From Resistant C-PTSD To Complete Mystical Experience - Cured.
Shared by JK , experienced a year ago.
Substance: Psilocybin mushrooms
Trigger Warning: This article discusses trauma, abuse, rape and the effects of such trauma. Also, please note that this is incredibly vulnerable territory, I’m taking a deep breath and sharing my personal story with you in hopes to help others who have had experiences like this in their lives. It was December, 2017. At this time in my life I guess you could say I checked all the boxes. I had hit the major goals of my life. I had a partner who adored and loved me, a great son, a career I loved. And yet… I was left with this gnawing feeling – I still felt empty. I started asking myself “What’s the point?” I felt lethargic and things started to go downhill. I knew something wasn’t right and I needed to take steps to uncover what was at the core of this issue. I made an appointment at the Amen Clinic to take a look at the inner workings of my brain – to get my brain scanned. Here’s what we found… I was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury, a Hyperactive Thalamus and C-PTSD. I had heard of PTSD, of course, but… What is C-PTSD? It stands for Complex-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the result of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event such as war, natural disasters, fatal accidents, rape etc.. It is estimated that over 44.7 million people are suffering from PTSD at any given time. Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a fairly new diagnosis and is the result of on-going trauma, think childhood abuse, being unable to escape domestic violence or sex trafficking. I wasn’t shocked by this diagnosis, most of my childhood I lived in fear for my mother’s life, my sister’s life and my own. I grew up in an environment where fear was a pre-dominant and chronic emotional state. There was physical and emotional abuse. I even lived in a safe house a one point because we had death threats on our lives. Most people knew me as someone who was highly functioning. And I was in many ways. I became a straight A student, a high performer in most things I tried, had been in major media and written best-selling books; I looked like an outward success. But most people had no idea the daily effects of C-PTSD. The distressing nightmares of being murdered, night after night, kept me from sleeping well and haunted my waking hours. Digestive issues made it so that I was consistently on some new diet, trying to heal. I’d go on yet another diet because I couldn’t digest food and when triggered my bowels would immediately empty (sometimes even in my sleep, not sexy and absolutely mortifying to me at the time). My emotions would be irrational and small things would get blown out of proportion. At the height of my trauma trigger responses, it became a regular occurrence for me to kick my partner out, since closeness felt threatening. I was an avoidant attachment style, convinced that I didn’t need anyone and that comfort and love were addictions. Deep down I felt incredibly alone and started to tell myself that I must be a monster, that I’d never be whole, and that I’d just end up hurting everyone around me. I started to loose reality with my identity and took on on the labels of a person with mental illness. And those were just some of the symptoms I was conscious of, there were many more behaviors that I had no idea were due to the C-PTSD running my life. Therapists told me I was in the top 1-10% for the level of trauma I experienced and may be treatment resistant. Do you relate to any of this? Perhaps you know someone who has suffered trauma in their past. Perhaps you too live your daily life with the symptoms of C-PTSD or PTSD. I want you to know that you are not broken. I’m writing this right now because if it wasn’t for someone else sharing that they had C-PTSD and were able to heal it, I might not be here telling you my story. Trauma can have a major effect on how we relate to others and our ability to trust in relationships. Childhood trauma affects the developing brain. Imagine living in a soup of stress hormones and having the fight, flight, freeze or fawn mechanism activated on a daily, moment-by-moment basis as your brain is growing. Trauma like this results in difficulties with attachment in relationships and in seeing the world as it truly is. In Bessel Van Der Kolk’s book “The Body Keeps the Score,” I was struck by one particular study done with children. A photograph was shown to the children of a man working with a child on a car. The man was under the car and the girl was handing him a wrench. The children who had experienced trauma had disturbing interpretations of the photo, i.e., the car was going to crush the man and the child was going to use the wrench to attack the man. Children who hadn’t experienced trauma simply saw a father and daughter working on a car together. Wow! Seeing how perception is radically transformed through the lens of trauma made me think deeply about the filter through which I saw the world. I saw a threat where there was none and yet couldn’t recognize the people in my life who actually weren’t healthy for me because I would create new trauma bonds, unconsciously trying to heal my parents. How are you seeing the world? How do we rewire our brains so that we can see life as it really is and not through the filters of our past traumas, programming and conditioning? I want you to know that there is hope. ******* In searching for a way to heal trauma I found many methods that helped me to manage the C-PTSD. But it was just managing it. Somatic Experiencing, a body oriented approach to healing trauma and stress disorders, was effective in helping me uncover the traumas and regulate my nervous system. I went on an herbal regimen given to me by the Amen clinic after analyzing my brain scans; SAMe, Gaba, and other brain boosting supplements. I tried EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is a psychotherapeutic tool used to help alleviate stress related to traumatic memories, but didn’t find it effective for me. This therapy has been effective for others and I do recommend trying it, if you have experienced trauma. I also worked with an Attachment and Childhood Developmental Trauma Therapist, which helped greatly to understand more about my attachment style and the effects of the trauma on my relationships. While I was managing the C-PTSD and things would improve; I’d have days where it seemed hopeless. I didn’t want to manage this. I wanted it healed. The therapists I was working with all stated that I was in the top 10% for severity of trauma and that it would be this way until it wasn’t. Some of what I read told me that C-PTSD was not healable. The more I read about C-PTSD and about those people who were treatment resistant the more I identified with it and my symptoms worsened. I started to go to some really dark places in my mind. My career felt pointless and empty. I hated being a mother. My relationship with my partner was greatly suffering. I had to find a cure. Luckily I met a woman who had cured her C-PTSD. I am so grateful for the brief meeting and her courage to share her story with me. When I heard what helped her… I froze. Her saving grace was an experimental therapy called MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy. Let me give a little history here. Remember those commercials back in the 80’s – This is your brain on drugs, with the frying egg in the pan. That was ingrained in my brain. I had been anti-drugs most of my life. As a teen I was part of a group called Teen-Institute who were kids against alcohol and drugs. My father was an alcoholic and I lumped that in with all drugs. Not to mention I rarely took medication, I had to be really sick to even get a prescription, as I preferred an herbal solution to healing everything. So when I heard that MDMA, which is currently a Schedule 1 – Illegal drug, was the answer to healing C-PTSD, I struggled deeply. It would take hitting rock bottom for me to say yes to trying this experimental therapy. As of writing this article MDMA and Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy is still not legal in the United States and elsewhere in the world. However, Phase 3 Trials are underway and this medicine has been fast tracked by being given Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA, due to the amount of U.S. soldiers getting relief from PTSD with this medicine. The recent stats state that 22 veterans commit suicide daily. Yes, you read that right, daily! And when given MDMA assisted psychotherapy, even treatment resistant PTSD is improved or cured. MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) is currently doing major research to see MDMA Assisted Therapy approved by the FDA as a prescription medicine by 2021. If you aren’t familiar with MDMA, it is commonly confused with “Ecstasy” or “Molly” – the party or club drugs. It is not the same thing. Those are street drugs that often contain dangerous chemicals and adulterated substances. MDMA has been proven safe for human consumption and is an empathogen, meaning it affects hormones in the brain like serotonin and oxytocin, thus increasing the ability to have empathy and feel deeper connection and love. Studies have shown that after 12 months 76% of participants who received MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy no longer had PTSD. Yes, you read that right too, 76% of participants, 1 year later! I was incredibly nervous going into my first session. It took more courage than I thought it would. And I was also excited. If this works 76% of the time I had a good chance it would be the end of my C-PTSD. And for me, it worked and was an absolute, unadulterated miracle! It’s been over a year since my first session, and I can proudly say I haven’t had a nightmare since. I can eat whatever I want, no more crazy dieting or intense digestive issues. I’m closer than ever to my partner and I no longer have C-PTSD symptoms. I view the world through a completely different lens. It’s as if there is a new iteration of myself, one that never had the trauma in the first place. After my very first session most of the symptoms went away. My attachment style shifted from mostly Avoidant to pretty darn Secure. I realized that it was okay to have comfort and love. My second session was very hard, but it cleared deeper unconscious traumas. My third session the guide gave me psilocybin tea and this was an extraordinary experience of oneness, so hard to put into words, and it took me out of the final loop of trauma. I did a fourth session that included the psilocybin tea because I started to have a new question appearing, an existential question. “How could God allow children and women to experience so much abuse?” This session was the last piece, and the finale to my journey of healing. It was a profound mystical experience, which when researching I learned is called a “Complete Mystical Experience”. It’s not dissimilar to what people report with Near Death Experiences. There is a oneness, a timelessness, it’s indescribable. There is a feeling of love and bliss, there is an experience of being whole and complete. In this I realized I was not broken. That I was whole and perfect as I am. There was no monster and I as consciousness had created a whole game of duality. It’s all oneness appearing as a twoness. I got the answer to my question and it profoundly changed my life. Since having these experiences, life has become a life of deep acceptance of what is, and it’s glorious. There is only this. My god how I laughed!!! We go around chasing, thinking we aren't enough, that there is something to change, fix or improve... only to find that was all a game, we're perfect. We seek and seek and the big joke is there there is absolutely nothing to find. Today I have access to a freedom I didn’t know was possible. Unconditional love is everywhere I look. I can never be separate from it. I share this story with you because so many people can be helped through these medicines and they have been demonized for so long. The growing body of research suggests, done correctly with pure medications, these drugs fall in the healthy spectrum and can create profound and lasting transformation for the people who use them properly. DISCLAIMER: These practices and medications do not work for everyone. It’s absolutely vital that you find legitimate practitioners who have experience and training in sitting with you for your sessions and in helping you integrate the wisdom and rewiring that may arise during your sessions. Without integration, many people may have a profound experience while in session, but the full value may not be realized, necessary changes to daily life may not be implemented and the positive effects may not be lasting. Always do your research, as much of the work is still currently being done underground, and you need to fully trust your guide and the materials they are using. This is not medical advice: Though this process worked for me, I am not a doctor or therapist and I am not recommending you should approach your own healing with these practices and methods. Get advice from a medical professional before choosing this or any other type of therapy. No matter what you choose to do for yourself, I want you to know… You are whole and complete just the way you are. I know that it may be hard to accept, but it’s true… You are more magnificent than you know. You are love.