Day 200: Shrooms and quarantine ?!!

Yep, you heard me. But first, I would like to make a clear disclaimer:

Most of them are illegal, and for a reason. MANY of them will lead to addictive, self-destructive and sometimes deadly situations. As for the special class of Psychedelics, they can be dangerous if taken unsafely and without preparation, and can provide (very) unpleasant experiences for individuals who take the matter lightly or are completely unfamiliar with any kind of introspection/working through emotional issues or unconscious patterns. So please, tread with car, be respectful and most of all, be safe.

That being said, a friend (a psychologist with a PhD who also happens to be a meditation instructor) recently said that psychedelics are the future of psychotherapy in the West, which I think could be true.

As y’all obviously know, in the 1960s there was a lot of hope around their potential – then they were shut down and (I believe, mostly for political reasons), somewhat demonized for a few decades. And now they are resurfacing again in more favorable light. Their potential to help those suffering from addictions, anxiety and depression is well known. The Johns Hopkins University for instance is conducting many experiments with the therapeutic potential of psilocybin (they have been for a couple of years – I have friends who have even participated in the studies), and the success rates are encouraging. I believe that for people over 18 with no preexisting history of psychosis or severe PTSD, when administered carefully and with respect (and if for the first time, with the presence of a competent guide), psychedelics are not just drugs, they can be powerful therapeutic tools. BUT still, I must say it again:  KIDS, DON’T DO DRUGS !!!

ANYWAY. 

I saw a great documentary called “Fantastic Fungi” a few months ago, which planted the seed (the spores ^^) in my mind.… hmmm, it’s been a while! And recently I came across some (very respectable, organic and 100% vegan ^^ ) mushrooms. So I decided to embark on a solo quarantine psilocybin session on Friday night. Kind of crazy, right?

I have taken mushrooms several times in the past (maybe 4 or 5). My first time was around age 20. But I had only ever done it in a recreational, or at best, exploratory (a.k.a. with a boyfriend, mostly to have what I would humbly call “cool synesthesia sex”… LOL), spirit. Never in a therapeutic mindset, never with self-development or self-improvement in mind. Never ever ever with an underlying spiritual framework or meditation practice. In the past, the experience had always been a mix of excitement and fun, but also high anxiety due to my pathological fear of losing control. Every time, once the trip began to kick in, I would get overwhelmed and panicky and have to rely on those around me to reassure me and help me work through said anxiety. It might be worth mentioning that in those days, I was also drinking, depressed, numbing my issues, and basically clueless about how to be healthy/heal one’s past/take care of oneself. No wonder I had a horrible time as soon as I tried to let go.

Fast forward  5 or 6 years of therapy, discovery of self-care, meditation, and basically growing up. At 33 I have much stronger foundations and a much fuller mental-health toolbox than when I was 23. So I decided that quarantine could be a good moment to REALLY turn inwards, administer a thorough self-scan of sorts, assess where I’m at: how I can cope with anxiety during anxious times, what my deepest beliefs about myself are, perhaps even what I can do to help the world with my limited talents and abilities. 

So I cleaned up my house, fasted for 6 hours, displayed my plants in a beautiful arrangement in my living room, fed my cat, lit a ton of candles, blew a few out because of the fire hazard, made a pretty cushion-blanket arrangement on the floor, asked a neighbor friend if I could call them if anything went horribly wrong (if I was about to murder my cat or something), wrote down an intention: “May I find safety and trust inside myself” (- i.e., not “outside”: if you have a history of addictions you probably know what I mean), meditated, then gathered all my courage, said a quick prayer in my heart (I think of myself as an atheist on most days!), said “fuck it” out loud, and ate the damn things.

They tasted much better than in my memory. But then, fasting for 6 hours will make anything taste delicious.

Long story short: my only “weapon” during this internal hero’s journey was to try something utterly new: to lay down all weapons from the start. To stop fighting. So I committed to complete surrender and trust, both in myself and in “the spirit of the mushrooms”, whatever that meant. I trusted it to be my friend and work with me (or rather I promised to work with, not against, it). Unlike what I did in the past, I would not treat it as an enemy to fight. And this made all the difference.

What a life-lesson! I was able to do the most beautiful self-parenting job ever, and have a WONDERFUL experience. I was expecting horror, demons, overwhelming feelings of nausea, terrifying hallucinations, threats of insanity and morbid thoughts, etc. I got none of that. Instead, I found gentleness, joy, acceptance, positive internal dialogue, a sense of internal “solidity”, even those feelings of interdependency and “oneness” that so many psychonauts (and meditators) report feeling.

I even wondered at some point if I had taken too low of a dose. I almost felt disappointed that there was no drama. Then thankfully, I shook some sense back into my silly self: Anne, you wanted to experience safety and trust, and now that you have, you want drama and suffering just for the experience to feel worthwhile ? Fuck no !

[This is one of my deepest and most annoying patterns: freak out before an event -> during the event, realize there is nothing to freak out about -> NEVER learn from the experience -> Repeat for all eternity.]

So I tried the new thing: I spent most of the experience meditating and just being there. I enjoyed every second of it. Making friends with myself was the goal: no distractions, nowhere to run. 

And that was the big take away in the end: there is nothing left to fight or be afraid of in myself. Sure there will always be anxiety, especially during times of uncertainty and collective fear. Sure, there will always be suffering, that’s the first noble truth of Buddhism after all. But there is no longer that internal enemy to hide from, no big monster to avoid. Nothing much left to numb = when I am at my best, my foundations are solid enough to breathe through very intense emotions and know that I will survive. Even death seemed like not a problem if one truly lets go and accepts it.

A few hours later, I ate the lovely fruit platter I had prepared in advance, and called it a night. I picked up my cat and went to bed. It was as simple as that. 

Today, the feeling of being my own friend, and knowing deep down (not just intellectually) that “if you truly let go and accept, anything is ok”, remain. It really does give you strength when shit gets challenging in the outside world. 

[And it also helps to learn how to “die well”, as Plato, Cicero and Montaigne wrote about philosophy – and the Buddhists about meditation. Yep, psychedelics really do famously help people make peace with death – whether their own or those of others or loved ones]. 

So yeah. I don’t know when I will able to se my family again – they live on a different continent. My parents are both high risk corona-people. One of my parents is already in very poor health and might die soon of non-corona (of ALCOHOLISM). And yeah, things feel really dystopian, even apocalyptic these days, especially when one spends more than 5 minutes on social media.

And yet, it IS possible to sit with the fear and pessimism, to make space for the anxious feelings, to hold them until they pass. I hope we can all learn how to make something meaningful out of this extra-ordinary situation that will probably become the new normal. We’ll figure it out. Or we will perish as a species and the raccoons can finally take over. 

Oh, and by the way: I’m 200 days sober today, YAY  🙂 

P.S. Before you kids get any funny ideas, there are also many other worthwhile introspective quarantine occupations out there, OK ? For instance, check out my baby sister’s beautiful knitting project (don’t worry Nadine, no one can rival with the sobriety scarf^^).

Sending out lots of courage, hope and warm hugs to everyone out there.

Xoxoxox

Hang in there ! 

Hippie-Anne  

Published by nomorebeer2019

31 year old trying to get sober !

25 thoughts on “Day 200: Shrooms and quarantine ?!!

  1. Hey Anne! Happy 200 days my friend😎. This was a very interesting post and I was glad to learn more about it. I think out here in Denver there’s some traction on making it legal…or somewhere…I know I’m hearing more and more about them. Thanks for the post😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have written a novel, now deleted a novel. :)) (Finally learning… with any luck… save the babbling for my own blog. ;)) Lovely post Anne… and thanks also for sharing that gorgeous knitting pic. C’est magnifique!!! xoxoxo nadine

    p.s. my email is sobrietytree @ gmail.com — let me know if you think there is anything I can do from here, for your parents somehow. I feel so worried about my dad overseas, though actually I know he will be fine. He has such very caring friends in his community checking in on him. And thank goodness, still providing real-life hugs, which are sorely needed, especially in his time of grief. (Argh… beginning to write another novel… and now as a p.s.!! Ok, much love to you, and ttfn. 😄🤗💞😘🙏)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NooooOOOoooo I wanted the novel !!!! 😉 thank you Nadine 🙂 My parents are fine, that’s so kind of you to offer. Can I do anything for you / your loved ones somehow? Anyway, it will all be oooookkkk ❤ xxx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YaaaAAAAaa…. it will be ok!!! 🐑👀🕶😁😆I totally think so too. ❤️ Anyway… girlie, I hope you don’t mind, but just after leaving here this morning I posted my “novel” (well, okay I was exaggerating, let’s call it a page 🧐🤓) to my own blog, with a link to yours. If you no likey, I will take it down! :)))))))))) Just lemme know. Muchas amores, beaucoup de bisous xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      2. hahaha WOWOW I am honored ! That was totally unexpected but made my heart swell with all the delicious warm fuzzy attention and my whole being bathe in a lovely pool of generosity and kindness 🙂 now you go and give some of that loveliness to yourself, ok !!!! Enough with the Others 😉 xxx big big hugs xxx ❤ Anne

        Liked by 1 person

      3. OMG!!! thank you, you are the absolute bestest at being a lovely receiver. You’ve literally made my evening. It’s late here so I will go to bed now, on this lovely note, and tomorrow I hope to catch up on blog reading. :)))))) xoxoxoxoxo huggggggs ❤️🌍

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, interesting post Anne, you drug fiend you 😉. I tried mushrooms in 1977 at a Halloween party. I had a feeling of huge euphoria for a while and then followed the most intense paranoia I’ve ever experienced. Mind you I was also pissed. Your experience sounded really nice. Mine was horrible. I stuck with the drug I knew, alcohol from that point, and now I have nothing. Could someone please create a nice, pleasant predictable drug that is non addictive with no unpleasant side effects. If you do please send them to poor old Jim. X

    Liked by 4 people

    1. hahahaha “Could someone please create a nice, pleasant predictable drug that is non addictive with no unpleasant side effects”: it’s been around for centuries and it’s called meditation ! 😉 (ps. your 1977 experience is very common and was mine until I learnt how to do things differently lol ) xxx Anne

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Anne: I agree that mushrooms, in particular, give us the opportunity to learn about ourselves and the universe. I’ve also had some trips on acid where I have had some extreme helpful looks at myself and my life, but it is trickier. The key seems to be attitude, and you really seem to have set yourself up for success. How lovely. Happy for you. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Leafy !!! haha trickier seems to me a great adjective to describe acid – though I am a complete newbie and have no idea what I’m talking about 🙂 But yes: attitude (and set and setting^^), as in ordinary life, is definitely THE KEY 🙂 Let’s keep cultivating that attitude 🙂 Thank you for your lovely kind comment ❤ big hugs xx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post and I’m so glad you had a good trip! Having taken acid and shrooms a few times when younger I think they really can be consciousness expanding (so can MDMA) but you have to be able to handle what your unconscious mind reveals and be in the right context. My last experience of legal shrooms in Amsterdam almost 20 years ago now was not so good and I’ve avoided since. my nephew recently became psychotic following a trip so yes you do need to be careful – thankfully he’s fine now. Jim quite a lot of people swear by microdosing LSD as a cure all- there’s a book called ‘A really good day’ about it! Maybe check it out? Congrats on 200 days! 👏👏👏👏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hiiii DGS 🙂 Yes, absolutely: I don’t think I would have done this alone without all the therapy/hypnosis work done over the years, which helped me not be afraid of any unconscious material that might come up. (I also had a crappy Amsterdam shroom experience. Setting really really makes a big difference). I’m so sorry about your nephew though – did he have any preexisting signs or disposition, or was it completely induced by the experience itself? Did he have to be hospitalized/on meds? Anyway, I am SO GLAD he is better. So so so glad. These things are no joke. And yes, microdosing is a much gentler method if one is looking to improve things like depression/anxiety in a more progressive manner. xxx Thank you for commenting, sending big big hugs ❤ Anne

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes setting is everything – most of the time I’ve done it has been with very good friends in nature so all good. I think my nephew has some underlying issues but he managed to avoid hospital with a lot of family support and is now off the meds and doing ok thank you 💞

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this: [This is one of my deepest and most annoying patterns: freak out before an event -> during the event, realize there is nothing to freak out about -> NEVER learn from the experience -> Repeat for all eternity.] Me, too! Thanks for sharing your journey with us! Sounds so peace-filled and mellow. Congratulations on 200 days!

    Liked by 1 person

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