I suffered from PTSD, I believe, for over 10 years. For those that do not know, it is like living in constant fear and anxiety; butterflies in the stomach, not just for a few moments, but for hours on end.
I was taking antidepressants for about nine months, and had on and off for years. And every time they did almost nothing for me — except make me feel spaced out for the first week. I took myself off of them. I was only on 10mg of escitalopram, so it was not as difficult a task as getting off of, say, 75mg.
I recently had an experience with an entheogen (mushrooms) that RADICALLY changed my life.
I woke up on a Sunday morning, like so many other countless mornings the past few years. Enjoyed my breakfast — a cup of coffee and three cigarettes — without eating. I was well on pace for my pack a day. I smoked some weed in preparation for the rest of the day, before my “session” (with a dear friend as my safeguard, ensuring a safe “set and setting”).
The entheogen, subtly yet powerfully, exposed me to the things which I could not previously see: the things holding me back, the things which I longed for, the things which I grasped for in vain. I felt a deep and utter loving of myself, by myself, that I had never, ever felt before. I felt like a child both innocent and invigorated by my environment, something which I previously believed wholeheartedly lived ever in the distant past. Suddenly I realized that it was all around me and always was. I had lied to myself for ten years!
As the day turned into night, I remember speaking aloud: “For the first time in my life I feel truly loved… and I don’t know if I deserve it.” I laughed. I cried. And both were equally rewarding. I felt empathy for my father, my mother (whom I miss dearly and always have), those afflicted with mental illness, those whose parents abandoned them, and so many others I cannot name…
Towards the end of my journey, I heard myself, as if from a long ways off, repeating the phrase, “Oh my god, Oh my god,” adding in, “I never knew,” every so often. This went on for a half hour to an hour. I remember asking, “How can I ever repay this gift?” I did not know immediately how. I still don’t. But I knew where to start.
On Monday morning, I quit smoking. I hardly smoke weed after having smoked more than my fair share for years. Drinking isn’t as fun. I started eating again — REALLY eating. Healthy eating, and not for coping reasons. (I used to starve myself all day until my body said, “I need calories,” at which point I would binge at night on junk food.)
I am heading in the direction I have wanted to for many, many, many years. I am on a 180 degree trajectory from where I was that Sunday morning before my life changed for the better.
I was hopeless for so long and now I feel alive for the first time for as long as I can remember. I know not if there is a god, that is a topic for another time… But, I DO know this: what I experienced felt as if god himself picked me up and pulled me to my feet. Miracles come in many forms. If you are suffering I want you to know — YOU DON’T HAVE TO ANYMORE.
I wish you all all the luck in the world and all the grace that is yours by birthright.