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Herbal Grace

God's Miracle Lifejacket

Grace.

Grace comes in many forms and at various times in life one seeks comfort or understanding of a moment. In the solitude that is Grace, Logic itself is strengthened and the need to continue on after hardship or "misfortunes" that life hands us is much greater than the temporary feeling of hopelessness... misery... despair. Myself, I had found Grace in one of the world's unlikely devices: Marijuana.

I suffer from Bipolar I (Manic/Depressive with cases of schizophrenia) and it had been in the driver's seat of my life since 2012. Along with PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder, I encounter more depressive episodes while awaiting the manic ones. The "circus" that is my minds' chemistry. I have been a patient to many therapists and psychologists while finding prescriptions tailored to my aliment. This sudden mental shift was just another case; however, the shift was bad. Extremely bad.

Weeks prior, my manic episode had left me feeling invincible—talking to people I would otherwise avoid due to shyness, or even internalizing everything around me to cause me to become "awkward" in those situations; I was mentally running free. Going through the restaurant like a bull in a glass shop, I was a woman unrecognizable to myself. Co-workers tied my actions to me being a "free-spirited, wild child." But I did not know who this woman was and that scared me. What was this crazed woman, ME, capable of doing in this mental state? Starting to spiral further down the rabbit hole, reality had caused to me hit ROCK bottom. I was told that my place of dwellings' lease would be ending on, ironic day, April 20. In that time, I had to now find another place to live. How? I asked when I, not proverbially, had no money to go ANYWHERE. I worked at a decent, but not substantial job. I had tried throughout the last six months to get my life in order, whether righting the wrongs done criminally or paying debts off for furthering my education. An education I had yet to find a career path in after being out of college for 8 years.I was now back to the bottom, in tears, asking...what was I gonna do? Where was I gonna live?

Now, a sane person would take the proceeded routes in order to change the situation immediately. Stop and think what the next steps would be while also processing this sudden shift in life. I, however, was not that person nor mentally able to slow down the thoughts to actually take those steps. Going back to the manic/depressive roller coaster that was my Bipolar... I had been depressed for at the time, a week and a half, and "Auntie Red" had come, bringing luggage. The already negative thoughts about myself and my life were now having a free for all and Aunt Red brought the party down with her sense of "fun." 

My life was in shambles and, ladies and gents, I broke. I complete broke. The door was slammed as I left my landlord's office after hearing that I had to be out of my place of "peace" soon. I called people who I knew could aid me or point me in the right direction. No avail. My ears were not hearing it and my mind was not comprehending any advice given. I was through. All the work I had done up until this point in my life did not matter. Life itself did NOT matter.

The emptiness I had felt became deeper and I begin to text the crisis line. Death would have been sweeter than the misery I was then facing. Noting the similar responses when I contacted them a month ago, I tried to reach for some support or help. "I see you are in crisis"..."You are so strong in seeking help"... Yeah, right. Who was I kidding? I wasn't strong enough for life. While explaining through text my depression, I stood at the train stop wanting to jump right in front of any train coming down the tracks. I managed to get on the train and ride down to my friend's house who happened to live on the same route towards my job. While walking across, I noticed the congestion of traffic as another train came down the same route. I could have easily jumped in front of the intercepting train... I didn't. I rushed to his house. Breaking down in hysterical tears to him and to my big "sister," a friend who has known me since I was 8; life was not worth living anymore. While bawling, they comforted me as family and friends responded to my "I'm gonna kill myself... call me." text. After an hour of calming down, I still wasn't out of the woods, I was still feeling down. I was still sad. I was still feeling like nothing I do or say will change anything.

My friend had a small bag of weed and a tobacco wrap sitting on the table. Now, this wasn't my first rodeo. I have been a avid marijuana smoker and enthusiast since I was 19. It was enjoyable, but, it had also helped in my battle with bulimia and insomnia, two things which I had struggled with growing up outside of my unknown mental ailments that I had found out later down the line. This was no different. I needed to smoke. Anything that would have taken the thoughts of jumping in front of a train or slicing my throat to stop. I had my coffee... a cigarette, and now a joint. It was my only hope. Once lit, I felt the physical pressure of panic start to dwindle. My anxiety, which had broke through a ceiling (if I had ever thought that there was one) started to come down. The meal of death and its trimmings that I had begun to walking towards—I had begun to slowly walk away from its table. The pressing idea of going to work, braving through the pain, had been internally decided. I could somehow do it.

We smoked and I was emotionally leveled. Not depressed. Not manic. But... leveled. Clear-minded with remnants of negative internal talk filled me as I decided how the rest of the day would go. My "logic" would come when figuring out what to do next, however, my emotions were the "shackles" in which clanked anytime logic would take a lead. "I gotta do A-Z," Logic would say while emotion clinks, "Psh, please stop." By introducing weed to the equation, it spoke to both those mental chatter as gentle as a summer breeze; sounding like Stevie Wonder singing, "Don't you worry 'bout a thang." Weed, in that moment, made those things disappear and I was present in knowing that the emotional whirl-storm that was my life was due to many factors, some I have no control other, others very little. Weed had given me, in that moment, Grace. Gentle grace that had awaken a hope inside me that day that could have potentially been my last one on earth. I was high, yes, but not the stereotypical goofy or optimistic about everything. I was here. I was existing. I wasn't dead. That itself was something to have been seen.

 So many times, sweet Mary-Jane has come my aid and even for a brief time, helped me off a cliff, created a change in my moment or even opened my eyes a bit to things I'd otherwise miss or look over. The saying goes, "Nothing in life comes easy," which I understand more as I wake up and follow routine of "everyday life." Some routines cause frustrations, whether it's work or even the responsibility to sustain a livelihood.  Someone like myself will always follow up the question with an frustrated, pulls-hair-question of "Does life have to be THIS hard?" While trying to gather an answer or even begin to think that peace is on the horizon, life had continued on numerous occasions to sucker-punch me with a strong yes; but with the help of weed, I responded with a shrug, "Eh."