Patricia Taylor Monthly Adventure Sensory Deprivation TankThe Adventure: Sensory Deprivation Tank

A long time ago, in the olden days, a movie came out called Altered States, where a man went into a sensory deprivation tank and had all sorts of crazy experiences. I, of course, was fascinated forever by this. So when Vancouver opened up these float tanks for people to use, I was so excited by the endless possibilities that might arise from being in that awesome state of salty suspension.

In my wildest dreams, I had no idea that I would be left a small shaking puddle of goo, leaning up against the tank, trying to breath without throwing up, my world spinning wildly out of control.

I wanted to die.

To just get it over and done with. Anything to stop the airplane spins.

It all started off nicely until about 10 minutes in when I realized something was terribly wrong. Every breath I took, every single little beat of my heart, was causing some sort of a horrible chain reaction with my inability to process motion. That is, motion sickness. There was nothing to stare at to get a fix on a point because it was pitch black. There was no fresh air blowing in my face because I was enclosed in a capsule. No sound, no sight, no anything. I was fucked.

At the 20 minute mark, I wanted to projectile vomit. I opened the door like a person desperate for air, and after about 5-10 minutes of this, I started to calm down a bit. I remember thinking…I’ve been wanting to do this FOREVER, it can’t end like this…it just can’t!!!

Patricia Taylor Monthly Adventure Sensory Deprivation TankSo stupid me, I go back down into the tank for part two.

Did I mention that there was 800 lbs of salt in the water that kept you suspended? Well apparently, when your hair is as long as mine is, it can get quite heavy and the next thing you know, your head is being pulled into the water, leaving a crick in your neck that just plain hurts. So many times I would have to put my fingers in my hair at the top of my head, then grab it and pull my head up, so my neck would straighten.

Finally, at the one hour mark, I couldn’t take it any longer. This adventure had turned into a mis-adventure in zero time. Me and float tanks are now mortal enemies. It kicked my ass. It made me a quivering mess.

My excitement went from a 15 out of 10 down to a -8 out of 10 in no time.

When it comes to vertigo and motion sickness, the second I start feeling it, I’m toast for days.

Even though I got brutally sick for weeks after the fact, I don’t know if I’ll ever try it again. It was a dream of mine to do it forever, but the reality kicked my ass to the curb.



© Monthly Adventure, Patricia Taylor, January 2014