It takes courage delve into one’s consciousness, and even more of it to share that intimate experience with others. Reset’s Personal Stories section is dedicated to helping people do just that. It is made up completely of stories submitted by visitors to our site who choose to share how psychedelics and cannabis have influenced their lives. The section is a part of our mission to help people “come out of the closet” and speak openly about their experiences with these life-changing, healing psychoactives. Anyone can submit a story to this section by visiting the Share Your Story page, and our editors read over every single story submitted.
Reading through these (often heart-wrenching) accounts reminds us each week why we do what we do, encourages us to continue helping others open their minds to the healing power of natural medicines, and gives us hope for the overwhelming triumph of love in this world. Many of the personal stories we receive are published in article format on our site, however, some are written as short-form letters, or quick updates. Due to their length they don’t all make it onto the site as stand-alone essays. These shorter testimonials are often some of the most meaningful ones we receive, so we’ve decided to share them with the rest of the Reset community here.
Below are 10 of the most powerful short personal stories submitted by Reset’s readers [edited for grammar and clarity]:
1. Jason, 30, Ohio
A single parent kid with Aspergers generally has little hope in our society. When I was young, my parents attempted to thrust me into regular life, where I felt like an alien. However it came close to working out for me; I almost made it to the top of a fortune 50 company with my parents ideas. However, when normal life began to take its toll I panicked easily. It wasn’t until I reopened my mind with LSD this past summer that I realized that I was in control the whole time. It gave me perspective that I never knew was possible before. Most importantly, it connected me with my emotions, which is usually a tough subject for Asperger people to deal with.
Through meditation post-LSD I have been able to sustain this emotional flow. I consider myself Spiritually Awake at this point. I meditate anywhere from 1-3 hours per day and am coming up on my 13th straight week! I will never stop now, it connects me with the people around me and has given me the wear with all to keep a healthy relationship going for the first time in my life. I credit the most important experience of my life to psychedelic studies. My only regret is that more people don’t know the power they have within themselves. They just need the key to unlock it, and the open mindedness to accept it.
2. Jonathan Cheesman, 24, Canada
I am a neuropsychology student in university at the moment, and have completed a diploma in environmental sciences. I am also fascinated by the medicinal and therapeutic properties of plants, and the diverse and intricate relationships we hold with plants.
I have had my fair share of psychedelic voyages, and feel I have benefitted immensely from them. Repeated sessions with Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms have offered me many insights into my true character and human nature, as well as enabling me to escape my addiction to tobacco. I have also benefitted medically from the cubensis mushrooms, as I have been a migraine sufferer for most of my life, and had experienced little relief and great side-effects from the prescriptions drugs associated with the illness.
While the prescription triptans and ergotamines offered little relief and manifested greater side-effects such as nausea and vomiting, Psilocybe cubensis (psilocin, psilocybin) and Argyreia nervosa (ergine), the plant alkaloids from which the pharmaceuticals are chemically founded, effectively eliminated my migraines, and acted as lasting prophylactics, inhibiting my migraines from reappearing for several months at a time. For me, this was a huge turning point in my life, and a deciding factor in my pursuit of knowledge surrounding these medicines.
Cannabis sativa is another plant medicine which I hold in high regard. Again, it was found to eliminate my migraines; however it had some contrasts to Psilocybe cubensis. Primarily, cannabis did not prevent my migraines over a long period of time like the cubensis mushrooms had, however cannabis was found to be much more rapid-acting in its onset when smoked, making it a must-have during the onset of an unanticipated migraine.
My experiences with these plants have benefited me immensely in terms of spiritual growth, enabling me to approach problems as new opportunities of growth, to accept the dualistic nature of human emotions which is that in order to appreciate happiness to its fullest, you must endure some suffering to provide contrast between the experiences. I believe this largely encompasses the psychedelic experience, as they are often not the most pleasant states of consciousness to experience, but they are ultimately so rewarding in the lessons they offer that they allow you to bring a new and brighter perspective into your everyday life.
3. Pete Pietri, 42, Los Angeles
I was first introduced to ayahuasca by a close friend six months ago, after he gave me a soul reading and told me that I am a Lightworker and suggested I should partake in an ayahuasca ceremony. I heard stories about the sacred ceremony from other friends as well in the past so I decided to take him up on his offer.
Simply put my first ayahuasca experience changed my life forever.
The biggest way that it changed me was that I was able to see life with a much clearer state of mind and raised my level of consciousness more than ever before. For that moment during ceremony I was able to view my life subjectively and without ego attached to my perception of it. Ayahuasca helped me see the error in my ways and look at life with a much clearer perspective. I was able to understand what it meant to be a Lightworker and my duty to help raise consciousness within myself and those around me. I was able to see what reality truly is and my place within it. Life subsequently has flowed much easier with less struggle.
I now try to do ceremony at least once per month to maintain clarity with my thoughts and actions. I prayed to God to give me the tools to help me break through mental barriers and this is where he brought me.
Ayahuasca changed my life forever and gave me a renewed sense of spirit.
I highly suggest everyone wanting to raise their consciousness and become more spiritually enlightened partake in ceremony and see life with much more clarity.
4. Anonymous Police Officer
First of all, I’d like to thank you all for doing everything that you do. I stand behind the MAPS organization and hope to contribute whatever I can in order to push the efforts forward.
[Editor’s Note: MAPS or the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies is an educational organization that funds research into the medical potentials of psychedelics and marijuana. Their studies have shown promising results for treating PTSD, anxiety and other severe mental health issues using various psychedelics, and their study participants often include police officers.]
I’ve been looking for help, guidance, direction, a contact, anything. As a police officer, I find it extremely limited. I’m almost “in the closet” when it comes to talking about, let alone asking someone for advice, when it comes to my rights for obtaining a medical marijuana license. I’ve used marijuana in the past, which led me to isolation tanks, which in turn led me on an adventure into the Amazon to explore ayahuasca. The restrictions and fear of punishment trouble me every day. And it saddens me to know that I (we) as police officers would benefit from using marijuana the most. Just thought I’d share. I’m in the works of starting a business in order to free myself from financial lockdown, and then I’ll be able to change my name from “anonymous.”
5. Ryan, 29
You start by taking a hit then holding it for as long as possible.
By the third hit you hear a humming sound full of vibration coming from within your head (this sound is always there). It is almost as if a choir of Tibeten monks were camped within your skull chanting “Ohm.” Then you feel your energy begin to coalesce in the heels of your feet and travel up you body gaining power and tingling up your body. Once it hits the crown of your skull your energy explodes out and upwards into outer space.
Once there the journey begins. Usually it commences with a kaleidascope-esque view of fractal colors that surrounds you. Think as if the background to an Alex Grey painting were stretched around your point of view.
After this you have seen various things, beings rarely, breathtaking always.
The most overriding thing is a feeling of all-encompassing love. It is breathtaking, tears-of-joy enducing, mother-holding-you-as-a-child love. The feeling that everything will be alright and you are amazing and a part of everything. And it wants you to be happy.
6. “Bonehead,” 37, United States
It was the summer of 2001. I was partying every weekend while cruising through junior college, preparing to move to a university to finish my degree, when I went to a friends house to party. Earlier that week he had mentioned mushrooms and told him to put me down for a dose, not knowing what sort of night it would be. I showed up after work and the guys were sitting outside just chilling with some smoke, and we hung out and chatted while waiting for the rest of the gang to show up. Once everyone was there we went inside and split up the goods.
After chowing them down and hanging out for a bit, I began to feel a strange sensation. The rest of the guys were giggling and throwing a football in the yard. I just sat in a lawn chair and looked at the stars. As the rest of the guys kept clowning around I felt a sense that I needed to get away from the chaos and find a new place to experience this, and after saying goodbyes I drove down to my parents’ camp on the river — about 20 miles from anywhere.
While sitting on a swing and feeling the full effects of the medicine, I had a strange sense of oneness — like everything was connected and there was more to me than what I saw in the mirror. I heard the leaves rustle in the wind, the water splash on the bank, the crickets sing their song, and I felt that I knew them all. The only way to describe it is that I was home, connected. I remember talking to myself, and a bit of rambling about the connection to it all, that everything is one and one is everything. I chalked it up to just “good drugs.”
Fast forward to a few months ago when I started learning about this for the second time in my life, and realizing that it wasn’t just a crazy trip on something new. It can’t be, it’s been the same experience for so many others. And reliving that experience, for lack of a new one, I think of what could be and I wonder: just what more could I see? What more could I know? Until next time, whenever that may be.
7. Josh Randall, 41, California
About 10 years ago I found myself hopelessly addicted to nicotine (and negative thinking). After a single psilocybin experience I ditched the dirty butts (cigarettes) and found for the first time a spiritual life within me. The overly rational side of me was changed forever. Since then, I’ve been through quite a lot personally. More loss and heartache than I care to get into at this moment. Recently I heard a Bulletproof Radio podcast featuring Amber Lyon (which was was so wonderful) and her work with psychedelic healing, and I thought, “My goodness, I’ve completely forgotten about healing plants.”
Like many of us, it’s obvious that I’m suffering from not having the most basic of human needs. A spiritual experience. I’ve about exhausted spiritual practices on the natch (meditation, prayer, spiritual principles etc.). Long overdue for the real thing. Thank you for the courageous transparency contained in this site. Hope this finds you feeling connected.
8. Wally Martin, 66, New Jersey
My story is really a history of ongoing experiences. I, thankfully, experienced the “Summer of Love” era (three years perhaps rightfully described as an era), during which time an entire culture developed and, amongst so very many other new avenues of exploration, embraced expansive new vistas of insight and perception via the use of psychedelics. For those in our circle, the use of such was never to get “high” per se, but rather to “explore and discover.” Such wondrous endeavors changed my life — forever. Then came the end of the golden days of ’65 -’67. The encroachment, the dissolution and corruption by avaricious crass commercialism, the pimping of sacred ideals and philosophies by those who would profit by parasitizing and exploiting. Death was never so ugly.
Still deep within the hearts and spirits of many there remained an inextinguishable flame, the ineffable, ever-enduring wellspring of peace and joy, and knowledge initiated during those holy and heady times.
The last time I dropped and opened The Door was forty-five years ago; still I thirst. (Cut my hair May of ’71 , looked super-straight. Left a communal family. Marriage, children, school, work.) I met Dr Stanislav Grof in ’75 and in ’87 worked with an MD who was one of 136 permitted by the government to clinically use Delysid (the pharmaceutical version of LSD); he shared all with me. So, here I am, excited to find this site!
9. Christopher Williams, 29, Colorado
My very first trip was on about a half eighth of some tiny matchstick mushies from friggin’ Mars… I had complete amnesia within 40 minutes. Gaia/Nature spoke with me telepathically, and through my sitter-friend. I had to rebuild my consciousness-being piece by metaphorical piece over what seemed like eons of time with her diligent assistance. (The always-humorous mushrooms decided to stay in the background and formally introduced themselves to me on a subsequent trip.) I bore witness to the banshee, experienced alternative lives and realities, and eventually had all my bones systematically shattered (just the sensation of course) in order to teach me their meaning(s). It helped me let go and surrender myself to the ocean of oneness wherein I met my own soul: a dragon spirit of water!
More than a year of reflection, digestion, (re-)integration and channeling produced two poems which merged into one, undoubtedly my Magnum Opus despite being one of my first poems, for I cannot foresee myself creating a poem of this magnitude ever again, nor having a ‘trip’ of such Namaste, In Lak’ech Ala K’in, Baba DoMiNouS Yurersh Qi.
10. Sam, 19, Florida
My psychedelic experiences have led me to become a better person. I have never had a very bad trip, but I have had mushroom trips that have been full of ups and downs — I would feel extreme joy and happiness followed by extreme lows. As this happened, I realized that the negative feelings I was having were a result of introspective criticism. For example, I became disappointed at myself for my lack of motivation, for not treating people better, and all in all disappointed at myself for not being the best human that I could be.
At some point, I realized that this is a good thing because it brought to my attention all of the ways in which I could improve and it helped me pinpoint the aspects of my life that are most important to me. As a result of my many psychedelic experiences, the primary changes are:
- I express more gratitude and appreciation for everything.
- I am more aware of how other people are feeling and am more inclined to think to myself “how can I help this person” and then act on it.
- This goes along with #1 but it is important and worth repeating. I appreciate the little things in life way more. And finally…
- I am better at not letting things that are out of my control have negative effects on my well-being. Psychedelics have helped me be more able to live my life according to the following quote: “Life is 10% what happens and 90% how we react.”
Overall psychedelics have improved my life by making me a happier person and have helped me become a better, more altruistic and positive person. I should note that I use psychedelics primarily for personal growth, but they can also be very fun and I very much look forward to my future trips, which is cool because having things to look forward to can be a huge source of happiness. I know there will always be psychedelics waiting for me at some point in time and that keeps me happy because I always have future trips to look forward to.