Why I Love Magic Mushrooms

Author’s note: This essay was not written with the intention of encouraging anyone to use psilocybin mushrooms. Rather, I wrote this piece with the intention of merely sharing my experience. It really must be stressed that this is my experience, and that each and every individual experience will be just that: individual. While I consider psilocybin to have a positive impact on my life, you may find that the same compound has the effect opposite. Furthermore, if you are struggling with mental illness, please refrain from self-medicating and talk with a doctor.

My Journey With Magic Mushrooms

For a long while, I have wanted to talk about this. But I have been too afraid—afraid of the judgment of those who will disapprove—and afraid I might lead a reader down what could be the wrong path for them.

However, I truly believe that psychedelics are an undervalued tool for introspection and expansion. I envision a future in which psychedelic therapy is normalized and utilized. And I pray that one day it will be more commonplace to trip shrooms than it will be to risk alcohol poisoning.

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The Splitting Fawn: ‘I hate me—don’t leave me!’

If you are familiar with my non-fiction work, then it is likely that you are aware of my struggle with borderline personality disorder. For those unfamiliar, borderline is my Achilles’ heel. When I was fifteen, I endured some trauma, and I believe it was this trauma that caused my BPD. In my essay, How Borderline Personality Disorder Manifests In Me, I wrote…

I am not sure if there is much to this scientifically, but I swear I remember the day the BPD emerged. I was walking to school (probably listening to Marilyn Manson). It was a beautiful Sunny Autumn day. But I felt somehow different. I still had not yet acknowledged that I was being raped and abused. However, I had become aware of just how worthless I was feeling. As of that day, the seed of the belief that I am unloveable had sprouted.”

BPD is a mental health disorder, specifically a personality disorder, rather than a mood disorder. While people with borderline can, and typically do, experience extreme mood swings, these mood swings are not the root of the disorder, the way they are with a mood disorder such as bipolar. Rather, quick-changing moods are a symptom of borderline.

Sufferers of borderline struggle, not with a chemical imbalance, but with their cognition. Their perception of both themselves and the world are easily distorted. Perhaps the most common symptom of borderline is an intense fear of abandonment—or at least this is the case in my personal struggle with BPD. Another is to lack a sense of self, to not know who you really are. But the symptom I want to focus on today is ‘splitting’.

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How Borderline Personality Disorder Manifests In Me

Author’s note: This is a personal essay, written from my individual experience. While psychiatric medication has not proven itself to be an effective treatment for my particular case of borderline personality disorder, I want to acknowledge that it is an effective treatment for many. And even though I consider myself to have been failed by our medical system, I want to make it known that I am not against Western medicine. And I certainly do not recommend that anyone reading this stop taking their medication without first talking to their doctor.

Winter of 2011

“I don’t think you have bipolar disorder,” my at-the-time boyfriend says to me.

His claims are ridiculous. How could I not have bipolar? I have been struggling with depression for years, but despite being depressed I have an abundance of energy. Besides, bipolar II disorder is what the psychiatrist diagnosed me with, so certainly this diagnosis is correct.

Still, I entertain my boyfriend’s delusions: “Okay… why do you think I don’t have bipolar?” I do not hide the skepticism in my voice.

“Because,” he continues, a bit frantically, “I think what you actually have is borderline personality disorder.”

And he pulls up the symptoms. I read through them, expecting to disagree. I am shocked, however, that I do not disagree.

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