My trip yesterday was so profound and intense that I feel obligated to share it.
A a little background info: I am a seasoned mushroom taker and believe that it truly is a sacred and healing fungi. I started in high school and knew right away it was something special, that it was not just a "drug." Many of my friends could not handle the complexities and insights of mushrooms, and I often found myself frustrated and wanting to shroom alone. I had really good experiences by myself, to say the least. However, I really haven't done shrooms in a long time (i'm 28 now). Maybe once or twice over the years, and those few times were incredibly healing, but not enough. I am currently trying to heal myself and find balance. I have a lifetime of pain that has gone unacknowledged until now. My "story" includes my mother psychologically, emotionally, verbally, and physically abusing me. I was apparently molested by my biological father, but it's more probable that my mother made it all up to get back at him for cheating on her. Needless to say, my father was not in my life. In my early twenties I dabled with heroin, and a year and a half later my fiance died from an overdose. All the people I thought would be there for me up and abandoned me. It was all really painful, but also completely changed my life and put me on the path of heaing. Therefore, I am ridding myself of self-destructive tendencies, which seem to be a cause of undealt with emotional pain. The last thing I am working on is my eating habits. I binge and overeat and all I want is to be fit and healthy. I ride my bicyle everywhere, I work at a yoga studio, but stll this affliction remains. I feel helpless and I'm doing everything in my power to just be healthy: exercising, eating right when I'm not bingeing, taking a nutrition and health class at the local community college, and seeing a counselor once a week. The weight gain I experience is also a lot of pressure on my left lower back, a pain I have yet to find a cause for. I read a trip report of someone else using mushrooms as their own psychotherapy tool. In this report the tripper spoke of revisiting past memories hidden deep within his subconscious and was able to, once and for all, see them, learn from them, and let them go. He explained it was extremely healing, that his lifetime anger problems started to let up. He said he did it every two weeks, in the dark with eyes closed. I decided that was what I was going to try. I ended up growing my own, and after waiting what seemed like 8 long weeks, I had my first flush ready for harvest and consumption.
The setting: Wednesday at noon. Everything I needed to do is done. Homework is done. House is clean. No work until Thursday night. I'm a bit apprehensive but it's only because it's been so long since my last trip. I don't really remember or know what to expect. But I decide, anyway, to take a lot. I didn't weigh it because I don't have a scale, but it was about 2/3 of my first flush. I pack up a backback with a towel, flip-flops, water, food, and sunscreen, planning to head out at some point to the beach. All I can say now is that I'm glad I didn't. I forgot about the importance of being in a safe place, away from the public, and away from any possible legal troubles. I sat down on my yoga mat in front of my altar, lit some candles, and smudged sage in all the corners of my room, announcing, "This is a place of healing and positive energy. Only healing and positive energies are allowed here." I then smudged myself, too, asking to be healed, cleansed. I let the smoke continue to swirl from the bundle of sage, filling my room and space completely. I asked Teonanacatl to bring me healing. "Please help heal me. Please." Then I ate all of the mushrooms in front of me.
The trip: I sat on some cushions and meditated for a bit. It didn't take long for the journey to begin, and very quickly I lost sense of reality. My floor is hardwood and I have bamboo window covers. Right away it felt like I was in a jungle. Patterns were visible in perfect semetry with the all-seeing eye protruding from the center of each pattern. I was getting lost in this world. I have pictures of Peru and other nature scenes cut out of magazines taped on my wall. I also have a picture of a girl who is looking through her fingers shaped like a heart. I saw this image anew, as a sign that it was time to look within. The colors in the pictures were vibrant, and Machu Picchu stood out incredibly, like a puzzle or lego piece signaling something. I laid on my bed. I closed my eyes. For a while I couldn't tell if my eyes were open or closed. The imagery was intense. I was in a jungle. My whole entire body was a part of it. My body parts were being poked and proded at. I could feel all of the pain in my body being worked on, healed. The pain in my low back especially. I melted into the visual scenery. My fingers and toes started curling, my back became strong and my neck stuck out. It felt like I was being born as an ancient bird...a pteryldactyl of sorts. I'm not even kidding you. My senses were BEYOND acute. My breath was loud and echoed. Sounds started coming out of me that I didn't recognize. I sank further into the visions, melting with them. I realized I WAS the jungle. I could go to any part of it and experience any of it so long as I was called into action. I could be a bug, a lizard, a fly, wherever and however I was needed. It was all very real. A deep, visceral voice came from within me. I started chanting, making sounds that I could only describe as shamanistic. I got up from the bed and opened my eyes. I squatted into weird positions, started spitting everywhere, then snotting. I was thrown to the ground, hooting and hollering deep visceral sounds, and my limbs started stretching and twisting of their own accord. I started to fear I had taken too much, that I was going into convulsions. But I knew better. Something was being released from within me. I went with it. I started making weird animal-like sounds. Ticking and snapping my tongue. Saliva filled up in my mouth. It felt great. My fingers and toes felt claw-like. I was stretching into something...literally it felt like I just hatched from an egg and was experiencing my bird-like body for the first time. My perception was like a fish-eye lens. Color was astounding. I could hear and taste everything. My breathing was still very loud and intense. I imagined myself as a man shaman. Maybe I saw a man shaman but I can't be sure. (I'm a female, by the way.)
Next, I was literally guided back onto my yoga mat. I was guided further into the fetal position. My hands, of their own accord, wrapped around my head and burrowed it inside my elbows, face down. I was taken into a spiraling tube of sorts, where I traveled down into a deep abyss. I went deep, deeper, and even deeper. All of a sudden I heard myself crying. I couldn't believe the sounds that were coming out of me. Deep, visceral, gutteral moans and weeps, crys of really, really, really deep-seated pain. My hands, of their own accord still, were caressing my head and hair in a really gentle and loving way. It felt like I had several workers around me, working to heal me in their safe womb of loving kindness. I really needed that. I cried A LOT. The more I realized how loving this all was, and how much pain I had in me, the harder I cried.
This continued on for some time. I went back and forth, from on my bed to on my yoga mat on the floor, being caressed and cradled to let the deep hurt out. I was being guided. I was concscious but not making any decisions. The pain was a lot. At some point I got up and moved about. I ate, and my jaw and teeth were so...capable. My jaw felt tense and I wanted to unhinge it, like a snake. I stetched it out and ate some more, swirling the food around with my tongue, really letting it mix with my saliva. I continued to move in animal-like ways: this was bare instincts and I was waking up a part of me that has been forgotten for a really, really long time. This felt ancient. My DNA was activating and it was really intense.
The weight of everything that's ever happened to me, that I've ever had to deal with, hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized how overwhelmed in emotion I truly have been. I cried even more.
Then I had to go pee. This was one of the most intense parts of the trip. I started crying on the toilet. I cried for all that pain. God it was so, so much. It still moves me right now. I got up, my awareness fully present in my body, feeling every muscle within it, and looked in the mirror. And I couldn't look away. I felt like I was being forced to deal with the issue of my distorted self-image, which, as you know from my back story, is a really big thing for me. I looked at myself in the mirror, crying, please don't make me do this. "We have to do this now? Really?!" I cried out. There was no escaping it. I saw my body morph into an ugly, fat woman who looked like my mom. That really hurt me. I saw how deep this self-esteem thing went. I then morphed into the thin, fit, supple person I want to be. That was the hardest to see. I couldn't seem to accept it. I cried so hard. I said, "Really, I can have this?" in total disbelief. I realized I didn't believe this for myself, not even one bit, and this is what's keeping me from having it. But still I fought that image of what I really, truly want to be, and I don't know why. I was fragmenting and reconstructing right before my eyes, when my neighbor knocked on my door.
Quickly I pulled myself together and answered. I had to, as I left my door slightly open and he could see me. He asked how I was and all I could say was "Good, actually. It's really healing, but good." He looked at me for a moment (he later explained he got the point right away that I was tripping) and then asked if I wanted to be left alone. "Yes," I told him.
After that, paranoia grew. I didn't know he understood what was going on, or could be coming over for any other reason than what I imagined, and what I imagined is that he had come to my door because I was being loud and he was concerned. He later explained he was coming over for soy sauce. (!!!) I went over the last two or so hours and realized I had been hissing, growling, crying, and letting out what might seem like schizophrenic nonsense to someone not tripping. I realized I also was convlusing, or so it seemed, on the floor. Just then my other neighbor that lives upstairs started stomping around really loud, or at least I started noticing it. I assumed everyone was concerned for my well-being, and visions of police officers tapping at my door came to mind. I slowly and quietly, but definitely in a panic, closed up all my windows and locked my doors. I laid on my bed and couldn't get comfortable anymore. I live in a studio so there wasn't much of a place to hide, and my bamboo window shades are somewhat see-through. I thought maybe I could feign sleep. I went to put a blanket over the windows but realized it seemed obvious. Fear got the best of me. I looked at the clock and saw it was 2:24pm. I realized I didn't know what day I had started the trip, and what day it was today. I realized I could have totally fucked up my life, took too much, and lost it. I wanted to come back immediately. But Teonanacatl wouldn't let me.
As soon as I started fighting it, I was brought into submission. My arms were literally forced up into the air and twisted, like how someone brings someone else on their knees in the movies. There was some power that wanted me to succumb, but I was so scared and somewhat unwilling. I didn't know what was happening. I was crying but this time it was because I refused to surrender. I broke in and out of its spell. I walked around my room, wanting time to pass quickly, and every time the visuals started to come I shook my head, saying "No." I got on the ground and begged, literally BEGGED for it to be over. "Please. Thank you for everything. I'm sorry, I just want to come back to normal." It didn't work. I got on my knees, bowed my head and repeated, "Please" over and over. But it only got more intense. I tried to make sense of a calendar, to see if I had really lost it this time. I couldn't comprehend a thing. I drank water. That didn't help. I tried to lay down, but I feared being seen from outside my window. Basically, I lost trust in Teonanacatl and started to doubt my healing experience. I thought I was going crazy, and I wasn't really being healed. My safe place became a place of fear. I asked to go, but apparently had more lessons to learn. It was brutal. There is something in me I am afraid of and afraid to let go of.
I sat on the floor and saw my life slipping away. I thought I was dying. I was afraid. I felt like I could morph into the jungle visions and never return. All of a sudden I despised it. It felt like a world I could CHOOSE to be a part of, and it's not what I wanted. I wanted to live, god damnit. So I grabbed my thighs and blinked my eyes over and over again to get a clear picture of my body. I had to hold onto something, physically and spiritually, so I wouldn't slip away. I grabbed a picture of my would-have-been mother-in-law and put her to my heart. "I WANT TO LIVE. I WANT TO LIVE. I WANT TO LIVE." This echoed in my room. It felt extremely powerful. I tried to shake the echo from my head. FUCK YOU, I thought. I will fight my way back to sanity.
I went to play music on my computer but realized if I was trying to appear like I wasn't home, I couldn't be loud. I needed a change of mood, energy, anything. I decided to reach out to some trusted friends. That helped extremely. Because of them, I was reassured that I wasn't going to die, that it was still Wednesday, and that I would be okay soon. If I couldn't trust myself, I found I could trust them. I then realized I have been isolating myself. I got online and went to threads and forums...I just wanted to read anything that involved human interaction. I just wanted to participate. I realized I craved it, needed it, and was ready to allow people back into my life.
The trip finally started to subside, although it lasted a full 6 hours. When I noticed it was beginning to wear off, I saw that I WAS going to return to normal. I realized I hadn't permanently fucked myself up. I realized I had been acting in fear, and starting apologizing profusely to that other world, hoping for the compassion and understanding that it was all because of fear on my part. That I was grateful for the intense experience of it all.
The rest of the trip I spent connecting with others. I also went in and out connecting to that animal, reptile-like thing within me. I truly felt connected to my body and to evolution itself. I was really impressed with the way my body moved and how capable it really was. I was also really impressed with my senses, and that I could have better awareness and skill if I only paid more attention. I thought about the vast tunnel of pain within me. I thought about transmuting my pain by, after going through all this, helping others heal themselves. I asked out loud if I was a healer. I thought about whether or not this experience was due to the fact I was a shaman myself or if, instead, I had connected with one somewhere out there ready and waiting to heal someone who came forth to be healed. That other world is scary, powerful, and I'm finally beginning to accept that there is something more powerful, more great, than me. This seems to be a really hard lesson for me. But I am being shown. And in all honesty, I need it.
The Lesson: I was scared for a bit and really contemplated never doing mushrooms again. Now I see that I had fogotten their power; I misunderstood them during the journey. I was going deep into places of myself that I've never ventured but have been wanting to explore over these past few years, but didn't know how. Mushrooms are the only avenue that I have found that truly let me see what's inside of me. This pain of mine, as I've said before, is very deeply rooted. I am scared but will continue on with more healing journeys, hopefully next time with more love and trust. What I gained from all of this is an intense will to live, a readiness to establish connections with other people, a reassembling of my body image, and a healing of emotional and physical pain. Today my back pain is gone. I don't know how long it will last, but I'll gladly accept what is given. I am sore in places all over in a really good way, like from a deep tissue massage. I feel lighter as well. I've been smiling, really smiling, and not feeling like there's something inside me that I'm holding back. My lips sometimes quiver and I have to pucker them to stop myself from either hysterically laughing or crying. I can't really tell what will happen if I didn't hold tight my lips. But today that quiver is gone.
This was a frightening and intense experience, but one of the best I've ever had. I have a lot to think about. I will repeat this: mushrooms are a sacred and powerful healing tool. I will never get over just how true this is. I am so fortunate and grateful to have the opportunity to heal. Thank you, to myself, the journey, and Teonanacatl.