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Navigating Codependency With Psychedelics Ft. Erika Perez

Join us for a captivating episode of the Psychedelic Passage podcast as host Nicholas dives deep into a riveting conversation with Erika Perez, the Head of Content at Psychedelic Passage. In this thought-provoking episode, Erika shares her personal odyssey of healing from codependency using the power of psychedelics.

With authenticity and vulnerability, our guest paints an intimate portrait of her struggles with codependency, a complex web of seeking external motivation and attempting to fill a spiritual void through relationships. 

You’ll gain insight into her process of preparing for ceremony, the power of choiceless awareness, and the ongoing commitment to integration that has followed. 

Erika exposes the intricate interplay between thoughts and actions to explain how psychedelics opened a doorway to self-awareness, enabling her to widen the gap between impulse and response.

With honest reflections on progress, setbacks, and ongoing dedication, this episode offers listeners a true glimpse into the long-term process of healing and empowerment. Tune in to gain a genuine perspective on using psychedelics as a tool to conquer codependency.

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Episode 56 – Navigating Codependency With Psychedelics Ft. Erika Perez

Nicholas: Welcome to the Psychedelic Passage podcast. My name is Nick and I am solo in the studio today as far as hosting goes. Jimmy is taking a little break and so I will be the host of our show today. 

And we have a very special guest on our show, as I mentioned in our break announcement last week. We’re really highlighting some different perspectives on psychedelic assisted therapy, healing and really doing our best to highlight the journeyer perspective–

Since we lacked some of that in the prior season and that was requested from you guys as listeners. And so we have Erika Perez as our guest today and she is our head of content and I am very grateful to have her with us today.

If you have read any of the content on our website that is either written, edited and or. produced by Erika. So thanks for joining us today.

Erika Perez: Of course, I’m so happy to be here. I tune in every week, so it’s cool to be on the other side of it.

Nicholas: Yeah, we’re grateful to have you. Um, and the reason that we’re bringing Erika on today is because she has a wonderful story around her own use of psychedelics as a healing tool, specifically around codependency.

Erika Perez: Yeah.

Nicholas: I want to start just before we jump into the meat of this to just give folks a little bit of background as to kind of who you are, um, and just some basic demographic info so they can get a feel for you. 

So. Um, you are female identifying in your early twenties and recently graduated from Rutgers with a degree in psychology, uh, which is, I know, very helpful as you write a lot of the research, uh, and scientific based articles that are published through the psychedelic passage website. 

Um, and Erika has also done a ceremony with one of the facilitators in the psychedelic passage network. And so you’ve been on the receiving end of. kind of the main core service that we as a company provide, which I think is cool that you’ve been on both sides of that as well. Is

Erika Perez: Yeah.

Nicholas: Is there anything else that you’d like to add just about yourself and your background?

Erika Perez: No, I think that you’ve covered it.

Nicholas: Cool. So let’s get into today, which is like from the journeyer’s perspective, how do psychedelics help with codependency? And perhaps what we should start with is just a basic understanding of what codependency even is. 

Recognizing The Problem

And so I’m curious from your perspective, Erika, what did, how do you define codependency? What does that look like?

Erika Perez: A lot of people define codependency in different ways. Codependency, the actual term comes from co-addict, which was first coined in the context of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Nicholas: Hmm.

Erika Perez: They noticed that the partners of alcoholics tended to take care of their partners and their addictions to a point of self neglect and to a point of really, obsession. So the partner became addicted to their partner’s addiction, essentially.

Nicholas: Interesting.

Erika Perez: It’s not the case for everyone. Not every codependent is in a relationship with an addict. I would say that for me, the most intuitive definition of it is filling the void–

The void in my spirit with another person instead of addressing it out of fear of what I’m going to find and what that’s going to mean for me when I do get there.

Nicholas: And so can you maybe give an example as to like what that looked like in your life? Like how it manifested?

Erika Perez: Yeah, it manifested in a lot of different ways. I think I really, really started to notice when the complaints that my partners would have about me started to be repeated across different relationships. And one of the biggest ones was that I would psychoanalyze my partners. 

Nicholas: Interesting.

Erika Perez: And at the time, I thought, oh, it’s because I’m studying psychology. It’s just a natural part of me. I’m born to study the mind, right? But not really, actually. 

What I was doing was trying to analyze their behaviors and their motivations. And I was doing it so consistently that it started to feel like the relationship that we had–

Not just on my end, but on my partner’s end, was a client therapist relationship instead of a loving romantic relationship where both of you cared. It was more like I was trying to fix them all the time. And yeah.

Nicholas: Right. So what I’m hearing is almost like a form of distraction where your focus is on the other instead of the self.

Erika Perez: Yeah, that’s exactly it. Your focus is on the other person and you’re usually focused on problems instead of solutions. 

And a lot of it is because you’re focused not on your own problems, so you’ll see that a lot of the things you bring up to your partner are things that you’re not fulfilling yourself. So you’ll bring up–

Nicholas: They’re like a mirror for you.

Erika Perez: Exactly,

Nicholas: Yeah.

Erika Perez: Exactly that.

Nicholas: And so how did you first discover that you were exhibiting some of those traits?

Erika Perez: I was in a relationship my sophomore year of college. It was a very loving and a very deep relationship. But near the end of that relationship I, for the last few months, I was very, very depressed. I did not want to be alone. 

So COVID was still kind of in full swing and I was living in an apartment with roommates, but they had left for spring break. 

So because I was really left alone, right, and my only source of kind of relationship was my partner, I found myself constantly nagging him to come over.

Nicholas: Mm.

Erika Perez: He at the time was trying to increase his hours at work, so that wasn’t feasible. But it didn’t really matter if he couldn’t come over. No matter how often we saw each other, nothing would satiate me. And so that’s when I noticed that there was a problem.

Nicholas: Yep.

Erika Perez: No matter how long we spent together, it was never enough.

Nicholas: Because even if you’re together 24/7, there’s still this peice of like, I can’t be alone I need more.

Erika Perez: Mm-hmm, exactly.

Nicholas: Okay.

Erika Perez: Exactly.

Nicholas: And I wanna be clear, like, thank you for your vulnerability because I recognize this isn’t always easy to share, but the reason I wanna get into a little bit of this–

Is so listeners can like understand what it’s like to be in your shoes or what this kind of whole codependency topic even looks like. And so once you figured out that this was happening–

At what point did you introduce psychedelics to the equation, or what did you do to kind of help work through these codependent tendencies?

Introducing Psychedelics to The Equation With Microdosing

[00:07:18] Erika Perez: So I didn’t really acknowledge, I couldn’t acknowledge at that point. I don’t think I had enough tools to acknowledge how deep codependency was really rooted in my life. 

It was a progression of going into relationships prematurely and through that learning that these were tendencies that codependence did naturally have. trying to seek that external validation and filling that void as quickly as possible so you don’t have to sit in it for longer than you need to.

Nicholas: Right.

Erika Perez: When I got into a relationship prematurely after the one we just discussed, we ended up breaking up and it was at that point where I decided that I actually needed to do something about it–

Because the pain that I was feeling, the void that I was feeling, nothing was filling it. I wasn’t filling it. I was constantly thinking about my partner, even when we weren’t together. I decided to start microdosing

Nicholas: Mm.

Erika Perez: -and I didn’t really have a solid intention. I guess my intention would change every day with the way that I was feeling. But generally, microdosing makes you more self-aware. and it makes you more mindful of the patterns that you are repeating in your life. 

So I started employing microdosing while I was trying to create more discipline in my life and routine in my life. And then at that point, a couple of months later is when I had the journey with the facilitator in our network where the core intention was really self-acceptance.

Nicholas: Hmm.

Erika Perez: And… Yeah, those were the two points in my life where I really used psychedelics to engage with the codependent tendencies and address them.

Nicholas: Yeah. So what I’m hearing is there’s almost like this pattern of going from relationship to relationship, trying to fill the void and nothing fills it or fully satiates it. And so then the light bulb goes off of like, “Oh, maybe this is me.”

Erika Perez: Yeah.

Nicholas: And, and so for our listeners was the microdosing, was that with psilocybin?

Erika Perez: Yeah, that was with psilocybin. I was, yeah, just using capsules.

Nicholas: Cool. And so I’m curious what your experience of going through, you know, what is essentially the kind of programming that we’ve put together that’s then run by the facilitators in our network–

What was that experience like for you kind of to go through this whole arc of preparation, ceremony, integration as a whole process?

The Ceremony That Demanded Real Change

[00:10:15] Erika Perez: So, I remember that by that point we had written an article about whether or not you should, or you had written an article that mentioned whether or not you should invite your partner to-

Nicholas: Right.

Erika Perez: -be there and be present in your journey. And I, during preparation, was seriously considering asking my partner at the time to come visit. 

I actually did ask him to join me on the journey and drive down there with me, do his own thing during the day, and then come back when I was done with the experience. 

But deep inside that didn’t feel like the right thing to do, especially considering the intention for my experience. For a codependent, any occasion feels like an opportunity to bring in your partner. 

Nicholas: Mm.

Erika Perez: But that’s not what I wanted to do. I knew it’s, I couldn’t do it if I really wanted to address this head on and be honest with myself and have an authentic experience. 

So through preparation, I was speaking with the facilitator and letting them know what my intentions were, the struggles that I’ve had with codependency. And I decided that I wouldn’t have my partner come with me. 

And when it came to journey day, I packed my car and leading up to the point, actually, I made my own playlist for the drive down to Massachusetts. It was gonna be my first road trip alone.

Nicholas: Mmm.

Erika Perez: It was three hours long. And I was a little bit nervous about driving that far by myself, but I also knew that I could do it and that I didn’t have to use my partner as an excuse or I didn’t have to pretend that I couldn’t do it by myself.

Nicholas: Right. So you’re already in this process as you’re driving down of like facing it head on and stepping into this challenge of like being self-sufficient and doing it on your own.

Erika Perez: Right, right. And doing everything the way that I wanted it to be done, because I know that it would have been a lot different had my partner come down. 

I wouldn’t have been able, something as simple as choosing my own music to drive down to the entire way there, stopping at different parks and taking pictures and dipping my feet in the water. 

I would have had to cater to his preferences and I wouldn’t have been able to focus on myself. So I’m really glad that I made that decision. 

During ceremony, there was a very big theme of just decisions, complete awareness, without judgment, so choiceless awareness is what I’ve heard it referred to as–

Where I was in this state of just observing everything around me and the feelings that were coming up and the thoughts that I was having, but I didn’t feel compelled to engage with the thoughts or judge or to make anything more of what they actually were.

Nicholas: Right. Almost like seeing and experiencing it as it is without applying this, this lens of meaning or color or, uh, conditioning to it. It sounds like.

Erika Perez: Right, exactly, exactly. I was just able to take everything at, I guess, at face value, right?

Nicholas: Right.

Erika Perez: And that practice or that experience, it became, and later on it would become a very important framework and reference point for my Vipassana meditation practice. 

Because it helped me get a glimpse of what it should feel like when you’re having a conversation with a partner and they’re telling you something about their life, about what’s going on. I don’t have to judge.

Nicholas: Right.

Erika Perez: I can just listen to somebody, hear them. offer my support, but I don’t need to jump in to fix or to change or manipulate the situation or make it any different than what it is.

Nicholas: Yeah, which I would guess is a big burden to carry if that’s like, if you, if you are internalizing that you’re responsible for your partner’s behavior, challenges, wounds, problems, struggles, whatever, like that’s a lot of weight to carry.

Erika Perez: It’s a lot of weight to carry, especially because it’s completely impossible. Like,

Nicholas: Right.

Erika Perez: It’s impossible for another human to control another human.

Nicholas: Right.

Erika Perez: And it felt very liberating to be able to experience life during that ceremony, at least just throughout that time, from a place of non-judgment. I’m just being able to release and let go and I don’t have to play God and I can’t play God either way so who am I fooling?

Nicholas: Yeah.

Erika Perez: Yeah

Nicholas: I think about it as like almost like being the enforcer. Like you don’t have to be the enforcer anymore. You just-

Erika Perez: Right.

Nicholas: -get to let people operate in their own sovereignty and run their course.

Erika Perez: Right, right.

Nicholas: And so, so what happens after the ceremony? Like, you know, obviously that’s a, I would guess a somewhat intense experience, even if it was what you needed. And then, and then, you know, where do you go from there?

Post-Ceremony

[00:15:41] Erika Perez: Yeah, I wouldn’t say that I saw changes immediately-

Nicholas: Right.

Erika Perez: -but the experience itself was a source of a lot of change that came after that. I, years later, am able to refer back to it and put myself in the state of mind that I was in throughout different parts of the experience. 

So in surrendering, for example, it’s a very, very active process during the psychedelic experience. You really have no choice but to surrender to the experience, to the medicine, to that space and time. 

And it has allowed me now to practice that kind of radical surrender that is so rare for a codependent to be able to do.

Nicholas: Hmm

Erika Perez: I have started reading more about codependency in general, getting educated on it. And I go through periods of microdosing where I kind of feel like I get all of these tools over a period of time and then I’m able to put them into practice with the medicine.

And when I stop microdosing, I’m able to take those tools and apply them elsewhere, without the medicine, so I’m able.

Nicholas: Yeah. So what I’m hearing is like, uh, that experience of ceremony gave you an experience of, of a different way of being, it’s almost-

Erika Perez: Mm-hmm.

Nicholas: -like it gave you a target for how to show up differently that you could then go back to. And then the microdosing almost gave you this ability to like, keep flexing that muscle, like reps in the gym so that you could, you could maintain that self-awareness and adjust.

Erika Perez: Yeah, that’s exactly it. That’s exactly it. I felt like I was in the dark before and I didn’t really know where I was aiming.

Nicholas: Right.

Erika Perez: And the experience gave me a goalpost.

Nicholas: Right, because I think about this in the sense of like, if someone says, well, just surrender, just don’t judge, conceptually you understand that, but in your

Erika Perez: Yeah.

Nicholas: body, it’s like, well, how do I actually do this? What does it look like? What does it feel like? What is the practice of?

Erika Perez: Mm-hmm. Yeah, precisely.

Nicholas: And so then what happened in, kind of, the integration process? I know that it was like nothing. Um, well, in your case, it wasn’t instantaneous, right? So you’re piecing all this together, but what was integration like after that?

The Integration Component to Healing

[00:18:23] Erika Perez: Yeah, so I had, I was speaking to my facilitator about everything that was just going on in the experience. My experience was very internal. 

It’s funny because a lot of it taught me what my body could do and what it was doing and had been doing for a long time that I didn’t. I didn’t know what I was capable of doing. I would go into these yoga nidra states-

Nicholas: Mm.

Erika Perez: -before I went into the psychedelic experience. And I would go to sleep at night or close my eyes at night and go into these states not really knowing that I was going into them. 

And then my psychedelic experience was just one whole yoga nidra state. And I explained this to my facilitator and he kind of brought up the point that that’s how he learned about it as well. 

And discovering that I had that power within me empowered me to continue learning about myself and what I wanted out of life and the goals that I had for myself, for myself and not for any extrinsic motivation.

I wasn’t doing it for the validation of my partner. I wasn’t doing it to receive assurance from my partner. I was doing it to validate myself and my own, I guess you would call them gifts, my own abilities.

Nicholas: Yeah. So what I’m hearing is that there’s this shifting in motivation.

Erika Perez: Yeah

Nicholas: From like external to internal or from partner to self.

Erika Perez: Yeah, yeah

Nicholas: And this is something that we’ve talked about a lot in the past season and in prior episodes- is this concept of conditioning, like extracting out what’s actually yours versus what’s your partner’s, your parents, your family’s societies, and that’s an interesting process.

And it’s, it’s something that this kind of non-judgmental, almost dreamlike state that you’re describing can help us with, is sorting through whose is what and what’s yours and what’s not.

Erika Perez: Mm-hmm. Yeah. The practice of it has definitely helped me, like you said, sort through, um, and just not allow my conditioning to distort my perspective. Mm-hmm.

Nicholas: Right, beautiful. And so one of the things that we talk about on the show a lot is how this healing process often isn’t linear and the way in which we experience progress or results is highly variable based on each person. 

And so how would you describe this experience of like, making progress in your healing from the codependency?

Erika Perez: Yeah. So definitely not linear, like you said. It feels like the peeling back of an onion. I find with codependency, you can practice discipline and routine when you’re not in a relationship. 

But when you get into a relationship, that’s where the real test is. And so in the periods where I don’t have a partner and I’m not dating anyone, I focus on myself a lot. I focus on taking care of myself, on learning more about myself. 

And then I go into a relationship feeling pretty armed and a lot more armed than I was before, a lot more capable than I was before of not falling into the codependent tendencies. I realized though that eventually at some points those tendencies do start to pop back up. And it’s-

Nicholas: Mm.

Erika Perez: -then when I have to kind of grab on to everything that I know again and kind of start that process again of building that armor back up and getting educated again and getting constant reminders–

Through the books that I read and the videos that I watched and my personal practices of where my priorities should be and where they shouldn’t. It is-

Nicholas: Interesting. So it sounds like, it sounds like when you’re at a point where when you’re not in a relationship, you can stick to your discipline and your boundaries, your practices, whatever. 

And then the question is when you get back into a relationship, do those disciplines and boundaries hold? Because that’s the exact point in which the codependent patterns can easily slip back into place.

Erika Perez: Right, right. And for me personally, it hasn’t been specifically getting into the relationship, but when my partner starts to face something difficult in their life, that’s when the real opportunity for my codependent tendencies kick in.

Nicholas: Ahh, so it’s almost like how you support them when they’re going through a tough time.

Erika Perez: Exactly, exactly.

Nicholas: And so where are you at now with that?

Erika Perez: I would definitely say that I feel a lot more secure in myself. I remember being in relationships and there were times where I, being apart from them, I could not stop thinking about them and I could not stop thinking about their problems. God has really helped me. 

Having a higher power has really helped me. because it allows me to put my trust in, not just the other person, but in a higher power, which is the same higher power that is helping me. I used to be avoidantly attached to my parents. 

And I’ve learned now that a lot of that is because I had a lot of shame when I was in a relationship, which was very often, since I would stop paying so much attention to my family.

And then that created a cycle of guilt and shame where I just separated myself more. And now I am securely attached to my parents. 

I am very open with them, even when it feels hard. And even when there does feel like there’s an opportunity for shame to kind of step in the door, I try to beat it by being open and honest. 

With my partners, I am now considered technically secure, securely attached, but I am still on the border of anxious attachment. So I have some more work to do, but I’m definitely a lot less anxiously attached than I was. 

I allow my partners to battle their own problems in their life. And also when you’re happy with what you’re doing in your own life, when you’re happy with your own routine and your own discipline–

You stop noticing the lack, quote unquote, that exists within others because you’re not so insecure about your own.

Nicholas: Right, right.

Erika Perez: Yeah.

Nicholas: And so I’m curious, in addition to the active work you did with the intentional therapeutic psychedelic experience, what other practices or healing modalities did you add to your life to keep this whole thing going?

Erika Perez: So like I mentioned before, the Pasana meditation has been very helpful to me. Like I said, it’s helped me kind of undo that conditioning and become aware of my conditioning, become aware of my thoughts and of their patterns of my thoughts–

So that it doesn’t distort the way that I relate to others. I have worked on emotional processing and understanding how I process my own emotions so that I don’t cave into control tactics. 

And I have honestly just started practicing grace, having grace for other people, giving grace to other people, the same grace that I would want somebody to have with me. 

Because as codependents, we really do tend to believe that we are completely unselfish and that everything we do is for other people and for the benefit of other people. 

And in that, we forget that our control tactics are just as bad and if not worse for the other person as the other person’s self-harm tactics are. 

Like, what the other person is doing that’s harming them, we’re doubling down on that by persecuting them every time that they do something wrong. 

Instead of encouraging and uplifting them, we tear them down because they’re not living up to our standards, which we ourselves are not living up to.

Nicholas: Yeah, so there’s like an element of hypocrisy or like double standards.

Erika Perez: Very much so, very much so, very much so. So I’ve just tried humbling myself and honestly facing the hurt that I’ve caused in other people’s lives. And that at first felt like it was going to be very difficult. It felt like it would honestly kind of collapse my reality. 

But it’s allowed me to be a lot more present for the people that I love. Understanding the difference between caretaking and caregiving has helped a lot. Acknowledging when I’m doing something out of fear and out of anxiety or out of distrust versus when I’m doing it out of love.

Nicholas: Hmm.

Erika Perez: When I’m doing it expecting something in return versus when I’m doing it simply because I love someone.

Nicholas: Yeah, the other thing that you, as you were chatting, the other thing that came up for me is like, if all you do is give, and you’re so rooted in your selflessness, your cup eventually runs dry.

Erika Perez: Mm-hmm, yeah.

Nicholas: Like there’s a certain point where if you’re not depositing into your own energetic tank and all you’re doing is making deposits and other people’s, you’re like empty at a certain point.

Erika Perez: Yeah, yeah. And this is where that insular codependent relationship dynamic starts to happen, where then you are so empty and you’re expecting the other person to fill your cup. They become like an angry victim, right?

Nicholas: Mmm.

Erika Perez: Where they’re having to give everything over to you and they don’t have space anymore for the progress that you wanted them to make initially,

Nicholas: Totally,

Erika Perez: Right?

Nicholas: Totally. So I know we’ve covered a lot. I’m curious if you could, and I know this may be hard, but I’m curious, your thoughts is like–

If you could in kind of one or two sentences describe the role that psychedelics have played in this process of healing codependency, like how specifically has the intentional psychedelic use helped?

Final Reflections on Intentional Use of Psychedelics & Healing 

[00:29:43] Erika Perez: Mm. Um, mindfulness is the biggest one. Um, there’s a point between a thought and an action where you’re able to make a choice. 

And for the codependent, it’s very easy to make the choice to judge. It’s very easy to make the choice to blame and to shame. 

Psychedelics have allowed me to practice a level of self-awareness where that gap in between thought and an action is a lot wider and more obvious to me. 

So I’m able to interject before I speak out my thought, and I’m able to really evaluate where that thought is coming from, if it’s coming from a place of love, or if it’s coming from a place of insecurity. 

And it’s there where I’ve actually been able to put into practice, you know, all of the educating that I’m trying to do for myself-

Nicholas: Yeah.

Erika Perez: -all of the things that I’m learning, it’s in the choice and the space that I have.

Nicholas: Right. And I think that’s a hard one for people that haven’t experienced it. Because if for some, for some of us, and I’ve been in this position myself, where the behavior is so compulsive, you don’t feel like you have a choice. It’s, it’s like automatic.

And I’ve also experienced that where either through meditation or psychedelics or breath work or whatever, you get this little bit of pause, this little bit of space inserted between that compulsive reactive tendency. 

And all it takes is that millisecond, half second, full second to go from full reaction to like pause and then respond. And I think that’s where we have the potential to break a lot of those patterns.

Erika Perez: Yeah, yeah, it’s where I have been able to break a lot of patterns and recognize just how often my codependent tendencies pop up.

Nicholas: Yeah. So for any of our listeners who may be listening to today’s episode and thinking like, oh shit, I have some of these codependent tendencies. What advice would you give to anyone that may be exhibiting or experiencing some of this codependent behavior?

Erika Perez: I would say when you first start becoming educated on codependency, it’s going to feel like you have to do everything at once. And it’s going to feel like you have to get your life sorted overnight. 

And I just want to, in any way I can, advise you to take that pressure off of yourself. The self-awareness is gonna come gradually, but you should allow your intention to guide you. Do it for yourself. 

If you want to recover, do it for yourself because your partner, the one who’s sitting next to you, he may not be here or she may not be here. And your codependent tendencies will. 

There’s one thing that I realized after a while battling this, and it was that the people in my life are never at fault. My partners are never at fault. It’s always my patterns. So regardless of who you’re with, your patterns are gonna follow you. 

Think of it in terms of patterns and not people. If you look to address within yourself first with the right intentions, you’re going to make progress at whatever speed it is. 

Accept yourself, give yourself the grace that you would want others to give to you. Because that’s really how you practice giving it to other people as well.

Nicholas: And so for any of our listeners who are perhaps struggling with some codependent patterns or behaviors and are interested in using psychedelics as a tool, much like you did, what advice or warnings or feedback do you have for them?

Erika Perez: Right. Definitely what I mentioned before, if you’re planning on having a large dose experience and you’re considering inviting your partner, asking yourself why–

Asking yourself if you’re using your partner as motivation to get better, if you’re doing it out of fear. or if you’re doing it out of love. We know as codependents that we use other humans as a distraction. 

So really being honest with yourself about how that could affect your experience, if that could take away from the focus on you and on your intention.

Nicholas: Beautiful. Thank you. And, you know, one thing I heard you say that I think is important to highlight is just that you’ve acknowledged that you’re not fully recovered, that you’re still in this process. 

And what I’m hearing is that you’ve made an immense amount of progress. But there’s always more work to do. And I think that that’s a hard concept to explain to those who haven’t been through an intentional psychedelic experience or have only read about it. 

It is a, you know, I always call it a lifelong commitment. Like you take it to the grave. But unfortunately the media has kind of portrayed this whole thing as like, you know, do four sessions and you’ve got an 86% success rate and like–

It doesn’t seem to work that way in practice, which is one of the reasons that I wanted to have these more anecdotal. subjective journey or experiences of how this actually works and what people can expect if they choose to embark on this journey.

Erika Perez: Right, right. Even years later, like I said, I’m still reflecting on things and connecting the dots of things that happened in my past psychedelic experiences and how they apply to my life now.

Nicholas: Yeah, beautiful. As we wrap up today, is there anything else that you’d like to share with listeners about your journey?

Erika Perez: Mm-hmm. I guess in one sentence, the way that I would describe it is just this kind of continuous process of getting comfortable with discomfort and getting comfortable with expressing myself authentically and speaking my truth to myself. 

It has felt very uncomfortable. It’s felt. It’s felt uncomfortable, but on the other end of it is always this moment and this time of rebirth. There is this death to self in a way, where I kind of go through a cycle of learning about myself and I, a part of me dies with that.

Nicholas: Mmm.

Erika Perez: But then another part is always reborn and I come out of it having experienced all that discomfort. feeling a lot more prepared for what’s ahead, and feeling a lot more prepared to live for myself and give love authentically without expecting any favors in return.

Nicholas: Wow, beautiful. Thank you for sharing. And I want to applaud your vulnerability and expression and willingness to really dig into this today. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining. I know that our listeners will appreciate this as well.

As I mentioned before, you can find Erika’s written content all over our website. She is a wonderful writer. We’re super grateful to have her on our team. I’m grateful for you joining today. 

And I do want to throw it out there that if anyone has content suggestions or topics that you guys want to know more about, you’re welcome to email us at support at psychedelic passage dot com and we’ll add them to our content queue. 

That brings us to the end of today’s episode. So as you guys know by now, you can find episodes of the psychedelic passage podcast on all major streaming platforms, whether that’s Apple Podcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio, wherever else you choose to stream. 

If you like the show, please rate and review. We very much appreciate it. And don’t be shy sharing with friends and family if you think that they could benefit. We always appreciate the word of mouth referrals. And we’ll see you all next week. Thanks so much for joining.

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