Read Sober Psychonaut disclaimer for people in sobriety exploring psychedelic medicine.
During the guided meditation for intention-setting, the girl narrating said to hold your intention for how you want to be and experience life these next few months. To create an intention in the positive: “I allow myself to feel joy and happiness” vs. “I don’t want to be sad.”
Truth is, I almost didn’t do this today.
But here’s what happened during my fourth ketamine for depression therapy session.
I woke up, felt every aching bone in my body from slipping on black ice yesterday, let alone these last weeks to going on several months really, the hip pain has gotten so bad I can barely cross the room sometimes. The hips, it seems, affects the knees and even ankles.
Fucking car accident.
My mood has been a bit low and who knows whether the horse came before the cart on that one. Not feeling good physically is always a recipe for low mood and the pain cycle continues: pain – depression – pain – depression
So I’m a little weepy and feeling sorry for my sorry ass self this morning.
But I did get up and take a shower which had a purifying effect. I asked for help, got my husband to make the bed, kids fed the cats.
And I’ve committed to hanging in bed today.
Work, too, has been gnarly.
I always love what I do⏤health and medical content writer⏤but I don’t do well when I’m buried with work.
It ceases to be fun and fulfilling.
And so there’s that.
So my intention for this fourthe ketamine therapy session is:
…is encompassing of all of that. Freedom of mind, especially freedom to do, say, be, go⏤all of it. Health, all-encompassing but especially this pain thing. And joyousness, levity, in the moment. Levity for my life, levity about my life.
I was reading somewhere about the sensitive sort (can ya tell that I am?) left too long to wander aimlessly about the mind will always find something to brood about.
Am I just a spoiled rotten human? Demanding to be more happy about living?
Blood pressure 117/74
In I go…
And she was gone (hopped the K-train)
I swished the sour ketamine around in my mouth (three tablets to the cheek, I prefer to sublingual; not sure it matters but man-oh-man sessions 3 and 4 have been intense). The leading soundtrack fed to me in my Mindbloom program talked about if you had lost it all⏤death, that is, no return, what sweetness there’d be in the ordinary of this moment, if you could just come back here and savor it all again. Using the example of a disgruntled family around the dinner table, everyone bickering, what we wouldn’t give to have those moments if they were taken away.
I swished and swished and could feel the intensity of the medicine coming over me as the sound segued into an ominous rhythm. All was dark, dark, dark. My timer indicated seven minutes so I spit in the cup, rinsed with juice, spit again and fell back into my pillows with eye mask and new over-ear headphones.
And I was TRANS-PORTED.
I was one with the bed.
No separation between me and it. The sound was all there was. Rolling and thundering through darkness. I held on and rode with it the entire time, looking in all the corners and crevices of my mind.
One room filled with dark, I could see a ceiling high above there were white squares neatly arranged. Then just inhaling and becoming darkness again.
Thoughts were minimal. Blessed relief!
But I did pause as a few popped up.
I missed my father. And then real tears flooded over the rims of my lower eyelids.
But I finally fixed on my intention: FREEDOM, HEALTH and JOYOUSNESS.
They couldn’t have been further from where I was⏤but I stuck with it.
Eventually, the soundscape shifted⏤akin to Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine”⏤leaving the heavy industrial drumming, demanding drone. A synthesized chime came in, piercing the auditory experience, poking and plucking at my brain.
These things came up for me.
Soon I was noticing my surroundings again. I bent one leg to the side. I wiped the tears under my eye mask. I suddenly doubted my husband had actually set the time for one hour and would he remember to check on me?
I peeked at my laptop and it indicated 10:59 a.m., still 10 minutes to go. I got restless but resumed headphones and eye mask, synthetic ambient music easing me into the coming down (or out?).
I was momentarily bored, ready for it to be over, but remembered everything that comes after is as key to what happens during a ketamine therapy session.
It was BOOM. Wow. I went that time. Really gone. There was no me.
I was the darkness.