Citation: Psychenaut. "Rebirth: An Experience with Ibogaine (exp63024)". Erowid.org. May 21, 2007. erowid.org/exp/63024
I'll start off with a little history about my love affair with opiates. It started years before I became an addict with a bottle of hydrocodone I got for surgery, I realized very quickly that I really liked the effect especially the mental/emotional suppression (though at the time I was not depressed I still saw the potential). Over the next few years I would use this or that opiate recreationally from time to time... sometimes with a year or more between taking any. It wasn't until I hit a state of hopeless, soul dead depression that I found their use to be 'wonderful' in keeping me functional in my daily (40 hour a week grind) life. No longer falling into fits of crying and able again to concentrate on the tasks at hand without feeling my heart falling into my stomach.
I realized addiction was very possible, but in that state... it's easy not to care.. in fact, it's hard to care. What I didn't realize is the level at which staying well would depend on medicating my depressed state and how much the withdrawal would intensify the depression. I was an all out needle injecting heroin user for about 2 years, until I moved to Kansas City where the dope was too expensive and not flowing regularly enough to maintain my habit. So I switched to methadone, not really wanting to 'get well' but still searching for that self medicating high I intentionally upped the dose till I hit 80mg (though I would of been fine at 50 or even less). Then after loosing a job and the rest of my life to day long nods and the inability to not babble at my desk when in a nod *at work* I realized it was time to take this methadone stuff seriously. Stabilized though still depressed and hopelessly fighting my desire to not live I continued MMT for the next 5 years. (enjoying the mini high I get for the first few hours after my daily dose) and being miserable the rest of the day.
I'd known about ibogaine for the last three years of the methadone habit but didn't have the money myself to go do it at the time. After more research and running across a few first hand experiences in chat I brought the case to my family. Within a few months they had the resources to help me get down to Playas de Tijuana for the treatment.
I'll tell you now I was afraid, not so much of dying or anything but more because I was going about giving up a crutch and I wasn't even sure the (emotional) 'broken leg' was near ready to give up that crutch and still be functional. Depression was the trigger in my life, I knew if I didn't overcome that hopelessness and fear I'd be back on opiates in no time. I wanted free from the clinic and the up and down emotional/physical drama of opiate/methadone addiction. I was rotting in my own hell, using opiates to make that rotting process more comfortable and I knew that couldn't continue.. the time came to live or die. Don't think I didn't have thoughts of downing my 'vacation dose' all at one time and just ending it... I sure as hell did. I was still uncertain about what ibogaine would really do in my individual situation and if I could really be a non addict after all the time of self medication and unrelenting depression.
I finally get down to the clinic and to my surprise the two people that will be helping me through this experience are former addicts of opiates with very similar past situations. Quickly I was at ease knowing I was going through this soul manifesting experience with people that not only know where I'm going, but where I've been. Not some person that has never done it before, that doesn't know what it's like to be an addict but with someone that can empathize. Not only knowing the self hate and frustration of addiction but also what it's like to come out of that state, happy and healthy on the other side.. years down the line. The motivation of having people like that around you to help you through and after the treatment is more than words can express. It nurtures within you a reason to believe in yourself and the world around you that can be so very hard for a recovering addict to manifest alone.
So the time comes, I've been cleared to do the treatment and I take the test dose. Seems like no time has passed at all and I feel this tingle of heat run through my body, from over my head down to my feet and the withdrawal fades. I'm cleared for the full dose and it's time to 'go to bed' but being free from withdrawals I just want to walk around and talk to folks some more :). Anyway, they get me in bed, I put my headphones on (pumping psychedelic drumcode Swiss techno, well that's what I brought with me.. everyone seemed a bit surprised I wanted to go under with such sounds pounding in my ears). Slowly I become more and more relaxed, all the sudden my head then body get heavier and my brain starts to relax into a meditation and for some reason the fleece sheets become super nice to pet :P. I start to wonder if this will be a visionary experience when these liquid smoke circles of teal and deep purple start to float into view from around the edge of my vision, condensing as they float into the distance.
This lucid pleasant experience quickly turns into fast moving vision of free association between my heart and head. I see a three 3 demensional black body that I perceive to be myself and within that body this ultra violet purple body which I also see as myself pulsing from that black body, pulsing through the head each time it comes further and further out until I break into this complete visual field, a dream reality that I'm completely rationally aware within. Visions of African jungles and shamans dancing around me, loving me, frustrated with me for not loving myself. In and out of perceptual paradoxes and emotional voids within me, getting closer and closer to the part of me I neglected all these years, my demons, my inner child.
One of the last visions I can remember is of a crocodile eye off in the distance that would peep in on me then run off when I focused on it. Finally I stood my ground, asking for this presence to face me, in the foreground a robed being appears with no face, just a void still I could feel it staring at me. I look at it's directly back at it's perceived focus on me and it fades.
For me this being was the part of me I wasn't listening to, the part of me I was neglecting.. a perceived demon that only wanted my attention.. a feeling.. a thought that only needed to be nurtured and empathized with, within me. A child turned angry after years of its heart being stepped on and mishandled.
So I 'wake up' to the nurse coming in to check on my heart monitor and I realize the visions have stopped and I felt really good mentally even though my head was all a buzz. She left and I decided to get up to do who knows what. BTW, you're told not to move at all or at least very slowly during the experience because you get vertigo when you move and it causes nausea very quickly and rather violently heh. So I do what I'm warned not to, I get up quickly and it was like pulling a gyroscope out of alignment, I felt like loosing my stomach right away.. Point being, listen to the advice given, I felt no nausea at all until I tried to move around.
So Tuesday night comes and the residual ibogaine effect wears off and I'm left feeling like a new person. No fear, no depression, just potential for a new life. I just wanted to get up and experience being with others again, looking at life with these new eyes. I was still a bit fragile mentally but in a way that I knew the healing would continue and I would become stronger.
It's been almost 9 months now that I've been off methadone and I'm exorcising again and slowly trying to nuture my 'demons' back into a state of love and unity :)
Ibogaine helped me start a new life. I ended up not going back to the Midwest and staying in San Diego. I won't say it solved all my problems or made life a cinch to deal with, it's just helped me to find the strength and perspective to cope with life in new ways. Trying to share love and life in a social reality that is fundamentally based on exploitation is next to impossible but to once again see some hope that WE can start the process of healing together.. to find some sort of community that motivates us to embrace this woderful life and create a reality that reflects the beauty of life and each others potential is 'priceless'.
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