BUDDY'S EXPERIENCE WITH IBOGA
This is a question which will be very difficult to truly sum up with mere words, but allow me to attempt…. Ummm, trippy.
Yes, trippy to say the least. Here’s the best way I can explain it. I was about 10 years into a nasty drug habit. I had been to rehab 3 times (Kicked out of all 3 rehabs); Jailed on more than 1 occasion for substance related offences; Spent countless days in detox; spent countless days in withdrawal; Been on methadone and Suboxone; graduated from percs to fentanyl. I had been on every end of the addiction spectrum. I had been clean for a couple months when Covid hit in early 2020. The following months of isolation and uncertainty led me straight back to the familiar grip of addiction to opiods. I moved out from living with my baby mom’s and into my Dad’s. He was aware of my addiction but not to what extent. He was the one who actually came to me after researching Ibogaine online. We watched some videos on it (links at the bottom) and he even found some places offering treatment in Mexico. We thought it would be a good idea and we started looking for an avenue to take it. I didn’t have 10k to drop on an expensive Mexican clinic and I began looking into self dosing.
I found a website that sold Ibogaine in all its forms. It ranged from $300 to $500 USD/gram. But even the website seemed to be very limited with supply. My dad eventually found a guy online who could supply the dose and he would even hang out while I tripped out. I told my dad we would do it and then forgot about bit and continued on my drug habit. Everything changed one day when he told me that the guy Cory was coming by that Thursday with my dose. All of a sudden it became real. Fast forward to that Thursday, I was scrambling to find a fix that morning before I took the Ibogaine even though I was told that I was supposed to be in withdrawals. I didn’t get my fix that day and I was driven around to do some stuff then back to my dads. Cory showed up and was ready to go, but I wasn’t. I quickly realized that this was the culmination of 10 years using all built up to this one moment. What if it didn’t work? This was supposed to be the last stop in my addiction.
The withdrawals were starting to kick in and my knees were getting restless. The cold sweats were kicking in and I was feeling very uncomfortable. Cory presented me with the test dose of 50mg. This is the first dose that you take in order to make sure you don’t have an allergy to the root. After the test dose we sat around for a bit, I drank some water, and I noticed after about 20 minutes that I wasn’t noticing any of my withdrawals, they seemed to be interrupted. Also I noticed the tell tale buzzing in my ears. The buzzing is a standard reaction that everyone gets. It sounds like there is someone literally running a chainsaw somewhere in the distance but also directly in your ear as well. It is a strange feeling.
Finally after about 35 minutes, when all these small effects were being noticed, Cory said it was time to take the full flood dose. He had 4 capsules of the PTA extract. PTA is the strongest form of Ibogaine. What started of as root had been refined first to the TA (total alkaloid) formulation and then to the PTA (purified total alkaloid) formulation, during an extraction process. It was about 1500mg of white crystalline powder in the gelatine capsules. I swallowed them and drank lots of water with it and prepared myself for the trip. I was told it would be about 12 hours of trip followed by about 2 days of insomnia.
I went into my bedroom which had the windows covered and was blacked out. It was about 4pm on a Friday. The first thing I noticed was that buzzing sound was now directly in my ear and sounded crystal clear. I was sitting up in my bed noticing the effects growing and getting more dominant over every sense I had. Cory poked his head into my room after about a half hour and when I spoke to him it sounded like I was inside a fishbowl. My voice seemed magnified and bouncing around my own head. He let me know that everything I was feeling was normal and the trip was about to start. When he closed the door I started noticing everything change. The walls started pulsating. The entire room was vibrating and had a pulse. The was an entire life-force to the room. It seemed as though the life-force was always there but now I have taken something that was allowing me to see what was always happening but hidden. It felt like I had put on a helmet that decoded the universe and I was now seeing it as though I had pulled back a layer of reality and was seeing the inner workings of it. I had lost all sense of time and space. I felt as if I was elevated from my seat. Soon everything seemed as if it were rising and rising. It was like I was on an elevator going up really fast.
The walls and ceiling looked like that scene in the Matrix when Neo sees the Matrix all in code. Everything around me looked like it was code constantly changing and evolving. Just then my mom opened the door and everything stopped. She asked how I was. I told her I was ok but my voice sounded like it came from somewhere other than my body. Although I could understand what she was saying I seemed totally unattached from the situation. I told her I needed to get back and she closed the door. As soon as the door closed I was immediately taken back to my trip. I was right back to the elevating feeling and tI was being taken up and up. Now everything around my was constantly moving and shifting. I was brought up to a pulsating brain. The colours were green and red. Now I could hear the pulse. It was just pulsing back and forth and I began to think ‘what is this?” As soon as I thought of the question in my mind I began to to see a vision in my mind. It was a vision of a person living a life in a big city, for some reason I felt like it was Los Angeles. I’d never been to LA so I don’t know what I thought I knew it, but I just knew it was “Hollywood”. At that time and even now that this person was me. But it didn’t look like me. It was like a dream only crystal clear. This person was on television, they had a show where they were reporting on celebrity news.
I could see the person talking into a camera, talking about different celebrities. Then the person was on a computer working social media and I could see all their followers. They had about 60 000 followers on the social media and all the people were writing comments. It seemed like a live broadcast on YouTube but a little bit different. It was like a movie, only I was watching it being filmed. I felt like a fly on the wall. But it also felt like the was something I was supposed to be learning. I just watched as it all played out in front of me. Just then my mom opened the door again and everything stopped on a dime. She again asked how I was and what I was seeing, I tried to explain but I just wanted to get back to the “movie” that was playing out before my eyes. Once again when she closed the door it was like I was instantly transported back to my vision. Only this time instead of the guy in Hollywood, I was now in some far off European city, and the year was 1950’s. I don’t know how I knew these things but they were just self evident. It seemed like I was playing a video game, or that the person I was watching was an avatar, and I was the one controlling them.
It was a strange feeling of being detached but also feeling like I was a part of that reality playing out in front of me. It was like I was wearing a pair of those VR goggles. It felt like I was really a part of this fabric revealed before my eyes, but on a different level another part of me was conscious telling me that I was still alive in my other world. Alive: sitting on my bed tripping off of that weird root from Africa.
As I was experiencing this strange feeling of being a part of those visions before my eyes, time in the real world began to lose all structure to me. I didn’t know if I was tripping for minutes or hours and as my room was blacked out I didn’t know if it was day or night. The last thing I remember thinking was exactly “how long have I been tripping for?” That was the last thing I remember while I was conscious. Then the real part of the trip began: the unconscious part. I was apparently still awake. My eyes were open and I wasn’t sleeping. But to me I was now in a dream. Well it felt like a dream, but I wasn’t aware it was a dream and I was actually conscious in the dream state. It was like a lucid dream, but I wasn’t asleep. I have never experienced anything similar to that in my life. I lived about 4 or 5 different lives in different vignettes. Each one I was still my same consciousness, but I was a different person each time. One vignette I was myself and I was in a tropical islet with a bay in it. I was myself in this vision. I was met by a woman who looked like Dominican, a young man who looked Cuban with blue eyes, and an older man that looked like Al Pacino. They were teaching me how to dance to this song that kept playing that sounded just like hotel California. They had a bongo drum and I was learning to dance to the music. I could feel that this was so much deeper and it was telling me something much more profound. It really had a deeper meaning, which I’m still trying to decipher to this day.
I lived about 5 or 6 of these different lives and in each one I knew the whole backstory of each life I was living. The only way to describe it it that I was placed into avatars and lived out their lives. Some were fun, some were strange and some were frightening. One of them I went to a place that looked just like the movie Mad Max. There were people with skeleton faces acting like lunatics and it was in a desolate desert looking place. There were also human bodies strewn about and I had the feeling this is what Hell looked like. One of them I was living in a world that had trolls in it. My neighbour was a troll who had some magic spores in his backyard and gave them to me for spiritual ceremonies. And others I joined a fraternity and was doing all kinds of secret things with them. I can’t really explain why or what these all meant. However I can remember how it makes me feel when I look back. It made me realize that the life I have on this earth is just like any of those other lives I got to experience. And I immediately had a deep desire to make it better and to live it to the best I can. Because some of those lives I was living were very pleasant and I was happy, and the other one was so terrible I was in hell. So this life I have in reality is definitely not so bad, and I can actually make it better.
When I started to come around it was about 48 hours later. I became conscious again and I was talking to my parents. I was convinced I was gone away for a week. I thought I was in another country. I was on the phone with one of my friends telling him I was in Cuba and when he asked me how I got there it almost broke my brain. I couldn’t answer him and I didn’t know how I got there or back, but I was so certain I was there. But I then stayed awake trying to put the pieces of the entire puzzle together. I texted my girlfriend and asked her about people in my trip and she had no idea who I was talking about. It was so strange I was struggling to understand what was real and what wasn’t. The lines between all those visions and my actual life were so blurry. I went over to my moms house and for 3 days I literally laid in bed and stared at the wall. That may sound unpleasant, but its was actually very peaceful.
I’ve tried “mindfulness” before and I’ve never been able to remain still, and my thoughts always wandered. But after my experience I was so laser focused on just being present. And in those moments staring at the ceiling or wall in silence I realized for probably the first time in my life that I was actually just present in the moment; and I enjoyed it. In between my mindful moments I found myself thinking about all those visions I had, those lives I lived. And unlike a dream where the memories fade over time, the more time that passed the more I actually remembered. So I spent days recalling the trip, and it wasn’t until almost a month later when I recounted the trip to Cory that I actually pieced it all together. Physically I felt drained for about a week, but I had zero withdrawals. I had insomnia for about 4 days. But the most pleasant part was that I had a vibration running through my body.
I could feel a frequency flowing all throughout my entire body. I could feel it in my ears I could hear a ringing. It sounded so clean and pure. I could feel it running through my arms and out my finger tips. I felt like my whole body was just so vibrant and I was in tune with everything around me. My thoughts were so clear and I was able to concentrate more so than I’ve ever experienced in my entire adult life. I actually began to remember childhood memories of good times, at summer camp, of times before I became distracted, of times when I was present in those moments. I felt connected to my childhood self; my true self. The lasting impression it left on me was a complete sense of contentment. I no longer felt guilt, shame, or regret. I felt like I underwent a cathartic cleansing. The thought of putting an illicit substance in my body after I was purified just seemed so incongruent with the way I now felt. So I spent a week recovering, thinking, and just feeling and accepting the feelings without judgement. An eye opening experience I had was when I went for a bike ride on about day 5. I just went around the neighbourhood, through the park, etc. But it was an experience that was so pleasant like nothing I’ve enjoyed in my adult life. I had no destination or goals, I simply went with the intention to enjoy the ride. Everything looked so vibrant and I distinctly remember hearing the birds singing and they caught my ear and it was so beautiful. I had an appreciation for life again, maybe for the first time. I know it sounds cliche but I truly felt like I had woken up. Woken from a dream and I was now living for the first time since I was a child. I still remember that bike ride which is incredible and it also made me realize that I had missed out on so many memories, I had gone through the past 18 or so years on just autopilot. But I now feel connected and present in my daily tasks. Small things I used to take for granted like brushing my teeth or even eating, I now take the time to be present and I enjoy those moments and my days are more gratifying now because of that mentality.
I would recommend the following things for best experience: drinking lots of water and electrolyte solutions. My appetite wasn’t there for a week so supplement drinks like ensure are very helpful. If you can’t sleep for a number of days I would say it’s ok to take some melatonin because it can be frustrating not sleeping. Depending on your. Feelings toward marijuana I would recommend smoking it if it is in line with your beliefs, I personally don’t use marijuana but I did smoke some to help with appetite during my recovery. I would also recommend not listening to music or watching TV, you will get a lot more out of the experience when you are able to focus solely on how you feel rather than be distracted. And probably number 1 thing I recommend is to write down what you want to accomplish and even goals before your trip. Then keep them in mind and read them often to maintain your vision.
Write down your experience the following days. Re read what you’ve written and constantly add to it and you will find you can remember more and more. And then it is up to you to dive down as deep as you want into your experience. You may want to analyze what your visions mean and what they represent. Ibogaine isn’t just a miracle “red pill” that will cure everything. What it actually does is gives you an opportunity to feel the way you are meant to feel in complete harmony with the universe, it is up to you to then seize that opportunity and do the most with it you can. Ultimately you may not remember every sight or sound of what you’ve experienced, but you will always remember the way it made you feel.