stay mindful.