[Ibogaine] Ibogaine story
phillipfiuty at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 26 14:29:39 EDT 2008
I mostly agree with you here. I ran into a similar situation 10 years ago in NA. I had been working with some people who were helping me kick using Ayuhuasca. I had done several sessions prior to actually stopping dope.
After two rehab attempts, I finally started going to NA meetings. Once there I quickly figured out that apart from a few close friends there, I could not divulge my plans to wait one year and re-engage with the sessions.
At one year, I did two sessions in one week. When I went back to my meeting scene, my friends noticed immediately that something significant had changed for the positive. On the other hand, I couldn't be straight with my sponsor or all the other people I was hanging around.
Since "honesty" is such an important piece to the whole program thing (and to living life as a whole, I might add), it all started to lose some of its integrity for me. I thought about feeling guilty, but I really didn't, and felt bad for those I saw suffering needlessly who might have actually benefited from a more holistic approach.
Of course I had other issues, like the whole "jails, institutions and death" trip. Drugs don't cause those things... society does. Etc.
Some of my best friends today are from those five years I 'worked it'. They were the ones that got it. Many of the ideas I have about keeping myself alive today were fostered by way of the 12 step stuff, but I refuse to go through every day comparing my life now to the last day I got high on dope and speed, which actually wasn't that bad.
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 07:11:27 -0600
From: ibogamail at gmail.com
To: ibogaine at mindvox.com
Subject: Re: [Ibogaine] Ibogaine story
I don't mean to belittle NA by any means but I honestly think it is
important to recovery for what it provides, but that what it provides
is attainable through other means. In other words I think there are
other places to get the same things. Contrary to some people's
opinions just going to NA does not equal recovery, and recovery exists
outside of NA as well as inside. But one important thing NA does
provide that is hard to find elsewhere is a community of people who
know about addiction first hand who can hold you accountable to
yourself. That is I think somewhat difficult to replicate elsewhere.
The other aspects such as service to others, adherence to spiritual
principles, as well as methods of self examination, are all things you
could get from other sources. Personally I think it is important to
place as many of those things as you can in your life in recovery. NA
is not for everyone, I believe that, but even for myself, I am still a
part of the community, I still feel like I belong, despite some pretty
basic disagreements about some of the tenets. I think there is room
there for anyone who can keep their mind open and also keep from
letting the opinions of others have too great of an impact on them
psychologically. NA is made up of human beings and as with any
collection of human beings, it has it's share of difficult
personalities, people who will judge you or condemn you or talk shit
about you behind your back. But if you find people who you can trust
and respect in there, they can help you to save your own life.
Just for the record, I strongly discourage anyone from trying to carry
the message of ibogaine in the 12 step community. On the side, in
private conversation is one thing but openly in those groups, even in
non-meeting social situations, will get you PLENTY of negative
attention. I have discussed it with dozens of people in NA and
discovered this first hand. I still mention it to people here and
there but largely I consider NA gatherings a place where the NA message
is the socially acceptable paradigm and leave my views and opinions on
ibogaine for more private conversations.
that’s an amazing story.... maybe that’s the one thing that ive
been lacking.. na or aa... I don’t know why that’s such a hard thing
for me to think of.... I just want to say I don’t have time, but It my
be something I have to make time for...
specializing in vintage motorcycle, atv (three and four wheelers), and
snowmobile parts from 1959-1989. if you need anything call or email, we
can get any part you need. new,used, or reproduction. even if the part
if someone you love is addicted to something (heroin, cocaine,
meth, ect), google ibogaine.... its worth your time..... i promise....
Original Message -----
ibogaine at mindvox.com
Tuesday, March 25, 2008 10:25 PM
[Ibogaine] Ibogaine story
OK after Marko's post about actually doing this (instead of relying on
enough other people to do it that I didn't have to) I started on this
experience report. Somehow it turned into my life story so it took
awhile to write. So it will take awhile to read, so if you actually
plan to read it you may want to make yourself some tea first. Randy
all I ask is that if it gets posted to a website it doesn't have my
name on it there. I realize this will be in the mindvox archives with
my name attached but everywhere else I would prefer it to be
anonymous. If you just want the juicy bit you can skip to the
experience report part itself in the middle.
My particular version of the addict history story
I started using at age 11. I
had tasted alcohol a time or two prior to this but nothing more than a
taste of hard liquor which predictably, I found disgusting. I
had also smoked a few cigarettes by this time but was not overly
impressed by them either. But one day at age 11 I somehow got it into
my head to do a shot of my Mother’s whiskey. This was my
first experience with getting high and I absolutely loved it. It
was the greatest feeling I had ever had, and so I proceeded to drink
myself into a blackout.
By the age of 12 I was busted for drinking in
school. At 13 I was arrested for burglarizing liquor
stores. At 14 I started sampling other drugs. I
started with ephedrine pills which were over the counter at that time.
Again I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t
believe that something so easy, just swallowing a couple pills, could
so radically change the universe for the better. So when
I crossed the line into illegal drugs it seemed like a natural enough
thing to do, I mean as far as I was concerned I had already dispelled
the myth about how horrible drugs were. I was in
possession of the first hand truth that drugs were the greatest thing
there ever was.
My first experience with illegal drugs was pot.
Strangely though, while I kind of liked pot, I kind of
didn’t simultaneously, it was fun but it produced a lot of anxiety for
me. One of things I loved about alcohol was that it
diminished anxiety, in fact it was through alcohol that I discovered
that I was pretty much anxiety ridden 24/7 and it was through the
unexpected absence of that anxiety that I realized it was there in the
Throughout high school I sampled every drug
that came my way. I discovered that while I preferred to
go down, I was willing to go up if that was what was available. I
liked psychedelics also although I learned that they are an unreliable
source of getting high. They would reliably produce
powerfully altering effects but the form of those effects was very
unreliable. I learned, sometimes the hard way, about the
importance of set and setting. I discovered that cocaine
and methamphetamine were most fun when mixed with a downer like alcohol.
I sampled a wide array of prescription medicines also with a
definite predisposition for benzos and opiates. But
throughout all of it, the drug I used most often was alcohol. It
was simply the easiest to get.
By the time I was 21 everyone knew I was an
alcoholic. No other drug had shown itself so destructive
for me. I had broken bones as a result of drinking, I
had lost jobs and relationships, and I had run afoul of the law many
times. So I started wanting to stop drinking and soon
discovered that I could not. At 21 I went to my first 12
step meeting by choice, I had been to quite a few by court order prior
to that, but I was just starting to get some willingness to do
something about my drinking problem. But in retrospect I
really didn’t want to quit, I wanted to manage my drinking. Alcohol
was the only thing that made life livable in some ways and I didn’t
want to give that up, I just wanted to stop getting into so much
trouble. I wanted to stop pissing off the neighbors in
the middle of the night by cranking up the stereo and passing out.
And I wanted to stop making an ass of myself by calling my
friends in the middle of the night slobbering drunk. And
I wanted to try and have some inkling of where the night would go when
I started drinking instead of waking from blackouts on a regular basis
with no idea what I had done.
I gave some semi-serious effort to using AA to
quit drinking for over a year. I had various sponsors,
went to meetings fairly regularly, tried to work steps, but could never
get more than 2 days sober. The anxiety just became
unbearable and I always drank again. Meanwhile I also
continued to dabble with other drugs. At that time I
considered alcohol to be the problem.
Over the next few years I became very
depressed. I was hospitalized several times for suicide
attempts including one occasion when they accurately diagnosed me as an
addict and committed me to a week long detox after releasing me from
the ER for a drug overdose (benzos and liquor on that occasion).
Through my hospitalizations I came into contact with various
psychologists and spent varying lengths of time on anti-depressants.
On and off I was on a pretty wide variety of
anti-depressants and other medications, sometimes more than one type at
At age 24 I was introduced to heroin. Actually
I had done heroin once previous and at that time I had injected it all
at once (that was only my second time ever using a needle) in yet
another attempt to kill myself. On that occasion I spent
the first hour or so unconscious on the bathroom floor and then the
next 10 or 12 hours alternately nodding off, drinking huge quantities
of water in an attempt to sate an enormous thirst, and puking my guts
out. But on the second occasion that I used heroin, I
used it with some friends so I used a more reasonable amount. I
still puked but once that was over with, it was very pleasant. So
I did it again. And then I started doing it as often as
I could. And I discovered a wonderful thing, that if I
did heroin I could actually go without alcohol and the anxiety and
withdrawal symptoms were no big deal. So I switched.
At first I found I could use heroin 2 or 3
times a week and still not have to drink for the whole week. At
that time I smoked it but I had a friend who was injecting from the
start and after a while I decided to try that route, which of course I
loved. Predictably within a few years I was using daily
and experienced withdrawals if I did not use. It took
several years before the negative consequences of addiction started to
really show up in my life. I had already been slowly
divesting myself of my possessions in favor of the temporary succor of
heroin but other people didn’t so much notice that. What
they did notice however was when I started divesting them of their
possessions. I started with employers and family members.
I lost jobs and I lost the trust of family. When
I look back it amazes me how much bullshit my family was willing to
take from me before they kicked me to the curb, but eventually they
did, I gave them no choice.
I briefly tried again to go to AA, this time
to get off of heroin, by that time I hadn’t had a drink in a few years.
But heroin was a different animal than alcohol. Stopping
for only 24 hours was enough to bring on anxiety and withdrawal.
I did, through the help of friends, family, and on occasion
even doctors, kick. I would have someone take me out of
town for a week or so until I was feeling better physically, only to
score dope almost as soon as I was back in town again. I
burned through most of the relationships I had, I became unwelcome
everywhere, and with good reason, I stole from everyone. I
had a few friends who were either paralleling my decline or leading the
way and soon they were the only people I could spend time with because
none of us had anything to steal, and we all had the same daily
mission, get dope.
Somewhere in this period was when I first
tried ibogaine. I had, long before ever trying heroin,
read about ibogaine in an issue of maps (multidisciplinary association
for psychedelic studies). Prior to being kicked out of
my Mother’s house I went online looking for ibogaine and information on
it. I was lucky enough to come into contact with someone
who was willing to help me out.
My first ibogaine session was at my brother’s
apartment. My Mother had paid for the ibogaine and she
and my brother, remained in the other room and looked in on me every so
often. I stayed at my brother’s apartment all weekend
and while I had no withdrawal symptoms to speak of when the ibogaine
wore off, I still wanted to use. So 3 days later I did.
I tried ibogaine again some months later but having had it
before I was afraid of it, ibogaine is a powerful experience and my
psyche was not particularly well conditioned to handle those sorts of
experiences anymore. I had ridden out a number of bad
acid trips in my younger days but that was prior to becoming a total
thief and a liar who betrayed everyone who ever cared about him, and
having the sort of psyche that results from being that type of person
is not conducive to positive psychedelic experiences.
So when I tried it again, I split the dose
with a longtime friend who had descended the same heroin path I had,
and as a result it wasn’t a large enough dose for either of us, so we
both used again right away. Again I tried it, this time
I got a larger quantity, but again when it came time I was scared and I
split it with the same friend. This time it sort of
worked. I stayed clean about a week I think, I had some
withdrawals but not terrible, it did not work for my friend. I
decided to give ibogaine one last chance and to do it right, to take
the whole dose myself and not screw around. That time
was more successful. I stayed clean for 43 days, the
longest period of abstinence from all drugs (except nicotine) that I
had had since I was 11. But I changed essentially
nothing about my life and eventually I started using again. That
all happened over a period of a couple of years time.
After giving up on ibogaine I resigned myself
to a life of heroin use. I became involved in many
criminal endeavors mostly involving the same friend who I had shared my
previous ibogaine doses with. I also started using crack
in earnest. Heroin simply wasn’t getting us high anymore.
We had started working for the dealer and so usually had
enough heroin to get well, but just couldn’t get high anymore. So
we spent the money we made from dealing and our criminal enterprises on
crack or coke (which we turned into crack).
After awhile it started to appear very likely
that we would wind up in prison. We regularly had close encounters with
security guards and on occasion even the police. I was
arrested for shoplifting. My friend was arrested for
distribution when he was setup in a sting, but he managed to swallow
everything so they did not have as good of a case against him as they
might have had. Another friend OD’d and while he didn’t
die he did suffer brain damage from oxygen deprivation. So
we made some drastic decisions. I had a year or so
earlier given into the temptation of getting on methadone because it
made getting well in the morning so much easier. My
longtime friend decided to move to the Pacific
Northwest to get away from dope (whatever). I
decided to negotiate a deal with my father and try a geographic of my
own so I moved to Colorado
to live in my father’s garage. He agreed to support me
and pay for my methadone and I basically had no responsibilities.
I thought that I would use the opportunity to just take the
methadone and not use anything else and see if I could rebuild some
semblance of a life. I was successful for about a year
or so. I did not use any heroin or crack or anything
else but methadone. I tried to work but I found I was
too tired to work an 8 hour shift. I slept for about 15
hours a day. I isolated severely because the only place
I went was the methadone clinic and I didn’t want to make friends there
because they were likely to be using and I was trying not to. I
used my take homes to get high and as a result spent the last 72 hours
or so of the week getting progressively more dope sick until I could go
back to the clinic for another round of supplies.
Eventually I did get to know some people from
the line at the clinic and eventually I used again. I
was horribly depressed again and since I could get free health care as
an unemployed (and basically unemployable) poor person, I wound up back
on anti-depressants. I spent a little over 3 years in Colorado and in
that time I made 2 using buddy friends and worked maybe 8 or 9 days
total. I lived in my father’s garage and had a totally
dysfunctional, poisonous relationship with him.
After I had been there for 2 years my longtime
friend who had moved to the Pacific Northwest
contacted me and surprise, surprise he was clean. His
story involved getting arrested and extradited back to New Mexico,
where we were both from, for the distribution charges he had run away
from. He kicked in jail as the extradition process took
over a month. Since they had not found anything on him
at the arrest he ended up in drug court which sent him to NA where he
had managed to stay clean for a little over a year by the time he
contacted me. He called me to tell me he was going to an
NA convention in Colorado
and invited me to go along which I did.
I’m not sure exactly how everything lined up
in my head but that last year in Colorado I knew I needed to change
some things. I wanted to get off the methadone but I had
been slowly tapering for almost two years and was still at 74mg.
I was going down about 2 mg every other week but that meant
several years still before I would get off that way. By
then I had been on methadone almost as long as I had been on heroin
before I got on the methadone. And I absolutely hated my
life. So somewhere I formulated an idea. I
wanted to do ibogaine again and this time when I was free of the
dependence on the drugs I was going to go to NA.
The ibogaine treatment portion of my story
After over 2 decades of using drugs, the last
8 years of which I was physically dependant on opiates I took ibogaine
for the 5th time. More or less out of the
blue I contacted the same person who had provided ibogaine to me the
previous times and asked for the same favor again. By
then I actually owed him money for some of the previous times he had
sent it, but being the good soul that he is, he sent me some again.
This time however there were some new considerations.
A number of people had died from ibogaine.
Even before when I had taken it the first time there had
been a few deaths, but largely they were considered to have been the
result of taking other drugs while on ibogaine. But by
this time there were a number of deaths that were not thought to be
caused by concurrent use of other drugs, including a very important one
(not that there are unimportant deaths) that had occurred with someone
very close to the friend who provided me the ibogaine. It
appeared as though ibogaine was more dangerous than previously thought.
It had been over 4 years since my last
ibogaine experience but that was not long enough to forget how
difficult it could be. But I reasoned that no matter
what the outcome, it had to be better than the way things were for me
at that point. I even viewed death as a preferable
In the past I had had some issues with nausea
with ibogaine and my friend who supplied it mentioned the possibility
of doing an enema. Throwing up a portion of the dose is
a real concern and having never taken ibogaine for methadone I was
concerned about getting the whole dose so I followed his suggestion and
did it in an enema.
I had quite a bit of anxiety leading up to
this experience. Frankly I was very scared, but I was
also determined to go through with it. After taking the enema I went to
my bedroom and sat on the bed to await the onset. In the
past it had taken about an hour for the drug to take effect. As
soon as I had gotten to my bedroom I began to notice some strange
flashing in the corners of my eyes, but I at first dismissed it.
It had been maybe 5 minutes since I had taken the dose so I
did not even consider it possible that it was the ibogaine. But
in another 5 minutes or so it was obvious to me that something strange
was happening to my vision, and although I still thought there was no
way it could be ibogaine taking effect so quickly, I started to have
doubts that it wasn’t.
Another 5 minutes removed all doubt. I
was definitely starting to feel it come on. The speed of
the onset was very frightening to me. I turned on the TV
with same vague notion that maybe it could distract me enough to chill
out a little. What I ended up watching was about 5 to 7
minutes of one of those sensationalized police chase shows that used to
be common to the fox network. I was trying hard not to
think about the freight train of energy pouring into my cranium while
watching one of these big-rig logging trucks barrel down the freeway
while the sheriff doing the voice over talked about what a horrible
piece of crap excuse for a human being was behind the wheel. Apparently
he had kidnapped his 3 year old child and the kid was in the truck with
him. Meanwhile erratic driving had knocked some logs
loose and they were hanging off the sides if the truck. During
the chase, the truck driver nearly sideswiped a school bus, among many
other vehicles, and so the voice over guy says the decision was made to
kill him. And so they did. The final
scene I watched was from an overhead as the truck passed a police
officer on the side of the road who aimed into the cab and killed the
To say that I was powerfully affected would be
putting it mildly, I was shocked. And I wasn’t totally
clear as to why, my thoughts were a furious jumble. I
felt revolted by the sensationalized way they displayed what was
obviously a tragedy for the edification of who exactly? Me?
I thought it was terrible that that little kid had to live
with what happened including seeing his father’s brains blown out right
next to him in the truck. But most of all I was moved to
a point of hyper-vigilance by the in-your-face nature of death. It
Turning off the TV, I attempted the same
tactic of distraction but this time with music. I put on
a song I had already setup for the occasion. It was a
techno song with very regular repetitive beats that I had thought might
sound good on ibogaine, which by this time was affecting me very
strongly. My vision in particular was massively
distorted and every time I moved my eyes or blinked all I could see was
flashing lights as if someone were standing in the same room panning a
flood light back and forth across my vision. Only by
keeping my eyes unblinking and unmoving could I make out my
surroundings. I turned on the music and lay down and all
I heard from the speakers was random sound. I tried to
pick out a beat to it and was completely unable to, it was just noise.
And I panicked. My senses were
completely unreliable. I had by this time started to
feel as if I was dissolving. It felt as if my insides
had turned into acid and I was slowly coming apart molecule by molecule.
I also had the sensation of sinking, of moving downward,
backwards, as I was lying on my back. So I prayed.
I prayed without reservation, I just said to whatever there
might be that could hear my prayer, that I needed help, that I was
terrified. And I immediately felt relief. I
felt an overwhelming feeling of love just completely envelope me.
It was like a wind to which I was completely transparent
that blew straight through me and filled every square inch.
I had, during my previous attempts at getting
clean in 12 step programs, made attempts to resolve the “God issue”.
My Mother was an atheist and used to argue “How can there be
a God when all these horrible things happen in the world?” which made
good sense to me. My Father on the other hand (my parents divorced when
I was 3) went to church regularly, even attending mid-week services,
and yet still found time to physically abuse his kids. I
say that facetiously (although it was true), but my point is that he
took great pains to maintain all of the appearances of a religious man
while exhibiting very little in the way of spiritual principles.
So my opinion had largely been agnostic with
strong atheist leanings. I did not believe in God and I
felt as if I had plenty of evidence against the existence of God.
So when I came into the 12 steps programs I was made to
understand that only a “higher power” could help me overcome my
addiction. They sort of hit you with the “higher power”
phrase and then sneak in the word God a little later. As
a result, much of my early attempts at getting clean in the 12 step
programs was an attempt to resolve this issue. I simply
did not believe there was a God. I was open to the
possibility but my personal experience suggested that there was not.
Following this ibogaine experience I have
never wrestled with this issue again. It was fully
resolved to my satisfaction, although by one perspective you could say
it has taken on another form. I am convinced there is
something, some force, some power, some “thing” that is certainly
worthy of the label “God”, now days I just find myself sometimes
wondering what it’s motives truly are.
I encountered that force, or being, or
whatever it is that day. When that overwhelming love
filled my being I sensed it, more than that, I simply “knew” it was
there. Although I had visualizations of various aspects
of what happened, I did not really “see” anything. People
speak of visions on ibogaine and other psychedelic substances but it
was obvious to me that all of the visualizations I had were in my
imagination. Nothing felt like it was being presented to
me; it was more like my mind created a visualization to represent what
I was already feeling and experiencing. And the
visualization I had for this was of myself as a small child, perhaps 2
or 3, at the feet of this being. I could more or less
make out the outlines of the feet and ankles. And I
could feel the love beaming down on me from where the face should be,
somewhere above my head and it almost felt like sunshine shining down
on me, except that as I said it totally penetrated me and shown
straight through as if I were completely transparent.
And I wanted to look up at the face but I
could not. I knew, and I knew that this being knew, that
I was wretched beyond belief. I looked at myself with
total crystal clear honesty for the first time ever, and I was
horrendous to behold. I had lied and stolen from
everyone who had ever shown me kindness and love. I had
betrayed people to their very core. I had used and
abused every human being that had crossed my path for years, decades
even. I was pathetic. And I began to cry,
not just cry, I wept as I had never wept before or since, I wailed even.
And I thought maybe I should just die, maybe everyone would
be better off if the ibogaine just killed me.
Then I felt as if God offered me death.
I saw this place of filth and stink and rotten decay, and it
was incredibly lonely and isolated, and barren of hope, and very, very,
sorrowful and although I did not hear words, I experienced it as if I
was told “If you want death here it is, you can have, just don’t take
another breath.” And I looked at that horrible hellish
place and I revolted against it; my reaction was a very deep, from the
depths of my soul, “FUCK THAT!” And the conclusion was
obvious to me at that point, I had to change. I had to
change the way I was showing up in the world, the way I treated and
interacting with my fellow humans. I had to re-evaluate
my priorities. If I was to live, then my life had to be
much, much different then it had been.
Some people claim not to understand this when
I explain it, but I had always had morals, I just could not live up to
them. I hated what I did to get drugs. I
hated the lying and the stealing, especially from my Mother. I
felt like shit for it, but the drugs could cover that up. There
is a sick cycle wherein you need to use drugs to cover the guilt you
feel for doing the things you have to do in order to get drugs. I
had lived in that cycle for a long time. But it was
about to be broken.
I asked a few questions of that being that day
and received a few answers I felt. I am probably just as
unclear about the meaning of life and existence as I have ever been,
but I feel like one piece of understanding is in place. I
don’t know what God wants from me or expects of me or if it even does
want or expect at all. I simply have no idea. But
I do feel I know a couple of important things. I believe
that I know that that thing is real. Did it make this universe or did
it come along with it? Who knows? But I
also believe that I know that that thing loves me, in fact all of us,
immensely. Even when I was coming to very clear terms
with the fact, the cold hard fact, that I was despicable, the love that
I felt, never wavered at all.
Once I had started crying, I literally could
not stop for 3 days. And I cried most of the 4th
day as well. The experience itself lasted for several
days, I can’t say for sure how long. I may have slept 2
hours total in the first 3 days. After that I slept 2 or
3 hours a night for a week or so with it gradually increasing. After
a week I started exercising by bike riding which I found very tiring at
first. I had some slight chills that would come over me
every 4 or 5 hours or so which lasted almost 6 months. But
that was pretty much it. I had no other symptoms of
withdrawal, and perhaps most importantly, no depression, in fact I felt
very good. I felt connected to that love for close to a
year following this experience. Although it did
eventually fade, at least my experience of feeling connected to it
faded, I have found new ways of connecting to God now. The
4th day after taking the ibogaine I decided that it really
had worked and poured the rest of my methadone take-homes down the
drain. Fuckin-A I was a free man!
The post-ibogaine addiction recovery portion of my story
As I mentioned, I had felt even prior to this
experience that I need to have a good follow up to the experience
itself. I felt that I had already discover for myself
that ibogaine could interrupt the addiction, but that I had to do
something more to stay clean. Based on seeing my long
time friend staying clean in NA I had decided even before the
experience to start attending NA meetings regularly after the ibogaine.
Given the experience I had with coming to terms with my “God
issue” this seemed particularly appropriate. I attended
my first NA meeting just 4 days after taking the ibogaine while still
quit raw. I soon hooked up with a guy who I asked to
sponsor me which at that time just meant that he took me to lots of
meetings. Neither of us were working, he being a
disabled vet and me being recently unemployable, so we went to 2 or 3
meetings a day for a few weeks.
I very quickly realized that I needed to be
away from my father also. I soon made some plans whereby
I could move back to New
Mexico with his help. I arranged
to rent a room from the brother of an old friend (this old friend was
several years sober in AA at the time, another person I had used with
in the past). I worked it out where my father would pay
for 2 months rent and then I would be on my own. He had
already provided a car to me some months previous so I drove it from Colorado back to New Mexico.
From the beginning I immersed myself in NA.
I particularly made efforts to work the steps. I
was very powerfully motivated to change my behavior and I was very
driven to exhibit what I considered to be integrity. To
me this meant as close to total honesty as I was capable. My
ability to recognize honest was not damaged, I could tell honesty from
dishonesty, what was difficult, was not giving into my tendencies and
urges towards dishonesty. Sometimes this meant
embarrassing myself or making myself vulnerable. It
meant being uncomfortable. But I did not allow myself to
At my first job clean my supervisor told me to
lie to a customer. Even at the risk of losing the job I told him he
could not pay me enough to lie. He had someone else do
it. I quit even without having another job lined up a
few days later.
At about 8 months clean I stole something from
another place I worked, I justified it to myself because no-one was
using it and it was outdated technology anyway (it was a computer data
storage device, a Jazz drive to be exact in case anyone actually
remembers what those are). It sat unused in my house for
2 days while my conscience just tore me up, until I finally returned it
to work. A few months later I even told my boss about
it, (he laughed). But I realized that I cannot cross
that line for any reason. I have to make those lines of
what is and is not integrity very black and white for myself because I
know that I will erode it and erode it until I am justifying all kinds
of dishonest bullshit. At the end of the day I need to
be able to face myself, and I still believe that at the end of this
life I will face that being that I encountered on ibogaine that day.
And although I am still of the opinion that I am unworthy to
look into the face of that thing, it will not be for lack of trying
since our last major encounter.
Although I have no major difficulties with my
conscience today and I am largely satisfied with the way I manage to
show up in the lives of my friends, family, and co-workers, I am not
without my issues. I have been accused of arrogance
which I think is sometimes very true. I sometimes feel I
have less compassion and too much judgment towards others. I
try to give other people as much of a break for their behavior as I
can, but sometimes I fall short. But I am willing to
change still. I am willing to be wrong, and by that I
mean I am open to finding out that what I thought was right at the
time, was actually wrong. I am open to discovering that
I am more flawed than I thought. And on those occasions
when it is pointed out to me that I have come up short, I try to be as
embarrassingly open about my imperfection as I can stand.
Coming up on 5 years clean I still attend NA
meetings regularly. I work steps with my sponsor.
And just as important in my opinion, I exercise regularly, I
meditate, and I read spiritual and philosophical literature. Some
other changes I have made since that fateful day, I am vegetarian, I do
not watch TV, I donate money to causes I believe in, and I remove bugs
from my house by catching them in a can rather than squashing them.
These are all expressions of things that I realized were
important to me on ibogaine.
I met a woman in NA when we were both less
than 60 days clean. And against popular opinion and
traditional advice we got into a relationship. At just
over 4 years clean we got married. We bought a brand new
car recently, the first new car ever, for either of us. We
are talking about buying a house and having a rugrat. These
are all things that I had long ago assumed were never going to be part
of my life story.
By the time I returned to New Mexico there were actually 3
people who I had used heroin with in the past who were clean in NA
including the old friend I have mentioned several times who I shared
the ibogaine with. Today, almost 5 years later, one of
them has returned to heroin and disappeared. The other
two including my friend who did ibogaine are still clean.
As for myself I have not returned to my drugs
of abuse. I had quite smoking for the third time in less
than a year, about a month before my 5th ibogaine experience.
Of all of the drugs I have abused in my life, nicotine is
the only one I have partaken of since that day. I smoked
a single cigarette on one occasion and had a couple of drags on
another, both within my first year clean. Other than
that I have abstained from all of my previous drugs of abuse. The
partial list is that I have not had opiates, alcohol, cocaine or crack,
methamphetamine or any other amphetamine, benzos, barbituates, or any
other OTC meds (I call it a partial list because there were no doubt
other drugs that I abused that I did not list here). I
cannot however say that I have refrained from all mind altering drugs
however. And although I did after about 3 years clean
give up caffeine also I am not referring to that one.
At about 2 and a half years clean I started to
really suffer from depression. It had been coming on for
some months prior but I kept waiting for it to lift, I kept thinking
that without abusing drugs it should go away. I mean
after all I had a pretty good life at that point. Eventually I did go
back on anti-depressants but not before talking to all of those around
me (90% of whom were in NA) about the possibility of doing ibogaine
again. Predictably they were all against it. Eventually
after some medication juggling and dissatisfaction over the side
effects of the prescribed drugs, I took ibogaine again. At
the time I basically bowed to the popular opinion of those around me
and publicly changed my clean date. In time however I
changed my mind and just as publicly changed it back.
I have since then taken ibogaine in a sizable
dose twice more and in smaller doses many times. I have
suffered from depression on and off since and made subsequent attempts
to control it with prescribed anti-depressants. What has
finally seemed to work to my satisfaction is amino-acid therapy, which
I found out about online and have tailored to my own needs, combined
with low dose iboga root bark, and occasional ayahuasca experiences.
Most of the people in NA would say I am using (in regards to
the iboga and ayahuasca) and that is fine. At the end of
the day I don’t have to answer to them, I have to answer to myself and
to my higher power. I have done a great deal of soul
searching and introspection on the issue as well as discussed it with a
number of people both in recovery and out. But in the
final analysis I show up responsibly for my community, for my family,
and even for the society of which I am sometimes reluctantly a part.
And I can do so without spiraling into an incapacitating
depression. And more than that, I can experience real
happiness and joy in the occasional and unpredictable way that I think
it is meant to be experienced. I get to have a full
range of emotions without being made slave or hostage to any one.
Today I think I am well positioned to actually
live a long, healthy and meaningful life regardless of whether or not
others agree or disagree with what I do in my personal life. I
don’t think people who wound up in the places I did from addiction get
the opportunity to get to where I am today very often at all. I
am clear that I was graced with a tremendous gift on that 5th
ibogaine experience. And no matter what you believe
about what really happened to me that day, the mere facts of my story
are remarkable enough to indicate the importance of ibogaine.
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