A Survivor’s Story.
BY: IVOREE A. | FEBRUARY 14TH, 2019
Not too long ago…I was on a downward spiral of self-destruction; diving head first into terrible decisions and then wallowing in self-loathing because of them. I developed a habit of reliving my greatest moments of shame; moments filled with emotional strife, moments when self-sabotage reigned supreme and moments when good decisions were scarce or far between. Replaying those memories was where I chose to dwell. It’s what I found myself spending the most time on. I was living in the pits of self-hate and unworthiness but unbeknownst to me at the time, that's where the journey to self-love actually begins. Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us.
A few years back I started actively taking steps to work through college sexual trauma, only to unearth deep-rooted memories of childhood sexual trauma and abuse. It was almost like some twisted joke but the sleepless nights, new triggers, and uncomfortable silences that followed proved otherwise. Certain parts of my childhood left scars on my mental health and pinned me in an annoyingly frustrating position as an adult. Nowadays, I have a very deep sense of mistrust towards the world and most of the people in it. I can also be difficult to love and go through dark phases of icing people out or going completely MIA without notice or apology. The world has proven to be a dangerous, hostile, and unpredictable environment full of dark and dangerous people, so I've developed certain habits to help me deal with these emotions.
Despite being overwhelmingly anxious in most settings, suffering from anxiety, depression and stress disorders, I've somehow managed to continue to love myself enough to cultivate a life full of support and healing...with a lotta help from my dear friend Cannabis.
Before I started medicating with cannabis, being alone in my own head terrified me. I did my best to fill my thoughts with kind whispers and fun things but the thoughts were just empty words used as Band-Aids to fix gaping holes in my self-esteem and triggered memories.
There were days where I wouldn't leave my apartment and days where I couldn't leave my closet (a safe space for me). I would lie awake wishing I didn't exist sometimes. Wishing for a way out that didn't require me to do it myself because I couldn't bear the thought of disappointing my parents, even in death. My temper was growing shorter, my reactions more eccentric and I become self-destructive in any and all forms. I barely spoke to family and visited them even less than that. I didn't have the motivation to get out of bed or the drive to do simple tasks and I had never felt more alone, despite being surrounded by people.
I lost my first "grown-up" job as a result of not being able to deal with my trauma so when a position in the cannabis industry became available, I was equal parts interested and terrified. Up until that point, I smoked occasionally, socially, but still wasn't comfortable being associated with the plant. Seeing how rent and bills don't care, I couldn't afford to...and that my friends, is when my life changed forever.
I was thrust into an entirely new world; a world where cannabis coexists and thrives as a wellness tool,
… a world where they work hand in hand changing lives, and I can proudly say, I'm never going back! Cannabis reconnected me to the missing piece I had been living without for so long. She gave me the ability to feel comfortable in my own skin and genuinely start my own journey to self-love and healing.
When I started digging deeper into self-healing and self-love, I knew I had to start by learning how to love myself. For me, that meant trusting myself to medicate appropriately without caring what others thought. It meant trusting myself to know what was best for me and trusting myself enough to carry it through. Self-love and cannabis are intertwined with self-worth and self-awareness. There was a time in my life, when everything and everyone made me feel insignificant and worthless, cannabis gave me the ability to see myself for what I really am; what I always was: worthy of everything I desire and capable of accomplishing it.
"When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept our weaknesses as well as our strengths. We have less need to explain away our short-comings, have more compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, and are more centered in our life purpose and values."
If there is one thing you take away from me, let it be this: The light in you is greater than the darkness you have to walk through.