Written c. 1998
I finally was able to take my ibogaine treatment about ten weeks ago after months of waiting.
I will recount the highlights of what I can recall of the session. While I was awake for about 36 hours, there were periods of what seemed to be blackouts or time lapses. Though I thought I slept at times, my guide told me I was awake throughout. The stuff really made the hours go by slowly.
In the late afternoon, I took compazine (for nausea prevention) and one of four large capsules of the ibo to see how well I tolerated it.. I was especially concerned about nausea after hearing of some very unpleasant experiences. After about a half hour I took the remainder. I experienced absolutely zero stomach upset, thankfully. I lay back very still and waited.
The first effects were a body glow and subtle pastel blue and pink swirls. I lay motionless, taking it all in. It built to a huge crescendo to a point of a time lapse. I then began to experience the snapshot effect: little memories of my life in flashes went flowing through both sides of my mind in a streaming effect . It rose to a very intense “peak” that seemed to go on endlessly. I was somewhat disappointed that I didn’t experience the video effect recalling my life. I was instead propelled into a bizarre parallel world where I didn’t know anyone. It seemed to be in the future.
There were vast numbers of people mobbed in the streets, placing bets on spectacular fireworks displays. I was part of a small group that promoted and M.C.’d the displays. Weird. It was all nighttime; never any daylight. Some of the individuals that I met were quite amusing; my guide told me I had laughed out loud and chuckled several times. No one seemed to have their own home – it was all communal living. I was somewhat of a wanderer. At another point it seemed like the end of the world – crumbling houses with people jammed into them sleeping on piles of old clothing. Campfire meals with packaged food long out of code. Many people were very old with their bodies literally falling apart. These types of images endured endlessly. I was encased in the ibo machine, something like an iron lung, mechanically humming and pulsating. At about eight hours (it seemed much longer) I said “I wish I could turn this off!!! This is so strong!!!” At last I saw the “grand finale” of the fireworks come and I lapsed into another blackout period. This is indeed a potent substance. Though much different, it reminded me why I quit taking acid years ago.
The next morning I felt very drained and exhausted. I had lost a day; I was convinced it was Sunday morning, but it was still Saturday. I was hoping I would quit smoking cigarettes as well, but felt it necessary for a smoke after fighting the urge for quite awhile. ( I have since learned that nicotine addiction is sometimes arrested 4-8 months after treatment.) I was beginning to wonder “is that all?” but there was was much more to come.
I began to look for the cause of my addiction – scanning inside my body I discovered a defective gene. Attached to it was a glowing green tag labeled “defective”. I wanted to clip it off, but I was afraid of causing more damage. Just what I need. Searching for its origin, the skulls of my ancestors flashed through my mind and I traced the anomaly back to a man on my father’s side in the mid sixteenth century.
The most immediate healing period came that afternoon, having a very intense talk with my guide regarding my wife and child. I was able to process a lot of emotional garbage that had been holding me back for months. I was finally able to forgive myself for abandoning them in favor of drinking. I also came to realize how deeply I love my wife, much more than I was consciously aware of. I made verbal amends, and made an affirmation that I would not continue this lifestyle any longer. I was also able to deal with my previously unknown fear of aging and not having enough time left in my life to start over. It was a very tearful, exhausting process.
That night I became convinced, though it didn’t really happen, that a man and a woman had come into the room to sleep. My guide told me I had a one sided conversation with them, recounting my experiences. I tried to get a light for my cigarette from the woman, but the light kept retracting. Fancy that. At another point, I was told it sounded like I took telephone sales order. At dawn, as the room began to lighten, I had a distinct image of being reborn. A large pair of hands appeared, sculpting a lump of clay into an infant. From the infant a vaporous image of myself arose and drifted into the wall. Soon after this I finally went into a light sleep. The effects had largely diminished with exception of peripheral light flashes after 48 hours had elapsed. I rested, reflected, and ate like a champ for the next few days before returning home.
This process was a grueling ordeal; intensely hard work. It was worth every second of it. While I can draw some direct parallels from the session, some aspects make no sense at all. I’ve been assured that this is normal and really doesn’t matter. I am pleased to say that I haven’t experienced any craving or had any desire to use alcohol or any other drug since I was treated and have been clean ever since. (Still smokin’ though.) My friends and family have noticed a radical change in my actions, attitude and outlook. (After a meeting at a support group: “Dood, you sound *different*!!!) My mother, who was fearful that the treatment was some form of an internet cult, is amazed at the results. I have a new feeling of clarity as to which direction to take my life in. Things are slowly getting better: finances, employment, living situation, the feeling that it is indeed not too late to start over. The depression has lifted. I am visiting my son on a regular basis. I still have a substantial amount of work to do repairing finances and relationships, but I’m chipping away at it a little at a time. The difference today is I have the utter confidence my life will continue to improve and I can and will stay clean.
I am eternally grateful to all the folks who helped make it happen.