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Microdose & Me – Autism On Psychedelics

Just remember, everything I’m about to tell you is a CRIME.…

Psychedelics and microdosing in the news for depression, addiction, even autism…

My experience?

Just remember, everything I’m about to tell you is a CRIME.…

Acid kicked in about an hour after I ate the blotter.

I’m in the shower, 18, a virgin college freshman back home for a homecoming dance. 1971.

Suddenly something snapped into focus in my head. I distinctly remember thinking,

“Hello…. I’m ME again. And just where have I been?”

See, I normally experience my mind as many separate, semi-autonomous processing centers…

Intellect, emotion, senses, inner sensation, verbal thoughts, language, bodily coordination, “music” (whatever I mean by that), memory, etc…

And they don’t always play nice together. At least half the time, they compete selfishly for limited bandwidth… And attention.

So I cycle between two extremes:

  • hyper-focus, using one mental center at a time, which can be incredibly productive, even joyful, working on a project…
  • and confused panic, as dozens of thoughts, feelings, perceptions flood my brain, each simultaneously screaming for my attention when I’m interrupted, startled, stressed, or overwhelmed by emotion.

But right now I’m feeling the ecstatic splash of hot water, fascinated by wall tiles shifting into hypnotic flowing patterns. No internal struggle. Just joyful in the moment…

Trippy as shit, trust me.

And, yeah, I was very entertained by time warping, space distorting, cosmic unity, watching the grass breathe in and out, blah, blah, blah. At least on this first trip.

But the takeaway point? The real high for me?

I feel Silence inside. Calm. Focused. Centered. Coherent. Whole.

One. Unified. Me…

Confident. In control. AWAKE.

I suspect similar to what NOT being autistic on a great day must feel like.

Fuck hallucinations. AND tracers.

THAT’s what I’m talking about.

And I kept that sense of being “Me,” the real me — not Autistic, Special-Needs-Kid Johnny — for some weeks after coming down.

So when I first read about microdosing to “treat” autism in 2016…

I was all in.

First, some context.…

I am not terribly experienced with psychedelics.

  • Mebbe 6 street acid trips in the 70s & early 80s, 100 mikes to maybe 500.
  • A dozen morning glory trips.
  • One too many DMT journeys for this space cowboy, as in, only one trip.
  • Fair amount of weed… but sersiously, a 20-sack a week…? C’mon.

Right about now, true psychonauts are laffing their asses off at my timidity.

Let’s say, barely enough experience to feel comfortable with, but duly respectful of, psychedelics.

So that’s why, in my 60s, with my freshly printed autism diagnosis in my hot little hand…

I decided to risk jail time, bought two squares of street acid, and tried microdosing…

To seek that magic again.

Surprise. It’s. B A A A C K.

And I don’t believe I shall be autistic. At least not every day. (I do NOT mean to imply I’m cured. I’m struggling for the words to explain. Please read on?)

Below I’ve appended the field notes I took while dosing to pique your interest. But no real details. Cuz…

I, in no way, encourage you to follow my example. Street drugs are risky. LSD-25, psilocybin, shrooms, morning glory seeds, cactus, etc are no joke. What I did at 18 was foolhardy.

And street drugs aren’t a great choice.

  • You can’t be sure of the dosage, which is critical to predicting results.
  • You can’t know for certain what substance you are taking. Street acid is often a slightly more legal designer-drug knock off, like 1p-LSD. Same for psilocybin, mescaline, you name it. I’ve even had fake shrooms once…. “Designer drugs” can have undocumented side effects… such as increased anxiety.
  • And speaking of ANXIETY… most psychedelics can trigger cataclysmic panic attacks, under the wrong circumstances. Just a warning to folks, who like me, suffer from high anxiety.

But…

I will never have the money to sign-up for a trial in a soothing clinical setting, listening to Enya under subdued lighting, attended by doe-eyed clinicians in white coats as they take earnest notes.

So, child of the 60s that I am…

What I found…

The “protocol” I experimented with: Drop microdose Day 1, skip Days 2 and 3, drop again Day 4. Rinse repeat. I shot for a 25 mcg dose at first, quickly reducing to as low as 5 mikes based on unwanted side effects.

First, the bad news.

In the end, this protocol was NOT for me. The anxiety, edginess, reduction of inhibition, and feeling something like sleep deprivation — barely noticeable at first — grew with each successive microdose to unacceptable levels. No matter how I reduced the dosage. Even when I spaced the microdoses further and further apart… up to a month between them. My feeling is that the acid I took subtly messed with my sleep cycle with unpleasant influence on my waking behavior.

The good news?

The benefits were so spectacular that I will continue taking 100 mikes — not quite tripping — from time to time, as the spirit moves.

  • Immediately noticed communicating with others, and being understood, was nearly effortless. My norm is a great deal of internal struggle worrying, regretting word choices, choosing “acceptable” thoughts to express.
  • I had been in a dysfunctional period stretching for some weeks: depressed mood, neglecting personal hygeine, house cleaning, getting out, practicing music, laundry, changing clothes….. Lack of motivation, energy, negative outlook, whining, self-obsessed. BUT like a lightbulb switched on: Gone. Within mebbe an hour and a half of dropping my first microdose.
  • Experienced emotions clearly in the moment, without obsessive reviewing social situations, without emotional overwhelm. Trust me, that rarely happens in my life.
  • Generally calm and centered throughout day, much like the feeling of a meditative retreat or really great beach vacation.
  • Was comfortably aware at a few points of the first tickles of social anxiety, but I was able to express it to my wife and family clearly, smoothly and simply spent brief periods alone to recover. Without any form of meltdown. Not miracle enough…?
  • I spent many hours with family and a couple of friends…. And I required very little recovery time.
  • !

That last point deserves more discussion. My baseline need? I require nearly as much time recovering after interacting with others as I spend interacting with them.

My guideline is no more than an hour with an adult human… whom I’m comfortable with. Nearly an hour spent alone in a “special interest,” sleeping, meditating, reading, Facebooking — before I have enough energy, focus, and CALM to clean, practice, work…..

Hard to get stuff done when you’re in overwhelm or recovery half your time.

While I microdosed, nearly none of my waking hours were spent recovering.

You cannot imagine how much I accomplished.

What. A. Gift.

In no way, at first, did my behavior appear odd to others, at home, in stores, at work, on the street, etc.

I asked my wife if she noticed anything. She said I appeared a little “mellower.”

So I functioned just fine on microdosed LSD.

And the internal ease and comfort was amazing.

As I said above, eventually the growing edginess caused snappishness and… behavior I regretted. (Spoke a little too much truth at work. Got canned.)

Some Final Reflections…

Has my experiment permanently changed me… Whether I’m dosing or not…?

Yes.

The effect, the only effect, that truly matters to me is the feeling,

“I am me. The me I prefer. The one that really exists down below all that howling nonsense I have to swim up thru to truly express who I am. The one I am below the personality you see in YOUR world.”

No idea if that will make sense to readers right off. But the people I’m trying to reach with a risky public post like this?

If they exist…,

They just felt a kick in the stomach. The fear — and hope — of recognition.

My relationship with my wife remains GREATLY improved. Extraordinary turn about in our ability to talk clearly with each other. A great deal of affection growing in both of us. Because we separated and nearly divorced the summer before I microdosed —largely over my autistic behavior — this was most welcome.

Creative output remains at a reasonably high level for me. Not a feeling of “pressured” speech, but writing a good deal.

Clarity remains. Perhaps not as startling as at first. It’s declined a little, I’m getting used to it, both, or something else.

I microdosed continuously for about a year. At first every 3 days, moving to once a week after 2 months. Then every 2 weeks… Then a month.

I haven’t microdosed in well over a year. But microdosing, occasionally, is something I plan on continuing.

Til there’s no further growth.


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Addendum: Selected Field Notes

Day 1: I drop

  • 11:38a Dropped 1/4 tab. I assume full tab was between 100 and 250 micrograms. So my dose is between 25 & 60 mikes. {Later I guessed it was closer to 100 based on my experiences.} Mild thrill or excitement within a minute, like dropping full tab, but much less intense.
  • 11:59a Possibly seeing more “bright details.” Alert, calm, confident, relaxed. Doing dishes, plants, coffee.
  • 12:06p Familiar sensation of slightly nervous stomach. Feeling “light on my feet,” comfortable in my body. Slight sensation of “singing” in my nerves, energy, almost like a sound. All familiar, much less intense than full dose.
  • 12:39p Full hour. None of anxiety that accompanies first hour or so of full trip. Mildly excited tho. Noticing “lovely” details, animal fur, fabric folds, much like Huxley talked about in The Doors of Perception. But I’m not “entranced” as he reported. Only if I focused and chose to be.
  • 12:51p Sensation of breathing effortlessly. Perhaps acid’s stimulant effect decongests mucus passages? Focused and present, much like after deep meditation.
  • 12:58p Some body “chills & thrills,” less intense version of quasi-orgasmic early rushes of full trip.
  • 1:03p Definite feeling of mental “fog” lifting. Sensation of full mind available without effort.
  • 1:44p Ooooo… Look at all the pretty colors…. Just kidding. Feel almost exactly like after a weekend meditation retreat or LONG vacation to Puerto Vallarta. With just an undertingle of excitement.
  • 1:54p Guys, I’m in no way tripping. Just having a GREAT day. Like being in love in Spring.
  • 3:05p Visiting with my family. Just recognized, in plenty of time, I was experiencing rising anxiety as I almost always do after about an hour together. BUT I communicated that I needed to take a break — smoothly — to my wife and granddaughter. No internal struggle, “Should I say it this way or that? Did they understand me? Will they be hurt or offended…?” Nothing. I just said it. They smiled, walked me part way home. We all smiled and yelled, “Love you.” No problem. Amazing. G-d. Damn.
  • 3:29p I handled my actual, abnormal life…. normally. Fuck. Yeah!
  • 4:33p Meant to make this observation coupla hours ago. For those experienced with being in the zone in walking meditation or mindful walking, that’s how I feel today. Calm observation. Of what’s going on. Effortless flow. Don’t want to overstate it. Yet, a BIG DEAL.
  • 8:29p Just sat to meditate. My typical cocktail of mantra and Insight/mindfulness. Busy with thoughts at first. More settled later. Nothing unusual. Not transcendent. Average.

The only downsides? A slight wiredness, like one sip too much Starbucks. And localized muscle tension, not quite headache, I mentioned above.

Day 2: Skip

Day 2 is said to be the best by folks offering anecdotal reports.

Hard to believe it can get better than yesterday.

  • 9:26a Went to bed yesterday around 11:30p. Slept well, maybe slightly more thinking before falling asleep, maybe slightly lighter sleep than average. Feel rested and clear. No anxious edge. Some muscle tightness, just in temples, jaw, back of neck. Mild, I can consciously relax it. But creeps back. Familiar from full trip, much milder. Sense of ease, particularly in talking with others remain. Impulse to write, play, clean, be creative remains heightened. Which is notable because I’m coming out of a dysfunctional period at least 6 weeks long.

I feel different. So aware of surroundings. Seeing “bright details.” So present.

I have the distinct feeling as if I am younger mentally. In my 20s?

I can’t express what a gift this is.

Day 3: Skip

  • 9:15a Woke clear after 8 hours sleep. Feel wonderful. Tension in jaw, neck, temples receding although still there. Still no mental fog. Still social ease.
  • 1:00p Btw, done my level best to maintain my normal daily routines: music practice, couple bowls of #weed, half a beer, couple meditations. Probably a little more care getting rest at night. Eating slightly less because not hungry or noshy. Not taking usual naps because not tired.
  • 5:04p First hint of social anxiety today. Needed to separate from wife and family for a break. Possible the effects of first dose are dimming.
  • 6:37p I seem to be feeling some edginess and negative outlook. Also feeling tired.

I do NOT think this is mania or hypomania. Nor euphoria.

More like the justified joy you would feel when you stop banging your head against the wall.

Day 4 (2nd cycle)

  • 8:21a Dropped ~15 mikes dissolved in water. Woke not quite as rested, despite 8hrs sleep. Presumably first dose is at best at half-life. Effects have faded, but still noticeably alert, clear, focused, aware than had been my norm.

By johnnyprofane1

Live. Laff. Love. Rebel...

Pretend Rock Star... Cuz it's ALL cosplay.

I have no credentials to offer. At least none that matter anymore to me.

So I offer my life.

It's all I have to give.

Blog
https://AutisticAF.me

Music
https://open.spotify.com/artist/20QxTBY9Yk0d7BYCt3aVeS

#ActuallyAutistic #AllAutistics #AutisticElder #AutisticSurvivor #AutisticJoy #Neurodiverse #Neurodivergent

2 replies on “Microdose & Me – Autism On Psychedelics”

Hi! I wrote a book called AutismOnAcid and I’m now gathering stories to publish an anthology of stories about autistics who benefitted from psychedelics…

Would you be open to us including your medium post on microdosing in this anthology? All funds earned will go toward peer support services for autistics exploring psychedelics 🙂

Thanks!
-Aaron

Liked by 1 person

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