12. Reframing My Social Anxiety & Pornography Habit Through iBogaine
I am a male in his late 20’s who has suffered from both social anxiety and pornography addiction for the entirety of my adolescence and adult life. Both issues intertwine together which has formed a vicious feedback loop (The more anxious I felt, the more I viewed porn, and the more I viewed porn the more shame and anxiety I felt). There were numerous times where pornography sessions would last over 8 hours through the night. The lack of sleep and shame associated with this addiction has greatly hindered my professional and social lives. Previous to seeking Ibogaine I had tried psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, homeopathy and Ibogaine was basically me willing to try anything once as I couldn’t seem to beat this addiction and anxiety through other means.
When I arrived on the Island I meet Sasha at the accommodation provided the day before the treatment. We went over what I could expect from the experience and I found him very open and easy to speak to.
About 9am the next morning I took a small dose of Iboga to make sure I had no allergic reaction to the medicine. Once it was deemed I was at no risk of developing an allergic reaction I took the full flood dose. It took approximately 40 minutes until I felt the effects of Iboga which came on very quickly. At the very beginning I remember my mouth slowly curving into this huge smile, like a smile of true happiness at which point the visions became very clear and I brought into this happy world which is too hard to explain in written word. This initial period of overwhelming happiness was soon overpowered by the most intense feeling of complete dread and doom I have ever experienced. My mind was telling me I was going INSANE and I would be stuck in this world forever. It was a hell. I then had the sudden urge to both shit and vomit at the same time. Luckily for Sasha only vomit came.
After this terrible terrifying experience, I was taken to 100s of different scenes throughout my life, where I was a spectator. Basically, each scene was cut short as my ego/mind would not allow me to just observe and each time my breathing would become very shallow until I stopped breathing completely. Then my body would remember to breath and I would wake up until the beginning of the next scene unfolded.
If I could summarize what insight I gained it would be the following; Follow your heart, not your mind. Just observe. Breathe deeply and smile.
I understand to the reader the experience above and the insight gained never once directly referenced my porn addiction. But I have to say the usual patterns of my mind convincing me to view pornography and the desire to view pornography right now at least appears to be overridden by my inner logic that knows I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole again.
For anyone reading this, it is now 10 days after my treatment and yes I still feel social anxiety but I feel like this is now a chance for me to utilize the tools I have gained to change my thought behaviour. Iboga is not a magic bullet and it should not be treated as such. But it is a very valuable tool for people who seek its council.
Also as a final note I would like to point out just how vulnerable you are when under the effects of Iboga. You truly need a sitter such as Sasha and his wife who have performed this service numerous times. If during your experience someone were to say the wrong thing or disturb you in any way I would hate to think of the resultant experience.