Every Memorial Day weekend the same series of events, mostly during sleep, occur that surround the life altering wreck on the racetrack back in 1995. PTSD is the acronym of the weekend to beat ~ I got this. I’m plagued with nightmares that lead up to this date, last night I qualified for the big Sunday race in my dreams as it wasn’t a nightmare.. not yet. Normally that’s reserved for tonight. This year? I’m writing about it instead of holding it in. That's one of the biggest problems for those of us that fight this - internalization of our feelings as for the most part the outside world can't see this problem by looking at us and often will dismiss it as something that we should have 'already gotten over' - likely the worse words to use towards or about someone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We don't need to 'get over it', we need to work through it which is why I'm typing right now when I'd rather not be. Let's face it - going through trauma is not rare. About 6 of every 10 men (or 60%) and 5 of every 10 women (or 50%) experience at least one trauma in their lives. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Men are more likely to experience accidents, physical assault, combat, disaster, or to witness death or injury.
PTSD can happen to anyone and it's important to understand it's not a sign of weakness, those I know that are survivors and fight this show me their strength. There's a number of factors can increase the chance that someone will develop this and almost all are not under that person's control. For example, if you were directly exposed to the trauma or injured, you are more likely to develop PTSD - maybe you could have avoided the situation or event that caused this, but it's likely something we never planned on happening. In my case there was a known risk. But, How do we live with this? How do we get others to be aware of what we're going through - especially during 'trigger moments' - or like this weekend for me - trigger days. For others it could be the anniversary of just about anything or the reminder of it. For me since I've worked through my problems on my own for the most part - it's the Cannabis Plant that changes my life and allows me to get by. Before I started ingesting oils and extracts from the plant I would often end up hospitalized over Memorial Day weekend as the combination of PTSD and Epilepsy generally means the patient is going to seize. Without cannabis ingested and inhaled, today would be much harder than it is. The plant allows me to refocus, relax, and move out of the anxiety that can literally paralyze a person with memories of the past trauma flooding their mind. Cannabis extracts cause this racing mind to put on the brakes - and literally stop the wreck from mentally recurring in my sleep or even waking hours.
Today I can make two choices - one would be to continue down the path I go every year on Memorial Day weekend, the other is to stop and consider the fact I'm alive, I can walk again, talk again, see again, I'm free of the pharmaceutical opioids that were started heavily after the wreck, I have my life back. Figuring out what to do with it and how to live it can be a challenge while fighting anxiety, depression, and other effects of PTSD. I believe it's very important for people that are coping with this to have people to talk to. Sometimes It seems like people want to dismiss it, compare it, or to minimize the symptoms, for the patient with this going on that's not good. Today I felt the best way to really talk about this was to write about it. Even if nobody ever read this it's a release that's necessary. I can't count the number of times I've woken in the middle of sleep and realized I'm not on the racetrack - and other times when I've woken in a hospital bed to realize the same thing while I examining my body for injuries from grand mal seizures. As it is PTSD can cause psycho-motor seizures in some cases, but when you add an Epilepsy diagnosis to it - it's like pouring fuel on a fire.
For me it's THC and it's brother or sister CBN that do the most for me, but I won't discount CBD as long as I don't take very high of a dose. Everyone is different and with me I find that CBD alone will make me edgy vs. calm - especially if it's made with Isolate. But when I have the right combination of THC with a tad of CBD and along with CBN I get a very calm feeling that allows my mind to slow down and relax. As it is I already think quickly, speak likely too fast, and type too much - so this combo is an awesome one on any given day. Perfect for replacing opioids, stopping seizures, controlling PTSD, and keeping cancer in remission while also fighting chronic pain. The list is so long of what my own continually changing cannabinoid medicine protocol does for me, the reason it has to be a fluctuating protocol is due to the number of issues being addressed.
For example, this weekend I'll be dosing very high with THC during the day. 10:1 and 20:1 (Whole plant Cannabis) THC:CBD with CBN used separately in the afternoon and evenings to build up the ability to sleep through the race that continues in mind mind after the eyes close. Because CBD does have an uplifting effect on me that's what I'm using more in the morning as it allows me to escape depression that comes after a night of racing and wrecking in my sleep and the anxiety of the knowledge it can and does happen. It's all a matter of knowing ourselves, our bodies, and how Cannabinoids/The Plant will work for us. This is a trial and error type of creation when it comes to protocols, the necessity to change a protocol is easy to spot - it's not working right. With doctors and pharmaceuticals we see the limitations they have right away when comparing the plant to pills. It's way harder to 'dial in' a protocol of pharmaceuticals that will work in my opinion for most people with PTSD, so the issue once again is access for all patients.
We can live a better life and make it through times of trouble if we have the right supports. Sometimes that means people willing to listen and help you and it definitely means the right medicinal support. Many will choose western medicine or natural without thinking "I'll use both" and integrating the use of cannabis and extracts into their healthcare. I do this purposely although I'd rather not when it comes to PTSD as I literally don't want to talk about it with a doctor that's given me a short time slot to see them in. I also don't want to talk to a psychiatrist that quickly prescribes pills I don't need or psychologists that will see me so little that it has no benefit. But I do want my medical file documented and have had 2 pharmaceuticals removed over the years of using cannabis that both were prescribed for 'Severe PTSD & Anxiety" with medical records now indicating the use of cannabis and cbd oil instead of them. Sometimes Integrating your cannabis medicine into your other treatments get tricky - but I don't make my goal of it all to be right in debates with doctors, The goal has always been to get the medication list to show cannabis and extract use as the pharmaceutical use diminishes.
We can overcome the symptoms of PTSD - whether it's the use of cannabinoid medicine or another support system - hang in there because life gets better. If you're suffering from this - stay strong and stay bold, be your own hero. Remember that the more you speak out about this the more you are listened to and the better you'll feel inside. For me it doesn't matter if not one person reads this as I wrote this article for my own well being knowing it likely could help others.
Mike Robinson, Medicinal Cannabis Patient, Founder - Global Cannabinoid Research Center. And, most of all, Genevieve's Daddy ~