How Mushrooms Saved My Life

As you have already come to see, I love mushrooms. From magical to medicinal, these beautiful creatures have been there for me. I am fascinated by them, the many shapes, colours, textures, smells and tastes. This world would truly not be what it is, if it wasn’t for mushrooms. For some of you that are new to them, there is often a stigma around them, especially psychedelic ones. I hear a lot of people say they don’t like mushrooms, or that mushrooms are poison, which yes some are very poisonous. But mushrooms are misunderstood, and have been under appreciated for so long. Lately mushrooms have been becoming a popular topic of discussion and it gets me excited! I could talk about mushrooms all day, but let me first take you back to where I first started with them.

When I was 21 I became a social worker. I worked for a homeless shelter and dealt with some pretty difficult situations. I watched a lot of people suffer, I endured a lot of darkness literally and figuratively. I worked night shifts in the cold winters of Canada, which if you’ve never been- is not the best place to be. The days are very short, and nights are very long. The temperatures get so low that being outside physically hurts. Working in a shelter full of suffering and dark individuals took a toll on my mental health. I didn’t see the sun for weeks, yes- weeks. I watched women overdose. I held them as they shook with withdrawal, as they cried, vomited, fell over, helped them walk and tucked them in. I was, as best as I could be, a safe haven for them. Most nights were calm, thankfully, and I used those long hours to read and study. Plant medicine became a major part of my nightly research. I watch videos and documentaries, I read books and articles, peoples experiences and I thought to myself... “could this be the answer to needless suffering?” In my off time, I dove into plant medicine and ceremony. I called it in, and tried it for my own healing. I had rough times, and ecstatic times. Enduring the darkest darks, and the brightest lights. I went back in time, and into places of myself that were dormant and cold. I brought light back to myself. And then something happened I never expected.

On the evening of March 13th, I was attacked and fought for my life. They say that sometimes things happen in the blink of an eye. But this was opposite for me, time slowed down and I knew in my heart that I was in danger . To face a demon, to look into its hollow eyes and see nothing but the desire to kill was terrifying, and I couldn’t escape it. For months, dare I even say years this traumatic experience haunted my mind. Nightmares, panic, anxiety, lack of trust, isolating myself and hiding became my new routine. C-PTSD is not spoken about often, for we fear so much and feel so misunderstood. But pain and trauma reshape our minds, they can shut parts of our mind off. I knew that this was not something I was bound too, I refused to believe this diagnosis was a life sentence. I knew there was a way out of suffering, a way to heal what pained me so deeply. I turned back to my plant medicine, to the mushrooms. I dosed myself with 5 dried grams, which is a dose that has been coined, “the heroic dose.” I sat alone, in darkness and in silence and called out my angry ghosts, I allowed them to be with me in this space and I surrendered. No more fear, I said to myself. No more pain, no more suffering. I cried for two hours of the beginning of my journey, I felt alone and pained. I cried it all out of my heart, the many tears I had held onto for so long. When we disassociate and check out of our pain for so long, it takes something great to tune us back into it and stay in it. Mushrooms have shown me that it is safe to feel, that the darkness will only be there if you do not shine a light on it. That hungry ghosts are fed by fear, and when you face them head on... they disappear.

This journey was tough, don’t get me wrong. It was no walk in the park, it was not light and full of giggles but it showed me that I am powerful enough to face my shit. Thats the thing about psychedelic experiences, they do not do the work for you. They show you the work that needs to be done and then you do the work. Yes, there are many benefits to psychedelic medicine. Psilocybin can actually dampen the activity in the Default Mode Network. This is the part of your brain that you use to think about the past, or the future. So causing this to dampen, or slow actually keeps you in the present moment. It also helps your brain communicate with other parts of your brain that it normally doesn’t do. This is helpful for creating new healthy patterns. So how did mushrooms save my life? They helped my brain function more clearly. I became more present and grounded in my daily life. I remember that there is enjoyment and joy in little things, and it had helped me stay grounded in my emotions.

When you have C-PTSD, it becomes very difficult to stay present when your emotions or triggers come up. Dissociation is common and was a regular thing I did because being in my mind felt awful. Mushrooms showed me that my mind is my own and I can sort through the shit when it comes up. They helped me take a moment and breathe, to ground and remind myself that I was safe. Surrendering to my experience and learning to calm my brain down was a tool I had never learned until mushrooms.

Every single day that I live, I thank mushrooms. The experiences from this story fueled my passion for wanting to create a safer mental space for everyone that I could. It led me to create my PDF about microdosing and mental health (which you can check out in my shop). I continue to connect with like minded beings and companies that are striving to make this world a better place with mushrooms. And that is how mushrooms saved me, and how I believe they can save the world.

Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, or you feel inspired to share your story please each out! I can be easily contacted and want to hear from you. I am always happy to answer questions, be a support or even just chat fungi! With love,

Brooke - Symbiotic Soul

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