The Iboga Ceremony occurred for me Saturday evening following Iboga Yoga, which means we ingested a small does of iboga prior to class, to enhance the Experience, although not enough to alter it.
After class the room was set up for me with a mattress and water, a purge bucket, eye mask and a bowl of Iboga capsules. Music played thru the open air studio on the edge of the rainforest. Monkeys howled, the storms rolled thru, with torrential rain and a lightening and thunder show unlike any I have ever encountered. The storm was symbolic of what was to occur and the rain to cleanse.
Derrick sat with me as I, at my own pace began to ingest the iboga and the girls, my guardians for the night, came in and took their places beside me in a meditation stance to sit and observe and offer support through out the night. As the iboga began to move through my body, things happened at a much faster pace, shorter duration of time with the colors and visions then the last time, and I found this was more of a physical journey for me.
In the opening meditation, we offered gratitude to our bodies, who’s only mission is to serve us and how we are often so very hard on them. Expecting more then they can give in a given moment, harsh with critism and lacking in selfcare. This really resonated with me.
As the iboga began to have its way with me, there was no clear messages this go around, but lots going on in my physical body in areas I recognized as my disEase centers. My right foot, my right hip, shoulder, head and neck, as well as my ears were most prominent. At one point my restless legs flared up and I remembered in the meditation him saying that areas of disEase may arise, let these be an awareness of where the plant is working to release blockages, so I let my restless legs be slowly erased away with the iboga.
I remember at one point having the girls escort me the restroom, there was no way I could maneuver the path on my own, I had both arms around them and this overwhelming sensation of gratitude and love permeated every cell of my body. I was so elated to know that yes, I am capable of love! And this is what I remember it feeling like, a full body experience, not just one you think and vocalize.
Having ingested twice as much iboga this time as last and all at once, my body early on was ready to purge, or so I thought, it was a long difficult process. I can say at one point I thought what the hell have I done? Did I just poison myself? It was an evening of extreme discomfort, and no beautiful visions or experiences, only complete blackness. I felt frustrated and angry and extreme disappointment along with feeling extremely sick.
It was now early morning and I was ready to venture to my room and pout, or so I thought. As I lay in my room, on what is called a grey day, I processed and contemplated the experience, my reaction to it and so many things. My personal reflections I am still processing through well into my second grey day.
Would I do it again? Yes, tho not necessarily the flood. I think spreading the doses out over 4-5 hours allowed me more time to enjoy each level of the experience slower and more completely and fully. This seems a better option for me. I would not say I would do it anytime soon, it is quite intense and there is still a lot of work on myself, homework I guess you would call it, for me to do after this experience. I have had no symptoms of withdrawals from the Lexapro that I normally feel, they vanished after the first dose and I am hopeful that the iboga detoxed it completely out of my system. The real truth will be revealed in a few months time.
It is still to early for me to say I feel great, I did feel great Friday and Saturday and I hope to feel great tomorrow. I am very much in a place of being in my body, and just being aware of sensations.
O my ears!! I failed to mention exactly what took place. I have felt a lot of congestion and build up in my ears for a time, and the night of the flood, the iboga targeted my ears and the regions of my head where I get migraines. My ears feel so open and airy and clean. Like I can hear with new clarity.
When I return home I am going to have my blood work rechecked before I resume my Thyroid medicine. I have not taken it in a week, my neck has gone down and I feel fine with out it. Perhaps the cause of my thyroid problems stemmed from the Lexapro, I remember reading that it is one of the long term side effects.
So here is a girl who at one point was on 17 different medications (inhalers, sleeping meds, sinus and allergy etc……) 10 years ago down to today only hormone replacement therapy and a few suppliments.
To no longer be prisoner to the pharmaceuticals, the doctors and to look first to alternative means allows me to take control of my own health and wellbeing. With each med comes a side effect that is often treated with a different med to counter the side effect but only to create a new side effect.
I also have not had coffee in over a week, and no headaches!! No cravings!!! No nothing!! Will I drink an occasional cup of coffee? O yes, but now only out of pleasure, not out of addiction.
Clean eating is also going to remain top on my list. My body is cleaned and detoxed and I want to keep it that way as best I can. To continue to honor and respect this body that is here to serve me and to carry me through this lifetime.
To quit drinking is easy, to stay sober and do the work is hard. The same holds true for me. Getting off the Lexapro was the easy part. Now the work begins. I have no buffer between me and life now, my emotions will surface and explode and at times they may be exaggerated as I am learning to feel, learning to live my life authentically. My practice will be to learn to feel the emotion and not become the emotion and to discern the difference. To be able to express myself freely from a place of love, without fear or concern of others reactions. I assume there will be a temptation to return to the Lexapro, just as many return to the bottle, but I am hopeful that I am now armed with enough tools in my pocket that this will not be an option for me.
The promise of hope, of joy that comes in the form of a bottle, or something outside of ourselves, is an illusion. It is an escape from learning and growing and become a better spiritual being having a human existence.
We grow from painful events as much if not more then from the joyful ones, but if we choose to numb the painful events with drugs or alcohol, we also numb the joy out of ourselves. This is to live an existence of solitude, feeling really alone and disconnected and possibly isolating ourselves from the very thing we need. But how can you know what you need if you do not know who you are outside of the drugs or alcohol.
The road to recovery has only just begun, but I am hopeful. I have the support and the tools I need to succeed. I may stumble, or fall but I will not fall backwards, only forwards. There is no going back. Going back means certain death. I heard it said that there is no greater pain then to not feel anything, and this I can attest to. It is a very lonely place to be, many walls are built up and bridges broken.
Forgiveness has been a concept I have struggled with for many years. It was not until I realized that just because you forgive does not mean the status of the relationship remains the same. New boundaries are set in an effort to protect yourself from unhealthy and toxic relationships in an effort to learn and grow. I have forgiven and set new boundaries over the last 10 years, but now I am presented with a new challenge. Letting go. What does this mean and how to apply it to me moving forward and remaining connected. Letting go of past grievances has been hard at times but I think now I have a better understanding of what and how this applies to me. I am beginning to see that letting go does not mean forgetting, or ignoring the reaction or harm caused because in doing so, I deny myself.
The whole story must also include the emotions and feelings perpetuated by the actions of others and our response to them. We all over time, hopefully grow l and find ourselfs in a better place, to move forward in a healthy loving way with out including and understanding the scars that remain is impossible. It does not mean that over time they will not subside, but they are a huge part of the story, of my story. In order to let go, I must first move thru and heal the past wounds, be it from neglect, abuse, betrayal, or abandonment not just form others, but from myself. Part of healing this area of my life means honoring the ramifications, or Karma, resulting form previous actions and reactions on both sides.
Remembering I teach people how to treat me through my actions and reactions, and if I stuff those, ignore them in an effort to protect the “integrity” of the relationship, I am not only lying to myself but sending a pretty strong message of what I accept or don’t accept. Finding yourself in bad relationships, that seem to continue time and time again, it is quite unfair to blame the other parties. Look to your self, what message do you send across that makes this other person or persons, think it is ok to treat you in such a manner.
There may be years of unresolved stuff, but it is quite unfair to assume that the offending party is all to blame. It is also unfair for the offending party to suddenly have a change of heart and to expect the past wounds to be erased. For me they have hugely shaped and formed who I am in this moment. It does not mean a new relationship cannot evolve, but it may take time and it may look diffeent. The time cannot be dictated or limited or controlled, it has to unfold in its on natural way.
If a relationship is worth continuing, the painful parts of the relationship cannot go unnoticed, or ignored. They are part of who you are in relationship to others. This is how we grow and evolve as humans and how we learn to relate to others.
Doing the best we could at the time does not come without lessons and consequences, and sometimes those consequences surface later rather then sooner.
This is a big one for me as I move forward. Healing my wounds will not happen over night, sorting thru the many things I have stuffed over the course of my life. I am not the same person I was last week, I am most certainly not the same person I was 10-20 30 40 or 50 years ago.
Moving forward with high hopes, as I move forward from a place of love of self not fear of others reactions or insecurities. To take responsibility for where I am in this world with the hopes of becoming the best me possible.
To me I pledge.
I have not ruled out returning for another treatment in a few months time. I am open to doing this in December as I assess where I am at that time. Remember in the past the 2-4 month mark is where the hardest part of the withdrawals hit. It is less of a physical withdrawal but more of an emotional experience. Perhaps at that time my iboga experience will be more spiritual in nature. But that is to be determined.
This experience has been life changing and I hope that in sharing this journey I have encouraged someone to take the plunge deep into the heart of the rainforest to connect with your true authentic self. If my story touches you, and you would like further information, please reach out. If you are new to this blog, remember the story starts at the end of the page with day 1. This is my last entry for a time as the rest of the work is quite personal. I will continue to journal it, but not sure when or if I will share it or to whom I will share it with.
One thing I do remember as the iboga was having its way with me, was a sense of many people entering to take a seat in a large circle around me. I felt the support of many and realized I was not alone. We are never alone, we alone isolate ourselves to a point where we no longer feel the interconnectedness.
Thank you for being apart of this journey, a journey that has truly only begun.