My name is Paul I’m from the East Coast, more specifically the smallest state in the
union. I could go on for pages about my story and what led me to the mountains of Costa Rica
in August of 2022 and put my life in the hands of plant medicine guru Levi Barker. I suffered
from childhood trauma of every imaginable kind and substance abuse from the time I put
alcohol in my body at the age of 11 or 12. I also had a long illustrious 20 year career as a police
officer and detective and have seen an untold number of atrocities.
2022 started out typically as the last ten years have. It was going to be a new start. I was
going to get my collective shit together and get clean and sober once and for all. Unfortunately,
it was just a “typical” start I had an orthopedic surgery relapsed shortly after, was in treatment
down in Florida for three weeks. Upon leaving I was drunk in the airport before boarding my
return flight home. I returned home defeated and at an all time low, I had hit many bottoms
before but this time the shame and guilt were crushing. I had been doing this to my kids their
whole lives and I had just done it to them again. This was my 25th residential treatment facility, I
had been in AA for 23 years and here I was still a mess. It was the 3rd week of February I no
longer wanted to be a burden to my children, my wife, or my mother. I took three handfuls of
psychiatric meds which I knew would do what I wanted them to do.My wife found me not
breathing, I died in the rescue on the way to the hospital, and spent four days on life support.
Fast forward. Two more treatment centers. Last one in Florida again. My cousin who is
not an addict talked to my 80 year old mother about plant medicine. She had used it for anxiety
and depression. My mother watched a documentary about ibogaine and told me about it while I
was in deox. I had the ability to watch it while I was there and told my mom to reach out to my
cousin, to tell her I was in. I was at that point in my life where I was willing and open to try
anything. I had come from the school where it was AA or no way. Today, I don’t believe that at
all. AA does not work for everyone. While in treatment I was able to reach out and speak to Levi
and he was a God send he walked me through the process and answered every question I had.
I was not a psychedelic person, so there was a huge amount of fear involved for me. Levi was
always able to talk me off the ledge every time we spoke. I can’t praise him enough there really
are no words. That goes for the whole staff there also, James, Carlos, and Rayna and Christina.
The experience itself, I can write what happened for me but that won’t put things in
perspective for whoever reads this, because no two experiences are the same, even my two
experiences were vastly different. What I can say is that I am five months sober and I haven’t
been five months sober in over four years. I was able to come off all my psychiatric medication.
My PTSD symptoms have gone into remission, I haven’t had a night terror or flashback since
I’ve been stateside. I haven’t experienced cravings. I will say that I have continued to do the
work. I do see a therapist twice a week, I do belong to a 12 step recovery group, I meditate on a
daily basis, and I live a spiritual life. I was told Iboga is not a magic pill and I do not treat it as
such. I will tell you It accomplished in two 36 hour sessions what 19 years of
psychopharmacology and talk therapy could not.
I was able to view traumatic experiences from
an almost third person perspective without the pain and physiological symptoms associated with
it. The medicine gives the person the option of how much work they want to do. How well do
you want to get? I will say that Levi told me it was nothing to be afraid of and it wasn’t, for
anyone who has that fear factor influencing them, all I can say is you need not be afraid. Levi
told me, “it is a grind” and I can attest to that, it’s definitely a grind and not always that
comfortable, but the payoff is immeasurable. I can honestly say that for anyone whose tried
other conventional means of western medicine and programs and they haven’t worked, open
your mind and try this. If you’re suffering and you’ve had enough this just might be the answer.