Bipolar Disorder
By Marcia

Marcia is my name.  Let me start by telling you a little about myself I am 19 years old and a regular user of what I refer to as my miracle. I just married the love of my life in October of 06; he is an active duty member of the United States Navy.  I am a housewife in every way possible and thrilled to be one. I am however preparing to begin studies in early childhood development and disabilities.  I also (surprisingly to those who know me) suffer from Bipolar Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Both of which I have been fighting for as long as I can remember.

These are two separate diseases, yet at times I find it hard to distinguish between which is causing what effects. I have had many trials with prescription drugs that have had severe side effects making a normal, productive, and happy lifestyle impossible. The medications made me feel numb to the world, drugged and dazed not to mention the nausea.  Rather than have too many emotions I didn’t have any at all and I would spend the better part of my day hugging a toilet. I didn’t care what happened in my life or in other people’s lives who I once loved. I was living in a utopia, neither good nor bad just simply alive physically but not mentally. This was not working for me; I found that I would rather have too many feelings than none at all. Without medication however I would have explosive mood swings. These ranged from excessive highs to unbelievable lows. Don’t get me wrong I did have my normal weeks, a meddle ground, the one thing that was worth searching for. However, they where increasingly becoming fewer and farther between.

My highs included multiple consecutive days of going without sleep or food, outrageous spending, uncontrollable spells of laughter, and working myself until I became physically sick. I could work three full time jobs at once and still get overtime. In the end I would have almost nothing to show for all the money I was making. Most of it was given away to people who took advantage of my highs and would leave me when I hit a low. At one point I spent over eighteen thousand dollars in a month and then on top of that managed to put myself in over nine thousand in debt. I am now trying to pay this off but it is difficult and will affect mine and my husband’s life for many years to come.

My lows are just the opposite of these highs. They have had me ready and willing to give up on everything including life itself. Thoughts of suicide flooded my mind and even came down to a few attempts. Cries for help that where never satisfied.  I would spend days in my bed without eating or showering. I lost every job I had during one of these times by not showing up for work. They usually come right after a high, or are triggered by anxiety and stress. This was a bad combination with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

The Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome was caused between age of six and fourteen. This all started after my mother remarried to a very sick man.

This man was an alcoholic and both abusive physically and sexually on his own. He than began to sell me as a prostitute at the age of nine and continued to do so until I was about twelve years old. I will leave out the rest of the details but I am sure you get the point of how this could traumatize a person. I would have flashbacks as if I was reliving certain memories. They came out of no where and would cause me to freeze and lose total control of my ability to distinguish reality from memory.  These seemed hopeless, and when it came to treatment nothing worked. My flashbacks almost always caused an episode of depression.  These made life vary difficult and unwanted.

I moved out on my own when I was sixteen and began once again being passed around from multiple psychiatrists and psychologists. I was starting to feel as if I was a lost cause and nothing would ever help. Then one of my psychiatrists gave some off the record advice, he told me that one of his friends had a great deal of success with marijuana. I was a little hesitant at first but desperate enough to try anything at least once so I gave it a shot. My grandmother had cancer and was smoking for the pain and nausea, she was more than happy to help me try my new attempt at freedom. At first it did nothing at all for me like most first timers but I knew this was common and tried it a second time.  That time it worked its wonder and I felt happy, not too happy like my highs but simply content.

I was amazed to find that when I was high I could function again like a normal person. I held a job for more than two months for the first time ever and was sleeping and eating on a regular basis. Not only that but I didn’t have flash backs even when confronted with my most common triggers. This had no side effects to speak of in comparison to the medications I had tried in the past. I had finally found my miracle the only thing that had ever worked to control all of my symptoms at once.

I still have times where I can’t afford to smoke or have to quit so I could pass a drug test. These are risky times in my life. I have to be extremely careful to watch myself along with the help of my husband so as to not get out of control. If one of us sees any sings of my old symptoms coming back I immediately find a way to smoke. Sadly it is illegal and a risk to my husband’s career but as we see it there is no other choice. It has actually come down to a possible life saving decision on more than one occasion.

I can’t tell you how many times I look back and wish I had discovered my friend Mary Jane sooner. I thank God every day that he created such a wonderful herb and only wish that the rest of the world would open its eyes to the reality of it. I along with many others have seen the light, so to speak, and know something of the benefits of marijuana as a medicine.

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