The Stigma Against Medical Marijuana: Part Two
Have you experienced the judgement and stigma against medical marijuana, especially while being a parent?
Days have passed now since I opened up about my journey and use of medical marijuana in part one. Of course, I juggled with the possibility of the judgement outweighing the small benefit I may receive by helping someone else.
To me though, that small benefit means much more to me.
Dealing with opposition from every corner of my life was really what did it for me.
But i have learned that when insecurities are exposed, it allows room for growth.
There is a massive stigma against marijuana that some doctors continue to perpetuate.
Facing and overcoming the stigma of medical marijuana has really changed me.
More importantly, it has motivated me to be real about everything in my life. In the small town I live in and most of the people in it including my own family and me at one point, viewed Marijuana as the federal government did.
A Class A drug. Comparable to Meth. Marijuana. We are talking about a plant.
My doctors that i saw regularly at the Emergency Room even tried to tell me that it was because of marijuana that i was so sick.
Its not like I was a pot head before.
I was sickened by the thought of ever using it to be completely honest.
Not only was my family against it but my very serious boyfriend at the time who liked to pretend to be my father. (I was 13 when we started dating and he was 20).
He hated it and threatened many hurtful things if he ever found out I used it, and my family was very against it. To top it off, I beat myself up for so many things including the nights that I caved into curiosity and smoked with my friends at a party I wasn’t necessarily allowed to be at.
As sick as I was and the hell I have lived through especially these past 5 years, I was willing to try anything.
Like I had mentioned in part one, my family and I have had some differences and one of them being that they feel like I have anxiety because they have anxiety and their belief is that because you have anxiety it means you have depression.
I don’t agree with that and they fought so hard with me on that one. They really thought I should be medicated with antipsychotics.
I’m talking a plethora of medications they wanted me to take, not just one.
As a Christian woman the stigma is strong and smoking marijuana, even medical, is frowned upon.
I don’t think they understood what I was truly going through. So they weren’t treating me right.
So much so that 2 years ago when my husband and I had been faithfully searching different routes of care, all the while visiting the ER almost daily and all alone.
All of the important women in my life decided to show up one day just to see me.
I was a little confused to say the least. Because things like that just never happened. My family is good at keeping their distance when things get uncomfortable.
I woke in the middle of the night in a panic, throwing up, hands and lips tingling, stumbling about and groaning in pain.
Per usual, my husband took me to the ER.
My family who hadn’t been around much was at my house and because my husband and I were used to him always having to drop me off- he went home to be with our kids and i was left alone.
The one family member who decided to show up was my grandma…The grandma I have never really had a close relationship to and who wasn’t aware of my trauma or my pain.
Low and behold, I ended up in a mental institution completely unwillingly. She, along with several other doctors thought I was crazy.
When I woke up I was in small room in a new building. I felt like I wasn’t even myself, probably from the medication they had given me to transfer me in the ambulance and I was scared.
I was surrounded by a doctor and a nurse and was given a clipboard with a paper on it for me to sign and then was told to where to sign.
In exchange for my signature i was wheeled into a room with no doors with nothing on but scrubs and hospital socks.
This place wouldn’t allow me to do anything besides sit in a room full of unfamiliar people with very unfamiliar illnesses and go to my open room and go to sleep on a very uncomfortable hospital bed.
With the door wide open.
It felt like hell.
When the drugs they had given me from before the ambulance ride to knock me out finally started to wear off and I realized what really had happened, I was so emotional.
I called my husband and he cried with me out of frustration.
It was him who had to share that bad news with me that I couldn’t come home.
I felt numb.
I’ve never cried so much and I’m sure I looked like I really was a little crazy.
I was in disbelief.
My grandma had told the doctor at the ER I had regularly been to that I said I wanted to kill myself..
She and the Doc agreed that I needed mental help.
I was disgusted.
My stomach hurt and i couldn’t eat a thing, let alone talk to anyone else.
I felt like i did something wrong and like I was in prison. They wouldn’t let me see my family and I couldn’t see my kids.
It was a weekend and I was stuck there for 2 whole days.
Building up the courage to explain myself to the nurses wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.
All i wanted was to be home with my babies because that was my comfort.
In all of the other chaos one of them decided to listen to me.
I couldn’t even talk to her in full sentences but thankfully she had the patience to listen to me.
I’m so glad she did.
It was a Sunday that day and normally the therapist that releases you doesn’t come in and do releases until the weekdays. He came in just for me.
God was truly answering my prayers.
When he came in he asked to hear my story and what I had to say and I explained everything to him. After meeting with my husband alone and in person shortly after
by the grace of god he let me go home, on a sunday!
And now that I have been to the Mayo Clinic and have been given validation for my panic attacks, I don’t feel like I’m going crazy anymore–Hallelujah!
Thank God for the Mayo Clinic.
One of the best neurosurgeons looked at my charts, my history and tests and discovered the tumor in my spine that had been there at least since all of my panic attacks started.
He explained to me that because of the trauma I had been through that the anxiety and panic attacks were a way for my body to cope with the pain.
Its insane what validation can truly do for your mental well being.
*We need to understand that our minds are powerful enough to forget the memories and trauma we have endured, but our bodies will never forget.
I thank god everyday for the people who understand me, help me, and love me. Mostly my husband. That man could have left me so long ago.
I am also extremely thankful for the all naturalist doctor who listened to me and thought I would be a good candidate for medical marijuana and decided to look past the stigma.
Of course, its not my only answer to dealing with the pain, anxiety, and PTSD,
But i believe that it has changed my life for the better, if not saved it.
And I believe that our bodies do have cannabinoid receptors for a reason!
We all have to do what is best for ourselves. And for me, I really think natural remedies are best. Even mores when your treatment involves healing your mind and body.
There’s a book called “The body keeps the score” by
Realigning my thoughts and teaching my body different techniques to cope has been the best thing for me. And it could be for you too.
I carry so much anxiety in my guts, and it literally sucks the life out of me at times.
We all function differently and we all cope differently.
Ultimately the goal is to do what’s best for you.
And you know what is best for you better than anyone else does.
I’ve have changed a lot throughout my journey; and I hope and pray that I can give someone else that hope, too.
The stigma against marijuana is something that is thankfully starting to go away and i believe that sharing our stories has a direct impact on that.
I truly believe that affirmations and making small changes have the potential to be the catalyst in your life. Its so important to be kind to yourself but to also remember that others deserve your kindness, too.
We can be a part of the change we all need!
- Be kind to others
- Don’t judge others
- Trust your instinct
- Advocate for yourself and others
- Have empathy and compassion
- Check in with loved ones more
- Allow yourself bad days
- Don’t unpack and live in a bad day
- Say hi to a stranger
- Smile more
- Love yourself
- Love your life
- Make changes
- Pray for yourself and for others
- Be yourself
- Know you are worthy
- Accept that you are loved
- Keep Moving forward
You can find my viral article about the stigma against medical marijuana and motherhood on the popular site Scary Mommy by clicking here.