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Thank You Plant Medicine (#ThankYouPlantMedicine) is an annual global campaign designed to encourage people whose lives have been changed by plant medicine to share their stories of transformation and gratitude, and to help end the stigma around the use of psychedelics. We are honored to devote our next two episodes of The Psychedelic Integration Podcast to sharing our personal stories of how plant medicine has radically changed and enhanced our lives. On this week’s podcast episode, Sinclair Fleetwood shares her personal story of overcoming addiction to alcohol, transforming trauma, and healing her relationship with her father after his death in prison. She speaks about her personal experiences with ayahuasca and San Pedro, and shares about aligning with her purpose to help guide others to their own power through healing with psychedelics.
 
My Journey to Ayahuasca and Huachuma

I used to drink. A lot for a long time. Drinking was the way I coped with my pain, my childhood trauma, and my lack of self-esteem. It was how I coped with everything. It kept me small, sedated, and scared, because as long as I was stuck in that cycle, I didn’t have to actually learn how to be empowered, responsible, or how to thrive. I was addicted, after all.

Finally, I quit alcohol in the middle of the biggest party in the world and never looked back. I sold all my stuff and went to South America alone, where I found my way back to myself one psychedelic ceremony at a time. I was humbled, amazed, loved, and challenged harder than ever before. I found a medicine family that allowed me to go as deep into myself and my pain as I was willing to go, because they were there doing it too. I found my voice. I found a strength, a wisdom, and a resilience that was inspiring and supportive to others. I found my vision and the confidence to walk in it. I am so grateful to plant medicine for helping me remember who I am, and for guiding me to be a support for others doing the same work.

Healing addiction with psychedelics and integrating the lessons is a long term process, sometimes lifelong. For some people, this looks like a retreat followed by integration, or a series of sessions with a medicine, or building an ongoing relationship with entheogens as healing tools. No matter how that piece plays out, doing the work in our daily lives is what creates lasting, permanent healing and change.

I came to work with psychedelics with several months of sober time under my belt. I was done drinking and ready to do the work of sifting through the root system of myself to feel and heal whatever came up from underground. What I had was a fiery determination to be fearless and a willingness to go as far as I needed to go to find the source of my wounds. While psychedelics are capable of interrupting and treating active addiction, creating a shift and space to heal, expecting the journey to cure an addiction overnight can be disappointing and feel like you’re a failure if it doesn’t work that way. You’re not. Without other support or a framework for continued sobriety, many people find it difficult to maintain long term. When we make room for healing, healing occurs. If you are considering working with psychedelics, create a plan, find support, and trust the process.   

We are whole beings, with complicated, multifaceted stories. We all have something to learn, something to heal, and a thousand ways to grow and change that look different for everyone. Psychedelics are not a magic cure-all, but they are the most amazing tools I have found to radically change my perspective, to remind me, always, that I am here for and made of love, and to bring me back home to myself. 

It’s up to us as guardians of the light to continue to walk in it, and do the real work to stay there. This is integration. Thank you plant medicine! 


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