From Crackhead to Honor Student: How I healed with Psychedelic Plants .
A Bit about Plant Medicine
Everywhere you turn people are talking about psychedelics.
From Silicon Valley to some of the world’s most prestigious universities and organizations, talk of these mysterious molecules are filling the air in the most magical of ways.
In a world plagued with mental afflictions such as depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD, these substances have been shining a beacon to those lost in the darkness of suffering.
Studies are now providing promising, and in some cases, downright miraculous results in aiding people on their healing journey.
Since time immemorable, man has been consuming psychotropic plants in an attempt to connect more intimately with the universe and heal himself.
Entire civilizations and cultures have formed around the spiritual consumption of psychedelic plants.
Ayahuasca, a sacred brew from the Amazon Rainforest, lulls the drinker into a psychedelic state where they can face inner conflicts and heal themselves from many different diseases.
Amazonian tribes have been consuming this medicine for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
This jungle brew has been progressively spreading its influence across the globe, impacting thousands of people and healing countless traumas. More and more people are coming out about their life-changing encounters with “the vine of the soul”.
Back in western society, tech aficionados have been all in a chatter about the magical effects of micro-dosing. By consuming one-tenth of a standard dose (usually LSD or psilocybin mushrooms) people have been reporting profound changes in productivity, creativity, happiness, and vitality. This makes it a very valuable tool for people in intellectually and creatively stimulating jobs.
Not only are these medicines benefiting the sick, but they’re also providing a competitive edge to people who are already in healthy conditions. They spark creativity and inspire positivity.
As more and more studies are being conducted around the world on these medicines, the more promising and exciting the results.
It seems the world is once again waking up to the potential these compounds can offer society.
Four cities in the United States of America have now decriminalized the use of psychedelic plants and fungi. In Canada, the world’s first psilocybin microdose dispensary has opened his digital doors and has begun supplying Canadians with therapeutic doses.
These are exciting and crucial times.
We are in the midst of a psychedelic renaissance. A revolution of mind, body, and spirit. A return to holistic therapies and ancient knowledge. It’s time we remove outdated stigmas and notions regarding these medicines. It’s time we all come together and acknowledge these plants for what they are – medicines!
On Feb 20, 2020, 100, 000+ people will share life-changing transformations and heartfelt experiences that they’ve had with psychedelic plant medicines.
is an international day to “come out” about how plant medicines and psychedelics have positively impacted your life.
This coming together and sharing our experiences, we will shine a light on these remarkable and intelligent plants.
I could think of no better opportunity to share MY plant medicine experience with the world.
My story begins with a love affair.
A love affair with what you might ask? Well, frankly, just about anything I could get my hands on.
You see, I’m an addict. I’ve been addicted to it all.
It started out at about eight years old. It was around that age when Pokémon first made its explosive appearance into the world. Children everywhere developed an instant fascination with the anime, and I was certainly one of them.
So obsessed, in fact, that it became sort of a pacifier for me. At the time, I lived on an island with less than 100 people. There weren’t many other kids to play with, and as an only child, I had to make my own ways connecting. Pokémon was my way of dealing with isolation
After Pokemon came Digimon, then metal music, then it was cutting myself, then was magazines, then it was alcohol, and eventually, I worked my junky ass all the way up to crack cocaine. I had a funny way of dealing with things.
Let me give you some background.
My parents separated when I was less than three years old. I spent most of my time with my mother and visited my dad on weekends and holidays. As a kid, I never really knew how much this affected me, but in retrospect, I can connect some dots.
I always felt really weird as a kid, and I never quite fit in with the rest of the herd. By age 12 or 13 I was wearing trench coats and spike collars and painting my nails with black sharpies.
I never really met the status quo
It was during these times I realized that I was gay. Being gay is always an ordeal for most people and makes life just a little more difficult. For me? It was absolutely horrendous. I grew up in an area of Newfoundland, Canada that was infamous for its religious influence; staunch Pentecostal dogma polluted the culture. As a gay guy, I was seen as the antichrist.
Physical violence, mental abuse, and harassment; I endured it all throughout my small-town life.
This made being my true and most expressive self almost impossible. I didn’t fully fit in with any group. I definitely didn’t play sports, and I loathed being at school any longer than I needed to be. I just didn’t feel like I fit in there, or anywhere and everyone else seemed to agree.
That’s when I discovered alcohol.
Alcohol didn’t care about sexual orientation and alcohol didn’t care about my traumas and my woes. Alcohol, in fact, was quite welcoming.
Alcohol accepted me into the group. People finally started liking me. Alcohol gave me a key that I never had before. It gave me community, it gave me relief, and it gave me confidence. Alcohol was both my saving grace and the beginning of my downfall
By grade 11 I dropped out of high school after moving to another town. A town filled with all kinds of new drugs and excitement. I gave up my high school career as an honor student and traded it all in for my freedom and debauchery. I turned to alcohol and drugs to save me from my turmoil and entrapment.
I started experimenting with harder drugs like cocaine and speed.
By 17 I was already getting into trouble with the law and was inebriated just about every day.
My family did what they could to save me from my own demise. They sent me away to rehab twice, they sent me to live with my grandmother, and they tried cutting me off. Nothing seemed to help.
This cycle of self-torment and destruction continued all throughout my twenties. I couldn’t hold a job, I had no education, and I found myself in a constant bout of deep depression and anxiety.
It wasn’t until age 24 that a light began to emerge at the end of my tunnel.
A friend introduced me to the world of spirituality. The kind of spirituality that gives you experiential ways of healing and connecting with the divine. I began meditating, eating organically, practicing yoga, and diving into esoteric knowledge.
This exploration eventually led me on a crazy adventure to South America. I signed up for a four-week volunteer experience in Peru. That journey absolutely changed everything for me. I was exposed to so many new concepts about life and spirituality. In a cave just above the ancient Incan city of Cusco, I had my first shamanic experience. A healer laid me an alter and performed some sort of cleansing ritual that impacted my well-being so much that It changed my outlook on everything.
I had to know everything there was to know about the world of shamanism. Before leaving Peru my curiosity brought me to Amazon Rainforest where I ended up drinking the psychedelic brew, ayahuasca. I didn’t have much of an experience during that ceremony, but nevertheless; a seed was planted.
I returned to Canada with a fresh start. I still drank quite often and indulged in Marijuana, but it seemed that something was changed. I felt like a whole different person, I had a new reservoir of energy and I felt capable of anything.
This newfound vitality inspired me to expand my horizons and join the dating world. I ended up falling madly in love with the worst kind of person. Although I didn’t see it at the time, but I was being abused, manipulated, and slowly destroyed. It took me over a year to realize, and it wasn’t until I was dumped just four days before Christmas that I got my wakeup call. My heart was broken. I did everything I could for this guy and got I got trampled over.
It was unfortunate timing for me because during the same time of relationship heartbreak that I discover the news of new mothers’ cancer. All my life I watched her suffer with many different ailments and now the big C made its appearance. I fell into a deep dark depression where I grieved my mother even though she was still alive. I couldn’t find hope anywhere, and it led me once again back to my path of destruction.
I began going to clubs every night, drinking heavily and doing copious amounts of cocaine. One night a party I was introduced to crack. That was it for me. The next 3 years of my life were completely and utterly devoted to this drug. I lost my job, I lost friends, I lost my dignity, and I lost myself.
As I couch hopped from trap house to trap house in search of more crack, I lost more and more pieces of myself along the way. No one could help steer me back into my positive path.
I spent the next year or so of my life searching the corridors of my soul for the answer. I knew I could get back to myself if I could just tap back into my spirituality. That’s when Peru made its beckoning call once more. I rallied all my resources, and with the help of family, I found myself back in South America. This trip, I focused solely on my healing through the use of psychotropic plants. The 6 weeks I spent there helped me immensely. I was able to dive deep into the root of all my anguish. Psychedelics have a way of confronting you with all the excess shit that you’ve buried over the entirety of your life. I was able to untangle the knots and tie up some loose ends that have grown stagnant in my subconscious.
I left Peru and returned to Canada. Although I felt like a new person, still, something inside of me was not quite ready for the changes that I needed. I spent the next year bouncing back and forth between sobriety and relapses. While at the time I figured I was still a failure, my relapses were becoming further and further apart. I started doing yoga again, I picked up running, and I was able to find peace in my day to day life. I moved back to my home town and began to take solace in the serenity of nature.
Then I started to get a little overconfident in myself. Deep inside I knew I was changing, but I took my will power for granted and got tangled up in drugs and alcohol once again. Although this time, I was armed with a truer understanding of my personal nature. I knew I was on the right path to healing; I was just lacking the appropriate integration that I needed.
My journey to wellness took me back to Peru two more times, and I spent a total of 6 months there overall. Each trip brought me closer and closer to my truest being. Through the use of psychedelic plants, I was able to dissect my past and extract traumas and wounds to the point that they no longer held power over me. By exploring the inner workings of my own mind, I was able to “shut off” my coping mechanisms and develop new ways of dealing with my external world. Going internally enabled me to change my environment.
My whole life started to change after I made the decision to go deep with my shamanic work and entheogenic plant medicines. Back in Canada, I began microdosing and conducting regular ceremonies in order to understand who I am. My yoga practice began to blossom, I started writing more, I launched a blog, and eventually, I found a job. This job opened so many new doors for me. Despite my destructive nature, I was now able to overcome my personal barriers and lean into a more positive state of mind.
Life started blooming into something quite beautiful for me.
I began to strive for so much more. I began to set the bar high for myself. Being a high school dropout with no education and career, led me to believe that I was stupid and unworthy for most of my young life. I set out to change my trajectory and build a life around my wildest dreams. I started researching education opportunities and looking at colleges. I found a tourism program that just spoke to my soul. I could learn how to help people travel! Heck, I could start taking people to Peru and help show the deep healing that I experienced. Wheels started turning in my head, and off I went.
Due to the fact that I had no high school diploma, in order to get accepted into the tourism program, I had to write a comprehensive exam that tested my education levels. Thanks to my newfound awareness, a lot of hard work, the use of micro-dosing, and my experiences in Peru, I was able to pass this exam with flying colors. Not only did I meet the requirements for the tourism program, but my marks were also so high that I got accepted into all the college’s offerings, including computer programming and other scientific studies.
My whole life was beginning to transform.
I passed my first semester with a GPA of 4.0, my health was starting to improve, and every aspect of my life was beginning to make a 360! Isn’t it remarkable that the psychedelic experience can have such drastic impact wellbeing? I’m living proof that they do! Plant medicines save lives!
I turned to every western modality that I could think of to pull me out of the darkness. Nothing seemed to work for me. I’ve been to rehabs, I’ve had counselors, I’ve had interventions, and I’ve had talk therapy. It just didn’t get to the root of my pain. I found my transformation in the beauty of psychedelics through cultures that have been utilizing these medicines for thousands of years. By taking the leap and exploring my soul, I was able to distinguish my triggers and patterns. So to me, it’s a travesty that these plants have been demonized. So many people out there with stories like mine are truly suffering and the cure is literally growing out the ground. Our ancestors knew this. It’s time we bring back these ancient traditions for the betterment of all mankind.
These medicines open up your heart to new realities and possibilities.
If a junky like me who has been relying on harmful drugs his entire life, had no education, and no motivation can magically transform his existence, then so can others. It wasn’t an easy journey, and psychedelics are no panacea, that’s for sure, but if there’s a chance that these medicines can touch the lives of others as they’ve touched me, then we need to change the way our society views them.
This is why I’m sharing my journey with all of you.
It wasn’t easy to sit here and revisit old wounds, let alone share them with the world, but I’ve made a promise with myself to use my past as a propellent to help others. I want to show people that there ARE ways to heal yourself and psychedelic plant medicines could be a possible treatment for you.
I want the people of my home, my friends, and my family to understand the importance of these medicines. Since continuing my healing process, I’ve undertaken a project to spread awareness of these medicines in Newfoundland. I started a Psychedelic Society here so we can better inform the public about the potential plant medicines have for our people.
I’ll continue to spread the good word of psychedelics and I hope my story in some way has touched you, perhaps even a little. I really took a leap here and made myself vulnerable so that we can finally rip down these walls that have been built around our cerebral liberty. It would mean the world to me if you could share this post with your network. Together we can help make this planet a safe place for healing, transformation, and happiness.
I plan to write much more about psychedelic medicines and my experiences with this. This “coming out” will allow me to break the ice and becomes more candid with my writing. I look forward to sharing all the raw, gritty details with everyone. You can find me at facebook.com/bohemianbrandon or www.instragram.com/bohemianbrandon and anywhere else @bohemianbrandon. I look forward to making a connection with you all.