As I mentioned, I was recently put in an unfair and uncomfortable position by members of my family, but I tried to put a smile on and pretend anyway.
It led to the biggest blowout in our family history, and me having an anxiety attack in the dark on our closet floor.
I felt ambushed, judged, and disrespected in my own home. Like I said, my husband stood up for me which was amazing, but it also put him in a position of standing up to MY FAMILY. Of course, this caused additional issues between them. The result was the gang of family leaving and going to dinner while my husband pieced me back together.
One of the things upon which I was judged is my consumption of marijuana. I smoke daily, yes, but I also am a wife, upkeep our first house, run a blog, and oh – wrangle depression just about constantly. (Sometimes caused by said family.) So ya, I smoke quite a bit. But I get my shit done.
Upon meeting my husband and getting a different perspective on how family should treat each other, I started seeing how frankly disrespectful mine can be to me sometimes. Not all the time – we’re a very loving family, but I notice little things that just shouldn’t be done or said to a person and began slowly standing up for myself. Unfortunately, my family took this as becoming “wound too tight” and “a bitch.” Well, of course you’ll be portrayed as a bitch if you stop accepting the way people treat you.
I was flat out told that I “smoke too much,” and “have changed,” yet they were unable to provide me with a single example. Little do they know, when they see me smoking heavily when we’re together it’s mostly because I struggle to be around some of them and their sheer negativity. But how exactly do you explain that to someone without being called a bitch again?
I can sort of see why they think the things they do based on what they see, but that’s only because they don’t fucking listen to me when I speak ever. I very clearly tell them that I use marijuana medicinally and that it really helps me with my outlook, mood, depression, appetite, and sleep. They worry about my depression, yet berate me for the choice I’ve made on how to medicate it.
They only see me ‘doing drugs.’
A fun fact about me is that I am constantly doing checks and balances on myself to ensure nothing I do gets out of hand. I understand the fine line between healthy and unhealthy as far as ‘recreational activities’ such as drinking alcohol (no medicinal value whatsoever), and part of being an adult is making sure you never cross that line. My family seems to be telling me they think I have a ‘habit,’ but a habit insinuates something negative. A habit is “hard to give up” – why would we ever have to “give up” something that’s good for us? So no, I do NOT have a marijuana ‘habit’ or ‘addiction.’ It is a medicine that I have a physical prescription for from an actual physician. He even has DR. in front of his last name. If people can pop two or three Xanax a day when they need it, why am I judged for smoking two or three bowls? Because it isn’t in tablet form?
Because I naturally understand psychology and have also studied it, I’m able to monitor myself for anything unusual or excessive. No one ever has to say, “Hey O – think you’re hitting the bottle a bit much these days?,” and if they do, I already know I am and frankly don’t give a damn. Also, my husband is a professional and successful adult, therefore he would notice something awry in my behavior and address it. So in addition to my own self-evaluations, I frequently ask him his opinion of my marijuana usage. Also being science-minded, he understands the medical applications for weed and vows to tell me if he ever feels I’m abusing it.
But even though I very well know that you should never live for others, I still feel sickened by the thought that people, and not just people – the only people I have deeply loved my entire life, think I have a ‘problem’ and clearly don’t have a clue who I really am. They even had the audacity to use the phrase “going down the wrong path.” This is bothering me tremendously. Combined with the fact that I don’t like smoking when I’m really depressed, I just slowly stopped medicating altogether over the last week.
I originally started medicating daily because of my inability to fall asleep at night, so the first problem arose the very first night when I found myself staring at the time projected onto our vaulted bedroom ceiling for hours.
My bedside chillum was sitting right there in my nightstand, but I was made to feel ashamed of using my own medicine so I tossed and turned ’til 4am. My cat gets hungry at 4:30am.
The next day I went about my usual business, but remained unmedicated. It felt like walking through fog. I had no real inspiration to do anything, I just walked around the house from Point A to Point B doing what needed to be done. I was depressed, of course – though my family interactions are often a circus, things have never been this bad. I’m sad, but the saddest part is that the one Godsend (literally!) I have that eases my depression and anxiety is the one thing my family is trying to take away from me.
I knew I could have easily medicated any moment I wanted to so I could clear my head, but I choose to ‘feel’ instead. Weed gives me an optimistic outlook, it helps me forgive, and it lifts my mood instantly, but I know that in order to process feelings you have to indeed feel them. That’s why I don’t smoke or drink when I’m really depressed, cannabis and alcohol should not be used to cover up feelings.
This went on for a couple days; I milled about feeling like a shell of me. Like the shell I used to be many years ago. Unable to sleep, morose, uninspired, uncreative, quiet, and I lost weight.
The weekend came so I said “Fuck it,” and rolled a joint. Just moments after my first hit I could physically feel my spirits lifting, and I wanted to jump off the couch and do something. Immediately I felt happy, carefree, and inspired to do a project. But after some time it hit me – “Wait, this is what my family wants to keep from me? This, which lifted my sullen soul is a ‘bad’ thing?” I just can’t understand.
Right away I turned to my docking station to turn on some jams on Spotify and I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I played any music. The one thing that has been a constant source of happiness for me in my life is music, and I hadn’t listened to any in days. I just hadn’t been myself. Right then I confirmed what I already knew.
I should never change for someone else. I am an intelligent, thoughtful adult who can make her own choices.
And my feelings and actions do not change whether I’m medicated or not, I am still the same person.