My name is Steve and I am 49 yrs old. About 2 yrs ago my life went through a series of changes that hurled me into a serious depression that had lasted literally 18 months (I have come to realize that I was in a low grade depression for years but the darkest period was during the past 2 yrs). Within a year I ended a 10 year relationship and as a result sold my house. My industry suffered in the economic collapse of 2008 and I personally lost quite a sum of money. My personal business (a record label) fell apart as a result and during this period my younger brother died of a brain tumour that no one knew he had. He was diagnosed and within 11 days he was dead. I found myself living in a one bedroom apartment (my previous property was a half acre with a modest 2600 square foot house and a 1600 square foot recording studio in the back yard), broke and without meaning in my life. I have no children and the end of this relationship, combined with my age, pretty much signalled the end of the idea of ever having children. The end result was a long slow slide into a debilitating depression. I also am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and have come to realize that my behavioural patterns throughout my life mimic the PTSD symptoms that other survivors had written about. It got so bad that I almost ended my life and if it weren’t for very strange and timely contact from a couple of friends and I definitely would have.
During the time I was sitting around in utter emptiness, I stumbled upon Joe Rogan’s podcast with Aubrey Marcus and they were discussing Aubrey’s journey with Ayahausca. I had experimented with mushrooms and LSD as a teen and into my early 20’s but not since then. I had one Ayahausca experience a few of years before this with a shaman who came to Canada from Peru. My friend was into it and took me along with her. I knew nothing of the medicine and frankly went into the experience thinking I was gonna get high. The experience was very mild and I had to be given 4 times what the others had taken in order to feel the medicine at all. Don’t ask me why but that was the case.
Anyway, as time went on I began looking into mushrooms as a treatment for depression and decided to try it on my own. I researched everything I could from Terrance McKenna and others before I did anything. The first time I did it I took around 3.5 grams and the experience was wonderful. I felt a small shift in my awareness afterward but was still prone to feeling somewhat overwhelmed and melancholy at times. Anxiety was a particularly difficult problem for me and at times still is. Around this time I also began attending Yiwipi Ceremonies with a Native Shaman from Manitoba who was holding these healing ceremonies in Vancouver. The experience of those ceremonies (there are no medicines involved in these ceremonies), combined with my use of the mushrooms on my own began to take it’s healing hold on me.
My most recent use of the mushrooms was a heroic journey that I went on using 8 grams of some pretty powerful mushrooms. For the record I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing that. It was stupid and disrespectful to the medicine and although I came out of the experience somewhat shaken by the whole thing, I did begin to notice that my mood was WAY better. I believe that the mushrooms had a biological effect on me that simply changed my wiring. Although I’m still digging my way out of the wreckage of this illness, I am happy, hopeful and feel like I have a purpose in life. Don’t ask me what that is as it hasn’t been revealed to me yet but the excitement of living has returned. The point is I am better. People who know me that saw me after these experiences said that I seemed much better. I didn’t tell them why. Some of them were my business associates and frankly they wouldn’t understand. Anyway, I’m convinced that the mushrooms have had a life changing, healing effect on my state of mind and spirit. For that I am forever grateful. Depression doesn’t heal itself overnight. What I can tell you is that the self reinforcing feedback loops of depression are no longer an issue for me. I began to exercise again and look toward getting back into the stream of life. I wish the same hope and healing to anyone suffering from anything like I was. The only regret I have is that I didn’t take the mushrooms in a more clinical or shamanic setting. I believe that the compassion associated with the healers would have been something that increased the healing power of the mushrooms. Other than that, I am forever grateful to the healing power of the mushrooms. Peace. Steve