In January of 2016, I received a phone call from a friend that effectively changed my life forever. He had spent the day traveling home from his Christmas holidays only to arrive back at his apartment, where he found our beloved friend Julian’s suicide scene. To this day I can still hear, to the exact tone, the way his voice sounded when he made that call to me, although much of what happened in the months subsequent has become a blur.
In May of 2016, I received another phone call from my older sister to say that our mother had suffered a cardiac-arrest and that I needed to return home to the UK as quickly as possible. In that moment I could feel deep inside of me that within the next few days I would inevitably have to say goodbye to my mum. This was just a few months after the passing of my close friend.
Looking back, I can safely say that for the rest of summer 2016 I was in pretty bad shape. I was feeling deeply disconnected from the part of myself that I’m no longer afraid to call the soul. I had fallen across a hollowness inside of myself that, upon connection, was enough to make me feel physically sick and scared. I then started to recluse myself to only a hand full of people and only from time-to-time. I also began to experience earthquakes of anxiety in my daily life. I would be paying for a train ticket and then BAM!!! Right out of the blue, I would feel a sense of impending danger. I mention these incidents only as a prelude to the story of my use of psilocybin mushrooms.
So, enter the mushrooms, I guess. In July of that same summer, I stumbled across a man who had perfected the art of raw chocolate, containing a Mexican strain of the mushrooms. It’s worth noting that despite up until this point I had never tried a traditional psychedelic, I had for many years been utterly fascinated by the research going into the study of these natural substances. Their therapeutic values are remarkable; treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD and addiction etc. I decided I was going to jump in and give the mushrooms a go and see what they could offer me during this difficult time.
I was terrified of what the psychedelic experience actually entailed, probably due to all the bull shit propaganda that the western media loves to throw all over such subjects. Nevertheless, I found my stones, and with my girlfriend in the other room if needed, I ate a handful of the chocolate. Sparing you guys another trip report here on how beautiful it was, it’s safe to say that my first experience was one of my toughest to date (not ruling out the future). There were moments during the trip where the anxiety I had been suffering from felt like it had doubled ten fold. I literally remember looking at the radiators in my bedroom breathing and pulsating and thinking out loud, “why have I done this to myself,” and “I’m not sure this is actually for me.” However, with the calming influence of my dearest lady, I was able to see out the remaining few hours of the mushroom experience.
If you got this far then listen astutely here folks. The next morning I woke unscathed and with a feeling of freshness, a feeling that I hadn’t awoken with in quite some time. I literally rose with a pleasant smile and a sense of achievement that I couldn’t quite place. For the rest of the day, I felt very light about everything that had been going on with me on a daily basis. It was like someone had said, “Hey Jonny, let me carry some of that for you for a little while.”
In fact, this feeling lasted for a few weeks after. I mean I still cried from time to time. Every now and then I had moments of anxiety, but the lingering effects of these seemed fairly distant. Less heavy on my the chest so to speak.
A little over a month after that first experience I decided I would do it again. Only this time my fear of what the mushroom experience might hold didn’t seem to be as present. Even so, I was of course still very nervous. This time the experience was a complete parallel to the first. It was beautiful, funny (hysterical laughter) and there were moments of deep emotional insight into my life.
To round all this up, I would like to say that it is now a little over 3 years since the passing of my mum and my close friend. Both of whom I was very connected with on a deeply meaningful level. Don’t get me wrong, I am still learning how to build myself with brand new pieces, but I am doing this on a daily basis. The mushroom experience has been by my side every now and then since the events earlier in 2016 as a tool for insight and only should I need it. The depression in my life comes and goes, much like life itself, but the space between the cloudy weather is so much further apart.
My anxiety is also pretty much dealt with, at least in the sense that it does not hinder my quality of life anymore. I feel a deep love and connection towards nature in my every day. Also, more so than ever, I have found an inner spirit that I never knew existed in me before now and am certain that this is a gift from the psychedelic experience.
To finish up, I am still me underneath it all. I’m still essentially that same Jonny. But, I am now so much better at being me. So much better equipped to deal with this journey we like to call life. I’ve grown so much as a person and I owe that in part to the mushrooms and in part to my own bravery and sheer will. I’d like to say to anyone who feels like they suffer or struggle for a meaning in life that help is always nearby. You simply have to look in the deepest of places.