Mental Imagery – Tectonic Plates Slip/Strike
I observed two circles positioned such that their edges touched. Like with the other mental images from previous infusion experiences, as I observed them my subconscious would seem to attribute a label and some meaning to what I was “seeing”. The circles became three-dimensional wheels of stone and they spun slowly inward. Where the wheels touched, sparks and bits of stone were ejected. As I contemplated the image, the wheels morphed until they resembled large land masses in turbulent, undulating motion, violently clashing against each other as if driven by an earthquake.
What this seemed to represent to me were periods of my working career. at times I worked in advocacy or volunteered and other times I worked exclusively in the private, corporate sector. I focused my attention on the boundary/fault line of the two masses and began to wonder: did they horizontally grind against each other? Did one mass thrust above another causing a subduction zone? Did they ever move apart?
Reflecting upon this later, I understand this as a representation of two parts of my self that are always at-odds: the ambitious, ego-driven me that craves status, recognition and oh yeah that big money and it's opposite, the part of me that gains fulfillment from helping others, from teaching and is driven by what remains of my idealism to improve just that tiny bit of this stinky world I move in.
I was jobless at the time and it left me to ponder if I had favored one aspect of my career at the expense of the other and whether I was I happy with my decisions.
At various times during the infusion, I used the mindfulness technique of turning attention to one's breath. This was an anchor and it proved useful. It provided a time-out from the trip during which I could ask, “what am I feeling, what thoughts are going on right now? The answers to that I would later jot down in my journal.
At some point during the infusion I felt my empty gut's squish and rumble and a gas bubble slowly travel up into my throat. Just for a moment, this felt uncomfortably and alarmingly alien but then I recognized it was just hunger. I can understand how someone who's experiencing disassociation could be frightened or worried by a routine and automatic action of the body.
About That Disturbing Dissociative Experience
If you read personal stories of dissociative experiences from Ketamine or something else, you'll find among them some truly horrifying tales. There are similarities in these stories, such as the feeling of helplessness you might feel in a nightmare.
My bad experience was worse than any I previously had on hallucinogenic drugs - but I'm okay with it. Some of the take-aways yielded great material for my therapy sessions! Also, I use it to establish a bar for my distress tolerance whenever I feel like I can't endure a difficult emotion.
That dark place I went has influenced my understanding of the quote from Star Wars I hung atop this entry. I think I now believe that the things I fear the most are deep inside me rather than in the external world. Those things give me the creeping willies and I do take them with me, everywhere.
My next entry will detail my fifth Ketamine infusion which I received the next day. The doc again increases my dose. During this infusion, I have a dissociative religious/near-death experience plus I drill into the floor of the Cellar of Me, down to sub-basements 1, 2, 3 and on until I arrive at what appears to be the core. After enduring the mortal pain of being a stain, do I really have it in me to go down there? Alone?