Scott & Dawn’s Story

Can you tell me your personal story?

Dawn: I suffer from anxiety and depression. I also have secondary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A lot of it falls from a lot of childhood trauma that I’m starting to kind of wade through therapy, but a lot of it is being a caregiver and a spouse to a military member who has psychological wounds of trauma. When you have a spouse who has an invisible injury, it makes it a lot harder to get services. I have literally watched a 20 year progression of my husband going from this thriving, loving soldier in the military, to somebody who was literally a stranger to me. We spent a lot of time fixing Scott and now I’m on a journey to find myself. For those 20 years I didn’t really have a sense of self, and now I’m discovering it. This journey with psilocybin really kicked it off, it opened up the journey of getting back to me. It’s a wonderful journey, and it was nice to be able to do that with Scott. And it is part of a couple’s journey, but in a lot of ways, it’s like I’ve found myself I’m starting to find myself in there as well.

“The Wake Clinic helped me connect with the pieces of myself I had lost due to anxiety and depression. I will take these tools home to share with others.”

Dawn

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Dawn: suffer from anxiety and depression. I also have secondary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A lot of it falls from a lot of childhood trauma that I’m starting to kind of wade through therapy, but a lot of it is being a caregiver and a spouse to a military member who has psychological wounds of trauma. When you have a spouse who has an invisible injury, it makes it a lot harder to get services. I have literally watched a 20 year progression of my husband going from this thriving, loving soldier in the military, to somebody who was literally a stranger to me. We spent a lot of time fixing Scott and now I’m on a journey to find myself. For those 20 years I didn’t really have a sense of self, and now I’m discovering it. This journey with psilocybin really kicked it off, it opened up the journey of getting back to me. It’s a wonderful journey, and it was nice to be able to do that with Scott. And it is part of a couple’s journey, but in a lot of ways, it’s like I’ve found myself I’m starting to find myself in there as well.

Scott: For me, I joined the military when I was when I was younger. I was in Yugoslavia on a tour back in 1998. I did another tour in 2007 to Afghanistan, and I was there again in 2010 for a year. I got home and we were posted to the United States right away. Things started started changing after that. After Bosnia, Dawn and I met like three weeks after I got home, but I wasn’t paying attention. I was drinking a lot. And then I was a rugby player for a long time. And between military injuries and some rugby injuries, I started using a lot of opioids. So fast forward to 2017. And Dawn had enough and said “get out and sort yourself out.” I ended up in rehab in Toronto in 2017. I got the pill addiction while I was trying to solve the chronic pain. The booze was more just trying to quiet my head, the voices in my head.

Dawn: A big part of me going was to support Scott as a caregiver. But the minute we got there it was just so welcoming, and I realized it was just something I didn’t know I needed. It was something I never realized that I was missing. I’m a cannabis person. I am a cannabis educator. So this is like another layer. It was literally mind blowing. I dealt with some stuff that I was too scared to touch for a long time. It was very much something I didn’t know I needed, but it’s something that is going to be with me forever.

Scott: I wanted to try it because I think I needed to try it. I need to try another way to help get my brain in line. To be human again. To be what I was before the army. There’s times over the last couple of years when I’ve hated myself, Dawn’s hated me, or our kids have hated me. And all for good reason. And I don’t want that anymore. If I hate me, it is what it is. But I don’t want my family to hate me. And that’s where I I knew I needed to make changes. I was hoping that this would be another tool in my toolbox.

Dawn: I grew up in BC and my friends and I would go down to Abbotsford and pick them out of the field. That was just me as a teenager just dropping handfuls of whatever it was that somebody gave you. I didn’t really touch them for the longest time because I became so busy with being a mom and a wife. Then, I started reading about psilocybin as a therapy. I became curious to see what this can do. There was some apprehension, but the Wake Clinic was done in such a supportive way. I loved the meditation-led ceremonial aspect of it.

Scott: I had tried microdosing psilocybin it and I felt a good change. I actually felt like things were starting to make sense. My injuries were making sense to me

Dawn: I went in with no expectations, which I think was kind of nice because everything that happened to me was authentic. There was nothing to judge anything by but everything was very clear once we got there. For example, there was a lot of thought put into the diet that we’re eating to make the experience more comfortable. They were very mindful even right down to the menu, and the food was amazing. It’s those little details that put you at ease. I was apprehensive about the first ceremony but everything was explained to us and it put me at ease. There was even a spiritual psychologist, which was cool, because it’s not everyday you get to hang out with a spiritual psychologist. In my first journey we went on, I dealt with my mom passing away, which was baggage I’d been holding for 15 years. I got to deal with it. I am so glad it was my first immersion experience. I wouldn’t want it any other way. It was so professional but supportive and warm. I hope at some point that we’ll be able to experience this somewhere here in Canada.

Scott: Like Dawn said, we didn’t know what to expect, and had zero expectations. For me, the experience was unbelievable. They cared for us right away, it felt like we’ve been friends with everybody for forever. It was another level of care. Once I met everybody and realized how warm and welcoming everybody was, I knew this was going to be easy. During the ceremonies, it was amazing to go through the experience and have someone sitting there with you. The way that everything was done answered a lot of questions in my head. That week did more for me than anything I’ve been trying to fight with in the last 10 years. I’ve been on other veteran retreats – not mushroom ones – where they just don’t even talk to you again after it’s over. You never hear a word from them after. With Wake, it’s like another family. I’m still in touch with the guys from the Clinic.

Dawn: Before the first ceremony, Lane asked me what my intention was. And it really made me think. He’s told me that if I don’t have a plan, I’m just going to be a ship sailing aimlessly in the wind. We spent time and really chatted about what I was hoping to achieve spiritually and mentally. Part of my intention was to clean up my thoughts about things that I can’t control. I was able to undo a lot negative brain waves that I’ve been carrying for a really long time. I came out of it having shed skin. At one point, I was encompassed in all of these snakes, it was like a cyclone. And I was in the middle of it with all these snakes, but it was just the shedding of skin and dead weight and bad thoughts. That was really one of the most profound things, I was able to shed a lot of like that proverbial dead skin.

Scott: It was halfway through the second ceremony when I happen to just get up and walk to the end of the terrace. Mark from Halifax and I just stood there and just watched the sun going down at the time. And we just we just took it all in. At that moment I was thinking about how I’m healing. I am healing. Being able to say “I am healing” in that moment changed a lot for me, it changed my life.

Dawn: The chance to connect to myself on a level I didn’t know was possible without it not being considered therapy. This is really breaking down the stigma that therapy has to be dreadful. We’re really breaking the cookie cutter mold of the forms of therapy available to people. At one point in my life, I couldn’t deal with it all anymore and I turned to Xanax, which is such a shitty drug, but it allows you to escape in an unhealthy way. I was able to replace my unhealthy coping mechanisms with really honest and genuine therapies, and the Wake immersion is one of those. It was so easy to do the work because there were so many hands to hold me up.

Scott: It’s really hard to pinpoint it because I think I’m still experiencing it. Being able to talk to the guys at any time. I feel much better having someone there that I can turn to and ask questions.

Dawn: We’ve still been keeping up with our breath work with Lane. Lane was offering a bunch of online classes because we’re all stuck inside during the pandemic. It has kept us within those good feelings from Jamaica. Also, having access to the Wake team is reassuring. There was a lot of really great support.

Scott: The Wake team made it easy, they really did. It’s always on the client to do work, but when we had to reach out to them, they were always there to talk.

Dawn: The more we share it, the more we make it we make it normalized as a form of therapy. Every chance I can get to jump on webinars to listen and learn more, I do. I have started digging into the articles and the research material and I share it with others.

Scott: I’ve started the Fungi Warrior FaceBook page and website. The main point of it is to try to help bring vets and people in for Wake Clinical Immersions, and to show them what the experience there is like. But it’s also to get the right information out there. Dawn and I put up articles that are from fairly decent sources. We look into it and make sure people are getting the right message because I want people to know about this, I want people to know about Wake, and I want people to know about plant medicine too.

Dawn: We’re not an average couple. We’ve been through a lot as a couple, and we’ve been through a lot as individuals. After we came home, it has given us different coping mechanisms. It’s given us a new filter to be able to work together. It is amazing to be able to say to another couple, “Hey, there is hope. It’s not the end of your journey. It’s going to take some work, but you can do it.”

Scott: After the Wake Clinical Immersion, some subtle things changed for the better. Dawn and I started to understand each other more. For the first time in 25 years, we’re listening a bit more to each other. The experience showed us how easy things can be and that we don’t have to fight as much. Now, there’s things that come up and we kind of go, “whatever.”

Dawn: We’ve still been keeping up with our breath work with Lane. Lane was offering a bunch of online classes because we’re all stuck inside during the pandemic. It has kept us within those good feelings from Jamaica. Also, having access to the Wake team is reassuring. There was a lot of really great support.

Scott: The Wake team made it easy, they really did. It’s always on the client to do work, but when we had to reach out to them, they were always there to talk.

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Our immersions center around advanced mushrooms containing psilocybin. Psilocybin is a psychoactive compound being investigated by scientific academia for its potential to restructure brain cells and heal trauma, disorders and illness.

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