Despite the fact that I post aspects of my life for the world to see, I’m actually a pretty private person. Even those close to me would tell you, when it really comes down to it, they don’t know as much as you would think. I keep my circle tight and my guard high.
Something a lot of people don’t know is that I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my life. Not this “sometimes I feel sad” that seems to be trending right now, but actual diagnosed clinical depression. I started taking anti depressants in grade school. My life has been built around crippling anxiety and depression. At some point, I decided I couldn’t keep taking the medication. I didn’t like the way it made me feel empty inside. Unable to feel anything. Looking back at pictures of a younger me, you’ll see emptiness.
Fast forward to adulthood; the depression and anxiety are something I’ve never truly been able to shake. I’ve had rare times when I thought I could spend a decent amount of days feeling normal only to find myself back in bed or on the couch in a downward spiral. In such a hard place that I didn’t even feel the joy of my children. I’ve struggled after each of my children’s births. Had countless days where I felt paralyzed, when a part of me wished I could be a better mother but the biggest part of me couldn’t muster the courage to move forward, to do even the smallest thing. I was just barely able to keep us alive. The bare minimum was a huge victory.
Some people would say I should have gotten help. That there is no shame in reaching out. Other would have said it was irresponsible that I didn’t. It’s not that I didn’t want to feel better but there is a stigma around depression and I feel like this is especially true when you are a parent. My mind would spiral. What if I could never feel the joy my life could bring, what if someone didn’t think I was a fit mother, what if they didn’t think I was stronger than the anxiety? I also knew I don’t like the way anti depressants make me feel or should I say the way I lack feeling.
For years I struggled on what to do. I knew I couldn’t keep living the way I was and trying to manage it on my own wasn’t working either.
When the country really started pushing to legalize marijuana, I wondered if my state would ever jump on board. I chatted with friends, most of them kidless at the time, who kept suggesting I just smoke regardless. I wasn’t going to take that gamble. It was illegal and until something changed, I wasn’t going to look into it. Legal or not, a significant number of people in my life would not have been happy if I chose that route. It wouldn’t have mattered if it truly helped “there where pharmaceutical drugs for that” so I held off, putting my mental health on the back burner and burying myself a little deeper with each passing day.
After my divorce, I knew it was time to step away from those that held me back, who wouldn’t have supported me and the decisions I made to make myself better. I did a ton of research on medical marijuana, I talked to doctors and others who had chose that route. I started taking classes that submerged me into the world of cannabis. Then I got my card, found a dispensary with someone who really knew what they were talking about and I haven’t looked back.