Imagine being in love.
Everyone dreams about that euphoric feeling of loving your significant other unconditionally and knowing your significant other loves you unconditionally. The good times spent with each other outweigh the bad and it’s those good moments together that you truly cherish when times get rough.
Imagine being with the girl of your dreams for two and a half years, having begun to realistically think about living the rest of your life with her. After two and a half years of being in an intimate relationship, you imagine you would be able to tell if the relationship was on the fritz. Now imagine sitting in a car in a college campus parking garage where she looks at you, eyes starting to fill up with tears, and suddenly you hear her say the words, “We need to talk.”
Out fall the words, “I don’t love you anymore and I’m sorry, but I’m breaking up with you. I don’t know why I fell out of love with you, but something changed visiting you this weekend and I don’t know what that change was. I’m so sorry I’m doing this to you.”
Well, I did not see this coming and was blindsided by the one person I thought I knew everything about. The ambiguous loss that occurred in January of this past year was absolutely heartbreaking. I had no idea what to do with myself. If you have been in a situation like this then you would understand, when the person you love unconditionally tells you they do not love you anymore for reasons unknown, it hits you at the core of your soul. You start to question yourself, what you could have done differently, whether you missed signs that led up to that moment. But, I couldn’t find answers to any of those questions. We sat there in my car for over an hour, both sobbing hysterically, because I had just lost my best friend who I loved to the moon and back, and she was completely helpless as she couldn’t console me the way she used to.
If you ask a grown man if he’s ever cried over a girl he’s loved and he tells you no, nine times out of ten he’s probably lying. Men were taught in the past not to show that kind of emotion and to keep it on the inside. Well, I was crying harder than I ever have before. Sitting in my car with my now ex-girlfriend next to me, knowing the worst of the worst had just happened with no way to reverse course.
From the beginning of January to the end of April, I was completely helpless. My graduate courses and internship were boring, I gained weight, and I just felt overall hopelessness. My friends would probably tell you that they didn’t think anything was wrong with me. On the inside though, my head was all over the place with constant thoughts about my ex and whether or not I should try to reach out to her.
Looking back on things now I can say that I was slightly depressed. Heartbreak is something that each person deals with differently, but the one thing each person wants is the same: to finally be happy again without thinking those negative thoughts about the previous relationship.
Near the end of April, I went to visit my best friends at my undergraduate school. While I was there, a friend and I reconnected after not seeing each other for nearly half a year. He felt incredibly sorry for what happened to me and wished that there was something that he could do. I mentioned to him that I always wanted to try MDMA. He looked at me with a slight grin and told me he would text me in the morning if he could get anything. The thought of using it with the hope of getting me out of a slight depression was something I didn’t have the highest expectations for, but I thought it would be worth a shot. Given all the stories from friends and research by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), I was ecstatic like a little boy opening up presents on Christmas morning.
After I got the capsules of MDMA the following morning, I waited a little over a month because the set and setting needed to be carefully considered. There was finally an open night for me to explore the hidden wonders of MDMA as my friend would tripsit over texts. Down the hatch the two capsules went, both 100mg each, and the waiting game began for the roll to set in. As the evening rolled into the night, there were no noticeable effects going on, but my friend confidently said it was plenty for my first roll and to just wait it out.
I decide to go in my bedroom to listen to some music. I was listening to a Bonnaroo playlist that I made of artists that were going to the festival. The London Souls, Leon Bridges, John Moreland, HAIM, Lettuce, MisterWives, GRiZ The Floozies, Vulfpeck, Dead & Company. Basically everything was popping up on shuffle. I realized after a few songs that I was more into the music than I normally was. But then, the song “Let It Happen” by Tame Impala came on as if there was a switch inside my brain where the drug started working. The flood of serotonin made the music so intense I felt like music was in my veins. I remember texting my friend a picture of my dilated pupils, biggest smile on my face saying “I don’t think I’ve ever felt at peace this much before. Life is so extraordinary; music is literally playing through my veins right now.” He got the biggest laugh out of my text then told me to enjoy the rest of the roll and text him if I needed. The bass resonating in my headphones translated instantly into feelings that were indescribably happy. The biggest takeaway I got from that experience was how overwhelmingly happy I was, but also that there was so much more to life than being stuck over an ex-girlfriend.
From the time the MDMA roll happened to my trip to Bonnaroo, I experienced an outlook on life that I hadn’t experienced before. I was smiling or laughing all the time, my everyday outlook on life shot through the roof, and my overall wellbeing did a complete 180 after I rolled with MDMA.
Even though life seemed better, there was just something that kept bugging me on the inside. It was almost like I was over “the hill” when moving on from my ex. I wanted to try LSD for some time now, but it wasn’t easy to come by, so I never really gave it a shot. The horror stories the media perpetuates never scared me due to all the personal stories I’ve heard; even the worst of the worst didn’t dissuade me from trying a tab. A friend told me that when they did acid once, every single worry in the world went away. Colors became vibrant, designs on shirts began to dance, the interconnectedness one had with the nature and people was so pure and joyful. It seemed for everyone that LSD helped give them meaning in a time of chaos. In the hope to find meaning in the chaos after my breakup, I eventually tried a tab of LSD.
When you go from having your first MDMA experience at home to having your first LSD experience at Bonnaroo, things get a little crazy.
A friend in our group asked me the Saturday of Bonnaroo if I wanted to try some LSD. “Yes! Hell yes,” I said with exhilaration. My mind was racing with the unknown that may come from the trip, but there was no holding back now as I put the tab on my tongue. I eventually started to get the giggles, the colors became more intense, and the feeling of the music was making my body want to dance like a flower in the wind.
Gradually, the LSD rushed to my brain with an immense amount of energy. The music of HAIM was some of the best that I had ever heard before. I remember looking at a sign in the mass of people that said “Existence is beautiful. You exist. You’re beautiful.” There was a flood of emotions that just took over my entire body and mind. Here I was laying on the ground at Which Stage when I had the biggest realizations of the breakup and life in general: “everything is going to be okay” and “just enjoy life.” Sure those are simple realizations but they had a tremendous impact. Up until that point, I was anxious as to how long I was going to be held up with a broken heart. But it was almost as if the acid, along with the music, helped repair my heart and soul to the point that I was born again. I was laying down on the ground, listening to the sounds of HAIM, looking at the sky as the beautiful sunset was occurring on the Farm and I just felt at peace. There was no worrying about my past relationship, whether I was good enough, or what I did wrong in the relationship; I just felt serenity.
My experiences with MDMA and LSD helped me overcome the worst heartbreak I ever experienced. Psychedelics are drugs that are intimidating at first, but that feeling of peace they have given me is something that will be with me until the end. I will forever have psychedelics to thank, because they are the reason my heart is no longer broken and rather, is stronger than ever before.
I took notes on my phone during my trip of my overall experience, which I shared with my friends after the festival. The responses I got back helped solidify my serenity. In the group message a friend responded by saying, “I want to be as happy as you were that day, you were just this little ball of joy that seemed to explode!”