A JOURNEY TO TRUE SOBRIETY (with the help of psychedelics)

“My experiences with psychedelics have varied over the years and I attune the positive attributes of those experiences with my growing knowledge. The more I learn and understand psychedelics the more I am able to use them to aid in my personal recovery journey.

Hi, Im Kaitie a 28 year old woman (she/her) who has seen some sh*t.

Born by a single mother with alcohol and addiction tendencies and into a family with generational substance abuse problems, in most cases I probably didn’t stand much of a chance. Or so you’d think.

So how did I go from eating mushrooms out of a zip lock bag like popcorn in a basement to using psychedelics in a way that actually benefits me in my recovery? You’re probably wondering how something like this is even possible, that’s why I’m here, to explain and show you just HOW possible it really is.

You know those stories you hear about people who are abused physically, emotionally and verbally as a child? You know, those stories you hear about child molestation, date rape, drug abuse, abandonment and addiction… yeah well that’s my story. 

I’m not going to sit here and go into all the gruesome details of what I have experienced, seen or put myself through because this isn’t a story of how bad I’ve had it. It’s actually a story about how I’ve prevailed from it all. So let’s dive deeper into that shall we!

To make a long story short I aged out of the foster care system when I turned 18, here in Canada. What that means is you essentially are kicked out onto the street with the belongings and knowledge you have of the world and told good luck. (and we wonder why I’m such an anomaly…ANYWAYS I’ll leave my opinions about the system for another time.)

I left Kelowna, British Columbia when I was 18 (you have to be 19 to drink in BC) and moved to Edmonton, Alberta (where you only need to be 18 to drink). I only had a couple acquaintances in the city and was eager to make new friends. Not knowing where to go to make friends, I decided to dress up and head out to a local club. As a young female out on her own you can obviously guess I got attention from all types of people. Most people who didn’t have my best intentions in mind … but coming from the abusive background I had and not having (yet) any developed coping skills to handle those abuses… any attention was better than the abuse I had received in the past. 

I quickly became a regular at this bar and was eventually asked to work there. Here began my 8 year industry, promoter, shooter girl, bartner extraordinaire lifestyle. I had the opportunity to serve some REALLY interesting characters like LMFAO who happened to drug one of my best friends. Bam Margera whose crew said he hadn’t slept or changed his clothes all tour and one of my personal favourites Ron Jeremy….Please don’t ask me why I didn’t see any of this as red flags… I was just glad to have some “friends”.

What I had disguised as glam and a good time was actually just a slow decline in my own personal health, while like Twiggy, just adding more eyeliner to the mix. I was making money, I was going to school, I was going to yoga, I was in the best shape I had ever been in. This is the story I told myself… which was technically true, but two things can be right at the same time. I was also participating in relationships that were not only NOT serving me, but also actually harming me. I was drinking like a fish and doing cocaine like it was my day job…. Because well, it kind of was.

When your job is LITERALLY pushing sales onto people and you get to do drugs and drink with “celebs”… it just doesn’t really seem like a problem… at first.

When I decided I wanted to start working on my drinking… analyzing my emotions and actions around alcohol was what made me really notice how much of a situation I had really gotten myself into. I still was working in a bar, that didn’t help sure, but it was also a giant psychological experiment for me.

Why, could I stand outside the club and tell myself “you will not drink tonight, you do not WANT to drink tonight” and GENUINELY feel that way. But after a few hours in the club I found myself cave in. Not being able to stand my ground. Drunk. 

Disappointed in myself and my “inability to have any control” I became frustrated. 

I realized pretty quickly that it was an environmental problem. The clubs weren’t set up in a safe way, with an equal amount of options in case someone didn’t want to drink. The energy was and still is in most places, how rowdy can we get? Or at least the environment and association I had chosen to surround myself with had this mentality.

So I noted this and not only did I stop working at the club, I also completely moved out of the city. Away from my triggers and away from my problems… or so I thought. 

Turns out, for me, I actually had to:

1. Remove myself from my triggering environment

2. Take a good look at who I gave my time and energy to and shift it

3. Do a CRAP TON of internal work … which turned out to be more deeply rooted than I anticipated.

Getting sober didn’t just mean taking alcohol out of my life.

It meant immense body pain, PTSD flashbacks, grief, guilt, self-deprecating talk and a body that was in no way shape or form in a healthy enough place to handle any of this.

Hence my self-healing journey.

I want to touch back quickly on that fact that I have been seeing different therapists my whole entire life. Some court orders by the government for being a child of the system and others on my own accord (which always worked out better.) I had been going to yoga teacher trainings, chiropractic care, acupuncture, cupping, massage, CBT, Inner child therapy … if there was a workshop or a free breath working class, I was there. 

Although I was partying I was also devoted to learning about trauma and how to heal my body from past abuses (on top of the abuses I was adding on the weekends..)

By the time I moved to Vancouver, BC (3 years into my sober-curious/harm-reduction journey) I was comfortably on 5 different mood pills a day. Consisting of  Wellbutrin, Zoloft, A Mood Balancer I forget the name of and Ativan for the panic situations (which never actually worked on me anyways.) 

Was I sober, yes. 

Was I happy?

Not completely.

My partner and I moved to Vancouver to further develop my company Sober Saturdayz with a Dr. who had been doing studies on psychedelics here in Canada. This is where my most recent, relevant and local information about psychedelics had began to really spark.

I remember hearing about Ketamine inhalers in other countries and other psychedelic research being done overseas. Never in a million years did I realize how close to home all the resources really were! I intuitively had a feeling that I should ween myself off my SSRIs with the INTENTION to replace them with intentional cannabis and psychedelic use. 

I want to say here that I absolutely do not recommend anyone do this on their own accord. I had guided professional supervision, a great support system and an exceptionally reliable source for products. 

I had done my research and I can proudly say that as of today in March 2021 I am 1 year off my SSRIs and I have personally never been able to process things as well as I am now.

The difference, for me, between being sober before intentionally using psychedelics to aid in my recovery and after the use of psychedelics to aid in my recovery is night and day!

For example, before when I was out (although not triggered) I was hyper aware of where the bar was in the room, who had drinks in their hands and how many everyone had had. I knew I wasn’t going to, or wanting to drink, but the hyper-awareness of the alcohol was still there. 

Fast forward to sobriety with the aid of psychedelics and I am no longer triggered, I am healed.

Don’t get me wrong this is a very glossed over version of how the whole situation went down, as there were moments where I wasn’t properly prepared to handle the type of trip I was having, where my partner and I got our doses wrong by trying to take the same amount etc. 

The point of the matter is that we could feel a shift happening in ourselves, me especially. I noticed myself actually being able to confront past traumas and stand up for myself and my body in a way I was too scared to do in the past. I was able to work through past traumas to help me be able to communicate better and love and BE loved better by my partner.

I knew this was helping me and I knew I wanted to learn more.

As if the Universe plopped it in my lap, a friend (Reb) sent me a link to a Microdosing class being held virtually by the Psychedelic Society of San Francisco. After swimming in all the amazing mushroom information I could find online (films like Dosed and Fantastic Fungi) I was ready to really dive deep into what these sacred medicines really were.

I had obviously watched every documentary about ayahuasca, dmt, and mushrooms I could find but nothing compared to the in person stories and lectures by the instructors of the course. Instructors like Dr. Fatiman whos protocol I prescribe to everyone just trying out microdosing for its gentle approach!

The more I learned about psychedelics the better my experiences became and thats what I meant at the beginning of this story when I said 

“My experiences with psychedelics have varied over the years and I attune the positive attributes of those experiences with my growing knowledge. The more I learn and understand psychedelics the more I am able to use them to aid in my personal recovery journey.”

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