Following the resounding success of the first session, we’re thrilled to bring you Session 2 of the Ketamine Diaries! We were captivated by our client’s raw and vivid depiction of her initial experience with Ketamine. This week, she delves even deeper into her journey as she recounts her second session, baring her soul. It’s crucial to understand that Ketamine is not a quick fix or a “happy pill.” It’s a tool that requires careful handling. It helps rewire your brain, but it demands preparation before each session, active engagement during each session, and the incorporation of changes afterward. In this narrative, she candidly discusses confronting the discomfort of the treatment and the transformations she aspires to make. We hope you find her account as enlightening and valuable as we do.

xoxo Rachel and Ryan

Session Two: Headworms

Session two commenced at the conclusion of a particularly hectic day. It’s important to note that the induction phase (the first six treatments) of Ketamine needs to be completed within a specific timeframe. This means that for me, and I’m sure for many of you, it entails adding this commitment onto an already long day. The benefit, of course, is that you can head home afterward and rest it off, so to speak. However, the downside, as I discovered during this session, was that I hadn’t mentally prepared at all. I mean, my first experience was so warm and magical—what could possibly go wrong? That was my somewhat arrogant mindset as I approached the second session.

So, there I sat in the chair, waiting for the infusion, with the events of my busy day still running through my head. All my “to-dos,” the interactions I had, and so on. My ADHD brain was racing through the day’s recap. Once again, I was instructed to choose an intention. Since I hadn’t taken the time to center myself and thoughtfully contemplate it, I settled on “I am enough/I do enough,” something I had just seen on a social media post moments before, while I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram as I waited for the treatment.

To be fair, this intention is a crucial one and definitely something I need to work on. The perpetual feeling of inadequacy, or not having accomplished enough in a single day, is something I absolutely need to address. However, I think the problem with this intention was my lack of focus or attachment to it in that moment. Once again, I entered this session with no preparation or care, with a brain full of clutter and a lack of concentration. As I slipped into my Ketamine dream, I found myself bombarded with images. There was a struggle between allowing myself to fully embrace the experience and resisting it. My brain was still tethered to the busyness of the day, and that’s when the headworms began.

Now, you might be wondering, what are headworms? Well, my sister affectionately refers to them as those thoughts that sneak into your mind, wriggling around without your consent. You know the ones: “Did I eat too much today? Am I gaining weight? Who is my boyfriend texting right now? Should I be worried? What did she really mean when she said that?” We’ve all experienced these headworms—those moments of doubt and insecurity that infiltrate our thoughts, despite the rational part of our brains begging us to think differently. They exist in all of us, unwanted and intrusive.

My warm, safe dream from the first session was replaced by headworms—thoughts, concerns, and images of people from my past and present who are a source of stress, worry, or insecurity in my life. I tried to ground myself, to regain control of my thoughts and reset the experience, but I realized I wasn’t going to win this battle. My body and mind were too heavily influenced by the medication to effectively combat this experience. Let me be clear, I wasn’t frightened, and I didn’t need rescuing. I could communicate, and the staff could have intervened to pull me out of the experience if necessary. It just wasn’t the dream I had anticipated or hoped for.

Instead of resisting, I decided to embrace my intention. I began repeating, “I am enough, I do enough,” and slowly, these headworms were met with a contrasting image: ME. It was as though my brain was conveying the message that time continues to move forward, regardless of the trivial concerns that trouble me. It felt as though I was watching two movies concurrently—one in which my worst-case scenarios played out, and the other in which I persevered and continued moving forward.

I extracted two significant lessons from this experience. Firstly, I needed to stop allowing headworms to occupy space in my mind. Allowing myself to fret about things beyond my control, things that might not even be true, doesn’t change the fact that time keeps moving forward, and I will be fine, regardless of the outcome. Secondly, I was astonished by how much information we store in our brains based on what we consume. The things we see, hear, watch, and tell ourselves are all stored up there, even if we don’t consciously recognize it. It’s remarkable how many images of things I “consume” through social media, television, or things my friends and loved ones do or say come to the surface during a session. This is something I intend to be more mindful of and deliberate about in the future.

Following this session, I spent a day or two in introspection, quietly reflecting on the experience. I certainly didn’t embark on Ketamine thinking it would be effortless or devoid of some effort. Four days have passed since that session, and I feel incredibly at peace. My sleep has been better than it has been in years, and I wake up feeling alert and productive. Although the headworms felt heavy during the session and perhaps even the following day, it wasn’t something that would deter me from further treatment. Self-reflection can be challenging, but it’s always worthwhile, and I eagerly anticipate tomorrow’s session. However, I will approach it with more thoughtfulness than my last.

Conclusion from R&R

In just two Ketamine sessions, our client has already gained profound insights and made meaningful changes. We hope that through her courageous and honest account, Ketamine will lose its stigma, and more individuals will find relief from depression. Feel free to contact us to explore whether Ketamine could assist you in living more fully.

xoxo Rachel and Ryan