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November 17, 2021

Why Ayahuasca saved my Life—& helped Cure my Depression.

*Disclaimer: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal opinion, view or experience of the authors, and can not reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. This website is not designed to, and should not be construed to, provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment.

I spent most of my life with the creeping idea in the back of my head that I’m probably going to have to kill myself.

Life felt like too much; it didn’t seem worth staying on this planet for too long. 

I now see this as a representation of the sheer amount of pain I was holding onto. I was struggling with depression and anxiety. Contemplating suicide was a normal thought that cycled through my head from the age of nine. Oddly enough, this thought was comforting because it provided me with a way out, a sort of backup option if I decided I couldn’t do life anymore.

Like most people with depression, I didn’t want to die by suicide. What I wanted was relief from my suffering. After a few unsuccessful suicide attempts in my teenage years, I decided I would at least attempt to try to find relief from my depression and suicidal ideation. I started with conventional medicine, and over six years, I tried about seven different anti-depressants. All of which merely put a bandage on my pain, stuffing it down deeper and giving me some yummy side effects.

I endeavored to find relief through traditional therapy, predominantly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which provided me an understanding of where my depression came from and that I had a severely traumatizing upbringing, but there was still no relief. Instead, it left me stuck in the past, as I continuously intellectualized and analyzed my pain, developing a victim-complex and becoming too identified with my trauma.

At one point, I decided that maybe it was more of a physical issue rather than a mental one and became somewhat of a hypochondriac for a while. I spent hours engulfed on the internet diagnosing myself with fibromyalgia, leaky-gut syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, and adrenal fatigue. I even saw a functional medicine doctor who put me on liver detoxes, hormone-balancing creams, had me cut out gluten and dairy, and prescribed a million different supplements. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I think that some of this stuff helped a little, but I definitely know it helped more because I believed it was helping. The placebo effect is real, y’all.

I explored further into more alternative treatments, which opened a gate to some pretty fun experimentation. I tried things like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), where a magnetic coil was hooked up to my amygdala (the emotional center of the brain) in an attempt to stimulate dormant neurotransmitters for people specifically with treatment-resistant depression.

I tried acupuncture, chiropractors, yoga for trauma, neurofeedback, and something called Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE), to name a few, all of which helped me in various shapes and forms. However, I still didn’t feel like anything was going deep enough. There was still something I was holding onto; I just knew it.

Eventually, one of my therapists, who could see I needed something more, mentioned Ayahuasca—some insanely intense psychedelic that dives deep into the subconscious. She told me it was life-changing for her, and any method that could potentially be “life-changing” immediately sparked my interest. 

A year later, the universe connected me with this beautiful medicine, and my life has never been the same.

 

 

I would essentially describe my first ayahuasca ceremony as an exorcism.

I experienced the most pain I have ever felt in my entire life, releasing screams and noises that I didn’t know were humanly possible. I shook vigorously for hours, cried harder than ever, and felt a clusterf*ck of every single emotion. 

It may sound horrible, but it was great. Oddly enough, it was so relieving to finally be releasing all of this pent-up energy, essentially re-experiencing all the trauma I had been storing in my psyche. Yes, it was hard, but I knew that I was only healing. I was reintegrating the parts of me that I had repressed and suppressed for so long, forcing me to see my shadow side clearly, leaving me feeling more whole and connected. 

I was able to validate my inner child for the sheer amount of suffering I had been through, and that was all I needed. I was able to be my own mother and provide myself with the care and unconditional love that I never got as a child. It reconnected me with my soul and what I deeply needed in a way that no other therapy came close to providing me. I could also feel that it was much bigger than my trauma. I saw how it was connected to the other participants of the ceremony and my ancestors and all of humanity.

I was releasing my suffering which I now know as the collective consciousness. Helping heal not only myself but also the entire planet. We are all connected.

I’ve participated in five ayahuasca ceremonies now, each time gaining new insights and reaching higher levels of consciousness. During the ceremonies, I’ve slowly released the lower energies of shame, disgust, guilt, anger, self-hatred, confusion, frustration, overwhelm, anxiety, and self-pity. In addition, it helped bring in more elevated levels of consciousness into my being, including inner peace, trust, freedom, forgiveness, acceptance, joy, bliss, empowerment, strength, gratitude, and so much love.

I’ve further ventured deeper into the realm of plant medicine and other psychedelics experimenting with psilocybin, San Pedro, sassafras, Kambo, bufo, LSD, and MDMA, but personally have connected most with Ayahuasca.

Throughout my experimentation, I have realized that even though reaching elevated states of consciousness through these medicines is magical, integrating the insights and higher frequencies into our life is the most important aspect of taking plant medicine. This is where the work begins.

I cannot stress enough that implementing what the medicine shows us into our everyday life is key. I don’t want to give the substances too much power as that leads to attachment and dependence. These plants are merely beautiful tools to help us bring new awareness of what was previously subconscious more than conscious. I further want to stress that they are not for everyone and not essential to finding healing. Yes, Ayahuasca was the catalyst to my growth, but in reality, we are the medicine.

We can heal and become more conscious human beings through awareness and making the sometimes difficult yet necessary changes to our lives.

I now work as a spiritual life coach, helping people interested in doing deeper work to reconnect with their souls and realign with their true desires to manifest a more fulfilling life. I also help souls integrate higher levels of consciousness gained from spiritual practices and plant medicine into their everyday life. Furthermore, I support people who have intense experiences with these medicines and struggle with processing everything, as post-ceremony isn’t always pretty.

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