See You On The Other Side

64 | Let's Chat...Our Most Challenging Interview Yet

September 25, 2023 Leah & Christine Season 2 Episode 64
See You On The Other Side
64 | Let's Chat...Our Most Challenging Interview Yet
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We're BACK...and just a little bit on one so we had to let off some steam. Just when we thought we had an enlightening discussion lined up with a recovery center's CEO, the interview took an unexpected turn. This episode takes you behind the scenes of our most contentious interview yet, revealing the power dynamics at play and the lessons we learned about advocating for ourselves. We pull back the curtain on a conversation that reminded us, in real-time, why it's so important to stand our ground, especially when it comes to discussing topics as vital as substance abuse, mental health, and trauma.

Our journey didn't stop there as we moved from one hot-button issue to another – the misunderstood use of psychedelics in recovery. There was a controversial spotlight on the use of psychedelics and the life-altering impact they had on Leah's husband's recovery journey. 

Rounding off this episode, we steer the conversation towards the value of curiosity over judgment. Drawing on our own experiences, we stress the importance of understanding different treatment options and the perils of inadequate guidance in their use. We end by reinforcing the pivotal role of personal research, maintaining curiosity, and most importantly, advocating for oneself. So, join us as we unpack the layers of a challenging interview, controversial recovery methods, and the evolving landscape of psychedelics in addiction treatment.

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Speaker 1:

And we're back.

Speaker 2:

Hello Trummies, welcome to another episode of See you on the other side. So Leah and I just recorded like pretty much a whole episode and then we realized that we weren't actually recording.

Speaker 1:

So fuck us, right, fuck me.

Speaker 2:

Fuck you.

Speaker 1:

We're fucked.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Well, it. Maybe it is kind of fitting for what we're going to talk about today. True Leah and I we had the worst interview we've ever had last two weeks ago. Was it two weeks?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that we are not going to air, but we wanted to talk to you about it because it was a learning lesson for us. And advocating for ourselves, which we are doing now. Yeah, we did not do that in the moment because we were really caught off guard. Yes, how do you feel about that?

Speaker 1:

So I think it was wild to me because the I know I already said this. I'm going to fucking repeat myself, because you guys didn't hear me say it, but they don't know that.

Speaker 2:

They don't know that I know.

Speaker 1:

So this person reached out to me through my personal email. She was what an assistant to or their PR manager for this recovery center in California. They she emailed me my personal email and if you guys don't know me that well, I don't check my email at all. I barely check texts, honestly. So if you need to get in touch with us, it's going to be through our work email and that's Christine answering that, because it's not me, promise you, it's not me, luckily, wait luckily. I don't know if it's luckily, I was like luckily luckily, because I think that this was a learning experience for sure. So luckily, I happened to check my email that day and see this email from this woman reaching out to me, and I'm like, oh, that's weird that she has my personal email. I don't know how she got that, but I'll just forward this to Christine. She can do the rest.

Speaker 2:

So, yes, this person says that they are the PR manager of this recovery center. They discovered our podcast. So I want to stress this part yes, they discovered us and seeked us out. They discovered our podcast and we're impressed with the quality and the depth of the content that we provide on addiction treatment and mental health topics and that she wanted us to. She wanted to introduce us to their CEO because we felt, or she felt, like we aligned with him, right, so I was like awesome. But he is a seasoned expert in the addiction treatment field with several decades of experience, and we were going to cover topics such as substance abuse, mental health and trauma, which I was incredibly excited for this interview, because we have never interviewed somebody who ran a recovery center, right, and you know we do talk on here a lot about addiction and to have that be like another avenue, that or tool that people have in their toolbox, so I thought would be a great interview.

Speaker 1:

And we also looked up their website and they did a lot of holistic type approaches to their recovery program. So they had breath work, meditation, EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy. They believed in getting to the root of the addiction so they were very trauma informed so it all seemed like we were all in the same team.

Speaker 2:

Well, and when we do our interviews, like we don't want people to come on and just vent about their problems or just ramble, there is like an end goal of this and we want to give you like you listen to an interview and by the end you feel hope or you feel like you've gotten a resource or a tool or some education about something.

Speaker 1:

Or maybe, if it doesn't resonate with you, it might help someone that you know. Right, you can send it to someone that you know.

Speaker 2:

Right. So, continuing my conversation with this PR person, I again, you know, said you know we would love to focus on the topic of trauma and addiction, but a lot of what we talk about is psychedelics and although there are a lot of legalities around using psychedelics, I just wanted to see what your stance was on it. So, yet again, trying to like make sure that this is the right fit, and her response was we understand and respect the evolving landscape of addiction treatment and the potential therapeutic value. Some advocate for certain psychedelics. At this time we do not incorporate psychedelic therapies into our programs. But then she talked about how they use a lot of other holistic modalities, like what you just said. So I was like great, I can't wait to talk to him, we can't wait to pick his brain, Like this is going to be a great interview, because I love doing these types of interviews and talking to experts, because we are not the experts and you know we want you guys to learn, but we are learning right along with you and I love these interviews because it does. It feels like so many of these interviews, it is integration for us to 100%. So we get really excited to learn because we are curious and and we want to learn from these experts.

Speaker 1:

You know, I was thinking too about like this is like a little side note, but we feel like every episode for us is part of our integration process, but I also feel like we learn things about other people in our lives, or someone that we come across, and something that they have relates back to an episode that we did, like an issue that they had, and we're like I haven't experienced that, but we did this interview this one time and this is what they said and it might help you, you know. So, like it's not just for us, right? Yeah, I think it's wild.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so um long story short. That was not how the interview went I don't know if you guys could tell that that's where we were going at all and it was the most contentious interview that we have ever had and it rocked Leah and I quite a bit. Yeah, and we were very unprepared for it. Um, we are not a debate podcast.

Speaker 1:

I don't even think that that was going to be a debate. I don't think that it was there was no chance for it to be a debate because there was no room for us to speak. Yeah, even my husband joked that, like when I told him what had happened and was like talking about it for days because we did, you and I talked about this for days afterwards Like what the actual fuck just happened he was like y'all should have just put him on mute and talked and that was like Next time we didn't even think of that but we were so caught off guard. Next asshole we get, I'll be sure to do that. And there were a couple of things that happened that were not necessarily our faults but like that kind of didn't really help the situation at all, yeah, so here was another problem.

Speaker 2:

Um, I was in Florida during this time, so we did a virtual interview and you guys probably know that, out of the two of us, leah is like the golden retriever friend, and I'm the black cat friend.

Speaker 1:

I don't do confrontation well.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and I don't necessarily like confrontation, but I have will advocate for myself and for people who I care about.

Speaker 1:

Well and we've said this before I shut down. When there's anger Like I don't do well with angry people Like that's when I feel the most childlike is and I crawl in my hole and I just want to die because I don't want to be here. I don't want to do this. I'm like trying to smile and put on a happy face and trying to pretend like this interview is going fine and I'm just like smiling and nodding and don't really know what to say.

Speaker 2:

And for me I struggle with boundaries with people who are really nice and I don't want to let them down. But when someone meets me with anger and aggressiveness, my fight response kicks in and so I immediately like kind of go into like fight mode and I'm so. I oftentimes have met people with aggressiveness back.

Speaker 1:

So both of us came out of this, me wishing I had spoke up more and her wishing that she had even heard half of what was yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I was in Florida and the night before the we have we have rental properties, and the night before the town where we have these houses experienced hurricane in the middle of the night. And it wasn't a bad hurricane, so nothing got damaged, everything was. It was pretty mild, so I thought the interview would be OK. But when the interview came about, like halfway through, I had some connection issues and so I was in and out and then I couldn't hear. But they could see me and so, like Leah thought I was there but I wasn't, because you were just like smiling and nodding.

Speaker 1:

I didn't realize.

Speaker 2:

You couldn't hear what was being said yeah, I was like, I was like don't freak out, Don't freak out, don't freak out.

Speaker 1:

I'm like, ok, she's smiling, I should be smiling. All right, if Christine's not like going into Feral Cat, maybe.

Speaker 2:

I'm just like feeling defensive for no reason I know and I'm really kicking myself that my connection was bad because I would have so gone into Feral Cat mode. But what I do want to say is my fiance, tony, was helping me set up before the interview started and this person was on the other end and he said right away he noticed his aggressiveness. And when I say aggressiveness, it was chomping on gum while we're talking. It was getting phone, not putting his phone on silent and getting phone calls and responding to text messages and when things got contentious, like leaning all the way forward into the computer and like pointing his finger at us, it was not a safe environment.

Speaker 1:

We just didn't put two and two together until we got pretty deep into the conversation and there were like little red flags all along the way, bits and pieces along the way, because literally within the first few minutes he said something about Jason and his sobriety, and very judgmental.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, can I say something too? Is I get really excited to have men on because we do have male listeners and I want to have that perspective too. Yeah, but it was a conversation and when I say safety, it's not like I know. It was a virtual interview, so it's not a physical he was not a physical threat, but it was not a safe space to have a conversation and I think that's really disappointing that like it happened with a man and it was like aggressiveness and not letting us speak and not like and someone in the space that, like we thought we were on the same team in Like someone who's in a recovery field. And an expert, and so I think, too, like how disappointing that you're an expert in this space and that's how you talk to people, whether you agree with them or not, it doesn't even matter.

Speaker 1:

I'm gonna say something and it's gonna sound mean maybe it's not, but like Doubted, is he an expert, because I don't think he was an expert. I think he just has 20 years of sobriety under his belt and opened a treatment center.

Speaker 2:

He's not a therapist.

Speaker 1:

He's not a psychiatrist, he's not a specialist. He literally just is sober. That doesn't make him an expert in any way, more than we're mushroom experts we're not. You should have said that.

Speaker 2:

If I was frozen-.

Speaker 1:

How much money would you have given me?

Speaker 2:

I would have given you like easily, like 20 bucks. Damn damn. You should have said that, but I didn't-. But we don't claim to be experts.

Speaker 1:

Right, right right.

Speaker 2:

But it was very much. So I know this and you know nothing. That's what it very much felt like.

Speaker 1:

Very much felt like, so let's get into it and you said like, even though you couldn't hear some of what was being said, you could see my face and neck turning red, because, if you know me, in any type of confrontation or situation where I'm feeling anxious or scared or upset, my entire face and neck turn bright, red and blotchy.

Speaker 2:

I can't hide it. You would have been a really good poker player. No, I would not, leah, it was a joke. It was a joke, I know, I know, yeah, okay, but it would have been like, oh yeah, leah's fucked her next turning red.

Speaker 1:

Yep, yep, don't believe a word. She says.

Speaker 2:

She's lying. She's breaking out of a rush. She's lying.

Speaker 1:

I do, I break out.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so you brought up Jason, let's talk about that. Okay, because you know we were excited to talk to an quote expert with addiction.

Speaker 1:

Well, I do want to say this because we didn't mention this, but I was listening to a podcast and I did bring this up to him where it was talking about how the recovery and rehab industry is really big because they depend on repeat clients.

Speaker 2:

Meaning people who will relapse.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

What was the Starbucks?

Speaker 1:

The numbers there's more rehab facility centers than there are Starbucks.

Speaker 2:

Which is fucking wild, because there are Starbucks everywhere.

Speaker 1:

Every corner. But think about that. Like the way that the business model works for a rehab center. It's the same as our healthcare system. And he was on the same page with us. Like he was just like I agree. Like it's. Like you know, it's just as bad as the healthcare system wanting you to stay sick Like they. You go to these treatment facilities and they get you sober long enough for you to go out into the world. They don't give you enough tools to stay sober and you're back because you relapsed, because your family's not in support of you, you don't have healthy coping skills. You literally just go and detox and go back into the world the same way you went in. So I really thought we were on the same page because he agreed with that statement. He was like we don't do that. Like you have a three strike policy and you're out Like if you're not going to take this serious, we don't want you in here.

Speaker 2:

So, but let's talk about. We hadn't even started recording yet and you said what did you say?

Speaker 1:

Well, cause I always ask people before we get started, like in the beginning, I'm like, okay, is there anything off limits, anything we should know before we get started? And obviously we're gonna bring up psychedelics at some point. And what is your? Are you comfortable with that?

Speaker 2:

Which I guess is now what I thought the third time Right that we mentioned that.

Speaker 1:

Right, so Like we're just making sure. And his response to that I couldn't tell at the time. Now I understand it was like a horrible response, but I thought he was just being like, but so passive, aggressive. I thought he was being sarcastic because he was like I mean, yeah, we can get into that right now and this interview will be over before it started and we're like okay, okay, all right, we'll wait. We'll wait, cause I thought I assumed I made an ass at myself. I assumed he meant like, oh, this is yes, it should be a thing Like, and then that would be the end of the interview.

Speaker 2:

Well, cause that's what was said to us?

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And then he's PR lady.

Speaker 1:

Right, I feel bad. She's probably gonna get fired after this, but Keep going. So yeah, that should have been red flag number one, so you mentioned that your husband, Jason, has used psychedelics. In his recovery. In his recovery, and these are exact quotes yeah, we literally went through and like, did the captions copy pasted? This is exactly what he said.

Speaker 2:

Tony had a really hard time listening back to this interview.

Speaker 1:

Did he?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because of how condescending and passive aggressive he was.

Speaker 1:

I don't want to listen to it back.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So he said my problem with that is he doesn't have anyone putting their foot up his ass. He's avoiding doing the work. And it's not the same. He's avoiding doing the work and putting in the effort. And then, when Leah asked who he was referring to, he said sounds like your husband is not committed to AA. Yeah, cause I was like wait, wait, wait, wait.

Speaker 1:

I was like who are you talking about? And he was like sounds like your husband. It's not committed to AA and I was like what the? I didn't say that, but I was like no, he's doing the work. I did respond in that moment. I was like no, he's doing the work, he's doing the work.

Speaker 2:

But it is whether you are an expert or not. It is irresponsible to make that judgment about someone's sobriety that you don't even know Right, you don't know their story, you don't know their journey and you are missing so much context of what that means doing the work. So explain the work that Jason does, because it's not like he's just and I think people who are not curious about the psychedelic space, or just curious at all, they automatically make assumptions instead of asking questions.

Speaker 1:

I think a big assumption with that is that he replaced alcohol with psychedelics, exactly, and that's not the case at all. Alcohol was like an every weekend thing, psychedelics is like once every six months and it's intentionally used and he also works with a psychedelic assisted psychiatrist and in conjunction with AA. But there have been times where he was stuck on one of the steps and couldn't move past resentments and his psychiatrist recommended he do a journey and set that as his intention and it helped him move through letting go of some really deep rooted resentments that he had. That would have taken him years to do without that tool. So to me he has moved in leaps and bounds in the last two years, more so than I can speak for. I don't know anybody else's, that's the thing. I don't know other people's sobriety journeys, so I can't speak on them. But I'm not gonna say that people aren't doing the work when they're doing the work and I don't fucking know them. And anybody who knows Jason now knows he's doing the fucking work.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and here's the other thing that sometimes people don't realize when you do a healing dose of, let's say, you do, a heroic dose of mushrooms and you're working with a therapist for intention and integration and you're following the protocol and you're doing all this stuff, it is not something you can have a very profound, very healing experience where you're like wow, that was the most for me, my journeys, I'm like that was there. They are the most profound experiences of my life, just for me, internally. But it's not a thing where I'm like, oh, my gosh, I had this really profound healing experience and I went to the root of this trauma or issue or whatever. Let's do that next weekend, let's do that again. No, no, no, you don't feel that way. It's not a party, it's not fun.

Speaker 1:

It's not recreational In the way that we talk about it.

Speaker 2:

It's not fun, it's healing, it's profound, but it's not like going to the fucking bar and like numbing out or it is in a therapeutic setting. You don't want to do it all the time. It may be incredibly beneficial to you, but it's not something that we are just doing every Monday and Wednesday when we record, like you know what I mean, it's great, right, but sometimes people do think that, and maybe there are people who do do that, but we don't do it in that way.

Speaker 1:

Right, that's a topic for another time.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes, and we talk a lot about how we use these intentionally. And you know, if I thought that they listened to the podcast and if they would have listened they would have known that we talk about intention and integration and setting dose, all of it.

Speaker 1:

One of the things he was kind of like shitting on was California sober. Yeah, and I know a lot of people who are California sober and I guess I would consider my husband one of them. And I'm not in recovery, I'm not an addict, but I jokingly say like that's kind of what I am, because I don't drink, but I'm not. I do other things, I use plant medicine and I do it intentionally. But I think to like even shit on something like that when it's like OK, listen, just because you were an addict and you don't stop at anything, doesn't mean that other people only had one vice. Like Jason didn't have a problem with weed. Like he had a problem with alcohol and cocaine those were the things destroying his life. Like weed helps him chill the fuck out. So that's not his problem area, that's not what's destroying his life, that's not his escape, that's not what he uses to numb. So it's OK that he does that and he still considers himself sober from the things that he was powerless to.

Speaker 2:

Right, right, and that kind of goes right into the next point, which it's even what we talk about. So our first kind of like, the first catalyst to our healing was our heroic mushroom journeys. But we say psychedelics are not for everyone, because they're not, and if you're not ready it's not for you, it just isn't. We're not saying this is what we did, so you have to do it too, right? The beauty of this platform is we say this is what we did, let us tell you about it. You form your own opinion, you advocate for yourself, but we also are going to talk about this, this, this and this. Right. Because and things we know nothing about Right we want you to do what's best for you and what resonates and aligns with you, and for us to even we wouldn't but for us to be like this is what we do. You should do it too. It's not the way we roll, but we want people to come on who are open to a diversity of approaches, and so something that he said when we asked about his stance on psychedelics is that he said that we need to stay out of his industry.

Speaker 1:

Wait, what's the quote?

Speaker 2:

quote that was the quote. No, oh, do I have the wrong thing?

Speaker 1:

I think so.

Speaker 2:

OK. Well, what did he say? Do you remember?

Speaker 1:

Look in the scent mail. Oh God, oh God.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

Because it was worse than that.

Speaker 2:

You want to go do ayahuasca and shrooms none of my business. What is my business is that you leave that to you and your friends that are not drug addicts and not alcoholics, that are not in recovery and you keep that out of my industry. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Woo yeah, so that's a little angry there.

Speaker 2:

While we appreciate and respect different approaches, like I said, we did not have a safe space to even have a cordial back and forth discussion. Right, it was very much so. Nope, this is my way. This is how it's going to get done. You're wrong. I don't even want to hear you.

Speaker 1:

Right, don't speak because it's wrong Because I want to be like. Actually a lot of my friends are now sober because of psychedelics and in recovery because of psychedelics, and we've interviewed professionals in this field and doctors and psychiatrists and therapists and real everyday people who have benefited from the use of psychedelics in their recovery process. So it's not just me and my friends doing shrooms in ayahuasca. It's you, your friends, and Johns Hopkins and maps and maps and literally all the other places out there like utilizing these types of medicines.

Speaker 2:

Well, and then also too, like there has been a lot of research that shows how beneficial these substances are, when used correctly, to help treat trauma addiction. Like. Are we just going to ignore that Like and not be able to talk about?

Speaker 1:

that on a rant for a minute about one of his close friends who had just passed away, and he never really gave us an answer. But he was kind of saying, like you know, I have a friend who these things kill people. They kill people. I have a friend who got into the spiritual ayahuasca, thought he was like, thought he could be better than his addiction, and he died. And I'm like wait, wait, wait. He died of ayahuasca. And he was like then he starts like telling another story, like never really answered my question. But I'm like what did he die of? Like I don't understand. Like it wasn't ayahuasca. You're not saying it was or wasn't.

Speaker 2:

Well, and from people who have taken ayahuasca ayahuasca is not some like shot like you're like pumped to chug. Okay, ayahuasca tastes like fucking dirt. Worse, it tastes like dirt water. It's grimy, it's hard to even. You know, you take just a very, very, very small amount and that's hard to take. And it's not a you feel fucked up or you feel like it is. You just feel like throwing up or shitting your pants because that's how strong it is going down. Like right away I was like, yeah, I'm going to puke. No, that comes back in here, it comes back up. Yeah, yeah, it's. It's not something you're like yeah, let's, let's go fuck. Could you smile? Ayahuasca, bro? Yeah, it's not fucked up. I don't know. No matter what dose you're taking, it's not fun, it's. It's not something you do with your friends, it's not something you do at home or on the fucking weekends. It's just not taking it at a party. You're not taking it at a fucking party. You'd be like total fucking buzzkill at that party.

Speaker 1:

Well, and that's where I wanted to like. I am like a wealth of knowledge when it comes to this shit. I know you are. You didn't speak up and say anything because I was so caught off guard but one of the things that I know about ibogaine, which is another psychedelic that they use to treat extreme PTSD, in veterans mostly and a lot of addicts, like severe addicts who are addicted to opiates and heroin and some of the strongest drugs out there that are so highly addictive that your body physically will shut down if you go into withdrawal Like it will kill you to come off of these drugs. Ibogaine is used for that and it can help treat withdrawal symptoms within a day.

Speaker 2:

Tell people what ibogaine is, please.

Speaker 1:

It's a psychedelic, but I don't exactly, I can't like articulate exactly what it is, but it's. It's used in treatment in Mexico, in the Amazon. Are you looking at up?

Speaker 2:

and down. It's a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in plants in the family A pocky. I don't know what that was.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's a lot of big words. It's just one of the most powerful psychedelics on the planet.

Speaker 2:

Yes, it's so much more effective and it preliminary research indicates that it helps counter drug addiction. That's the first thing that popped up.

Speaker 1:

So it's not even that hard to Google search this. That's what I wanted to say so many times. Have you Googled any of this? Have you searched any of this at all? Google is like your best friend right now, but one of the things he kept saying is that these psychedelics kill people. They kill people. They kill people. They killed his friend. They kill people. What is he talking about? because Ibogaine I know this has maybe killed 20 people in the last 20 years 19 people in the last 20 years and how many people have opiates and heroin killed?

Speaker 2:

80,000.

Speaker 1:

In one year, one year, one year. And those deaths from Ibogaine were people who were not getting supervised. Yes, lack of supervision yes. So if anybody's spreading misinformation out there, it's not us, like we're doing our research. If somebody tells us something that we don't know for sure, what do we usually do? We get off of here and we go and like I go down my rabbit hole. I share my rabbit hole with you. I'm like whoa, they were wrong, or whoa, they were right, you know whatever I end up finding like, but I'm not going to combat them immediately and say you're wrong.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, next point. Well, but the thing that too, like to think that your approach is the only approach when there are people who are in your industry doing the opposite of what you're doing.

Speaker 1:

So are they wrong, so is John Hopkins wrong, right, right, they're also in your industry, right? You don't own the industry of sobriety because you own four treatment centers.

Speaker 2:

Well, and what did I say to you last night? To say the sentence stay out of my industry. Sounds very like capitalistic Right, like okay bro.

Speaker 1:

Right Like you don't own this industry it's not an industry. Right Like sobriety isn't an industry.

Speaker 2:

But apparently it is to him.

Speaker 1:

At all.

Speaker 2:

That's how you want to see it.

Speaker 1:

Right, right. You're putting yourself up in that category of like big pharma healthcare. Like you, want to be an industry like okay, go be an industry. But I thought that you were trying to just help people. Right, right yeah.

Speaker 2:

Anyways. So this is the part where I think I started to cut out. You briefly shared that you had just done one ketamine treatment.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And I think that's all you said.

Speaker 1:

I didn't go into any context.

Speaker 2:

No, anything. Okay, this is what he said. You don't appear to have untreatable depression. I've seen untreatable depression. Okay, all right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so yeah. That, to me, is one of those statements that kind of is one of the reasons mental health is so stigmatized in the first place, because you don't know what depression looks like. You don't know my life, you don't know my story. No, that wasn't why I did ketamine. And untreatable depression is not the only reason ketamine is a treatment. It's not the only thing that ketamine treats. Treats a multitude of psychological and physical disorders, as minimal as I just have a little bit of anxiety, like, but also I have joint pain, joint pain, fibromyalgia, tinnitus, like. I have little things that I want to work on. For me, the ketamine was not because I was depressed to the point that I was untreatable. It was because I was stuck in an area in my life that I could not work through, and it helps me work through that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, also, how have you been in this healing space for 20 years? And again, I am not an expert, I do not claim to be, but never would I go to fucking somebody who's sharing something that they're doing or their journey and say you don't look depressed, right? That's so irresponsible to say to somebody. When you don't know who they are, you don't know their story. And even when you do hear their story, you still don't know their story and them.

Speaker 1:

But also this is Somebody said this on our podcast one time and I can't remember who it was, but it was somebody who was a ketamine doctor, psychiatrist, therapist. One of them said this should not be a last line of defense for people.

Speaker 2:

Katie Walker, the provider list said it.

Speaker 1:

It shouldn't be.

Speaker 2:

It should be one of the first, but it should not be.

Speaker 1:

if you've done A, b, c, d, e, f and G and you're this depressed, if you hit these markers, then we'll help you. Why does it have to get that bad?

Speaker 2:

No, and what's sad is when both of us did our first heroic journey with mushrooms is we were in that place, right when it was that bad Right, and we were struggling. We spent our entire life struggling. We didn't know what it meant to not struggle with our mental health and what exactly untreatable depression.

Speaker 1:

I took medication, didn't work, didn't treat it, I was still depressed, so to me that was untreatable depression. It's just very, very condescending to make a comment like that to someone when you don't know anything about them and just in general, like If you're in this space, you should know better. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And do better, right, because that was just very disappointing to hear that yeah, the other thing is somebody who owns a recovery center and is helping people with addiction. Let's talk about the history of psychedelics and AA recovery.

Speaker 1:

This one made me so mad. This made me so mad because how many times in random ass episodes have I brought this up? How many times in random ass conversations have I brought this up? And in this situation I was so fucking frozen that I couldn't even think straight to bring this up. It makes me so mad that I didn't. But what's my go-to with any type of AA, sobriety and psychedelics?

Speaker 2:

So in 1934, bill Wilson, thank you Underwent a treatment with Belladonna, a powerful hallucinogen, and had a spiritual experience that led to sobriety and also to forming AA with Dr Bob Smith. In the 1950s he realized the groups weren't as successful as he would have liked because people weren't able to achieve the spiritual experience the way that he had. Through an addiction treatment center in Canada, bill was able to experience another spiritual experience similar to the one he had 20 years prior through the use of LSD under professional guidance.

Speaker 1:

Under professional guidance At a research center in Canada.

Speaker 2:

The creator of.

Speaker 1:

AA Right. So there's more to that story. So 20 years after he created the big book, created AA, started the groups. Dr Bob Smith was his co-founder. Bob Smith was very religious. So 20 years later Bill Wilson starts to realize that AA works for some because there is that spiritual component to it and there's that this God component to it. And in the language of the book it says God in the way that you perceive him. So it doesn't mean religion. A lot of people are turned off from AA because it seems so religious. So there were these two people who co-owned it, co-founded it One who was an atheist, not religious, but spiritual One, who was super religious, and so he started to notice that the group started to separate. There were some people who were able to have that spiritual experience and turn their life over to God because they were religious. But the people like him were having a very hard time with that language, Very hard time with God, very hard time with the spiritual part. So he was struggling to find something that worked, Came across this treatment center. He was friends with Aldex Huxley who wrote the Doors of Perception.

Speaker 2:

Oh, okay.

Speaker 1:

Biggins of psychedelics introduced him to this treatment center in Canada. They used psychedelics and LSD for addiction and recovery and alcoholism and he was very curious about it. He was curious. Ted Lai, so baby, and he was even very hesitant at first because he was like how are people gonna perceive this? How am I gonna explain to them that doing a drug helps you with drugs, Helps you overcome your addiction to drugs Doesn't make sense, but I'm open to hearing and learning about it. So he goes to Canada, he does this treatment and he's like holy shit.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I get it now. This is what's been missing.

Speaker 1:

I've been chasing this experience for 20 years. This makes sense. So he brings it back to the founders, to the what is the round table. It's not a round table, but, like the board, he brings it back to the board I was like I don't know. And they're like we can't do that, like that goes against everything that we're saying, and he was like but I think that there's something to this. So he starts his own little side cohort. He gets a sponsy involved. Who's the sponsy's name? Timothy Tim.

Speaker 2:

Tom.

Speaker 1:

Powers.

Speaker 2:

I don't know you don't have that on you, okay.

Speaker 1:

Anyway, he gets a sponsy involved and then they start spreading the word and then more and more people start to use it and then the groups kind of start to separate into, like, the people who are religious and the people who like used LSD. And then the schedule one act happened and everything went underground and the research was put to a halt, but for very long time underground, and I know that there are still chapters out there who subscribe to this way of being sober. It never made sense to me that you just like go through the 12 steps and then you have a spiritual awakening. It's not a step, it doesn't happen like that. Right, and for my husband, the only time he ever had any type of spiritual experience ever, it was through psychedelics.

Speaker 2:

It was through psychedelics, well, and he was somebody who was an atheist as well 100% like thought I was a wackadoodle because I was starting to get into all this spiritual stuff. I think he still does, but that's fine.

Speaker 1:

I'm just kidding, he pretends he does, but like you should hear some of the wackadoodle shit he says sometimes and I'm like who are you? So anyway, yeah, there's a history there. It's kind of ill-informed to think that, like this wasn't a medication that was used in your industry.

Speaker 2:

But we never got to talk.

Speaker 1:

No.

Speaker 2:

And we never got to share and we like it wasn't able to be a conversation. And I think for a podcast, for it to be a good interview, I think that there has to be a conversation.

Speaker 1:

There was no conversation.

Speaker 2:

I think that's why people wanna listen to a podcast is, yes, they want knowledge, but it's like they wanna hear the conversation, the back and forth, the questions that we have to ask, and even when we walked away from the interview, I'm like you didn't really give anything insightful about addiction, about trauma.

Speaker 1:

Honestly, you know what I feel, like it was.

Speaker 2:

It was just argumentative, but it's like we weren't even arguing back.

Speaker 1:

No, I think now looking back, it was very much. I have four treatment centers and I'm doing so well and the reason I opened a treatment center is because in my sobriety I helped so many people. I helped so many people. He did say that he did in the very beginning.

Speaker 2:

He did yeah.

Speaker 1:

He said because we asked how did you end up owning a rehab facility? I forgot about it. Yeah, he said he was 10 years sober and he helped so many people. He sponsored so many people. He was like they even made fun of me because I was always sponsoring so many people and that's a big deal. I don't think I could sponsor more than two people and he was bragging about how many people. How many did he say? I feel like he was saying like 40 to 50 people at a time. He said he sponsored so many people.

Speaker 2:

He had to start his own group. I turned my ears off.

Speaker 1:

He had to start his own group. He started his own little following.

Speaker 2:

Which that's great, like you know. Good for you, but it's again.

Speaker 1:

It's very telling now when he said it in the beginning, like looking back now at that entire conversation it was very much ego. Like my way is the best way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and again we didn't really talk about like his treatment center.

Speaker 1:

That's what I'm saying. There was no conversation.

Speaker 2:

Like how they help people, what modalities that they use to help people.

Speaker 1:

It was about him, like we asked, and he would say like, yeah, we do CBT and cognitive behavior, you know, and we do outside outdoor therapy and I remember being like OK, ok, but what about it?

Speaker 2:

Right, what is it? Say, tell the listeners what it is and let's talk about it, he couldn't answer any of those questions. Yeah, wow yeah.

Speaker 1:

Wow, it's just something I thought about afterwards. I was like that interview was very much for him.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, not his treatment centers when it got yeah, when it got all to the juicy stuff. Leah just saw me smiling but I just couldn't hear.

Speaker 1:

I know I'm like I'm mad at myself for like, just like yeah.

Speaker 2:

OK, don't be mad, because it was the first time that that has ever happened.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and all the things that aligned. Like you not hearing most of the conversation, like the conversation was going in and out for you.

Speaker 2:

I know, I know.

Speaker 1:

So you couldn't hear anything until you went back and listened to it after.

Speaker 2:

And it was so bad. It was so bad. I'm like kicking myself that, yeah, so the Struggled with connection.

Speaker 1:

Big lesson here is we need to be more careful about who we have on, because I do. We do question this. Now. We're like why did they want to come on? I don't understand why they reached out to us Like what was the point of that?

Speaker 2:

Well, and when we first started we were seeking people out Right, and we do People we really want to interview. But then now it's gotten to the point where people seek us out and that's amazing, like I love that. But not everyone's the right fit for an interview, because we have an ultimate goal with each episode, and each episode is to give you guys hope, give you guys some knowledge and education about something. Have you learned about something you don't know? Help you heal with something, help you integrate something.

Speaker 1:

But there has to be like a light at the end of the tunnel and also we have a list of values and I keep saying I'm going to add it to our website and I keep forgetting to add it to our website. But one of the things that we want to start doing is making sure that you understand our values and you are a good fit for us, and one of our core values is to be curious. This person was not only not curious, but very combative about what we do.

Speaker 2:

I always go back to that Ted Lasso clip with him playing darts. Yes, and that guy not even knowing that he's good at darts because he was too busy talking about himself instead of asking questions. If you would have asked questions, he would have known that Ted's been playing darts since like the fifth grade or whatever. He said right, and how important it is to be curious instead of judgmental. We make these assumptions about things or people or events or whatever instead of asking questions. And Ted Lasso did mushrooms, so it's OK that we do it too.

Speaker 1:

Ted Lasso. Praise him, Just kidding. Praise him, this fictional character, Exactly, yeah. So lesson on our end make sure that whoever we're having on is curious. If they're not knowledgeable in what we do, they're at least open and curious. And that's what we say in our podcast all the time.

Speaker 2:

But the other thing is to advocate for yourself. So something that we obviously this was a learning curve for us and this is not something that we've experienced before, but we have advocated for ourselves because what we did is we sent them an email saying that we weren't going to air the interview and exactly why, and we got to state our piece, and we did it in a professional yet stern manner, but also even for our listeners. Just because we talk about mushrooms and psychedelics doesn't mean that you have to go do them. They may not be right for you. Oh wait, wait, wait, hold on, I know I'm going into it.

Speaker 1:

OK.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so something that we are learning with Leah and with documenting her ketamine treatments is not everyone is getting the experience like Leah has gotten. And go into some of the questions or some of the concerns that you are getting from people on social media who have not had the same ketamine experience as what you have had, yeah, and how important it is to advocate for yourself, even with fucking experts.

Speaker 1:

OK, put a pin in that, because I forgot to mention. We forgot to mention that he also said he used to do a lot of psychedelics back in his day.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 1:

And how many times have we said that is not the same thing. That is not the same thing?

Speaker 2:

Our whole platform is talking about intentional use.

Speaker 1:

Just because you did it at a college party or when you were going through your addiction phase does not mean we are talking about the same thing. Yeah, you were using it to get fucked up and to escape, to numb, to numb, have a good time, and there's room for that. Well, there's room for the having fun, but that's not what we speak on, and I just I forgot to add that part in there. Is that just because you've done it before does not mean you've done it in this way?

Speaker 2:

Well, and it's like what we say to the people who are like oh yeah, I did it in college and it was a really bad time, and we're like OK.

Speaker 1:

Dave. Well, I feel like this with Austin, my 11-year-old, because he's a picky eater and he says he doesn't like chicken but he'll eat it other ways. And I'm like you can't say you don't like chicken when there's like 100 ways to eat chicken. You might like it this way if you don't like it that way, or you might like it from this restaurant but not that restaurant. It's not a one-size-fits-all thing and it's not a one-size-fits-all experience. Ok, so the advocating for yourself, this is the one thing that I am taking away at, not one, Many things taking away from ketamine, and I still. I promise you guys I will do an episode on this, but one of the things that we realized very early on speaking about this openly, is that there are a lot of people out there who take advantage of people.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, not all ketamine clinics are the same and ketamine treatments are the same.

Speaker 1:

This is another difference. There is a big difference in ketamine treatments and ketamine-assisted therapy Very different. Also very different because we had a lot of people bombarding our posts. Like I take spravado and it's a nasal spray. That's also very different. That's esketamine. It's a derivative of ketamine Similar, not the same. You're not having the same effects that I am having on this medicine. I asked a million questions and I went down so many rabbit holes before I chose to take this medicine. I knew what a typical dose was. The person I talked to over the phone when I was having my screening done, who works with Skylight Psychedelics, told me exactly how much my first dose was going to be, how much my second dose was going to be, how much every dose was going to be up until my sixth dose. So I knew exactly how much I was getting. I don't want to throw anybody under the bus, because we've talked with her a lot and I don't mean to throw her under the bus or to talk about her experience, but she reached out and whatever company she went through told her to figure out her dosing. These companies will send you the medication. So the medication came straight to my house, straight into my mailbox, so I have all of my doses and they told her same thing figure out the dosing. So you've got I don't know how many doses, six doses of ketamine, and you're like you have no idea how much you're supposed to take and where you're supposed to start, and like, figure it out as you go. Her therapist didn't help her with that either, Her therapist. The therapist was kind of not very good. Remember. She had her first treatment and was like I don't even want to go back. Remember this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I thought you were talking about someone else. Nope, no, I know who you're talking about.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I thought you were talking about a person from two top had a treatment, didn't even want to go back for the second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth treatment, and she felt like she had wasted all that money, was very unhappy with the experience, the things that she said. The therapist said I'm like I know all of that is off, like that's so wrong. They should have never said that that's fucked up. So I do think I was incredibly lucky to have the therapist I did Thank you, henry Lucas but to also advocate for myself, know what I was doing, how much I was doing. One of the other things that this person said was that she was afraid to go into a k-hole. Do you remember this? Yeah, I think it was me who was talking back and forth with her, so I don't know, she said she was afraid to go into a k-hole. So that's why the dosing scared her so much. Because here she is having to figure out her own dosing and she's like and I don't want to go into a k-hole, what if I go into a k-hole? And I was like my person told me on the phone that I was having my screening with that. That's essentially what I was gonna be doing in my first dose. A typical dose of ketamine is 30 to 60 milligrams Milligrams. I did 150 on my first dose. Ooh, anything over 100 is gonna send you into a k-hole. And for anybody who doesn't know what that is, that's that disassociative state where you're like having an out-of-body experience. You're there, you're aware that you're there, but you're kinda glued to your seat. That's why they are like go to the bathroom beforehand, because if you get up in the middle of your treatment you're gonna be on the floor. This is why people at music festivals when they do too much ketamine, they're like laying on the ground.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because it like kinda like paralyzes you, it paralyzes you.

Speaker 1:

Not, yeah, I mean it does Like you are like unable to move because your soul is like out there, not able to like speak through your body. So the point is to go through a k-hole. Well, the point for what I was doing was to go through a k-hole. A lot of treatment centers are doing smaller doses. You're not going through these experiences. So someone on TikTok who's reaching out to us?

Speaker 2:

That's who I thought you were talking about.

Speaker 1:

Yes, she's reached out to us several times. That's not what my experience was like and I'm fully aware and I got up to go to the bathroom and I'm like you got up and walked how. And I'm realizing, as we're having these conversations back and forth, that like she's not doing the same thing I'm doing she's doing a nasal spray. It's not with a therapist. She has a therapist and she has a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist recommended she have ketamine treatments done, so she's not doing these treatments with either of the people that she's talking to. Oh my God. But also her psychiatrist says, like she said, her psychiatrist doesn't talk to her, she talks to her therapist. Her psychiatrist is just who prescribes her medications.

Speaker 2:

Oh, my God.

Speaker 1:

And I think we're very lucky in that that we have a psychiatrist who we talk to for 90 minutes when we need to.

Speaker 2:

But what did she say? She said something like I'm scared to ask them questions and I'm like that's the fucking thing.

Speaker 1:

Well, because I start digging and I'm like, well, how much is the dose that you're taking? Because she's like I think on her third or fourth treatment now and she's still saying, like I'm still not having this type of experience that you're having. And I was like, well, there's a lot of things that could be happening, like how much are you taking? Because I'm realizing, after having this conversation with so many people, like my experience is very different than what some people are going through. She's in a room with nurses, but not a psychiatrist, not a therapist, no one to talk to.

Speaker 2:

So she's not integrating it.

Speaker 1:

Right. She didn't know what an intention was and I was like, well, what was your intention going in? And she was like, what is that? And I'm like, oh my god, you're just like free willy, like doing this treatment without any understanding of why, how much, how it works, and you're just doing it, thinking it's going to do something for you. So I talked her through how to make it, how to set an intention, and one of the things she said. I said how much are you taking? How many milligrams are they giving you each time you go in? And she was like the first time it was three squirts up the nose, the second time it was just two. And I'm like, OK, but how much is in each squirt? Because it's like a nasal spray.

Speaker 2:

I know I should say spray.

Speaker 1:

Spray. How much is in each spray? Because a typical nasal spray is only going to give you like 10 milligrams. So I don't know I don't know this place that you're going to I don't know exactly how much is in each dose, but if they're giving you 10 milligrams in each spray, you're only getting a 20 milligram dose. You're not going to have the same experience that I am. But I told her to ask these questions and she said she was afraid to ask. And I get it. That's her journey. But this is big for advocating for yourself, and I think that that is one of the reasons that you and I have had have been very lucky, lucky enough. I don't even want to call it luck. I think it's because we've asked the right questions. If something seems off, we don't do it. If they don't know enough to answer our questions, we're like OK, that's not for us. I was going to say we're very lucky that you and I have had nothing but positive experiences. I don't think that's the case for everybody. I don't.

Speaker 2:

Well, and I think it's what did Bijou say? Bijou said it it's like the Wild Wild West out there now. Yes, because ketamine is now legal, which is great, but people who are administering the medicine are there are people who are doing a disservice to these patients because they're not getting the education and the integration and the intention and the harm reduction along with it, and when you don't have that, it can sometimes do more harm than good, and I think that's why we're very passionate about what we talk about and in the way that we talk about it. And I think it's a lesson, too, that just because someone is an expert doesn't mean that you have to blindly listen and do everything that they say.

Speaker 1:

I saw a post the other day on our Instagram. I may have saved it, but it was talking about how this used to be the norm. They took pictures of doctor's office, where it was like your Google search does not equal my.

Speaker 2:

I saw this exact same post.

Speaker 1:

Yes, ok, your Google search does not equal my medical degree. Stop googling your symptoms. And this post is actually like no, actually you should be, because keep researching these medical degrees. The framework and the things that they are learning don't change for decades, but things are constantly changing and evolving constantly.

Speaker 2:

And they learn, like doctors. For example, they learn Western medicine. There are other healing approaches besides Western medicine. So they may know what they know, but that doesn't mean that they know everything and it doesn't mean that they know you, because who knows you better than you?

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

You know you.

Speaker 1:

It is OK to Google. How much is a typical dose of ketamine? What is the difference between ketamine-assisted therapy and ketamine treatment? What is ketamine? What is it doing to my body? How does it work? Like you should be googling those things.

Speaker 2:

How do I go back into regular life after I do these ketamine treatments Right?

Speaker 1:

Right, because none of this is a.

Speaker 2:

One size fits all.

Speaker 1:

Right and none of it's a quick fix None of it. With that being said, I will say I did a post back in May about five psychedelics I've used and the energy behind them that I've used on my healing journey and how they have helped, and I've been putting a lot of thought into this. For ketamine For me.

Speaker 2:

Right now.

Speaker 1:

You're not done Right, still not done. That first dose felt like hope. It almost gives you a glimpse of what things can feel like or be like when you were at your optimal mental health.

Speaker 2:

Does that make sense.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the reason I think that these work so well is because there is so much power and hope. We've talked about that from the beginning of our podcast. That's what we want to do. We want to give people hope, but I don't think, do I have time to even go into this? Yeah, go, the power of hope.

Speaker 2:

Sure.

Speaker 1:

I told you about this right.

Speaker 2:

No.

Speaker 1:

There's this research with the power of hope, and they did this study yes, you have With the rats. Yes, like 30-something years ago. So this is with rats. I'm sorry, I know animal testing is like a whole thing, but I'm going to tell this story. So if you don't want to hear this, fast forward. But this is about the power of hope. So they have these rats, they put them in a bucket full of water and they time how long it takes them to drown, and it takes about three to six hours. They have it timed down. So then they do another experiment where they do this, but right before the rats drown, they pull them out, feed them, wrap them in a blanket, warm them up, put them back in their like healthy little home environment and then they put them back in the bucket and these rats swam for three days. Wow, because they had hope, because they had hope, they felt hope. They felt like, okay, someone's going to come save us. So to me, that's why this is so powerful, to have this sense of hope. Hopelessness is when you lose it. I used to feel very like in the beginning of Jason's sobriety. I felt like I was the only one who had hope and he was so hopeless and I was like, dude, you got to jump on board, like you can't drown in that, like I have faith, I have hope, I have enough for the both of us, but like I need you to hold on a little bit, right, right, because there is so much power in that. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, I totally agree. But you know, I feel like we've shared kind of the dark side of the underground route, yeah, and now we're sharing the dark side of the clinical route.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And so how important it is to be with people that you feel safe with, to advocate for yourself, to do your own research, to trust your gut. Those things all matter, and if it's someone where you feel like you can't ask them a question, I would go with another professional. There's that's a red flag immediately yeah, don't force it, don't push it Like, don't try to power through something If it doesn't feel right. Trust your gut, right. So that's a big lesson. Yeah, it is.

Speaker 1:

And I feel like both of those lessons came for me in two different ways, like the advocating for yourself.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what was the first?

Speaker 1:

one I remember. I mean just that whole podcast that we're scrapping.

Speaker 2:

No, I know, but what was the first one?

Speaker 1:

Ketamine.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 1:

Like seeing how people like are having these other experiences and I feel really bad. It makes me feel guilty that I had a positive experience, but also I'm why we're doing what we're doing. It's why we're doing it what we're doing and it doesn't mean and we've said this before too like there's also people in this space locally that are not it.

Speaker 2:

There is someone who is in this space the clinical route, who we know locally is not doing what they should be doing, right, and there's somebody who's the underground route locally, who we know is definitely not doing what they're doing and it's interesting because we spoke a little bit about it. A couple of episodes ago. And there were other people in this space that were like I know exactly who you're talking about and thank you for shedding light that what they are doing is not okay, Right.

Speaker 1:

So we didn't even mention a name. But several people reached out and they were like and they knew exactly who it was.

Speaker 2:

So if you are here locally and you have questions about who to go to and if they're legit or not, reach out to us. We can kind of say yeah, no. Or from what we've heard, we don't know everything, we don't know everybody, but what we do know, we can share that with you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so for sure.

Speaker 2:

Okay, all right. It's all I got, all right, so don't be a dick.

Speaker 1:

Literally, though just don't be a dick. Be curious. Be curious. Don't seek someone out to go on their podcast when you don't even know who they are or what they talk about, or their stance oh shit, I'm still so perplexed? That blows my mind. Why did you reach out to us, dude, Like I don't know? I don't get it, but whatever lesson learned. Maybe we will air it one day, but it'll just be so people can hear little clips yeah, maybe, maybe not, I don't know, they're triggering. Anyway, all right For our listeners. Thank you guys for sticking with us through this, and I hope you guys are advocating for yourselves doing your own research, going down your own rabbit holes. Don't take our word for it. Figure it out on your own. Yes, Do your own stuff and stay curious. Be open. We'll see you on the other side.

Speaker 2:

Bye, bye.

Challenging Interview Experience and Lessons Learned
Psychedelic Use in Recovery Misunderstood
California Sober and Psilocybin Discussion
Psychedelics and Addiction Treatment
Advocating for Yourself in Ketamine Treatments
Understanding the Ketamine Experience
Be Curious, Do Your Own Research