KETA-ME: My Ketamine Experience

I’m not certain of the order of each moment once the ketamine infusion began. But I do feel certain that I was aware of everything that was happening and that I was consciously guiding my experience and my thoughts while this mind-altering drug was filtering through my bloodstream. This, of course, stems from my penchant for controlling everything.


The doctor said I would have an out-of-body experience where I would feel like I was floating out of my body, but I don’t think I experienced that. When the infusion started, I became very lightheaded and dizzy. I felt nauseated, like when I get sick from riding in the backseat of a car with no air circulation or when I’m on a boat that constantly bobs up and down while swaying from side to side. It was very uncomfortable, so I closed my eyes to ease effects and wondered

when will the euphoria begin because I can’t take this dizziness for forty minutes. Where is my out-of-body experience? Whoa! My body feels heavy am I about to float out of it now? Maybe I

open my eyes but I was still sitting in the chair. I was still uncomfortably lightheaded, and the room was still spinning. I wasn’t floating out of my body yet. I could see my arms and legs still connected to me. They felt numb, but I could

move, you can do it, move. Brain to right hand, move a finger. Which finger? This one. Which one is that? I can’t tell. Move the first finger. Where is it? It won’t move. Try the thumb. Okay. This thought can move the thumb. Is it moving? I think

I bent my right thumb twice with slight relief knowing that I still had movement in my limbs, but with slight disappointment that I was still in my body. I’m not sure if I moved my head or only my eyes to look at my left arm with the needle

now left hand, can you move? You can? Let’s see it. Don’t move the arm, it has the needle in it. Arm, don’t bend. Where are you, fingers? Hahaha ha. I feel you move. Hahaha ha.

Hahaha ha.

Can they hear me laugh? Am I laughing out loud? Hahaha ha. Hahaha ha. Puh puh puh. My lips feel weird. Clack clack clack. My teeth are still there. Mummm mmmummmble. Puh puh puh. Can you hear me?

Can you hear me? Puh puh puh. Hellooo

oooo? Close your eyes, I feel too dizzy. I’m still not out of my body yet.


When my eyes were closed, I saw shapes move around, blending with other shapes, bending into organic masses, and morphing into shapeless colors. Muted colors, not the vibrant and fluorescent colors in psychedelic trip scenes in movies. It was like

gray pentagons and slate squares encircling moss green bars combining into seaweed green space to charcoal space to stone gray space and more space. It was just space. Space where colors appeared in the shape of sounds echoing from outside, the IV pump reverberating, passing through the colors, pulsating sounds regulated the rhythmic change of the patterns and colors that surrounded my thoughts. Is this what the afterlife is? Is it just our mind existing in an eternal space of beauty? Am I alive?

Am I alive? AmIaliveAmIalive? A door opened. A silhouette appeared. I heard a sparkle float dusty blue “you are alive.”

spiriting sparkles sparkle alive. Life sparkled with dissipating clarity. Alive?

“Yes, you’re alive.”

Oh no. Oh no no no no. I’ve lost all feeling in my body. I’m slipping off the chair. I’m slipping. The IV. I’m slipping.

I’m slipping. I’m slipping. “You’re not slipping.” I’m not slipping? “No”

I stopped slipping. My hands are so cold.

The nurse of dust and blue pulled a blanket out and placed it on me. She pulled a second blanket out and placed it on me from right to left. The soft blanket from right to left she placed it on me, but before she could let go of the corner of the blanket

Is she on my left? Or am I looking in a mirror and she’s on my right?

You’re on my left right.

No. You’re on my left, right?

You’re on my left right. No, not my right. My left right. No. My left, correct? Are you on my left? “Yes, I’m on your left.” How come I can’t look at you? How come I can’t look at you? I can only look forward. Can you move in front of me?

Is that the nurse. She doesn’t look like the same person. A blurry flurry of face sprouting wheat. What is going on?

You don’t look the same. “It’s me.” You look different.

That’s her voice. It has to be her. Why is she different? Her face is long. Her hair looks stringy. Is she tricking me? But that’s her voice. I can do this. I can make her look normal if I just concentrate on her face.

Open your eyes wider to see the world. I’m still yet out of my body not.


Haha ha. Haha ha. Puh puh. Am I talking? “Yes.” I can’t feel

my body.

“your body?” Is that


“Yes, it’s normal.” How come I

can’t finish my sentences?

“can’t finish your sentences?” Yes! What is

going on?

I’mtalkinginincompletesentences. . . .

I have to slow down to talk.

I bet you. hear crazy. stuff. like this. all. the time. “Yes, I do.” Haha ha. Haha ha. “Why are you laughing?” I’m laughing at you. “Why?” You’re funny. Haha ha.


neck aching in wrong position. move neck. starts to ache again. Only a minute or so had passed. Will I be this uncomfortable for the next 40 minutes? Stretching my neck gives way to a grimace. Just one minute or so. The infusion is almost over.



Joseph Ellison Brockway AUTHOR PHOTO

Joseph Ellison Brockway seeks out uncanny beauty in this plane’s perceived reality. He accepts that up can sometimes be down. He walks in reverse to undo society’s brainwashing. He smells clouds pass and hears flowers wilt. He beautifully corrupts the socialmediaverse at @JosephEBrockway.

Cover Photo Credit: Kylie Supski