I was raised in a home were alcohol was abused which had a huge impact on my upbringing. Even as a child, I was very aware of the demons that plagued my father. Before my very own eyes, my once caring and compassionate father became a monster to be dreaded under the influence of alcohol. His anger was to be feared, and it frequently lasted for days. It was so bad that I used to monitor his every move whenever he came home. My home, which was supposed to be a sanctuary, became my greatest source of insecurity.
My entire childhood was very lonely. I suffered in the hands of bullies at school and didn’t have many friends. I became adept at staying out of the way, not only at home, but in school as well. I was so closed off, that I couldn’t even trust my loved ones. All I ever knew was the feeling of worthlessness, failure, rejection, disgrace, and humiliation.
My drinking problem began in high school. With alcohol, for the first time in my life, I felt normal. All my insecurities, guilt, shame all disappeared. As long as I was drunk I didn’t feel the void inside me, I felt in control, I was full of energy. It was my only means of escape, and with time, I inculcated the habit of self-medicating four days in a week.
I continued with my habits, when I went to college. In addition to drinking excessively, I discovered other ways of filling the void like having mindless sex and using women, I smoked a lot, had little or no rest, and developed obsessive and compulsive behaviors.
I reached my break point not long after college when an abusive relationship led me to a psychological breakdown. Unknown to me, a lot of my past emotional problems which I had long since buried deep down, were triggered by that relationship. All this accumulated in sending me into depression for several months, making me even contemplate suicide. After suffering from countless anxiety attacks, I was diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of what I experienced in my early childhood.
My life was actually transformed by therapy. I was finally able to understand the psychological mess I went through in my childhood. I also acquired a deeper understanding of addiction and alcoholism. Alcoholism is actually a disease, which can sometimes run in families – and like my father, there was a part of me that I was unable to control.
With therapy, I was also able to understand that my PTSD was connected to intimate relationships. I discovered that something as simple as a disagreement could trigger a serious state of anxiety in me. Because of the PTSD, I was left with serious depression, insomnia, feeling worthless, lack of appetite, and suicidal thoughts.
I continued with therapy all through the next year and also joined support groups like ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) and Al-Anon (which is a group for family and friends of people suffering from alcoholism). The depression and grieving continued as feelings that had been suppressed for years were brought to the surface. With the help of therapy, all the shame, anger, and guilt was purged from the deepest part of my being, and with every tear I shed, and every story I told, I began to experience freedom from the yoke of my past.
However, therapy though helpful, did not cure my neurochemical problems which were caused by depression and PTSD. I was still suffering from relationship anxiety and had to cope with triggers that often took me back to my deeply rooted childhood fears of abuse and abandonment.
I tried so many things including yoga, breath work, and meditation, but nothing could fix my feelings about myself deep down. The feeling of shame and fear I had live with for so long appeared unbeatable. I felt sick in my soul and it seemed like there was nothing I could do to get rid of the emptiness inside of me.
In the course of my research, I was frightened and fascinated by what I discovered about ayahuasca and its healing potentials. But when I read other people’s account of their remarkable personal transformation and healing from addiction and despair, I decided to give it a try. In the deepest part of my soul, I had faith that it had the power give me the healing that I craved. I however, couldn’t afford to spend a week in Peru for the ayahuasca ceremony which was for a week.
I needed a solution that didn’t require travelling far from home.
My friend introduced me to magic mushrooms, advising that I acquaint myself with a psychedelic that is more subtle before moving to ayahuasca. I decided to listen to his advice, but because I had never tried a psychedelic, I was uneasy about the whole thing. I was afraid that I was going to lose my sanity, but came to the conclusion that I’ll rather lose my sanity here, than thousands of miles away from home.
At the beginning of my trip, I didn’t really know what to expect, but as the journey continued, I began to enjoy a deep and healing experience.
When I first started to take the medicine, I experienced the euphoria you get when you’re high on drugs which gave me an opportunity to explore the inner mechanisms of my mind in a way that I had never done before. I was able to evaluate my past without the emotional upheaval that came with my memories. As the trip progressed, I began to enjoy new sensations and even gained a few new insights.
I had been working through some issues of abandonment in therapy and the medicine was able to lead me to the origin of my pain. I was able to relate memories and trauma in a film like sequence. My loneliness got heavier until I eventually burst into tears. With the tears, came a feeling of reconciliation and with it a vision of my parents. This vision enveloped me in a warm sensation that overwhelmed my entire body. It was a moment of undiluted love. At that moment, all the loneliness that had plagued me for as long as I can remember completely disappeared. I felt like a new human, and as the experience ebbed away I felt a change. Something in me just clicked.
All through the following weeks, I could feel the transformation brought about by the experience. The world appeared a lot more beautiful, colors seemed brighter, I felt so energized and refreshed and my depression finally began to disappear.
I still experienced those emotional triggers that often made me experience my childhood pain when I started a new romantic relationship. I still suffered from PTSD. It was however, not the same, because although I still fell into despair, it was not the same feeling, but a softer and less painful one. It was at this point that I realized how much healing I had received from psilocybin and how much work I still had to do.
As my therapy and work on my PTSD continued, every session with psilocybin slowly began to peel off layers of trauma, gradually relieving me of all my pain. With every session, my symptoms became smaller, and I began to experience fresh relief.
Ego Death and Reawakening
I had undergone three sessions with psilocybin, each more powerful than the next. With every session, my depression and PTSD was alleviated. My symptoms had virtually disappeared, but there was still a little part of the old me, that was not completely healed.
I had experienced the wonders of psilocybin. The fears and emotional triggers that used to have such a hold on my psyche had practically disappeared. But because a little argument or disagreement could still make me experience self-pity, loss of appetite, and racing thoughts, I decided to have one more session with psilocybin.
As I embarked on my fourth trip, I fell sick. I fought back the urge to throw up at the beginning and the next five hours were hell. Wrecked with confusion and feeling disoriented, I battled through what was probably the toughest night of my life as I fell into a psychological dark hole.
I woke up the next morning in a state of confusion. I could not understand what happened or why I experienced what was known as “bad trip”. As I continued with my daily routine, everything appeared new and unfamiliar. It felt like I experiencing life for the first time.
In the course of the following months, I began to understand what happened. I was no longer a slave to the triggers from my past, my PTSD was completely cured. I know longer suffered from anxiety or flashbacks after an argument or disagreement. My old self was gone, and it took my depression and psychological triggers along with it.
It was then that I came to the realization that, what at first appeared to be the worst experience of my life, was in truth the night I received my healing which made it the best night of my life.
What I Discovered
Psilocybin restored what was taken from me a long time ago back to me. It restored my ability to experience vulnerability, as well as the ability to love and enjoy life with faith and acceptance. It helped me discover the real me that was buried underneath all the hurt and fear. Ever since I experienced the power of psilocybin, I have made some wonderful changes in my life, and I’ve made a commitment to share my story with others.