No One Said Life is Easy
Life sometimes can be complicated and hard to manage. In order to be successful and to be true to oneself requires balance. To understand what is important to you and keeping a clear focus can be challenging for some. However, awareness is critical for self-growth and it is the desire to work through everyday issues that makes us all better. The only way, someone can truly be their best is to take time for reflection and to be self-aware. Sometimes the best life lessons are those that make you feel you are losing control. We all need to understand that no one is perfect.
Mistakes happen and if we are unable to identify these moments, we have missed an opportunity. This situations that you may find yourself in are the moments where we all can learn the most, not only about yourself, but about your environment as well. Life is not all about making the right decisions, sometimes our desired outcomes are not realistic. What is important is our actions, the ability to learn from our experience and adapt new principles to move forward. It is easy to fail when we lose focus of the big picture.
Life after the Marines
After my enlistment ended, I had some serious issues acclimating to normal life in the United States. My time in the service, provided me with some invaluable insight into other cultures and how people live differently around the world. These experiences, good and bad, helped define who I am today. After living in a combat zone, my perspective on what was important to me changed forever. Life today, is too wonderful and precious to sit idly by. I joined the military in hopes to make a difference, this internal desire still drives me today. Today, I find solace in helping people understand the truths of cannabis. It was not the gateway drug that I experienced in life, alcohol opened more doors to experimentation than cannabis ever has. Cannabis has never been an excuse for my actions, but has facilitated my desire to be better person.
For eight years after leaving the Marine Corps I struggled with issues and used alcohol as a crutch. I attempted to let myself believe I was ok, even though it was far from the truth. As a veteran returning home to a thankful nation, I felt I could do no wrong. I quickly found a full-time job in the technology sector and attended college taking anywhere from 15-19 credits per semester. When I wasn’t working, studying or involved in extracurricular activities, I wasted my time drinking. Anything to keep my memories buried, my emotions blurred, and to sleep through any potential nightmares.
It would take me years later to finally realize my life choices were not in line with what I wanted out of my future. I was my own worst enemy. It was shortly after I returned home, that I was able to identify I wasn’t the same and something was terribly wrong. I attempted to keep it hidden from everyone, even those that I loved. Ashamed to speak up and ask for help, I was worried to talk to the Veteran’s Affairs in fear that asking for help would keep me from every going back to serve my country. It was this fear that kept me in isolation.
Time for help
Like many people, my attempt to fix my issues alone became too much to bear. I knew what I was attempting was a futile. It was time to for professional help. Therapy was hard for me to handle at first, I didn’t like sharing my thoughts with a stranger. There was a sense of loneliness, even though I was surrounded by people who wanted to see me through this stage in my life. It wasn’t long before I was able to come to terms that I shouldn’t feel weak or vulnerable because I needed help. Asking for assistance did not make me any less of a person. My own pride was truly getting in the way. I owed it to myself and my family to make a change.
Coming to this realization was the first step of a long journey to finding myself. I was able to finally see more clearly. It would still take me a couple of years to find cannabis. I followed the doctor’s orders, trying various medication approaches in conjunction with personal and group therapies. I wasn’t alone in this fight. However, it was during this time, I found the hard truth of pharmaceuticals. I was never the type to take more than Motrin, but I struggled with the side-effects of my newly prescribed medications. At times, I thought it would be better to just stop. It was under the advisement from closely-trusted people that I started researching and attempting a medical cannabis approach.
I was hesitant to turn to cannabis at first, because I had a history of addictive behavior. The addiction was short lived, but a concern nonetheless. I wasn’t interested in replacing one drug for another. My intention was to get better and focus my efforts towards making a good life for my family, to give them everything I possibly could. Even during my darkest hours, I was lucky to find the light and keep moving forward. Not all cannabis gets you “high,” plants with high levels of CBD are non-psychoactive. Even if you do find that THC helps you medically, you do not necessarily need to be ”high” all the time contrary to what I was once told by a therapist.
I am not ashamed to say I medicate with cannabis. I’m happy to share my experiences as an example to help others. Cannabis may or may not be a medical option for you. All I can say, keep your options open and your health a priority. Don’t be ashamed to try cannabis if you can identify a way it can help you. Cannabis can be used as an effective medical treatment and so much more. Is it time for you to take back your health?