Now be warned that there have been many changes I’ve made to my life to try to find my version of healthy but I will be honest with the fact that I took my body much more seriously when I started my cannabis use. Cannabis to me was seen as a last resort and something I initially wanted to use until I was healthy enough to stop but my opinion has since evolved into the idea that my body was meant to need a bit of cannabis in it and when it has some it is able to function efficiently. Now reading this mindset I immediately flash back to nursing school and the thinking of an addict how I need a substance to feel “normal” and that used to make me feel extremely guilty. I was selling myself short in a lot of ways.
What is Normal?
Now to unravel this thinking and to get at the heart of the context I wanted to examine exactly what I felt normal was. And it was simple. Normal to me is being able to live: to go to work, to go to class, to be a functioning member of society but to do it without the fear that I am going to either puke, shit my pants, or feel like I cant breathe because of stabbing pains. Before cannabis I was never sure that I felt good enough to actually participate in things. I was afraid to go running outside because of the worry I wouldn’t be able to find a bathroom when I needed one. I was afraid to go out with friends because I was worried that I would have a stomach spasm and have a hard time moving. I had days when I had to call out from work because I was stuck in a bathroom for hours at a time. I have missed classes because I am shaking from not being able to keep food down. And as small as it may seem I had an extremely hard time finding a place to go out to eat with other people because I was afraid to eat anything and not know the effect it would have on my body. And that was when I thought I was “feeling good”!!! Anyways one day the man in my life made a comment that how I feel on a daily basis is not how everyone else feels on a daily basis and that’s when it really hit me…. they don’t know. Other people don’t know the fear of trying to find a bathroom or the panic of being told I cant use a facilities bathroom. “Normal” people don’t have to worry that their stomach is going to spasm and they will spend the next hour bent over a toilet emptying every single content that was once in there. So why exactly should I feel guilty for wanting to feel normal?
Overcoming the Guilt
Now my guilt lasted quite a bit longer then the initial epiphany that its alright for me to want to be normal in fact it came up every time I felt I needed it. Of course it didn’t help that I happened to be learning about mental health at the time and the other half of me was trying to convince myself that I was an addict. We all battle with ourselves because we all our own worst critics but its important to lean to the side with reasoning. There were days when I would avoid the cannabis because I felt like I was feeling “good enough” and I should only use the weed if I absolutely needed it only to wake up in the middle of the night with awful stomach pain. And this happened multiple times. One particularly bad morning about 4 am after calling into work I was stuck in the bathroom with my head in the toilet bowl just trying to breathe in between the dry heaves I had enough.
I am done letting myself feel like shit. I am done avoiding something that I know makes me feel better because I have a feeling someone else might judge me. I am done living my life for the eyes of others who have no idea what it takes for me to get out of the house. I am done worrying that I may not be as perfect as I want to be. I am done knowingly choosing to avoid something that makes me feel normal just because it doesn’t make others feel normal. And that was when I started seeing more permanent change.
Part of My Chemical Makeup
Now this last piece is my own philosophy of how my body uses cannabis and not really based on much else so take it with a grain of salt. I have started to view cannabis as part of my maintenance medication that is necessary to function as needed. Like those with Diabetes need insulin because their body cant make insulin to bring down blood sugar, or how people with hypothyroidism need synthroid in order to keep their T3 and T4 levels in check, my body needs cannabis to keep the inflammation down. When I ingest cannabis, especially orally, my inflammation levels in my gut maintain at normal so my body can digest food. Additionally the cannabis relaxes the stomach muscles and keeps them from spasming so I can actually keep food down. As an added bonus weed is an appetite stimulator and allows me to eat when I first wake up nauseous. I do believe I use it as needed but my body just needs it every day and I have come to peace with that. Cannabis is no longer a last resort that should be used for a temporary basis. Yes I may need a large dose during flare ups or other moments of extreme stress but ultimately I need a daily dose of cannabis to be a functioning member of society. And that is more then ok.