I’ve been waiting till I felt the time was right to give a testimonial of my experience. I would not have been able to give a testimony worthy of the experience had I written it within the weeks following my treatment. It’s only now, 10 weeks after taking Ibogaine, that I feel I can adequately tell of my experience. Ibogaine didn’t change my life, it unlocked my mind. Bound by the prescriptions (Adderall/Xanax), my mind was in a constant state of panic. It was like living with a gun pointed at my head at all times, always on edge, always on guard. Consequently, my religious beliefs were locked within that same mind, the God I imagined created this turmoil in my head but was too small to grant me relief. Ibogaine unlocked, and for one day, threw chains off and the door to my mind swung wide open.
I have little to tell of the actual “trip” itself (the first 5 very intense hours of Ibogaine) since many great stories can be found on www.erowid.org but I will say that the first five hours of Ibogaine shattered every concept I have of God and reality. The true change began in me the next day. I spent the next day nesteled in what felt like a cacocon. It was as if every worry or care was gone and I was mindful only of the current moment. For an entire day I felt peace, joy, and love – I felt the divine! I tasted of health and clear mindedness and realized I had been drinking dirty water and that it was time start drinking this living water. My body felt as if it had a harmony to it and that drugs
were notes in a different key one that didn’t fit with the beautiful melody I was living.
I have now been clean for ten weeks. Although that is a glorious thing, I put very little emphasis on that as an accomplishment. I say this because I am no longer an addict. I no longer crave drugs, alcohol, or even cigarettes for that matter. I’ve learned other ways of calming my mind than alcohol or xanax and new ways of focusing my attention without chemicals.
This evening I’ve been reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “Living Buddha, Living Christ” and meditating. If you knew me before Ibogaine, you would know that this was not a typical evening for me. I was a “know-it-all” (for lack of a better word) Christian who talked far, far more than I listened and would have been quicker to condemn a Buddhist to hell then to listen to anything they had to say.
Another change I’ve noticed in myself is in my diet and in the way I view my body and my relationship to it. I am very careful what I put into my body now and very aware of changes in my body. I now have a respect for my body and for it’s natural ability to heal itself that I never before could have understood.
Ultimately, I believe (and so does research) that in order to overcome a drug addiction (or any addiction for that matter) one must approach the issue on three different levels; the mind, the body, and the soul. If one is neglected than, as I know from past experience, the addiction will eventually gain control over the other two. Looking back on the past ten weeks, I could give many more vivid examples of changes in all three areas of my life. It seems that some aspects of addiction Ibogaine deals with almost immediately (ie: the physical, bodily addiction) the other two parts (mind/spirit) are dealt with much more gradually and require that a person be desiring change.
Finally, I would like give testimony to what I believe to be the most crucial aspect of the Ibogaine experience – the staff. In the house where I was treated there was an attitude of mindfulness present at all times. I wept when I left and in my own meditations often travel back. There was always someone their to talk with me, to listen, and to give guidance – when neccessary.
I weep when I think of what my life used to be like, the chaos, paranoia, and the voice in my head which never left me alone. I weep when I think of those stuck in this state of mind, those whose minds are locked in the same box of addiction mine was in. It truly can be hell on earth. Most troubling, is our societies reaction to addiction and addicts. We sweep them under the rug, lock them in jail, send them to church camp, and try to get them to try harder to stop using. This must change – we in the United States must realize that we are failing! I’ve learned though that for change to happen it must begin with the individual Dr. Gabriel and his staff also I’m sure know this concept very well because they practice it. Instead of treating me like an addict, I was treated like a person who had an addiction. I was loved, cared for, and nourished back to health – only then could I “try harder”.
Words cannot express my gratitude.