phase 1, day 1

dose 1 - 15μg LSD

Not a great start, as I spent a large portion of yesterday drinking spirits. I woke up with a hangover and proceeded to dose 15μg, which I think was too much. I find it difficult to differentiate between the effects of the hangover and the drug itself.

Alcohol is the absolute worst thing for my anxiety as it puts me into auto-pilot, or tunnel-vision, in which my automatic anxious thoughts can get the better of me much more easily. I will cease consumption of hard alcohol for the foreseeable future.

I was getting very mild visual effects (light sensitivity, colour saturation, an awareness of a smooth, appetizing texture on the surface of everything). While I felt more at ease and in good spirits at times, my anxiety was also heightened, which manifests in paranoid thoughts of how others perceive me, and in feeling that the outside world is threatening, cold and abusive. This is typical of days after I've drank hard alcohol, or drank too much in general. It feels as though the lowering of my inhibitions was a deadly mistake, and I instantly tense up and want to erase my behaviour from yesterday, to control very tightly what comes out of me henceforth.

I was overcome with fatigue as well after a fairly active morning. I slept for around an hour, and still find myself very tired and anxious. Feelings of hopelessness, isolation, and paranoia that my activity on social media and in instant messages exposes me as pathetic, desperate, a fool.

After a Skype chat with a friend I've calmed down, and reminded myself that due to psychologically confusing experiences early in life I view others as a constant threat. This resulted from a pattern of friends and family lulling me into a state of intimacy and trust, and then backstabbing me unpredictably. This has left me with a lingering sense in my adult life of being permanently under threat. Compliments and kind words are perceived as the feint before a lethal blow; harsh negativity and criticism is accepted without question. I can not genuinely appreciate others for who they are, only feel envious of them or else belittle them in my mind. I always sleep with my eyes open and remember to stay low to the ground so as to be impossible to trip up. It's no wonder I can not form genuine connections.

I wrote in my little notebook (where I try to define and understand these automatic thoughts):

What's sad and distressing is that I've systematically alienated myself from myself, replacing it with a decoy self, already dead and rotting, because it's unappetizing to the sharks. Were they to smell real, living matter on me, true spontaneity, love and happiness, the feeding frenzy would begin without hesitation. I can't let that juicy fresh meat be at risk and falling from greater heights hurts more -- better to stay dead, stay low. But now that I try, I can't seem to find that living thing inside me... I'm working very hard to find it, but it feels like all I am right now is that decomposing decoy, even when I'm alone with myself. It's experienced as a haunting inner emptiness.

It's strange to start to realise that this is not how everybody thinks. It's liberating to know it doesn't have to be this way, to be more objectively aware of it as a disorder of thought, but also incredibly frustrating that I can't change it easily. I'm trying to convince myself that most of those sharks just aren't there. I said to my therapist this week that I feel like "happiness is a sedative", it would leave me vulnerable to real, persistent threats that don't go away just because I forget about them. This is a major realisation and a low-key breakthrough. It is impossible to be alive and swim and splash without a care when the sharks are circling, and it seems they are always circling...

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