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Pot Chocolate

*I wrote most of this while we were still living in California four years ago and I kept on going back and forth about whether or not I should publish it. Maine is a place where you can also get medical marijuana. I’ve been having a terrible time with PTSD after losing Ben in 2013 and decided to get my medicinal card again last year because my prescribed antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication wasn’t working that well for me.

I’ve had chronic pain for so long from a few different ailments I have, including fibromyalgia. Over the years, I’ve never found much sympathy from doctors. I also have anxiety, depression, and panic attacks (I’m such a ball of fun) that has been kicking my ass for a while. I would occasionally try different medications but nothing would work or if the medication did, I would have side effects along with it.

Since I’ve been miserable for years, my husband suggested something to me that really took me by surprise. It shocked the hell out of me when he suggested trying medical marijuana.

I have always been one who never understood why alcohol, that can cause so much harm i.e, alcoholism, drunk driving, violence, etc, is legal but when it comes to pot, the worst that can happen is downing a bag of cheetos and watching Titanic for the 500th time. That last sentence is served with a small side of sarcasm. I know pot has its own demons. I just can’t think of any right now.

Obviously, you have to be a dumbfuck if you use either one and then drive. It’s only for use when I’m in for the night and after my daughter has gone to bed. Just had to throw that in.

I had smoked marijuana when I was younger but now here I am, older, a wife, and mom, so at first I thought there was absolutely no way. I also was really surprised that my husband even suggested it in the first place because he’s very, VERY straight-laced.

Not long after, I had an awful pain flare up and knew something had to be done with this pain I’m in most of the time. Since I live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, I made an appointment to see a doctor about getting a medicinal marijuana card when I was still living in California.

After I got my card, I had to do the deed. Get the courage to go to a medicinal marijuana depository. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. The night before I went, I kept thinking what it would be like to go to one of these places.

The next day when I walked into the depository, my mouth dropped. The place was spotless, the “flowers” were in glass containers, while the edibles where in glass cases.

The first thing they did was go through my paperwork I received from the doctor and then they put me in their computer. During this time, I was still feeling like I was doing something atrocious.

As I was standing there, surrounded by pot, I started panicking some, with the feeling like I was going to get busted for being in a place like this.

Then I was greeted by a woman who immediately put me at ease. There were so many different types of things I could get. Suckers, cookies, gum, ice cream, pretzels, etc.

Because of my chronic pain, I was recommended a tincture. It has more cannabinoids that combats pain and has less THC which is what gives you that “high” feeling.

While I was there, I discovered something that has become my favorite. Pot chocolate bars. They look just like regular chocolate bars which brings me to this.

Having a kid in the house with something like this made me really think about the safest place to keep it and it is way out of her reach. Hell, I even have trouble reaching my edibles off of the closet shelf.

I had such guilt at first that I have a child and here I was, eating some of a cookie or chocolate bar with something herbal. I haven’t told very many of my friends yet because I feel like I would be ostracized. Now they know. *waves*

I have to tell you, in the past few months, I have been feeling better. I’m actually able to get off my ass sometimes and exercise and I can take my child to the playground or go get our nails done with relative ease, less pain, and not as much panic. It’s been such a great experience to feel like I now have more freedom because of the reduction of the pain I have.

I didn’t write this with the intention of stirring up the pot, pun intended. I just wanted to share my story and let you know I’m a regular mom who has a beautiful family, chronic pain, and PTSD, among other things and now I have pot chocolate and CBD’s to alleviate my pain and anxiety so I can be more productive in my everyday life.

The pain I have is still there and the scars I have from losing my son will take time to heal as much as they can but my mental health and physical pain is more manageable with medicinal marijuana. I’m starting to live a life with less discomfort from my chronic pain and panic.

Out of all the things I’ve tried for many years, since my early 20’s, medical marijuana has been the closest to helping me live my life in the best and most normal way possible.

The stigma over marijuana needs to stop and I hope that it will someday be seen as a much more beneficial way of treating many ailments that people have, instead of being seen as this imaginary evil that people may make of it.

I believe if we all shared a joint and a bag of Funyuns, it could help us get closer to world peace.

Comments { 3 }

Stoned

This is long, boring, and unneccessary but I wanted to put the frustrations I’ve been having into words. I mentioned before how I’ve been going through medical issues for the past year and a half and I was going to leave it at that. But, I bitch and whine to my husband about it so much, I thought writing about it would help. I swear, I get the weirdest fucking medical problems. I’ve had an issue of getting salivary stones for years.

I never even knew something like this existed and for seven years, I would get this horrible pain on the right side of my neck when I ate or drank anything. I could feel the submandibular salivary gland get hard as a rock and cause so much pain and itchiness from below my chin, up into my right ear.

It may not seem like a big issue but I couldn’t even take a sip of water without the salivary gland flaring up.

When we moved to Seattle, I was finally able to see civillian doctors instead of military ones and the ENT there diagnosed me. I had surgery to take out the stone within the week. My one request was if she was able to save the stone, I would love to see what was making my life hell for seven years. She was more than happy to oblige and I still have that damn stone in a box somewhere.

After that, I would get frequent infections and flare ups in that gland. I had the option years ago to have that gland taken out but I was really hesitant. To be honest, it was because of the horrible experiences I’ve had with military doctors over the years and the incompetence so, there was no way I wanted one of those doctor’s to cut me open.

Things seemed to simmer down until last August when I had this horrible pain in the gland and it got so bad, I could barely move my tongue. Luckily for my husband, I wasn’t able to talk much for a few days until the antibiotics kicked in and I got some relief.

It cleared up, or so I thought, and then boom, it came back a few weeks later. I was referred to an ENT and he was pretty quick to say the gland really needs to come out. The hesitation came back about having this surgery, especially since I had three others within months of this one.

But, I decided to finally get it over and done with once and for all. The doctor didn’t feel the need to do a CT scan which still pisses me off because he didn’t think I had any stones in there and it was just the salivary gland that was infected. I had the surgery and I thought I was fucking done with all of the medical shit I had been dealing with.

Just when I had celebrated being done with this bullshit forever, the symptoms came back. The itchiness, the pain, and additionally, something that felt like a hot fire poker on the floor of my mouth. This time, a CT scan was done and yes, I was stoned from another stone. The ENT also noticed that a fucking hole was what had developed in the floor of my mouth as a way for my body to try and expel the stone that had been in there for who knows how long.

I know. It’s really fucking gross.

I had surgery for that five months ago and again, thought I was done. done. done.

Nope. Not even close.

I come to find out that the duct to the submandibular salivary gland was still in there because there’s a nerve to the tongue that wraps around the duct and it can be tricky to take out. It can cause permanent paralysis on the right side of the tongue.

Oh joy.

I could also tell at this point that the ENT didn’t know what the fuck to do with me. So, he put me on antibiotics.

The infection went away.

Then it came back and he put me on antibiotics again.

Basically, my whole summer was spent dealing with these gross infections and taking an overload of antibiotics which I absolutely hate. I not only worry about antibiotic resistance but also, if feels like my stomach is being shredded. I’ve been on half a dozen different kinds of antibiotics and also found out by way of another CT scan I had in August is that there are now smaller stones in my sublingual salivary gland.

Fucking fuck.

I was frustrated, my doctor was frustrated, and I was pissed off. I don’t feel like my normal self at all. My body is tired of fighting these infections. My ENT finally waved the white flag and referred me to a doctor in Boston.

I saw him last week and he hasn’t seen my scan results yet but felt at least two stones in the floor of my mouth.

His plan is to take out that fucking duct that’s probably causing these stones, and taking out however many stones are actually in there… besides the two he felt.

It looks like the surgery will take place in the next few months.

So, that’s where I’m at now…. hurry up and wait. That’s what it feels like. This new ENT doctor wants to act fast but there’s that waiting game of making sure this is the best plan of action.

This whole thing has my anxiety so out of whack. I just hope that soon I’ll be feeling healthier again.

Hopefully, more like myself than I’ve felt in the last 18 months.

Comments { 2 }

To The People Who Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

For the past six months or so, my anxiety attacks have started as early as before I even open my eyes, which is a rather new thing considering most of those attacks were usually happening at night, and I needed to cut out the news. It was making me feel completely suffocated to know of all the harm that was happening not only in the United States, but around the world.

Of course, I don’t live under a rock so the news seeps into my life on a daily basis. I’ll check in on one of my fave gossip sites to see who got married, who broke up, who had a baby, who went to rehab for “exhaustion”, who is losing their shit, etc., except there will also be news on there about the hot mess going on in D.C.

As much as I try to escape it, the real news of the world oozes in. Like the flow of lava. Destroying and burning down my small safe space of comfort.

There aren’t enough adorable puppy photos to cure these blues that are currently happening.

The pleas and desperate help that Puerto Rico needs.

The shootings in Las Vegas.

These events are so shocking and sickening. I just can’t wrap my mind around this kind of devastation.

Besides the daily stresses I go through every night while lying in bed, the happenings of the world also keep me up at night.

For some reason, when I try to be mindful and think happy thoughts, my mind goes to an Andrew Bird concert I went to last October. My mom had been visiting us for the first time in at least six years and it felt like a perfect night.

Towards the end of the show, the lights went down in the concert hall, the disco ball was lowered, stars scattered all across the arena, and there was a woman who was standing to my left. She was dancing in a way that honestly gave me second-hand embarrassment at first. She was moving her body along to the music and didn’t give one flying fuck what anyone thought, including me who quickly saw how judgemental I had been for a few quick seconds.

This woman who danced so freely is someone I hope to be someday.

Going through the rhythm of life and moving in the way that feels natural to me, no matter how ridiculous it may seem at first to those who are watching. I want to be able to drop my guard and be my true self, no matter how much it’s out of my comfort zone.

During these really difficult times, we should all be the kind of people who dance like nobody’s watching and show the kindness and goodness that so many people are very much needing right now.

This is not about politics for me.

This is about decent, human kindness that very few in current high-powered positions just don’t have.

People try to normalize the behavior of someone who is supposed to be the leader of my country and they are failing time and time again, spewing out hatred and insincerity.

So, I’m going to make an effort to go through the present, dancing to life the way that I want no matter what my conservative family members think. That’s including a cousin I adored and looked up to, my sister, and an uncle.

But, unlike them, I don’t take kindly to judge people based on their skin color or religion.

It may seem extreme to cut out family members but the decisions being made by the United States government is absolutely devastating people’s lives and ruining as well as breaking up families.

I no longer care if I’m a “special snowflake” for basic human rights and respect given to all people, no matter what their lot in life is.

Everyone deserves to have a happy life and stability. People should be allowed the freedom to come to the U.S. to make a better life for themselves.

Everyone deserves the chance to dance like nobody’s watching, without limitation or prejudice.

Comments { 2 }

I’m A Mess

This past year and a half has been very difficult for me. I had five surgeries within 14 months, starting in 2016. It’s why I haven’t really been blogging as often as I’d like. I won’t bore you with the details of the surgeries but they came in such rapid succession and that’s what has made me go from anxiety with occasional panic attacks to my current state which has transformed to severe anxiety with frequent panic attacks, including the dreaded anxiety attacks first thing in the morning.

I didn’t take as good of care of myself as I should have with each recovery from surgery and it’s definitely taken a toll on me. I feel so anxious all the time and my body still feels like it’s in recovery mode. It’s been frustrating for me because I’m still not 100% physically and the frustration leads to anxiety which leads me to have panic attacks.

If you’ve never had a panic attack, you’re very lucky. Mine starts out with feeling a sense of dread. My heart starts pounding. It’s difficult to catch my breath. My mind starts racing. I feel dizzy. My heart gets to where it feels like it’s going to beat out of my chest. I feel like I’m going to give myself a heart attack. The sense of dread increases. My heart’s beating so fast, my mind is racing, I’m feeling dizzier, and there are times I even get so worked up that I throw up from the anxiety and panic. It feels like I’m a prisoner in my own body and want nothing more that to escape myself.

So, for the past 18 months, my anxiety has grown to where it can be debilitating at times. I’m getting more concerned now because this is the time of year that my depression starts rearing its ugly head.

Since I cut out all news out of my life last month, the anxiety has become a little more manageable. I’ve been trying to ride out the panic attacks without reaching for my xanax prescription but that can be really difficult. Hmmm, would I rather feel like I’m in a fight or flight state of panic for half the day or should I take something that I know in 20 or so minutes will have me feeling more in control of my thoughts? But, I don’t want to have to depend on medication every time.

The problem is, I still have an ongoing medical issue and while I’ve had two surgeries for it where I thought both times that I’ll finally be feeling healthy again and won’t have to deal with this problem anymore. Low and behold, once I’m confident it’s finally not an issue anymore. the fucking thing pops back up. I feel like there’s no end in sight and my ENT doctor has been calling this “unusual and rare”.

He seems to be at a total loss about what to do and mentioned sending me to Boston. For now though, he’s waiting to see if medication will help. I know it’s not going to because in the past it never did.

I’m just feeling so frustrated and at a loss.

What I’ve been missing is writing. I know that’s something that will help clear my head and help my anxiety while also giving me an escape from these ongoing medical issues.

I just don’t know if I can still keep up the blogging, not that I’ve really been keeping it up that often. But, I’ve been blogging for over seven years now and I’m not quite sure I can completely let it go. So, for now, I figure what the hell, even if I don’t have much to say, I should just write anyway. It’s such a nice vacation from my anxiety ridden mind and the physical pain I’m still in.

So, now you know what’s been going on since last year. It feels good to clear the air and talk about the terrible time I’ve been having.

I know I’ll get through this rough time but right now it feels like it’s going to last forever. I’ll leave you for now by saying thank you for listening to my issues.

I’ve got issues, you’ve got them too, so give yours to me and I’ll give mine to you.

Your welcome for getting that song stuck in your head.

Comments { 8 }

Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me

I don’t like my psychiatrist. I’m sure he’s an okay guy but he comes off as really cold. But, I deal with him since I don’t really have any other options.

I usually dread going to his office and leave there more stressed than when I went in. I’ve been having some severe anxiety and frequent panic attacks for months now and it feels like I’m slowly suffocating under the weight of this anxiety.

I was pouring my heart out to this psychiatrist at my last appointment and he started eating a banana. I always laugh at the worst times. Nervous laughter. Seeing him eat a banana combined with me feeling very emotional and in tears combined with the phallic shape of the banana combined with my mind is that of a 12 year-old boy equals laughter.

He gobbled down the banana while I composed myself and the tears started coming. He starts swatting at the air and I try to continue talking to the spastic display in front of me.

He took notice and said “It’s a fruit fly. Go on….”

At this point I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I had been practicing what I wanted to say to him for weeks. And, there he is, swatting with both hands with his arms flailing about.

I’m trying so hard to keep a straight face while he continues swatting at this fruit fly. I went back to being an emotional mess and my head was down. When I was about to tell him something really difficult, he slapped his knee and said “Got it!”

I looked up to see him wiping off the remains of the fruit fly in his hand.

Comments { 4 }

Anxiety Sucks

The anxiety I have always becomes much worse this time of year. I worry about every little fucking thing that I possibly can. I have major anxiety about driving and it’s become worse than I thought it could when I got into a fender bender in a grocery store parking lot a few weeks ago.

I was waiting for a blue SUV to pull out by me and once I started backing out, bam, the guy in the Dodge Durango pulled out at the same time and we didn’t see each other. His truck didn’t have a scratch on it but my poor Subaru got a dent in the back bumper that looks like the Hulk smashed it with his fist. I also got part of my taillight broken off.

I’m taking it to the body shop on Monday and getting a rental for a few days. But, my anxiety is out of control even more now. I used to panic and stress with driving in general but now when I’m in parking lots, I full on panic. I know it was just an accident and they can happen to anyone but I’ve been overthinking the fender bender, which is what I do best. Overthink.

Now, when I’m in a parking lot, I park far away from the other cars. Leave it to a big ass truck to park right next to me though.

I was also invited to someone’s house where there will be other people and my anxiety is really kicking in over that because yay, not only do I have anxiety but my social anxiety is off the charts. I’m making myself go though because I’m sick of anxiety always taking over my life.

It’s so hard to break through it. I’ve tried to channel my anxiety into positive and creative ways and while some things work, others don’t.

Xanax only does so much for me but without it, I’d be even more stark raving mad. I also have a surgery coming up and guess what? I’m thinking of all the things that can go wrong with it. Nothing like dying but the thought of being in physical pain makes me cringe.

I recently went on a panicky talking streak with my husband about how my anxiety can be really debilitating at times. People who don’t have it will never get it though. It’s not something you can just snap out of. It doesn’t matter how much therapy I’ve had over the years. It’s just the way I’m wired. I try to be more mindful and live in the moment but anxiety and depression rears its ugly head at me.

The panic attacks are so overwhelming. When I have one, it feels like I’m suffocating and I start shaking while my mind feels like I’m in a prison cell. I want to escape my body but I can’t. It can feel like I’m drowning and being chained to all of my dark thoughts.

Anxiety, you suck.

Comments { 7 }

Inconvenient

The Cycle Of Depression.

~~~~~

Things are fine.

I’ve just been feeling a little tired.

I’m so proud of my daughter and my husband seems to get me.

I’m starting classes in a few months and feeling a little nervous about my age.

I feel so old but who the hell cares.

This is big for me and I’m feeling pretty good.

But there’s a creeping sadness that I can’t seem to shake.

Maybe if I got to the gym an extra day this week, I’ll feel better.

~~~~~

I went to bed early last night but it doesn’t feel like I got much sleep.

There’s a tightness in my chest that seems to last most of the day.

There are a few times a day when I have a feeling of dread and I can’t seem to catch my breath at times because of the panic that has been seeping into me.

I want to talk about it with my husband but I know he won’t understand.

~~~~~

I don’t want to get out of bed.

I was up most of the night reading and watching Friends to take my mind off the anxiety and racing heart every time I tried to go to sleep last night.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the time I was 16 and was doing some really stupid shit.

Why couldn’t I have been a better kid?

And why did I treat my mom like shit and say what I did when I was 23?

I have no idea how I still have people in my life that deal with me.

I can be so selfish and ungrateful.

~~~~~

My classes are coming up soon.

I have no idea what I was thinking when I thought I could go back to school.

I can’t even find enough time to keep the house up and running.

I need to get more sleep but I keep waking up.

Last night I was thinking about how I yelled at my daughter that morning because we were running late for school.

That was so shitty of me.

Tonight when I was kissing her good night, she hugged me tight and told me she loved me in her sweet little voice.

Why can’t I be a better mother?

~~~~~

My husband took my daughter out ice skating Sunday morning and I slept in until 10 am.

Despite that, I’m exhausted.

I’m still not out of bed and it’s noon.

I can’t believe I didn’t go with them to watch my daughter ice skate.

She didn’t seem to mind but I should have gone anyway.

I feel like a burden.

I’m like some inconvenient thing to everyone I know.

My life doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and I shouldn’t even take those classes next month.

Nothing really matters and everything I do seems inconsequential.

~~~~~

I don’t even know why I bother.

~~~~~

My daughter read a little story she wrote this morning.

It felt nice to smile again and mean it.

I wish I could be a better mom to my sweet girl.

My husband deserves a better mother for our child.

But I know I’m doing my best.

~~~~~

I finally got more than a few hours sleep last night.

If this keeps up, maybe I can make it to the gym in a few days.

I talked with my husband about the panic attacks I was having and while he didn’t seem to get it, I feel better that I said something.

~~~~~

I was in the kitchen this afternoon and turned on some music.

It felt good to dance around the kitchen and have a little fun.

Comments { 6 }