I want to share my experience with MDMA, which I tried on many occasions to use recreationally only to be forced into a therapeutic journey that helped me heal from traumas I didn’t even know I had.
My name’s Nicole, I’m 24 years old, and I currently work as an Activities Assistant at a nursing home dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. At the time of my first experience with ecstasy, I was an 18-year old college student. It was my roommate’s birthday so we planned a great night out. We went to a hookah bar, popped our ecstasy on the way back, and headed over to our friends’ shared house for an all night rager. When we got to the house, the kid who lived there decided he didn’t want to have a party after all and left us to hang out in his living room by ourselves. So the four of us made the most of it, put some music on, and waited for the effects to start.
It was my first time using so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but soon enough I was feeling that discomfort from not knowing whether you’re too hot or too cold. My friends were busy dancing and laughing and these thoughts started creeping up on me in little flashes. I tried to push them away and enjoy myself but they kept coming — unavoidable sensations from memories that I had forgotten long ago. Within a few hours, I was shuffling through a hundred different memories that I had never even realized I was rejecting from my conscience on a daily basis.
I thought about my childhood, growing up in a volatile household, the inappropriate touches and talks my stepfather gave me, my parents’ divorce, being abandoned by close family members at many different stages of my life, the way that kids made fun of me at school because all I wore were hand me downs, all the drug use I witnessed in my family… these images in my head just kept coming. These flashes from my past that I hadn’t recalled in years were touching me all over the inside. At some point, I felt my face and realized it was wet. I was crying, my shirt was soaked — I had been weeping and hadn’t even realized. It was hard for me to feel embarrassed when I was thinking about so many other things, but I managed to wipe away some tears and excuse myself from my friends.
I spent the rest of the night until sunrise forced into this mass exodus of feeling that I had always kept trapped within. It hurt, yet I felt numb. It was almost like the rush of MDMA had felt so good, it had allowed my mental walls to relax, as if they knew these memories couldn’t hurt me as badly just then. I spent a few weeks afterwards kind of shocked at what I had learned about myself and embarrassed that I couldn’t handle the drug while all my friends had one of the best nights ever.
There were many more opportunities to experience MDMA and each time, I gave in to my friends despite feeling like I might end up crying. I thought, “This time will be different.” Well, it was and it wasn’t. I eventually stopped crying so much, and had longer and longer periods of truly blissful highs. I spent these times having fun, building relationships with the people I loved, and breaking down my sexual inhibitions with my partner. I had realized the strong connection between my past traumatic sexual experiences and my inability to reach climax, and MDMA helped me resolve it. I would always have the come down though, and remember these old pains that still had such a huge part of my heart.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, it was a somewhat drawn out process, but eventually I started to pay attention to these memories and figure out that even though I hadn’t been consciously thinking of them, they were driving forces behind my entire personality. I was morbidly shy around new faces, timid amongst all, easily taken advantage of, and constantly feeling like a victim. I couldn’t stick up for myself, couldn’t motivate myself to do anything as basic as my homework even though I was identified as “gifted” in my primary school years, ignored my own depression, and had a deeply problematic sense of worthlessness. And then, after really registering these revelations, it finally clicked: I wasn’t this pathetic person because of some inherent flaw. I am a strong individual that was exposed to unhealthy and toxic experiences and I survived. I shut myself up because I had to, and I didn’t have to anymore. I was free to explore social skills, personal passions, intellectual pursuits, and meaningful relationships. I was free to learn how to be the person that I want to be.
Eventually, the comedowns from MDMA were lasting days to weeks and I told my friends that I no longer wanted to be offered it. I have never thought of it as a “party” drug and never will. I had to stop taking it as a recreational thing. It has only ever been a therapeutic drug to me, and though I have no desire to ever take it again, I am eternally grateful to the universe for bringing me this healing substance. I got closure that I so desperately needed, and when I was done getting what I needed, I saw that we were all done together.
Today I work speaking in front of groups at my day job. I am also a fire dancer and sometimes perform by myself in front of large crowds, something I never would have thought I could do. I have a family of my own and I have a real, non-superficial happiness that I know I built with the power of intention.
Telling this story makes me emotional, because the weight of its significance in my life is huge. I have wanted to share my experience for a very long time. It’s so important that people start thinking of MDMA differently than it is represented in both media and popular culture. I want people to see how this medicine saves lives, hearts, real people. I wish Reset.Me all the luck in helping to change the dialogue. Thanks for listening.