Mental Health

Facing & Overcoming Adversity: Part Two

The judgement against medical marijuana, moms, and Christians.

Facing & Overcoming Adversity: Part Two

Normalizing mental health and the use of medical marijuana.

Days have passed now since I opened up about my journey and use of medical marijuana in part one. Of course, I juggled with the possibility of the judgement outweighing the small benefit I may receive by helping someone else.

To me though, that small benefit means much more to me.

Dealing with opposition from every corner of my life was really what did it for me.

Insecurities exposed gives a lot of room for growth.

Facing these challenges have really changed me but mostly have motivated me to be real about everything in my life. In the small town I live in and most of the people in it including my own family and me at one point, viewed Marijuana as the federal government did.

A Class A drug. Comparable to Meth. Marijuana. Were talking about a plant.

My doctors that i saw regularly at the Emergency Room even tried to tell me that it was because of marijuana that i was so sick.

Its not like I was some pot head before.

I was sickened by the thought of ever using it to be completely honest.

Not only was my family against it but my very serious boyfriend at the time who liked to pretend to be my father. (I was 13 when we started dating and he was 20).

He hated it and threatened many hurtful things if he ever found out I used it, and my family was very against it. To top it off, I beat myself up for so many things including the nights that I caved into curiosity and smoked with my friends at a party I wasn’t necessarily allowed to be at.

Dread was an understatement when upsetting him.

As sick as I was and the hell I have lived through especially these past 5 years, I was willing to try anything.

Like I had mentioned in part one, my family and I have had some differences and one of them being that they feel like I have anxiety because they have anxiety and their belief is that because you have anxiety it means you have depression.

I don’t agree with that and they fought so hard with me on that one.

They really thought I should be medicated. I’m talking a plethora of medications, not just one.

As a Christian woman, smoking pot is frowned upon.

As I mentioned before, I just don’t think they understood what I was truly going through.

So much so that 2 years ago when my husband and I had been faithfully searching different routes of care, all the while visiting the ER almost daily and all alone.

All of the important women in my life decided to show up one day just to see me.

I was a little confused to say the least.

Because things like that just never happened.

My family is good at keeping distance.

I never thought that night would have turned into the horror that it did.

I woke in the middle of the night in a panic, throwing up, hands and lips tingling, stumbling about and groaning in pain. Jordan per usual, took me to the ER.

My family who hadn’t been around much was at my house and because Jordan and I were used to him always having to drop me off- he went home to be with our kids.

The one family member who decided to show up was my grandma…

The grandma I have never had a close relationship to.

The one who has always favored my older sister and spent that extra time for her, but never with me. My grandma who has been medicated as long as I’ve known her.

She was the one who had talked my mom, my sister, and my aunts that I needed to be on depression medication because it helped her so much.

Yea, she showed up.

Low and behold, I ended up in a mental institution.

I wish I could say that it wasn’t true because i don’t think she will ever understand how much her ignorance has hurt me.

When I woke up I was in small room in a new building I felt delirious, and I was scared.

I was surrounded by a doctor and a nurse and was given a clipboard with a paper on it for me to sign and then was told to sign here and there.

In exchange for my signature i was wheeled into a room with no doors with nothing on but scrubs and hospital socks.

This place wouldn’t allow me to do anything besides sit in a room full of unfamiliar people with very unfamiliar illnesses and go to my open room and go to sleep on a very uncomfortable hospital bed.

It felt like hell.

When the drugs they had given me from before the ambulance ride to knock me out finally started to wear off and I realized what really had happened, I was so emotional.

I called my husband and he cried with me out of frustration.

It was him who had to share that bad news with me that I couldn’t come home.

I felt numb I cried so much and I had a hard time talking to anyone else and I’m sure I looked like I really had more going on.

I was in utter disbelief.

My grandma had told the doctor at the ER I had regularly been to that I said I wanted to kill myself..

She and the Doc agreed that I needed mental help.

I was disgusted to say the least.

My stomach hurt.

I felt like i did something wrong and like I was in prison. They wouldn’t let me see my family and I couldn’t see my kids.

It was a weekend and I was stuck there for 2 whole days.

Building up the courage to explain myself to the nurses wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

All i wanted was to be home with my babies because that was my comfort.

In all of the other chaos one of them graciously heard me out.

I couldn’t even talk to her in full sentences but thankfully she had the patience to listen to me.

I’m so glad she did.

It was a Sunday that day and normally the therapist that releases you doesn’t come in and do releases until the weekdays. He came in just for me.

God was truly answering my prayers.

When he came in he asked to hear my story and what I had to say and I explained everything to him. After meeting with my husband alone and in person shortly after

by the grace of god he let me go.

And now that I have been to the Mayo Clinic and have been given validation for my panic attacks, I don’t feel like I’m going crazy anymore–Hallelujah!

Thank God for the Mayo Clinic.

One of the best neurosurgeons looked at my charts, my history and tests and discovered the tumor in my spine that had been there at least since all of my panic attacks started.

He explained to me that because of the trauma I had been through that the anxiety and panic attacks were a way for my body to cope with the pain.

*We need to understand that our minds are so powerful to forget the memories and trauma we have endured, but our bodies will never forget.

To this day my family has held something against me.

I wonder sometimes if marijuana is really even the issue.

Maybe it’s the fact that my husband has empowered me to use my voice and to stick up for myself. im not sure what it is..

They blame him too. Truth is though, I just feel like I have never really been wanted in that family–at least not the way they want me to be.

I thank god everyday for the people who understand me, help me, and love me. Mostly my husband. That man could have left me so long ago, especially all he has helped me through.

It hasn’t been easy for him in the slightest, but we are stronger because of it.

I am also extremely thankful for the all naturalist doctor who listened to me and thought I would be a good candidate for medical marijuana.

Of course marijuana is not my only answer to dealing with my pain, anxiety, and PTSD.

I believe that some people aren’t even attuned to the use of THC or they are allergic to it, or something. I just know that it’s not for everyone.

CBD on the other hand, is something I believe we should all consider using if there ever comes a time it may be needed.

Especially because I believe it’s healing properties have lasting benefits on our bodies.

Our bodies do have cannabinoid receptors for a reason!

Pre-clinical research (including both cell culture and animal models) has shown CBD to have a range of effects that may be therapeutically useful, including anti-seizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety properties.

On another note,

I really think natural remedies are best, especially when healing your mind and body.

There’s a book called “The body keeps the score” that my therapist swears by reading. I have read pieces of it, but not the entire thing; yet.

It talks about the trauma that we go through in life and how our minds are so powerful to forget certain things but our bodies hang onto every bit of it.

Realigning my thoughts and teaching my body different techniques to cope has been the best thing for me.

I carry so much anxiety in my guts, and it literally sucks the life out of me at times. These are things that have truly helped me other then the other things i do in between.

There are many things I deal with that I’m sure are so different from so many other people and vice verse. We all function differently and we all cope differently. Ultimately the goal is to do what’s best for you. And you know better than anyone else what that is.

That’s why I found so much passion in writing and blogging.

Being inspired by hearing other people’s stories have given me a better understanding of my own trauma and has helped me find light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s also given me that hope that I too can overcome and become stronger.

I have changed a lot in my journey and I hope and pray that I can give someone else that hope, too.

If you are living with unresolved trauma in your past- I highly recommend EMDR therapy.

Finding the right therapist has been an amazing experience for me.

My therapist has been an amazing person in my life who has really allowed me to comfortably share my story sitting on the couch and sobbing in his office. I have been able to use the tools I have learned and really put them to use when I need them.

The therapy that has been most effective in healing my body from the panic that would get so out of control at times was EMDR therapy.

Holy life changing. That’s all I have to say.

Do you ever feel like you aren’t allowed to be a certain way, because you don’t want the image of what you have made to be, to be ruined?

Do you avoid certain situations are doing certain things in fear of you being the center of attention or doing something wrong or something silly?

Are you hyper vigilant?

Have you remained silent, as if your living a separate life from what’s really going on in your head?

They say those are signs of PTSD,

and until about a year ago and seeking therapy I didn’t even realize that’s what I really had been struggling with.

Ever since I first started writing I started to unclog my brain of so many doubts and fears I have and had. One of the biggest fears I am still working on is to let certain things go.

I am always in HUGE fear of what others might think of me.

I see now why it was so easy for me before and so easily for other people to just be a like-able or relatable person versus standing for who I am and who I wanted to be. Our society is so full of judgement and it can be scary to show your true self anymore.

I hate (really dislike) that part.

The problem with society is not only judgment as much as it is their view on mental health.

So many of us who really are suffering don’t know how to talk about it, or who to talk to it about, and they sure as heck don’t want to be looked at any differently. My heart hurts for those who can’t or don’t ever talk about it.

Mental health awareness is something that needs more attention.

New York and Virginia just passed a new law in 2018.

New York’s law updates the health curriculum in elementary, middle and high schools to include material on mental health. Virginia’s law mandates that mental health education be incorporated into physical education and health curricula for ninth- and 10th-graders.

Amazing!

I truly believe that small changes like this can have a huge impact and I am so excited to see where this will take our country and the course we are taking in mental health.

This is just the beginning, guys!

We can be a part of the change!

  • Be kind to others
  • Don’t judge others
  • Don’t feel the need to explain yourself
  • Have empathy and compassion
  • Check in with loved ones more
  • Allow yourself bad days
  • Don’t unpack and live in said day
  • Say hi to a stranger
  • Smile more
  • Love yourself
  • Love your life
  • Make changes
  • Pray for yourself and for others
  • Be yourself
  • Know you are worthy
  • Accept that you are loved
  • Move forward

Much Love,

Courtney Flores

P.S. If you are needing an amazing and inspirational book to read or listen to then

I highly recommend “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis.

That book has been doing something amazing to my soul!

“Finding the courage to be honest about who you are or what your going through is like throwing yourself into the deep end of the pool and fighting to swim once you hit the cold water. It won’t necessarily be pleasant but once your in it’s done. The longer you live in a state of honesty the easier it becomes to simply exist there all the time.”

—Rachel Hollis

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