Enjoying her best life 

by Yetta L. Bragg

If we were to meet, you would not think I medicate with cannabis. I work in a profession where the topic does not come up often; however, I am always willing to share my knowledge to educate society on the benefits of cannabis.  I am an avid user and strong believer in the therapeutic effects that this plant holds.

Making it throughout the day is a job itself when you suffer from anxiety, depression and panic attacks. I suffer from, not only all of the above, but also PMDD: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. I am a Registered Dental Hygienist, a mother to two grown daughters, and a stepmother to two great kids. I am also a wife to the most amazing and supportive husband I could have been blessed with. Without him I truly don’t know what I would do.

When I was between the ages of six and eight I was sexually abused by a family member, and again only a few years later.  I come from a close family so this was not spoken of until a year ago.  

Finally, I was done. I wanted out. NO MORE! To people on the outside I appeared happy, good, and normal. On the inside I felt lonely, dark, scared, confused, and I heard so much noise.

Over the past 12 years I have seen three therapists, two mental health physicians, and been on and off many medications. I have experienced next to all of the side effects listed on the prescription warning labels with the exception of death.  However, I did try that myself on July 17, 2017.  Thankfully, I was not successful. 

Finally, as a joke, my current therapist mentioned cannabis to me.  

“You know, you could always sneak out back and smoke a little weed.”  He said.

I blew it off but it came back up which lead to a serious conversation with my husband. Today I am secret free with my family and close friends about medicating with cannabis. I am at one of the happiest places in my life that I can ever remember. I want the world to know that there is so much about this plant that is good for us and we must break this stigma about it. 

There are people like myself changing their mind about cannabis every day. It was not long ago that I, too, thought that it made people lazy, incapable of holding a job, and unable to take care of their family.  That’s how I was taught.  I was wrong.  I did not grow up with any knowledge of cannabis other than that it was a drug that would destroy you.  I grew up around alcohol, which was not a good thing in our family but more acceptable. The older I got the more I began to hear that cannabis was becoming legal in other states for medical reasons but I never gave it more thought, believing it to be more for cancer and seizures patients.   

About four years ago, my dad was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer and could not be operated on.  My dad suffers from dementia, has both diabetes and Stage 4 congestive heart failure, and is completely blind in his right eye due to swelling of his retina.  He has also had a couple of strokes.  He went through chemotherapy that made him indescribably frail.  It was painful to watch.  He survived. But here we are, four years later, and his health has, once again, deteriorated.  The cancer has returned. My father is a veteran and lives in a state where medical marijuana passed a year and a half ago but has yet to implement the actual program. He has no access to medication.

What is wrong with this world? Why would anyone want that much control over something as small as a plant that can save a 77-year-old man from dying a painful death and a 5-year-old from convulsing in bed every night?  Meanwhile, my father is told it’s “ok” to take anywhere from 15 to 30 pills a day…with synthetic man-made cannabis being one of them. This PLANT has a clean record of thousands of years of not killing anyone.  As a matter of fact, it has saved thousands of people.  I know where I am putting my trust. 

 My life my health my choice!

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