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  • Writer's pictureMartin Polanco

Stories of Healing

Originally posted June 2, 2020

“Once you commune you see. And once you see, you cannot unsee.”

I have suffered with bulimia, debilitating depression and social anxiety for over 5 years. By my 22nd birthday, I had become paralyzed by fear, overwhemlingly low self-worth, had multiple suicide attempts and was unable to live normally to any degree. I have been unable go to school, work or interact with people without feeling intense anxiety. I have spent years and years suffering alone, isolated from friends and family, lying, stealing and constantly ill from my eating disorder. I have tried rehab and therapy beginning at age 15, spending thousands of dollars on what was supposed to be the best treatment available in the US and even abroad, but I never felt like I was getting any better. I found myself needing to make the decision to either commit to another treatment program that would cost upwards of $45000 or go about finding a new option. Tired of being disappointed by conventional therapies and hesitant to agree to begin my first ever SRI regimen, I chose to look into other healing alternatives. I found information on medicinal plants containing tryptamines and decided to try this ancient healing modality. I had never experienced any drug outside of marijuana so I didn’t know what to expect, but I decided on Crossroads ibogaine simply because they were only a short distance from my home in Southern California and because they would be offering a second medicinal treatment, 5meo-DMT.

Upon arriving to the center, I found the staff to be extremely kind and accommodating. The environment was very calming and comfortable and I really appreciated the large meditation areas and rooftop lounging space. The ibogaine treatment, for me, was very challenging. It was an ordeal and the following day I felt very weak, irritable and disappointed. I felt like I had visited the darkest parts of my mind and it became apparent how stuck I was in my own self-sustaining mental prison. The only neutral idea that kept coming into my thoughts during the 20 hour long iboga dream-like state while sitting in the hospital bed in the dark were the words “fractal infinity” and I had no idea what this meant. I was still so overwhelmed from my ibogaine experience that I was unable to participate in some integration activities and felt disappointed that I would never find the healing I needed. Late afternoon, I was invited to take part in my first 5-MeO-DMT treatment and quickly ran to the ceremony room in true desperation.

There are a lot of resources describing the 5-MeO-DMT experience, but to sum up mine, it was the most spiritual experience of my life. I was in Nirvana. I was Nirvana. I was an infinite being with no feeling of time and my body had been replaced with an ocean of overwhelming love energy that made for the most intense sensation of bliss that humans can probably ever experience without dying. This made the highest human high and the most intensely happy feeling ever conceivable in one’s life look like a small drop compared to this cosmic transcendent ocean. This was ecstasy -quintessentially.

When I returned from this place and my consciousness returned to my body, I was so relieved. I had been given a new deeply rooted knowing of what this reality is and what the true deeper energetic essence of all things was. But after returning upstairs I stared out at the beautiful sunset and felt suddenly like the present moment was a perpetual hell in comparison to the place of pure bliss. I was disconnected. And I wanted to go back and never return. I went back to my room and cried like a prisoner that had for a few moments been freed. None of this process made sense to me and it felt like a complete fail of an experience until a month later when I found myself deep in the Peruvian amazon at my first ayahuasca ceremony.

It was there that I was suddenly introduced to the bridge between the entheogenic door to the ecstatic love dimension and my physical world. Had I not experienced 5-MeO-DMT , I would have undoubtedly been lost in this spiritual matrix space not knowing what to direct myself towards or how to know when I’d reached it. Unlike most of the partakers in my 8 ceremony long ayahuasca retreat, I was able to journey through intensely blissful experiences akin to 5-MeO-DMT . And I knew immediately that it was only because of my initial introduction to this spiritual space at Crossroads that I was able to have a life journey each ayahuasca ceremony, communing with and being taught and held in the arms of the divine.

Crossroads treatment center was truly a crossroads for me, from a self induced place of perpetual pain and sorrow to a new world of freedom and dissolution of the illusions keeping me from the true reality of this multi-dimensional space. Crossroads reunited me with myself – with the source of my creation – with infinite cosmic love.

It has been less than 6 weeks since I entered the Crossroads center and began this journey and I am now free of my depression, my severely debilitating social anxiety and my eating disorder.

There is not a person on the planet that could not benefit from the treatments offered at this healing center. My sincerest recommendation for everyone from my closest loved ones to an inquisitive stranger in passing, and those dealing with the heaviest addictions and mental anguish to those with little or none, would simply be to go. And go now. Drop everything, everything you think is more important, and go.

(S. client – 2017)

I had spent most of my life abusing one thing or another–alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, cocaine. When I was in relationships, I would abstain from substances for years so I never thought I had a problem. Alcohol was my drug of choice only because it was legal, basically. At the same time, I never felt like I wasn’t an alcoholic since everyone I knew drank as much or more than I did… or so it seemed. It was when I got negative reactions to admitting that I drank alone, when I realized that maybe I was drinking differently than others around me. I tried stopping on my own and that didn’t work because I had gotten to the point where I had become dependent on it. Everywhere I went, every dinner I ate was associated with some type of alcoholic beverage or store I needed to go to. I signed myself up for a local alcohol abuse treatment center as an outpatient and soon found myself lying and finding tricks to cheat the urine tests. I was never really helped by the 12-steps program and it got to the point when I realized the problem something I couldn’t handle. I had become a liar, sneaking alcohol in and bottles out of my shared apartment. I was embarrassed about my actions. I made the decision to go to Crossroads because I had heard about Ibogaine and felt like if I could just get something that would help me stop the abuse to my body, I would have time to get my life back together. I was scared of the unknown and what being at Crossroads would bring, but I felt the fear and did it anyway. I wasn’t working and didn’t have enough money, but they worked with me and I decided that this was an investment in myself. Now that I’ve been to Crossroads, I’m no longer an addict. I don’t crave or think about alcohol. My mind is focused on how to create the life I want to lead. I have to say that although I tried not to expect much, Crossroads far surpassed my expectations. They not only saved me from myself and my addiction, I feel like they saved my soul. I feel grateful for the gift of life and the supportive people I have in it. I feel optimistic about what is possible for me. My Ibogaine experience allowed me to connect with the deepest parts of myself and find answers to everything that had been blocking me from being the best version of myself. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t hard, it was necessary and afterwards I felt a deep sense of gratitude. The toad medicine facilitated my connection to the higher power and helped me become aware of what I needed to do to heal myself. Words don’t really do justice to the experience I had, and it’s so cool that these earth medicines give you what you need as an individual. The doctors, nurses, counselors, the people who worked hard to make our stay comfortable were the most non-judgmental, beautiful people I’ve ever met in my life. They all sincerely want to support people in their sobriety. Personally, I feel like they are in the business of saving souls. I will be forever grateful to everyone at Crossroads for all that they’ve done and continue to do for me. (Natalie client -2016)

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