Anxiety has been a constant visitor in my life.
When I explain my experience to friends and family, they struggle to comprehend. It's as though I have a colony of ants perpetually traversing my skin. I suffer from bouts where I scratch my neck incessantly, to the point of drawing blood. Sleep eludes me and when it finally deigns to visit, it's fleeting; I'll awake, heart pounding, with a relentless mental to-do list. Sundays, supposedly days of rest, trigger dread that often seeps into my Saturdays.
My journey to manage this internal turmoil has led me to a myriad of professionals—psychologists, psychiatrists, and general practitioners. They introduced me to prescription medications, each promising tranquility. However, the results were far from calming. I became a groggy and more anxious version of myself. I explored alternative avenues like meditation, journaling, yoga, and running, yet my nemesis, anxiety, remained a looming presence.
Anxiety's ally in my battle is insomnia, making me constantly tired and less productive, which inevitably breeds more anxiety. It’s a vicious, unyielding cycle.
In 2016, I turned to a newfound ally—cannabis, which had just been legalized in Massachusetts. The experience was transformative; my anxiety dissipated like a mist at sunrise. That night, I slept peacefully and woke up refreshed, invigorated, and even managed a long run. Skeptical of this almost miraculous transformation, I continued my cannabis regimen. Years later, I can confidently say that it has been a game-changer for me.
My typical evening routine consists of steeping a cannabis tincture into my 8 PM tea, around the time my doctor advised me to cease work. I feel the familiar tension dissipate as I begin to unwind. I get a little drowsy, enjoy some reading, fall asleep, and awaken, ready to embrace a new day. This ritual has become my anchor for the past seven years.
I acknowledge that cannabis is a crutch, but for me, it's been a lifeline. This single plant has offered me more relief than any other solution I've encountered. Now, armed with better sleep and productivity, I can finally face my anxiety head-on. With less overall anxiety, I can explore additional therapeutic avenues that don't involve ingesting anything.
Anxiety is a complex, deeply personal battle—a silent storm that can disrupt and take control of one's life. It took years for me to find my path to tranquility, a path paved with the unlikeliest of stones—cannabis. While it's not a universal remedy, it's been my lighthouse amidst the turbulent seas of anxiety and insomnia.
It's worth emphasizing that everyone's journey with anxiety is unique. What worked for me might not work for everyone. We are all diverse in our struggles and our healing. It's crucial to keep exploring, keep fighting, and most importantly, keep hoping.
In choosing cannabis, I didn't just find a method to cope—I found a way to live. A way to sleep, to run, to work, and to be myself without the crippling fear that once consumed me. I found hope. I found a future. And for anyone wrestling with anxiety, I hope you find your path to peace, too. Remember, it's not about finding a quick fix, but about discovering what truly works for you, granting you the strength to face each day with courage and optimism.
Author: Curro Valverde