Note: We are grateful to share this young woman's story with you. Writing this was a generous act on her part, and while her name is hidden to protect her privacy, we will share any questions or comments you have. As always, we're here for you.
How would your life be different if you could completely transform your mind for the better? I did it, and I know it's truly possible for you as well.
I did it with the help of Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy. Yes, Ketamine. I wouldn’t blame you for being skeptical, but it is my hope that you will have a deeper understanding by the time you finish reading my story.
I have gained a plethora of essential insights from my experiences with Ketamine, to the point where my foundational self-beliefs have radically shifted. Prior to embarking on this journey, perceptions and views of both myself and the world around me that I held for as long as I can remember and simply accepted as truth, were further entrenched every waking moment as I reengaged with them. Without Ketamine, the mentality I held would take years of traditional therapy to even begin to undo, if anything, and it is not lightly that I say I don’t believe I would have made it that far with a mindset so incompatible with wellbeing.
I so desperately wanted to ‘snap out of it’, and the insurmountable guilt I carried for my inability to do so only further perpetuated the cycle of self-destructive thoughts. I was well aware on an analytical level of my contribution to my own suffering through ruminating on the hopelessness and despair, but no matter how hard I tried to suppress these I could simply not make room in my mind and heart to let in the good. The good which I have come to see surrounds us in abundance once we become open to accepting and reciprocating.
With the altered states of consciousness produced by Ketamine- and might I add in no small part thanks to the incredible integration and nurturing environment at The Miletic Center- I have been given the wonderful gift of not only being able to distinguish those views as separate from myself rather than innate to my sense of self but also transformative experiences that completely negated my unsupportive beliefs.
One particularly poignant and empowering moment I will do my best to describe was an encounter with my strength. Strength I didn’t believe I had until that point and there it was right in front of me, clear as day. I was separated from my body watching particularly difficult moments replay, but in place of defeat I kept pointing and repeating in my head I do have strength, that’s my strength right there. It had been there all along. What I was pointing to was a brilliantly glowing kaleidoscope of peony flowers blooming outwards, an overpowering warmth and light. I became the petals and leaves of a lotus synergising with the peonies, I felt every part of my being embodied in the texture, colours, fibres and vessels. I could feel the stomata and veins, water flooding through me. Simultaneously I was encapsulated in that flowing water, tranquil yet powerful as the saying by the Roman poet Ovid goes - Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence. I was still overtly aware of the painful memories playing out, and at times was pulled back into my body once again reliving the moments vividly but instead of running away, I acknowledged them. I was armed with empowering knowledge that my strength to survive was right there. My strength, the brilliant efflorescence of peonies and light, and a supportive hand holding mine was so much greater than the pain ever could be. That’s my strength, don’t you see it’s right there.
It’s impossible to write about this experience without tears coming to my eyes from the overwhelming magnitude of how empowering it was. No words will ever be enough to completely convey a psychedelic experience that transcends verbal concepts, nor adequately express the immense impact it has had on my life for the better. What is even more astounding is the fact that I have had numerous metamorphic events just as striking as this one pertaining to various facets of myself and life, and continue to do so with every Ketamine session. I am not consciously aware of it at the time, but each one comes exactly when I need it.
Over such a short period, I have overcome things I thought would hold me down forever, let go of things that no longer serve me and shifted to a place of openness, gratitude, growth and hope. I am getting out into the world and achieving things I felt were impossible to for me accomplish, let alone that I held the worth or value to even persist at. Even the fact I am acknowledging these achievements is new for me. Ketamine has not simply changed my life and outlook upon it, but given me a completely new one when before there was nothing but an empty show of going through the motions.
It is still a process, I am still on the journey and there are definitely moments my mind will fall back on what served as the default for so long, but nothing can ever take away the experiences I’ve had and insights gained that I can remind myself of when needed. Even in these moments, the heavy still feels lighter, but perhaps it’s the same weight as it ever was, only now I have the strength to lift it with greater ease. That is powerful.