*Note: Mom if you read this don’t be mad because you’ll see how the roles reversed for the better later in life lol…
Ok so when I was about 15 years old living in Alaska my mother “took in” younger people in the military. She was like a military mom. So there were 3 guys she took in, and one guy, we’ll call him Michael, became a big brother to me and my brother even until this day 20 years later. This whole time I had no idea my brother was battling what most black men in america, let alone the military are facing. MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES…Not only has he had a traumatic childhood, but he’s seen people killed, and his convoy blew up the day after he left. That survivors guilt can be real sometimes.
So let’s go back real quick. One time while my mom was at work I was honest with my big bro that I wanted to try cannabis. Granted he tried to tell me NO many times but then it came down to the realization if I’m going to try it..I might as well try it in a safe space with someone that is trusted. So clearly we had no blunts or “white boys” so the next best solution was to use the paper my mom used to roll her hair with (lol…don’t act like I was the only one)…I swear her spider senses must have kicked in because we heard that garage door open and never got a chance to finish rolling that green..I skidaddled my ass up outta there with the quickness….. lol..I swear she has super powers..
Now along my life’s journey I have cultivated a relationship with cannabis. I have been communing with cannabis for a very long time. Along the way though I started to realize the difference of smoking just to smoke vs medicating. For the past 20 years my brother Michael has blamed himself because he felt HE was the reason why I started medicating…but little did he know his little sister would be able to assist him with a door he helped me open…
At 35 years old I am JUST FINDING OUT that my brother was diagnosed with PTSD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Anxiety.
He was taking:
Latuda – Anti Psychotic
Hydrocodone – Pain Relief
Anti Anxiety Meds – I forgot the name
Ritalin – To stay awake (he slick had narcolepsy)
Some other meds for Anti Tremors
They also gave him some counteractive meds so that the first group of meds he’s on don’t take a turn for the worse…what kind of shit is that?
Let me stop here and share how hurt I was. I mean I could tell that there was a change in my brother. There were parts of him that looked like didn’t exist anymore. Compared to what I knew of him before he was almost like a zombie. Just existing. Waking up everyday to go to work come home and do it all over again. He didn’t like to go out or do things for fun due to his anxiety issues and overall lack of desire. I still loved this guy but he just wasn’t the same. AS SOON AS I FOUND OUT HE WAS TAKING ALL OF THAT BULLSHIT I immediately got irritated. Like “yo you’re like 45 taking medicine like you’re 70.”
I was also disappointed how the military knows the amount of mental anguish soldiers like him go through and the BEST solution they offer are drugs that pretty much suck the life out of your life. Some veterans I talk to are afraid of medicating with cannabis out of fear of losing their benefits. Even though this medicine is PROVEN to work without the side effects that synthetic drugs have..but that’s another post. Let me be clear, I do appreciate all of those who joined the service and sacrificed whatever they have to provide for their families. I particularly am grateful for the life my mother was able to provide because of her stint in the military. However also knowing she got cancer from PESTICIDES THEY WERE SPRAYING ON A MILITARY BASE also pissed me off. At the time I was too young but now I’m old enough to do something about the health of the ones I love and care for.
So here we are 20 years later, the medicine that my brother was willing to allow me explore back then (even though it was recreationally) was something I was able to reintroduce him too to help him with his condition (medicinal). You see Michael was not able to partake in this medicine due to his continued participation with the military and the govt…and of course as a married man who is also a father he wanted to be very cautious about partaking again. He wanted to make sure he was supported by his wife (so glad she is) and also to make sure his children do not get the wrong idea as to why their father is now medicating with cannabis. I’m sure one day he’ll have that conversation but right now…it’s a need to know basis.
My journey in health and wellness is both on a physical and spiritual level. I have also did some work in behavioral health working with those diagnosed with mental health disorders. So I must acknowledge the mental health professionals I’ve worked with and those who are of like minds about the use of cannabis. To hear that his own psychiatrist encouraged this method as well wanting him to inspire other vets to consider this method was really awesome. BIG SHOUT OUT TO THE MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS YOUR WORK IS VERY VALUABLE AND NEEDED. As a member of the cannabis community I definitely am pushing to use this more in my practice and I encourage others to learn more on how to do the same. I encourage anyone who would like to be apart of the community rather it be for personal or business to start taking steps to get involved. I’m determined to learn more about using this plant as medicine, how to expand economically in the industry, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to do so.
So with my first trip in 2020, I’m heading to California with World Views Travel Group. I not only recommend traveling with these sisters overall but this tour I definitely am advocating Veterans and those with other ailments or who is interested in learning how to use this herb for healing to come. Over the next few years this industry is going to grow rapidly so even if you’re interested in the business aspects of it…you should definitely check it out.
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In the meantime, how does this story resonate with you? Do you or a loved one use cannabis for medicinal purposes? If so, how has it helped? Do you know someone who should? Some people are totally against this movement, are you? If so, why?