I arrived for my ibogaine trip ready to die; Now my inner child is free – Lucid News

Three months ago I arrived at Beond, an ibogaine clinic in Mexico, ready to die. I mean that in the most literal sense. Ibogaine is a powerful psychedelic dwelling in the root of a Central African bush that is gaining notoriety in the West as a treatment for opioid use disorder and other indications. Ibogaine lengthens the space between heartbeats. Although the risk is low, it can kill people, and we don’t fully understand why specific individuals may be at risk.

I no longer had to speculate about what I would do if I thought I had a week to live. I had done it. I had put my affairs in order and took long walks. I had made a diary. I had told my chosen family that I loved them and asked them to light a candle for me on my journey.

I also took stock of the life I lived for the past 46 years. I felt good about it. But I also felt imprisoned by deeply unhealthy patterns that, for decades, had caused me and some of those around me so much pain. I was sure those patterns had originated in my childhood, but despite many years of therapy, their origin felt out of reach, obscured by a fog of dissociation and inflamed memories. Deep down, I knew that to free myself from these patterns, I had to die. And I was ready.

I love astronomy, and I often think about the Big Bang, that singular cosmological event that set the laws of physics in motion in such a way that our world came into existence. What was my Big Bang? I often wondered. What event or set of circumstances had set in motion the seemingly immutable emotional laws that controlled my life and birthed my world from the shadows of my subconscious?

My Ibogaine Journey

Two days after reaching Beond, I lay in bed, ready for my journey. Apparently I was in a hospital room, though something about this one was different. It was the energy. The doctors and nurses tended to me, but their movements, their expressions, their words, all radiated compassion. This had been true from the moment I arrived at the retreat center. The air felt permeated with goodness. How was this possible in a medical setting, I was wondering? How did the nurse to whom I handed my urine sample appear to be glowing with Buddha light?

As my anxiety grew over my impending trip, a nurse, Karla, gently slipped a tube into the IV that had already been inserted into my vein, starting a drip of electrolyte fluid directly into my bloodstream. When he had finished, he gave me the most subtle and tender kiss on the arm, as if he had kissed a feather, and then went on with his other preparations.

EKG sensors formed a constellation on my chest, and wires from each snaked through my body to a computer, which beeped intermittently. A blood pressure monitor squeezed my left bicep, automatically inflating every few minutes.

This is by far the strangest setting to make any psychedelic, I thought, let alone the one sometimes described as the most powerful of all.

Finally the time came and I was handed a plastic cup full of capsules. Shit, I said to myself as I swallowed, there’s one batch of them.

As psychonauts will tell you, the time between taking a psychedelic and feeling it kick in is like nothing else. It is a liminal space. One foot remains in this world. The other hangs over the edge in something much wider. Like a star collapsing into a black hole, time contorts and collapses. I heard the strange and beautiful Bwiti tribal music in my ears. The feeling was of a sandaled foot hitting a dirt floor, banging on the door of my subconscious. Inside my inner world, dust was flying in the air. I knew what it was. It was every bit of pain I had ever released. Every trauma I had buried.

Ibogaine had arrived. I felt my cells light up, starting from my feet and continuing to my neck. I remembered that ibogaine works on 17 different neurological systems. I could feel the molecule penetrating deep into my brain. My ego defenses were mobilized and I could feel tendrils of panic sliding through my body.

But then the most magical thing happened.

I heard all the machines, all the wires, all the pipes. I felt Karlas presence nearby.

And they all felt like pure love.

This is what it feels like to be cared for, I thought. Really, deeply cared for. With this awareness, I was able to let go more fully than ever, into ibogaine loving arms. As I reflect on my journey, I have no doubt that the depth of my healing is a function of the totality of my surrender.

In the book, Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thrive, psychologist Pete Walker writes:

I tell my inner child that if time travel is ever possible, I will travel back in time and put an end to my parents’ abuse. In the course of this, I say things like, “I’m going to call 911. I’m going to call CPS.” I’ll grab them by the arms and pin them in the back the moment they try to hit you. I’ll gag them so they can’t yell at you or even mumble their criticisms. He’ll put bags on your head so they can’t ruin you or look at you. I’ll send them to bed without dessert. I will do anything you want me to do to protect you.

As a result, the rescue of the time machine is possible And the time travel vehicle is called ibogaine.

And so, in that endless psychedelic storm, I saw him. I saw my inner child, crying in agony and drowning in an ocean of pain. Here it was: all of the pain I had experienced as a child and had never grieved or released. Somehow, I remembered the advice of one of Beonds’ trainers, and dove into that angry red sea and rescued him. I merged it with my soul, where it remains to this day. From that moment on, lying in my hospital bed, I literally felt like a baby lying on my chest, resting. Finally, finally, finally, resting.

The booster dose of ibogaine

Two days later, during a booster dose, I started to worry. How will I take care of this beautiful child sleeping on my chest? What do I know about how to love and protect him? And then the answer came, with that diamond clarity that illuminates ibogaine missives: I take care of my inner child just as Karla, my sweet nurse, took care of me.

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That was three months ago. Since then, during that sacred period after an ibogaine experience, where our brains can form new neural pathways and lovingly let go of maladaptive pathways, where we can hold open the cellar door to the basement of our subconscious and let let the sun come in I have done my best to model what Karla showed me and honor the great development that ibogaine has precipitated.

I have created a space for myself in my life. I put myself first. After four years of launching and running my non-profit Fireside Project with barely a moment’s rest, I’ve taken a break. i have played i sang I have taken the time to begin building a safe, good enough, loving connection with my inner child. I took a deep breath and experienced the miracle of living fully from my parasympathetic nervous system for the first time. I’ve marveled at how beautiful it feels to move through the world as an integrated person.

I have come to see my old patterns as friends, emissaries sent by a terrified inner child to draw my attention away from the present moment and back to it. My friend, the psychologist Dr. Jacob Ham, you’re right: trauma is really the opposite of presence. Now that my inner child is with me, these friends can rest. They got it! Instead of feeling frustrated with them as I did so often before my ibogaine experience, I can now embrace them, my heart overflowing with gratitude. Thanks to them, my inner child is free.

As a result, there is life beyond my big bang

After. Some final thoughts.

I recently heard a neuroscientist say that he believes ibogaine has more potential for humanity than AI. I tend to agree. For all I know, the psychology textbook shelves will have to be substantially revised to reflect the radical healing potential of ibogaine.

But as global interest in ibogaine, one of the plants that contain ibogaine, grows, the bush Tabernanthe iboga, has become a commercial crop and is in danger of extinction. The iboga bush should be left to the Bwiti tribe of Gabon. For them, iboga is a foundation of their heritage and losing it would be a blow to their cultural identity.

Fortunately, there is a sustainable and renewable alternative, the African Voacanga plant, which is grown on plantations in Gabon and elsewhere in Africa specifically for commercial use. This reduces wild harvesting and gray market sales Tabernanthe iboga. A substance called Voacangine is extracted from the Voacanga and used to produce a semi-synthetic, high-purity ibogaine hydrochloride. This was the source of the ibogaine used during my time in Beond.

Beyond sustainable sourcing, more action is needed to ensure that the benefits of ibogaine are shared with the Bwiti and that their traditions and sacred lands are honored and preserved. Also, as this drug moves toward the market, we should work to ensure that cost is not a barrier to access. Here are three specific recommendations:

  1. Everyone who benefits from ibogaine, including retreatants and participants, should donate to non-profit organizations such as Blessings of the Forest, which support Gabonese environmental and cultural institutions, indigenous communities and authorities administrative bodies committed to the preservation and sustainable development of Gabon’s natural and cultural heritage.
  1. Support efforts like the one underway in the state of Ohio to use public funding to bring ibogaine to market. One way to do this is by donating to nonprofits like the REID Foundation that are seeking public funding from the Ohio Opiate Settlement to begin clinical trials of ibogaine for substance use disorder. opioids
  1. When the time comes, demand that the federal and state governments, through Medicare, Medicaid, or other programs, cover the full cost of ibogaine treatment.

Editor’s note: The author discussed writing about his experience with Beond, but paid for his treatment and did not share this account with them prior to publication.

Featured image of African Voacanga by Hiobson – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64895112

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