Tell me your tales

Calling all psychonauts, trippers, truth seekers and inter-dimensional travelers! 

So I’ve had this idea for awhile and I think it’s finally time to put the wheels in motion. I want to curate a book of DMT experiences and spiritual journeys, using anecdotes and trip reports, side-by-side with artistic depictions of various DMT-inspired imagery. Other worlds, distant dimensions, the Tryptamine palace, Hyperspace, entities, swirling fractals, mandalas, infinite galaxies, all of it.

The aim is to acquaint the reader with a taste of the strange and mystical world of DMT. I’m particularly interested in the parallels and recurring themes of life, death, and rebirth, and sharing other people’s insights. I want it to be as wonderfully weird as the experience itself! My vision is kind of a psychedelic coffee table book-meets a modern ‘Doors of Perception’.

 This will be a long-term project but I’ve decided to open up for collaborative submissions now. If this sounds interesting and you’d like to be a part of it, please submit your trip reports, artworks, or any DMT related creativity to: littlepsychonautpublishing@gmail.com

Your work will be fully credited and promoted via various social platforms, or you can remain anonymous if you so choose. All selected submissions will be notified via email well in advance of the books publication. Thank you and happy travels to you all!

Tolerance Break

It’s no secret that I’m a raging stoner- always have been, probably destined to always be. 

I received an early education from my stoner mother and cemented my habits with stoner friends throughout my formative high school years. There’s this weird anomaly that most long-term pot aficionados can attest to, which is that stoners can always seek out and attract other stoners, no matter where in the world or in their life they happen to be. It’s a gift really, like a special extra sense is activated through the THC receptors or something. 

We tend to surround ourselves almost exclusively with fellow greenthumbs, because they’re usually the only ones that don’t hassle us about our bummer of a habit. They’re also the only ones who’ll sit and smoke a quarter ounce and watch two seasons of rick and morty and devour a diabetes inducing amount of sugary treats with you and not think anything of it. Basically, fellow stoners are the only ones capable of the extreme level of chill required to hang out with us. 

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m starting to think I’ve had too much chill. Smoking weed has been my primary hobby for the past fifteen years. It’s been great, don’t get me wrong, but now that I’m in my thirties I’m wondering if I should expand my interests some. 

The problem with a chronic addiction that it leaves little time or money for anything else so it literally becomes your whole life. Attempts to introduce new habits and hobbies are usually an exercise in futility because one week you won’t have enough money to get weed and pay for whatever activity you were planning on, so a choice has to be made, and that choice will always be weed. Another week you’ll be too stoned and forget to go. After that you’re just too embarrassed or bored with the whole thing  that you simply drop it forever, and resume your glassy eyed sloth pose on the couch, watching Gilmore Girls reruns and scooping milo out of the tin.

But  then one day you emerge from your hazy-brained fog enough to remember you were once a kid who actually wanted to do shit with their life. You were bright eyed and shiny-haired and you had the world at your dainty little feet. You dreamed of being a famed author, an Olympic runner, an astronaut. You even promised your dad that one day  you’d bring him back a piece of the moon, you lying little shit. You wanted to travel to faraway places and do strange faraway things, and now you barely go outside, not even to score your precious drugs, as your dealer now does house calls. 

I’m content with my life, but can I honestly say I’m living it the best I could be? Possibly not. Probably not. 

So I’ve made a decision. Starting next week, I’m going to take a little break. I’m not calling it quitting because that’s too big of a commitment and that word is heavy. But I’m setting myself the challenge of a minimum of seven stoned-free days, a weedless week. That feels achievable, and if after I’ve completed it I feel like I can keep going without it for longer, I will. And if I can’t, a week is still a good start, and I still will have completed my goal. 

If nothing else it’ll be a good tolerance break, and I’ll enjoy a more intense high when I do resume smoking. 

I’m secretly hoping, though, that this will mark the beginning of a break in this deeply rooted, and ultimately destructive habit. I am so attached to the ritual of getting stoned that it feels bigger than me somehow, and beyond my capability to cease. I need to prove to myself that this isn’t the case; surely, deep down inside, there’s some untapped source of self-discipline, even just a little nugget of willpower that will fight its way to the surface if I just try. 

So try I will, and I have a plan to boot. Luckily my fellow-stoner boyfriend is on board- it would be near impossible to attempt this without him. Our tolerance week will commence on Feb 1st, which feels like a nice clean date, and happens to fall on a Wednesday which is payday and score day. Every night we will have a scheduled activity for the after work hours, ranging from the gym, to going to the movies, to trying out new restaurants. On the Thursday I begin a 3-week meditation course which I’m hoping will assist with clearing my thoughts of weed. I’ve recently started doing yoga and I plan to step up my classes to three times a week. We will also have wine and sleeping pills on hand in case of insomnia. 

I’m both looking forward to, and dreading it. One thing I keep reminding myself of is that if boyfriend and I can avoid buying weed for just two weeks, we’ll collectively save $500. That’s ridiculous, and when you go deeper into the economic reality of our combined habit it’s outright anxiety-inducing. I guess that’s why we largely ignore it. But if I really want to make changes, I need to wake up to these harsh realities. I can’t afford to keep burying my head in the mull butter anymore.

I’ll keep you all updated on my progress, and I’d love to hear about your experiences with anything similar in the comments. Any advice is welcome! 

Wish me luck, lovely readers, I need all the good vibes I can get. Ôťî­čĆ╗

Welcome Homeostasis 

A few weeks ago, I made the decision that I no longer wanted or needed to take my medication anymore. I’ve had a lifetime plagued by anxiety, depression and insomnia, and have tried nearly every drug in the book to treat them, with varying results, mostly underwhelming. Last year, however, the game changed. It turned out all of my various psychological afflictions were linked, symptoms of a bigger problem, and I finally had a diagnosis and a name for my particular brand of crazy- Borderline Personality Disorder.

 I was put on a cocktail of medications and went through months of intensive therapy, where I learned about mindfulness, emotional intelligence and coping strategies. For the first time ever I began sleeping, uninterrupted, the whole night through. My shakes and tremors virtually disappeared. I began to feel more balanced and in control of my moods, and minor inconveniences no longer sent me into nuclear meltdown. Basically, my quality of life was vastly improved after my diagnoses and subsequent treatment, and I’ve been a vocal advocate of therapy and medication ever since.  

So why on earth, one may ask, would I even consider going off those miraculous little chemical compounds? Am I stupid as well as crazy?  Perhaps I’m one of those people who finds the peaceful life boring and thrives on drama and misery?  Maybe I just decided it was time for a good ole’ fashioned derailment? 

As exciting as that all sounds, the actual reason is because I just couldn’t deal with the side effects anymore. Back when I was in peak psychosis, a little fatigue and cognitive dullness seemed a small price to pay for a magic pill that would take away the mania. Prior to taking them I felt like I had completely lost control of my mind and physical reactions. I would have muscular convulsions so severe that I’d be unable to walk for days after; I would find myself desperately tearing at my skin, convinved I had to peel it all off because it was suffocating me. The meds, in particular Seroquel, took it all away. My mind, once a chaotic hive of activity, slowed to steady, monotone hum. The constant tears dried up, I could take a breath without it hitching, and it felt like a big warm cloak had been thrown over all my pesky emotions. It was the chemical equivalent of sweeping a problem under a rug, and it was peaceful and lovely. 


However. Having to carry around a heavy cloak all the time gets really exhausting. It weighs down on you, makes you flushed, affects your ability to think straight. Plus, cloaks are seasonal; while it would make sense to wear one in the winter (you know, if cloaks are your thing), it would be illogical, uncomfortable and weird to drape yourself in that heavy shit through the blistering summer months. As your environment around you changes, what was once your savior can quickly become your burden. 

I always just kind of assumed that my psychological issues were something I’d struggle with every day, forever,that they would always be intense and unmanageable. But it turns out the extremities of my disorder are just as ever-changing as the weather. Storms don’t last forever and neither do psychotic episodes.

Just when I’d almost resigned myself to the endless winter and given up hope of seeing the sun again, the seasons changed and so did everything around it. I am forcibly reminded of the impermanence of life, the inevitability of change, and the crucialness of adapting to it . I came to realize, that as my mental state was no longer in crisis and my mind had calmed, it made about as much sense to continue taking such a powerful antispychotic drug as would wearing that fucking cloak in the Australian summer .  

The sedative effect on my cognitive function was turning me into the walking dead. Every single day, my full-time job was trying to stay awake (as well as, you know, my actual full time job). While driving I’d alternate between micro-napping and slapping myself in the face as the perpetual motion made me unbearably sleepy. All my free time was spent in bed, I would constantly sleep through my alarms and I was always running late. I was a mess, and I knew I needed to do something about it. My warm, protective cloak had become my straightjacket.

I couldn’t find any jobs that entailed sleeping all day, so my only other option was to ditch the pills. I started by tapering off for a few days and then thought fuck it and just went cold turkey, on all the three anti’s as once (depressant, psychotic and convulsant, for those playing at home) as the idea of dealing with three seperate detox’ s and withdrawals was far too unappealing. My boyfriend naturally disapproved of this method and advised me against it, as would most sensible people, but honestly I just wanted to get it over and done with. Throw all the shit to the wind and see where it lands. That’s an expression, right?

I probably should have consulted my doctor, or psychologist, or psychiatrist, anyone with higher medical credentials than myself really, but I didn’t want to be talked out of it, and also I’m super lazy. So I just lied and told people that I did speak to my doctor and he said it was fine. 

The first week passed by with deceptive ease, and apart from a touch of the night sweats and lethargy I didn’t seem to experience withdrawals at all. This lulled me into a false sense of security. I was all like “I don’t know why I was even worried, this is ain’t no thang!

Unfortunately this feeling of being unmedicated and fancy-free was short lived, and the following week I took a brief, but memorable little sojourn into hell. I woke up crying and shaking three days in a row, the bedsheets soaked through, filled with a deep sense of impending dread which would rot in my belly for hours. The room would tilt and sway dangerously, giving me a constant sensation of vertigo and light-headededness, and the brightness of daylight was almost unbearable. I had no personality or emotions to speak of, I was just a grey puddle of nothingness in humanoid form.  I googled ‘withdrawal symptoms from seroquel and Lexapro’ and I had every  single one on both lists. I was too tired to look up the ones for Lamotrigine. I sensed I was losing my ability to function, and this was confirmed when a co-worker made a comment which I knew I found funny, but I couldn’t remember the natural human response to humor. Instead I stared blankly at her, not blinking, for about 40 seconds, after which I suddenly remembered the concept and barked the word ‘LAUGHING’ in her face. It took me another twenty seconds to actually recall how to perform the act of laughing, so I did, but I had now forgotten the joke and so instead I just made loud maniacal noises that I thought laughing was supposed to sound like and then had no idea why everyone was staring at me with a mixture of concern and fear. I took the rest of the week off work and slept for three days straight. 

As the second week drew to a end, I started to feel better. Not only were my symptoms abatating, my head was starting to clear. It felt like a deep fog in my brain was finally starting to disperse. I could think. I could feel. And thankfully, I could handle the feelings. 

Now, I must not fail to mention that I embarked on this little mental health experiment of mine while my life and circumstances were very stable (at least by my somewhat lofty standards). I have the greatest and most supportive partner, which makes things immeasurably easier. There is no significant conflict or turmoil in my career, home life or health, and although I came to the decision to withdraw rather impulsively, I did it at the best possible time, for what I believe was the best possible reason. I want to experience the highs and lows of my life completely, without the cloak, without the pills controlling and masking the receptors in my brain.

It’s still early days but so far, I’m incredibly happy with my decision to go rogue. I wasn’t sure if my brain had the ability to generate serotonin on its own anymore, so that’s a victory (and, to be fair, quite impressive when you consider how much chemical abuse it’s  endured over the years, both pharmaceutical and recreational). In fact, this is the first time since I was seventeen that I’ve been unmedicated. I still have a long way to go and only time will tell whether I’ll be able to sustain this current contentment, but for now I’m just keeping the cray at bay and enjoying the reprieve. 

I’ll keep the cloak safely stashed, just in case, but I have hope that there will never be a winter cold enough to need it again. 

Farewell, shitty youth 

It’s a warm night in May, and I’m at home, unsettled, as this is not just any other night, it is in fact the last night of my twenties. Tomorrow I will be flung across the precipice into the long-dreaded decade of ‘proper adulthood’. Thirty is a milestone birthday I’ve never looked forward to, I think mostly because I’ve never wanted to be a real grownup, and by that I mean what society has led me to believe is a proper grownup. Marriage, kids, mortgages, the stock market; none of these things interest me in the slightest. I just don’t want to do all that stuff. I loathe having to get up and work every day in a pointless job just so I can (barely) afford the luxury of existing; why the fuck would I want to extend that struggle into a smaller, even more incapable version of myself?

 Why would I want to enter the most outrageously unaffordable housing market my country has ever experienced, and sell my soul to the big banks for all of eternity? Why would I want to spend upwards of $10,000 on a single day parading my love and union to someone, in an outdated and patriarchal tradition that bears no spiritual or emotional significance to me whatsoever, just because my fucking family and friends want me to? I’d much rather get high, listen to good music, have meaningful conversations with real people, make art and sleep all day. And now, in the twilight of my youth, I’m starting to realize that it’s ok to want to do those things, it’s ok to reject society’s preconceived notion of how you’re supposed to live your life, and I shouldn’t fucking feel bad about it. 

I’m a good person, and I can say that with conviction. For the past twenty-nine years I have constantly craved approval from those around me, and made it my life’s work to please others. The satisfaction I feel when I’m able to help someone, or at the very least meet their requests, is immense. But that means that if I don’t do things correctly, or piss someone off or give them cause to reprimand me, the shame and guilt I feel is crushing. This compulsive need to please doesn’t just apply to my loved ones; even people whom I don’t particularly like or opinions on anything else I wouldn’t value, have the power to destroy me. Such is the importance I place on others perception of me. But the beauty of getting older is that you become wise to the fact that most people are fuckheads and it doesn’t matter what they think. Deriving self-worth from others is stupid and damaging and I’m grateful that I’ve started figuring that out. Instead I’m turning inwards for approval more and more, and as a result I am living a much happier and honest life. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I think I’ve got it all figured out now. It’s just that I’m far enough away from misguided mess that were my teen years to see that I have grown up, I am wiser and more confident and I’m vastly better at life than I was a decade ago. I’m sure when I turn forty I’ll look back on my life now and laugh at how I thought I was even slightly knowledgeable, but for now, I’ll live in the ignorant blissfulness  of thinking I’ve got at least a few things figured out. 

So yes, I’m about to be a thirty year old who smokes weed every day, struggles to pay bills on time and often eats cookies for breakfast. I may not have a kid, a husband or a mortgage, but you know what else I don’t have? A single grey hair, wrinkle or stretch mark. I’m not trapped in a loveless marriage with someone I thought was cool 10years ago but actually turned out to be an annoying douchebag, but who I’m stuck with coz there’s still 30 years worth of mortgage payments to be made and little Johnny’s only just started school. My life doesn’t stop at 8 and 3 every day to do a school run, instead I do, I dunno, take drugs or have sex or whatever the fuck I want. Instead I have a hot boyfriend who actually loves and respects me, a house full of cool shit and two adorable kittens that satisfy my maternal needs without ruling my life. 

 I  may not look or act like a responsible adult all the time but that doesn’t mean I’m not. I’ve earned my status as a grown up because I’ve spent thirty fucking years growing up. I’ve chosen kindness and empathy over money and power, intelligence over prestige, exhiliration over stability, passion over success. My life is sometimes chaotic, often incredibly peaceful, but it’s always my own, and I realize now that I am exactly what I always wanted to be when I grew up- free. 

Anxiety, The Worst of Me

┬áLiving with a mental illness and various panic disorders is, to me, kind of like walking around with a heavy and noisy speaker on your shoulder. Blaring your personal, and often embarrassing, playlists for the world to hear, on shuffle, with you desperately trying but unable to find the mute button. You receive a bunch of unwanted attention from eye-rolling strangers, the song and tempo is often wildly inappropriate for the situation, and people don’t understand why you can’t just silence the damn thing. Continue reading “Anxiety, The Worst of Me”

How to be an Emotional Wreck and Suck at Everything

 I’ve been blundering my way through this ‘life’ thing for nearly thirty years now, and I still haven’t quite figured out how to be good at it. I have, however, acquired a particular set of skills; namely, in fucking up and being a total failure. So for those of you out there who have successfully transitioned into adulthood,  are perhaps bored with your smooth sailing, easy-breezy lifestyle over in Made It-ville, here’s some tips on how to foray over  to the wrong side of the tracks and take up residence in FuckUp Town, all in just 10 easy steps! So put down your kale and chia juice or whatever it is that real grown-ups do these days, and prepare to be un-enlightened. You’re welcome.   Continue reading “How to be an Emotional Wreck and Suck at Everything”