Psychedelics for Self-Healing

· 5 min read

I previously wrote about how I feel that psychedelics helped shaped me into the man I am today along with the life events that lead me to my self-experiments and my present hiatus. This post dives one layer deeper into my experience of using psychedelics with intentions of self-healing.

Before the pandemic, research and trials were already paving the way towards legalization — at least for medical purposes — in some parts of the world. Many believe that psychedelics will play a part of the solution to the pandemic-related mental health problems.

Every psychedelic experience carries some level of risk and requires time to prepare, undergo, and process. When used responsibly, I believe the risks can be mitigated such that the rewards outweigh the risks. Choosing to ingest psychedelic substances implies the acceptance of potential psychological, physical, and legal consequences.

Feeling ready to answer my call, I needed to acquire the substance of my choosing. Isolated and anxious — not “in the scene” by any means — I expected this to be a lot more difficult than it was.

It all seems so trivial now — they are readily available if you truly want them — but I can reflect back to a more anxiety-fueled past where my mind would have branched tens or hundreds of layers deep into questions and concerns about every option available. Overcoming this mental block was psychedelic and healing in itself.

I had mitigated the immediate physical safety issues by properly testing and researching correct dosage for my substances. I had been building psychological and emotional strength for years by means of therapy, meditation, and various discipline practices.

Having a trip sitter is usually recommended but I felt more safe and capable of taking a deeper dive alone. I believe that being aware of the risks and recommendations to mitigate them and consciously making decisions is part of the healing process.

It’s almost impossible to read about psychedelics without hearing about set and setting. When I wasn’t deeply depressed, I was fearful, anxious, and paranoid. I didn’t have a point of reference to the possibility of a positive mindset. Positivity, to me, was a dull existence absent of the crippling anxiety that usually clouded my consciousness. Emotional safety was a painfully laughable concept and my physical environment was psychologically trigger-happy.

But it still felt like the right choice for me — so I took the plunge.

I tore off my first tab from a sheet of LSD. With all my research towards drug safety I neglected to research how to actually use them. I felt mentally prepared to go into the trip but gaps in my preparation raised my anxiety.

Do I put it on my tongue? Under my tongue? How long do I keep it there for? Do I chew it? Do I swallow it? I’ve been preparing for this experience for months — how did I gloss over this mandatory step? Isn’t this the most obvious and basic question? Am I stupid? No! Stay positive — no negative self talk. Set and setting, remember?

Rough… I’m much better now.

I had prepared intentions before going into all of my experiences. My intentions were often in the realm of facing my anxieties and to dig to the root of them. As much as I consciously wanted to, I would subconsciously do anything I could to escape the painful reality.

I found the experience of losing control and letting go to be scary and stressful. My mind would flood with distractions of basic human needs. I have to pee. I don’t have to pee. I’m too hot. I’m too cold. I’m horny. I have no desire. I’m hungry. I don’t want to eat.

I had to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Breathing deep was the only tool that could pierce through the noise. I wanted to turn off my mind, relax, and float downstream — but this was who I was.

Why, then, opt in to another seventy three psychedelic experiences?

Depressed people are often advised to try new things. Anxious people are often advised to expose themselves to their anxieties without the intention to cause danger. Responsible psychedelic use covers both.

At some point between contemplating the honeycomb grid in the sky and pacing my living room trying to think my way out of the most paranoid place my mind had ever journeyed, I experienced the absolute most beautiful moment of my life. The experience revealed that I have the capacity within me to feel anywhere on this spectrum.

After surfing the chaotic waves of the cosmos and safely returning back to shore on this Earth, I felt powerful shifts of perspective into love, compassion, peace, stillness, and deep truth. I saw through layers of myself and others as boundaries dissolved between us.

Persevering through the challenging moments allowed me to see the beauty in everything and left me feeling stronger and healthier. Exhausted but accomplished, I felt that I had brought my mind to the gym and I wasn’t going to cancel my membership.

Equipped with direct experience, I felt I could better prepare for future trips to follow through with my intentions. True, but not so directly. No amount of preparing could prepare me. I was being trained to let go.

After many experiences, I refined my intentions to explore, push boundaries, embrace the absurdity that is, and let it unfold — an ethos I’ve been carrying with me ever since.