Hi! I am Jo, The Lettuce Lady. I have been a cannabis enthusiast for longer than I should likely admit; however, just about one year ago, my entire world changed. October 17, 2018 will forever be known as "Legalization Day" for us 420/710-friendly individuals; and for me, it spawned a feeling of renewed purpose.
Cannabis has always made me feel just about normal. In university, my friends would get 'messed up' when we would sesh, but I would just become me- animated, interested, and happy. I never worried about that in Uni; everyone smoked weed. I had no kids, house, career, etc- ie. nothing to lose by toking myself better. I rejected the Lorazepam I was offered then for my anxiety; pot was all I needed.
Things changed, as they are wont to. I got a good job, I got married, had a baby- and I had stopped smoking pot. I held it together for a while; but postpartum depression, added to my return to a fast-paced and stressful work environment, crushed me. My reserves of resilience were gone, and I had long since ditched my 'buffer' to the world.
I ended up in the psychiatric unit of the hospital. Three times, for several weeks each time. I was misdiagnosed over, and over, and over again; and each misdiagnosis meant I was weaned off of my current drug cocktail and onto another. Dozens of types of pharmaceuticals were handed to me; antidepressants, antipsychotics, lithium, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, sleep-aids; the list goes on. Over 10 000 pills in a period of 3 years.
Finally, on my third and final hospitalization, this time in the Psychiatric Intensive Care unit, I was assigned a psychiatrist who turned everything around. She put me on a 'drug holiday' and scheduled days' worth of evaluations (that previous doctors had bypassed in their arrogance).
Turns out I never was bipolar, or psychotic, or any of the other things I was labelled with. I am a trauma survivor, and I experience seizures. That's all. Except that now I am a trauma survivor with seizures...and a permanent tremor, photosensitivity, and three years of vast memory gaps. I try not to look at it quite that way, but it is the reality.
I am currently not taking a single pharmaceutical; in stead, I have weekly therapy, and a medical cannabis prescription. I am reassembling my life, I am finding new meaning and purpose in advocating for people like me, who perhaps never realized how important a role recreational cannabis had been playing in their health. I approach medicating with cannabis in a humorous, often self-deprecating way that sometimes belies the important role that this plant now plays in my life.
So, that's me. I'll be here for the foreseeable future; you've been a great crowd! Please tip your waitress.