healing · life · self-help · Self-Love/Self-Acceptance

Healing with Psilocybin: The Soil

Fall 2022

I decide I want to explore psilocybin. The studies around using it for healing PTSD, anxiety and other mental illnesses is compelling and intriguing. Similarly, the research with terminally ill patients finding peace and “Oneness” was equally enthralling to me. My first plan: try microdosing. I buy some online from a site a friend recommends. I also purchase 28g of Golden Teacher, a mushroom purported to be a good gentle trip for people segueing into plant medicine. I read a lot of great reviews about it. I’m sold. And now also poor. What newbie buys 28g?? You can’t tell me I’m not an overachiever.

Microdosing is a fail. I attempt the three day protocol whereby you take it every third day. I last a week. By the third dose I feel inappropriately high and I don’t like it. I must’ve purchased a bottle that has a higher than normal amount for microdosing. Or perhaps I’m just a lightweight? Regardless, it’s not my jam. I’m over it. 

I rethink the whole idea of psilocybin.

Winter 2022

I’m going to try the Golden Teacher. I plan to do this alone and see what healing comes from it. I do some research. I create a plan. It seems obtainable.

The Plan:

  • Go to the ice shack alone (ten minutes from my house)
  • Tell friends who live 30 seconds away my plan incase said plan goes awry
  • Infuse vanilla tea with 2 grams of mushrooms ( or what I think is 2 because my kitchen scale doesn’t go below grams so it could’ve been 2.9 for all I know)
  • Set intentions
  • Light candles
  • Pray for healing
  • Have playlist and charged AirPods at the ready
  • Use an eye mask
  • Pray for more healing
  • Eat beforehand
  • Journal
  • Drink tea
  • Commune with the Spirit side
  • Find enlightenment in a mere 4 hours
  • Become a soul led being of the Universe who never yells at her children and sees the love radiating from all Humans (like Buddha but with hair)

Actuality:

Shit hits the fan

Jan 4, 2023

5:30pm: I’m ready for my first foray with psilocybin in over a decade. Clay goes to the ice shack to get the wood stove going and ensure it’s warm and cozy for my arrival. I get there and begin brewing the tea. I am excited. He tells me, “I wouldn’t be able to do it. I don’t know what would come up for me if I did mushrooms again. I’m proud of you for your willingness to go inwards and find this healing.” I chuckle dismissively and say, “OK you can go now!”

5:45: I am inexperienced and therefore, clueless. A half cup likely would’ve been enough. Had I been smarter I would’ve have drank one and waited. But instead, I did the complete opposite. I drink two and a half cups of tea. Terrible idea number one.

I turn off the lights, light my two candles, prepare my playlist, wrap myself in a blanket and lie down on the bed. (Our shack benches pull out into beds. Having a carpenter husband comes in handy.)

I look at the candle. I know shit is getting real when the flame starts flickering to the beat of the music. That doesn’t happen in real life. Mushrooms are kicking in.

I begin to feel paralyzed. The sun is also setting. It is getting dark outside. One candle suddenly extinguishes. Is it ghosts? My soul team? A big gust of indoor wind? I’m now a little uneasy.

I put in my AirPods and connect to a psilocybin trip playlist I found on Youtube the previous day. I close my eyes and pull down my eye mask. Let the healing begin! I’m expecting my mind to be blown wide open, ready to see the past with new understanding; one that is forgiving, graceful and loving. I’m going to go forward with a newfound peace and clarity that will change my entire existence for the rest of my life. No pressure, mushrooms!

Instead, the music is too trippy and I think it’s making everything worse. I’m seeing a circus in my minds eye. Monkeys are jumping all over the acrobatic equipment and they’re annoyingly loud. Or is it in front of me? I’m not sure so I’m batting at the air inches from my face trying to determine what’s real or not. Thankfully, the circus monkeys are only jumping around in my brain, not the ice shack. The circus scene ends and now I’m seeing kinetic type robot insects scurrying around. This is all with my eyes closed behind the mask. My charged AirPods suddenly die. Terrible idea number 2. Why are they dead? What is happening? WHAT VOODOO IS THIS? I take off the mask and change the music to a calming anxiety playlist. This takes a ridiculous amount of effort. I’m feeling pathetic. I look around. The walls of the ice shack are breathing. WITH MY BREATH. Who is controlling this breath? Me? The walls? Am I attuned to the walls or are the walls attuned to me? I can’t be sure. I close my eyes. The knots in the ceiling wood are turning into eye balls and I’m not sure I like the way they’re all looking at me. I’m laying there trying to fall asleep now. If you can believe it, I am not enjoying how I am feeling. I want to sleep this off but there’s nothing I can do. It’s a zoom zoom on the shroom shroom! It is now full dark outside. I close my eyes again.The robot insects are back. I tell myself, “You are in the ice shack. You are Kelsey. You are okay,” in an attempt to ground myself back in reality. My mind begins to feel like it is fragmenting. I don’t know what’s real anymore. I think I’m going crazy. I try to ground myself but as I do so a thought enters. The thought is relevant; I won’t remember what it is. Who thought that? Was it me? Who is ‘me’? What am I? What is ‘I’? What is life? What is human? What is even happening right now? I press my hands to my face and I feel my nose is cold. I realize the fire has gone out completely and I am freezing. I get up and put a log on the fire. It won’t catch. I use the poker to move the 9 remaining coals around and blow on it to ignite again. It refuses. I close the door and hope my prayer for fire is enough to make more fire. It’s not. I lay back down. My body feels heavy. The idea of doing anything beyond laying down is incomphrensible. I wrap myself up in the blanket and think, “this is it. This is how I die. Woman freezes to death in ice shack fucked up on mushrooms.” Lovely. 

6:30pm: I feel unsafe and uneasy, a terrible combination. I find my phone. I call Clay: “I need you to come get me.” He replies, “already?” I say, “Yes, I don’t like how I feel so I just want to come home.” He says, “I’m on my way.” I look at the time on my phone. One hour has passed. ONE HOUR. Oh MY F*cking God. This is going to be a loooong night. 

6:35pm: “He’s on his way” is my new mantra. I tell myself, “Clay is coming and I will be okay once he’s here” on repeat. It anchors me and somehow calms my mind a bit. I lay on the bed praying my mind stays intact long enough to remember that he is indeed coming and that when this man arrives, I will know he’s my husband. I can’t be sure anymore. The crazy feels imminent.

7:15pm: Clay arrives. I actually weep in gratitude. All I can think is, “he is sunshine.” He stokes the fire as if it didn’t just give me attitude 45 mins earlier by refusing to light and it’s immediately roaring. He rubs my back. He sees the one other gram I brought and looks at it. He takes it in his hand and says, “I’m going to meet you where you are” and pops it in his mouth. The man who told me a mere 90 minutes earlier that he could never do mushrooms again is doing mushrooms with me to join me in solidarity. Not all superheroes wear capes. Mine dons a ginger beard and eats disgusting tasting mushrooms to help his silly wife through her silly trip in her silly attempt to find inner peace. 

He looks around and asks me why I would want sensory depravation like this? “Don’t you want to have fun with this?” Fun, I think, rolling that word around like it’s a foreign word I’m falling in love with for the first time. Did I want to have fun? Fun wasn’t in the equation. The goal was healing my inner child shit that still affects me today, duh. Healing is never fun. But neither is hallucinating and thinking you’re going crazy so maybe fun isn’t a bad idea.

He tells me he’s going to turn on the lights and put on a happy playlist. I am okay with the playlist, leery of the light. Light brings illumination and I’m not sure I’m ready for this. In the Darkness, I was in the soil, the depths, the hard. In the light, I have to face what just happened and my brain isn’t ready for that yet. I’m still feeling paralyzed so he ignores my feeble protests and turns the light on anyways. He tells me to sit up. Like a marionette, I’m pulled up and look at him. He tells me to breath, to feel, to move. “Let the experience move through you, baby.” He is sunshine. He is now my anchor to Life and all things wonderful. I watch him whittle wood and sit and laugh and stand and move and fidget. I ask him if it makes him feel uncomfortable that I am staring. He tells me to do whatever I need. He is my sunshine. It’s a thought I have on repeat like a CD skipping. (That’s a compact disc for you youngin’s) 

8:00-11:00pm: This is how the next three hours go. He does things, I watch him from the fetal position interspersed with occasional sitting. Once, we go outside to stare at the full moon. We marvel at the Universe and it’s incredible design: the moon, the glistening snow, the fog moving across the lake, the fact that there’s an entire ecosystem under our feet, that we have skin and energy and fingernails. We go back inside. We simply be, laying on opposite beds, looking around. We explore the idea of soulmates and how we found each other. Clay suggests that in our next life maybe we are octopi’s on a moon orbiting Jupiter and we slither around until we see each other, make eye contact and say in our octopus way, “oh there you are” and we’ll just know each other as the soul mates we believe we are. We laugh. 

11:10pm: The intensity of my experience is waning. His high is done and he’s ready for bed.  I tell him he can go home to our children now or stay if that’s an option. Thankfully, the kids have been with our good friends who knew what my plan was and were on standby for whatever we needed. He tells me he thinks I should see this through on my own, you know, now that I’m not going to freeze to death in the ice shack zoomin’ on shroomin’. I say, I think I can finally sleep now. He stokes the fire one last time with instructions to wake every three hours to throw a log on to keep the temperature comfortable. I thank him for rescuing me for the 487th time. I wonder if he knows how grateful I am yet? Maybe I should tell him one more time just in case. 

1:30am: I wake up to stoke the fire. My mind is finally peaceful enough I can journey now. I wish I could get up and write down what’s coming through but I’m exhausted and worry I won’t be able to parent the next morning. I force myself back to sleep telling myself I’ll remember. I won’t though. 

8:20am: I wake up, start the kettle for coffee, grab my breakfast of overnight museli and sit down at the table to journal as much as I can remember whilst still processing what had happened and was still happening. I think the worst is over. I will learn very quickly that I am very wrong. 

To be continued. 

Strumming G,

K

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