How Psychedelics Saved Our Marriage and Gave Us Our Life Back

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Relationships

March 2022: Since the pandemic, we’ve seen our fair share of weird things on zoom. Now, I’m experiencing it first hand as my wife bolts out of our home, and says, “Take Sonnet!” handing me our baby daughter, leaving for who knows how long, just as I’m about to lead my mastermind call with a dozen entrepreneurs for 90 mins. 

She was experiencing a powerful nervous system inundation, courtesy of the combination of a panic attack + complex PTSD triggers, on top of being a highly sensitive person (a psychological designation thanks to the research of Dr. Elaine Aron). 

Unfortunately, this wasn’t a one-time occurrence. Almost daily, her nervous system would hit overdrive and cause a spiraling effect.

My wife, Sarah, is an amazing, brilliant, and loving human being. She’s a fantastic mother and wife.

But she was experiencing the debilitating effects of a deep, postpartum battle brought on by her traumatically abusive childhood. She grew up as the oldest child of 11 children, often standing guard between her younger siblings and her narcissistically-abusive parents. While they were regularly inflicting physical, emotional, and mental abuse on one another, they also saved plenty to spew on their children, especially their oldest.

From the age of 18-months-old, Sarah’s nervous system and neurological wiring was hardwired into an overwhelmed, fight/flight, PTSD state and reinforced with literally decades of torment and instability. Stacked with screaming, traumatized children, where, as the oldest daughter, she often had to step into a motherly role making meals or caring for sick children while holding babies in her arms, even as young as an eight years old.

Now, back to early 2022 and me at my dining table with my baby in my arms, teaching entrepreneurs. At this time, I was mostly committed to my work and my role as the breadwinner. But slowly, it began to dawn on my hard-headedness that if I didn’t go all in to help my wife get well, we’d never thrive.

Ask myself hard questions (in quotes): 

“How can I take care of my wife, my daughter and my business at the same time?

What’s happening to my wife right now as I’m stuck on this call? 

Do all these people who are paying me to be their leader think I’m a fool or I can’t hold my sh** together?”

Over the course of her mental health battle, we’ve tried so many things. We’ve tried so many of the fancy new fangled treatments that promise great results. (everything was short lived-delete specific therapies, half dozen types of treatments, thousands and thousands, this many hours and the only real progress was understanding but not real healing).

But those each helped with incremental improvements that were often short-lived, often dissolving within minutes of our baby crying, washing away the good feelings of hope and progress we had only moments before.

Each method was like trying to chip away at an iceberg with a toothpick. If time was infinite, one would eventually get there. Little did I know, she had complex PTSD, one of the most difficult mental health challenges to overcome. The American Psychological Association (APA) labels complex PTSD and treatment resistant depression as incurable in most instances, largely because there’s no drug treatment/therapy solution that consistently cures symptoms.

The nasty combination of being an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) coupled with an extreme case of C-PTSD, that are both easily triggered by a crying child, and our baby of course, liked to cry.

At this point, (only chemically cover up the underlying problems) We wanted to avoid SSRIs because while they are sometimes helpful for coping, they rarely lead to a reversal of a state of depression, plus they have minimal impact on PTSD. Plus, the unwanted side effects are scary like weight gain and neurological rewiring/addiction dependencies/ that makes it nearly impossible to wean off them.

Sitting there on this zoom call, glancing at my daughter while teaching entrepreneurship, I resolved to find a true healing solution. I couldn’t accept that Sarah would be stuck like this forever and that Sonnet would grow up without the amazing loving mother that she is. 

When all hope was lost (refine) just before I gave into my own despair is when the…surrender to the possibilities that didn’t fit my paradigm. Growing up in the south, in a christian family in the Dare to Say No to Drugs era, I was resistant to anything that hinted at drug culture but I started looking into psychedelics to see what the buzz was about as well as an alternative treatment many touted, NAD.

I had been exposed to NAD’s powerful effects on healing addiction and had read about its potential in mental health. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a naturally occurring coenzyme that is used in 500+ cellular processes, acts as a neurotransmitter (think brain firing fast), and a boost in cellular energy-so you feel naturally energized.

On vacation in Denver, after one NAD treatment Sarah and I noticed an immediate uplift in mood and energy. The next day, when I saw her get out of bed easier and faster and with the biggest smile on her face that I’d seen in months, I knew I may have found hope. I was sold on everything about it except the high price (about $500 p/treatment) and painful nausea inducing infusion.

July 2022: Before her 1st loading phase of NAD IV, she was sleeping 10 hours per night, taking two naps per day, drinking 400 mg of caffeine and still barely functioning. After the two weeks of NAD IV, she woke up consistently bright eyed, full of energy and mentally much happier. She only needed about 7.5 hours of sleep, no naps, and was down to 40 mg of caffeine a day and able to go work out again. It was nothing short of miraculous.

Thinking we’re out of the woods, two months later, my stumbles down some stairs and fractures her foot. Now, bedridden and stuck with a crying baby thanks to our nanny’s sudden departure for Florida, the PTSD triggers became glaringly apparent to as I start to wonder if I have PTSD myself. 

October 2022: our experimentation with psychedelics began: our first heart ceremony. A friend invited us to a ceremony involving plant medicines and in a group of about 20 other journeyers. My wife was in the midst of a depression spiral and I was frustrated, resentful and struggling, barely hanging in. Within minutes of the medicine kicking in, my negative feelings dissolved and I was flooded with love and empathy for her and her likewise. 

A potent mix of kanna, sassafras, MDMA, and other potent substances dosed appropriately in a safe and healing container created this magical experience. Over the next week, while we came down from the high, our baseline of loving connection was much higher and it reset our patterns of communication towards much deeper, heartfelt connection and far less resentment. 

I had lived my life for 44 years operating primarily and nearly exclusively from my mind. Now, my mind had at least a gravel road of connection to my heart that rapidly built over the next year as I continued in the work. 

Practically, this meant I could feel the depths of love for my daughter, wife, and others in a way I never could have imagined. Often, while rocking my daughter to sleep at night, I have been flooded with so much love and connection for her that tears roll down my cheeks. That didn’t happen before.

With the new levels of hope, I accelerated my research on PTSD, psychedelics, and trauma, listening to 7-10 podcasts per week and reading nine books in a few months. I had hoped that psychedelics might be the final missing piece and may be able to heal the PTSD and depression fully. According to research at institutions like John Hopkins, up to 70% of patients with clinically-incurable depression or PTSD experienced full remission of symptoms after 1-2 psychedelic therapy sessions. 

How could that be possible? My friend, Dr. Manesh Girn, one of the top psychedelic neuroscientists in North America, has found from his research, that our brain’s neuroplasticity surges for up to two weeks on psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and MDMA, and 48 hours on ketamine. It’s like your brain and nervous system is fresh powder on the ski slopes, ready for new paths to be carved. 

February 2023: our beautiful daughter, who’s about 18 months old at the time, triggers my wife’s PTSD within a few minutes that Tuesday evening. She spirals into a depressed and overwhelmed state for the next four hours and has a cloud hanging over her for the next day. Fortunately, Wednesday evening, we had a psychedelic therapy session booked for my wife.

The next day, when our daughter is home, she has a full temper tantrum screaming meltdown lasting 18 mins. My wife laughed. She was disassociated from the trauma in her nervous system. Something beautiful had happened. 

Over the coming months, we continued to do some ceremonial experiences of plant medicine, continued the healing journey, she continued the somatic therapy, and we stayed NAD-optimized through supplementation with Jinfiniti’s Vitality Boost (equivalent effect of the IV’s without the pain and high cost). Additionally, we reincorporated exercise, cryotherapy, and meditation while minimizing triggering situations.

Today, after the 2.5 year mental health battle, I’m beyond delighted to say that she claims and feels that she is cured of depression and about 80% cured of C-PTSD,  and we have our life back. It feels amazing.  

As a student of peak performance psychology for 20 years, but having never dealt with trauma first hand, I had a very shallow understanding of what trauma is, how to recognize it, and how it affects the body. Now, I have a deep passion to help others heal and release trauma and I’ve seen too many ‘miraculous’ transformations in individuals, marriages, and leaders first hand to deny the power of the right combination to heal deep trauma. 

Now, a core part of my work is helping leaders heal trauma, release the trapped negative emotional or stuck energy, and experiencing restoration through my Rewired retreats and programs. While I’d never wish the dark season we went through on anyone, it’s been beautiful to help so many find hope again.

If you’re in a dark place or someone you care about is, I cannot stress it enough that there is hope and the right combination can be found through some safe, guided experimentation of combinations with different modalities. Don’t hesitate to reach out if I can help. 


Mike Zeller is author, peak performance coach, entrepreneur and speaker with a deep passion for biohacking and mental health. You can visit his website And go to for his free guide on 14 Tools to Rapidly Rewire Your Nervous System. He can be reached at or @themikezeller on any social media channel if you have questions or interest in one of his Rewired programs.

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