Did it wrong

I know, I know, it’s impossible to do it wrong—but I did. This was my initial session and I blew it. I’m so embarrassed. If only I could take it back but noooo—I had to go there. Such a phony.
I have 2 questions: Does anybody else feel like they did it wrong? And is it even possible to be a phony under the influence of Ketamine?
I am willing to consider that my feelings about the session may evolve by the time of my integration session.
But boy, am I sick of my own mind, yammering away. This is surely why some people become addicts—to get some relief from the incessant yammering. Bet I’d do addiction wrong, too.


Kara, try to be kind to yourself and stuff a sock in the Critic’s mouth for a while. I have an obnoxious one too, so I know that getting him to STFU takes some effort.

The first time someone has the experience of an infusion, they’re like a back country rube that just got plunked down in the middle of the big city. There’s so much happening around them that they’ve never seen before that it might be hard to remember why they came -they’re too busy looking around at what’s going on all around.

You didn’t do it “wrong”, because there is no wrong. When you’re struggling to keep your head above water and finally decide to start swimming rather than just flailing around, it’s rather a good idea to get some idea of the direction you need to move in, don’t you think? You’ve started to make that assessment. Further, you’re going back, and that takes some guts. There are some people that just can’t face it again, so I think you’re to be commended. I’ve often wished that I could take the observational clarity that I’ve learned to attain in an infusion into everyday life with me, but alas, it fades with the infusion. Still, I remember that I had it, and try a little to integrate it into daily life.

You do the best you can.


Dude! Wow. I get that you’re probably angry at something. But it’s the Ketamine experience. You can’t fuck up an experience. You just go through it. Cut yourself some slack.

What do you think you did “wrong”? It might help to explore that.

I don’t mean to bust your balls, so I hope you don’t feel attacked, that is NOT my intention. One of the things that K does for me is help me get to “quiet”, and I hope you get there. And folks here can help. So can your doc. And believe it or not, so can YOU.


Luckily for us, there is no wrong way. Maybe whatever happened that has you feeling so “phony” happened in your fist session so you can focus on being true to yourself. It wants you to be you, be real, be in the moment. Relax and love yourself. It will come. Let your light shine and try to see with your heart. We are here for you. 🫀⚡️


@Kara - to echo what has already been said - cut yourself some slack! Whatever you did or did not experience - it wasn’t wrong. Like @Sojourner pointed out your first time is just so overwhelming in so many different directions that I think it’s nearly impossible to “get it right”.

Your initial session is just that - an initial session. The clinic is just starting with you and therefore the dosage is often not quite right or other elements are off kilter. Some of us have lamented that we wish we could somehow “practice” this experience to get it dialed in before starting.

I remember my first infusion was definitely not like the others. The dosage was a bit low, and I wasn’t wearing eye covers so I kept popping in and out of disassociation. Plus I was figuring out whether or not I was comfortable with someone else in the room (I’m not…I want to be totally left alone), I panicked when the machine beeped (what if I’m out of it and in trouble and they’re trying to revive me???) … lots of things. In spite of that there were also moments when I thought “wow, this is pretty weird but amazing”. Plus I was trying to analyze and describe the whole thing to myself rather than just going with the flow. And no, I wasn’t “cured” right off the bat. It’s an ongoing process much like everything else in life.

So, to revisit your questions:

  1. Yep, I certainly thought I could have “done better” after my first infusion. I’m just the kind of person who is always driven to excel at whatever I do. I still have treatments where I felt like it could have gone better. Oh well. My understanding from practitioners is that whether you have a “good” or “bad” infusion from your point of view, the effect on the brain is supposed to be the same. It’s only your impression of it that changes.

  2. No, I don’t think you can be “phony” under the influence. I’m not even sure what you mean by that, to be perfectly honest. If phony means faking that you’re a healthy, happy person as you grit your teeth and push your way through life - I’m definitely guilty of that! But when you’re fully disassociated whatever you’re experiencing is YOU. Whatever that means…whoever you really are. Try not to read too much into it and just go with the flow. One of my frustrations during treatment is that I almost can feel myself working on two different levels - one is trying to relax and “go with the flow” and just feel the feels and experience the treatment. The other is trying to analyze the whole thing behind the scenes. But I’m getting better about that.

So again to echo everyone else - you are doing the best you can. It’s just your first time. It’s not a test to somehow be aced. This isn’t an easy process for any of us but it’s well worth the effort. I think one of the best things I’ve gained so far is relief of ruminations and negative spiraling thoughts. If my thoughts go someplace negative I can immediately redirect them to something else - I’m not stuck there. That’s huge! I hope that you find the same sort of relief.

Hang in there - glad to hear you have an integration session coming up. You’re doing fine. There’s no way to screw this up. Your brain is getting help even if you don’t feel like it went well. You’re among friends here who want to support you on your journey. You can do this.


Great advice!

Use the ketamine experience to be nicer to yourself! It’s OK to feel whatever you feel. It wasn’t till about the third infusion that I felt the work I was doing was really constructive. The first infusion can be a little bit overwhelming!


@SavetheVWBeetle I agree completely. I think it was my 4th IM before I felt the work, a break-through. I had a very hard time letting go. Once I was able to just go with the experience I felt like the work started. By the way, my visions aren’t all beautiful and glowing. I also experience some very dark episodes. Nothing you do is wrong it is just your experience. Take care.


Guess what? I did it wrong. Had my Integration session today and was told they are not sure about continuing with me. I flunked.

No, my friend, My perceptions were right. They are questioning about continuing with me. I will get another chance at a low dose. I felt not much at a low or frankly even at a high dose. So I might as well save my money and get some nice massages.
If only I could do it but I can’t. I wrecked my chance.

@Kara, if I may be so bold, you may simply be unsuited for KAP, or even integration sessions. The places I’ve received infusions simply start the infusion, dim the lights, and walk out the door. When the infusion is over, they come in to make sure everything is okay, then I’m allowed to remain there until I’ve recovered enough to safely navigate my way to the car. It sounds to me like you need a higher dose, not a lower one. Perhaps you simply need to find a different clinic. If we knew roughly the part of the country you live in, perhaps someone can make a recommendation.

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Thanks for your thoughts. I would agree; if Im in control of myself enough to dissemble like that, it’s not a high enough dose, or perhaps Im just too treatment resistant to let go of my ego/protection, although I doubt that. Im in No. California. Yeah, an experience without a audience whose perceptions of me Im trying to manage would be ideal. Perhaps I can simulate that by not talking. Im disappointed about the lower dose, though. Well, we will see what happens Monday. Its just scary to possibly be so treatment resistant that you’re not even appropriate for something designed for the treatment resistant! This is what I get for pretending. I scared them with my stupid faux drama. I feel like a soulless sociopath, but I am too prone to altruism, and anyway a sociopath would not be upset about being one. Right?:grin:


At the dosage I’m at, I don’t think it would be possible for me to play any games of pretense. My last infusion was 1.1 mg/kg with a .1 mg bolus. It was pretty much an “Ahead warp speed, Scotty!” moment, right from the start.

When we say there is no “wrong”, though, I think most of us are referring to the inner experience of the infusion. When you hit that space of dissociation, you really can’t lie to yourself. It’s like there’s this perfect clarity that you wish you could take with you back to everyday life.


@Kara - KAP seems to work really well for a lot of people but that doesn’t always mean it’s right for you. Now that I’ve been through a series of infusions… I think I could do KAP. But I really wasn’t comfortable having anyone in the room with me during infusion - not even my husband whom I trust. Having someone there while I am in a vulnerable state - I am focused on them, not on myself. Thank you trauma-induced hyper-vigilance. But I think I’ve healed enough where I could now allow myself to be vulnerable with a therapist.

As @Sojourner pointed out - when you’re fully disassociated with a full infusion level or IM level dose it would be extremely difficult to maintain any sort of intentional behavior. Most of us just look like we’re sleeping during that time. Some people cry. I can’t imagine working up the physical energy to even talk during that time. No doubt there are exceptions but my understanding from the clinic is that most of us just lie there.

I’m really hoping you get a second chance - and I agree that if you’re with it enough to fake anything…the dose must be pretty darn low. Which isn’t unusual for the first time. Don’t try to “simulate” anything - that’s what caused the mess in the first place, if I understand correctly. Be as brutally honest as possible with your clinic and providers.