Treating PTSD of Veterans with Psilocybin with Lauren Myers

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Treating PTSD of Veterans with Psilocybin with Lauren Myers

 

We sit down today with Lauren Myers to talk about her work with VETS, an organization that helps veterans and their spouses access treatment with psychedelic therapies including iboga/ibogaine, ketamine, psilocybin, MDMA, 5-MeO-DMT, and ayahuasca. What's it like being in war? What is it like coming back home or being the spouse or child of someone suffering with PTSD?



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Unknown Speaker 0:11 Welcome Welcome you are listening to the mushroom revival podcast. This is your host Alex dore, and we are absolutely obsessed with the wonderful, wacky, mysterious world of mushrooms and fungi. We bring on guests and experts from all around this globe to geek out with us and go down this rabbit hole to form a deeper relationship with mushrooms and fungi. So today we have Lauren Myers to talk about psychedelics, specifically psilocybin and the military and and veterans and healing work and that aspect. So Lauren, how you doing? Doing great. Thanks for having me. Where are you tuning in from? I live in California. Well, West coaster. Nice, awesome. And who are you? What are you up to? Yeah, so my background is that I'm a veteran, and definitely came into the world of psychedelics and psilocybin, kind of by accident. Unknown Speaker 1:10 My background is a pilot in the airforce. My husband was a Navy SEAL. So I've been both a military spouse and someone serving in combat, and Unknown Speaker 1:21 spent 21 years in the Air Force, and also have two little girls so kind of jumped around between different roles in my life, and eventually settled in this place working with an organization called vets. It's a nonprofit where we serve veterans, specifically from the Special Operations community, helping them to utilize psychedelic therapy for treatment. Unknown Speaker 1:46 And how did you go from Unknown Speaker 1:50 being a pilot to getting into mushrooms, it's a psychedelic. Unknown Speaker 1:55 So a lot of it came through my husband's struggles. He served for 13 years as a seal. And once he was out for about a couple years, he really started struggling with post traumatic stress. He also had traumatic brain injury dealt with all the different, you know, symptoms that come with that. And so we were desperately searching for a solution. And he tried everything he wanted help. And he you know, he did inpatient treatments, he tried all the different pharmaceuticals. He tried other types of you know, EMDR and you know, you name it, he tried it brain clinics, getting spun around and gyros, things, you know, just he tried everything. And nothing worked, nothing stuck, like he would be okay for a little bit, but then he'd be right back into the lowest of lows. And Unknown Speaker 2:44 a friend of his reached out to see how he was doing. And thankfully, my husband was very honest with him and told him that he was struggling. And so that was when we first heard about psychedelics and the potential for helping with Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic brain injury. And so my husband did go and participate in that psychedelic experience. And it was like, everything changed for him overnight. I saw the guy that I met in 1995. You know, we've been married for over 20 years. And Unknown Speaker 3:13 when he smiled, nothing even touched his eyes anymore. I could see how much he was suffering. And so that's how we initially found psychedelics. And then I've just kind of expanded my work in it from there. Unknown Speaker 3:24 You know, I just watched Have you seen the movie? American Sniper? Yes, ever. Chris Powell is actually a good friend of ours. Oh, so Well, he's sorry. I just watched it recently. And there's a there's a scene in there, which just shows how he was suffering. And there's a scene where he was like, watching the TV and the camera pans and the TV's just off. And he's just sitting on the couch just watching it turned off TV. And Unknown Speaker 3:55 I'm sure it's different person to person, but is kind of the experience generally that it's this Unknown Speaker 4:04 you know, turns you kind of into a zombie in a way. I don't think it's so much a zombie. But I think the bad hurts so badly that they start pushing those bad feelings down, but you can't push away the bad without also pushing away the good. And so that just makes him really numb. And Unknown Speaker 4:26 yeah, it's I would say that's a pretty common experience across the board. Because they just don't want to feel like they feel anymore. And when you push anything down, you're gonna push it all away. And so yeah, they just are kind of walking through. Not really, they're just surviving. They're not really living, you know, and I think that's pretty common. Unknown Speaker 4:46 And it was reading that vets are four times as likely compared to the average person to commit suicide and what I know You listed a lot of different treat potential treatment modality Unknown Speaker 5:00 Liddy's, Unknown Speaker 5:01 are those all? Is it funded by by the military? Is there post Unknown Speaker 5:08 support for these vets? Or is it? I mean, what does that look like? Yes. So the the most immediate, like crisis focused support would be the Veterans Crisis Line that's hosted by the VA, that's something that they can reach just by dialing 988 and hitting one. So they do have kind of that immediate support. And if the veteran has gotten themselves enrolled in the VA system, then they do have access to those different therapies. So my husband did do, you know, inpatient treatments through the VA, he did do the different talk therapies and EMDR, and the different pharma schools, so those, those resources are there for them. But the VA is a really big entity, and it can be kind of tough to navigate. So it helps to have somebody advocating for them to get them into those services. Unknown Speaker 5:58 Yeah, what, um, Unknown Speaker 6:01 in your experience, what is the most common Unknown Speaker 6:05 traumas that these vets deal with? Is it you know, I only have experienced through movies and TV shows and things like that, but it seems like I've, you know, I've seen people struggling with like, the some of the ethics of things that they've done, or seeing their loved ones or, Unknown Speaker 6:25 you know, colleagues being killed in service or badly injured, and just like replaying those images over and over or coming home and thinking, you know, because the commercials like for the Navy SEALs, they look great. They look super exciting. You think you're doing a good thing, and maybe you're 18 and you're young and you're zealous, you're starry eyed and you think you're supporting your country, and then you come back. So you come back home, you know, like Rambo, that movie is like, you come back home? And yeah, you don't really have the support you need. And then you see tons of, you know, homeless vets with science, then then there's just kind of you come back home, and they kind of dropped you in a way. So I'm sure it totally depends on each person. But what what do you see is kind of the common, Unknown Speaker 7:14 the common things that kind of eat up. That's yeah, and so working specifically, in the Special Operations community, that's where the majority of my experience comes from. Unknown Speaker 7:25 I would say, the most common struggle that I see is this kind of loss of brotherhood. So they have been in this high performing elite unit working like so cohesively, they hardly even have to talk to each other to know what they need to do to support each other to keep each other alive, you know, they've always got their buddies back. And they have that for their entire career just about, and then they get out of the military. And I don't think they're necessarily prepared for expecting that visceral loss of that brotherhood. And I think that's probably one of the biggest things because they feel so lonely. So while they may feel like they don't have support, they might actually have it there. But just not having that unit around them, that that group of brothers around them can be such a challenge. Unknown Speaker 8:11 Loneliness and mourning, the loss of that just is a huge, huge roadblock for them. Unknown Speaker 8:17 I think also, like, they loved what they did, and they did, you know, they were serving their country to their best ability, and then, you know, they come back, and it's, it's a different pace of life, you know, living, taking care of kids and driving to school and versus like, you know, driving through a combat zone, it's a totally different experience. And so, there's this adjustment to not having that adrenaline and that hyper vigilance all the time. And it's hard to turn that off when they come back. And so they start to see, you know, they're always looking for things that maybe aren't necessarily there, because it's just hard to get rid of that hyper vigilance all the time. So yeah, there's just a lot of those different factors that play into it. Unknown Speaker 8:59 They did see a lot of traumatic things, but they didn't necessarily feel traumatized at the time. And so they also don't have time to feel traumatized at the time, right? So because they're in the middle of combat and fighting and things like that. And so, I'm sure you're very familiar with the book, The Body Keeps the Score, you know, they don't process that trauma, it they just push it down, they compartmentalize it, they keep doing their job, and eventually, all of those things that they haven't taken, the time to address and process is going to come to the surface and that's what we're seeing a lot of Unknown Speaker 9:32 what was Unknown Speaker 9:34 it seems like your husband had a lot harder time than you but I'm sure it wasn't easy for you as well. What What was your experience like coming back home and, and processing that? Well, my job was very different as a pilot, I flew cargo Air aircraft. So while I was flying in a combat zone, I wasn't actually out there with a gun. I was taking the guys there, you know, or the women there into the combat zone. So my trauma was more around Unknown Speaker 10:00 Tip, you know, being really scared for my life flying in the face, I still have dreams about flying into Baghdad the very first time and just over the country and just seeing the fires through the clouds. And I'm just like, I'm literally descending into hell, that's what it felt like, you know, different things with Unknown Speaker 10:18 near accidents with aircraft and things like that. And also, just being a woman in the military, especially in the late 90s, early 2000s. Unknown Speaker 10:27 has its own stuff that comes with it. So you know, it's a very different thing that I handled through the military. But also, I think a lot of my trauma comes from Unknown Speaker 10:40 supporting him through his. And not only that, but just, you know, his deployment, we got married, and he deployed a week later, for eight months. Yeah. And, you know, so there's a lot and we dealt with a lot of death in our community, we have been to so many funerals, and so supporting the other spouses and helping with the kids, and there's just a lot of trauma that comes along with just being a spouse in this in this community, too. Unknown Speaker 11:06 And is there much support for spouses and kids in you know, I'm sure, it would be incredibly hard to be a spouse for a partner that has turned off both good and bad. And, and also a kid of having a parent that's, Unknown Speaker 11:27 you know, sometimes not physically there for eight months. So then when they come back, they're, they're physically there, but not there. Yeah. Yeah. And, and so is there much support for families in that in that? Unknown Speaker 11:41 That system. Unknown Speaker 11:44 So the VA does have like a caregiver program. I went to one meeting once. And I didn't love it. So I didn't go back. So it did feel very lonely, because I think the other thing, and now we've been kind of in this community for a while now, but I would say there's been kind of this evolution in the last five to 10 years before people didn't talk about their mental health struggles, people didn't want to, like admit to that kind of thing. And so I think a lot of us were just kind of suffering through this, individually, even though there's so many other people going through it at the same time, I can visibly see a shift now, where more people are talking about their struggles, how they're healing, how they're getting better. And then that's also bringing the spouse community together as well. So there is starting to be more support for that now. Unknown Speaker 12:33 And what is vets capital D. TS. So yeah, that's our nonprofit organizations. Its stands for veterans exploring treatment solutions. And we are focused, our mission is ending veteran suicide. And we provide research resources and advocacy for psychedelic therapy specifically for the Special Operations community and their families. Unknown Speaker 13:00 I'm just curious about Unknown Speaker 13:03 the legality around psychedelics and the military. I have a friend in, in law enforcement, and he actually met at an Ayahuasca ceremony before he went into law enforcement, which is crazy. And then just watching his journey through that. And then we went back and did it again. Because he went through some crazy experiences of Unknown Speaker 13:27 seeing a lot of dead bodies and seeing a lot of crazy experiences. Unknown Speaker 13:33 I don't even want to share on on this recording all the all the things that he's told me, but like really brutal things, that even just one of the 50 things that he's told me what would traumatize someone for life. And he's like, I did dealt with 50 of those in a four month period, you know? Unknown Speaker 13:52 And so, yeah, he went through it in that in those ceremonies, for sure. But he's like, Yeah, I had to, like people ask me where I was going. And he was like, oh, yeah, we're just going to see Machu Picchu or just on on a little vacation. And he couldn't, he couldn't tell anyone, even though you know, it's it's technically legal in Peru, just just like, I'm not, I'm not going to even touch on that. And he has to act kind of dumb. Unknown Speaker 14:19 Like, he's never heard of those things. And he's like, Yeah, I like I plant that seed. It's kind of a toxic, it can it can. It can be a toxic community in where he works, because no one no one wants to face with their mental health and they keep kind of pushing it down. And it can it can turn into kind of a high school locker room, in a sense and he's like, I just got to plant the seeds of meditation is cool and these things you know, healing is cool and you should do it and Unknown Speaker 14:50 so yeah, have like how? Unknown Speaker 14:53 But the two part question to that is how what's the legality around people in the military? Unknown Speaker 15:00 Using something that is still federally illegal, and then to what is the culture around that? Unknown Speaker 15:07 You said it's changing of talking about mental health, but what's the what's the attitude around using psychedelics for, for mental health and healing? Yeah, so Unknown Speaker 15:20 in the military, you can't do any of those things, even if you go to a country where it's legal. So you know, back in the day, when people wanted to go to the Netherlands, they still couldn't go to the, you know, half the pot brownies or whatever, that's still not allowed, right. And part of that is because you typically will carry a security clearance. And so they don't want you to be utilizing those dohsa substances. Unknown Speaker 15:44 As far as the culture within the active duty side, I would say, it's not so much a high school locker room situation and more like if you raise your hand and say, I need help, you run the risk of losing your job completely, because they don't know if you can handle the job. And so I think there's just people are actually afraid to say anything, because they don't want to get pulled off. But that even, it's not even a mental health thing to people wouldn't want to say that they were injured or sick, because they don't want to get pulled from the job as a pilot, I wouldn't go to the doctor till I was on death's doorstep, because I didn't want to stop flying. And so there's just I think that's just kind of a pervasive Unknown Speaker 16:24 situation across the board, whether it's mental health or physical health. So it's sent that I remember, sorry to cut you off. But I remember, like a scene in a movie way, like when I watched him when I was a kid, and I think it was a pilot in a war and something about them, not wanting to go and then claiming insanity to get out of it. And the doctor was like, Well, if you're, if you're aware enough to claim insanity, then you're sane enough to fly, or something like that. I can't remember what it was from, but it was this thing is like, catch 22 of, you know, Unknown Speaker 17:04 you're gonna fly no matter what, you know. Unknown Speaker 17:07 Yeah, keep going. Sorry. Little, little side tangent. Unknown Speaker 17:12 Yeah, so active duty that just this that's not available to them. And I just try to remember the second part of your question. As far as like, what was the culture around it? Yeah, yeah. So what I'm seeing now, though, is in the retired community, that people who are no longer in the military, as they're seeing these people who are willing to speak up and say, I was suffering, and then I utilized psychedelic therapy and now I'm doing so much better or I'm on the path to healing, the more that people share their story, the more that we're able to remove the stigma from it. And so then the more people are willing to listen and raise their hands to so I'm definitely seeing a shift on that. Unknown Speaker 17:54 Now as far as the back to the active duty question there is a bill that's been proposed a bipartisan bill to include active duty in psychedelic therapy research. So they there's two very opposite representatives that that put this bill forward. Unknown Speaker 18:12 But they see the need and how it can be beneficial for active duty I think it's still a ways off and I don't there's going to be a lot of hoops to jump through for that but I'm I'm hopeful that the fact that this is even being considered means that there's something like this potentially off in the future. So yeah, I was actually just talking to someone and I'll leave names and stuff out because I don't know how Unknown Speaker 18:37 Yeah, I don't anyways, the whole concept was Unknown Speaker 18:42 he was working with a branch of government and military to to to act actually specifically with pilots to use things like binary old beats, I don't know if you've heard of it like certain wavelengths and basically creating altered states in people without psychedelics and legal legal altered states in people to create like a pod or a box that you step into. Unknown Speaker 19:10 Because a lot of pilots and things they have to operate on three hours asleep and you know, Unknown Speaker 19:15 do all these crazy things on Unknown Speaker 19:19 when your body is on edge you know and and so if you can get 20 minutes to reset and and reset your parasympathetic nervous system and Unknown Speaker 19:33 and process and just like a 20 minute window or a 30 minute window and sometimes that's all you have, right? And so creating this like box that has binaural beats and all these all these different things all together. I thought that was pretty cool and might be something that we'll see up in before things Unknown Speaker 19:56 turn federally legal if if that ever happened. Unknown Speaker 20:00 But, yeah, well, and that's one of our big focuses too, is the support post psychedelic treatment. Because you know, you can't just do this medicine and then be good to go, right? It's gonna take a lot of work and integration. And so we focus also on a lot of tools to support that integration. And also for people who haven't, like a lot of spouses have not had this experience. So breathwork, meditation, yoga, Kundalini Yoga, mindfulness series, we do a lot of these different things, because there's so much benefit to it, whether or not you've, you've had the experience of psychedelics. Unknown Speaker 20:36 So how does your nonprofit work? If technically, what you're doing is skirting? Actually, no, we don't start anything. We do it all by the book, we will only fund someone will receive a grant if they're receiving treatment in a country where it's legal. So typically, our veterans are going to Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, things like that. We do not fund anything within the US. Because I don't want to we don't want to cross any lines. And it's okay, because they're retired out of the military. Yes, God, yeah. Yeah. So if they were active, you couldn't, we cannot find them. Got it. Got it. Got it. Okay. But that's also why yes, and we do spend a lot of time advocating on Capitol Hill for that reason, because right now, these veterans who served their country have to leave the country to get these meaningful treatments that are actually effective. And we feel that people should be able to get that treatment here, you know, in the country, that they for the country that they served. And so that's why we spend a lot of time advocating. So hopefully, as we start getting these things passed through for veterans, we can start expanding that, you know, along with the bill for active duty, and then the general population as well. Unknown Speaker 21:53 And I'm guessing none of the money is coming from the government. It's just no, it's fishy Ares. Yeah, yeah. Which is also interesting. Unknown Speaker 22:05 So I mean, good for you that, yeah, you're you're finding a way to help people that are suffering. And it's unfortunate that it has to be in a way that Unknown Speaker 22:19 is one in another country, it's with other people's money, it's, you know, it's in a way that, but at the end result is people are getting help. Unknown Speaker 22:30 I am curious, I did have a ceremony with someone who was Unknown Speaker 22:35 a war vet in the past and in sometimes in the middle of of ceremonies, you know, he would start screaming and get transported back to active duty and, you know, would yell out things like, oh, there's a bomb, and, you know, get down there, you shoot it, things like that, and would would literally be like transported back into the battlefield. And, and he would think he was there, right? And, you know, luckily, one of the people who was, Unknown Speaker 23:07 you know, like, mediating, was also a vet, Unknown Speaker 23:12 not a US vet, another country, but had been inactive war zones in the past. So he was like, Hey, dude, I was on the other side. But I know what you're going through. And Unknown Speaker 23:25 I can't even imagine if he wasn't there. Like, I don't think he would have gotten the best support, because no one, you know, I mean, like, they could hold your hand and be there. And, and but I don't think there would be as strong of a connection. So I'm just curious, is it hard to find, I'm sure it is hard to find people who are Unknown Speaker 23:49 facilitators or Unknown Speaker 23:53 you know, that that have any experience in the military or veteran is that pretty hard or impossible to find? Um, Unknown Speaker 24:03 I think what we have done is found very specific facilitators and providers who then we could work directly with, and vet their process and make sure that they're going to be able to provide the right kind of support. We are also in the process of building out a peer support program from our organization so that we can have a veteran on site for the different retreats to support those as well. So we've been very careful and where we send people we don't, or we don't actually send people but we have facilitators that we work with, that you can choose who they want to go to. Unknown Speaker 24:38 And we just, you know, hopefully they they pick something that we've vetted, and that way we know that they're going to be able to have the support that they need. Right, right. And what out of, you know, all the psychedelics I know, I saw on your site, a bunch of things from ketamine to psilocybin, obviously, what which one Unknown Speaker 25:00 So you're most interested in right now, which what has shown the best research in terms of PTSD recovery? Unknown Speaker 25:10 Which ones are the easiest to work with in terms of, you know, quote unquote, ascending people and things like that? Yeah, sure. So the two medicines that we primarily work or have people utilize is psilocybin. And I begin, I began is where we're spending a lot of our time researching. We actually just completed a study with a doctor from Stanford, where they saw incredible, incredible healing. Unknown Speaker 25:39 But that just kind of blew all the traditional methods out of the water. Yeah, specifically helping with traumatic brain injury. So those are the two primary ones that we're focused on. And for Unknown Speaker 25:51 I'm guessing for psilocybin Mexico, or Yeah, both, both in Mexico typically. Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. And occasionally, Costa Rica, just kind of depends for psilocybin. Unknown Speaker 26:05 And psilocybin, we find, typically, the spouses are choosing to go to those retreats. Unknown Speaker 26:11 We have a provider that we work with, that has just a really beautiful ceremony that she does for typically a small group of women and we run those every few months for them, or I shouldn't say we run them, but the facilitator runs them for them. Yeah, beautiful. That's awesome. Unknown Speaker 26:31 I Ibogaine seems intense. It's, it's one thing that I, like, I'll wave will will, you know, but I, I'm good. Yeah, I, Unknown Speaker 26:45 I've done both, and really a very different experience. Unknown Speaker 26:50 You know, psilocybin. For me, my first psilocybin experience was incredibly intense, incredibly, physically difficult, I was having a very somatic release, I was purging like, it was not your common psilocybin experience. The other women were like, This is so beautiful. Unknown Speaker 27:08 I was like, in a full body crab was terrible. But afterwards, I felt so connected to the world around me to the people around me, it just was, I was left in this very beautiful state of connection, I became was incredibly intense, as you said, and it's so much longer, you know, you're it's in your system, you're experiencing the effects of it for 24 to 36 hours, it's in your system for a good 72 You're losing, you don't have great muscle function. And Unknown Speaker 27:37 it's really, that that's probably the most challenging part is how long it is. But I came out of that feeling very connected to myself. So it's just a very different experience, I think, because it is so focused on like, the root of the problems and you know, just you're getting so it's an internal journey very much. So, yeah, it's a lot though. It's definitely I don't, you can keep this person anonymous if you want. But who, who do you work with? Or what? What, um, I think I do need to keep that anonymous. Unknown Speaker 28:14 Great. I had a feeling but you know, Unknown Speaker 28:19 what? Well, because I know a couple of couple of women there that that host retreats. So I didn't know if it was them. But I assumed that you would want to keep them anonymous, but Unknown Speaker 28:31 that's cool. Unknown Speaker 28:33 And what about Ibogaine? What was your experience with that? Unknown Speaker 28:38 Um, that one was very, very intense, but it was, I've had other multiple or have had multiple medicine experiences prior to IBM. So this is probably my fourth or so like, big medicine journey that I've experienced. And I went into it very differently. The first time I felt like I was in crisis. This time, I went in wanting to know my purpose, wanting to work with the medicine. And I felt like that was really important because this medicine is so strong, I knew I wasn't going to be able to resist and fight and hold it off. And so I tried to like, ask the medicine for help. And it really it coached me through the process. The medicine didn't you know, as far as because I was like, I don't want to get sick. Unknown Speaker 29:23 And so the medicine helped me and I really didn't get until I didn't purge it all during the night. I had a lot of very intense, frustrating visions. But I realized afterwards that it was all about me releasing control, so that I could heal from this one main trauma I've been trying to heal from for a long time. And in the morning, you know, I've been in, you know, very intense visions throughout the night, and I was kind of coming out of it. And I felt this intense pain in my heart. And I thought, oh, no, it's the sit like, this is my heart giving out and then I heard the medicine say you know what to do, and it was Unknown Speaker 30:00 Like, Oh, I don't want to purge. But I knew that it was finally my choice to release control to release this trauma. And so I purged, and the pain immediately went away. And I know, finally that I have released and healed from that trauma. And so I think it took that long acting medicine to really just kick my butt all night long, and be able to release that control I've been holding on to for so long, in order to heal from the that particular trauma. So Unknown Speaker 30:32 it was, it's very different. It was, yeah, you notice the actual felt experience was so different. I felt like I was in a virtual reality worlds. But I did see like the psilocybin image that from my previous journeys came in to check on me during that time, and then went back out. Oh, that's cool. Yeah, really cool. Just to kind of see how the medicines still do work together. Unknown Speaker 30:55 Yeah, I really like that perspective shift that you were talking about, of, Unknown Speaker 31:03 kind of not using, not using psilocybin as like a magic pill, but working with it. And I think that perspective, shift is really important, especially for integration, like you were talking about before of not going in and thinking that this is just going to be a cure all. Like, you have to actively work with it in your day to day life as well. And so after that experience, when you go home, you got to continue, right. And it's not like, one night, I'm going to you know, fix my stuff, some things are one night and you have a you know, that healing or whatever, but certain things, it's like, okay, go home, and you need to start meditating. And for the rest of your life, like don't stop or you need to change your eating habits, like the Hot Pockets is not going to cut it. Like if you want to feel good, you got to change that, or whatever it is. And Unknown Speaker 31:59 yeah, it's easy to like jump from ceremony to ceremony. And as psychedelics are getting more popular, I see. I did it in the past, I'm guilty of it. Unknown Speaker 32:09 And it's, it's, it's way harder to actually integrate the lessons and the good habits and things like that. So I'm happy to hear that you had that. That relationship switch with the medicine and that's really cool. Yeah. So congrats. On that sauce. Yeah, yeah, I think it made it made all the difference. approaching it like that and wanting to partner with the medicine. Unknown Speaker 32:36 Do you ever think Unknown Speaker 32:39 if you could imagine a time where certain psychedelics were legalized in the United States were? Unknown Speaker 32:50 Federally, do you think there would be Unknown Speaker 32:54 an implementation to where, you know, in training, they emphasize, hey, you need to work on your mental health before you even go in to active duty or, you know, and then during of Unknown Speaker 33:09 saying, you know, hey, right in the middle, like, you just had a crazy week deployment somewhere, whatever the right wording is, you know, you need to take this weekend to, to integrate that experience. And then more more of an active role afterwards. I know, I know that the emphasis is on afterwards, because you can legally kind of do it. But do you think there will be ever a time like, where it would be implemented before and during? Yeah, I hope so. That would be amazing. Unknown Speaker 33:46 I do think though, there's something you know, right? We could do right now like to equip them with one knowing it's okay to struggle with mental health issues. And here's some tools here's here's a daily breathwork practice, you can implement, here's a meditation practice, like an offer these resources right from the beginning. I think that could solve a lot of problems. I was having a conversation with someone who's a counselor, and she's like, what if we just could Teflon them before they go into combat with with these techniques and tools? And I thought, yeah, that would be brilliant, you know, and then maybe they don't even need psychedelics, because they know like, oh, I can process this very stressful situation. I'm going to sit down and just cry for five minutes and I'm can get right back to it. You know, and I think if they knew those things going in, they would make a world of difference for sure. Unknown Speaker 34:33 Yeah. I, I routinely talk to my my friend who's in law enforcement about it as well. And just, you know, he's, he's expressed there's, there's certain people on his force that he's, he's very worried about, you know, and they don't, they don't do any of those things. And he's like, I don't Unknown Speaker 34:54 Yeah, like it's, it's almost a necessity to if you Unknown Speaker 35:00 You know, are carrying a gun and you have someone's life? Pretty much in your hands like you, you have to do that right? Or, or you can get into some, like really dangerous situations that can be avoided. If and it Yeah, it's a big responsibility and like, there's so there's, it's such, it's so stressful and high Unknown Speaker 35:23 stimulus and to be able to have tools to Unknown Speaker 35:29 be a good person and really high stressful situations, I think is paramount to be an integral person, right? Which is easier said than done. I've never done it. I don't know what it's like, but it's easier for me to sit here and say it right. It's like, be a good person breathe, you know. Right. Unknown Speaker 35:49 But, but yeah, I think it's really important. I would like to see it, hopefully, like you're saying things are changing in terms of like, Unknown Speaker 36:00 you know, younger generations being more Unknown Speaker 36:04 invested in mental health. So hopefully, we see that change. And we don't have to send that to other countries. And we could just locally and have more trained facilitators that know Unknown Speaker 36:17 what it's like to be enough Get active duty military situations and things like that. Unknown Speaker 36:24 Second question. Unknown Speaker 36:27 On along the same line, a little more philosophical, you don't have to have an answer. I don't really have an answer. But do you? Do you think it would ever be possible to imagine a world so full of healing that we wouldn't have a need for war in the first place? Would that be amazing? That would be amazing. I, I hope I can hope, you know, I think we all can hope. And I think as more people. Again, I think it comes down to people sharing their stories of how much this is helping. Unknown Speaker 36:59 But I think a lot of people would have to be invested in that process across the globe, in order for that to write to reality, but maybe that's a possibility in the in the future, maybe for our children's children. I don't know. Did you see Oppenheimer? I don't just just rattling off. Unknown Speaker 37:14 Oh, it's good. It's good. Well, okay. Well, I mean, one of Do you know, kind of the main premise of it? I think so. Yeah. Unknown Speaker 37:26 I mean, a big part of the movie was, was the scientist grappling with the ethics around creating an atomic bomb, right. And it's an it's, it's kind of like a necessary evil, in a way, and it's like, what I'm doing is evil. But um, if I don't, then Hitler is going to take over the world and do more evil. Right. So it's this weird, ethical conundrum where it's like, is war. Okay, in that rare situation? I don't know. And is us creating this weapon of mass destruction, okay, in this situation? Well, no. But what's, what happens when if we don't? Right, right. And it's kind of this like, weird ethical debate where it's, it's like the train analogy that in me was just thinking, Yeah, it's like, do we kill the train? Yeah, it's like, it's so hard, you know. And I would like to think I would love to imagine a world where everyone was so healed that we wouldn't need it. But Unknown Speaker 38:39 another TV show there that I can't remember what it's called. But it was about this, like really famous serial killer who ate people. And it was summer, Dahmer. Yeah. Did you see that? At Unknown Speaker 38:52 the end? It was like, I was like, Can he be helped, right? Or is there something in his brain where it's like, yeah, he's literally on and you can't help him. And there's certain people in the world that are that much of a psychopath where, no matter they can eat 100 grams of mushrooms a day? And there's no, no getting to them. Right. And if you're, Unknown Speaker 39:18 I don't know. There's no answer to I just, it's a philosophical rabbit hole that will never Unknown Speaker 39:25 I'm sure people have been thinking this since the beginning of time. But I would love to think of a world that we wouldn't need to kill each other. Yeah, I mean, that would be incredible. You know. Unknown Speaker 39:39 So let's, I know you've, you've talked a lot about it's really hard in so many different aspects. But what if you would pick one of the hardest things for you in terms of your whole you know, being deployed and coming back home? What and working with these vets? What What's the hardest part of your journey? Unknown Speaker 40:00 I think for me personally, the hardest part was Unknown Speaker 40:04 when my husband Unknown Speaker 40:07 left to go to his medicine, his psychedelic treatment. And I was just, I just kept thinking, if he can just get better, we'll be okay. If you can just get better, we'll be okay. And I thought it was all about him. And he came back, and he was better. And I could see it, and I could feel it. And I didn't have to carry his trauma, his anxiety, his triggers, I didn't have to, so that there was a space open in me that the left room for all of my own trauma to come to the surface. And I wasn't prepared for that. Unknown Speaker 40:39 So I spend a lot of my time talking to the other partners about this, because I, I tell them my cautionary tale of how we basically switched places overnight, I started binge drinking, you know, I was angry and bitter and resentful. And I like moved out of the bedroom. And I was just I was Unknown Speaker 40:59 I was shattered. And it was awful. And so I just said, I'm glad you are great. But I am not, I'm not doing well. And so I started looking for my own medicine healing. And thankfully, I was able to go to a retreat about a month after him. And that was the best thing that could have ever happened that month was terrible. But that medicine treatment was able allowed me to kind of heal that, that wound that opened up in me. And we were able to speak the same language and support each other on the healing journey. And so I find now we're three and a half years into this now, it's been 20 since 2020. Unknown Speaker 41:40 And we really do, you know, support like, hey, you need time to meditate, you know, I've got this right now you go ahead and do that, or, Hey, I've got this breathwork session you want to join, you know, so there's this kind of teamwork approach now, and we speak the same language and we understand what the other is feeling. And we get it like, it doesn't sound crazy and woowoo to us anymore, you know, we understand and so we're able to support each other through that. So I would say that it was just that time when he was good, and I was not and it just I was nose diving really fast. So I can't even imagine as well with kids. Where I've heard this from so many parents, I've never had kids myself, but just Unknown Speaker 42:21 you, you kind of have to push down your shit. In order to kind of be a little bit of a martyr to them, you're kind of at service to them at all times. And no matter how little sleep you get no matter your your shit that you're dealing with teen years. Yeah. Unknown Speaker 42:41 You know, it ranges Parent to Parent on how well they they deal with that. And, you know, we're all not perfect, but Unknown Speaker 42:51 how do I phrase this question? Unknown Speaker 42:54 I didn't write it down. This is a spontaneous question. So Unknown Speaker 43:00 what, what has been Unknown Speaker 43:04 for you kind of the most, on a day to day basis for both you and your husband? Unknown Speaker 43:11 Both showing up for yourselves showing up to your spouse and then also your kids what has been kind of the the most consistent day to day Unknown Speaker 43:24 lessons that you keep bringing up like on a daily basis of, you know, I gotta do meditation every day, or I got it. If it's a mantra philosophy, you're like, what? What's your kind of your rock, so to speak? I don't know if that question makes sense. Yeah. Um Unknown Speaker 43:45 I think for me Unknown Speaker 43:49 a couple things run through my head, it's okay to not be okay. And this journey is not about feeling better, but getting better at feeling. And so I really, that has totally changed how I relate to the people in my family, my husband and my children. You know, I don't tell my kids stop crying, I let them feel it, I let them feel their feelings. You know, we work on CO regulation, we debrief together, they know that it's okay to not be okay and you don't have to just like stop crying because I said so kind of thing. Unknown Speaker 44:23 And just to see my husband, you know, when he is facing a stressful situation, he'll allow himself to feel what he needs to feel and, and not feel any shame in that knowing that it's okay to not be okay. And that he can work through that and then and then come out on the other side. So I think those are kind of the main things that have really impacted our healing journey as a family. Unknown Speaker 44:46 I love that that is so important and I hope more families are able to hold space for that Unknown Speaker 44:55 and not bottle it down because Unknown Speaker 44:59 it will always Unknown Speaker 45:00 is build up and the pressure has to release some way or another. Yeah, sometime. Yes. Inevitable. So yes. Unknown Speaker 45:08 Yeah. If you and the whole vets team had unlimited team money, resources, time you name it, what would you do? And why? Unknown Speaker 45:22 Um, gosh, that's a long list. I think, while we would work really, really? Yeah, let's get this all legalized for everybody, right, like, let's get it legalized so people can actually get the treatment they need here in their home country. And then just to be able to provide that for everyone, you know, and then also, I think so important, the resources afterwards, you know, to be able to have like, group integration calls community is so so important. So building community for people, whether that's on, you know, online platforms, which is what we primarily use now, or even, you know, at the different locations where we have a lot of people concentrated. So just allowing people to connect with each other, because I come back to that main struggle that we see with so many guys is that loss of brotherhood. So being able to bring people together regularly, I think would be such a gift. So I think those three things would be huge for us. Awesome. Well, I'm, I'm proud of you for doing your healing work. I'm proud of your husband, and everybody that you're work with, that you work with, to Unknown Speaker 46:22 want to heal and want to get better. And I'm just, I'm happy that there's resources for people that are really struggling. And I think it's important work, and I want you to continue it. So thank you for doing that. Where can people follow your work? If they're a vet, and they're listening? How can they get help? If they want it? And if people want to donate or or support in any ways? Where can people go? Yeah, our website is vet solutions.org, they can apply for healing grants there, they can donate there, all the information is there. So that would be the best resource and they can also follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn veteran solutions. Unknown Speaker 47:04 Amazing. Any any final words before we break? Unknown Speaker 47:09 I should have thought of something Unknown Speaker 47:14 similar, socials, go to the website. And this has been a great conversation. Unknown Speaker 47:21 And I think it's really important to feel your fields, everyone. And you know, thanks, Lauren, for coming on. And thank you everyone for for tuning in and tuning in for another episode, wherever you're tuning in from from around the world. And hopefully that you learn something in this episode or another episode. And if you like the show, and you want to Unknown Speaker 47:47 help support the show to continue leaving a review goes along way. We don't have a Patreon or any way that you can directly support the show monetarily. But we do have a brand mushroom revival. We have a line of functional mushroom products from gummies capsules, powders, tinctures that you can get for yourself or a friend family. We have a special VIP code just for listeners of the show. Unknown Speaker 48:13 And the code is pod treat. And it's a we changed the code all the time. So it's a surprise discount, you get to see what it is. If you want some free resources, we have tons on the website as well from blog posts, we got recipe books, we have microdosing guides, we have a bunch of stuff on there that you could check out and including my new book that was published and that's on there as well. If you want a little coffee table book, beautiful art in there, great for beginners. And other than that, I hope everyone has a blessed rest of their day. Much love and maybe spores be with you. Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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