On the whole the staff were professional and kind I felt they genuinely cared about my well-being. The facility was clean and comfortable. On the downside I feel I wasn’t well prepared for the aftermath. The experience for the first hour or so was very interesting and euphoric at times. I didn’t experience any especially unpleasant content or disturbing emotions, but it was much more intense and psychedelic than I expected. It’s sort of like lucid dreaming. At times I lost touch when my own sense of self, sort of like a dream-within-a-dream where you lose track of what’s real, and can’t remember basic things about yourself.
After that I think was about an hour-and-a-half, they moved me to a recovery room, but I was surprisingly dysfunctional. The videos I watched didn’t really prepare for me the comedown. I felt very fatigued and dull. It took great effort just to walk. I felt unsteady on my feet and slowly shuffled to the recovery room like a geriatric stroke victim. I had trouble with my memory and found it difficult to engage in intIelligent conversation. It was hard just to form complete sentences. Sometimes I just forgot what I wanted to say mid-sentence.
Three days later and I’m still feeling dull and tired. For the last few days, I feel like I’ve lost 10 or 20 IQ points. I’m having trouble focusing on my work, making decisions, staying on task, and remembering things–even having trouble spelling common words when writing in my journal.
I thought the session would leave me feeling energized and having a positive outlook, but the depleted, hungover, spaced out feeling is very troublesome. It’s left me feeling damaged and depressed. I’ve been in a fantastic mood for the past few weeks, but after feeling a bit drunk, tired and dizzy more than 72 hours alter, I’m really left me feeling on the verge of tears.
When I talked to the Illumma staff about my feelings, they said “it’s OK if you feel like crying, Ketamine can help open up feeling you have been repressing” and said I may “need time to process the emotions that have been brought up.” I replied to clarify, “it’s not a matter of needing time to process any emotional content”–nothing unpleasant or negative came up. It’s the hungover feeling which is really disturbing me because it’s left me feeling like a half-wit–my memory and executive function seems to be impaired. Yet again, they wrote, “everything that ketamine brings up is just under the surface, so looking at what comes up feedback and insight from your system is an important awareness tool.” (yes, the grammar of their response was a bit garbled like that.)
The way they keep insisting that I feel drained and depleted is because of the supposed unconscious content I need to process is irritating. It’s patronizing, and feels like they are gaslighting me into thinking there is some imaginary trauma I need to deal with, when in fact this drug has left me feeling like a burnout for days, and I wasn’t given any warning that I might feel this way. I want my brain back.