Each and every day I seem to be learning something new about myself and who I am becoming. Life is a journey, and as I map out where I have been so far in my life, I don’t know that I would have ever imagined being where I am now. But that’s the wonderful thing about life and the journey, you never know where it will lead you next.
Last week, as I sat with Shawn’s son, on his last night before heading back to college, where he is finishing up his senior year. He is going to be a cop. He hopes to eventually work for the DEA. He asked me “would you have ever imagined, even a year ago, that you would be a cannabis advocate?”
I’m not sure how I answered exactly, but I am pretty sure it was something to the effect of “Ha, I know, right?”
But the truth is, I can’t say that I imagined any of the things that have happened in my life. From the very start, things have happened that I didn’t imagine. I didn’t imagine that my parents would give me a brand new bike (with sparkles and tassels) for my sixth birthday. I didn’t imagine I would ever be nominated for “Homecoming Queen” (even if it was a prank.) I didn’t imagine living in London, but I did, even if it was just for a short period of time. I didn’t imagine I would end up living and raising my family in Seattle. I didn’t imagine getting an incurable disease and I didn’t imagine getting a divorce. I certainly didn’t imagine the chronic pain that would take over my life or the depression that rolled in like a fog as thick as pea soup.
So if I couldn’t imagine any of those things, and yet they all happened then I guess my now well thought-out answer to his question would be,
“No, I couldn’t have ever imagined, but then again, I never do. It’s certainly easy in hindsight to say “oh yeah, I should have seen that coming. I should have known.” But that’s the point. I don’t know. I’ve never known, and yet here I am, at a wonderful place in my life, just excited for the next thing to happen.”
As I continue to use cannabis daily and continue to find relief from the chronic pain I have grown more and more impassioned about marijuana and all that it can do. I have said that it is great to find something other than MS to be passionate about and I am super excited to meet others in the industry and find people that have similar stories in using this amazing plant.
But in the meantime, I am in a bit of a limbo. Not having ever hung out with people that use marijuana, not having it be something that is used at parties and events that we go to – I don’t have anyone to talk to about my experiences (other than the peeps at my pot shop.) It helps a ton to have people reading and responding to my posts, as I know there are plenty of others that use cannabis for their MS (or other chronic illnesses) and that I can learn a lot from them. But it’s still not the same as having someone that I can meet with face to face and really get to know.
I feel a bit self-conscious writing about my experiences with MMJ when I know it’s not like I discovered it, not like I have some big amazing announcement. It’s not like others didn’t know that it helps with so with so many medical ailments. It’s not like people haven’t been using it for its medicinal properties for centuries. Plenty of people knew… it’s just that I didn’t. Now that I do know I want to share it with anyone that cares to listen because I am so happy and relieved to have my life back.
Beyond the medical properties of cannabis, and the relief I have been experiencing, I have also become interested in the recreational side. I talked about loving not having to wake up with the fog from the previous night’s alcohol, and that continues to be the case. To the point that having more than a beer or two, doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as it once did. So I have been thinking about using more than my small puffs (micro-dosing) and actually getting to point where I feel the stoned or high sensation I am constantly saying I want to avoid, in a situation where I would normally drink.
This past weekend, Shawn bought me tickets for the Zac Brown Band concert over at The Gorge and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a try. I certainly wasn’t “stoned off my ass” or even noticeably impaired (although this is my own self-assessment, based solely on the fact that I didn’t fall down – which has happened at past ZBB concerts when the wonky legs and pain vs alcohol intake battle was in full bloom.) But I was definitely high and I definitely had one of the most amazing musical experience of my life. It was an incredible concert, but I am not sure I would have had such a strong response to it, if not for the marijuana.
That is pretty amazing in my opinion! That it could open my mind to see, hear and experience something in such a new and wonderful way is an incredible discovery. I certainly have never had a similar experience when drunk, I just get sleepy. I was awake and alert, my pain levels were great, and I felt like I was really hearing the music and for the first time in my life really appreciating it and the amazing amount of talent and skill it takes to make such beautiful sounds.
I woke up at 6 a.m. the following morning, jumped out of the tent, grabbed a cup of coffee and my journal and sat watching the sun come up over a vast field strewn with tents, bodies, and trash. (Not the ideal camping scenario, but still sitting outside, in the fresh air.) As I wrote down notes about what I had felt and experienced the night before I didn’t have even a tinge of a hangover and that is a huge selling point for me. An incredible night and a great experience followed by a day filled with energy and manageable pain levels. Seems like a winner to me.
As I sat writing, I remembered something about my experience from the night before. As I wandered through the amphitheater with Shawn and passed by plenty of others “partaking in the plant” I wanted to meet and bond with everyone that was smoking weed. I am a complete and utter pot dork. Because it is such a major part of my life these days (partly because of the pain relief and partly because of my new self-proclaimed role as a “cannabis advocate”) I have very strong feeling towards it. As in I LOVE it, and it seems that I LOVE everyone else that LOVES it. This according to my “high self” roaming the concert.
I would get a sniff of that sweet lingering smell, and I would turn to Shawn and say “smell that?” (which I am sure he found amusing the first two dozen times.) But my draw to these people was more than just wanting to sniff their smoke. I wanted to tell them that I too partake in the marijuana (I don’t know, according to Shawn, that is how I phrased it??? 🙂 But I wanted to run up to each one of them and announce “hi, I smoke pot too!” I wanted them to know that I am a part of the team – go team cannabis!?!?!?
I know – DORK! But even worse than that,…because I have had such amazing success with using cannabis for my pain and because as a result, my life has been changing in ways that I could never have imagined, I have what I can only describe as “good and positive” feelings for marijuana. And I seem to want to apply that “good and positive” feeling to everyone and anyone that is smoking pot. Certainly, there are many “good and positive” people out there that use cannabis, but there are also plenty of not so “good and positive” people that use cannabis, and I need to keep myself in check and remember that. Walking up to someone at the ZBB concert to ask about the strain or something about the bong they have might be ok (although still might be bordering on dork?) but wanting to bond with the group of punks that stand on the corner passing a joint as I walk by with Spanky and Cali – probably NOT a good idea.
As I thought about me running up to group after group at the concert (thank god Shawn was there to stop me) I began to see that there is more to it than just this example of polar opposites. There are millions of people that use cannabis, each for their own reasons. Not everyone that proclaims their affinity for the plant needs or should be my friend. I wouldn’t run up to every single person I see drinking a beer, so I should probably apply the rules I have for approaching strangers that are drinking beer to any future encounters I have with people smoking weed. They might be awesome people that are great to hang out with, and they might not be. Looking at factors beyond just the pot might prove to be useful.
I spend time on social media, trying to pimp out my blog, trying to learn more about the different strains and benefits of cannabis, reading about the industry and trying to make connections. But even from behind the safety of my screen, I need to remember to pay attention to more than just the fact that it is about cannabis. I need to remind myself that I don’t have to hit the little heart symbol on the “artistically” arranged crotch shot that has a joint resting in a place I’m pretty sure isn’t getting her stoned or even the bikini-clad crew that seem to like to blow smoke at the camera any chance they get. It’s kind of like snapchat and a generation’s seeming obsession with photographing themselves, I don’t get it. But that’s ok, because it wasn’t me that they were trying to reach – and so there for, it is ok for me to just scroll on and not hit the heart. No one is going to notice, no one is going to care and it doesn’t mean I don’t still love cannabis.
THIS is what happened the first time I got high as a grown, “mature” mother of three. (As I have shared, I smoked weed a few times in college, but don’t really remember those experiences other than to say that I remember not liking it.) I had a great night, and it seems I have managed to learn a little bit more about myself and now have a better awareness of my current journey.
**This is my personal blog and all opinions are my own. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one here on my blog. The content here is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of medical professionals. Be sure to contact your doctor before trying any new medications/vitamins/supplements, physical activities or therapies **