The Ibogaine Dossier
The Ibogaine Dossier

NYU Conference on Ibogaine Nov 5-6, 1999

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The Ibogaine Dossier


I would like to share with you my experiences with Ibogaine. The last one took place on a friday last March.

A long time before I actually decided to experience Ibogaine (for the third time in my life) I wondered a lot whether that magic name Ibogaine was my key for freedom. I was preoccupied with the terrible option that I was one of those people that can keep on trying solving their problems by taking Ibogaine but still after regaining my normal consciousness go on making the same mistakes again.

While thinking about my experiences in the past I discovered (not very quickly) that Ibogaine did for me different things at different periods in my life, and that I was making a terrible mistake by saying to myself: "Look, you already did it twice and you are still drinking like a first class alcoholic, so why bother this time? I never found it an amusing drug anyhow!". I was right and wrong at the same time, I'll explain:

Right because even after 2 Ibogaine treatments I absolutely kept on drinking too much liquor, although after taking part in some AA meetings I realised that I became a chronic alcoholic in an advanced stage (that fact spoiled my drinking "pleasure" permanently).

Wrong because the first time I did Ibogaine (Nov.93) and also the second time (Jan.2000) I took it for several reasons other than alcohol use.

Moreover, the drinking problem appeared to be not very prominent at the time of the first two treatments. I actually had serious doubts that Iboga can help me because of the fact that it hadn't prevented the progression of my potential alcoholism in the past. Obviously, this thought became my barrier - so I avoided taking the treatment for the third time for a long period.

After buying 1.6 gram of Ibogaine from a friend of mine I drove home. I realized that it wouldn't be very wise to start with the treatment at the evening, but still I was determined to do so. After explaining to my wife and a friend of mine what they could do in order to make things easier for me during the treatment, we started with basic preparations, such as darkening the bedroom and ingesting the Iboga in (4) capsules etc.

At 18:00 approximately I finally took the Iboga. I didn't experience any of the common side effects like nausea, vomiting etc. It took about 30 minutes before I started to feel that something quite different is circulating in my system. My head became heavy and we decided that it's "time to go to bed". Immediately after laying down intense metallic voices were going through my whole body, after a while those voices were replaced by more friendly sounds - a huge mosquito was flying around me from one corner of the room to the other. Those first few moments of my long journey were very familiar to me from my early experience with Iboga. Just like in the first time I couldn't even find a clue for the meaning of such a strange mosquito that appeared out of nowhere. Naturally, I tried to manipulate my thoughts by trying to "program" my trip - fortunately; it didn't succeed- as hard as I tried to resist the Iboga the more potent it became.

It really didn't matter if I closed my eyes or kept them open. I was looking into a fire, around which two black people were dancing. They would stop once in a while just to look at me for a second - they looked like they felt sorry for me and at the same time they were laughing. As my wife came to the room she asked me whether I could share with her the things that are going through my mind. I wanted to do so but it was not possible, still I asked her to lie down next to me. A few days later she told me that it was impossible to lie next to me more than a few minutes because I was constantly shaking and turning from one side of the bed to the other.

I couldn't bear the loneliness and the fear; it felt like I was knocking on hell's door, I was terrified from the information that went trough my brain. At that time I realized that my physical, mental and spiritual well-being was actually much worse than I had thought. I could look at my own brain objectively like I was reading a CT scan with high sensitivity anatomical visualization with an additional emotional dimension - my brain was a dead brain. Later on I re-experienced situations that took place at different times in my life, but unfortunately I couldn't recall even one, but as far as I know those life events "films" (like some people describe them) didn't take as long as I can remember from my first Iboga treatment. I realized that I'd reached the darkest place and at some point even began to accept the fact that my life was ending. I started to make all kind of preparations, such as who to tell to do what and in which way about my passing away. It was some kind of relief to me to know that I won't ever again take part in the confrontation with my disease - ALCOHOLISM. What would my dear wife's life be like? How could I abandon her in such way?

The atmosphere in the room was very unique - I was feeling that my body is being burned very slowly. White smoke surrounded my burned body. I felt like I was boiling in my own bed. I started to regret getting into this "last minute" Iboga charter flight. Hours later I felt so exhausted and while hoping that the Iboga will get out of my system something changed - things started to become more specific. I don't find it easy to describe. Try to imagine your personality as if it was a pomegranate, which contains kernels of emotions, values, understanding, fears, feelings, attitudes etc. Well, my pomegranate was taken apart into the smallest kernel and all the thoughts, by which I was unconsciously occupied daily, became visible. From somewhere I managed to get direct answers to many personal conflicts. The character of such "happening" is very rapid - question - answer (few sec), q-a, q-a, q-a with (almost) no end. I don't know how it works but it definitely poses a high unemployment risk for new age profession - psychologists. At that phase I realized (once again) that doing an Iboga treatment (as I see it) could be easily seen as taking part in a top sport in both a physical and mental sense.

Finally it came- the hope that life is still a reasonable option to me, BUT if I wouldn't use the insights of my Iboga treatment it won't take long to be back on liquor and my life would not end naturally.

After 23 hours I "recovered" confused and clear minded at the same time. I was uncertain whether it's possible to bridge the death-life contrast I've been experiencing and to create a practical manifestation of the optimism of all of that I've been through and understood. I fell in a deep short sleep (2-3 hours) and then woke up. I never felt better. I even looked a few years younger and most important I have not touched a single alcoholic drink since then. I have no more interest in poisoning myself with that evil.

14 weeks of sobriety may seem to a non-addict individual not much, but for me it's a different world. Nevertheless it won't be adequate to describe Ibogaine as a total solution for addiction- it's an extraordinary powerful gift for people that want to stop abuse of substances by breaking the vicious cycle (in my opinion). But whether it helps one to learn and to acquire tools for going through life "normally" is a fundamentally different question.

Most people learn from mistakes. Others learn in a hard way. Some people (like myself) will have to experience death and rebirth in order to make a significant change of attitudes and behavior.

After the treatment I did not experience any kind of physical or mental withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, I was standing before a big assignment - building a whole new relationship primarily with myself and my loved ones, and further catching up with my career and studies. Iboga took me away from a cycle of self (-and my loved ones)-destruction. It gave me the chance to reset my existence as a human being.

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The Ibogaine Dossier