Trying to write your experience on the medicine was challenging, but therapeutic. You know now why so few people can adequatey put into words what it is like. First, it is different for everyone. And each experience is unique. “Personal hell” is an accurate description. Others say, “A death and re-birth experience.” For some, “it is like another dimension.”
Who knows what the medicine will give you? What you need, they say. Just what you need.
You feel angry—indignant. You did not need what it gave you. You remember someone asking whether one could risk permanent psychological damage from their experiences on the drug. Not really, was the reply. But you’re not so sure.
The interesting thing about pain is that no matter the degree of suffering, when it is over, it’s over. You cannot re-live the actual pain of an experience. You can remember it only vaguely. Your 10-hour battle with the medicine was truamatic, and yet you knew in the back of your mind that it would have to end at some point. Your septic arthritis, on the other hand, while local to your leg, had no end in sight. The memory of the pain of the medicine is now vague, as is the pain of your knee—but the memory of the psychological truama is there to stay. For each.
What’s worse. Intense, yet relatively brief agony? Or enduring, chronic pain? You’ve been through both. You should know.
And yet you can’t answer, because the agony of the medicine, for you, was a complex blend of both physical and emotional agony. A horrifying reminder that you can be, that you have been, utterly helpless. Totally vulnerable. Again and again.
It is supposed to be a healing drug. A cleansing, de-toxifying drug. You understand why. They say the spirit of the plant goes into you, finds your demons, and ushers them out. You’re not sure if it’s a spirit, or whether it is a normal biochemical response to poisoning oneself.
Could you call it a bad trip? Or was it an “appropriate” trip? So many others have tear-stained faces today. This group is not a good promotion for the experience, even through almost everyone has done it at least a dozen times. Many stayed curled up in chairs, faces red from crying, holding their shaking bodies, clutching blankets, and sharing their experiences with compassionate friends.
And you have bruises under your eyes from all your crying.
Many people thanked you and Manon for going so deep. Others said they felt as though you, Manon, and Marlene were three points of a triangle of energy which drilled deep into unconscious of Irish feminine truama. Your shaman had spoken to you in the morning, “You had a very rough night. I saw. Are you okay?”
No, you weren’t fucking okay. You were a shit-show. Still had the shakes.
“It’s incredible how far you let the medicine take you.”
Another man, the man who’d given you his knee, said, “You helped me. I had to focus. I worried that if you struggled, I would have to call for help, to hold you down because of all your power.”
Your female “neighbor” asked to give you another hug. “It was an honor to be next to you.”
The woman who held you in your lap: “Yes, I helped you. It’s okay. You are okay. You have a lot of courage.”
You and Manon both were wasted after the first night. Your shaman and all the others beckoned you to participate in the second night. They said your experience could be different. That is is different every time.
No fucking way.
You said, “I’m the kind of person who is always trying to find my limits. I found them. I can’t go any further.”
Marlene claimed to have had a death experience, to have also found her limits, and yet she was going back for more. You could not. You knew from your trip the night before that you suppressed the medicine. Bottled it up. Refused to release the rest of your poison. There was more waiting to come out. You weren’t going to let it if it meant another battle
Marlene said, “I know I’m not finished releasing what’s inside me.” Neither were you.
You had no intention of letting out the rest. Emotional toxic baggage aside, another day of fasting, and another night of violent vomiting, dehydration, and trauma could not be healthy for your body. There could be no justification.
You and Manon were the only two people to refuse to go back. They said you should come anyway, and that you wouldn’t have to drink. But that you should observe the others.
No thanks. You’d already done that for three hours the first night. The last thing you wanted was to sit in that dark room again, hear others crying and retching and giggling as you tried to ignore the memories of the night before.
Fuck it. You and Manon spent the day sporadically crying; it was good to have her sit it out with you–to know that another person got dragged down so deep, and could comprehend your need to skip the second ceremony.
You also slept nearly 20 hours. Your body demanded 20 hours to recover from a de-tox.
Your brother said, “I read your post on that drug you took. I don’t mean to sound critical, but did you take away anything from the experience?” Meaning: what did you learn?
You’ve learned some hard lessons:
- Your inner child is screaming and kicking inside you.
- Feeling helpless is your personal hell.
- It is unbelieveable how much suffering the body can hold.* Life is suffering, as the Buddhists say.
You’ve been high on love. MDMA-induced love, as well as genuine love for another person is incredible. It empowers you. Love is strength. Love is energy. Love makes you feel unstoppable.
*But the highs of love are nothing compared to the highs of pain. The body can hold more pain than it can hold love. Ten fold.
Remember that, and be greatful that you have the capacity to bottle up the pain, store it deep down where only that vine can find it.