Depression by David

I am 39, married with 2 kids. I live in Ireland. I grew up in a 'good Catholic family' who were against drugs. I drank alcohol but was not into the drug scene.

At the age of 31, on a holiday to Amsterdam with some friends, I had a few beers and helped a friend roll a joint.  Without thinking, I lit it and started smoking.

That was the first day of the rest of my life. A cloud lifted off my shoulders that day and it has not returned since. That was 8 years ago and my life has improved so much it is quite amazing. It is not the 'stoned' part of cannabis that I enjoyed, in fact that was a little scary. Something happens to my brain when I smoke cannabis.  It is like waking me up from a coma. I can feel parts of my brain starting to work.

I am dyslexic, diagnosed at 16. I had an unpleasant childhood.  No abuse or anything like that, but I got depressed easily and could not find happiness. A close friend of mine died when I was 13. My mum died when I was 25. My best friend died when I was 29. I found it too much to deal with and started drinking more and more frequently. By the age of 31 most of my friends would have considered me an alcoholic.

My wife brought me (with an argument from me) to our family doctor, she told him I was unhappy, so unhappy that she was worried about me. He said I was depressed and sent me off to a psychologist who prescribed antidepressants and a weekly meeting with him. I hated the antidepressants, I felt numbed, but still lost. I stopped going to the weekly meetings and stopped taking the antidepressants.

On that trip to Amsterdam I had no intention of smoking cannabis, I was still drinking a lot. But within a few minutes of smoking I began living my life again, but this time sober. I gave up alcohol--not gave up, but stopped drinking to get drunk. I smoke every day, only in a joint with tobacco. I hate that fact that smoking is bad but cannot find a better way.

It was a turning point in my life. I felt like I had found God.

I am not religious, but I believe that only a God could have come up with this plant.