8. Not (A)typical experience - iBogaine For Bullemia & Anxiety.
I don’t believe my experience with ibogaine was typical (I do understand that everyone’s experience is different) and - I won’t lie - I was disappointed that it didn’t meet my expectations. Overall, however, it was a positive experience – the three things I am most grateful for: The courage to put myself through it, to take ibogaine, to have experienced it first-hand; to have met Sasha and his wife, Fibbi, the guides who facilitate ibogaine treatment – they are remarkable people, who I have an enduring respect for; and, finally (and thankfully) the realisation that I do have the strength to make positive changes in my own life.
My expectations had been set through reading the testimonials and stories of others. I truly expected to hear the voice of my subconscious, which would tell me what I was there for. I had heard ibogaine described as a “like receiving a stern lecture from a fatherly figure” (or similar), and I was ready for that. I was so ready.
Instead, I experienced ibogaine in two distinct phases. Phase 1 I saw flashes of images amongst what I would describe as a noisy horror circus. Sasha told me that none of the images I saw would be random. But, for whatever reason, I refused subconsciously to really “see” the images, in that I saw them, labelled them as “random” and promptly forgot what I had seen.
After this first phase, which marked as the beginning of Phase 2, I commented to Sasha, saying, “I didn’t see my little man, and he didn’t tell me the meaning of life”. I was trying to get a point across – I was trying to say that I didn’t know what to do now, while the ibogaine was still having a strong effect on me. While I was now entirely ready to follow any advice, his advice was still to try and interpret what I had seen. Luckily, I had 4 images/sounds come back to me, which I tried to reflect on. I felt, however, conscious of the time passing. The noise in my head, the pounding headache, I was waiting for it to be over. Every hour, my blood pressure was taken and I was offered water. I remember trying to count the times this occurred to calculate how long I had left. It was during the process of reflection, mostly which occurred the day after, that I made sense of what one of the images may mean for me, and those insights are now having an impact on the way I’m living my life. I am yet to recall anything of the dreams that I must have been having during the second phase.
My experience deviated from my expectations. A few points of major difference: I heard voices, but none spoke directly to me – one of the 4 things I recall hearing was the voice of a news reporter, as if on TV in another room. Unfortunately, what was said was inaudible -; As mentioned, I don’t recall any dreams, at all – I have a couple of distinct images, but nothing in story form; I didn’t feel a sense of euphoria, during or after the trip; I didn’t experience wakefulness – I felt the muscle relaxant effect strongly and fell asleep after the first 24 hours, and continued to sleep for periods of 1-4 hours throughout the day, and solidly through the following night; The first day after ibogaine, I had an appetite (unexpected), but food didn’t taste more delicious than usual, as others had reported; I felt confused and foggy, rather than sharp, and, worst of all, I felt anxious (as I had done previously). I felt spacey for four days – the careful and slow mood broken, I believe, only by meeting up with a friend and becoming the version of myself that I had been. I also felt dizzy, as if the earth wasn’t completely still, my eyes were not focusing well, and this feeling lasted the longest, perhaps for a week afterwards.
I would advise you, should you choose to take ibogaine, for whatever you are trying to achieve for your own life, to pay attention; As the drug starts to have its effect, pay attention. Did I say that already? I can say it again. You have to pay attention. This is just my advice – I have also read the differing advice, “you don’t do ibogaine, ibogaine does you,” which infers that you don’t need to do anything. Based only on my own experience, if you’re able to, write down what you see. Do it, even if it’s difficult and you don’t feel up to it. A lot of things are difficult and we don’t feel like doing it, such as going to the gym or working through tiredness, or visiting a relative on a special occasion. I would say make the effort, and certainly would do so if/when I take ibogaine a second time.
Sasha is a trustworthy and experienced guide. He and his wife were very very professional in the way they cared for me during my experience. I was grateful for their presence whenever they were around. Since leaving Thailand, I have been in contact with Sasha, gratefully so, as I have a deep admiration for the work that he does.
I don’t regret the decision to take ibogaine. Quite the opposite in fact, I am looking forward to a second practice with the medicine. Until then – and I think I’ll give it 10 years, maybe – I have a commitment to meditation and finding opportunities to bring spirituality in my life. My first practice with ibogaine, just 11 days ago now, was in response to feelings of apprehension surrounding my 30th birthday. I had the sense that, in 30 years, I’d done a lot of damage to myself – I’d created bad habits, held a lot of guilt because of these habits, and felt, if I’m honest, like I was ruining my life. I was as desperate, I guess, as most people who turn to ibogaine.
Whatever your reasons for reading this testimonial and others, if you’re ready for change. Seek it. If ibogaine is for you, I would recommend ibogaine-thailand. Sasha and Fibbi will look after you.
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