I Felt Hopeful for the First Time in Months

On Saturday Nick and I spent some time in nature and explored our consciousness with the help of some psilocybin, which Oakland recently decriminalized. While I think “plant medicine” is a hilarious turn-of-phrase, it also kind of points to the potential “magic mushrooms” have for healing that’s so much more interesting than tripping balls at parties or music festivals.

Then Monday night I couldn’t sleep. I smoked some weed, and was surprised to find I felt hopeful for the first time in months.

The trip on Saturday was beautiful. I’d been putting off taking the mushrooms because I felt too anxious. I was worried it’d be intense and unpleasant. But on Saturday I woke up in a better place emotionally. I think it has to do with the fact that last week I made an appointment to see a new doctor. And the week before that I started blogging here again.

It was an absolutely perfect day. The weather was warm and sunny. The park we chose was uncrowded. One doggo did come up to us to say hi. I felt the somewhat-familiar giddy feeling. The slight unsteadiness on my feet. Colors became more vibrant. Shapes moved a bit more. While we talked some, mostly Nick and I just held each other. I felt introspective. And like I could see issues I’d only been able to see head-on from a little to the side.

I decided on that picnic blanket that for the next week I’d try to accept my negative emotions instead of pushing them away or beating myself up for feeling them. And I decided I’d try to accept my negative thoughts without dwelling on them. I’d do my best to let them pass instead of always accepting them, identifying with them, or examining them from every angle. Life is always good and bad. What I focus on is an important choice.

There are several things I’ve been needing to do for a long time, but hopelessness was stopping me. I knew I should believe that things were going to get much better for me. And I knew I should be motivated to do the work to improve my life. See a new kind of doctor. Choose a career path. But I just could not actually believe that any of that would work for me. So I put it off.

But lately I’ve begun to act myself into right thinking.

And I think the chemicals helped my emotions catch up with my behavior.

It’s scary to think about how long I can be in a place of stagnation and hopelessness and not even see it for what it is. I hadn’t been thinking of myself as hopeless or depressed. I know I’m anxious. But I usually dismiss the idea that I’m depressed. It feels like a rich person’s malady. (It’s not, but I have a hard time shaking the feeling that I can’t afford depression.) Despite this, damn it if I wasn’t kinda fucking depressed.

My advice: Do the thing you need to do even if you don’t think it will work. In my case I asked a friend to help convince me the doctor could help me. Then I made the appointment. After you do the things, wait for your feelings to catch up. The right action comes first. The right feelings come second. The right thoughts come last. And do small amounts of mushrooms in a safe place to help the process along.

I don’t support safe access to white-market psychedelics because they’re benign. I think they’re really powerful compounds that people should use with caution and care, in appropriate doses in safe environments. I support decrim because the empirical research shows psychedelic compounds have the potential to help people. They’ve helped me. And many people I know.

I support decrim because no one should have to risk arrest or imprisonment to experiment with different ways of seeing and interacting with the world. The danger of being in a bad place and not seeing it is so great. I want everyone to be able to experiment with whatever they feel comfortable with to try to see themselves and their lives from a slightly different angle.

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