On July 4th, I nearly died. A couple of years ago, at NY Harvest Fest, someone had sold me some Kratom tea. I really liked the way it made me feel. Not too much of a feeling, but I felt a little euphoric. So I decided to give it another try, and I bought some Kratom capsules from the local smoke shop. I had a few a few differet times and again, didn't really feel too much.
The directions say serving size, 5 capsules, but not to take with alcohol or prescription drugs. Well, here is what I remember from that evening...
I take anti depressants, but am really bad with remembering to taking them or when I do remember to take them, I often haven't eaten, so I don't take them. Usually after about 4-5 days I start to experience, I guess you would call it withdrawal. I start feeling like my brain and sight is delayed for a few milliseconds, and it just doesn't feel very good.
So I was intending on going to watch fireworks by myself, but I changed my mind when I realized there would be lots of people, tons of traffic and limited parking. So instead I decided to go to the local hiking area. I had at least a six pack of light beer and felt the awful feeling telling me that I needed to take my anti depressants as it had been a few days. I hadn't eaten very much, maybe a hot dog around noon.
I drank beer to down my medication, which I know isn't a good thing, but I do it more often than I wish to admit, and never had any bad experiences other than a hole in my stomach ? I also had 5 Kratom capsules, which at the time I thought was a lot, until the next day when I read the bag and saw that 5 capsules is the serving size.
I bought a couple of 24 ounce beers and went walking into the woods before it got dark out. I am fairly certain that I was the only one in these woods, but right about when my memory began to get foggy, I remember thinking that I put my bag down somewhere for a second and now it was dark and I couldn't see where I had put it. I started to feel around in the ferns but I couldn't find it and couldn't remember when I last had it, though I'm sure it was a few seconds earlier.
I remember thinking as if I was at a music festival or something like that, and that there was a woman keeping her eye on me and she could tell that I misplaced my bag and was waiting for me to give up looking for it so she could take it. In my messed up mind, I pretended not to let her know that I knew she was keeping an eye on me. So, I pretended as if I knew where it was and started walking away.
Meanwhile her husband/boyfriend came back to her and I'm sure (in my head) she told him what was going on how I gave up looking for my bag but that she saw where I put it. I was going to walk away and spy to see them pick up my bag and then go take it back from them. I remember picking up a small stick about 6" long and holding it to my chest feeling as though I could potentially be in danger, and not that this stick would offer much protection, but it was better than nothing.
My next memory is of me running for my life, as if I was in extreme danger and being chased. I had this feeling as if there were people in the woods, and that they didn't want to let me leave. It was pitch black and I was sprinting as fast as I could possibly run not being able to see an inch in front of me. I had my hands held out in front of me to try and avoid sprinting face first into a tree. I feel at least two or three times, one of which I felt weightless for a second and when I slammed down I felt my spine get extended... in other words I fell pretty hard.
As soon as I fell I got back up and told myself, "Go go go!!" and I did. I don't know how long I ran for, but it didn't seem like it was very long, and I wanted to get back to the parking area or where my car was. All of a sudden I splash into water. I thought it was just a puddle, stream, or swamp, and hadn't yet realized that it was actually the edge of the lake near where I was at in the woods.
Across the lake I could see houses lit up but other than that it was dark and very quiet. I sprinted right into the water and started swimming and kicked off my boots in the water because they were making it difficult to swim. I was still filled with fear and tried to swim as fast as I could to the other side of the lake.
I remember feeling as if two things:
1. Whoever was after me, was still after me and perhaps they had a boat and were going to come to me and drown me.
2. The people who lived in the lit up houses I could see, were all in on this and would also try to keep me from escaping.
I swam and swam and it seemed as though I would never reach the other side. I would swim on my back for a while and face forward and see that I was swimming in the wrong direction. This went on for a while. I would swim as fast as I could for maybe 15-20 minutes and assess my situation and see that it didn't seem like I was making any progress. It constantly looked as though I was in the middle of this huge lake. I didn't know what else to do, so I started screaming for help.
This went on for more than an hour. I estimate that I was in the water for about 2 hours. Every 10 minutes or so I would scream again for help. There was noone out on the water and it was so dark except for the house lights, and so quiet, that it was really scary. Eventually, after not making any progress, and I started to run out of energy. My body started to go vertical in the water and I would try to go horizontal but I just didn't have the energy anymore and I felt hopeless since in all this time I wasn't moving from the middle of the lake.
I began to make peace with knowing that I was going to drown. I began apologizing out loud to my father who would get word that they found my body, and that he would have no idea why I was in the lake as well as no one would know what had happened. Just then I saw a light shining towards me and I started waving one of my arms and I heard them say, "There he is!" About 20 seconds before that, I heard someone from the other side of me, to my left, ask if I was Ok and out of breath I replied, "No." I still don't know if there was someone there in a boat (probably heard me screaming) or if that was in my head, but anyway, there was a couple on a Pontoon with a police officer. I have never been so happy to see a police officer in my life.
I grabbed onto the boat and climbed on board and they tried to navigate in the dark back to shore with only a flashlight for light. I was shivering and the woman on the boat had offered me her coat if I was cold, but I declined and even though I felt very cold, I knew I was going to be fine at that point and I couldn't believe what I had just gone through.
After about 10-15 minutes we were back on shore where there was an ambulance waiting for me. They stripped me and covered me in a thermal blanket and brought me to the hospital. I lost my car key fob, my backpack, my medication that was in the backpack, and cell phone among some other things like jars of weed. At this point I didn't even know where my car was or how I got there. When the officer asked what happened, he kind of suggested that I went for a swim and got disoriented and I figured it would be easier to just agree with him since I wasn't even quite sure what happened. It took me a long time to catch my breath and warm up at the hospital, but eventually I was fine and I tried to sleep but I just couldn't stop thinking about what had happened and tried to make sense of it.
In the morning I was able to remember my Dad's phone number after a few attempts, and he came and picked me up and asked me if that was my car down by the lake parking area. I said that I wasn't sure and explained to him what had happened. It did turn out to be my car, but I had to go home and get my extra key fob in order to drive it home. The next day I tried to go look for my bag before anyone else found it, not that anything too valuable was in there that anyone would like, but after walking for a little bit, it just felt too weird and I decided to cut my losses and head home.
I posted this story on Reddit and the general consensus was people were glad that I was ok but many people told me to seek therapy lol. I can't say that I blame them, but unfortunately, therapy has never fixed any of the issues that I have. One person told me that I was blaming my own issues on Kratom, etc. and that was never what I was trying to do. In fact, I haven't come across any stories like mine even though I thought there must be more people out there that have had similar experiences of delusions. So I am not saying anything negative about Kratom.
Whether it was because I took my normal amount of daily medication, 5 days after I was supposed to have taken it, along with beer, and Kratom, I don't know... what I do know is this was one of the worst days of my life and I'll never forget it.