Depression by Anonymous

I am a 41 year old woman who currently smokes marijuana daily as a preventive and treatment for depression. I tend to smoke two or three hits, two or three times a day, from a small glass pipe.  When I travel, I make brownies or cookies that I can take with me, so I don't worry about carrying something too obviously illegal while away from home.

After receiving a Bachelor's degree in medical technology, I worked in that field for 16 years. A few years ago I consciously chose to simplify my life.  I "downshifted” into much more satisfying, low-paying work, and a very simple lifestyle with fewer financial needs and obligations.  I now work part time in an alternative preschool and am self-employed. 

During my 30s, with the help of a trusted therapist, I deduced that I was probably depressed as a child, perhaps even as an infant.  My family always described me as moody, cranky, easy to cry. I isolated myself a lot. I felt emotionally abused by my parents. I believed they didn't like or love me. I don't have happy memories from my childhood. In fact I don't have many memories at all.  

I was eager to go to school, and learned voraciously.  I was always at the top of my class. In eighth grade I chose the topic of medical marijuana for a research paper, and was amazed at how the information I found at the library so strongly contradicted the government propaganda and cultural myths about marijuana. 

As a teen I was suicidal and began getting drunk whenever I could get my hands on alcohol.  Marijuana was not available to me at this age. The drinking binges caused awful screaming matches with my parents, but thankfully never interfered with my ability to get A's in school.

I tried smoking cannabis as a college student, but I was very troubled still, rebelling and acting out even well after I had moved away from home.  I was abusing alcohol, and using pot recreationally, and sometimes abusively as well.  I always felt pot was gentler on my body and mind than booze, but because it is illegal, it was far less accessible than beer or booze.  For that reason, alcohol remained my medicine of choice for a long time.

At age 31, I found myself in a major depression brought on by some difficult life changes.  At that time, I willingly used prescription Zoloft to alleviate the depression, in conjunction with talk therapy, for about two years.  During that time, the Zoloft was very effective in evening out my emotions.  Instead of wanting to stay in bed all day, I was able to get up and go to work.  I could socialize with friends instead of wanting to stay inside and cry. 

After coming through the major depression, I continued to try to figure out how I could be overall a happier person.  Now that I recognized my depression, I felt I had control over it and could make some choices to help myself feel better.  Still, I always felt a vague dissatisfaction, and searched for meaning in my life. Something that would awaken my inner passions and help me find a zest for life.  Thank Goddess I kept believing it was possible.

At times I would feel my mood become uncomfortably sad. This would happen when I had some serious work stress or a relationship breakup.  Afraid I might lose control and become severely depressed again, I tried antidepressants.  This time they deadened my feelings altogether, and made it impossible for me to have an orgasm.  Not helpful for this stage of my depression management at all. 

Even though I was outwardly functional, I was not enjoying myself. I had road rage.  I would be late to work every day, and watch the clock for the minute I could punch out and leave. I was very organized and climbing the career ladder, yet I overall hated my life. I had the constant feeling that something unidentifiable was wrong with me, preventing me from being able to feel happy and satisfied. 

During my mid 30s I entered a social circle where marijuana was commonly shared while relaxing.  I became close friends with people who were daily smokers, and was impressed with their kind and gentle demeanor, their compassion, happiness and lust for life. I began smoking with them, this time noticing the effects marijuana had on my mood and behavior. 

I noticed that I felt safe and happy when I smoked.  When I found the courage to try smoking more frequently, I found that it helped me feel like doing tasks that otherwise might seem tedious.  It helped me feel more patient with myself when my feelings weren't what I wanted them to be. I could feel I was becoming a more compassionate person, and ultimately loving and valuing myself more than I had ever imagined possible.

I cautiously increased my usage over time, wanting to have more of the benefits of improved mood and functionality, but wary of some of the persistent myths that I would become stupid, lazy or irresponsible.

I began smoking daily a couple of years ago.  I thought I might risk becoming addicted, or abusing in the sense that it might cause me to miss work or blow off obligations.  Smoking daily actually makes my work more enjoyable.  I can feel the difference when I don't smoke for a day, I have less patience and some anxiety creeps in.  When I've had my smoke, I love being at work, my "negative self-talk" is not there, and because of that I'm able to be kinder to the people around me. I watch the clock less, and feel less urgency to leave at the end of the day. 

I do notice that my short-term memory has suffered, but it is a side effect that I can live with.  I write myself a lot of notes and forgive myself the little mistakes.  Overall, my life is so much more joyful and hopeful, I feel it is worth trading away a little memory space.

Because of the change it has made in my life, I wholeheartedly recommend using marijuana to treat and prevent depression.