Cassandra

I went into this psychedelic journey as I had the many other journeys I always have; with a sense of incredible responsibility, respect, intention and oversight. I started using mushrooms and MDMA as a medicinal tool for my CPTSD a few years prior to this experience. There was never an air of recklessness, haste or foolish partying. I sourced my medicine from trusted, tested people.

 

On the day my NDE happened, I had set up my room to support the journey. I had all my supplements, water, noise-cancellation headphones, eye mask, MAPS playlist, and etc. Mushrooms are not a drug where you wake up naked in the road wondering how you got there. While I do hallucinate, I have the self-awareness to know that I am hallucinating and the great privilege of enjoying it during the experience. I took the mushrooms and did take a somewhat higher dose than normal, but I was prepared to go deeper than ever before.

 

I went into this trip with the intention of diving into my mother trauma. I was born on drugs and alcohol to a very young mother who didn’t want me. I wasn’t physically held much the first six months and had failure to thrive syndrome, amongst other issues. I was adopted at age six months and the mother-daughter relationship wasn’t much better. The mushroom trip gave me a beautiful vision of billions of women throughout all time going through this funnel of abuse that so many of us suffer. We are products of our parents who were products of their parents and the generational abuse and trauma extends millennia. I felt empathy and compassion for the women in my life that I hated and resented.

 

When I take mushrooms, it’s somewhat of a roller coaster or maybe better, a book chapter. There are waves, depths I go in and out of. Sometimes I am very aware of the world around me and other times I am diving into a vision/hallucination. I can recall every journey I have been on. For me, they transition beautifully and gently.

 

While I was feeling empathy, compassion, and hallucinating this funnel of women throughout history, I suddenly felt myself abruptly leave my body. Even so, it still was gentle. I understood what was happening, although I had never personally felt or experienced leaving my body during a journey. I was very confused. It felt like I was unwillingly pulled from the gentle roller coaster I was on. I believe this is where I stopped breathing, although I did not realize I wasn’t breathing.

 

I floated out of my body, wondering where I would end up and why I was there. I floated to an incredible room. I use the word ‘room’ for lack of a better word because there were no boundaries or defined walls. I was just infinitely there. I felt love and peace like I had never felt before. Everything was the most beautiful, golden light. I knew many people who were with me, despite the fact they didn’t have faces. But they did have auras. I could feel their presence and could absolutely feel their love. I greeted them and looked around in awe. I knew they were the spirit guides of the universe and I knew they created it.

All of a sudden, I was angry because I felt like I had no choice being here. Then, I remembered feeling surprised but also empowered as I started lecturing these spirit guides. Funny, in hindsight. I told them it was truly unfair to bring me into a world and subject me to such pain and trauma. I told them that I was just suddenly here and had to survive what felt like endless abuse. The spirit guides were never angry; they simply held space for me and agreed with me. This confused me. I felt exasperated at the end of my rant, expecting some explanation. Instead, they told me they understood and I could stay with them if I wanted to do so. Of course, I enthusiastically agreed to stay. I was in endless light, love, and peace that I felt so much that it was as if I would explode.

They said great, but they did need to let me know what would happen if I died. In that moment, a million moments happened in seconds. I was suddenly in the fetal position with a massive sphere like tornado all around me; full of the people in my life who loved and needed me. I saw my funeral. I saw their grief. I saw my husband finding my body and his pain. I saw the life of my daughter who would never get to be here. And while this tornado was circling around me, it was showing me vision after vision. I looked up through it all to the guides and told them I could not stay. In that moment, I was violently thrust back into my body. When it had felt like life was in slow motion, suddenly life was going ten million miles an hour, back into my body and into reality. I immediately pushed up off my stomach on my arms and took a massive breath.

One of the things with mushrooms, I can’t really sober up. I started this journey on my back with no recollection of turning over on my stomach. When I pushed up on my arms and off my stomach, I knew I had messed up. I felt sober which is not normal and then immediately called my husband. I could see clearly, which is another thing that’s not really possible on mushrooms. I told him I was ok, but I could not find my heartbeat. My entire body was blue. I asked him to come home. I rubbed my body vigorously and apologized profusely for what I had done. I didn’t want to die. It was a terrifying feeling, knowing I had really put myself in danger.

My husband came home and struggled to find my heartbeat as well. He eventually found a faint heartbeat which was abnormal for me. I have a very strong heartbeat, easily found in many areas. After about twenty minutes, I felt safe and then my mushroom journey resumed. This was unexpected and odd. Unfortunately, it was incredibly rough and painful. There were no gentle hallucinations, and feelings of love and beauty. Everything was cold, clinical and massively pixelated. It was as if the world was glitching in a very seizure-inducing way. I couldn’t close my eyes but I couldn’t open them either. I have never had a journey like that and it was a brutal few hours afterwards.

I spent the next couple of weeks with severe body aches. I was exhausted and drained despite supplements and attentive self-care. The only thing I was able to figure out was that I had turned over at some point and ended up in a crevice of the air mattress where I was unable to breathe; or maybe I was rebreathing air. I like my air mattresses half-inflated so there was lots of give. Regardless, somehow my body had stopped getting the oxygen it needed which started my NDE. I was not on a massive dose of mushrooms so it is interesting that I did not notice there was an issue. I still had the ability to assess danger while under the influence, even if it is dulled.

I don’t regret this and have since taken the mushrooms many times, although never alone. I am incredibly grateful for my experience. In a way, I gave the universe and myself the consent to be in my body. This is something I felt I never had the chance to give before.

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