So – I did it…I made it to Denver Colorado to attend Indo Expo last week and I had an amazing time, but now I am confronted with another huge dilemma. How the hell am I supposed to top that as far as adventures go?!?! When REALLY what my life looks like is pretty uneventful. I’m the mom to three teenagers and although they are all getting super big, somewhat grown up and certainly independent, I still aim to always be here for them. They are still the focus of my life and so I don’t just jet off to places on a whim. It’s not what I do.
But it’s not only because of my kids that I don’t do things like that. I live with a chronic illness that often leaves me foggy minded (like I have had few too many shots, but sober me is on the inside just trying to keep it together) with blurry, messed up vision. Think of a time when you HAVE overdone it either drinking or smoking marijuana – I’m not talking about being blotto messed up and the verge of passing out – but those times when you may have had a bit too much – and your mind and body begin to do unexpected things….that’s how it is for me, living with MS. A simple trip to the grocery store elicits all of my symptoms and as I wander through the isles, I feel as if I should reek of alcohol or pot – because that would at least explain why it is that I feel so messed up in my head.
For those reasons – I don’t get out nearly as much as I once did. I used to constantly be on the go – meeting up with people, grabbing drinks with friends, attending meetings and going to parties. I don’t do any of those things anymore. Granted part of that is someone that is not working outside the house, that is middle-aged and has friends that are all off still raising their own families and trying to figure out what the fuck they are going to do once the house is empty there aren’t many invitations. Honestly, there aren’t any. But before I make myself sound like a pathetic hermit and you feel obligated to feel pity for me, I should mention that I have Shawn (my soon to be husband.) Considering that this time around I actually managed to find someone that LIKES me and LIKES spending time with me I have absolutely no complaints about my one and only friend.
But the truth is – given my medical and physical limitations (fog and shit vision being top on the list) getting out anywhere to do anything, even with Shawn, can be completely intimidating. Remember, when I asked you to think of the last time you overdid it? Would you want to find yourself in a place or in a situation where you don’t know anyone or where most people don’t know you and don’t have a CLUE what it is like for you at that very moment? Don’t know that you are struggling to simply try and not make a scene or have anyone notice? It’s not a pleasant feeling and it makes it really difficult to focus on having fun, when just trying to focus on “acting” normal takes every ounce of energy you have.
What cannabis has done for me is allow for me to NOT focus on the the “acting” part and just simply focus on the present, where I am and what I am doing. For example – back to the grocery store – thanks to cannabis “re-focusing” my mind I am able to pay attention too, and appreciate the little things like finding the freshest produce or chatting with the butcher about a specific cut of meat or suggestions for preparation. Before cannabis and before the relief from the chronic pain, I wouldn’t have even been aware of these opportunities to appreciate things because the pain was the only thing I could think about. MMJ has allowed me to find the joy and adventures in even the most basic errands and obligations. The me before the MS and pain was the type of person that would always find the reasons to laugh and smile no matter what I was doing – and I am so excited to have that part of me back.
As I have felt better, I have been getting out a lot more. I am walking about 90 minutes every day, with my dogs, but by myself, with no Shawn in tow. I have made a few solo trips out to visit new dispensaries and even made a visit to a butcher shop that I have wanted to check out for years, but have never felt strong enough to take on the adventure by myself. That’s one of the things with living with a chronic illness like MS, it makes even a simple visit to a new store or shop seem like a big ordeal – something to be achieved, something that is sure to involve hurdles and obstacles and something that will drain whatever energy you might have managed to save up during the day. So to have cannabis helping me to again believe in myself and my abilities to do these things is amazing.
This week’s Cannabis Adventure entailed a road trip, as we continue to search for the ideal location for our forever home. We headed up North to Bellingham, in search of a good place to grab lunch, an ideal spot for my #cannabispowered walk and a dispensary or two to check out. I am happy to announce that it was a complete success! We had an amazing lunch at a local brewery – great beers and the best smoked salmon chowder while watching the Olympics. I kept calling the sport “brooming” but Shawn kept assuring me that wasn’t what it was called, a quick google search later – we were watching CURLING!
After stuffing our faces, we grabbed the dogs from the truck and headed around the corner, to find the dispensary Leafly assured me was less than a minute away. When I entered Satori – I immediately appreciated that it wasn’t as cramped as some of the dispensaries that I have visited. For me, and the shit my MS dishes out, more space means my mind and vision might not go to crap quite as quickly.
I never know what reception I will receive when heading out to new and different dispensaries. I have learned that I can usually determine how MMJ focused they are by the response I get from introducing myself as a MMJ blogger. If I get a “oh that’s cool” then I know it will be a fairly quick visit with me picking up a new product or two, but not much more. If, on the other hand I get a “no way, that’s amazing or that’s great” then it’s pretty much guaranteed that I will walk away feeling I have made a new friend – which is exactly what happened with their AGM/Purchaser, Claire.
We had such an amazing conversation. She gave me some great contacts in the industry for various questions I have and we talked a bunch about vaping flower (something I have been thinking about trying.) Up until this point I have not consumed any actual flower. I have used oils like RSO, tinctures, edibles, topical lotions, and my favorite pain strains in vape cartridges; but the idea of trying to figure out dabbing or using a bong for the first time by myself is incredibly daunting – (it involves FIRE and hot things, both of which don’t do well with my MS crap). I am sure that I wouldn’t have a clue how to roll a joint, so I am super excited to say that I walked out of the shop with my first ever pre-rolls. I figured this was a good first step.
This week – in the evenings – when my pain is knocking on the door – wanting to take over after a day of actually getting out of the house and DOING SHIT and getting a workout/walk in I am going to try lighting up my first joint.
I have to admit that I am more than a bit nervous about this and truthfully I feel a bit foolish even saying it. I know it is the deeply rooted stigmas and stereotypes that I believed for so long that are making me feel this way. Even though I have been using cannabis daily for the past 18 months and even though I 100% believe in it’s medicinal properties, I still feel a bit funny about the “lighting up a joint” thing. I know it’s another issue that I need to just get over. Thanks to Claire, I’ll be working on it this week.
I do worry that smoking the actual flower will be much stronger than my trusty vape cartridges and that I will get completely fucked up and then Shawn and my teenagers will make fun of me. I know that I should say that they would never do that, but here’s the thing – they totally would and I would be so disappointed if they didn’t because that is what we do around here. It is how we know we care about and love one another, by poking fun and joking with each other. It’s what we do. But having never really been high I don’t know how I will feel about that joking while I am stoned. It’s not that I am setting out to get totally messed up – but I am leery about consuming “too much” even after all these months of using it daily as my medicine and learning as much as I have about the plant and how it is helping my body feel and be better.
But I am going to bite the bullet and give it a go. I’ll let you know how it goes and will for sure share if Shawn and the kids get a good night of entertainment out of it.