The description and effects of depression can be utterly complex and different for everyone. I do feel specific themes can be related to by most people, though. For me, it is a journey into my own mind that always starts and ends the same. The cyclical and familiar journey is in a way comfortable. It is only comfortable because I know where it starts and leads and somewhat how it ends. I know how I’ll act and how others will act and how I’ll respond. It can come on through an array of things like boredom. And not just boredom from doing what most people would claim was ‘boring’ but boredom from doing the same task not really mattering what it really is. I could be doing math problems or even snowboarding on beautiful mountains. The point is not ‘what’ it is but if it happens day in and day out with similar results. Sounds a bit ridiculous but so does the idea of depression and how it can have its overwhelming mysteriously affects on people. If you don’t experience depression, there is often an insensitive approach to people claiming that depression is merely a minor deal or an extreme inability to understand how snowboarding can lead to depression. It is always a complicated conversation. When we don’t experience ourselves it is easy to lack empathy.
The idea of doing the same thing over and over again is what leads to my depression induced loop states. Somehow there seems to be no other options in my mind regarding how to go about life. Am I really meant to be good at snowboarding and is that my only outlet? Am I really only meant to be a teacher and that’s my purpose? Am I meant to help people with wellness issues and why don’t I care and do more? Am I really met to only live in this house with the same people day in and day out and that is what’s been chosen for me? Shouldn’t it all feel a little more alive, a little exuberant, a little more passionate, a little more spontaneous? Being able to predict my life leads to unrest. Why am I sitting here watching TV or so easily distracted with my phone and Facebook? It’s a short term grab of my attention. It feels right for the first few seconds but then it feels meaningless and like I’m being tricked into meaning. Short term vs long term depression here. How do I keep from getting distracted with short term fixes (we’re talking like seconds) in order to focus on long term fixes which seem to eventually always get boring? Why am I so ungrateful that I can’t appreciate teaching, close people in my life, nature, new projects that are exciting and bring positivity to the world? Everything seems like such a commitment and there is no guarantees with anything one does. Why would I box myself into a situation when I don’t know where it leads? What if years go by and I don’t like it? Lots of work goes into whatever it is one does and at the end of the day, or the end of life, what does it really matter anyway? I’m here one day, gone the next. Yes, it seems like I could and should feel more fortunate and have gratitude for simply being alive and allowed to experience but somehow a lot of the time it just seems like work and can easily lead to unstimulating and monotonous lifestyles where comfort is chosen over growth. Life is a crazy ass, combination of trillions upon trillions upon trillions of reactions happening for millions of years and still currently happening in the same way. Shouldn’t we be driven to live a life full of absolute change at most moments? Change is what is happening around us more than anything else. The world and knowledge of the universe is so vast that doing the same thing for very long seems like an utter waste of time.
Obviously it can be seen how vast the world of depression is. It can go on in tangents of tangents of tangents. There is no rhyme or reason to a lot of it. It just is and with humans being vastly psychological/analytical creatures with highly functioning brains that can easily lead to neurotic behavior how do we cope? What do most of us think about most of the time? Are most of us really happy and content with our lives? With how similar we are I feel we all experience many of the same things. The vibe that I get from most people seems to be that we all suffer from some form of chronic depression. Most conversations revolve around how all of us are constantly searching for whatever else there is that will give us the life force stimulation we are all hoping for in jobs, lovers, money, vacations, diets, entertainment, people, free time, religion/spirituality, politics, music, education, you name it. Very few people talk about these things in ways that put positive spins on them. Where does the solution lie for normal people going through chronic, psychological day to day depression, which is a huge percentage of us?
I had a medium dosing of LSD recently and my intent for the psychedelic healing session was thinking about the nature of stress and how I can see it for what it is. I put two of my favorite pictures in my house up in the living room to give me a sense of base connection. They are great, pretty pictures and I use them to keep things positive and to judge how much I am feeling it, as I visually look at them from to time and see how morphed or tweaked they become in my LSD vision. Within the first hour the feeling in my jaw gave me some insight. There was an incredibly ache and it seemed very clear that I hold a lot of my stress in my mouth. I use words to fill up voids with people and often say things I don’t really mean. Gotta fill up space and keep conversation moving and be the pleasant vibe that I want to instill in people. The problem is I do this at the expense of myself and then people rely on it. People expect to be entertained as well and I can be an entertaining figure. The jaw can at times never stop. There is a tension I hold there as I’m always on the verge of saying this or saying that and wondering how they’ll respond. All of this can often be forced on people, even if it is done with positive intentions and/or results. Listening more and talking less is where I need to be. It can be exhausting the other way around. This pressure I put on myself with unnecessary words and tensed facial muscles leads to stress and my jaw feeling like it was going to crack as the tension that was mounting there was finally being exposed. I spent the next immeasurable amount of time massaging my jaw in ways it needed. It felt good to be so focused on some of the sources of my tension and applying my own wellness/preventative health care skills to myself.
As the hours passed and I laid on the couch allowing the LSD to flow within my brain I went on numerous journeys of insight. My mind was given full permission to go where it wanted to which is an infinite amount of information and passageways many us don’t travel on for years at a time when stuck in the routine day to day. Images come up in vast arrays and meaning and thoughts pop into your mind at thousands per second. Time seems to not exist and there will be a whole adventure I’ll go on in my mind that’ll be so intense and powerful and significant to my life but when I look up and notice the clock, only maybe a minute has passed. Everything feels like it has deep meaning to it and they lead to other thoughts which lead to others which lead to others and all the while I am just sitting there staring at my pretty art and watching how it morphs into a million different beautiful images of wherever my mind wants to take it. Then the picture placed at the center of the living room comes aggressively out at me. Visions of my dad are there along with my grandpa and other relatives that existed before them, ones I never knew or even heard of. This stream of relatives keeps going in a never ending cycle until my relatives take on a monkey like shape. They are all communicating with me and filling up my mind with insight and knowledge in a way that is translated through my thoughts and hard to put into words. It seems all connected. I am all these people and it always has been that way. They are providing comfort and ease at how they existed before and how I am now and how what I am limited by seeing doesn’t actually relate to what has always been floating around me this whole time. I am never alone. So much is happening all around me at all times. Although some moments are super relaxing and an incredible sense of slow breathing persists what comes more often with some of these moments for me is intense breathing. Being a more anxious/energetic person I think this is just my reaction to it. One feels as if they are literally traveling through space and if one was suddenly doing so how would we all be breathing during that experience? It would be a fantastic voyage no one would ever forget. It would give us stories to tell others. It would instill in us that we actually have experienced something unique and worthwhile. It would lead to a certain level of being content with our lives.
This is where I see profound benefits of LSD on depression. Granted, this can be abused and someone could get lost in these visions and live for only them and then we have but a new problem. However, being done with balance and intent and in a good environment these experiences lead to a place of thinking positively about one’s life. Instead of externally exploring and basing a life on what we’ve done they allow for an internal adventure that leads to the same benefits as if we had experienced something as intense as spontaneously being blasted up into space to interact with aliens. Our brains are absolutely stimulating places to be. LSD and other psychedelics can let us see the full potential of what our brains are capable of. They allow for us to get out of our day to day minds that inevitably can easily hold us back due to our ease at succumbing to neurotic thoughts. It seems in most cases these psychedelic healing sessions lead to a positive amount of connection to others and the earth and the life force that surrounds us all. It’s as if new paths are formed and allowed to venture on again when daily we forget where those paths are located, as it has been so long since we’ve traveled them, if ever at all. In a way, returning to a childlike view of the world. Most children behave like they are on LSD and it’s because they are trying out so many of their pathways that are afforded to them. It’s not until adulthood that we find certain neural pathways and only use those over and over again.
The medicine allows for me to feel as if I create my own maze in my daily life. What do I wake up and subject myself to in order to succumb to the pressure of feeling that I need to do this or have to do that? I’m not saying this feeling is altogether horrible but when it’s taken out of balance and that’s all you’re exposed to day after day it can easily have negative affects. We are capable of breaking out of these depressing routines and LSD brings us back to a balanced state by being exposed to looking at the world in a fundamentally different way. It is impossible to keep up with the amount of thoughts and visions one sees and one really shouldn’t try to keep up with them, hence why people experience bad trips. They try to control it all. They try to apply what they know and dictate from their normal lives to an LSD experience. One has to roll down the river of experience and allow for the ego to be free instead of constrained by the whims of day to day life. What is meaningful will keep coming up and you’ll know it more clearly as the medicine wears off and you can start to keep track of your thoughts again and what you’re thinking about.
The healthy aspect of LSD is that it acts on your brain not so differently than other psycho-active substances or stimulants like chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, cannabis, nitrous, nicotine, to name a few. It allows certain parts of your brain to be stimulated. A cat scan of someone’s brain on LSD would show an incredible display of firings going in all different directions. Compare that to someone who is sober and very few firings are taking place. Or a brain on nicotine and the frontal lobe part of the brain rapidly firing. Actually people composing music is similar in its whole brain firing to people on LSD. Yes, music is awesome! Anyway, LSD doesn’t rot your brain like the fear and negative propaganda “war on drugs” campaigns have put forth in the past. Actually, it acts very similarly on your brain from the other psycho active things described above (actually far less depleting to your body and brain than alcohol). It isn’t chemically addicting like even caffeine is. The basis of LSD healing is that you would possibly do it once a month, to once every three months, to once a year. I originally started a long time ago catering to a once a month routine with either LSD, mescaline, or psilocybin mushrooms. Gradually, I started to not need the once a month routine and now healing sessions come in spans of once every few months or less. It stays with me. The pathways I find stay open and they keep me thinking that my life isn’t as it seems. I have more of a choice in what stresses I feel. Being satisfied and content with things like money, jobs, relationships, meaningful living come much easier when we are at ease and exposed to the wonderful workings of the mind and using all parts of the brain instead of the pathways we’ve only gotten used to and rely too heavily on, creating a massive imbalance. It’s not external things we will point to that will make us happy, it will be internal ones, and remembering my experiences on something like LSD remind me that there are an infinite amount of possibilities for me to approach the world, and becoming stuck in a mundane existence where I get bored easily and not appreciative of the eccentric ways of life is of my own doing. I can travel on different pathways in my brain that won’t always lead me to the same results.