Humans 101

Fear can crush or strengthen you. Here’s how to use it to your advantage.

A photo of someone washing their hands in the sink. The water is glittery and sparkly.
A photo of someone washing their hands in the sink. The water is glittery and sparkly.
Illustration: sarashakeel/Instagram

As a person who grew up in a religion that preached the end of the world, I’ve spent most of my life grappling with fears similar to those we’re experiencing right now.

When I began using psychedelics therapeutically, I found significant relief for the first time in my life. After just a few ayahuasca ceremonies, I went from being a person who’d spent most of their life not wanting to live due to extreme existential fear and trauma to someone who accepted life’s uncertainty and felt grateful to experience anything at all.

My relief came with a series of realizations that unfolded one after the other. Not all of them will bring you comfort. By nature, life is often difficult and unfair. But ultimately, I believe these realizations helped me become a stronger, more emotionally prepared person. …

Planet Soul

I thought she was way off. It turned out I just didn’t know the full story.

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Illustration: mrbabies2/Instagram

I wasn’t always open to the idea of going to a healer. When I left the doomsday cult I was raised in, the greatest relief I felt was falling into the warm, rational embrace of atheism where nothing existed outside of what science could prove and no one could consider me delusional. However, when I started doing psychedelics, my understanding of reality began to shift and the concept that we are all energetic beings became very, “Yeah, duh.”

I’ve had myriad interdimensional experiences that have convinced me energy healing is real, so I was intrigued when I heard about Master Zhang, a Chinese master healer who’s famous for seeing inside people’s bodies and creating medicine out of thin air. While I believed it was possible, I still questioned whether some sleight-of-hand or magic was used. Those I knew who’d seen Master Zhang confirmed this wasn’t something that could’ve fallen out of her sleeve. This was a small orb of light slowly materializing into a physical pill, or, in some cases, liquid pouring directly out of her palm. Apparently, just the experience of witnessing the formation of the medicine had rocked them mentally. …

Ayahuasca gave me back my will to live when nothing else worked

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Illustration: mr.babies/Instagram

A couple of weeks ago, on World Mental Health Day, I posted a tweet briefly describing the lifelong anxiety I have experienced after being raised in a cult. I also shared that I’ve found a lot of relief using psychedelics.

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I’d always figured I would tell this story eventually, but after receiving several messages on the topic, this feels like the right time.

If you’re looking for a few paragraphs on the top five ways ayahuasca helped me overcome a traumatic childhood, this isn’t it. If you’re interested in the story of a person who was so emotionally crippled from a lifetime of trauma that she could barely continue living, and who used psychedelics to rebuild her brain from the ground up, welcome. …


Chelsea Lockwood

Writer and figment of your imagination living in Los Angeles, California.

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