I’ve only just recently “come out” about my use of cannabis, but I’m hearing the collective voices of women rising up and needing to be heard. I feel my own spirit asking to be set free. So I’m pushing through the stigma and social and legal constraints that have kept me from being able to express freely about something that has been such a positive part of my life.
When I became pregnant with my daughter back in 2010, I hadn’t really thought much about what parenthood would be like. Like so many newly expecting mamas out there, I became preoccupied with pregnancy and the birth experience. I sought out support for eating right, doing yoga, and spending time connecting with the being growing inside me. I was fortunate to have had strong support around birth. I had been exposed to powerful birth stories and guided towards books and resources that would help me gain confidence in my body and in the innate wisdom that lies within. I became so empowered that I realized I deeply wanted to have my baby at home. So toward the end of my pregnancy I rallied to raise funds to have a homebirth. I felt such focus and commitment and truly it was a high time for me. What I was ill-prepared for was what I experienced postpartum.
I became depressed and anxious, pretty much immediately after my daughter was born. I was confused and defeated that I hadn’t transformed into some fierce Mother Goddess that I had expected I would be. I thought the fire that had been stoked in me during pregnancy would manifest as a raging flame and nothing was gonna hold me back. Then I woke up naked, in bed, with an infant forever attached to my breast, my whole world completely unrecognizable. I was sad, but didn’t know why. I was ashamed for feeling what I was feeling. I was so disappointed in my mental state and there was no end in sight. I didn’t know why I was like this or how I would ever be different. Denial is deep and isolating. I felt all of these feelings like bathing in a river of it, but if you asked me how I was doing or if you suggested I might be struggling I would honestly look you in the face and say, “I’m fine” and “What are you talking about?”
Two years passed and I kind of forgot what it felt like to not be depressed and anxious. Then something happened internally. Literally. I had been ignoring and denying a pain in my abdomen for… I don’t know how long, a year? Until I was forced by pain and fear to see a doctor. In the process of doing something for my own care, things began to shift. In a moment of desperation, I was connected with an acupuncturist who saved me. Seeing her was so healing! I cried deep and hard in my sessions with her, just letting all the pain that had been bottled up inside of me move through to allow healing energy to flow. I also had a grapefruit sized ovarian cyst removed. That was literally like letting go of a heavy burden. That marked the shifting point out of my postpartum depression.
That’s also when I reconnected with a powerful ally, cannabis. Measured, predictable and low dose edibles had become more available so I was willing to experiment. The results were powerful! I began to remember who I was before the depression. I started to use cannabis as therapy sessions with myself. It connects me with my higher self and allows me to recognize my truth. Really, it’s a spiritual healer and guide for me. I started to understand how my anxiety worked both in my mind and in my body and I received directions for care while using cannabis. I started spending more time in nature and feeling a much deeper level of connection to the world around me. It opens my heart and allows feelings of love to flow. It increased the intimacy between my husband and I. It just allows me to drop the protective coat that has been helping me survive and underneath that, I’m softer and gentler both with myself and with my husband. We’ve been reminded of who “we” were before parenting and we’ve been able to explore who “we” are now and who “we” want to be.
I wish I could articulate the way it helps me work with my anxiety. It’s not at all a numbing mechanism. It’s almost like cannabis shines a light on my feelings so that I can’t ignore them or push them away. So I’m forced to use actual tools to deal with them and in doing that – I heal, I transmute it. I might feel this tight anxious feeling in my chest and it gets really uncomfortable and can’t be ignored. Then a voice comes to me to take a breath…I do, and in that moment, I’ll hear another thought. It might be, “Oh, I’m going to the parent ed meeting and I feel nervous about being in a social situation”. Then I breath out and I feel fluid. There’s a release. Then I’m just more in my body, more present, and I feel more spacious. It’s been a process learning to calm my anxieties and cannabis has been an invaluable tool, medicine if you will!
Now I’m being called to move that healing energy through me and out into the world. I mean, 2017 has been a legit time to feel all the feels. There’s plenty of good reasons to be anxious and frustrated. Let’s look at those feelings. I’m scared of the state of the world. How do we engage with that? What tools do we have to move through these times? Smoke some weed (or take your tincture or what have you), slow the eff down, breathe in and breathe out, practice gratitude, take a look around and see the amazing people you are surrounded by, send your love out into the world, let love in and show up! Let your full power radiate out. It doesn’t take up space, it creates space!
Cannabis turns up the volume so I can hear my inner Goddess speak to me!