I find that lately, my anxiety is once again my biggest demon. It was the very first symptom I experienced from the time I was a little girl. I would lay awake at night worrying about things that I can’t even place anymore because it was so long ago.The thing is, when you’re a child, especially one growing up in the early 90s, there was no one observing your worries. I didn’t know that other children didn’t experience these thought patterns. My parents never felt like there was anything to pick up on, but once they did everything started to make sense.
This introduction was a little more lengthy than anticipated but in order to make the most of a late Saturday night, I felt that it was necessary.
I’m about to disclose something that I don’t really want to advertise, but when I injured my arm at work, I was desperate for pain relief and the medication I was prescribed was not helping and made me vomit. My go-to over the counter pain med, Ibuprofen was also useless. This led me to a desperate search for pain relief between the expensive heating pad, the ice pack and “rest” that I wasn’t even able to get because I got super sick on top of being hurt. I told my boyfriend late one night, after having been high on an injection of a pain killer in the hospital the night before, that I wanted to try something natural.
This led me to my experience smoking marijuana. Yes, it’s legal it Canada now, and it took me nearly 28 years to try it, but the funny thing was, it didn’t only help my pain, but also cleared my mind…
My boyfriend loves to poke fun at me, because I am an easy target in a lot of ways, well I can’t remember the conversation exactly, my memory is never going to be my strong suit, but he said something to poke fun and after taking only a few puffs of my first joint, I immediately had a comeback. It took him right off guard and he laughed and was proud that I came up with a witty response instantly. What I told him next, is that for the first time in my life, I felt like I could think clearly… My mind wasn’t racing and going a million miles a minute. I was able to process his words and respond without my social anxiety getting the best of me. Yes, I do still experience social anxiety with loved ones, and sometimes it’s those I am closest to that I can have the most difficulty communicating with. Anyway, that was an unnecessary aside, but the point of the matter is smoking “weed” actually helped me.
Now to the main point of this post, because I am only smoking a little bit on the weekend, I’m treating this like I do alcohol, but even more strictly, as I am not completely aware of how I could react at any given moment with a new “drug” in my system, even if it is natural. I have another birthday this month, I’m approaching the end of my 20s everyday, and I decided that this month I am going to challenge myself to not only be accountable to a healthy lifestyle when it comes to eating right and exercising, two things I am mostly on top of, but also taking time to spend some time alone, with my head out of my textbooks. Spending time with my dog, writing in my journal, watching movies, baking, basically doing anything that I feel like I don’t have the “time” to do. We always have time, taking care of myself needs to be a priority, because working in a healthcare profession full time, going to school, taking care of a dog, and living with mental illness is not an easy feat. But these are all things I manage well, about 90% of the time. My problem is I am way too hard on myself and it is SO DANGEROUS! I am constantly sabotaging myself in my own mind and thinking the worst about everything. If I spent half as much time doing anything as much as I worry, I would be an expert at whatever that may be. I am an expert at worrying, but that’s not what I want to be known for.
I want people who meet me, or who used to know, or who are yet to meet me, to know that I live each and everyday with passion with helping others, that I love animals, that I am beginning to truly love myself after almost 28 years of being unsure. Most of all, I want to be known for being kind, and accepting of others, because I have known too many people who were not so kind or accepting of me.
I would say that this late Saturday night reflection/ wee hours of Sunday morning thought, has been very helpful for me, because it is helping me realize that I can take the judgment away from myself for trying something new, and still taboo. I can enjoy a few puffs of a joint, just as I can enjoy a glass of wine, because they are both ok.
Thanks for reading the inner workings of my brain…