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NOTICE: This is a first-person account of a personal experience with an entheogen. It is not an endorsement or an admonishment of the practice. Ladybud Magazine/Libertae LLC is not legally responsible for reader experiences that may/may not take place after reading this riveting article.
I didn’t start that day planning on eating 13g of dried Amanita Muscaria in my house, all alone. But the seemingly insane impulse decision to eat mushrooms is one I’m glad I made because it changed my life.
The weeks up to the experience were filled with my boyfriend talking about, listening to, and watching videos of Terence McKenna, so I had become comfortable and accepting of the idea that mushrooms were not only helpful but necessary to fully open up and experience new parts of our brains. And I know that may sound like a somewhat ‘hippie’ thing to say, but if you really look into the possibilities of being in such a mentally open state, you may see that it can be used as a valuable tool for curing many conditions of the mind.
I was becoming a little obsessed with mycology myself, and one night I had a vivid dream that I found Amanita Muscaria mushrooms. I just couldn’t shake that dream; I felt like the little fellas were speaking to me.
The next day I decided to order them since they are currently legal in the US. They were delivered regular mail a few days later and the beauty of them seemed engaging. There was some kind of mystery attached to these guys, like little speckled wizards.
One day in early November, I woke up and decided to tell my Instagram and Facebook friends of the struggle I have with Trichotillomania, a condition that causes me to compulsively pull out my hair. I have been extremely lucky because I am not compelled to pull the hair on my head – mainly my just eyelashes and eyebrows.
However, I had become increasingly concerned with how it has affected me socially; I was afraid people thought I was always lying because I wouldn’t make eye contact. My boyfriend knew me for almost ten years before I would walk around our own house without my brows and lashes drawn on. If I woke up in the middle of the night I’d get up and make sure they were still drawn there!
I was tired of being ashamed and tired of shying away from pictures with my friends because I was afraid someone would notice the weirdness around my eyes. So with all of that on my mind I took a picture of my bare face first thing in the morning. Before getting out of bed and before having time to think twice about it and I showed the world what I really looked like.
I continued about my day regretting posting that picture with every little notification I got. It made me feel sick to be exposed like that with such an ugly picture of me for everyone to see. I wanted to remove it. Every time someone said “you’re beautiful without them” I thought ‘that’s nice to say, but bullshit. I’m scary’. Then a little after noon I remembered that I had the Amanita sitting in a drawer, and thought ‘what the hell’.
I documented the entire experience. Writing a ‘trip report’ was actually fun, although I never posted it on Erowid. At one point I knocked over a plant, a very delicate burrows tail that I loved dearly, and the pot broke to pieces.
Instead of being upset as I typically would have been, I was happy I did it because it gave me the opportunity to turn it into three cute smaller plants. I ended the night listening to meditation music on Pandora and turned my thoughts to the picture I posted and how I was actually proud of myself. I started to realize that thinking people were lying to me was part of my problem. Even if they are, who cares!? I’m the one who has to think I’m beautiful!
I grabbed a mirror and looked at my eyes. I really looked at them and remember thinking that I’ve always loved the color.
“So why do you want to sabotage them?”
It was a question that seriously popped out of nowhere. I guess I never asked myself that, and was shocked at the inquiry since I don’t. I don’t want to sabotage my eyes.
“Look at that one curly lash right there!”
Now I think it’s the mushroom talking to me, and I answer that I want to pull it out and my fingers quickly go to my eye.
“No, you don’t want to do that.”
The mushroom is so quiet, calm and patient. So I stop my fingers from pulling and I touch it for a second, I let one finger just stroke the lash gently. And I listen for the mushroom.
“Look at that lash.” It said again.
‘Yeah’, I started to think, ‘look at it! It’s so curly and so long! How did it get there? They usually don’t last that long around here, geez it must really be a fighter! Standing so proud and pretty when all I want to do is tear it down, why do I want to rip it out? Why can’t I just let it live? I want it to live and I want it to have proud beautiful friends. Wow, really, look at it, like a little soldier.’ I started to tell myself that pulling was unhealthy and that this is not how I should be treating myself.
‘That. One. Single. Lash. Look at it.’
Now again, I know these sound like extremely ‘hippie-ish’ things to think. Please forgive me, I was high on mushrooms.
I fell deep asleep and woke up the next day with that lash still standing, I didn’t pull out it overnight! Or even that day. I didn’t pull it the next day or the day after that either. Then some new lashes came in that I didn’t touch. After two weeks I rewarded myself with an eyelash curler to keep lashes from sticking together and triggering me. After four weeks I bought my first mascara in over fifteen years! I’m still amazed when I can feel them touching my glasses or even blowing in the wind – I didn’t even know they could do that!
Amanita Muscaria has a different active ingredient than its illegal “magic mushroom” cousins; therefore, the dosing is much different. You need a lot more of them to feel the high. I also did plenty of research and had a trial run of a lesser dose a few weeks before this experience.
I’m not saying that everyone could solve any problem with hallucinogens. I am saying that if used properly, in the right settings and conditions, just imagine what we could be doing for mental health in our world.