This is a recounting of my experience with a drug called DXM (Dextromethorphan), this is a very powerful drug in the same dissociative class with Ketamine or PCP. The most comprehensive and reliable resource, perhaps anywhere, is a long FAQ written about the drug at:
This drug is not widely known or used for various reasons, the main one being is that it is widely available in many cough syrups. This tends to cheapen it or make it seem distasteful in the eyes of many. Yet this doesn't meant it isn't as powerful as many other mainstream drugs. Heroin and codeine were used in cough syrups not all that long ago.
For others, I would not either recommend or rule out using this drug. It depends on the person. In my case, I used it for various reasons of my own; to increase my understanding, and simply because I felt led to taking it. It felt like the right thing to do. And as it turns out, it has helped me to deal with the peculiarities of living with "my condition."
Basically my experience is of not feeling pleasure, emotion or feeling. There is no raw energy flowing through the body. It only runs at a "higher" level within, yet somehow outside the body. You could say I'm already dissociated. And because what comes through the body is "my" only experience, nothing really occurs for me. At that level nothing happens. The minds and body generally function very well, and I can appear basically normal and well adjusted. Many people just may find me empty or a "nothing" person. That is because nothing is happening through the body. It just isn't felt or known.
In 1993 and 1994 I "experimented" with various drugs such as LSD, Ecstasy, Alcohol, Speed and Marijuana. These experience were sometimes devastating, sometimes there was no effect.These experiments are retold in my ongoing autobiography
I came to realise that it was an old shoulder injury that prevented this flow of feeling, and my research into this has shown that it is at the shoulder, where it is said that energy for the human energy field is first metabolised. This happens at an "early," very subtle level and it is difficult to detect with modern instruments.
I first knew (before I strongly suspected) that it was my shoulder that prevented me from real living when I took LSD. I could feel the blockage profoundly, and that area was painful and very sensitive. And more and more it seems I am aware of this blockage. However it is not a simple matter of trying to "whack" it back into place." I have seen maybe 20 practitioners with different views and treatments. None were able to do anything about it. And I basically knew that this "my condition" has a specific purpose that I perhaps only really understood a year or so ago. And coming out of it, before doing what I have to do would not be beneficial.
All this is extremely relevant. I was not taking this drug to get high (don't get high) or for kicks, but to explore my condition, the possibilities of this drug, and to extend my capabilities or understanding. I was also hoping, to see if I was on the wrong track as it were or that my presumption or understanding would be shown to be false with some kind of intense experience, however nothing like that happened. I chose this drug because it was widely available and of a class I hadn't tried before (dissociative) Other narcotic drugs or stimulants like cocaine or heroin have never seemed interesting enough to experiment with.
After thoroughly reading the faq mentioned above I decided a third plateau dosage would be needed to get through to me. The more intense and profound the better I decided, however, I didn't want to get into 4th plateau experiences, because I am more interested in my body and myself than visionary experiences and what have you. So I bought 200ml of Robitussin DM for $12.95. It was slightly behind the counter and I just asked the lady to hand me the packages so I could see what each one had in them. Robitussin DM had Guaiphesin in it, which causes nausea and vomiting, but after I looked around in other stores there no preparations that didn't have anything else in them. Better that than pseudoephedrine and various other active ingredients I didn't really want to get to know.
And I bought a bottle of Coke so as to take it with. Got home and took a sip, I remember this taste very well! It was even quite pleasant in just a little sip. I poured it into a glass and added a bit of Coke to dilute or hide the taste somewhat. It was horrible! But I did all of it in about 5 minutes. Waiting between slugging down each 50ml's with my finger holding my nose.
This was at 6.30p,
After 15 minutes of reading, I started to feel nauseous and sick. If I just kept still, it wasn't so bad. At 45 minutes I had that familiar watery taste in mouth, so that I knew throwing up was almost certain, and I did so three times into the sink. Then I suddenly felt much better. But I didn't feel like doing anything, just lying on my bed on my side, completely still. There were not other real affects at this time. I put on some music, kind of ambient techno.
And I just lay there. The music started to become more distinct. I felt that it was being interiorised into a field or world of its own. The actual physical sound blended with an inner sound and so they both become one thing. Within that field, I could hear several things happening within the music at once, or deeper levels that I couldn't tell were my creations or were coming from beyond or were revealed by listening it in this state.
Then I began to get dreamy. My eyes were closed and I covered myself with blankets so that it was dark. I was in a kind of high thought, sensing state. My body became very comfortable and relaxed. Moreso than perhaps since the onset of my condition. It was warm and far from being disassociated from it, I was at once the body and beyond it, as myself. The usual separation was dissolved. And as I moved, I knew I was myself. And I was nothing more. This is all I am! I am here and there, and this is all of me! I knew myself in an incomplete way, somehow above, still the source of me. The source there, me here. Nothing is happening at the source, only me here!
I had always known this, perhaps more intellectually than directly. It was somehow a relief. Knowing that however limited I was, the integrity of self was still there. Except it was like a seed, up above. And I knew that seed, I was that seed, looking down, being me at the same time.
Then there was a shift, the music I didn't hear anymore, it wasn't silent, because there was activity. I was moving, somehow being shown, drifting above in a dream state, wrapt in clouds. There were tendrils from a form I couldn't distinguish. I knew this was something vital. It wasn't on earth, it was a result of earth. It was something created. It was like a reward or result. But I only saw the tendrils, I never touched them. The tendrils were only intermixed with the "air" so it seemed they were occupying all space, moving away in intensity. They excluded energy, like sunshine. And I knew this was something to do with life, something that made it worthwhile and I somehow made a commitment to this existence at this point, and to what I am doing. However limiting or bothersome it is for me, if only because the "rewards" are not perceivable or possible for me in my present state, that I am so "reluctant" about what I am doing in my condition.
It was the same message that my brother had given to me two years ago, when he contacted an entity for me. I suggested to him unlimited possibilities, and asked that he find the reason for my condition. He went into a trance and met a being, an extremely large and stern kind of being. And he translated what it communicated him, "Rewards for those who discover."
I enjoyed this space I was floating in, the whole room I was in became a new space. A new world. That is something that never happens to me, it doesn't really matter where I am, I am still in the same "space" as in condition. Only very intense experiences bring me out of that. But this wasn't intense, it was relaxing, floating. It wasn't a trip, more like a holiday. I read in the faq that hardcore punk kids in the 80's used to call the DXM experience a "holiday." I appreciated this experience very much, it was like bringing fresh air into the stale. And I basked in this new "space" and enjoyed it. However, as always nothing was ever really felt. At some level it was known, the effects were known. I knew it.
I sort of came down to a more bodily consciousness and the music went on and I continued listening to it as if this had never really happened. Time seemed to stretch out enormously. But it wasn't unpleasant. I listened to the end of this album. And got up. It was difficult to move. Vision was fragmented, it was like watching the world through a jerky video camera, fragmented and yet smooth, and in many ways this perception was more inclusive than my everyday perception. My mind was very clear, I could use it. With drugs like LSD I found the mind was scattered and unusable. I recalled the struggle to read something. With DXM, the mind had control and was usable, yet one could be free of it.
There were several symptoms that I also experienced with LSD too, my teeth were chattering very much, so when I opened them up, they sort of shivered up and down quite fast. When I closed them, I could feel a kind of pulse that made them do this. I didn't know what to do now. I felt I should go for a walk soon. I was thinking about how I would transcribe this experience. I put the radio on and it was very amusing. The sound echoed around me like the people were talking in the room. I could follow their voices and I just liked the sound of their voices.
Then I went out and walked in the streets. By now it was perhaps 9pm. It had been a very rainy day and was perhaps still raining a little. But I didn't really notice. Moving was funny itself. It was like I was pushing a rag doll around. I seemed to be lighter than usual. Usually I have a quite heavy and somewhat restrictive walk. I ran and it made me laugh. I felt free, I thought about the "revelation" of the nature of self and realised it wasn't a revelation but an affirmation or remembrance, I'd already known this several times in my life, just never as explicitly as this time. As I walked along Oxford street towards Paddington. I felt the nature of myself again, I was always there. And I somehow saw it (myself) as separate and seedlike and compressed. Small in a black void. One moment it was as if I was completely watching the body move from above, and then from the body I watched this seed thing that I knew was myself. And I zoomed between each of them, deliberately, laughing at this control and absurdity, funny doll body flailing and running like a madman. And I stopped and walked past people, watching them. My usual bemused, indifferent appreciation was perhaps intensified.
And I went into bookstore called Berkoulou's I just like to go to, because it is open until 12pm and I like the space there. I felt very comfortable. None of that kind of speedy paranoia LSD can bring about when confronted with the workings of the mundane everyday exaggerated world, turned into something else. Whatever I saw I was comfortable with. And I was pleased about this.
I walked to the back of the store and found a book of photographic portraits of Tibetan people. It was quite a small book and the photographs were incredibly sharp. They came alive for me almost, the humanity shined through the pages and the race or look of their faces hardly mattered. Past their faces were these majestic hills, and so it looked like I was looking into a window and seeing these real life events. The clouds looks like they would suddenly start rolling again and the people start to move out of their frozen expression. I flicked through this book for quite a few minutes and then walked upstairs and there were two men playing instruments, one a guitar and another a brass instrument I couldn't identify. The sound was good, but I was amused by the expression on their faces, very intent and sort of shifty, a little uninterested it seemed, it didn't match the music at all! I stood by the railing and watched them. Perhaps something I wouldn't usually do. There were hardly any other people in the store, but quite a few people down near the window sitting down in the cafe section. Eventually the two musicians stopped playing and I moved on down the stairs and outside again. Walked over the road into another bookstore. Sort of wandered around, picked up a few books and magazines. I was really just interested in the space of the bookstore and just being around a general humanity. Soon I left and I walked back down Oxford street towards the city of Sydney, I sang to myself, like I sometimes do. Although I sounded different this time, I made up this extraordinary melody and sang it in this sort of unpretentious deep and smooth voice. It is difficult to remember. I didn't stop singing when people passed, it seemed as if they couldn't really hear it anyway, it was just my field of sound. And I eventually got back to my place and sat down. The experience was less intense now and I felt I could write down some ideas I had for extending my web site.
It was for a new section, an irregular transcription or journal of my daily life. Still my vision wasn't the greatest and it took a bit on concentration to do it. I sort of sat with the pen in my hand for a time, comfortable, and I wrote it out, taking my time. Eventually I came to back to an almost everyday state of consciousness and checked my email.
I felt this experience was the right thing for me at the right time. Without this drug I would perhaps not have been able to experience or reaffirm various things as tacitly otherwise. Nothing new was shown to me. It was an enjoyable experience, nothing that happened surprised me. It was overall a necessary experience. I probably wouldn't do it again. There would be no reason.
The "negative" aspects for me were drinking the syrup, the nausea and vomiting. I also had diarrhea at one point later on, but it wasn't painful, just water.
For others, I would have hesitations recommending DXM usage. If you are really grounded and fine with everyday life, and wish to explore or extend your perception of yourself and your relation to existence itself, then this drug may be of use. It won't show you any revelations about the outside world, which will become less interesting, perhaps music and sound are exceptions.
Dissociate drugs seem a bit like anesthetics. The somehow close off the outer world and bring the inner one much closer, however one finds there is no real difference.