by: Jerily Douglas
If someone had told me 6 months ago that I would be taking an intense psychedelic drug to help me feel more connected to my life again, I would have said they were crazy!
My husband, an ex-heroin/methadone addict for 35 years went through the Iboga experience 3 months ago. He went into the center fearful, sick and without much hope. Six days later he came out a changed person. He seemed to be “re-wired” with a new passion for living……not to mention no cravings and very minor withdrawls. During the next three months I noticed even more changes in his behavior. He is focused and calm. He’s balanced and confident. Before he felt hollow inside – now when I look at him I see wholeness.
Last year after discovering that my husband was “using” again, I became depressed for the first time in my life. I couldn’t stop my compulsive worrying about everything. It affected all aspects of my life – like my confidence level, my health, my sleeping and even the ability to be around people. I was very stuck and desperately wanted to get my life back in balance again.
Seeing these positive changes in my husband and hearing about the incredible visions he had during his “trip” really sparked my curiosity. After reading Daniel Pinchbeck’s “Breaking Open The Head”, and reading everything I could find on Iboga on the Internet, I decided that this experience might be just what I needed to make some changes in my life.
There were a couple of things holding me back at first. One being afraid to take a psychedelic (I had used LSD, mescaline, and mushrooms back in the late 60’s and always hated that anxiety that would creep in at the onset) and the other is I dislike being nauseated. I knew there was a good chance of that happening if I moved my head. I read so many accounts that said it was nothing like LSD, etc. So…..”what the heck”, I thought, “I’ll just lay perfectly still and I’ll be allright”.
I scheduled a 2-day stay at the Ibogaine Treatment Center (Actually I was treated at a local hotel, as they were in the process of moving). Drs. Martin Polance and Ana Lorenzo were both so knowledgeable, understanding and so cool! I instantly liked them. After getting checked out medically I felt safe in their hands.
One week ago I took Iboga. I can’t believe what I experienced. It was nothing like I expected. I know now why they say it’s not a recreational drug. This was serious business and it wasn’t pleasant. I took the dose around 4:15 p.m. and started to feel it’s effects about 45 minutes later. The wonderful warm mist everyone had talked about came to me like a huge intense blast, penetrating every cell in my body. It was orange and hot. I felt very drugged like being way too drunk. Then the anxiety set in, a familiar feeling that hit me in the past when coming on to a psychedelic, only worse. I had instant diarrhea……so much for not moving my head! I had to get up…..”NOW”. Marcella, the facility’s nurse kindly assisted me to the bathroom where I expelled everything in my intestines. It was a real struggle to get back to bed, barely able to coordinate any movements. Marcella said to take deep breaths as she covered me up and hooked me back to the monitor. I didn’t like the feeling of being dizzy and drugged and I told her….but my voice sounded so warbled. As soon as I got settled in bed I had to throw up, this time, thankfully, into a bucket by the bed. I remember wondering if my body was rejecting it? It felt like I was being poisoned. I threw up a couple of more times until nothing was left.Then the visual distortions started and that made me even dizzier. No closing my eyes to escape!!! Distorted faces flew by, patterns, colors. I was overwhelmed. It wouldn’t stop. When I heard Marcella say “just try to relax and flow with it”, I gave it my best and eventually started feeling better, but never really comfortable physically. I breathed slowly and deliberately.
Soon a huge clear pink Sapphire was placed over my entire body and THAT really got my attention!! In between patterns and changing faces came a series of visions that were so awesome it made me forget I was sick. A lot of this I can’t yet put into words, but here’s my best account:
I kept hearing the Iboga “buzzing” background sound with a rhythm and drums and rattles. I was watching a pattern on the screen in my head and suddenly I was seeing an African dancer. I had the distinct feeling he was there for me. He was tall, with long arms and legs, had a face mask and costume of bright orange, gold and brown. I saw him as if my eyes were wide open! Then several more dancers appeared without face masks. I saw their round black faces. They wore white clothing. This scene repeated again at the end of my “trip”. For the first time I know the difference between visualizing something in my mind’s eye and actually seeing it with my own two eyes as I did that night.
The next vision came quite suddenly as everything became silent and a planet floated by with several luminous moons circling around it. The moons had rings around them and radiated a sweet mother of pearl light that went straight to my Soul. It caught me off guard and had a radically different feel to them than the African dancers. I hope I’ll understand the meaning of this in the weeks to come.
Next came a huge bright violet mass of light with a moving shape that took up about 30% of the screen in my head. I know somehow that it was a spiritual Being of Light. It stayed with me for about 10 seconds, which is long on Iboga time! At this point I was convinced that all the sickness I was feeling was worth it. I also knew this would be a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience.
The next vision is so hard to describe because it was more a familiar feeling or energy. A huge red/violet scarf was flopping hard in the wind over my head. It’s black symbols were hard to decipher. It had a sound to it and such an intensity!
At one point I was looking at the ceiling from my bed – saw a square light right above me. Just as I was noticing how crystal clear my sight was, I remembered my eyes were closed. I opened them and was back in the “real” room again. Is this parallel reality, I wondered? I kept feeling shifts in reality all thru the night. It was unreal!!
I didn’t see a lot of images from my childhood or at least I don’t remember yet….just a few flashes of myself and sister as kids during the first part of the trip.
I communicated with my parents about my fear of their inevitable death. Then I had a deep inner peace with it….just like that, knowing death is a part of life and it is ok. That was ONE HUGE RELIEF!
Ana came in just as the visions subsided and asked how I was doing and told me the time.
It was 9:15 p.m. Five hours had passed!
I felt so taken care of by both doctors and Marcella. They were totally with me every step of the way. I always felt safe.
One week has passed and I’m really amazed at the changes I notice in myself. Everyday I’ve awakened with a clear, calm, peaceful feeling. My mind is no longer cluttered with worries and fears. I take things in stride. I sleep well. I like life; I TRUST life. I’m a lot closer to my husband as we’ve been through a lot together. I’m looking forward to more realizations. I’m thankful for the amazing visions and experiencing other realities. I achieved the result I was so hoping for….that balance and emotional stability….that clarity I haven’t felt for a long time. I’ve got my trust in life back.
If anyone is considering doing this for reasons other than opiate addiction, it can have tremendous value, but be prepared!!!! The unpleasant physical experience I had really threw me off guard. It’s not a “fun trip”.