Name: Alyssa LeBlanc
Why did you decide to try psychedelics?
I had been battling long-term depression since I was a teenager. I also struggled with anxiety, suicidal thoughts, alcoholism, and drug use.
I had tried everything else and was desperate. My husband had tried psychedelics before me and told me he had felt my pain and he knew psychedelics could relieve it.
How did you learn about psychedelics?
My husband’s friend told me about them. I also did research through YouTube videos.
Which psychedelics did you use?
Ayahuasca. Since then I’ve also used psilocybin mushrooms and DMT.
Who guided you through your experience?
My first experience was with Ayahuasca. My husband’s friend found a shaman online who led me through the ceremony.
How did you source the drug?
From the shaman who led me through the session.
How did you prepare for the experience?
For my Ayahuasca ceremony, I stopped drinking alcohol for a week and started meditating daily. I also fasted for 24 hours before taking the brew.
How would you describe your experience?
My first experience was an Ayahuasca ceremony and it lasted about 6 hours.
It began with the shaman creating the right energy for the ceremony. I drank the medicine and was nervous right away. I closed my eyes and saw my ancestors or the ancestors of the medicine guiding me to the experience. When I opened my eyes I saw paintings moving. I also felt little hands scanning my body.
At first, my anxiety seemed worse, but it got better as I addressed the issues in my head. I saw the devil, felt the full extent of my depression, and kept repeating that I was a being of love and light all over.
Then I purged and felt immense healing come over me. It was a feeling of love unlike any I’ve experienced. In that moment, it was unmistakable—I knew that Mother Ayahuasca had lifted my depression.
What did you do for integration afterward?
I talked with several of the other people who were in the ceremony. I also meditated and started journaling about my experience and the changes in how I felt afterward.
How long did the effects last after your session was over?
The first two weeks were the strongest. I felt uncomfortable around people and places that were not good for me but everything else was magical. Lights were brighter and for the first time in a long time, I felt happy for no reason. I was happy to be alive.
As I continued in day-to-day life some of that faded—but my depression has never come back and I’ve been sober since the ceremony.
How is your life different after going through psychedelic therapy?
It’s been 6 years since my first Ayahuasca experience. My depression is gone and I stopped using drugs and alcohol after the ceremony ended. Even thinking about them makes me feel sick now.
I’m a much happier person and I’m better at dealing with my emotions.
I feel that everything in life is happening for us. We must face our pain in order to transcend it. We can heal our pain and addictions but we must face the underlying cause.
For me, depression was a gift. Without it I would never have searched for Ayahuasca. I had visions of people in my ceremonies who have passed away—I know there is life after death and I believe that there are spirits around us helping us.
My whole outlook on reality is different after taking Ayahuasca.
If you could go back, what would you have done differently? Or what will you do differently next time?
I would have taken it 20 years ago. But it was perfect.