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Marijuana Saved My Life

PTSD, Abuse Survivor, Two-Time Cancer Survivor, Anorexia Survivor


I started smoking weed at 13 years old. Man, I can remember it like it was yesterday. 13... junior high, abuse, band, being beat, and molested. I was looking for an escape... I looked in all kinds of locations and directions. Fast forward to now, I am 33 with a successful career, an insanely happy marriage, and an apartment with my husband in a high rise. Life most days is amazing.

This is not the story you normally hear. I am originally from the conservative south, where everything is swept under the rug, and "forgotten" about... including me. I grew up with all boys—some family, some neighbors. By five years old, my younger brother had raped me. By nine years old, the neighborhood boys would hold me down and rape me. By 13, I was being molested by my father's best friend. My parents found out—and my father told me not to flirt or dress like a "streetwalker." At 13, I figured out I was a witch. I figured out I had abilities, with some help from friends. Mind you, my parents were and are still evangelical Christians. By 16, I was a loner: Bullied, raped, I was a cutter... my life goes on like this for years, up until about 30. I have recovered from cocaine addiction, and I have not touched hard drugs in 11 years. 

I met my now husband online. I was 409 pounds at 5-foot-6. I was huge, sad, angry, suicidal and a drunk with an eating disorder. He saw something in me then, which I may not ever understand, but he loved all of me. In the south, I had been diagnosed with a host of mental illnesses—eight to be exact. I was on many, many chemicals and "legal" narcotics for over 10 years. One day, I moved to be with my husband in person, dropped everything: Took three suits of clothes, a laptop, and my purse, and I flew 2,300 miles, alone, terrified. I knew my life had to change and when I landed in Colorado, I was determined to have a new life. I told my now husband, "We may not work out, but I am NOT moving." He understood. He took me to a dispensary the day I landed at Denver International Airport, then we went to our new apartment. He helped me plan how much to smoke so I would be comfortable walking, moving around, etc.

Marijuana in no way hinders me from working, living life, or staying sane. My husband says I am "drunk on pain" when I don't smoke. He may be right. PTSD isn't from fearing the future, delusions, or just bad memories. PTSD is reliving every trauma you have ever been through, over and over. It is sad that pot is not legal everywhere in the United States. I can't even go visit family because where they are located... my medication is illegal. It is almost like traveling to another country where your heart medication is illegal or not allowed... for now.

Now in 2018, I am 170 pounds at 5-foot-3. I am happy all of the time and healthier than I have ever been, mentally and physically. I no longer take psych meds. It turns out I was never mentally distorted or disabled—I was a product of my environment. I do have PTSD and anxiety, but between pot, REAL food (you know, food that actually grows LOL), yoga, a very happy marriage, and a beautiful puppy, I am recovering. Everyday I wake up is another day blessed because I am no longer dying. I am no longer suicidal. I am sincerely loved. The toxic family is away from me. Pot saved me and still continues to do so. I am sociable and outgoing with a ton of dreams.

Vega Burks
Vega Burks

I am a 33-year-old freelance writer. Writing helps me get emotions out... I have a lot of stories to tell lol. I left where I am from, Alabama, 2 years ago to meet a man in person, I had met online. We are now insanely, happily married. 

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