Jessica’s Story

Can you tell me your personal story?

My trauma is rooted in what you would call the female experience. I went through 3 miscarriages over long periods of time. In the chunks of time between miscarriages I thought I was doing ok, but eventually I bottomed out. I became severely depressed and ended up entering a women’s clinic that allowed me to take specialized meds throughout my final pregnancy. My 4th pregnancy was successful and now I have an amazing baby girl.

 

Four months after she was born I tried to go off medication, but the withdrawal was so intense I had to go right back on. I felt scared and trapped, like there was no way out. I’m an artist as well as being a mother, and during this period I felt my creative drive and motivation had been worn out. It wasn’t only my creativity that was impacted – my depression ended up affecting my sexuality, health & fitness… eventually everything snowballed and I lost interest in life.

“My experience with Wake retreats was truly transformative. The psilocybin assisted sound-bath and integration therapy allowed me to dive deep into my subconscious and invite my pain and trauma to the table for a new conversation. Turning my pain into fuel rather then being a heavy weight to be ashamed of.”

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My trauma is rooted in what you would call the female experience. I went through 3 miscarriages over long periods of time. In the chunks of time between miscarriages I thought I was doing ok, but eventually I bottomed out. I became severely depressed and ended up entering a women’s clinic that allowed me to take specialized meds throughout my final pregnancy. My 4th pregnancy was successful and now I have an amazing baby girl.

Four months after she was born I tried to go off medication, but the withdrawal was so intense I had to go right back on. I felt scared and trapped, like there was no way out. I’m an artist as well as being a mother, and during this period I felt my creative drive and motivation had been worn out. It wasn’t only my creativity that was impacted – my depression ended up affecting my sexuality, health & fitness… eventually everything snowballed and I lost interest in life.

I’d already been researching the positive effects of psilocybin for depression and anxiety. Medications for depression numb you and don’t let you deal with underlying issues. When I saw that this retreat was led by professionals I knew I could try it and still feel safe. My family has a history of suffering from depression, and there was a lot of shame and stigma around it growing up. I realized having the support of professionals in a safe community could help me to feel understood, instead of being surrounded by the negative feelings I was used to from my youth.

I’d dabbled with mushrooms in highschool, like most people, and they weren’t great experiences. I was nervous to try it again, but from the moment I arrived I knew this would be a different experience. The entire immersion is built around creating a safe space, and I felt welcomed and I intuitively knew I would be looked after.

Since I’m an artist my intention was to regain my creativity and understand why my work as an artist had become blocked. In the first ceremony I had really strong visuals, and I felt I was diving into paintings with intense colors made of geometric shapes. Each visual was led by a different subject matter. This was great from a creative perspective, but I realized after that my real breakthroughs were around issues that I hadn’t even realized were there.

For example, recently I’d been having an issue with a friend. In my visions I kept trying to ask my friend sit at a table so we could discuss the issue. I realized I couldn’t force her to sit and resolve things with me, and the message to myself was that I have too high expectations around her. I realized I had to accept the situation as it was and let her go… once I did that she dissipated away. Our energy exchange became really clear. I saw that she wasn’t the problem, it was my expectations that were the problem. I realized that in order to fix the friendship I would have to accept her and the situation as it is. I now understand that I had some unhealthy patterns in my relationships, and they were only bringing me sadness.

A strong moment was after I’d had that visual encounter with my friend. I started crying, and I felt so sad that it was as if I would never come out of it. At that moment David, the healing facilitator, started playing a singing bowl by my ear. I felt the sound broke apart my sad thought patterns and replaced them with the lightness of that vibration. The sound actually disrupted my negative thoughts, and it was as if it were rewiring my brain.

The next day I was emotional and starting crying again. I didn’t understand because I thought I’d had a breakthrough in ceremony and put the issues behind me. Luckily, part of the post- integration therapy is that we sit down to talk with other people in the group. There’s an exercise with the Patient, the Therapist and the Observer. We talk over the issues that came up, and it

allowed me to examine some issues I didn’t want to look at. The Observer takes notes and documents what you actually said to review afterward. This turned out to be an amazing tool for self-reflection.

There was small lecture before the ceremony, where we were told to try to be grateful and look at everything through a lens of compassion. I didn’t realize going in to the ceremony how important these words would be. It helped me be more compassionate with myself in difficult moments.

Another aspect I appreciated was that the therapists blindfold you when you take the psilocybin. Being cut off from sight makes you go deeper into your mind. I had no visual distractions and it made the ceremony really powerful. Going deep into my psyche allowed me to look at circumstances in my life from a different perspective. I was able to get rid of my victim mentality by seeing it from another angle. I realized my experience completely depends on how I choose to react to problems.

The community that Wake provided made all the difference to me. I had taken ayahuasca before and had met great people, but everybody goes their own way the next day. At Wake there is ongoing integration and support for breakthroughs, and help to manage the emotional aftermath the next day. Also with psychedelics like ayahuasca there is the purging aspect, which can be intense. Psilocybin is a gentle experience and not scary at all.

The check-in call once a week and the consistent journaling has been helpful. The most challenging thing has been speaking with people who haven’t experienced psilocybin and have judgement around it. They hear the word “mushrooms” and they dismiss me. I feel judged, and that can feel challenging because if everyone in the real world behaved like they did in the immersion, it would have been easy! I’ve had to work hard to protect the new lightness in my soul and make sure it doesn’t go back into negative patterns.

I would recommend it to anybody needing a breakthrough. In normal talk-therapy you have to relive your problems, and you stay in the same head space. The fungi ceremony shifts your perspective and regular thought patterns, and shows you what’s causing the sadness underneath. When it shows you a different perspective, that doesn’t mean you’ve been lying to yourself, it just shows that you have the choice to opt for a perspective that’s more helpful and supportive to your being.

In the middle of the ceremony we were instructed to take blindfolds off, while the therapists played some beautiful uplifting music. It was the kind that makes you feel its a new beginning. The sun was shining through the clouds, and there was some light rain and dry mist. The birds were singing, and of course our senses were enhanced from the mushrooms. I genuinely felt a new versions of ourselves was being born, like we could start over again.

It’s been crazy coming out of the Immersion and into isolation due to Covid-19, but I also think its given me better tools to cope with the current situation. I’m still integrating everything I learned on the immersion. I think these immersions act like a reset program, where you don’t need to go back for awhile. I’ve been out for a month and I’m still applying these new tools and perspectives. My creativity is coming back, and I’d love to see whats next.

I also realize I haven’t purged all the negativity out of my soul. Maybe next time I could take a 10 day retreat and go deeper, to clean all the shadows that are deeper inside. When my extra personal issues came up in ceremony I realized they are all intertwined with my creativity. But now I have the space in my mind to focus on moving forward, and not getting stuck in the past. If your brain is a mess with weeds, nothing new can grow.

The Reishi has helped balance my stress levels and keeps me in a positive mood to ride the day out.

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Talk With Jessica

Tuesdays, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM PT // 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM ET
Thursdays, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT // 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

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Our immersions center around advanced mushrooms containing psilocybin. Psilocybin is a psychoactive compound being investigated by scientific academia for its potential to restructure brain cells and heal trauma, disorders and illness.

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