I had an anxiety attack this morning while making breakfast. It wasn’t about my impending day or the act of making breakfast but rather an intense internal negative feeling that came over my entire body. I started to shake, my heart started to race, and my breathing became shallow and tight. I may have dry heaved. Totally not normal. It is rare for me to get a full blown anxiety attack but this served as a reminder that I have a special brain and it requires daily attention.
I don’t like to say this out loud, but I am a fairly anxious person. I am plagued with a daily low level anxiety due to physiological stress that my body is under from a neuromuscular disorder. This little body of mine has been dealing with that type of constant stress since before I was even a teenager. I manage to keep a calm, cool, positive exterior but if you spend enough time with me you will be exposed to moments where the anxiety that dwells within my body escapes in various forms. It never feels pretty.
Right about now, I would like to interject that I hate writing about this. I hate letting you in on this part of me because it feels so negative and dark and I just don’t tell people this stuff. I much prefer spreading light but I know that somebody else out there is living with this most bizarre thing too and could benefit from feeling that they are not alone.
I am grateful to be aware of how special my brain is. I am very aware that it likes to send jacked up messages to my body all day long and tell it to do things a normal body is not supposed to do. It is very stressful on a level that is hard to explain to somebody who has never gone through it. I take this type of stress seriously because I know that it is the silent killer that would put me to my grave long before my spinal disorder ever could. This condition of mine benefits from cannabis because it calms down my inside self, allowing for a feeling of normal to exist.
How do I use cannabis for anxiety? Multiple ways…
First, let me say if you are eating or inhaling it specifically to manage anxiety, what strain you choose can be a big deal. Everybody reacts differently to different strains but for some people certain strains may actually increase feelings of anxiety. I personally cannot recall any strain ever giving me anxiety but I’ve seen it in other people.
Delivery method makes a difference in how it works too. In the moment, I inhale. Within minutes, mental and often physical anxiety is relieved. For several hours of relief, a CBD or sativa dominant hybrid strain might be put into my food. If I have 20 minutes, I will take a medicated bath or apply a topical all over. When I have access to it, I will take raw cannabis daily which noticeably keeps my body in a generally calmer state.
Cannabis allows me to stay on track with the other powerful methods I use to manage anxiety and stress. Meditation, movement, nutrition, laughing enough, and getting sleep is key to dominating this chronic condition. If I don’t get enough of all of those, after a short time, you guessed it, the internal anxiety grows and escapes.
If you medicate to relieve anxiety, may you never feel bad or ashamed for doing so. Stress is a killer, literally.
And…To all the people who look out for me and aid in my mission to live calmly, thank you.