Episode 33: War Wounds (PTSD) and Finding Meaning with Michael Cooley

In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Michael Cooley. Mike served our country in the Army’s Military Police and was deployed three times — once to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq. After he returned, he soon started experiencing severe PTSD, watching it affect his kids and his marriage. His story was part of the documentary, From Shock to Awe. We talked about the power of psychedelics to rediscover love and the meaning of life and how his journeys with Ayahuasca, Mushrooms, and 5-Meo really helped turn things around. 

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  1. Getting off SSRIs is brutal; using them creates zombie-like state
  2. Used cannabis to transition off of them
  3. Lost after military life; what’s the mission in life?
  4. VA’s attitude towards cannabis
  5. In addition to psychedelics, have you had or continue to have talk therapy?
  6. Saw Marine’s story on Ayahuasca, spoke to him at Boulder Cannabis event; he introduced Mike to Janine and Luc (film producers)
  7. SoulQuest in Florida
  8. Suicidal the night before he left for ceremony
  9. Never since felt suicidal
  10. Can now find happiness and joy; still have tough times
  11. Raised evangelical; never used anything
  12. Lied to about psychedelics
  13. Psychedelics help reconnect to parts of oneself; meaning of existence
  14. Lessons are beyond what can be learned from a book or word of mouth
  15. Effects can be lasting for the rest of your life
  16. Psychedelics are an amazing healing tool
  17. Not to be taken lightly; can be frightening
  18. Mushrooms; Synthetic 5-Meo solidified connection with spirit, control is an illusion;
  19. Got an outside perspective of his ego on 5-Meo
  20. With psychedelics, many of us connect with “the one”, that we’re all one, the same, even going to far as to think we’re all part of one consciousness. Do you now feel that way? 
    1. A lot of love.
    2. How do you reconcile that with having been in war and all that death?
  21. The work of life is to find balance between light and dark and find love
  22. Today, he has hope for the future
  23. Learning to love himself
  24. Today, he’s building a family; no more going to bed in tears; no more yelling and screaming
  25. Branching out and exploring; blacksmithing class; show kids the joy in life, that it exists
  26. The work is never done; but psychedelics remind us to do the work
  27. Psychedelics are not for everyone; set & setting is important; integration is important