I’m pretty excited about a “treatment” my close friend told me about. It is presented by this “shaman” type fellow and it involves taking a psychedelic natural compound (think along the lines of magic mushrooms but not exactly the same). We’re now trying to get about six people together to go to this guy’s farm – he does groups only. It is all very controlled and takes place in a safe environment. What is supposed to happen is that you gain a deep insight into your life and especially identify those destructive behaviors or aspects that you need to get rid of. I’ve listened to a respected podcast with experts on these shamanic hallucinogenic experiences (trips, to be colloquial) and there seems to be some success in treating addictions through this one-time process. It makes you see your life from a different perspective and some deep neurological and psychological changes can take place. I’m a skeptic by nature and while I expect no miracles I am so desperate to break the chains of addiction that I cannot help but feel hopeful and kind of excited about even the slightest chance that this might help me. Addiction is really a kind of hell. Your mind is always consumed by substances – whether you are under the influence or sober you are always thinking about taking something. You have to lie about it to people so as not to upset them or get yourself into trouble. You feel so damn guilty and powerless all the time. And, like the old AA saying goes, you are just constantly sick and tired of being sick and tired. Yesterday I smoked weed before work and when it started wearing off around lunchtime I had four double gins (on the rocks and on a nearly empty stomach) after which I took half a sleeping tablet and smoked some more weed. I ended up puking into a plastic bottle in my car later in the afternoon. Really classy. I couldn’t drive and was semi-passed out in my car that I’d parked on the side of a busy road in the rush hour traffic. Whether people inching past me noticed this man in a comatose state, retching violently on occasion I don’t know. What the business owners near where I was parked thought is also something I’d rather try to block from my conscience. If my family knew about this type of thing they would be horrified. My wife and children may well decide to leave me (given my long history of rehabs). But I still can’t seem to override the frequent compulsion to use. I somehow always discount the risks much more than I should. It really is a disease. I don’t want to be a drunkard and addict – I hate myself for it, but I keep doing it. There is not even much joy in it anymore, in fact, I feel like crap when I’m wasted. So maybe I’m just clutching at straws here but I know of people who quit smoking and other bad habits after their hallucinogenic experience. One specific plant from Nigeria is even used to break heroin addiction while minimizing the withdrawals to the point of insignificance. The real cure of these types of trips is that it lights up all the wiring in your brain and makes you see things clearly for once. For what they are. You look at your life objectively and get deep insights that stick with you long after the trip.There is obviously also a strong emotional response that takes place during and after the trip. It is a cognitive/emotional/psychological thing I guess (I’m gonna start researching it in more depth before I go). Some patients get to grips with traumatic life experiences or end up understanding why they feel a certain way and how easy it is to let it go. Well, I will let you know once all this has materialized and you’ll know then what impact it has made on my life. Until then I will keep struggling to stay sober one day at a time.