How Psilocybin Mushrooms Treated My Depression

 
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by Michael Rea

on August 11, 2014

To say the least, my second mushroom experience was very different my first. I was in a very different space in my life. I had somehow slipped into depression that was quickly getting worse and worse. I don’t know why I became depressed and I didn’t even realise that I was depressed until it got really bad. When this was all happening it seemed like it had come out of nowhere, and for no reason at all. I had a girlfriend that I liked, was doing very well in my studies, and didn’t see any reason for me being depressed.

Looking back I believe that I had been slowly falling into depression over the period of one and a half years without even realizing it. This depression had caused me to lose most of my motivation to do pretty much anything. I didn’t feel sad or overly emotional, the closest thing I can compare it to is hopelessness or anxiety. I had more of an emotional numbness than anything. I couldn’t think straight either, my mind was muddled and hazy. I wasn’t sleeping much at all and when I did apparently I sleepwalked. It took so much energy to do anything, especially being around other people. I felt somehow drained after spending time with my girlfriend and felt guilty for feeling that way. I was on sleeping pills and SSRI antidepressants that didn’t help much and effected my thinking even more. At one point I overdosed on a mix of sleeping pills and other things and ended up in hospital, I have memory loss of most of this event and only remember small bits of the whole ordeal.

I go into such personal detail because the mushroom experience suddenly ripped me out of that depressive state both short and long term. When I was diagnosed with depression it started to make sense and I agreed hesitantly to try antidepressant medication. I stuck with the meds for quite a while and tried different types. I did notice a small difference but not enough to be worth it with the side effects of blank and repetitive thoughts. I was willing to try anything really and I was slowly losing the motivation to even want to try to get better, this really scared me. I was losing the desire and will power to fight to improve and figure it out. I remembered reading something about a scientific study done with mushrooms saying that they helped with depression. As I do with most things I started to research anything I could about depression in relation to mushrooms, the scientific studies and the stories from people who had taken it. From what I could gather just one large dose of mushrooms could permanently improve depression or even cure completely. I was interested and was willing to try anything at that point. I only needed to take them once, I didn’t have to continue taking them like with my antidepressants.

My next problem was trying to find some, I didn’t know anyone at all who could get any. I didn’t want to use it for fun or to escape reality, I wanted to use it to face reality and to get better. I researched what they looked like and started to look around in nature. I went for walks and spent quite a bit of time and effort searching where they were supposed to be found. After about a month of searching I gave up. I thought maybe I wasn’t meant to find anything. I stopped searching and stopped thinking about it all together. Two weeks after I stopped looking I was driving up my driveway as I did almost everyday. I had a strange thought it said “stop the car”. This thought was clear and louder than my other thoughts. It felt almost like it came from an external source. I was halfway up the driveway, an inconvenient place to stop. Nonetheless I stopped the car. The thought then went “Get out and look in the bushes on the left”. Of course I saw a large amount of psilocybin mushrooms growing there. How many times had I gone past not knowing what was there? I’m still not sure to this day what the voice was. Was it God? the mushrooms? or my subconscious? The strange thing was that they were not visible from the car at any angle, how could it come from my own mind if I couldn’t possibly have seen them before?

I carefully picked the big ones and dried them out. I knew I had to decided whether I wanted to do this or not. My first experience two or three years before was an enjoyable one. I intuitively knew that this wouldn’t be the same and that it was going to be a hard thing to do, I knew it might be scary and not enjoyable at all. I was willing to go through it to get better. I had read that the active mushroom chemical psilocybin is chemically similar to serotonin. The antidepressants I was taking were majorly affecting my serotonin levels. I knew that if I was serious about doing this I would have to stop taking my medication for a while. I knew that it would interfere in a negative way or would make it less effective. I made sure to wait at least two weeks for all my medication to get out of my system. Once the two weeks was up I had collected quite a large amount of mushrooms and dried them. The time had come for me to take them but I dreaded doing it, I had the feeling that it would be a very hard experience in contrast to my first and only experience. It took me a few days to muster up the courage to do it and to find a day to do it where I wouldn’t be disturbed. I would have liked to have had the experience at the same place I had my first one, in a comfortable isolated setting with nature all around. Unfortunately due to my depressive and anxious state I wasn’t able to drive long distances. Being in the depressive state I couldn’t think or plan clearly. I didn’t think about where I was going to be when the drug would take effect or how intense the effect would be. It’s amazing looking back how badly my cognition and simple ability to think was affected by the depression.

I picked a day where I could skip class and it wouldn’t matter. My plan was to take them with my lunch then go for a walk in nature up the hills. So that’s what I did. I knew the effects were supposed to be gone after eight hours and I would be back before sunset and in time for dinner. I decided to use the fresh non dried ones I had, I think they measured to be thirty or forty grams which is quite a massive amount to take I think. I decided if I was going to do it I might as well go for it. I was confident that these were the correct variety and that they weren’t poisonous or deadly. There was a small doubt in my mind that would return later, if they were deadly I wouldn’t mind dying I thought. I made a sandwich with the mushrooms and covered them with barbecue sauce because I don’t like mushrooms. I ate quite a bit of lunch/breakfast that day thinking it would give me energy for my nature walk, this turned out to be not such a good idea after all (mushrooms are best done on an empty stomach). It was around 10:30 am when I ate the mushrooms and the food, I was aiming for around 6 pm to be done because that is usually when we have dinner. I knew it would take around half an hour to start feeling the effects. I mentioned to my mother that I was going for a walk and she offered to drop me near the entrance of the walkway. I had no specific intentions going into the experience other than wanting to get better. I took my phone to keep track of time and headphones so I could listen to music as I walked.

The journey begins… I began walking up the path with my headphones in listening to my favorite band. I got some way up the path and I realised I didn’t want to listen to the music because it felt too artificial so I took my headphones and just listened to the noises of the wind rustling the trees, the birds and running water of the stream. Quite suddenly I noticed the patterns in the plants and nature around me, this was expected and familiar because of my previous experience two years prior. The color around me intensified and got more vivid, the spectrum of the shades of green expanded immensely. I had an overwhelming sense that I was sick but not physically, it was like all the nature around me all the plants were healthy and clean. Compared to them I felt like I was unhealthy and dirty, my whole body and mind and I had been for quite some time. I thought if I could see myself from the point of view of any plant or bird I would look pale and sick. As I continued up the path my mind started to sharpen and thoughts became clear, I could feel my pulse quite intensely through my body. It was a relief to have my normal clear mind back, I hadn’t been able to think this clearly in a long time.

Because my mind had been revived to its former glory it suddenly dawned on me… “What am I doing?”… I thought about how much I had taken and what kind of effects it would have. I thought about where I would be when I get the peak effects from the drug. I did the math and it dawned on me “I don’t want to be up in the bush when this happens, especially in public! What if someone finds me?”. How could I be so stupid and not think this through? I had weeks to think of things like this! I felt my thoughts split off because I was arguing with myself whether to keep going or turn back and go home. Every thought I had it was like an almost separate segregated thought pattern would question and go against what I originally thought. It seemed to me like this thought pattern came from the mushroom and was programmed like software to be introspective and to question everything to go deeper into things, like a therapist who continually asks “how does that make you feel” but instead with the questions WHY? I was interested in this whole questioning of why thought process, but I had to suppress it because I needed to make a real life practical decision. As this was happening my awareness was increasing, these thoughts weren’t distracting because I was equally focused on everything else that was going on as well as other thoughts. I was multitasking but not at the expense of attention or awareness. But I had to take action as soon as possible and decide whether to keep going up the track or to head back home.

The two choices looked equal to me, many conflicting thoughts arose. The thoughts weren’t fighting with each other, there was no aggression attached to them they were just trying to help and reach the best possible solution. I can understand how it might seem a bit schizophrenic, but to me it was just an amplified version of what went on in my head normally. At this point I was losing my sense of self importance and with it was losing my fear of anything in general. These thoughts were thought by me but felt a tiny bit like they were suggestions directed at me. “I should stick to the original plan, I’m not thinking straight at the moment.” “The original plan wasn’t a good plan at all, your thinking much clearer now go back home.” “Why spend the day inside it’s so much nicer outside?” “What are you afraid of if you keep going up the path?” “Look some dark clouds its going to rain!” “So what if it does rain?” “I’ll get cold and wet!” “So what? Getting wet won’t hurt you! You won’t die!” “I might! What if I get hypothermia and die?” “Are you scared of dying?” “No, I don’t think so…” “Then there is no problem then you can continue on-wards.” Within one minute it got right to my central issue which was the fear of death.

I knew that this was happening way faster and was going to be more intense within the coming hours. This was the line of thought that made me instantly decide to turn and start walking home. When I started to walk I noticed how clear and precise my thoughts were. I came to the conclusion that talking to myself and responding in my head gave the thoughts a more solid clear form. I thought if I verbalized these thoughts out loud then they would have an even more concrete form. I had seen others talking to themselves over my life specifically my mother, I never understood why she did it. In that moment I saw the value in talking to yourself out-loud. Something I viewed as stupid and a bit strange suddenly became obviously valuable to me. She was talking out loud to get her thoughts and plans into a more solid form whether she realized that’s what she was doing or not. I didn’t want to lose that idea so I almost got my phone out to start to audio record the whole thing like I did in my first experience. Intuitively I stopped myself from recording I realised that putting things into words will keep me at the level or words. I needed to go and deal with some things deeper where language has less of a grasp and logic is more loose.

I got down onto the footpath and walked towards my house which was a few blocks away. As I passed people I wanted to say hello and talk to them, I had no fear of these strangers and no social anxiety at all. At the same time I thought I should avoid people because I was on a mission to get home plus I thought they might suspect something in the way I acted or in my pupils. I was still seeing the symmetrical patterns on everything sticking out but chose mostly to ignore them because I didn’t see much value in them. I walked past a concrete piece of wall that I had walked and drove past many times before. On the wall I noticed that I saw unfamiliar patterns that were different to the geometric and symmetrical layer of patterns. It looked like writing and drawings. At that point I was a bit concerned. Was this a hallucination or something that I just have never noticed before? I had never hallucinated on mushrooms before. I wasn’t bothered if it was a hallucination because the patterns I was noticing were technically hallucinations but I could tell that they were. With the writing on the wall I couldn’t tell if it was actually there or not which was the thing that concerned me. Being the smart person I am I took out my phone camera and took a photo of the wall. If it was real I would be able to look on my phone and see it later on. It turns out it actually is really there! Kids must have drawn into the dirt of the wall, I still have the photo today and notice the writing every time I drive past.

Getting closer to the house I thought more about how thoughts can be so fuzzy I guess is the best way to describe it. To get them less fuzzy and more defined you need to make an effort in your mind. A way to do that is to talk to yourself in your mind or keep going along a line of thought without jumping onto another too quickly. Speaking out loud to yourself would be more solid and defined but just as fading as a thought. I wondered about all the ideas, memories and thoughts that I had lost because I have forgotten them. I thought that in future I should start a journal and write down thoughts and experiences so I could be assured they have a solid form and are more permanent than they originally were. This eventually led me to creating a journal I still keep every second day. Getting up my very long and steep driveway to my house was quite an effort, my heart beat was pulsating my whole body and was also pulsing the patterns in my vision. Eventually I made it inside and got myself a glass of water. I looked at the clock and it had only been and hour since I ate the mushrooms! I almost couldn’t believe it. I really didn’t want to be in my house with my family in this state, my mind had become so clear to how stupid this was but I had nowhere else to go. I was pretty sure if I got to my room they wouldn’t bother me for the day. Going up the stairs I cross paths with the person I really don’t want to see my Dad… He asks me “Why aren’t you at study today?” a perfectly valid question. I froze for a few moments I struggled to find an answer. I don’t think this had anything to do with the mushrooms I was just really nervous and froze. I came up with the answer “The tutor is useless and doesn’t teach us anything, its better to just do the work at home so I don’t have to drive in.” This answer was perfectly true as well the tutor was useless and I would sometimes skip his class. He shrugged it off and kept walking down the stairs. He is the kind of person that asks a question but doesn’t pay attention to the answer, he is generally pretty unobservant and for the first time in my life I was thankful for that. He didn’t notice me acting strange or my eyes. I got into my room and closed my door. I could relax, that was a very close call.

I decided to take apart my phone so I wouldn’t call or text anyone. I separated the parts of my phone and scattered them around so it would be hard to put them together again. After that point the effects started to intensify like allot! There are no words to describe the emotional feeling. There were feelings of anxiousness and of being overwhelmed by the intensity of everything going on. It was like every possible thing I could perceive became infinitely more complex hence infinitely incomprehensible or understandable. I started to feel physically sick like I was going to throw up and I became really dizzy. Because of the intensified awareness I was hyper aware of how sick I felt. I know when your body starts to break down the mushrooms chemicals some people feel a bit sick for a small period of time. The thought came into my head that I had actually just eaten a large amount of deadly poison mushrooms. What if they weren’t the right ones? That small percent of doubt blew up to be my main concern. I felt physically sick and because of the thoughts very anxious. I felt so sick that I thew up in the toilet quite loudly. I threw up everything that was in my stomach I could see all the mushrooms and the bread from my sandwich. I can’t imagine how different the experience would have been if I didn’t throw up. Part of me was worried that someone would hear me throwing up another was worried that I actually was dying. Somehow I imagined the vomit was my mind and that I was so sick that my body was going to fall apart. I thought if I did survive I would be brain damaged. The same type of external thought from the beginning said “It is the sick part of your mind coming out. The rest of your mind will be fine.”

After vomiting and feeling slightly better I decided to turn on my electric blanket and lay down in bed. I was worried if someone came in they would ask what I was doing in bed. I thought I would tell them I was sick but thought they might realise how sick I was and take me to the hospital, I didn’t want that drama again. I really thought that I was dying and I could feel it happening. I looked at my hands and they looked old and wrinkly like my grandfathers. I was so fully aware of my immanent death even if it wasn’t on that particular day, eventually I was going to die and that was scary. I forgot to mention that I had a very tense jaw for months before and it was tensing up. I thought about my life and how there was so many things that I wanted to do that I hadn’t. All sorts of things that I had cared or worried about didn’t matter now that I was about to die. This wasn’t a near death experience like “I almost got hit by a car” this was to me like actually experiencing death “I am dying right now and there is nothing I can do about it”. Every time I would take a breath out I could feel all the life drain out of me. When I took a breath back in again it felt like I was getting brought back to life and filled with new life force. I was dying and being brought back to life over and over again. The process felt like it was clearing me out. Reading this might be hard to imagine or it might lose the impact or realness but this was real for me. Not a dream I was wide awake and believed it to be actually happening to me.

So each time I died things that were attached to me that weren’t truly me died too. Mostly ideas about myself and who I thought I was. They would get killed off when I breathed out and my life was drained. My fear and anxiety which I believed to be part of who I was. They were feeding off me but once I died they had no food and died too. Every-time I was brought back life energy went back into me but less into the things that weren’t me. Each time I was getting more and more and they were getting less and less. Until it was just me left. It felt like the breath wasn’t coming from me but somehow from God because that’s where all life had to come from. The life/death breathing experience then wen’t to a whole new level. Instead me dying and being brought back to life it was the entire universe that was ending then being put back together. I experienced entropy of the universe which is when all heat and light energy gradually runs out. After then universe had died and been put back together again several times the external worlds seemed more fresh and hopeful. It wasn’t the actual universe that was being destroyed and brought back it was me perception of the world and universe. In the same way all the negative and wrong ideas I had about myself were being killed all my wrong and negative ideas about the outside world were being destroyed too.
I then needed to go to the toilet. This reminded me of how human we all are. People can make themselves seem big and powerful but we are still quite disgusting creatures that need to use the toilet all the time. Nevertheless after flushing and returning to my room I noticed how long the toilet noise was going for. Maybe I left it running with the button stuck? I checked, no it was just taking a long time. I realised I was experiencing time dilation. The final noise it makes before its done filling the tank took a few minutes when it usually takes two seconds. The sound was stretched out like it had been slowed down on a computer. I then experienced something very unsettling and quite nightmarish. I lost my sense of time completely. Not just that time felt fast or slow. Time had stopped. It was just me. Alone. In one single moment for what fully felt an eternal amount of time. It’s been called a moment of infinity by others who have experienced it. Because nothing was changing I thought that I couldn’t move. I then realised that my sensory input was not changing at all, my heart wasn’t beating. I was still standing up so I had not fallen over and died. I know it would be very hard for anyone to imagine what something like that would be like. It’s very hard to explain but I’ll try my best. Because nothing in my awareness was changing it meant that I perceived nothing, because to perceive something you perceive the changes and variations of that thing. For example with sight you are seeing the changes in color and brightness, with no previous thing to compare the current thing with there is no awareness of change hence no awareness of anything. Being eternally stuck in a moment of unchanging became like experiencing nothing but in that nothing contained every possible thing. I felt like I was experiencing everything and infinity all at once. Because I had no movement or ability to change I couldn’t navigate or focus within the infinity/nothing. The thing that hit me the hardest was the feeling of being alone for eternity. I felt utterly alone forever. I felt somehow my life wasn’t actually real and all there really was in existence was me by myself alone. Once I started to come out of that feeling I started to think about God. I imagined before God created anything separate from himself he would have been alone in a similar way to what I felt. I felt really sorry for God and wondered if he spent an infinite amount of time alone before creating anything. Maybe he still felt that way?

I then noticed a strange twisting feeling almost physically. It started near my stomach and felt like water looks when it spirals down the drain. I didn’t know what to make of it. It wasn’t painful but felt very strange. I realised that I could control where it went in my body. I moved it down into my feet then around different parts of my body. I noticed that different areas produced different mental effects. Near the bottom of of my stomach near my groin I noticed that I would be able to make myself feel happy and pleasurable. Moving past my heart I noticed I felt love. I decided I wanted to get more valuable long lasting things out of the experience rather than pleasure. I moved the feeling into my heart on purpose but it jumped up into the middle of my forehead and got very intense, faster and more pin pointed. I then experienced what I can best term as character swapping. Similar to the dying and being reborn by breathing thing this felt like it was meant to do the same thing but in a different way. The extreme opposite experiences seemed to function as a way of cleaning incorrect things out. I got the idea that every character of person that I knew or had heard of had somehow by accident affected my own sense of self. To know what a certain person was like and to imagine what they were feeling or thinking from an early age I had to put a bit of my self into them and by doing that a bit of them went into me. So for every new person or character I encountered in my life since birth I had been subconsciously projecting a part of my sense of self into that character. Even if this is true or not that’s the conclusion I came to at the time. It felt like I didn’t have to do it that way and I was going to be taught to make a mental model of someone without getting my sense of self mingled up in it. But before I could learn to do that I had to gather my sense of self from all the characters I knew.
The process of gathering my sense of self back and discovering who I was worked by me becoming every character I knew of one by one. By becoming each character I would realise one by one who I’m not so I could at least begin to get a better picture of who I am. It started off mild with me being characters like barney the dinosaur and bananas in pajamas T.V shows from my childhood. It wasn’t like I physically became the character it was more like I was wearing the personality and the feeling of being that character. Some of them would last less than a second other more difficult ones would take longer. It was going to go through every single character I had ever been aware of. Characters in T.V shows, kids I knew from school. Sometimes with the ones I didn’t like I would be that person for a while and if I couldn’t move on I would skip them and come back to them later. It got to the point where I became my Father and I really didn’t want to be him. I had to spend a bit of time being him and I really didn’t like it. He had often said that when I was older I was going to be just like him, I really didn’t want to be like him. Why didn’t it move on? I know I’m not him! I had to stay being him until I realised that I was ok with being him. I accepted that I was him and in that moment I was free to be myself. I saw that I didn’t want to be life my Father but at the same time there were things in me that I liked but were also in him. Trying not to be my Father was in effect denying aspects of myself. The rest was easier after that. I felt the personalities of everyone. It got extreme from feeling the hatred of demons and then the holiness of angels. The final two were God and the devil. They felt like polar opposites and I could feel the tension between them. After all that was over it felt like a huge weight had come off me. I felt more me again, I hadn’t felt that way in a long time.

I expected to feel drained from all that character swapping but I didn’t I felt like I had more energy and more alive. The next part was more clearing but this time regarding my emotions. The purpose of this next bit was to separate my sense of self from my emotions, meaning whatever I experience or feel isn’t part of the true me. Just because I feel sad does not mean I AM sad, the English language is setup in a way that associates feelings more with the words “I am” than “I feel”. All these things different crazy experiences did feel like they had a set purpose and function. Whether these things we done by my subconscious, somehow in the actual drug like software or God. I like to believe it was God. Even all three in combination if that works, God using the drug to install software onto my subconscious. Again what I experienced does not come across in words very well. Be assured I’m not exaggerating I fully felt these things, it was one of the most real and intense thing in my life. What I felt at fist was mild. I would feel rather pleasant for a few seconds then it would swap to an opposite feeling of uncomfortableness. Each time the feeling swapped it would get slightly more intense. This happened over and over again till the feeling was wonderful the most amazing feeling ever. Then I would dread the horrible, depressive, uncomfortable, fearful feeling. It would swap going back and forth and back and forth. It got to the point where I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle the negative feelings, just when it was about to reach the point where I couldn’t handle it would swap. This was strengthening me to handle extreme emotions as well as clear them out and give them a workout. While getting more and more intense I was then ready for the negative and then ready for the positive. I knew that whatever I felt “I” myself was going to be ok. This got rid of the fear of the bad feelings somehow hurting me. By feeling the extreme emotions back and forth and all the chaos I was able to understand that the emotions are not me and that they can’t affect me. I can experience them but the true me was safe from them, this is something that I mustn’t have understood before. Since I was a kid I must have thought that they could actually somehow hurt “me”. As I grew older and experienced more pain I created a block around my heart and emotions to protect myself. What I know now is that I can’t be hurt by emotions, all emotions come and go if you let them.

After that I was exhausted. I felt how tired I had been. I had been so tired for so long mentally, physically and emotionally. I lay down onto my bed to relax. I looked at the clock it was 1:30 pm. I thought to myself that I still hadn’t reached the peak level of the drugs yet, but maybe that would be different since I threw up so much. I lay down and just rested. I had never let myself relax this much before. It felt so good just to let go of everything completely. I felt sorry towards my self for not looking after me and not letting me relax. This was a strange point because I started thinking of myself in third person almost, as separate from me. I was thinking about my past self as a separate person. I let myself rest. Most people would say that it is impossible to fall asleep on a drug like this but I think I did for a while. I had the deepest sleep and rest I’d ever had in my whole life. But I wasn’t unconscious, I recognized it as being deep asleep. I just let my self sleep for at least an hour. Many people would say that sleeping would be a waste of the experience and I would have thought so too but it restored something in my body or brain or refreshed something. When I woke up it must have been during the peak intensity of the drug. I was disoriented and confused. I just couldn’t get a grasp on what was happening or where I was. I wasn’t scared I was just grasping any concepts I could. I had images in my mind of the garden of Eden and the forbidden fruit. I thought I must have eaten the fruit and it was too much for me to handle! I had a sense that I wasn’t quite right. I had the feeling that I did eat something similar to the forbidden fruit but if the fruit was an apple then what I ate was more like a pear in comparison.

I was still trying to figure out what was happening, I must have had my eyes closed at the time. Images and ideas flooded my mind most too abstract and archetypal for words. The idea of primal and beginning came into my mind. Like the start of the world with the garden of Eden but also mixed in my primary school. I had the image of humans being very animistic and instinctual I saw humans having no real control over their primitive desires. I laughed to myself “We’re all monkeys!”. The line of thought then changed to almost an opposite type of feel. It was very machine like and based on organizing things into categories. At that point I realised I was in my room and that I was standing up. I noticed that the visual patterns had gone from very complex symmetrical to very simple and almost overwhelming. The only shapes that stuck out were straight lines and circles. To me that triggered the thought of binary 1’s and 0’s. The world seemed very digital and energy based. I looked around my room and saw how messy it was. My computer like mind wanted to see everything put in its right place and that the purpose of everything was to put everything into its right category and place. I thought about how the whole universe is energy and that the power lines and electricity is like veins going throughout the world. The idea of things being interconnected amazed me. The thought of the internet was crazy, how its the first time people have ever been so connected to each other.

I imagined how music and songs traveled so fast now. Music felt like it was more than we think, its like language we speak but don’t always understand what we are saying or hearing. I felt how powerful music was and how I wanted to write music in the future. I played some guitar and came up with a song it felt very ancient like I had been taught it thousands of years ago. I can’t remember it anymore but it felt very familiar, maybe it was from childhood. The patterns of the 1’s and 0’s captured me for a while. The 1 made me think of the letter L and then that made me think of my girlfriend at the time who I stupidly decided to text. I gathered up my phone and but it together. I battled whether or not I should message her. I pulled my phone apart and put it back together again many times. I didn’t even have to think about putting it together I would just spread my hands open and closed and it would come apart then back together. I did text her just about meeting up with her the next day, then I text and said to not worry and I’d text again later. I’m glad I didn’t get her to come over or something along those lines.

I hid my phone from myself and lay back on the bed. I thought how strange it was that I couldn’t trust my future self. I then realised that I could never normally trust my future self. This led me to split my self up into three parts in my mind. The past, present and future self. I felt like the past self couldn’t define me but I could learn a great deal from him. I felt thankful towards him for giving me the present moment. I thought about my present self which is the only true me. I only exist in the present moment. What I did now would either take away or add to the future self’s life. I realised that I would never be able to be the future self in the present so I would have to view him as the most separate and be the most generous towards him. I then realised that I hadn’t been loving myself. I needed to sacrifice my present self to improve my future selves life. I was looking after myself but I didn’t actually love myself. I suddenly gained a more clear picture of what love was. Love wasn’t a nice feeling, it was wanting the best for someone no matter what and performing action towards that. I didn’t care enough about myself to want the best for my future self. I just didn’t care about him anymore. I decided that needed to change and I was going to start loving myself properly. I thought about my relationship with my girlfriend and I knew she wasn’t good for me and I wasn’t good for her, I just didn’t want to admit it. I realised that the best way I could love her was by breaking up with her. I thought about it for a long time after and it wasn’t an easy thing to do. I knew this was what love is supposed to be. Its supposed to want the best for someone no matter what even if you aren’t involved or if it is painful. The concept of equal love in action was very prominent in my mind. It seemed like love was the perfect system and the ultimate formula. Each part caring about itself equally as much as any other part. Its about wanting the very best for someone over the long term and unconditionally too, for some reason that really clicked in those moments.

I could feel the effects finally start to wear off so I decided I would lie on my bed until dinner time. I started to just listen to my family downstairs. All the sounds had little bits added onto the end. When a door would slam it would echo out for longer. There was a squeaky cupboard door that stood out more than anything. After day that I had to oil it. I was quite worried because each time I heard footsteps I thought it was someone coming to my bedroom door. I was quite concerned about having dinner because I thought I might be noticeably different. I was called to dinner and had a normal dinner with the family. I was kind of sad that I couldn’t tell them what I had been through. I knew they wouldn’t understand mostly because of what culture we are in and the view that all drugs are bad and addictive. If I was to tell them all about it which I’m hoping one-day I can, it wouldn’t be for a few years I would think. It gives me perspective the fact that they had no idea at all what I had just experienced that day. We don’t know what other people are experiencing or going through ever! Its so easy just not to mention something or just put on a mask. It gives me inspiration to never assume someone is experiencing life a certain way you can’t know anything unless they tell you.

For the next few days I noticed that I wasn’t feeling depressed, I could think clearly and sleep again. I initially thought that it might be because of the mushrooms still being in my system. I wanted to wait a couple weeks to be sure. About month later I could say for sure that the depression had not come back. I had energy again and my motivation back. I had my mind back too, the foggy thoughts had cleared and I had control again and also a new perspective towards my mind. People mentioned to me that I seemed happier. It wasn’t all easy after that though. I knew that I had to do some hard things, one of them being to end an unhealthy relationship. In decisions I started to choose the right choices rather than the easy ones. The certainty of what I needed to do came from me being more aware of how my decisions would affect my future self and others. I had to work hard and go through pain but the motive behind it all was because I cared about my own and other peoples future. I found happiness by focusing on the present moment and by making the hard but right choices. I was no longer anxious about the future I felt secure in the present and knew that I was doing my best to make my future self’s life better.

Many of these parts or sections of the experience had a central theme of correcting my faulty sense of self. Trying to get the idea across that I wasn’t who I thought I was and that was because my sense of self was not based on reality it had been distorted so much it was causing problems that I wasn’t even aware of. Being reset by all the extreme experiences felt like I had a chance to start fresh and build my sense of self based around reality and what I decided that would be from then on. I learned about who and what I wasn’t and that seemed to be the most apparent lesson during the whole thing. It has taken me a long time to internally process, integrate and try understand all that went on that day there are still new things that suddenly click when I’m thinking back on the whole thing. I think most people would classify this as a bad trip but I really benefited from it all. It wasn’t easy it was hard, uncomfortable and confusing but I knew from the start that it would be I just had no idea to what extent.

I don’t want to glorify mushrooms or even recommend it to anyone. For me it was a medicine that worked for me and I honestly don’t know if I would be alive today if it wasn’t for this plant medicine. This type of thing needs to be scientifically and medically studied. I know it has potential to change many lives for the better. I think those who have depression and anxiety could greatly benefit from even a one off use. Then again it could worsen things in certain people so I don’t recommend for anyone to take mushrooms. It angers me that people are not allowed to even legally research this medicine that is not dangerous and has so much potential. It really feels like the mental illness equivalent for: If the cure for cancer had been discovered but had been covered up and made illegal over the world. It’s ridiculous to me. I think because the experience is so different than normal everyday experience and I think that’s what scares people about it, but sometimes medicine isn’t very pleasant to take but does its job.

The experience was complicated hard and confusing but very worth it in the long term. One day of crazy improved my life for many months and months to come up until right now as I’m writing this. I am certain that these events cured my depression. They way it happened was very complex and I don’t believe it was just the brain activity and chemicals being balanced in my brain like the scientific studies would suggest. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how but I don’t really need to know. It’s been hard keeping all this to myself and very few people. It would be even harder to explain to without explaining the entire long story. After all that went on one of the strangest and unexplained things was how I found them down the driveway. It really does seem like I was guided to them, whether that is true or not is another thing. I don’t understand the details exactly how but for me the mushrooms definitely without a doubt got rid of my depression long term and at the same time was the most difficult, scary, confusing and intense experience of my life and I will not be doing it again any time soon.