Lifelong friends, Windi recalls her friend’s journey in and out of the fog and finding herself with the help of medical marijuana.
Our friendship has gone back for as long as I can remember, Tammy was 13 years old and I was 16 when we first met. We started hanging out a little bit at a time; it was like having a younger sister. As time grew on, we hung out more and more and the next thing we knew, we were inseparable. We would walk around our hometown neighborhoods talking, pretending we were the next big thing and dreaming big dreams.
We went through marriages, divorces, pregnancies and life’s little ups and downs together. One could say Tammy is one of my closest friends and this is why I noticed when pharmaceuticals began to take her joy of life. I knew there had to be a way to get my friend out of the fog.
There were lots and lots of good memories that we had together, but separately we had to fight off demons of human nature and deal with struggles on our own. Tammy was very young, 16 years old, when the first tragedy happened to her, I believe this is where it may have begun. She gave birth to a stillborn son and had to bury her baby alone and deal with the pain and kept it within herself. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression.
We went through our second pregnancies with each other. Tammy had a baby girl and I had my son. We would arrange play dates and hang out, have a couple beers, smoke a couple bowls and dream like we used to and just enjoy. I swear, even with all the fun we were having, thinking life was grand, I could see the fog getting thicker and before I knew it, Tammy was appearing to get hazier.
We all would take turns throwing the weekend party somewhere. I recall one party in particular, I was sitting at her dining room table having a “normal” conversation with my lifelong friend and we were laughing, joking and everyone was having a good time, when her speech started to slur, she was forgetting everything we were talking about, she couldn’t even hold her head up. I knew we were drinking but I also knew we were not drinking that much or that fast. Her husband explained that it was her medication that her doctor had her on.
Fog can be pretty thick on 300mg of Seroquel , 40mg Prozac, 150mg Effexor, 300mg Lithium Carbonate, 150mg Lamictal, 10mg Klonopin, blood pressure pills and assorted other anxiety medicines that they could throw at her, while she was without her light in the fog.
Each of these pills coming with side effects of depression, suicidal thoughts and or tendencies, damage to internal organs, addictions, nausea, drowsiness, sleeplessness, fainting, seizures, etc…why would the doctor give these types of pills to someone who was sad? Why on earth would you give someone who doesn’t have the want to live, a pill that could completely take that want away?
Tammy ran the gauntlet on these prescriptions, from one trial period to another and I had to just accept that this was my friend now, I didn’t want to. There would be times that she would not be able to get her medicine for the month, due to how expensive they were and would have to suffer withdrawal symptoms’ and then have to start all over again, once she was able to get them refilled. Sometimes going without the pills would cause her to become so depressed and stuck within herself. She would have to be hospitalized just to get these prescriptions filled. She started to stay at home more, refusing to get dressed and was sleeping all day. She began to miss her appointments. Having normal conversations with her about life, was getting harder and harder to do.
The fog was wearing on her marriage. She began to withdraw herself from her husband, her children, family and friends. She was losing her hope. This was no life for her. It was beginning to take a serious toll.
My husband and I were going through a battle of our own with the Pharma shuffle. I was in constant pain due to degenerative bone issues and was dodging all the pills they were trying to throw into my body. We looked into natural alternatives and I took to cannabis for my pain relief needs. My husband starting growing medicinal cannabis for us six years ago, since then we have done lots of research on the benefits of cannabis use and other disorders, disease or issues that cannabis can alleviate.
We began making edibles, capsules, tinctures, salves and concentrates trying to find what worked best for me and what we could recommend for our friends and family who also wanted to know more about cannabis as medicine. Not only does cannabis help with major illness or disease but it can also help with depression and bi polar disorders.
During our adventures with learning about cannabis as medicine, Tammy was our number one fan. She loved seeing the garden, being involved in the growing process, trimming of the flowers and all the other processing we went through. You could say that we all were very much in love with what we were doing. When we made the cannacaps and tinctures, she was right on board with trying and trusting what we were researching, because she did some researching of her own. I saw a flicker of hope in the fog.
Cannabis was really healing my friend and bringing her back to us. Her husband and children began to notice the difference and began to fully support her decision to use cannabis as her medicine. Things got better at home. She was getting out more often.
Now don’t get things twisted, this was not an overnight operation my friend went through, this was a long hard lonely path for her at times.
She made changes in her diet and began to eat healthier avoiding processed foods and fast foods and items like diet sodas and energy drinks. She looked into other herbal supplements and oils to help with depression and anxiety. Alcohol was cut from her life. It was a tough road she took, but she made all the right changes, you could say, she made a “lifestyle change”. It took the excellent support system of her family and friends.
She really enjoyed the edibles and tincture in her tea, so it was really easy for her. The capsules worked great for when she wasn’t feeling like eating. It also took courage, faith and hope. I now see my friend in the sun and little white fluffy clouds are floating all around. No more fog.
It’s been over two years since my friend has had any prescribed drug in her system. She barely even does over the counter drugs for a cold or even a headache. She went back to work for a little over a year. When she quit, it was because she wanted to, not because she felt she had to, because she was too high on her prescriptions. Many changes were made in her life and every one of them was for the better. She now spends time with her children, spouse, loved ones and friends enjoying herself and dealing with the ups and down of life, just like the rest of us. But most importantly, Tammy has found herself out of the fog, for good.
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