How Psychedelics Can Show You The Root Of Your Problems


Episode 33

Rachael Madori

Rachael Madori, social activist, entrepreneur and former adult film star, shares her experiences with psychedelics, and how they’ve helped her cope with substance misuse, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Rachael says that without psychedelics, she wouldn’t be here today – a message that she strongly believes in sharing.

Podcast Highlights

  • Rachael suffers from Bipolar 1 and Borderline Personality Disorder. She has survived substance addiction and suicide attempts.
  • She found therapeutic benefit from psychedelics
  • Although it was hard for some friends and family to accept her choice, she says she wouldn’t be here today without psychedelics

Rachael’s teenage years were dominated by her addiction to stimulants. It was her fiancé at the time who introduced her to psychedelics – “It was crazy to experience a drug that didn’t numb me.” Since that first trip, Rachael took psychedelics regularly. After a few years, she had a profound experience that laid out the patterns of behavior that caused much of the pain in her life.

It was then that Rachael realized she needed help for her mental instability. She sought treatment and continued self-medicating with psychedelics to help battle her demons. “Now they’re vital to my survival.”

Rachael’s friends and family were initially skeptical about her use of psychedelics. Many just assumed she was misusing substances again. It was particularly hard to talk to her father, who had helped her recover from her drug addiction. However, she managed to convince people that psychedelics were showing her how to break free of her addictions – and showed her that the underlying cause for her substance misuse was an attempt to self medicate a disease she wasn’t even aware she had.

Rachael only recently discovered microdosing and was instantly attracted to the idea of psychedelic medicine as an alternative to the prescription medication she was suggested to take. “I’ve been microdosing for two months now and haven’t had a severe episode – this is unusual for me.” Before, Rachael would rely on a high-dose experience every month, which was exhausting. Now, she microdoses 17ug every three days and it reduces her symptoms dramatically. “I’ve felt generally normal for two months – and that hasn’t happened to me since I was 12 years old.”

Click here to read more about psychedelics and mental health

Rachael hopes that more research will be done on the potential of psychedelics for Bipolar Disorders and Personality Disorders. “Everyone I’ve spoken to with a mental illness is afraid to use psychedelics.” If research can show they’re safe and effective, more people would be willing to take the leap. “Even if psychedelics take you somewhere dark, I can’t see it going somewhere that won’t benefit you. They will show you what you need to see, negative or positive.”

Podcast Transcript

00:29 Paul Austin: Hey listeners and welcome back to The Third Wave Podcast. I'm your host, Paul Austin for any first time listeners. If you're coming back again for another episode, I just wanna thank you for joining us and being part of Third Wave's community. So we have a great show for you today with Rachael Madori, who I'll get into in a little bit after we go through this week in psychedelics. So this week in psychedelics, there are four announcements and I wanna start with the most exciting one, which is that Senator Cory Booker, who's a Democratic senator from New Jersey has introduced a marijuana legalization bill that is focused on racial justice. The Marijuana Justice Act will end federal prohibition, cut law enforcement funding for states with racially disparate marijuana arrests and the bill establishes a community reinvestment fund of $500 million aimed at repairing some of the damage done by the war on drugs. So this is finally becoming more mainstream. I read Michelle Alexander's book, The Next Jim Crow, which talks about how basically the war on drugs is just the next form of racist prejudice that's so prevalent in the United States and it's great to see a senator now coming forth with a bill for federal Congress to recognize this and validate this idea and hopefully make some progress.

01:36 PA: Now obviously, I don't think the bill will pass. However, it's an important step forward in pushing this to continue to make sure progress continues to evolve and snowball at the federal level. I still hold to my previous thoughts on the validity of pushing things at a federal level. A big part of me believes that it will be actually impossible to legalize not only marijuana but more importantly, things like psychedelics at the federal level primarily because the values and principles of the federal government are so at odds with these substances. I really think we're going to need to utilize some of these substitutes to transition into a post-nation state world if we actually wanna get these reintegrated. However, at the same time something like this is an important step forward. So we'll see what continues to happen and develop with that but that is the most exciting piece of news.

02:21 PA: And the second one, which I think is on par because again it deals with nation states is Uruguay becomes the first country in the world to fully legalize cannabis. It's taken over four years to bring into legalization but as of July this year, you can now buy cannabis and smoke it anywhere in Uruguay. I believe though, if you wanna do it in Uruguay, you need to be a Uruguayan citizen, yep, the only condition is you have to register with government and you must be a citizen with the correct documentation to prove this. So don't go booking your flights just yet. You can smoke the plant anywhere as long as you're not in a closed public space or near a health establishment. So that's also some exciting news about cannabis particularly at a nation state level with the United States and Uruguay.

03:00 PA: Other news, a couple things related to microdosing, The Economist, which has a lifestyle magazine called 1843, just published a phenomenal piece on microdosing called "Turn on, tune in, drop by the office." The Silicon Valley avant-garde have turned to LSD in a bid to increase their productivity. Emma Hogan meets the people breakfasting on acid. So I think it goes... It's important for me to state here that first of all, the graphic on this is fucking cool as shit. This is the coolest graphic that I've yet to see for a microdosing article, this is also probably the best written article on microdosing thus far largely because it's the most recent one and the most mature one for that very same reason.

03:36 PA: At the same time, I think as I've said before, this isn't necessarily about productivity, meaning the ability to do more in the same period of time, instead microdosing is largely about increasing one's general sense of well-being, which helps us to access flow states, which helps us to get more work done in a short period of time and I think most importantly, kind of orient ourselves towards work that we feel like is fulfilling and meaningful. So although, yes, it helps with "doing more," I think it also helps us just to spend less time in front of the computer so that we can spend more time doing things that we enjoy and less time using our convergent thinking skills to really dig into certain detail-oriented tasks. So it's an excellent article, there's just... We have a brief mention in the piece, in fact, I have a brief mention, it's not even Third Wave, which is too bad but still nonetheless, it's a great article, I highly recommend checking it out and reading it.

04:27 PA: The other piece of news is that Fullscreen, which I had never heard of published a four to five-minute video about a day in life of someone who's microdosing LSD and basically it's a dude who has been struggling with a few things and he starts microdosing LSD and it follows him through that, including looking at old notes from his ex-girlfriend including playing basketball with a close friend, he's in his mid-20s and he microdoses LSD and it's a really good video and I highly recommend checking it out, it takes about five minutes to watch.

04:58 PA: So our guest today, as I mentioned before, is Rachel Madori, I haven't met Rachel in person but we have been talking primarily over Twitter but also over email, on the phone, we got to know each other a little bit. And Rachel Madori is a social activist, entrepreneur and former adult film star and she shares her experiences with psychedelics and how they've helped her cope with substance misuse by polar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Rachel says that without psychedelics, she wouldn't be here today, a message that she strongly believes in sharing. So a couple disclaimers before we get into this. If you know someone or you yourself struggle with bipolar or borderline, I would be very cautious and hesitant about using psychedelics to self-medicate. Make sure you do all necessary research beforehand and if that's something that you do do probably best to start with a microdose and smaller amounts.

05:49 PA: So you'll hear Rachel's story a little bit, how she started with higher doses for the first four years and then eventually transitioned into microdosing and she's written a couple of pieces online about her experience with microdosing LSD to help with some of these things. So we talk about her experiences and we get into the specifics of why she started microdosing and taking psychedelics, some of her back story and it was a really kind of heartfelt conversation that we had that I think many of you will enjoy because it's a bit of a step away from some of the podcasting or much of the podcasting that I've done in the past which has been much more thinking-oriented and much more digging into concepts and ideas and articulating it from that perspective.

06:00 PA: I'm going through my own transition right now where I'm really trying to understand what it means to find this balance between thinking and feeling. So I was at a tech conference in Berlin a couple of weeks ago and had a conversation with someone who is working on kind of futurism projects in Dubai, a really, really interesting guy. And he, at the end of the night, we were taking MDMA and we really kind of connected and spent a lot of time together and at the end of the night he made a statement that I found to be very profound and insightful and that was how we need more people in our world, in our society, our global culture, who are smart feelers.

07:02 PA: And so this is the transition that I'm currently undertaking and going through and so I think more of the podcast, conversations that we have, not all of them, but some of them will be leaning more and more towards that feeling side and I think as part of that I'm going to do my best to bring on more female, women guests, because obviously much of our guests have been male. And in fact, we do have two upcoming guess who I'm excited about Steven Kotler and Charles Eisenstein who both are male. But at the same time I'm making an active decision to get more females on the show. So if you are a female, if you have an interesting story to share, if you know of someone who is a woman who you think would be great to have on the podcast, please just drop us a note or an email or a comment or somewhere. Just let us know because we're always looking for new podcast guests to bring on the show. So, without any further ado, I bring you, Rachael Madori.


08:04 PA: Let's start with your story. So Rachael Madori, you live in LA, you just told me that you were born in Brooklyn. How did you become interested in psychedelics. Where did that start for you?

08:14 Rachael Madori: So it is about almost five years ago. Actually, I was sober for a while 'cause when I was a teenager, I was addicted to other drugs, mostly stimulants and then I met my now fiance who was very into psychedelic, they were a huge part of his life. I was stone cold sober and I was kind of struggling with this idea of maybe trying them but I was afraid to try them because of my previous history and then explained to me, that they're different than other drugs, and I was like, "Okay I'll try them, I'll see what they're all about." And the first psychedelic I ever did was 4-HO-MET which I have a serious love for probably because it was my first trip ever. And it was beautiful and it was crazy for me to experience something other than the other drugs I had done something that didn't numb me which, what I was looking for when I was younger, and I was an addict. And they actually... I never experienced something that brought so many things to the forefront. They every... We tripped regularly after that and every time we tripped whether it was good or bad, I was dealing with something I had to.

09:20 RM: It would bring things to life that I had suppressed for so long, which was very therapeutic for me, and did that regularly for a few years and then I just started... We experimented with different kinds, different research chemicals, just different analogs and everything like that. And then a couple years into it once I started getting more comfortable with the psychedelic experience and I started listening to, I call it medicine now, I started listening to the medicine more, it started to show me a perspective on my mental illness that I didn't know I had, so about two years ago I had this very profound psychedelic experience where the past 10 years of my life from when I was a child, it kinda pulled me out of my body for a moment. It gave me a blueprint to all these patterns and all these terrible things that I had been doing or had happened to me for my whole life, and it kind of showed me that I needed help just for my depression and for a lot of suicide attempts, that I survived, that I never even put together and they were all separate actions in my life that didn't make any sense to me. And after having these psychedelic experiences over and over, they kind of gave me this blueprint to my life that was like, these are patterns. Something's wrong with you.

10:37 RM: There's something more going on. And then that's when I eventually decided to seek out medical help for what had been going on with me. So I got into them, luckily just because I had fallen in love with someone who loved them, but somehow they found me and then they were able to show me something that I frankly don't think I would have ever realized sober. And now they're important to me, their vital to my survival at this point because of the way they've helped me with my diagnosis and my bipolar, and my border line. And then after doing regular heavy psychedelic trips I researched microdosing 'cause in the past year, I was faced with the cross roads where it was either beyond prescription medication or find something else that may help me and... I'm not against prescription medication for psychiatric problems, but it was just, it's just not something that I was comfortable with. And the things that they wanted to put me on are very dangerous, they're very poisonous, and toxic. And a friend of mine who I met this beautiful, amazing, amazing soul she wrote a book on a Boga 'cause it had helped her and it had helped her husband and his addiction.

11:52 RM: I was kind of thinking of alternative medicine and I tripped regularly and I thought maybe that would have an impact. So then I looked into micro-dosing as just a regular medication regimen and I've been doing that for about two months now, and I haven't had a severe episode, which is very crazy for me. It's not normal for me to be in control of my emotions and it's not normal for me to be able to go two months without something severe happening or self-harming or suicide attempts so. The fact that micro-dosing every three days has made that much of an improvement on my life and my mental health is just insane to me, and that's when... And I have been an advocate for psychedelics for so long. And then when I realized that it can help mood disorders, and it can help depression, that's just when I delved into it more 'cause I just keep thinking there's so many people out there that are so trapped in their minds and living in this hell and this pain that I lived in for most of my life and now that I've learned there's something out there that can help that, I want everyone to know about it.

12:55 PA: Let's kinda go back to the beginning of that a little bit. What were those first hesitations that you had when psychedelics were brought up... So obviously you were an addict before to stimulants. And often times we make these connections of drugs and all drugs are bad, and stimulants and psychedelics. Can you talk a little bit more about that process for you? Was it more just like one day you decided to go and trust your now fiance. And going with that experience, was it more like you did some research online and found that these weren't as addictive? What was that process of transformation for you, initially getting in?

13:32 RM: I think the reason I was against them or afraid of them is because this whole journey of getting "sober" and going through 12 steps and doing NA, it's very much... You can't touch anything, you can't have a drink, you can't smoke a cigarette, you can't do... I'm not even against stimulants. And I'm not against drugs in general at all, but going through those steps, and figuring out why you're an addict, and what is gonna keep you from falling back into it, it's the people you meet, and everything you learn, is you can't ever touch anything that will ever alter your state. And I was just stuck in that I was like, "Okay you never touch anything that will ever alter my state again, because I didn't want to fall back into it. And honestly, it was just... I just trusted him at that point, "I trusted that this wasn't the same and I trusted that it was something different and I didn't do any research and... No, I just did it with him, I trusted him, and then I realized what it was and I completely... My mind was completely changed and it was very difficult for me and I struggled with that, because then it's difficult 'cause I went through this journey of getting sober with my father, 'cause he's been sober for 17 years, and he was the one who saved me, and he was the one who helped me and it was very difficult to go to him and being honest with him that I was using psychedelics.

14:50 RM: Because he didn't know anything about them. And there's so much negative stigma still attached to them, just propaganda-wise. And he was a little afraid for me because it's still a drug and you are doing it but there's so much misinformation on around that it was very difficult for me to be honest with people that knew about my past, and knew about that because I didn't have a lot of people say, Okay, so you're using drugs again, you're the same. But it was very... At first I was embarrassed and I didn't wanna tell anyone because it's kind of difficult to break that barrier if you walk into an NA meeting, and tell them you use psychedelics, they're like, You can't... You're not sober, so you're not doing the right thing, and you're still escaping something which is just completely inaccurate. Psychedelics are what showed me why I was an addict. They showed me that I was self-medicating because of my mental illness. A lot of people say you're an addict forever, and you'll never not be an addict, but to be honest, I'm not anymore. And I found that out because psychedelics are what showed me the reason I was using drugs and the reason I was dependent on drugs.

15:56 PA: And so you have that first experience, is this a pattern that you recognize right away with that first experience, or is this something that as you're continuing to do higher doses of psychedelics these things keep coming into your awareness and your consciousness and eventually, you kind of connect the two. Was it like an immediate insight or something, that kind of unraveled over time for you in terms of the implications?

16:18 RM: No, it definitely unraveled over time. I think the best way I always try to explain to people who haven't done psychedelics or haven't done them regularly is the whole time of your existence from the time you're born until you die, everything that happens to you affects your soul, everything affects... It's baggage, it's what people break down to baggage. Everybody has baggage. And I visualized it and I visualized this through years of my experiences. It's kind of like soot so... It's like everything that happens to you, whether it's a break-up or anything negative or even positive things get put on your soul and it just creates layers and layers and layers. So I had 20 years of just layers of so many things that happened to me when I was a child, so many things that I experienced growing up that were bad and a lot of darkness put on me because of the things in my mind that I couldn't understand, and every single time I tripped, the medicine forced me to deal with one of those layers and it forced me to recognize it and it forced me to scrub it and it's basically so slowly every trip, it's slowly removed a layer and it slowly made me understand something.

17:24 RM: And it washed it off me, and eventually, once that callous is gone and once all those different layers are gone, then you get to yourself, the childhood things are gone, the really bad relationship with your parents are gone, the way... Or your love life. All those things that have happened, that's not... You've come to peace with all of that and you've understood all of that and that's all gone now. The baggage is removed, and now that those layers are gone, you have to go inside of yourself. And once I realized that, then I started seeing patterns of who I was and the way my mind worked and I was able to step out and see my entire life line in a pattern and I was able to understand my mind in a way that I had never understood it before.

18:12 RM: It took a long, long, long time and a lot of experiences to get to the point where I was able to come out of myself, and see everything that happened to me. Because it's kinda like you were just blind for a very long time, and you're blinded by all these human things and all these experiences that are very hard to get past and once that's gone and you start to chip away your ego a bit, you're able to see the bigger plan and the bigger picture. And it took a long time for me to be able to see that, it definitely wasn't one trip or two trips it was a lot to get through all of that and be able to visualize something bigger.

18:54 PA: Well, the way you're putting it, now reminds me a lot of Neil Goldsmith. Do you know a Neil at all? Are you familiar with Neil?

19:00 RM: No.

19:01 PA: Okay, so Neil is a friend of mine and he is the MC for the Horizons Conference every year, he was also the MC at Psychedelic Science this past year, and he has a really good book about psychedelics, for psycho-spiritual development. And the way that you're putting it now is the exact way that he puts it in the book, that we have these layers and this is kind of like our personality, because of these traumas that are inflicted upon us, we create these shells around this kind of what he terms, the soul and he says, It's a soul with a small s, because it's not religious. That's how he frames it. And so once we unravel these things, like you were talking about... We kind of scrub off this suit we're able to get to this kind of crystalline center of who we really are.

19:42 PA: And before we had all these terrible things to us, kind of like the sense of when we were a baby and first born and the sense of pure grace that we were born into. And it kinda says you get to that. And then once you get to that, once you go deep, deep inside the self, then exactly what you're talking about, we can... The ego doesn't have as much of a grip on our waking conscious control, and that allows things from the unconscious and the subconscious to bubble up so that we can process it. And it sounds like you're talking in similar ways. And for me, it just... It reminds me of my own experiences too with psychedelics, and how we come up with justifications as to why we do things. We come up with justifications as to why we sabotaged a relationship, or justifications as to why we criticize something, or hurt someone. And these are justifications that our ego tells us to protect us from actually processing pain and trauma from a past, it seems like.

20:36 PA: And only when we're put in this altered of consciousness when, like you said, we can kinda step above, right? And kinda look down at these patterns. So we recognize that it's really the ego, and that when we can see past it, or over it, or through it, we can start to actually understand that there is this sense of love and compassion that permeates everything, and that getting into that and digging into that is really the the best way to live a life that has less suffering, I think in a way, which is for me, I guess the way that I try to contextualize it is like a Buddhist/Stoic way of... Okay, we're doing psychedelics and the psychedelic experience is great itself, but it's not just about the experience; it's also about when we're in this waken reality afterwards, how do we take those experiences and how do we integrate that, to live with that.

21:22 RM: Exactly. That's so important to me. It's not just about the trip. It's not just about what you experience in the trip. You need to be able to take what it's teaching you and apply it to everyday life, which I didn't understand at first, and I just didn't... And I had these profound things and then the next morning I would wake up and I wouldn't always apply it, and then after doing it regularly and making a regular regimen, that's when I just noticed it started to change me. I look in the mirror sometimes and I can't even believe I was the person I used to be. And now, to be able to be objective and to be able to see things... It's kind of like when you talk to a friend of yours, or someone you love and they're going through something, and you give them advice and you know that you're looking at the whole situation objectively, and you're not looking at it with emotion, you can't do that with yourself. And that's why there's so many people that give great advice, but can't follow it themselves, 'cause there's... It's themselves in there. There's something blocking it. And now, a lot of the times, and a lot better than I used to be, I'm able to give advice like I'm someone on the outside, who loves me, who's not all that ego in the way. And that's completely... It's changed my life. It's changed the way I treat my partner; and it's changed the way I treat complete strangers. I'm just so, so thankful for it.

22:41 PA: Yeah, I think we all are, and I think that's why a lot of us are doing this work, whether that's people like me, or people like yourself, or people who are finally coming out and talking about this publicly, and saying, "Look, psychedelics aren't just like other drugs." In fact, when I often talk about psychedelics, I prefer to use the term substances. So these are substances. Because oftentimes when you say the word drug people think of heroin or coke, or some of these other what I would say highly addictive and potentially much more dangerous substances than psychedelics. I find psychedelics to be relatively obviously non-toxic. They're not addictive. They're relatively safe if used within a correct framework. And these these meaningful experiences that we have, I think, it's so important that we do talk about them, and that we do have these conversations, because the fact is, there are a lot of people who are suffering and struggling, who because of... Like we were talking about before, this cultural propaganda, and the way that we've been educated for a long time, they just... They don't even recognize or understand that these could be beneficial for them and useful for them. And that's really sad to me.

23:40 RM: Yeah. And it's infuriating at this point. I remember when I first ever started smoking, to my parents, who I'm very close with, about it, they were very scared of it. And they thought it was scary, or they thought it was wrong, or they just hear these horrible things about how I'm gonna jump out a window, and how it's gonna destroy my body, and it's just decades and decades of lies. But now, four or five years later, my mother wants to come out and experience it with me. And she's never done a substance; she's never done a drug; she's never had any experience with these medicines; and she, after seeing how its changed me, wants to come out and experience it with me.

24:16 RM: And she is more open to it, and my father is more supportive of it, 'cause he knows it helps me. And he did research on microdosing Psilocybin, just for his own problems. And the fact that they went from one, completely against in opposition just due to lies and what they've been told growing up. And seeing exactly how it's changed me as a person, that's why I do what I do. And it's... It infuriates me, 'cause I'm very open about it, and I'm very open about it to the people I know. I'm very open about it to my co-workers, and it's just... It amazes how misinformation is spread for so long, and just how much stigma is surrounding something that's truly beautiful, in my opinion. So, it's just infuriates me, which is why I keep talking about it.

25:03 PA: Good. We'll keep talking about it. That's... We need more people talking about. Let's talk a little bit about the pragmatic aspect. So four years ago, where were you? Or five years ago, before you really started doing this, where were you; where was your mindset; who were you; what were you doing; and how has that changed now in terms of who you are, where you are, and what you're doing now?

25:23 RM: Four years ago I was a mess. [chuckle]

25:28 PA: Okay. [chuckle]

25:28 RM: I would like to pretend that I had everything together, but I... I was Just in New York and I was a bartender and I was kinda just trying to figure life out. But mentally, I was a wreck, because my whole... Until... For as long as I could remember, mentally, I was just unstable. And all my relationships were unstable. I was a very selfish, and I was... I don't know, I just always felt this darkness moving over me, and I never felt like I was myself. And I know that was the bipolar and I would disassociate a lot... And I kind of just went through life just floating around praying that I didn't kill myself, which sounds really depressing, but I don't remember not being miserable for most of my life. And I don't know how to explain it, I don't remember ever anything making sense in my mind just... I just rode these roller coasters of emotions and they led me to do destructive things and they led me to treat people terribly and I don't know I never, I just couldn't ever figure my life out.

26:34 RM: I just lived every day kind of in a fog and just hoping that I would be normal when I woke up in the morning and I sometimes I was and I would go through my day and mentally I was just in chaos. Constantly struggling between these different personalities that I didn't understand. And then when I started using psychedelics, that started to slowly change and I was able to recognize that those with personalities and those weren't me. And I don't know, it just slowly started to make sense. If I would wake up and I would disassociate I wouldn't feel like myself, I would slowly be able to realize, okay, you're not yourself right now. And I just feel like my whole life, I constantly struggled with hating myself and thinking I was a terrible person because I couldn't control my emotions and I couldn't control who I was. And I dealt with a lot of self-loathing and I dealt with a lot of self-hatred and I dealt with a lot of hatred towards other people, 'cause I hated people who looked happy and I hated when people seemed to have their life together 'cause I never knew what that was like. I don't know, it was just very dark, I just remember my life being very confusing and very dark and I just didn't know who I was and that's just what I remember most of my life being like, until I realized that I am sick and I do need help.

27:53 PA: Thank you for sharing that.


27:57 RM: It's really depressing. I'm glad it's happy now but it's depressing. I feel really bad sometimes because my sisters had... My older sister at least, she had an amazing childhood and my parents were amazing, and things were really great, but for most of my life, I just remember being different people and being miserable which is... I kind of feel like I wasted 20 years of my life but that's also because I grew up in a time where people didn't even consider mental illness being a thing. I just assumed everybody felt the way I felt. And I remember the first time I saw a therapist two years ago and I explained all of this to him. I explained the past 20 years of my life 22 at the time, years of my life. I remember when I was done talking, he just looked at me and he was like, "I can't believe you're still alive," and I was like, "Oh well, that's really re-assuring." And I don't think I would be alive now, at this point, if I didn't find these medicines. I don't think I would still be here, I don't think I would have had a chance at all.

29:00 PA: How has that changed now? Who are you when you wake up? How do you navigate reality? How has the psychedelic experiences helped you to really come into who you are and enjoy the experience of being alive? If it has.

29:15 RM: They've separated me from the people that my illness creates. They've been able to show me who I am and they've been able to show me that... It's hard to explain because it's all in my head, which just it's very difficult to grasp, but it's still difficult for me to explain. It's kind of like there are seven other people living inside of me, and I always thought all those people were me and after tripping over and over again, I slowly was able to figure out who I am and who my personality is. So when I wake up and I'm one of those other people, I'm able usually to realize that. And just 'cause that hatred came from being an angry person or being a hateful person or being just constantly being someone I wasn't and not being able to control it. It's like watching something from the inside and screaming for it to stop, and you can't make it stop. These been times where I've said horrible things to my partner and I know I shouldn't be saying them and I'm screaming from the inside to stop saying them, but I can't. It's like being in a robot and someone else is controlling everything. And what psychedelics were able to do, was show me that that robot that's functioning at that moment is not me. And that's when the hatred started to dissipate. 'Cause I know that's not who I am.

30:33 RM: I know that when I wake up I'm loving and I'm forgiving and I'm caring. And psychedelics were able to cut that rope that attached me to my illness and attached me to those personalities. They were able to put those personalities and that people in a room and be like, "That's not you, that's what happens when your brain fails you and that's what happens when you have an episode." And then it was able to show me my actual personality 'cause it's difficult to wake up and possibly not know who you're gonna be and when you wake up and you're a bad person, that can make you hate yourself, for a really long time. So I don't even know how to explain it. They just separated me from my illness, they gave me a perspective of who I actually am. And now, because they did that I'm able to work on that. I'm able... Whether, when I tripper, I meditate when I'm sober, or I am working on myself, I know that I'm talking to myself, I know that I'm looking at myself, and I'm not looking at these episodes are looking at this person that my brain turns me into when it just decides to fail me. They were able to show me, me. And they were able to put those other people in a box that I have to have contingency plans for and I have to be aware of. Yeah, and they cut that, they cut that tether to these personalities, that I have to exist with and I'm forced to live with inside of me that aren't who I actually am.

32:07 PA: And so it's like a mindfulness. It's a perspective, its ability to step back and not get caught up. We could say when some of these moments happen instead, there's an ability to step back and reframe what's going on so that you can kind of come back into your own presence.

32:22 RM: Yes, definitely mindfulness.

32:24 PA: Yeah. And is that for you, when you were doing these high-dose experiences 'cause I wanna kinda get into now like, these high doses versus now you microdosing, how did you often integrate those high doses experience specific to what you were going through with bipolar and borderline? How did you integrate those high doses experiences? Was that something that you would just, it would be a process of self reflection, it was a process of talking to your fiance, a process of talking to friends, your therapist, what was that process like when you go through these experiences? And how did you get context for what that meant in kind of your sober waking state?

32:56 RM: I know an exercise that I started doing and I still do when I am taking high doses and I just say this mantra that I would just say, "I am me, and I am whole." which kind of might not make sense to a lot of people but I would usually we would trip together but I would take a lot of time by myself, I would go in my own room or I would go somewhere else outside and I was just, I would sit down and I would visualize myself as a whole person 'cause I consistently start to become fractured, though. So I would take a heavy trip, and I can go about two months until I have to take the medicine again 'cause I slowly start to fracture on the inside into these different personalities again, so with these high doses, I would usually spend a lot of time alone and meditating on the fact that I'm one person and meditating on the fact that I'm whole and meditating. It's kinda, I just visualized it as all these fractured parts and pulling them back together into one whole puzzle piece.

34:03 RM: And then after doing that, and meditating on that and feeling like I gained back control of myself, my biggest thing is I would speak to my fiance and I would talk to him 'cause he sees these different personalities from the outside. And my biggest thing is talking to him about it and talking to him about my episodes and the way I've acted and what he sees and what his perspective and what the signs are 'cause there are a lot of signs when I start to change that he sees that I don't. And he's more open about it when we are taking these high doses and he's able to recognize it more when we do take these high doses. So it's very therapeutic to talk to someone who lives with me and sees me every single day and is able to tell when I'm having an episode. And then I don't know...

34:50 PA: So it's a process of self-reflection, yeah, a process of self-reflection, which I think is important and then a process of also having this kind of external person who is there to reflect with you because he is there during that experience with you and he knows you well enough.

35:04 RM: Yeah.

35:04 PA: He knows you well enough to have that context of what's going on, so that when you do talk about it, you feel understood. And you feel like there's an understanding and a connection there. And I think this is something that I've gone through as well. I think this is very something similar for a lot of friends that I talked to who do psychedelics. Where basically, a lot of us don't have therapists to talk to you about this. We don't necessarily talk to therapists about this. In fact, I remember talking with someone a few months ago when I was in Norway, who said that basically, she doesn't really see a therapist. She just likes to talk to her friends about things that she's going through. And that in itself is healing enough, because there is that sense of connection and that sense of being understood. And I think it sounds like your experience is representative of that. And it also sounds like from my perspective, and I think probably from the listeners perspective, is, as you've been talking about this, with the fact that you've been using psychedelics and that you do have borderline or bipolar, there's also probably red flags that are going up.

36:02 PA: Not necessarily in my mind because I'm obviously, I've read enough and I understand but I think probably some of our listeners would be curious to hear more about that in terms of like, if you read, for example, literature online, it's like you shouldn't, warnings, don't do psychedelics if you struggle with bipolar, don't do psychedelics, if you are, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. What process or what do you know in terms of from a larger perspective, the efficacy of psychedelics for things like borderline or bipolar? Have you done much research or much looking into that? Or have you just been more going by your own experience and using that as validation for it's possible like effectiveness?

36:39 RM: I've mainly been going from my own experiences. That is a huge thing 'cause I do talk to a lot of people on different forums and different just communities for people living with bipolar and living with borderline and it's very dangerous for me to say, "Oh, it's like psychedelics are amazing and they'll help your bipolar, they'll help your borderline." That's very dangerous for me to say and I'm not against prescription meds, which is why I also preface all my conversations with that as well 'cause that's the thing with mood disorders is you don't know how psychedelics are going to affect someone. In my personal opinion, I don't think it would have a negative impact just from my experience. And maybe that's ignorant because I'm a single person, but I don't think they're as harmful as a lot of institutions would say.

37:26 RM: I've had plenty of doctors that pushed me out the door as soon as I told them I microdose or as soon as I told them, I use psychedelics to help with my disorders, specifically telling me that they won't work with me for as long as they use them. And I've wanted to do a lot of clinicals trials that people are doing, for psilocybin, for depression or different research substances for depression. But all of their disclaimers say that they won't work with people with bipolar, they won't work with people with mood disorders, and I think that's because they're not doing research for psychedelics and mood disorders. I mean, the one thing I do know is a lot of people who have severe psychiatric problems are on medication and the medication that you are on are usually prescribed for bipolar, you can't mix with psychedelics which is why I had to make this choice. I would never want someone with bipolar who's on lithium or on some of the prescriptions for to take a psychedelic 'cause physically it's dangerous to mix those and I think that's another huge thing.

38:25 RM: Is if you're on the psychiatric medications, you can't be on psychedelics and to go off psychiatric medications, you have to be under the supervision of a doctor, because you can't be on something and then just go off of them, because that will just exasperate your symptoms. And I think the reason that people convince other people with mood disorders not to use psychedelics, is because nobody knows what it will do to them, nobody knows how it's gonna... How they're gonna react. Nobody knows. I don't think there's a lot of research on severely suicidal people and then having them use psychedelics. I just think it's the fact that people don't know. But in my experience, I don't see how it... I don't see it could be worse than what they're going through at this point.

39:07 PA: Right, have you spoken to other people who have borderline or bipolar who are using psychedelics? So a little context, I went to Breaking Convention, which is a psychedelic conference in London a few weeks ago, and they had two talks there. One was about using Ayahuasca for bipolar disorder. And basically the guy who presented on there he has bipolar. He's been using small Ayahuasca ceremonies to address them. However he had a list of 10 things that if you have bipolar and you wanna do Ayahuasca, things to be cautious of and aware of. Like, don't mix it with other... Don't mix it with tobacco and only use it during depressive period, make sure it's not fermented, all this other shit. And then there was another person who was presenting on MDMA for a borderline personality disorder. And I didn't go to that one. But a friend of mine went to it. And she said that it was really interesting and insightful in terms of how MDMA could be used for borderline. So it sounds like some of this research is starting to creep up.

40:01 PA: However, there's obviously no conclusive data. And it's probably going to be many years before we start to actually research this for mood disorders, largely because of the stigma and the costs associated with it. Whereas PTSD and depression are huge, huge, widespread problems. I think borderline probably affects a lower percentage of people than both of those. And so it's gonna be a while until we see that. So you know, my question would be, have you spoken to other people who have used psychedelics to help with borderline or bipolar, and if so, what have their experiences has been like?

40:30 RM: I haven't spoken to anyone else who have bipolar or borderline that have used them. A colleague of mine, she has borderline not bipolar and she actually... She came over the other night and we were just... She was kind of just asking me how I keep myself together and how I function on a daily basis because it's difficult for her. And I explained to her my experience with psychedelics I explained to her how they helped me and she was so interested in it but she's scared because, like I was, she doesn't know about it, she doesn't know how it's going to affect her. And my father is diagnosed with mental illness, my baby sister is, as well because it's genetic. And I talk to them a lot about it and my little sister is too young, but when she's older, I'm open to facilitate that with her because I think it will help.

41:17 RM: So everyone I talk to that has a mental illness and is struggling is interested in it. But they're afraid and I don't really blame them for being afraid because I was at first as well. But I know I haven't spoken to anyone who has bipolar and uses these psychedelic medicines regularly. Most of the people I talk to, there is something going on with them, but they're afraid of what is gonna happen to them. If they do delve into it and they're afraid what might transpire. And I'm not a doctor, I wouldn't recommend someone do something because I'm not a doctor and I can't guarantee it. I just can't fathom it going negatively. Like I've had bad trips before.

42:00 RM: I've had negative things happen before but even in that, something good came out of it. It was... And that's because I do it in a safe setting and I do it with someone experienced and I do it in the proper way you do it. It's medicine to me and it's a spiritual and it's a religious experience for me. So I can't, even if you go somewhere dark I just can't see it doing something that's not in the end eventually going to benefit you at all. I just can't comprehend them not showing you what they need to show you, whether it be negative or positive.

42:33 PA: As long as yeah, proper cautions and set and setting are paid attention to and going into it with an appropriate mindset. I think there's a certain level of accuracy to that. And I think that for me is what's interesting about micro-dosing is probably in the past, when you were first starting to do these psychedelics, you obviously didn't even understand or know about the concept of microdosing. So obviously, you just started probably with higher doses automatically. And as did I when I was first 19, you know, I started out taking, I think two tabs of LSD or two and a half tabs of LSD. I never did more than three but I think this is what's interesting about microdose. I know a few people who are now... Who either have bipolar or borderline who are starting to microdose and it's also helped them tremendously with their mood disorder, to the point where they're also... A couple of them are starting to speak publicly about this.

43:18 PA: And I think that for me is like if someone were to ask me or someone who's even listening to this podcast now who has a mood disorder, and has been considering psychedelics or has done psychedelics, it seems like a way to minimize the risk, right? A way to make sure that like the risk is minimized is to start with lower doses basically to start with, like sub perceptible micro-doses. And then kind of eventually, if things are going all right, then look at kind of slowly increasing to an amount that might provide a catalyst, some sort of a breakthrough. Of course, this isn't medical advice from from either of us, because we're obviously both not medical doctors. But at the same time, I think I agree with you. Obviously, I think there's something going on when you take, for example, a micro dose of LSD that is generating neuro plasticity, and it's creating a more connected brain and mind and body and spirit, body and mind, which obviously a lot of pharmaceuticals don't.

44:17 PA: Pharmaceuticals just kind of cover up the symptoms without actually getting to the core of really what's going on. And so I think it makes sense for me... Well, this is why I'm so interested in micro-dosing. This is why I talk so much about micro dosing. This is probably why your micro dosing is because it seems to be helping a lot of people over the long term with a build-up of all these benefits. In fact, let's talk about that a little bit for you, before we wrap up is like, so you're doing higher doses, and then you started to get into micro-dosing. Why'd you get into microdosing? And what benefits have you noticed as a result?

44:46 RM: Well, I got into it because... So my regular regimen was, we would have a heavy psychedelic trip every 30 days, just like I said, to keep that fracturing from happening. Because it was always Ground Zero from the point where we tripped and then slowly my mind would just start... But then it seemed that I was still robbing myself of living normally because I would be hanging on by a thread one month, two months in. And I was trying to figure out if there was a way to periodically have this experience, but not have me delve into a full psychedelic trip and still be able to go to work and still have the medicine making these connections in my brain that my brain just cannot make. And that's when I looked into micro-dosing 'cause I was like, "Okay, if I do this every three days, every four days, then I'll still be getting the benefits that it's been giving me in larger doses every month or so."

45:44 RM: But it's just a regular regiment. So, I started micro-dosing every three days and I just had to figure out what the dose was, so it was... I tried 25 micrograms at first, and that was kind of above threshold, I could notice the effects to the point where it wasn't really micro-dosing. So I went down to 17 micrograms which seems to be perfect for me. So I did that every three days and a month and I was fine. My symptoms were minuscule and my [unclear speech] was gone which was a huge relief. It was very difficult for me to wake up in the morning and not have that constantly just at the forefront of my mind. And then two months in, I had a really bad dip in depression but it lasted 24 hours, which is extremely, extremely short for me. Normally, things like that would last a week and it would be followed by, severe mania and everything was just completely reduced. And I think that's the thing I learned about micro-dosing so far, is that I'm still gonna have these different emotions and I'm still gonna have to ride these roller coasters of emotions sometimes but they've been greatly reduced to a point where I can function normally.

46:58 RM: I couldn't function normally in society before. And the thing with prescriptions, is I know that it would mask it and I know that it would do whatever they're marketed to do, but I think I would have lose a part of myself in that. And like you said, long-term effects. Micro-dosing every three days, isn't going to have the negative impact that being on something else long-term will be. I can't take... If I'm 24, if I take prescriptions and I start taking them for my mood disorder, I have to take them for the rest of my life. That simply would have to go up in dosage. And I don't like the idea of that and it scares me, and I don't like the idea of being dependent on something like that. And at this point, long-term use of micro-dosing, I can't see being anywhere near as harmful at all. And I know physically it's not and I'm glad that I was able to find something that I can do regularly that does make those connections in my brain that they can't make normally. And I just can't see myself finding a different route that's gonna work as well 'cause it's been two months and I've felt generally normal for two months and that hasn't happened to me since I was 12 years old.

48:10 PA: So micro-dosing really has then had this beneficial impact. It's obviously not placebo before you. It's made a tremendous difference in how you interact in the world and like you said, before, you couldn't really function normally. And now, as you've been micro-dosing more, it's really helped you to not only be present with yourself, but become this better sense of yourself.

48:33 RM: It makes me more aware of my emotions, even when I did, and I was able to see it. It's very difficult to see it when you don't understand what's happening to you at the moment 'cause usually when you get depressed, you think that's your reality. But what my brain does, is it creates this altered reality that's not real and it makes me feel these things that I normally wouldn't be feeling. And when I micro-dose, when I do it and I stick to that plan, I'm able to see my symptoms, I'm able to see the signs, I'm able to stick to these plans that keep me in a functional mental state that connects like you said, my mind and my body to a point where I can function and it makes me more aware of what's happening in my brain, it makes me more aware of my actions. It makes me more aware of my mood shifts and I'm able to, not control them, but I'm able to function with them more properly and I'm able to understand my mind and I'm able to make sense of what used to be a mess.

49:32 PA: And I think that's a great way with them because micro-dosing is something we talk about a lot at the third way. It's something obviously the other proponent of, in fact, just between you and me and all the audience actually, I micro dosed with mushrooms, earlier today. And it was a great day, I went to the gym, I got some work done, I felt this kind of like bubbly sense of energy, this little sense of glow. Even sometimes when I micro dose, like you mentioned the 25 mics, it's a little bit more than a micro dose, but for me it's like, I sometimes like that. I like that little glow effect that you get and I think that's partly because I've done a lot of LSD in my time. And I seem to have become acclimatized in a way to LSD in a way where when you are taking on a somewhat consistent basis like micro-dosing, then there's this sense of adaptability in the sense of getting used to it where then, your every day waking reality is just more presence, you're more mindful.

50:26 PA: Ou're kind of like in the sense of fluidity and flow that when, for example, before I started micro-dosing there seemed to be this disconnect between me and this external reality where I always had, I was second guessing myself or I was procrastinating on certain things, in social situations I used to have social anxiety, so I'd get anxious about talking to someone new. And then, when I started micro-dosing it was just like, it came up. It came up into my awareness of, I should do this or I should handle this or I should go here. And then you just kind of do it, you go with it. It's like this sense of fluidity that comes from it. And I'm super excited that we got a chance to have this conversation. I'm super excited that we got a chance to talk about micro-dosing. I'm super excited that you're 24. I thought you were like, I thought you were much older which is a compliment.


51:12 RM: Aww, that's nice.

51:14 PA: But you're very mature, and the way that you've handled all this and the way that you've spoken about all of this is really great. And so, I just wanna commend you for telling the story, and being public about it. And we talk on Twitter, and we've had a couple of phone calls as well. And what you're doing is really important and so I just wanna thank you before we wrap up.

51:32 RM: Thank you.

51:32 PA: You're welcome. Well, it was great to have you on the show. Where can people find you? What's your Twitter handle? And I think you have a blog as well, or I think you wrote a piece about your micro-dosing experience, right?

51:43 RM: Yeah, so I wrote a piece a month later. And then I'll probably do one at three months and just continue giving updates about it and I also just write about different things about living with bipolar and... Yeah, I just update that regularly. So, that's and then my Twitter handle and my Instagram are and I do all my updates on there as well and I update regularly about how it's going with my microdosing, I talk very openly about my episodes, I'm just, like I said when we began, like I'm an open book and I do that because I think a lot of people don't have the platform to be an open book and I think it's important for the people who do to speak up just so you can reach everyone that this is huge and I... It needs to reach more ears. So I'm as open as I can possibly be 'cause if I reach one person and it benefits them, then I've done my job and I'm happy.

52:40 PA: Absolutely. So that's Rachael with an A-E-L, R-A-C-H-A-E-L.

52:45 RM: Yes.

52:45 PA: I have a sister named Rachel and it's R-A-C-H-E-L so R-A-C-H-A-E-L M-A-D-O-R-I and that's your Twitter, Instagram handle as well as your blog dot com. Correct?

52:57 RM: Yes. Correct.

52:58 PA: Okay, great. Well, thanks again for coming on.


53:16 PA: So we're back with another segment of questions for psychedelics this week. Last week we didn't have one so Patrick, our content manager really got on me about, "Paul, you need to make sure that you do it." So here I am doing it Patrick. We are doing two questions. One from Mario Cristo. "I'm interested to know how each substance differs in their effect as someone that has never tried psychedelics and I'm highly curious which psychedelic would I begin with." That's a great question. I can't tell you which psychedelic that you should begin with however I can tell you a little bit about each one and particularly, I can tell you about my experience. So the first psychedelic that I did was psilocybin mushrooms, I was 19 years old, it was in the basement of the fraternity house that I was living at at university, I snuck in over winter break with two friends from high school and we did some psilocybin mushrooms. It was an interesting experience, we didn't do a lot of them and so, about five months later, I did LSD for the first time and that was fucking awesome. It was the most probably profound experience of my life, I went out to the beach with friends and... Yeah, it just, it blew my mind.

54:19 PA: So what I like about LSD is because it is a semi-synthetic, it tends to have a much happier effect, it tends to have a much kind of more leaning towards being connected and lovey and high energy and everything is great type of feeling while still having these profound insights that we get from a psychedelic experience, of our connection to everything, of the importance of kind of deconditioning from cultural programming, the importance of seeing patterns and metaphors in our life and the world around us. LSD tends to give those things still, which are important in the psychedelic experience while still keeping it as a fairly happy and light experience. So it seems like for many first time people, LSD is a good introduction to psychedelics. But obviously, this isn't for anyone.

55:07 PA: At the same time, I would say if you haven't done psychedelics before, it seems to be appropriate to start with lower amounts. So a micro dose up to a moderate dose up to maybe then a higher dose if you have a set and setting that's appropriate for you including a guide to create that container and space in which you can have that experience. Other people though would tell you that Ayahuasca is a great first experience to have because it puts you right into this feeling centered place of the psychedelic experience and typically, if you're doing Ayahuasca, particularly if you're going down to South America for it and you've done your research, you're going to have a container and setting that is culturally appropriate for what you're doing. And I think for that reason and purpose, it can often be a very insightful, profound experience for people as well.

55:51 PA: Be aware that psilocybin mushrooms, like I mentioned before, I've had some really weird interesting experiences with mushrooms and in fact, many people who I've spoken to, who maybe did psychedelics when they were younger and had a bad trip or a challenging experience as a result of that, they usually did mushrooms with those trips and they did it in high amounts. So if you haven't done psychedelics before, if you wanna try it for your first time, start with a low amount, probably angle towards LSD, if you feel comfortable going down to South America or doing an Ayahuasca experience, I think that is also an appropriate experience to have.

56:24 PA: So that ends up with the first question. The second question is from anonymous, "I was wondering if you could talk more about the safety aspects of DMT in particular. The reason I want to try DMT is because of certain problems I've had for a long time that I can't seem to find a solution to. I heard that it is the active compound in Ayahuasca and how people taking this have come away with unique insights into how to get through the problems and roadblocks in their lives."

56:44 PA: So I'll tell you a story. About a year and a half ago, I smoked DMT for the first time. I was in San Cristobal, Mexico staying with a good friend and we decided to have a DMT ceremony. He has done it for dozens of people before, he set up an excellent container in a space. We did a little bit of LSD that day to open us up and then I smoked DMT for the first time. And I went into the same exact headspace that I had been in actually five years previous on a bad trip or a challenging experience with psilocybin mushrooms that I never properly integrated or understood. So DMT, smoking it put me back immediately in that headspace. But it was only for 10 or 15 minutes because the DMT experience is so short. So instead of being in the headspace for hours upon hours like I was with the psilocybin mushroom experience, I was in that headspace for 10 or 15 minutes, I came out of it, integrated my experience with my friend and then I smoked DMT a few days later and it was the most blissful, amazing, beautiful experience that I had ever had.

57:37 PA: I think that goes to show the potential usefulness of DMT is because it's so short, 10 to 15 to 20 minutes and still so impactful, that if you create the appropriate container for it, that it can have a profound experience on you in a very, very short period of time. So instead of having to live through something like LSD, which is basically like 12 hours or even psilocybin mushrooms which is upwards of six hours, DMT is 15 to 20 minutes, it's extremely intense. However, you can also get a lot of utility and benefit from doing it. So what's important to pay attention to is first, that the DMT that you have is pure, that it has very few impurities. The second thing to pay attention to is that you smoke it in an appropriate way. I think we might have some resources on our website that would talk more about that but basically, you want to make sure that you do it in a way where you will have the experience, typically, it requires at least three puffs and that it's done in a way that has an appropriate container and set in settings. So obviously, if you're doing it, it's recommended that you potentially smoke it with someone who has experience with this before so that they can guide you in the process so that you can get a lot out of it. So, smoking DMT, interesting, profound, very powerful and so, make sure that you have an appropriate container for it.

58:00 PA: So those were the two questions for this week. If you have other questions, please submit them to us, I'm happy to answer them. Also, as always, if you enjoyed this, we have a Patreon page which we would really appreciate your support on patreon.comthethirdwave and we also would love a review on iTunes if you're enjoying this show. So till next time, adios everyone.

This Week in Psychedelics

A US Senator has introduced a bill that would legalize marijuana at the federal level – the Marijuana Justice Act.

Uruguay is first country in the world to officially legalize Cannabis – however there are limits on how much you can legally buy per month, and it’s all made by the government.

Paul Austin of The Third Wave is mentioned in The Economist.

Fullscreen have released a short video on microdosing – shows the typical day in the life of a US microdoser.


Read our Essential Guides to the most popular psychedelics – Psilocybin MushroomsLSDAyahuasca and DMT

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