I don’t have a story for you about suffering from PTSD or having chronic fear, but I think it is equally important, if not more so, to share the experiences of people like me. Everybody has varying degrees of trauma in their life. I know that there are things that have happened to me that I have never dealt with, although they are far less traumatic than the experiences that come from spending massive amounts of time in combat zones or immersed in twisted environments and relationships.
I am currently 29-years old and three years ago I decided to make a “30 Before 30” list. Some of the things were simple dreams I just never made time to do, like being able to do a handstand without using the wall. Others were more challenging; This summer I’m going on a survival trip in the mountains with only a utility knife and bow and arrows.
About the time I began compiling my list was the same time I began listening to one of my favorite comedian’s podcast: Joe Rogan. At this point, marijuana is basically the only drug I have ever used, although pretty regularly. I actually prefer it to alcohol. I once had an amazing night using coke and realized I needed to stay far, far away from it. I’ve never even smoked a cigarette, because I thought they were disgusting, and still do.
I had plenty of friends talk about doing psychedelics. I had been at parties where people had ‘shrooms or LSD and offered them to me. I just wasn’t interested. I didn’t think negatively of it, I just didn’t feel compelled to do them. Hearing Joe Rogan describe his experience with psychedelics just piqued my interest. I’m a research nerd and began reading everything I could get my hands on about psilocybin, peyote, mescaline, ayahuasca… I couldn’t get enough. My personality begs to be completely immersed in whatever it is I’m interested in, and to know every aspect of it, positive or negative.
Psilocybin mushrooms quickly went on my 30 Before 30 list. I began meditating every day, because I believed if I could get really good at that I would be able to guide my psychedelic experience. I put the word out to “my people” that I was in the market. Occasionally, I would check in with them. Three years went by…
I had been told a few times that somebody had something for me. It never worked out. My best friend got some, we made a great plan, but then he backed out at the last minute (that’s a different story of the heart, he didn’t think he would enjoy the trip because of emotional baggage). I was devastated.
The same friend reached out to me again a couple of months ago. We made the same plans to go to my lake house outside of the city we live in. He had always taken them recreationally and I wanted to experience them, so this was going to be new to him too, despite this being his forty-ish time doing them. I had set a clear intention about what I wanted out of this trip, and I felt pulled out to the lake house the entire hour long drive. I even enjoyed the taste of the mushrooms and licked my fingers clean, which my buddy said has probably never happened in the history of the world.
I’m getting long-winded, so I’ll not go into great detail about the trip (although, I did write a detailed account of it). Ultimately, I ate an eighth of really amazing psilocybin mushrooms and had a mind-bending experience. The thoughts I had and things I saw will stay burned in my memory forever. Even after staying in the lake house from 6pm until about 8am the next day and not sleeping a wink, I felt rejuvenated. I also felt like I had birthed something, as if I had put in hard labor to create something that I loved.
I had always heard Joe Rogan say, “Yea, you gotta do them about every two months or so to reset.” I was still trying to sort out everything that next day and thought that there was no fucking way I could ever do this every two months, even though I loved every moment of the experience. I had felt the universe wrap its arms around me and felt amazing amounts of love, but it was so much. I’m not a mother, but in my mind it would be like going from conception to birth in a matter of hours every two months.
Not a day passes that I don’t think back to something from those moments with vivid memory. However, today I feel as if I could totally do that every two months to reset. Things get swept aside so much in my daily life. There’s still trauma that I’ve buried under years of silence and eventually disregarded completely as ever happening.
Psychedelics aren’t just for the physically or mentally ill. It’s for people like me too. I refuse to be ashamed that this was something I did and will do again, but I know the looks I get when I openly talk about it are meant to shame me. I hope you are able to make a difference in the stigma that surrounds drugs like these. I would love to be a part of it in any way that I can.