Robyn, 20

Cutting

Robyn was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at age 17.  She suffered horrific physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her parents.  Robyn was sexually assaulted beginning at age 13.  Later on, she was struck by a car.   It was a lot for a young woman to cope with.  She began a 5 year struggle with cutting and self harming as well as periodic seizures before finally finding a doctor that would listen to her.

Once getting the help, Robyn was started on a string of pharmaceuticals.  She took 8 25mg tablets of Zoloft a day for BPD  and OCD.  At one point doctors thought she might have Lupus (an autoimmune disease that attacks healthy tissues and results in chronic inflammation) so she was placed on a heavy dose of steroids.  They prescribed her a multitude of anti inflammatory drugs and Tylenol 3s.  Because of the harshness of these drugs, she was placed on stomach medications and migraine medications to combat the side effects of other pills.  At one point, Robyn, barely out of her teens, was on 25 pills a day.

She discovered in 2017 that smoking cannabis helped take the edge off of her symptoms and allowed her body to rest and sleep, easing some of the physical pain she had.  She discovered cannabis also helped stop her seizures and has allowed her to be seizure free for months.   After all the medications, Robyn was finding it difficult to eat, cannabis gave that back.  It allowed her to start cutting back on the prescription medications she was taking.  Once she started cutting back on the prescriptions she lost 125 lbs in a year.

“I still have my bad days but they are no where near picking up a blade or wanting to hurt myself.”  

Since beginning therapy she’s been diagnosed with PTSD,  Fibromyalgia and complex seizure disorder. She currently takes Cymbalta, an iron supplement for anemia and medical cannabis daily.

“The biggest thing I notice is the difference in my quality of sleep.  I haven’t had night terrors in a long time.”  Robyn tells me.

I asked her how it has helped her mental state.  “It helps to level me out.  I’m not crying in my bathroom every night.  I’m not self harming anymore and I actually want to get up more often in the mornings.”

For Robyn, cannabis has saved her life.  It’s given her a new lease and a new perspective on life.  It’s given her hope.

There are so many people out there struggling with mental disorders, traumas, PTSD and physical pain.  Robyn’s advice- “Research your disorders and learn what’s worked well for others.  It’s not just about smoking.  Topicals and edibles all play a role in healing so consider all the options.”

Cannabis Topicals
Cannabis Topicals

For Robyn, she uses the topicals and she prefers to smoke strains like Sour Diesel which is a fast acting sativa dominant strain that offers energizing and uplifting effects.  It’s a popular favorite for medical patients.  She also likes God’s Blue Diesel (a cross strain of God Bud, New York City Diesel and  Blueberry) and Kosher Kush which is a tasty indica dominant strain good for relaxation and pain.

Sour D
Sour Diesel

“I research the strains and dosages first.”  

Robyn currently uses a dispensary for her meds.  “I wanted to try ***** (LP)  but I’m so nervous to buy from the LPs with all the recalls.  It’s a little scary.  I know the stuff I get from the dispensary has all been lab tested so I feel more comfortable buying from them.”

Robyn usually smokes a couple of hours before work, when she gets home and before bed.  “If I wake up in the middle of the night now, I have an edible and go right back to sleep.  I rarely wake from pain anymore.”

 

When I asked Robyn about the impending Legalization, she said “Medical and Recreational need to be separate.”  She also feels that selling cannabis in liquor stores is only going to open up more options for young people to mix alcohol and cannabis and possibly hurt themselves or others.  “I feel like it could make the roads a little less safe.  People have to have a responsibility to not drive while impaired.”

Robyn currently works at a local dispensary.  She wanted to help other patients suffering from chronic pain and mental illness.  “We need to do the best we can for the patients.”  She has been seizure free for months and avidly promotes medical cannabis use.  “It helps a lot of people and we need to make sure it continues to help people.”

 

If you are using cannabis to treat pain or illness, you can reach out in Comments or the Contact tab.

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For more stories like Robyn’s click here.

Sam

 

Images/Further Reading

Cutting  https://issuesiface.com/magazine/understanding-cutting

Sour Diesel  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sour_Diesel

Topical Cannabis  https://cannabistraininguniversity.com/using-topical-cannabis/

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Cindy, 46

PTSD300 pills and a bottle of wine.

Cindy thought it was the end.

A history of horrifying trauma – bullying, molestation, spousal abuse, rape, car accidents that led to physical disability – led to a diagnosis of severe domestic PTSD.

Cindy says that because of the mental and physical issues, she was prescribed a cocktail of drugs: Nabilone & Flexeril for pain. Ativan & Clonazepam for anxiety. Seroquel & Mirtazipine to allow her a chance at sleeping. Zoloft & Wellbutrin for depression.  A cocktail ingested for twenty years.  A recipe for “zombie-fication”.  Sleeping twelve hours a day, on average.

I hated life, I hated myself.  I hated waking up.  Every day I woke up I was disappointed.  Every day I would wake up, quickly run to pee and then get back into bed and pray for sleep to take me again.  I really did truly hate being awake, my dream life was so much better.”

Everything came to a head on February 3, 2015.

I came very close to ending my life.  Shit happened that triggered my worst ever panic attack, I was bullied and beat with words by 4 people at the same time, over Facebook, and I was at a point of my life that I just couldn’t fight anymore.  I was done.

So, I sent one of my best friends a text telling her this.  I told her how horribly depressed I was, how full of panic I was.  I told her I had 2 bottles of wine and 300 Clonazepam in my purse and was headed out for a drive to unknown places.  I said I couldn’t deal anymore, I didn’t know how.  I was done.  Lucky for me, she wasn’t going to take that as my answer to life.  A chain of phone calls & texts started, that ended up landing me in the hospital later that evening before any wine or pills were consumed.”

A medical cannabis prescription proved to be a catalyst for change.

My doctor gave me my medical cannabis prescription and I was off.  I started to learn everything I could, best ways to medicate and treat different ailments.  I truly discovered coconut oil/cannabis medication and edibles and my life began to change.”

She discovered that strains like Sour OG aided in the relief of panic attacks and anxiety.  Skywalker OG aided in relief of physical pain.  “For the mental part of my disability, I prefer to vape or smoke, (it’s more immediate) but for pain I find ingesting a variety of oils and edibles are more effective and long lasting.”

Cannabis Brownie

Slowly but surely, the cocktail of pills and medications was whittled down – but it wasn’t easy.

“I’m not going to lie, withdrawal is HARD.  Killer hard by times, but cannabis truly helps with that.  Makes it tolerable, and each day gets easier.  It took me 3 months and 15 days from start to finish to kick eight prescription medications, with the help of cannabis and EMDR therapy lead by my psych.”

Cindy’s journey with cannabis allowed her to go from 12 hours a day spent sleeping, to becoming an activist – starting with Grannies for Grass.

Grannies was started in 2010 by Donna Dassault and her son & his wife, Michael & Diane-Marie Jensen.  They made hemp jewelry and sold it at local farmers markets.  Eventually their little booth would be sought out by the seniors, who would gather to share stories and canna recipes.  Since then, Grannies has grown to be an amazing teaching and learning tool for many folks, and we have expanded to a few countries now.  We continue to grow, learn and educate the best we can.”

The passion for cannabis and cannabis education also led to an employment opportunity with a high-end dispensary in Nova Scotia.

A five month journey, with the help of cannabis, led to a new life.

If You are someone you know are thinking of suicide, you can contact the Nova Scotia Mental Health Crisis telephone line 

For support call 902-429-8167 or 1-888-429-8167 (toll free).

This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are using cannabis to treat pain or illness, please contact me through the Comments section or Contact Tab.

Sam

 

Images/Further Reading

Cannabis brownie/ Edibles: A Beginner’s Guide  https://www.leafscience.com/2017/08/28/marijuana-edibles-a-beginners-guide/

PTSD / Self Assessment Form  https://ohsinsider.com/compliance-centres/psychological-safety/ptsd-self-assessment-form