Almost everyone who gets divorced struggles with the trauma and depression that comes with it. Plus, there's often a cycle of toxicity in the relationship that some people have a lot of trouble breaking free from. Today, with so many states legalizing cannabis, low dose psychedelics (we see you, Oregon), and ketamine therapy, people are finding real relief from the emotional triggers of their former relationship using these formerly taboo drugs.
Do you want to release your demons and patterns that drive you crazy? Listen up.
In this episode of the Modern Divorce Podcast, host Billie Tarascio talks with Seattle-based April Pride, who is blazing territory for divorcing men and women who are trying out cannabis, ketamine and psychedelics to deal with the emotional pain comes with an ugly break up and the loss of the familiar. She talks about her own experiences with these newly legalized resources and invites others to ride along with her, in her Seattle-based "teas" to get unstuck from the pain of a divorce.
You can find April online as the host of The High Guide, a podcast about women changing their lives thanks to altered states. Concurrent with her work at The High Guide, she is the CEO/Founder at Of Like Minds, a portfolio of women-founded companies.
[00:00:40] Billie Tarascio: Hello, this is Billie Tarascio with the Modern Divorce Podcast, and I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I am excited about today's conversation. It is different. We have never had a conversation quite like this. So today I am joined by April Pride, who is the founder of, of like minds, and [00:01:00] she specializes in a topic that I would consider taboo. And we are going to be talking about psychedelics and weed for women specifically when they're stuck after Divorce. So excited. April, welcome to the show.
[00:01:13] April Pride: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.
[00:01:15] Billie Tarascio: Thank you for being here. So this is a little taboo, definitely cutting edge, and your experience with psychedelics coming out of your Divorce is something that I think is so important for our listeners. Would you mind sharing that?
[00:01:34] April Pride: Sure, so my Divorce was final in January of 2022, and I moved out in September 2020, 2021 and we had mediation. It was, I think it was a total of maybe a couple of months, but we did it every Friday and there was, you know, there was not,
any contention between the two of us. We'd co-parent. Great. I love a 10 minute walk from the family home, which she got [00:02:00] to keep, so there was no stress there.
Yeah, I think all. My parents, I have a, I'm come from a very blended family, so I know what a Divorce on the other side can look like. So I had a positive example, you know, everything. And my hus, or my ex-husband, husband and I have been together since 22. So he knew my family. He had a vision of that too. It was,
it was best case scenario I would say.
And still it was awful. It was just, it's gut wrenching, right? Like you can. You can think you're ready for something, but you're never, for me, I was not prepared to spend half the time with my kids. I have, we have two boys,
ages 13 and 16 now, and that was, that was really what was the hardest part. I mean, on top of being an adult for the first time by myself and losing my best friend and, you know, all of those things.
I, I consume cannabis. I'm, as you said, I work in the cannabis in the psychedelic space, and I create brands for women who are [00:03:00] open to,
unorthodox ways of approaching their mental health, right? Approaching their wellbeing. And so during the pandemic, as a person diagnosed with ADHD stuck in one place, I was very grateful for cannabis to help me, you know, to be right.
when I moved out, I gave myself a year. To think about my relationship with cannabis, knowing that it was probably gonna be very helpful in this transition. And,
about a month before my year was up, I, you know, I was no closer to having a more casual relationship with the plant. I was definitely consuming every day,
and smoking it too, which I wanted to change.
So I had sort of microdosing, psilocybin, not related. To decreasing the amount of I moved out in September 20, 20, 20.
2021 and we had mediation. It was, I think it was a total of maybe a couple of months, but we did it every Friday [00:04:00] and there was, you know, there was not any contention between the two of us. We'd co-parent. Great. I love a 10 minute walk from the family home, which she got to keep, so there was no stress there.
Yeah, I I have a, I'm come from a very blended family, so I know what a Divorce on the other side can look like. So I had a positive example, you know, everything. And my hus, or my ex-husband, husband and I have been together since 22. So he knew my family. He had a vision of that too. It was it was best case scenario I would say.
And still it was awful. It was just, it's gut wrenching, right? Like you can. You can think you're ready for something, but you're never, for me, I was not prepared to spend half the time with my kids. I have, we have two boys ages 13 and 16 now, and that was, that was really what was the hardest part. I mean, on top of being an adult for the first time by myself and losing my best friend and, you know, all of those things.
But I, I consume cannabis. I'm, as you said, I [00:05:00] work in the cannabis in the psychedelic space, and I create brands for women who are open to unorthodox ways of approaching their mental health, right? Approaching their wellbeing. And so during the pandemic, as a person diagnosed with ADHD stuck in one place, I was very grateful for cannabis to help me, you know, to be right.
And when I moved out, I gave myself a year. To think about my relationship with cannabis, knowing that it was probably gonna be very helpful in this transition. And about a month before my year was up, I, you know, I was no closer to having a more casual relationship with the plant. I was definitely consuming every day and smoking it too, which I wanted to change.
So I had sort of microdosing, psilocybin, not related. To decreasing the amount of cannabis I was consuming. But I realized that I hadn't consumed in three days after I had been microdosing. [00:06:00] So that was curious to me. And as you mentioned, I have a podcast called The High Guide and a ketamine an at-home ketamine assisted therapy company reached out to me so that their lead clinician could be a guest on the show.
And I had been doing a ton of research on ketamine b. Because I thought it was the devil actually. It's really only psychedelic. Yeah. That's considered to have addictive qualities and we have clinics now everywhere where you can choose ketamine assisted therapy and I just didn't know about it. I don't have a lot of trust I guess in the health.
System in terms of what heals us. When I look at what happened with the opioid crisis, it felt to me like perhaps maybe we were getting ourselves into something else that was only going to cost lives, right? I, I didn't know. I'm not a scientist. I had to figure this out for myself. All I know is that my friends that chose to consume ketamine recreationally liked it a lot and were concerned about, you know, their own relationship [00:07:00] at times.
So when they reached out to me, I thought, okay, well, I need to do, I need to research the other side too. And that's when I started hearing stories about transformation and lifelong struggles with with depression. Treatment resistant depression is specifically what ketamine can be prescribed for.
So I said, yes, I will take the screening. I paid for it myself. Right. I wanted to go through it, you know, as an unbiased I guess there's an unbiased talk person talking about it. Mm-hmm. And I passed the screening, no surprise. And at, I just finished up about a month ago, our fourth season, which is ketamine for Divorce depression, I dependency.
Mm-hmm. And so what I was doing during that time is, Making the very clear intention of using this opportunity to decrease my [00:08:00] cannabis consumption, to reset my relationship with it. I'd done the same thing with alcohol 13 years ago, and so I. Yeah, I, I knew I needed help though. I, I didn't have any help with alcohol.
That was an easy thing to do. I had two young kids. It was making me feel awful all the time that I tried to do it. And but this was different. This has making me feel a lot better most of the time. So I did three ketamine treatments at home. Super low dose, educated myself on the difference between having it at home versus going to a clinic, which is much more expensive.
And, you know, I've. I haven't continued the treatments, which oftentimes they suggest that you do. There's been an interruption in treatment because the covid laws have changed and so telehealth and what is what you can do with the TE with telehealth is all shifting back to pre covid. So these ketamine at home.
Platforms are finding that they [00:09:00] have to change their business model. So that's been interesting too, but I'm happy to report that for me, it allowed me to do what I wanted to do, which is just to reset my relationship. Right. I don't have I think they're, I know a lot of people that consume cannabis every single day, and they are stellar humans in all the ways, right?
Including their, including their own health. For me, I just have a different relationship. I have different I'm neuro divergent, so I just have to be careful about the chemicals that I choose to consume on the regular. And yeah, it took about 18 months. I think I'll have another 18 months, but thanks to psilocybin and to weed, it turns out.
Yeah. And to ketamine, I've gotten through the first year and a half and I feel like I didn't, besides the cannabis, I didn't try to escape into anything else. So yeah, feeling better on the other side. That was
[00:09:53] Billie Tarascio: a lot. That was a lot. And I think that was a lot. What [00:10:00] I heard you say is that microdosing, which for those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, let's just break that down for a minute.
Microdosing is the concept that taking very small doses of psychedelic drugs, Is
proving to be
life changing and, you know, really revamping the entire field of mental health. They're finding that doctors are finding that using very small doses of psychedelic drugs can transform people who are addicted, who are depressed, who are suicidal, who are anorexic.
And this research is huge
because in the term, in terms of mental health, the treatments have not really changed or evolved in [00:11:00] 30 years, and we know that the treatment for mental health is lacking, right? We can look around and see that the treatment for mental health is lacking. So what we're talking about is this concept of taking very small doses of, I mean, are we talking.
Mushrooms is psilocybin. Mushrooms is psilocybin. Is are we talking l s d? Is that what ketamine
[00:11:24] April Pride: that's a great question. No, ketamine, do you, okay, I'm gonna go down this. So ketamine and l s d are not the same thing. Okay. Psilocybin yes. Comes from quic mushrooms. And just like weed has a variety of strains, there are different types of mushrooms, right, that you can choose to ingest.
L S D. Is a different psychoactive that also is being microdosed to help people with their productivity and with their mental health. Mm-hmm. Absolutely. Mm-hmm. And. Then ketamine [00:12:00] is, is even different. So it's being, it's been used in American healthcare system since the 19, I think it was discovered in 62, and it's been used since the 1970s as an analgesic and in an antiseptic.
So y if you, I mean, doctors love it, right? Because you can be in this dream state if you're having, I think, I think my son was given it when he had to do something with his toe, right. So you don't go all the way under and yeah, it's, it's a very, very effective drug. It's used on in Vietnam it was used on the battlefield a lot to help with soldiers.
So it's short acting. That's another great. It's a one hour when I took my ketamine lozenge. It's one hour, right, that you're, you're probably two hours from, but the time that you put it in your mouth to the time you're cooking dinner with your kids, so mm-hmm. Yeah. And again, that's a low dose. So Ketamine in [00:13:00] 19, or sorry, in 2017, was approved.
For the use was approved for major depressive disorder and the next year it was approved for treatment resistant depression and might have this too flipped. Yeah.
[00:13:19] Billie Tarascio: So it's not that recent, but it does feel like something that not everyone knows about.
[00:13:26] April Pride: No, no, people don't know about it. What's interesting about the, there's only one Ketamine drug that's been approved by the F D A, and it was put out by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is owned by Johnson and Johnson.
It's called Sprivato, and it's the na, it's a nasal spray. Modality. That's how it is. It is prescribed. So when you go to a clinic that has an IV drip or you go to a clinic that has an intramuscular shot or the lozenge, those are not f d A approved and therefore your insurance is not going to cover those treatments.
Hmm. Only the nasal spray. [00:14:00] So the other treatments, ketamine is a Oh, what is the word? I just lost the word. It is a. It's got a left and right side. I can't think of it right now, but and so there's s Ketamine in r Ketamine and all of the other modalities include both. That's called reic, RAIC, ketamine.
Whereas bravado only has s ketamine. And so there's debate as to it's like true efficacy and just if it's better, you know, because. The reason that it's like that is because you can then you have IP j Johnson Johnson has ip, so they changed it just a little and then got it approved through four clinical trials.
So if you can go and have the full compound, it is better. Yeah. So
[00:14:55] Billie Tarascio: all of this is amazing and great, and. [00:15:00] Really, really great for society. I had not heard about it using for people who are coming out of a Divorce, but it makes so much sense to me because so many people coming out of a Divorce are stuck in patterns, thought patterns, and relationship patterns with their ex that are terribly toxic.
And they want so desperately to move out of that pattern of behavior that is so toxic and traumatic and exposes them and their children to conflict all of the time, and they just can't break the
[00:15:38] April Pride: cycle. Right. I mean I think they're stuck. There's not a worse place than to feel stuck, right? That's how you probably felt in your marriage.
Right? And so then for there not to be any progress when mountains have been moved and families have imploded, and you know, all of it is what's wrong with [00:16:00] me. Right. Look at me all along is, you know, I think a very common question that according to my friends, we've all asked ourselves, those of us that have been divorced, right?
If you're unhappy now and you're unhappy, then, then maybe you're just an unhappy person, right? Bottom line. And, and I think it has, the feeling of being stuck is something that okay, you can get out of your marriage. You're not stuck there. But now you've been the same person for your entire life. And you have to question if all of that was the, you know, you did everything in the right way.
And if you you know, if you bear some, the responsibility of the demise of your marriage, which every situation is so different, it's hard to say that everybody is responsible on both sides all the time. I don't know. So Then, yeah, you're coming to terms with some things that you probably need to work on or change in Patterning is exactly what's gotten you here, and it will get you out of it.
So Ketamine allows [00:17:00] you to step outside of yourself and to witness who you are, who you've become, the way you behave with curiosity rather than judgment. Right. The physical sensation, not with a low-dose lozenge, but with a higher dose Ketamine, is that you're floating above your body, right, and that you're just looking at yourself and your life with this, again, with curiosity rather than judgment.
And that allows you to go, oh, I guess I do do that, huh? That doesn't really get me anywhere. Hmm. And it's makes it a lot easier to make those changes in the future because you realize it's not serving you anymore. And a lot of the patterns that we have protect us, they protect our bodies, they protect our freedom.
They, you know, whatever. They just protect us from having to change or to do something differently than our parents, because that least has an outcome we can predict. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:17:56] Billie Tarascio: So I needed to [00:18:00] do E M D R in order to get out of negative patterns with my ex. It didn't matter how hard I tried, how much I knew better, I was stuck and triggered by certain things, and E M D R really helped just change that no longer be triggered.
Just have so much more freedom of choice to just choose to act differently. And E M D R is a therapy that helps you kind of change the way your brain processes the past and the future. And I, I've never microdosed with ketamine, but it feels like it's a similar concept.
[00:18:41] April Pride: Yes. In fact, some of the research that I was doing about putting people in a state of awe EMDR came up and Absolutely.
So the science of all is explained that you, there's one part of your mind that [00:19:00] realizes that you have to approach things differently. What you've been doing is wrong. And then the other part of, what is the other part? I was just reading it this morning. I, of course I've already forgotten. But it's an an acknowledgement that things exist that you can't quite explain.
Or touch or you know, you just like, there's a little bit of wonder there. Yeah. I think, I think I said that right. So yeah, you you experience that in ketamine. You experience that in e emdr, you experience that meditation time and nature. Yeah. You know, that's the one thing that I really think is important to stress is what is prescribed for integration.
I shouldn't say prescribed, but what is suggested for integration after you? Have psychedelic assisted therapy is taking time in nature journaling. Getting your sleep, meditating, finding people that make you laugh and make you feel good and spending more time with them, that will reinforce what the medicine is doing to your brain, to the creating new neural [00:20:00] na neural pathways so you can begin to behave differently because your brain is telling you to do it differently.
So you don't have to, if you live in a state or I mean, Everyone, except for people in Oregon live in a state where it's not legal right to seek this out. Then you should know there are so many modalities, breath work that can really put you into this heightened state and allow you to get perspective outside of just what's been conditioned.
And you know the tape in your head too. You have other, there are other options in addition to psychedelic assisted therapy.
[00:20:33] Billie Tarascio: This is so powerful because. Not, I don't know very many people who get to show up exactly as they want to show up. You know, none of us really have the, the ability, you know, there's what, there's who we wanna be, and then here's who we are.
They're usually not exactly lined up, but these. Types of tools can help you show up the way you wanna show up, release your addictions, release your [00:21:00] patterns that don't serve you. And it's just not as easy as saying, I wanna be this person, let me be this person. So it's so exciting and I'm, I'm excited that it exists and that it is available to people.
And even though it is not legal everywhere, except for in Oregon, you can still get microdose, ketamine,
[00:21:18] April Pride: right? Anywhere. So ketamine microdose, I don't know that I would call the low dose lozenge is low dose lo lozenge. I don't know if people that are microdosing ketamine, but doesn't mean that you can't Oh, I just, yeah, I just, not what this
[00:21:34] Billie Tarascio: is maybe, I don't know the difference.
What's microdosing and low dosing?
[00:21:37] April Pride: Yeah. Okay. So microdose is you take a dose that's so low from, for psilocybin for instance, you take 0.25. Grams would be a high-end. It's two. So 250 milligrams would be a high-end dose that you would take on a Monday and a Thursday. That's one of the protocols. But you can take 25 [00:22:00] milligrams and have the same results.
Right there is. There's a lot of research that the dosage doesn't always matter. You become, you, you build up a tolerance. So over time, if you're doing a two month protocol right, you'll increase your dosage. But never will you that high be perceptible. You will never know that you have ingested a psychoactive substance.
You won't feel that. Whereas with a low dose, you may not have blast off, but you are impaired. That's the difference. Yeah.
[00:22:37] Billie Tarascio: Got it. Okay. So microdosing isn't legal low dose treatments have been approved for health only for major depressive disorder or is it for other things as well?
[00:22:52] April Pride: So it's only been approved by the F D A for this for this one drug for major depressive disorder [00:23:00] and treatment resistant depression.
Okay. But of course it's being used off-label and underground by therapists for O C D. Mm-hmm. For P T S D. Mm-hmm. For for trauma. Yeah. Mm-hmm. That's a big one, right? So yeah, it's being used for a lot of things.
[00:23:20] Billie Tarascio: So can you describe the process of what it's like? You, you said that it's about a two hour on the low dose that you can get prescribed.
What does that, what does that feel like?
[00:23:35] April Pride: So, okay, so with the lozenge and that home lozenge, you put it in your mouth and you have to keep it in your mouth and not swallow any saliva for 10 minutes. You have to absorb it and before the end of that 10 minutes, If I were to walk my legs, I felt like I was on a boat that had, was on an with a lot of waves and I felt drunk.
I would say not the right, [00:24:00] not the, like a nauseous, you know, not a good one. And so you just wanna stay. See, you know, lying down with an eye mask on the company that I worked with is called Wondered, and they have PL playlists you can listen to. The high guide also has playlist that you can listen to for guided journeys.
So stay there for, I have a little journal out, stay there for about an hour, hour and 20 minutes. And then if I needed to use the restroom at that point, I would be able to come out of it a little bit. And then, yeah, like I said, I can do that before while my kids are at soccer. And then when they come home, I'm making dinner.
I. So, because it is hard to fit this stuff in and yeah. I mean, if I were doing it with a on a more regular basis, one protocol would have me doing it every four days, that dose, or a higher dose for a couple of weeks, [00:25:00] depending on Yeah. How much you're trying to re. Redo your brain. Reprogram yourself.
[00:25:07] Billie Tarascio: after you've done that, you know, two hours later you, you feel nothing. This is essentially like you've had a drink. Now it's outta your system,
[00:25:14] April Pride: essentially. You feel light, you feel lighter. You feel lighter. Oh, okay. Lighter. Yeah. Yeah. It's a good feel. And if you have physical pain, it also diminishes physical pain.
[00:25:22] Billie Tarascio: Okay. And do you notice anything else afterwards? Are you immediately just more, more pl placid, I guess, in your brain?
[00:25:35] April Pride: Like more free? Yeah. The pla the plasticity. I, yes, your mood is better. It depends on who you talk to. That's why I'm hesitating because pe different people have different experience and some people will say immediately, I had never felt this good and 10 years, where's other people?
For me, I wake up the next day and it feels, cuz maybe I'm still in my body a little bit or a little bit groggy or just. [00:26:00] Still in that experience, not like, okay, here's me on the other side. But it is immediate. So the reason that ketamine is being used for treatment resistant depression, major depressive disorder, is because suicidality.
It immediately reverses it. Yeah. In one, in one session versus if you, how
[00:26:19] Billie Tarascio: amazing.
[00:26:20] April Pride: Yeah. Because an S S R I doesn't work for 30% of the people, . And it takes, what does it take? Three weeks, a month for your, for your pharmaceutical to really start to take hold or to find out if it's going to work for you.
This is immediate, right? So, yeah. It's really transforming things.
[00:26:40] Billie Tarascio: Do people ever have bad experiences or side effects, or it doesn't work?
[00:26:46] April Pride: I have talked to a woman that had a bad experience with Sprivato. Yes. She had depression for, she was very young. She's in her mid twenties, and she was doing this with her mom.
She chose bravado [00:27:00] because it was f d a approved and she was able to get her insurance to cover most of it, which is a big deal because these, that treatment, it is six sessions and it's some, it's like $3,500 a month. Oh. Yeah, it's very expensive. So you want, and I mean, there's another one that's $6,000 for six sessions, so they've just gone bankrupt.
Cuz it turns out not a lot of people have that kind of money that if insurance can't cover it. Right, right. So yeah, it's a little, I'm very frustrated with the cost of, you know, healing. It's, It can be a bit much, which is why I really focus on psilocybin, because here in the northwest, Pacific Northwest, you can just go pick it in the park.
You know, if you've got the right mushroom, it's free. Yeah. So the idea is you can go get your medicine and you can listen to my podcast and teach yourself how to heal, right? I don't think this should cost a lot of money. Nevermind. Katherin is expensive. And her experience was that the first time it totally changed.[00:28:00]
Her, she was a changed person. It was right around Christmas. And so that was super impactful. And she was going to be doing four once a week, four weeks in a row. And she went back for the second one and she had a yeah, she had a hallucination of a, of her best friend who had passed away, and it was very real and she didn't really want to ever try ketamine again after that.
Hmm. Mm-hmm. So that's one story that I have. But for the most part, the people that I've had a chance to talk to, I think there's a disappointment when it's not working as a miracle. The first try, right? She. But that is something that people acknowledge. Mm-hmm. Oh, there's still work to be done here.
Right. And I think we all can agree that probably with pharmaceuticals, it's not a magic bullet pill that you take. And then like, it's all better. You know, you still have to manage your sleep and you, you know, get some exercise, all the, all the things that just help also. So yeah. But that would be my report from Ketamine.[00:29:00]
This has been fan fantastic and fascinating. So, such an interesting conversation. You do have an upcoming seminar, right?
Yeah, so I'm based in Seattle and we are the largest city in the US that is decriminalized in theologians. So, so like psilocybin or actually, Ketamine, L S D, ayahuasca, all, anything that helps you get in touch with a higher being, you know, or can instigate that.
And so I'm hosting a tea starting May 6th every week Saturday from five to nine on capitol here, here in Seattle. You, you buy a ticket and I can gift you tea. That's legal for me to gift you psilocybin. And I can also gift you and a gift bag on your way out more so you can come and experience [00:30:00] people it's called of like minds.
People who are, you know, open to this and will have. We'll have educational speakers, we'll have a lot of fun. And it's, again, that's also low dose, so we're not trying to blast off, you know, have people blast off in public.
[00:30:16] Billie Tarascio: Yeah,
it's not a rave. It's not a rave.
[00:30:19] April Pride: It's not a rave. Yeah. But you should maybe go to one after if you'd like.
[00:30:25] Billie Tarascio: thank you so much for coming on the show, and listeners, if you have enjoyed this episode, make sure you download it, write it. Leave a review, go see April online, maybe check out her tea. I certainly am interested in doing so. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate it.
[00:30:42] April Pride: Thank you for your time, Billie. Yeah. Bye. Bye. [00:31:00]