It seems to be time for a bit of connect the dots. I have had a number of folks request my “formula” for “success”. Truth is…I don’t really have a formula that any particular individual can plug in that is guaranteed to repeat the results. And that is the first challenge. Our marketing… of health care…spirituality…& happy…that western capitalist culture has reinforced the idea that we can receive instant cure, instant gratification & instant happy ALL for a price…THAT IS THE LIE we are told…AND the one we buy & sell to each other.
My first step to change was getting…DEATH serious. I am not scared of death. I have experience too much of it…in various forms…personally & with others…so whatever awaits on the other side of the vale is of no practical use to me or you when it comes to how I live in this body. Second was to accept…if anyone would care…it had to be me…cause NO ONE ELSE can or would do it for ME. I was already dying…slowly & painfully. I tried a number of options for crossing over…I was denied access. It is easy to wallow in self pity & blame – especially when suffering depression…it is courage to face it & take responsibility for one’s own life & choices. No I didn’t cause or create the abuse or pain that formed my reality…BUT only I could make it different.
My Next step was to Get…LIFE serious. OK…so repeating old patterns of finding the right formula…the right pill…the right religion…the right trick to fix all my problems…it just didn’t pan out. Nor did my reliance on taking everyone else’s advice, “proven” facts, & success & apply it rigidly to me. Turns out…I’m me…& I’m NOT you. Doing this really buy’s into the one tape that was a must break…”I’m too stupid.” Self defeating yes, I was…stupid resounding NO…I am not.
OK…what do I mean serious…well…when PTSD, depression & pharmaceutical fog set in…it is real damn hard to think clearly…AND that don’t even begin to address the challenge of moving when your body screams pain at every step. Yet it occurred to me…if I’m living in this much pain…with no relief…perhaps I’m stronger than I think. I learned at an early age to ignore my pain, dismiss my pain, & be ashamed of weakness. Perhaps living with pain isn’t the weakness I was led to believe. So I let myself feel it…really feel it…physical, emotional & spiritual. I used that movement of thought, energy & vibration…to make subtle but key transition in my actions.
I used my rage at the injustice of it all to feed my passion. I began to remember. I remembered all the times I was defeated before…I remembered all the failed attempts to “do it right”…I remembered not just what I did that failed repeatedly…but what I did that was right…that was true to me…that made sense with what my soul was telling me about who “I AM” and who I want to be. I remembered a child I helped raise…while I was trying to raise myself.
My Daughter Jessica, a free spirit…free thinker…and powerful voice…took on the challenge in a high-school debate. At the time, Oregon, was debating the decriminalization of Cannabis. This kid, my kid…wrote a researched essay arguing the benefits of cannabis & deregulation. That memory inspired my own research. I researched my conditions…PTSD, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes II, and Insomnia…the top drama makers in my life. I researched the various treatment options for each. Several key realities popped up again & again. I had autoimmune conditions…my body was fighting itself. I had PTSD…a neurological condition of brain damage…cause by long term, systematic…repeated childhood abuse & trauma…that lead to a life of repeated assaults before I even hit “legal” age. I had taken on the role of my abusers…and continue to climb on my back & beat the shit out of myself just cause. A pattern in need of breaking. I could not fix how the world did things…but I could choose to do things differently than the prescription the world was giving me. After all, no one else’s pat answers had worked, nor had money solved anything…perhaps being my own guinea pig might prove more beneficial.
Finally something came across my research…again & again…Cannabis. Miracle cure…hmmm…I’ve heard that before. However, the lab research was promising…Especially, when I got past the federal censorship, & began to uncover the truth. So, I made a choice. I made one attempt to consult my current Dr. It was clear I would not get his support. So I developed what I thought was a reasonable strategy…Time to get up or shut up…NOT THE SAFEST strategy. I began to decrease all my medications…9 scripts for pain, depression & various internal issues cause by the other scripts…including 240mg a day of methadone (prescribe for pain – the synthetic form of heroine…ironically used to treat heroine addiction…according to the Dr. I was the highest dosed on his caseload, & I had already cut my dose on my own...previously…I had been taking 320mg a day) get the picture? I was brain fogged & still living with daily pain level consistently as high 7-9, on a 10 point scale…530 lbs, wheelchair bound, zombie. I then planned & saved my meager SSD pennies to pay the fees to legitimately try Cannabis.
I didn’t quite get the timing right…and went through 2 weeks between worlds. Mother was by my side…checking my pulse, serving me sips of water as I would take and when conscious begging me to go to the hospital. NO. I said. I understood her fear & pain…my brother had already crossed over, and she has suffered much. I could not live like that…it was not living…it is dying slowly & painfully. I watched her suffer the very same health issues…I saw myself…there had to be a way to make it different. I finally got things lined up…and got my permission & prescription. Afghan Abusive…Indica strain…(yes it matters)…I took a hit. Ok…I can do this. Second hit…wait…is that my imagination or reality…I can breath deeper…my muscles stop spasming…the tension in my back, shoulders & neck ease…wait…am I hungry? Third hit…wow…I am hungry…”Hey Mom…I’m hungry.” Now for a bit of Divine comedy...how can a plant that gives you the munchies...help you loose fat?
I ate the best batch of potatoes & eggs ever made. And something new happened. I took another hit…and crashed. Yes, this is HUGE. I don’t sleep. Sleep is dangerous to survival. PTSD creates a hyper-vigilance that prevents real rest. I was lucky if I dozed for 3yrs at any given stretch. Just my reality…night terrors…talking…fighting…all while half asleep…it seems I spent much of my life…half-asleep. WOW…what a difference sleep makes!!!!! I slept 5hrs that night…straight & solid. I woke up stiff, sore & week…but alive…and strangely happy.
My weakness was palpable. I still struggled with an appetite, and I my diet as yet had not changed. Nothing tasted right. But that was ok with me…my pain levels had come down dramatically…and that I celebrated. I made a decision NOT to do it “all or fail”…from that point on…I did it choice by choice. I choose each day…to pray/meditate, I choose each day to get up, eat well & love myself. I choose to continue to research & learn & heal.
Thing is…YOU…taught me…I got on-line. I discovered social media…YUP…I said it…Facebook was a gift to me. But as with all things…the gift is in how we choose to utilize it. I learned how to teach myself through YOU. My facebook friends…remind me daily…of that which I already know…point me in the direction to find the answers I needed…encouraged me when no one else would…challenged me to see things from a variety of perspectives…and it did so in such a way that taught me to shield my empathic gifts so I could continue to grow & give back.
Hemp is a plant, vegetable & healing herb…with many a varied uses…from building material to curing brain cancer. It is one of many natural things given by creation to sustain life. I choose to listen today…to my body…my mind…my spirit. My body required detoxification…and as cannabis worked to ease my pain & heal my brain…I could begin to incorporate what I already knew. Profit motivated greed was killing me…AND MANY OF YOU…and I was letting it.
I stopped spending what little money I had access to…on shit that was killing me…POP/Soda…processed easy chemical based synthetic food products…GMO’s Genetically modified foods…pesticide covered produce…hormone & steroid filled meats…corn syrup – it’s in everything…NOPE…I didn’t do it all at once…and I’m not “religious” about it…but I am vigilant. I went through all the lessons of all the fucked up diets I was ever on…and took what helped & dumped the rest. Working with a rigid formula & strict measurements is a set up for me for failure…I live by grace & faith…cause beating me into submission only served to be a death trap.
I weigh the balance each day & with each choice. An example would be how I shop. I now take the time to read labels…like I’m OCD. Sugar is my enemy…so are GMO’s, synthetic chemicals, corn syrup & refined sugar. I need solid protein, good fat & complex carbohydrates with every meal. Things like juice…need to be straight from the fruit. I use natural sweeteners today. Yes, it is pricey. If I can’t find what I need I simply go without. Or grow my own…now that my body & mind work better…I can do more, accomplish more…build on what I’ve already done. I’ve taken up old school ways of cooking & healing…that current modern concepts of health would prefer you sweep under the carpet…they don’t make much profit for them. These ways take more time, & patients. They don’t give instant gratification & immediate relief. Irony…neither did all of modern knowledge & technology. And yet, I don’t need as much of it… and that makes it somewhat affordable & more satisfying. I no longer need to see my plate “full” in order to feel like I will have enough. I no longer feel guilty when walking away when I’m full…over time I’ve learned to gage my appetite better. I can even smell when my sugar is higher than it should be…but Sheba knows before me…& tells me so…that allows me to adapt & make the next choice…& perhaps a better one. Irony…over time…my body has changed in such a way…I can’t even stomach all that crap I used to think tasted sooo good & I couldn’t imagine ever being able to live without.
As for Cannabis…DO your own research. And don’t let fear stop you…I am no longer under the defined legal & protected status in Oregon. I fully understand the risk…I have a sovereign & constitutional right to pursue my life, my freedom & my happiness…without causing harm or restricting another’s ability to do the same. I would encourage you to Start by learning about the Endocannabinoid System. Research the history of Prohibition. Ask your own questions. Discover your own answers. If you can…set your religious & institutionalized convictions aside…so you can give yourself permission to ask the hard questions. As a pastor I can tell tell you from experience…the boss never shot me in the ass with a lightning bolt for fuckin shit up…and as for Hell…been there done that…just sayin.
I have not lost my faith…as a matter of reality this journey has only served to reinforce it. I am returning to Mother Earth & my own cultural heritage…I am listening. I have heard the voice of my Creator…I have walked with my brother Jesus and today I enjoy hearing the voice of the Spirit...as she speaks through YOU…through the plants…through the critters…through all life. I AM living & growing in the Promise… and I just happened to find my Joy & my Happy in listening to the Spirit’s voice & discovering just how precious Life is. My life & Your life.