Psilocybin Mushrooms cured my depression
As far as I can tell
I want to clarify that I'm not giving medical advice or any advice for anybody. I can't confirm for sure what happened to me, and this entire tale is anecdotal. I attribute my "cure" to these mushrooms; however, I do not encourage anybody to try them outside of professional recommendations with supervision.
Depression consumed my life, from my early childhood to my teenage years and beyond. My parents never gave me a safe place to express my negative emotions without severe punishment, and so eventually I began internalizing my anger, and aiming it toward myself.
I tried some counselling when I was in college, but it felt futile. My take from it was that the epiphanies I had about the origins of my emotions could have been explained to me quite clearly in some ways, but they were trying to guide me to reach those conclusions myself. But, I always thought the idea of writing a letter to my father and then not sending it was dumb. I wouldn't learn anything about how I felt. I'd been expressing those emotions through poetry for a decade. It wouldn't have surprised me to find out that I hated and resented the man for making it impossible to have an opinion about anything that didn't align exactly with his own.
It did take me a lot longer to realize that my mom was emotionally repressive in a different way. With her crying and constant anxiety whenever anything didn't go perfect, it wasn't exactly an ideal environment for expressing my own negative emotions without hurting her. She would constantly yell how she just wanted our family to be normal. And she'd always be looking for a wealthy man to take care of her. She found plenty of them. Step dads and boyfriends came and went from my life almost as often as I changed schools. It was a mix of her neuroticism and my brother, Jared's fits of rage that were triggered by nearly anything. I remember one of the men, Dale I think, having him choked against the wall. I hoped he would stay, but he didn't. I remember getting mad at her once and calling her by every last name she's ever had.
From middle school on, I spent most of my time locked in my bedroom. I'd watch T.V., play video games, and listen to music mostly. My habit of reading was mostly in my younger years, and then I picked it back up in a major way after college, and then again after choosing to be homeless for some time.
I started smoking weed when I was 13, and never broke the habit, although I have gone years without it here and there, but usually alcohol becomes my substitute. The first time I got drunk was when I was 8, drinking vodka and orange juice. I didn't have a lot of supervision as a child in my mom's house.
Drugs and alcohol were the way I coped with my emotions. They were where I turned when my brother, Jesse, died of an overdose. In my early twenties, I bought a pistol, and would drink myself blind every night, trying to find the courage to kill myself. Obviously, I never did. I always had some reason to wake up the next day.
I was 12 or 13 when Jesse gave me some advice about the drugs he had used. He told me, if I ever try anything, only try weed and acid. They won't kill you and they aren't addictive. That was his advice.
I tried acid when I was 24 or 25. I bought three tabs. The woman who sold them to me advised me to take only one and wait an hour to see how it felt. I did, but I didn't feel much of anything, so I figured, I could take the other and have one for later, knowing it wouldn't do much, or I could take the other two, which is what I did. Now, some would say it was a mistake to be listening to Brotha Lynch Hung's horrorcore music, but I was trying to lose my mind, which I did.
The real mistake was walking outside combined with my intentions going in and being alone. Outside, I lost myself in the universe. I saw the beginning and end of time. I began screaming in fear, and I didn't know what to do, so I called 911 on myself. They took me to the hospital for some thorazine, where I proved one of my theories to myself. People being captured and sedated in movies don't thrash enough. It took four or five nurses to hold me, and eventually they gave up on sticking the needle in me, for fear of hurting me, and decided to let me sleep it off. My Maw Maw Bren picked me up in the morning, with a look of loving disappointment, and nothing to say, which wasn't what I was used to. My dad would have been furious, and my mom would have been trembling.
I ended up getting hooked on synthetic marijuana, what is commonly known as mojo around here, and spice, in other places. If you don't know about this stuff, it's powerful and deadly. Most people feel a strong anxiety in their first time, getting scared and even lost while sitting still. It gets to the point for some people, including me, that you can't sleep at night without it. You smoke what you need, then sleep for a couple hours, wake up, smoke, sleep, and that's how you spend your nights. Days were the same amount of smoking, just without the sleeping. When I detoxed from it, cold turkey, I didn't sleep for two nights. And it didn't feel like I didn't sleep, I had plenty of energy for those days, and when I finally did sleep on that third night, it was like back to normal. Also, weed had no effect on me when I smoked mojo, so I didn't bother, and alcohol wasn't interesting.
Then I spent some time homeless, which I detailed elsewhere on this site. When I came back to Louisiana for my brother's wedding, on the choice of going back or coming back with a bunch of weed, I got the first job I ever really loved. I kept it for four years before I quit.
It was this job that eventually gave me the income, and financial freedom to start worrying about something other than if I was gonna buy weed or eat meat that week. I also happened to find my most reliable source of weed, other than the stores in Denver. It made it easy to stay high and do what I liked. My job also gave me the opportunity to spend the whole time listening to audiobooks, music, and podcasts.
That's when I was introduced to the Joe Rogan Experience, and the two episodes with Paul Stamets. He inspired me to look into the effects of psilocybin mushrooms on the brain. His story of overcoming a stutter and a stammer, combined with two 2-3 hour podcasts while exhibiting neither, made me a believer. One thing I learned in the reading and watching of anything I could find was that it seems like your mindset going into the trip is what's important. Your intentions from the trip matter a lot.
One thing about me is that I have been an existential nihilist for a long time. I often think about the nature of reality and life. I've read A Universe from Nothing many times, and also watched the lecture many times. I like to read about biology and evolution and quantum physics and philosophy. I contemplate existence on a daily basis, and have done so for decades.
So when I got my hands onto a half ounce of shrooms, and split it into maybe thirds and consumed the largest third, I once again got lost in the universe. This was the trip, the "heroic dose" that changed my life. I took it with my roommate home, without telling him, and then played video games with bright colors to help me have fun. It didn't work. I called my sister to come over, but she only stayed for a little bit, eventually she and my roommate both left, and I was alone.
That's when I got lost in my head. I like to say I talked to god and she told me three things.
1. There is no god
2. Life has no meaning
3. That's why it's so much fun
Then I started getting scared. I should mention that I smoked some weed early on to calm myself. One thing about hallucinogens is they don't just affect your visuals, and audio, they make your body feel weird too. A common effect of marijuana and psilocybin is a sense of anxiety. That, mixed with my natural proclivity toward anxiety were a bad combination, especially alone.
I got lost in my own head. I kept thinking about how I would always be in my own head and I could never be in anybody else's. It's an obsession of mine. I love reading autobiographies. It's the closest I can get to seeing the world from someone else's point of view. After reading my first, Tweak, I was hooked on them. That plus my obsession with nature. I've come to believe that animals and plants both have a sentience we cannot understand. The Hidden Life of Trees, the Genius of Birds, On the Origin of Species was the first. I'll probably never understand the perspective of something that isn't human in my lifetime, and probably even never understand the perspective of another human.
That's when I called 911 on myself. It wasn't my first time with shrooms. The first time was with my sister and her husband some months earlier, we played video games and listened to music and had a great time, doing an 8th. This was my second time, alone, doing a 3rd, and facing my demons. My main demon was loneliness.
After being put in the ambulance and driven to the hospital to wait it out, I asked for a psychiatrist to talk to and get some recommendations for someone to talk to. I never contacted any of them.
The next day after coming down, I spent the whole day depressed. I felt nothing and felt like nothing. I felt shame and ashamed. I felt empty and hollow. I felt dark and worthless. A coworker of mine said that perhaps it was my body's way of recovering, a way to make me rest after such an event. During that time, I decided I never wanted to feel that way again. It was such a familiar feeling. I used to cut myself for the thrill and the feeling.
After that day, I never felt depressed again. I just haven't. I haven't woken up on a "down day" where I just needed to take a couple days off to watch sitcoms and do nothing. I haven't thought of killing myself. I haven't cried myself to sleep. I haven't had any of those emotions. I just feel fine. I love my life now. I have hopes and dreams for my future. I have goals I want to achieve. It was life changing.
I have nightmares still, but I don't wake up and cry. I just get over them. They may be based on real things, but they aren't real, and they don't occur as often. I've taken initiative toward my happiness. I got a dog to fight my loneliness and Maple has helped so much. I spend more time with my family.
There are clinical trials being done now regarding these drugs as they are called. Marijuana took a long time to become more socially acceptable after becoming illegal (for corporate interests in my opinion) and the same will go for hallucinogens. Both of which were widely acceptable and used before the industrial revolution and corporations had the power to sway the law.
I've always been skeptical of pharmaceutical solutions to mood disorders, after watching Mike go crazy, Jesse become addicted, Jared go off and on, saying they made him feel nothing, and my mom, not ever losing her anxiety, but she did gain a lot of weight. These are only my experiences. I've actually never known anyone who told me they were on anxiety meds that wasn't anxious and obese.
I just pursue my dreams now, instead of trying to self-sabotage. I don't hurt myself on purpose anymore. I stand up for myself and push for what I want in situations that used to scare me into submission.
I've been writing like a man obsessed ever since. I've been creating all over, whether it's video games or music, but mostly my writing. In all of my ventures of creativity, it's always been writing. I will write forever and I will read just as long. I will grow in my craft and become successful through diligence and practice. This is my dream and my calling.
It isn't really about wanting to be known or successful, despite what I might say. It's just about what I can do. I can create through words things that are hard for me to express in any other way. I can write it in poetry or in stories. I've found that nonfiction is easier to write than fiction, but I will continue to master my art. It is my dream for my future, something I didn't used to have. I strive to be great at it, but it isn't the reason I do it. I do it because I am alive and I have a soul to express.
Maple keeps me company and wakes me up better than an alarm clock. I'd rather wake up to my dog licking my face than to an annoying noise. To stop my alarm clock, I have to press on it, to stop my dog, I pet her and get up and feed her. She means the world to me. She's so beautiful, and begs for my attention. My roommate says she's never excited for him to come home unless I'm home. She knows I'm the one who takes care of her. He does when I'm away, but I'm the one she shares a bed with and cuddles throughout the day. She's my everything. I talk about her like a loved one, and she is just that. I adopted her and she figured it out pretty quickly.
Today, at this time. I enjoy the fact that I live. I look forward to the future. I sleep well, and I have hopes and dreams instead of dreads and worries. Things are so different for me that they are hard to describe.
I love my life. I want to live as long as I can. I want to spread joy and hope wherever I go. I have changed so much.