Bob W. – Chemical Dependence

“I found myself taking the ibogaine three days later, unsure if two thousand dollars was going to a scam artist or if it was real..”

I first heard about ibogaine from my mother, from whom I first hear about many things. I listened to the stories with a mixture of hope and skepticism and to the price of treatment with resignation, as drug addicts of my caliber generally have no money. The desperate quality and general hopelessness of my life reached an all time low about the time it became possible for me to do it, and overcame my reluctance to have any more of someone else’s money flushed down the proverbial toilet.

I found myself taking the ibogaine three days later, unsure if two thousand dollars was going to a scam artist or if it was real, if it would really help or if I would even live through the experience a sane man. I was unprepared, unsure of my goals, and not completely sure if I wanted to do it at all. I only knew that anything was better than life as I had known it. I took the ibogaine around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, Sept. 13, 1995. It took about 45 minutes to get off. Benjamin was there to relax and comfort me. My first sensations were a tingling in my fingertips, and a sort of pressure in the heart area. The tingling/numbness soon enveloped my whole body, and I heard sounds rising in a spiral pattern from my heart. I had never experienced auditory hallucinations before. About this time I began to hear everything around me¡­ not hallucinations. My own breathing was very loud, and I believe I could hear the blood rushing through my veins.

The first real rush (of the drug) came over me, exactly like an ocean wave. I began to hear things that definitely were not there, and to see small glimmers of light. Physically moving too fast was not an option, it would set everything to spinning. I began to get a sense of a personality or life force in the drug; I could feel the jungle from which it came. I asked it to be easy with me; as I said, I felt an awesome power.

I remained at this level until I was comfortable with it. Then a very strong wave hit me and things began to escalate rapidly. My hallucinations at this point became visual, the familiar patterns of my experience with LSD and mescaline, although I never took large doses of either. Also there were sapphire blue tendrils that moved up the wall and became flowers, as well as other moving configurations of light. They were beautiful. I began to hear music, voices, a cacophony of other whirring, drumming, and creaking, rushing sounds. Yet I could still talk to Benjamin. The bodily sensation was very pleasant and good, and although I was scared, I liked it. Again, it seemed that things remained awhile until I got comfortable, then went beyond anything I had ever experienced.

I was by now floating in a sea of physical sensations and began to close my eyes. I saw a whole universe behind my eyelids which I can only describe as the creative mind. My eyelids were the window to an array of visions floating in a void. Some were abstract visual patterns, some were faces. There were also voices, music, and unidentifiable sounds. If I focused on one of these it would begin to develop, become larger and more involved. I could play with them or discount them. The whole time my normal thought processes continued and things or people would appear visually or music would play if I thought of it. I had a sense that things I needed to find or understand were located in this mind, also that thought creates an infinite number of realities. I could open my eyes and still had a sense of being in the room but the hallucinations there were extraordinary. I felt through all of this that I might be resolving a number of different conflicts within myself very rapidly, that Iboga was teaching me. I began to sense a threshold, a jumping off point if you will, that would totally disconnect me from this reality, but at the same time I would resolve my deepest conflicts. I would reconnect to something I’ve lost; I would see the face of God.

I became terrified, fearing for my life and sanity, I vomited, which immediately pulled me back from the threshold. I lay back, waiting for it to reappear, wanting it and dreading it at the same time. My body went into full revolt, flushing everything, and I mean everything from my stomach and my bowels. This was a very difficult thing to do with any dignity whatsoever in my condition, but I still made it to the bathroom with Benjamin’s help.

That done, I returned to the bed, no longer dreading my threshold but profoundly disappointed that I soon felt it slipping away from me. I came down very rapidly at this point. Within one half hour the hallucinations were all but gone and my floating sensation much less intense.

During my look into the void, I had seen all of my loved ones who are still living, and had the experience of vignettes of my relationships with them, accompanied by a profound and compassionate love. In this, my second much less dramatic phase, I lay in bed for 12 hours, experiencing hundreds of vignettes, very much like day dreams, but more vivid and in great detail. These all had to do with my ordinary and unfortunately very mundane life, and reminded me of times I had lain awake at night and reviewed past events. The difference was the rapidity and incredible number of vignettes and their detail and sometimes very abstract quality. I have a sense that even though I may have bailed out on the best part of my experience, a great deal of healing was taking place through this phase. These daydreams eventually just devolved into mind chatter that became annoying. I got a little something to eat, and read myself to sleep.

I awoke feeling refreshed, ten years younger, and more at peace than I have been in years. Although I cannot pinpoint anything specific being resolved, I have a sense of hope and a sense of possibilities, a sense I may not be as I was. I have also a sense that there are more things in heaven and earth than our eyes have ever seen, my friends.