After reaching a place in talk therapy where I felt I had the tools to go deeper to tackle my trauma, I was recommended MDMA therapy.
I had long read about the studies into the effects of psychoactive substances on mental illness, particularly PSTD, but had no idea that someone like me had access to it.
After lots of consideration, and frankly, some doubt, I finally reached out for a consultation. I want to briefly mention the emotional odyssey that was deciding that this was something I wanted, but more importantly, something I deserved.
I had been struggling to find effective care for years. Medication hadn’t helped, and with each setback, the thought of giving up before I ever really began left me with a false sense of control over my mental health.
For days I was plagued with thoughts of not being worthy. What if I wasn’t broken enough, or perhaps too broken, that the outcome of this journey would leave me with more wounds and more questions than I ever had before. All of these worries seem obsolete now, for when you live your life looking through the same lens of self doubt and avoidance everyday, you hardly realize that you are recreating the same environment that generates those same patterns, thoughts, and beliefs.
My refusal to surrender had left me in a perpetual cycle that left me unable to heal, unable to form new pathways, and unable to move forward. MDMA therapy removed the lens that had been crafted by years of unresolved trauma and allowed me to see and understand things about myself, my life and experiences free from pain and shame.
The consultation itself consisted of a brief overview of what you’d like to work through, and some medical history. My therapist was so kind and extremely knowledgeable, willing and able to answer all of my questions. After it was decided that I was a good candidate, I scheduled a preparation session, which was a detailed personal history, and setting an intention for the journey.
This will be different for everyone. The way I went about setting mine was finding the things I struggled with regularly, that affected my quality of life, then united them under an abstract theme. (I feel unsafe, or not at home in my body) then created an intention around that (I want to feel safe and at home in my body) Part of my personal preparation, and I’d say the most important, was allowing myself to accept that this wouldn’t “fix me”, but rather put me a step closer to becoming the individual I wanted to be.
My journey on MDMA was impossible to sum up here, but in that short, yet infinite space of healing, I learned more about myself that I ever could have imagined. It felt like meeting someone really interesting for the first time. I sat in my own presence and took myself in. I learned about her. Her strengths and weaknesses. Her story. I let her laugh, I let her cry. I accepted her. This reconciliation formed an internal bond that allowed me to explore my past in a way that was conducive to healing. That acceptance was the key to everything.
Through my journey I learned that the biggest rejection you could ever face, I was already facing on a regular basis. A rejection of the self. An internal opposition that I was able to free myself from by turning to face it. What I wasn’t allowing myself to feel wasn’t actually as scary as I thought it would be. My trauma was over. I had done so much work to build a stable foundation for myself, to build a support system, and I could finally appreciate it, free from the weight of the past. I was able to release what wasn’t serving me. To give rest to the parts of me that had been working overtime to keep me safe, unaware that I had already found safety- eons away from the life I had when those parts were needed most. I learned that the same love, patience, and care I give to others, I should extend to myself.
This is just one step in a long journey ahead, but this experience has united me with myself and shown me that I have the power to move forward, get through, and overcome. I believe in my own ability to heal. I believe in myself.
That is a huge step.
“Sometimes the healing
isn’t as complicated as it feels,
it just asks for space,
and surrender, and release…
Allowing time to turn the pages,
and the memories to fade,
Letting all those messes untangle,
And what’s gone to fall away”
- butterflies rising