I’ve learned a lot about cannabis over the past 18 months. I may not be the most seasoned consumer and I may not know how to dab or rip a bong hit but what I do know is how much this plant has genuinely helped me. In the late summer of 2016, when the pain medications weren’t working anymore, when there was a discussion about putting a pain pump in my hip, when I was so full of shit and miserable about how I looked and felt, I decided to come off all of the drugs I had been taking for years. There were drugs for the muscle spasms. There were drugs for the spasticity. There were drugs to help with the all-consuming fatigue and there were drugs to help me sleep, because no matter how badly I wanted to sleep all day long, it was a guarantee that I would be up, wandering the dark halls of our house in middle of the night. There were the numerous pain medications that left me feeling puffy and numb. Then there were the drugs that were to help with the side-effects of all of the other medications, nausea and constipation being my top two.
But I finally just hit a point where I knew that something had to change. Something had to be different because there was no way that THIS was going to be my life. Not after all that I had gone through to find true and genuine happiness. Not after I had mustered up all my strength and courage to walk away from my marriage and go out on my own knowing that I had this disease that could throw any sort of crap at me at any moment. Shit – I didn’t know if I would end up in a wheelchair one day. I didn’t know if I was going to wake up one morning to find my vision severely impaired or even gone altogether. I didn’t know if I would actually be able to hold down a full-time job, while raising three teenagers. But I knew that I wanted more than what my marriage was providing me and so I went through all the tough times, the moments when I wondered “what the fuck was I thinking,” to get here.
So to now, after all that, have this stupid disease dictating what I could (or couldn’t) do was infuriating. As the chronic pain grew and became a constant companion, my only focus was to just get through each day, only to wake the next morning, dreading what lay ahead. I had found my happy place, I had found a partner that loves me, likes being with me, and supports me in everything I do and yet I couldn’t really appreciate all that I had accomplished and all that I had gained because surviving the pain was the only thing that mattered.
Day after day I would sit on the couch and make lame attempts at blogging and “networking” but truthfully, I was rarely able to focus for more than a few minutes of time. I would vaguely watch the ever-present episode of SVU that would be on the tv, watching the clock and counting down the hours before I would have to get up, put my big girl panties on under one of the two pairs of sweatpants I had “stolen” from the boys because none of my clothes fit anymore and head off to pick the kids up from school. I would spend the entire day “preparing” for this time in the day. I would constantly tell myself, you got this, you can do it! You can make it to Seattle and back and you can find the strength to make dinner, to chat and joke with the kids, to maybe get a load of laundry started, to clean up the dishes and most importantly keep a smile on your face.
“Meanwhile inside, the pain would hit astronomical levels
all I wanted to do was curl back up on the couch and stop existing.”
I don’t know what prompted me to finally take action but all I can say, is that I am really fucking happy that I did. I spent three months weaning myself off all of the medications and reading anything and everything I could find on the internet about cannabis (well actually back at that point, I still only referred to it as marijuana because I had NO idea what this “new” thing CANNABIS was:) When I finally made my first trip to a local dispensary, I recall walking out feeling incredibly overwhelmed with thoughts of sativa vs indica, CBD vs THC and all the product choices bouncing around my brain. Honestly, I didn’t have much hope. I didn’t leave feeling overly optimistic. I believed that this really was my last chance for finding relief from the chronic pain and it scared the shit out of me that it might not work. I was skeptical, to say the least, but it was my last chance to try and get my life back, to get my ass off the couch and start kicking ass again.
When I look back over the past year, about all that I have learned and all the wonderful people that I have met as a result of using cannabis as my medicine I wish I could have told the “pre-cannabis” me that it would work out. I wish I could have assured myself that marijuana is NOT the devil’s weed, that it is not something to be afraid of, but rather something to be revered for its ability to help me feel better. I wish I had known that I would slowly begin to understand about things like THC and CBD, the differences in the two plants and all of the strains that are out there, and that terpenes play a big role in the relief I have found.
Back then, those words, those concepts were so foreign to me that I’m pretty sure the old me wouldn’t have believed it. Even though I blogged about my experiences, even though I was putting it out there for the world to judge (or comment) I wasn’t very comfortable with my new label as an MMJ advocate in the beginning. I felt I needed to write about my experiences, in the hopes that sharing my stories might help others with their own journey with this disease, but the damn stereotypes and stigmas still lingered in the back of my mind. Smelling it still made me uncomfortable and even looking at the 100s of pictures of plants and flower on IG made me uneasy.
I don’t know why – but it is how I felt.
Until I realized one day that all of that negativity, all the shrapnel that had remained from years of being told it was “illegal” and “dangerous” had lifted and all that remains is a complete love and huge amount of respect for this plant. It has managed to do something for me that dozens and dozens of prescribed medications had failed to do – it gave me my life back!
I have heard from many followers with questions like:
“WHAT specifically works?”
“WHAT specifically do you use?”
“HOW much do you use?”
“HOW does it help?”
“Do you get HIGH”
“HOW do I know what strains will help?”
I have been working on a few podcasts to answer these questions. IF you have other questions PLEASE leave a comment below as I want to make sure I try and address as many questions as I can because I KNOW that there are many out there that just want to know- just like I did 18 months ago:)
And if you haven’t yet, you should check out my latest article over on California Weed Blog
**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 **