If you are reading this now, I’m assuming that you are faced with the opportunity to bend your mind, heighten your senses, or experience your reality in a different way. And you have some resistance. You had a difficult experience last time and you’re considering tripping again. There is some risk of going there again. But isn’t there always? Whatever the reason for taking psychedelics again is, I hope that you take with you the lesson that you’ve learned, not only the difficulty and tears. You’ve come out each time humbled by your own psyche and coincidentally wiser each time. While there is an appropriate time to trip and an appropriate time to refrain, my wish for you is that you choose for yourself because you have the intention to and the set/setting is right.
Remember that time you thought your brain was stuck and you were afraid your mind was never going to be the same? Well, it seems as though you’ve made it out the other side with a lot of new insight on some corners of your mind that may have been ignored or have been bubbling at the surface. With this new insight, you’ve done the work to acknowledge and work through it. It is possible that a lot came up last time and you’re still processing it. And that is okay, too! Our minds are non-linear anyways. Just because you think you’ve “gotten over it” doesn’t mean it goes away forever. My hope is that you’ve accepted the emotions and theories without judgment and shame. Whatever it is - seeing the ugly truth, feeling uncomfortable or alone, or perhaps not having the experience you expected and wanted. Oftentimes these things become amplified when our egos refuse to accept it. Hey, we’ve all been there - this experience is simply that of a human experience. While being human means different things to everybody, I think we can all agree on some level it is dynamic - to experience the pain of losing someone or even your grounding in reality, to lean in for a first kiss with someone you’ve imagined kissing in your head hundreds of times, to laugh so hard you can’t breathe and your cheeks hurt, or to cry happy tears at the sheer sight of a budding leaf in a field of flowers. All of these feelings are beautiful and temporary, and so was your difficult trip.
There is that push and pull though too, right? Putting yourself in a position to go out of your comfort zone is valuable, but not forcing the experience to heal all your traumas. To also allow for integration and compassionate connection with self and others, but not sitting back and not doing the work. Allowing space for fluidity and spontaneity, but also having a plan or activity to enjoy this altered state. Remember you can always check in with what you might need - if you need to walk away from the group you're in, then walk away. If you need to find a completely different energetic space to be in, go into a different room or place. Allow yourself to do that. You don’t need to pretend to be okay all the time. No one is. If you dont think you are ready for this today, then avoid pressuring yourself to be a certain way. We can sniff out when we are being ingenuine, and being ingenuine doesn’t resolve anything.
So you’ve done a lot of work to get to where you are. And you’ve built a lot of trust in yourself and slowly added resources to your toolkit should you spiral into a narrative that is causing discomfort. Remember that you can always establish safe ground before you start for an added comfort if you think you need it (without expecting that you will need it because we don't want to self-fulfill this prophecy) - If you’re about to go to Burning Man or a similar festival, know where Zendo is in case you need support from a kind stranger. Maybe even have an official or unofficial buddy who you can help bring you into the present. If you are intentionally going deep with medicine, have a sitter. Are you a meditator or breathwork junkie? Maybe incorporate your favorite techniques that get you in your body. I find dispersing some energy away from my head helps ground me. Don't forget to pack your favorite snacks, water, charged phone - all your essentials. You know what helps you - you have all the answers in yourself.
If you spiral, see it as information your mind is showing you. This letter isn’t about “how to not bad trip,” but a means to tell you that your relationship with the world and the associations you have with the world can be ever-evolving. Allow yourself to be malleable. Challenge yourself to view each moment as it passes to enjoy what is in front of you, perhaps in a new way. If you’re guarding or priming yourself constantly to have a specific outcome, how do you expect to grow? My hope for you is that you’ve taken the time to unpack what has come to surface to prevent the flood gates from opening and claiming that “psychedelics did this to you,” when in fact, you did this to yourself. :) And I, of course, mean that with love.
Last thing - remember, you don’t have to take ALL of it. Even a quarter or half a tab could be worth exploring. Who is to say it has to be one way or another.
Happy tripping <3