I had my psilocybin ceremony yesterday. I’m still recovering this morning. It was amazing. My main goal was to unlock some stuff so that I could have a very solid foundation to begin my upcoming exposure therapy with and that most certainly happened.
We were starting at 10.30am at my therapist’s office. I got there 20 minutes early. My morning was pretty chaotic. I had a bunch of stuff that I wanted to get done in preparation for the ceremony and, even though I got up at 7.30am, I still didn’t get everything checked off. Actually, the only thing I didn’t get done was to have a big breakfast. I knew eating was probably going to be off the table for most of the day (and it was) and I had it scheduled, but I forgot I had to fast for at least two hours before we started. I dropped $25 at Starbucks on food and juice and took a single bite of yogurt before I was reminded not to eat. Oh, well.
Anyway, Nadia, the shaman, arrived a little before 10.30am and we got started. She set up an alter and we began with some rapé. Rapé is tobacco snuff that Nadia blew up my nose. It burned but it settled me down (I had been very anxious in the days leading up to this) and grounded me. My therapist tried some a little later as she had never experienced that before and was interested as well. After that, the shaman pulled out her some homegrown mushrooms. I ate, maybe, a little under a gram and the three of us got to talking about what would happen next.
The plan was that once the psilocybin started kicking in, I would put on headphones (Nadia had an amazing noise-cancelling set from Bose) and listen to a music arrangement that she uses for ceremonies like this. At that point, I would close my eyes and just ride for two hours. About 30 minutes after my initial dose, she gave me a little more (about 1.5g total) and about 15 minutes after that, I closed my eyes and she started the music.
Now we get into the bit that’s the most difficult to describe. I was trying to go in without expectations though I was really hoping that I would remember some sort of specific event from my childhood that might explain the trauma that I’ve dealt with my entire life. That didn’t happen. Although after about the first 5 minutes, I wasn’t really thinking any more anyway.
I wound up being more ‘in the moment’ than I ever have before. No future. No past. I was right at the cutting edge of reality. And I’m sitting here trying to think about how to describe what it was like but I can’t figure out how to do so. Part of that, I think, was because what I was experiencing was outside of language, if that makes any sense? I was getting emotions, images but I was just experiencing them and not doing any sort of analytical processing of what was going on. Most of the time, I only noticed the music when it switched songs. It was as if the music were there to keep the experience flowing so that I didn’t get stuck anywhere.
And, even though it didn’t result in me recalling any particular event, there came a point where I was able to identify the source of the bulk of my trauma: my father. I mean, I reached a moment where it became unequivocal to me that I have major daddy issues. I’ve always known that but I always that it was a minor piece in what has formed my present day psyche. It turns out that it is not minor at all. I also seemed to be pulled to the time when I lived outside of Pittsburgh. I think I was somewhere in the 3-5 year old range when I was there. We’ll see what comes of that.
After two hours of tripping with my eyes closed, Nadia turned off the music and we began to talk. When she brought me back out, I had no idea how long I had been going. It could have been 5 minutes or it could have been 5 hours. Very weird. Nadia started asking me questions about my childhood. My therapist mostly listened and took notes. Every time I started to talk about my father, I would cry. I was in the right place with the right people to talk about these things, so I went ahead anyway.
I went through a pattern where I would talk and cry about specific things associated with my father and then sort of come up for air and dive back down for more. We repeated that a few times before I decided to stop it (just for the day). I was exhausted. Far more tired than I had been in a very, very long time. I asked and it looks like that is what my exposure therapy is going to look like now. Talking and crying about my dad until I can get all of the hurt out.
Nadia is supposed to give me a ring later today to set up a post-trip integration session tomorrow or Tuesday where she will also set me up with about a month’s worth of mushrooms to microdose with. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’ve started growing my own mushrooms for the same reason and it looks as if mine will be ready by the time I’ve gone through what she will be providing me with. And my next regular session with my therapist is on Thursday.
We’re not done. I’ve got a shit ton of ancestral shit to work through but, if I can do it, I can hopefully save my kids from a lot of the same shit. It looks like I would benefit from an ayahuasca ceremony at some point as well. I originally had wanted to start with that but was unable to do so because of my Suboxone prescription. That said, several weeks ago I decided that my Suboxone had served its purpose and that I can start getting off of it. I have my next appointment with my Suboxone doctor tomorrow. Coming off Suboxone is not a trivial affair. Even though I’m not addicted, I am very chemically dependent and would get quite sick if I simply stopped taking it. The usual means of getting off is to slowly titrate the dose down to zero. That said, Nadia said that she has had a client quit Suboxone without too much difficulty with the help of mushroom microdosing.
I guess that’s it for now. I’ve only just started integrating everything that happened yesterday. It will be interesting to see how things go from here.