How rage quitting my job actually ended up saving my life…

On March, 14, 2019 I had enough of my job as an assistant manager of a well known craft store. I locked my keys in the safe and walked out writing my resignation effective immediately.  It was by far the scariest and freeing decision I’ve ever made.  I still can’t believe I did it.

It started in November 2018. Life was starting to take its toll on me.  I had been sick for a month at that point with the flu that never ended and Black Friday was coming up. I was mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.  Just when all that craziness was wrapping up, I was rapidly promoted from being a part time keyholder to ASM within a month.

The promotions happened because of consecutive terminations of managers I was very close to and considered friends so it was a very traumatic time. Not to mention some serious family issues that were going on at the time.  I was a wreck but I held it together to keep things moving.

I hit my breaking point after a meeting with my district manager went horribly and all my concerns were blatantly ignored.  I left after my shift that day and went back to turn in my keys later that evening.

But this whole period of crisis and the fallout from it made me realize what’s really important in life.  Unless you’re working for yourself, the average employee is disposable.  There’s always someone else out there.

No one was going to take of me better than I take care of myself and I was treating myself pretty shitty.  I was beating myself up, doubting myself (with some help from outside sources that I realized in hindsight), and running myself into the ground.

I had to leave the toxic environment I was in to start healing and it took until now to finally be able to learn to set boundaries with how available I am and to whom I’m available.  I’m starting to recognize patterns I put myself into to cope with things and learning how to break those cycles.  It hasn’t been easy and it’s taken a hell of a lot of soul searching but I’m finally on the right path.

I started feeling some of the same symptoms at my present job from when I was starting to “get bad” at my old job and just took some major leaps to making sure that doesn’t happen again.  It won’t be a fast process of healing but it will be worth it.

I plan on going more in depth into this crazy journey that is my life on this blog once I’m a little more settled now that things won’t be as hectic.

I’m excited for the future!

Struggles with meditation and trying to calm the anxious mind

For years now, I’ve heard from multiple sources that meditation may be the key to helping calm my overactive mind.  My response was always along the lines of “Pfffft, yeah okay….I can’t even sit still long enough for me to watch a 30 minute TV show but you want me to ‘clear my mind’ and sit in complete silence for any given amount of time?!”

Grudgingly, I gave it a try.  It wasn’t a half assed try, I legitimately tried.  Sitting cross-legged on my floor with some candles and incense burning to help the mood. I close my eyes and tried focusing on my breathing…..nice….calm….breathing…..

And then the mailman comes to the door and my dogs start going all kinds of crazy.

No worries. I get the mail and sit back down to try again.  About ten minutes in and my mind is still on full A.D.D. mode and I can’t get to a space to get it to slow down even a little. But I’m trying!! My mind finally slows down a little nearing the 15 minute mark when I get the scare of my life.

A big wet nose and sloppy kiss all in my face from one of the pups.  So I threw in the towel and gave up until another day.

I can’t say that I gave my all at it, or even practiced daily.  (I do have a moderately busy life.) But, I did give honest effort at it here and there.  The problem was that I had it all wrong.  My comprehension of what meditation was “supposed” to be was greatly skewed and I was getting myself hung up on all the “supposed to’s” and not just letting it happen.

I was under the impression that your mind had to be completely blank the entire time you’re meditating and that you’re doing something “wrong” if your mind likes to wander.  Another false impression is that everything had to be silent and for me, sitting in silence was really distracting because every little outside noise that I couldn’t control was pulling me away from the task at hand and I was getting irritated and giving up.

But, I kept trying…

I finally gave up trying to do it on my own and went off to search the internet for guided meditations. (YouTube is a gold mine for this stuff!)  I picked a nice short one and plugged in my headphones and tried it.

Y’all, that was what I needed!!  The background music along with a soothing voice to help pull my brain back from DistractionLand is really helping.  I’m by no means a master at meditating now, but it’s finally to a point where it’s relaxing and actually helping instead of something that is frustrating and not enjoyable.

I’m still not 100% at meditating on my own.  I hvae tried a few times with some success and some failure although it’s getting easier.  But just my luck that there are thousands of submissions on the internet that I pick what feels best for my situations at the time and let someone help me get to Zen.

I’m starting to notice gradual changes in my perception and thinking in all aspects of my life and my patience is returning.  I also feel like I’m not as aggressive as I used to be and not everything has to be a conflict.  I didn’t expect it to be an overnight shift of thinking but it’s actually working at a faster pace than what I imagined.

If you’ve even had a glimmer of a thought about trying meditation, I wholeheartedly recommend it.  Being mindful of what my brain is doing has helped with the PTSD and anxiety symptoms and I’m able to better talk myself out of a panic or flashback instead of letting my thoughts consume me.

Thanks for reading!

Just because DNA is shared, you don’t have to share your life with them…

Growing up, I probably watched too much Leave it to Beaver and The Brady Bunch because I had a very idealistic view of what the typical family should be.  I believed that all families never fought among each other and that all family members love each other unconditionally.  I was in for a very rude awakening….

Now don’t get me wrong, some of my family members are absolutely amazing! Some are doing the best they can while trying to heal from their own traumas and then there’s the rest of them.  I totally understand the way that some people need to drop off the face of the planet in order to heal themselves.  Sometimes getting through the things you are dealt necessitates doing the dirty work on your own. (100% what I had to do.)

But if people have a history of just being a shitty person without doing any inner work to get out of that space, then you DO NOT need to entertain their presence.  No matter how close you were/are, no matter what relation they are to you.  If a person’s presence continually drains your energy or makes you feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable or disturbs your inner peace, they do not deserve a place in your life.

Now, I’m not saying to just cut everyone off at the first sign that they cause you discomfort.  I whole heartedly believe in communication and that speaking your truth (and listening to others’ truths) will do wonders for a relationship.  But if you’re continually trying to work things out with someone who doesn’t see a problem in how they’re treating you, then there comes a time you need to just walk away.  There’s no use to continue to run headfirst into a brick wall.  You’ll just be the one broken and hurt and with a horrible headache.

It took me all my 35 years to let go of a relationship where I tried and tried and tried and kept wondering why I couldn’t have the same relationship with this person that another family member had.  I wanted so much to be loved and my efforts appluaded like the other family member had but every accomplishment of mine was degraded and ran through the mud.  There was no reciprocity in this majorly dysfunctional relationship.

So earlier this year, I buckled down and did a legitmate “Spring Cleaning.” (Which I highly recommend) I went through my trunk where I keep my most sentimental items.  Reading through all the letters and cards this family member had sent me over the years really made me realize just how narcissistic and abusive her relationship with me was.

The nail in the coffin of our relationship was an unopened letter from about  10 years ago.  I don’t know what happened to cause me to put this letter away without opening it but I’m taking it as a sign that I wasn’t ready to hear that message at that time.

Around the time in my life that this letter had been sent, I had taken a tumble out of a moving truck while my boyfriend and I were moving back in with my mom to help her out a little bit.  I had severely broken my dominant elbow to the point that I had to have the radial bone’s head replaced with an internal prosthetic.  (I still don’t have full motion in that elbow.) I had to have a couple surgeries to get everything “right” and went through months of physical therapy.

So back to that unopened letter,  it was super short (odd for this family member) and said hard it has been to deal with the loss of her friend yada yada yada.  The last sentence before her signature was “I guess with that broken arm you are having issues writing back.  That’s very rude of you…”

Y’all, I had to put the pile of letters down and grab a breath of fresh air.  So even at a time where I was legitimately unable to get back to you via letter, you’re going to try to make me feel horrible about myself.  (There’s the reason it didn’t get opened upon receipt!)  The time period to where all this was happening, I was going through a major life shift and was dealing with all the abuses and mistreatment from another family member directly related to this one and if I would have actually read this then, I would have spiraled down even more for sure.

Life has definitely been more pleasant since she was written out of my story of my life.  Letting go of that expectation of what the perfect family should be has helped emmensely.

No one person is perfect.  Some people are going to intentionally hurt you while most others are not realizing that they are causing you pain.  If someone is willing to do the work to realize the way you expect to be treated, keep them close!

If they aren’t willing to treat you the way you deserve to be treated, let them go.



Back on my wellness journey

A lot has happened in this crazy game called life since I last wrote.  I’ve worked a couple different jobs ( and realized I hate retail in the process) and some major life changes happened.

I must say things are going pretty well.  I got a handle on my PTSD for the most part and got most of my physical ailments into the tolerable range.  I’m no where near 100% but I’m getting there!

Which is why I came back to writing.  I want to be able to share some of the things I’ve tried and will be trying to help get myself back to where I need to be.  There are a couple more obscure things that I’m trying that have had good results from other’s word of mouth but no documentation on, that I feel need to be written about.

I can’t wait to start sharing my journey with you all again!

Stepped away from writing for a while …

Recently, I’ve been using some of my other creative outlets to focus on instead of my writing.  I was starting to sound like I was whining when I would read my posts before publishing. I needed to step away from the tablet for a while.

While I was away, I found motivation to get back into my jewelry making and dreamcatchers from Pinterest. ( I even got my hubby to catch the Pinterest bug and now he’s an aspiring wood worker!) 

I’ve been a busy little creative bee. I even made enough items to feel confident enough to set up an Etsy page. I spent a lot of time in taking good photos of my projects and making sure I looked mostly professional.  (And for me to have the guts to go public with my creations took more strength than most will realize.)  I even made a Facebook business page so that I wouldn’t flood my personal page with trying to hock my wares.

I wish I could say it was all an amazingly healing experience, but you can’t grow from anything comfortable.

Making the crafts, putting together the pages, and all that goes with that was amazing. I felt so good about myself. I did a “test run” of going public. I added just a couple of people to check out the FB page and give me feedback. The people I added first were, of course, my besties and a couple people that I had made jewelry for in the past when I was just starting out.

All but one person had great things to say. This one person (who I had made a lot of jewelry for in the past) made one of those “subliminal, talking shit while hiding behind a keyboard posts.” 

“Feeling like some one is full of themselves. No one cares and your work is disgusting.” (When her profile picture is one of her wearing an elaborate pair of feather and chain earrings I made.)

At first, I was devastated. And felt a little betrayed. Here was someone that, when my work was free, was anxious to get my earrings and couldn’t wait to wear them. Now that I’m trying to put myself out there and possibly make some spare change, my work is disgusting.

Thankfully, I have my besties to set my mind back to positive thinking and got me to realize that she was envious about me doing something to better myself with one of my skills.

I’m over that moment now, but it feels good to speak about it. It was a learning experience. I know I’m far too trusting and sometimes give people too much of a benefit of the doubt. Not everyone is going to be cool with you to be a friend. Some will be just cool enough to be able to see what you’re up to.

I’m still creating and actually just started on a series of dreamcatchers inspired by my pomegranate tree. Those will be up on my page soon. 

If any of you would like to check out my creations, feel free to search for my page on Etsy. My shop name is TreasuresByVix. I’ll add a link, too.

Thanks for reading!

In response to intolerance and hate

I’m a pretty tolerant person; I grew up in a very diverse city and have always had friends from all walks of life. Gay, straight, black, Guatemalan, transgender, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim…..whatever you are, I don’t care as long as you are a decent person and cool with me.

With that being said, I also have a……..”diverse” set of opinions being shared constantly on my Facebook timeline. I would say 98% of the posts I see are pretty harmless. It’s an election year so there is plenty of mudslinging from acquaintances back and forth from people who support different candidates, which are easy enough to scroll past. Selfies, selfies, and more selfies (which are cool since I love seeing people happy with who they are). And, thanks to one particular friend (KK), I see almost every meme worth sharing. (You love me and I have proof! Lol!) So, all in all, totally harmless.

(There’s always a “But,…” and here it is.) 

But, there’s a couple individuals that are starting to make me reevaluate why we’re “friends.” The ideals they embody are not in alignment with who I am and my character. It makes me wonder if all this hate and intolerance is just to rile others up or if these individuals are speaking their real feelings. I’m an eternal optimist and am always looking for that shred of hope that there is some good in every one. (Yes, I’m disappointed often.)

( I totally understand having an opinion and our constitutional right to speak that opinion. As long as people who hold those opinions speak fairly and don’t spew hate and breed fear. Facts to support claims also help. And not sharing “news” stories from sketchy origins.)

As I said above, I have people that I consider friends from all walks of life.  I do not like generalizations of certain cultures, religions, nationalities because the actions of a few should not reflect on a whole community. I do not believe that one community deserves more benefits and privileges just because they are from said community.

Emotions are running very high in this day and age.  The media and governments are trying to separate the nation and are fueling the fires in between communities. “They” want us to be in turmoil so they can feed off our uncertainty and all these “attacks” against LGBTQ, ethnicities other than Caucasian, and religions other than Christianity are propaganda to keep up from coming together.

Transgender people trying to go to the bathroom (which they’ve been doing for years without complications until lies and hate made it an issue) are not going to molest your children.

We need to be more worried about the actual pedophiles that are acting out their atrocities behind the guise of being schoolteachers, coaches, and officials in churches. And the most popular type of paedophilia where the child’s own parent is abusing them.  Stopping someone trying to use the bathroom isn’t going to fix this…

We need to stop sexualizing our daughters, nieces, and women in general. The “slut-shaming” needs to stop. A woman’s body is not an object for men to ogle over. Nor should we have to cover up to make the men surrounding us more “comfortable.” (Same goes for those women who choose to completely cover themselves. They should not have to show their bodies if they don’t want to. Regardless of their reason behind it.)

Being a woman is HARD! We shouldn’t have to worry about of our tank top shows too much of our shoulders or cleavage. We shouldn’t have to worry if the outfit we choose to wear is going to cause us unwanted attention and get us verbally assaulted for just walking down the street. Women shouldn’t have to “cover up” while breastfeeding their child. Breasts are not a sexual organ. They are a reproductive organ that produces nourishment for our children. Women should not have to worry about having “too good of a time” to protect themselves from men who can’t keep their dicks in their pants.  (Unable to give consent still means NO.) Women should not have to adapt the way they celebrate their faith because another religion does not agree with their choice attire. Turbans, hijabs, burkas, etc are a form of (religious) expression and it’s no one else’s business how that individual chooses to express themselves.

Along the topic of women’s rights, NO ONE should have the right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. If she chooses to use birth control, so be it. If she chooses abortion, not anyone’s business. If she chooses to have 19 kids, more power to her (and I wish for her strength and patience!). If she chooses to never have kids, good for her. The government and church officials need to back off and learn to live in the 21st century. Instead of preaching abstinence as the only way, our youngsters need to learn reality when it comes to sexual education. If a man ejaculates inside a woman of puberty/child bearing age, she will get pregnant (eventually) and there is a huge risk of STDs.  (For the sake of this argument, I’m not going to elaborate for other sexualities since I’m focusing on women’s reproductive rights.)  We can’t keep ignoring these issues and vowing persecution against women making a choice with their bodies. It’s no one’s business but her own.

LGBTQ people are not suffering from a mental illness. Their lifestyles aren’t something that can be helped with a pill or therapy. It’s not a phase to grow out of. The nation needs to quit treating it as such. Love is blind and it shouldn’t matter who an individual chooses to love. The choice in a significant other doesn’t change a person’s character or integrity. Feeling like a man trapped in a woman’s body (or a woman trapped in a man’s) does not mean that person is a freak or looking for attention or a pedophile. It’s simply that who they are on the inside is not reflected on the outside. (I’m sure we’ve all had a similar feeling about something about ourselves at one point in time. Imagine that uncomfortable feeling being constant.) 

Since the beginning of recorded time, religions have been fighting each other. One side is always saying the other is the root of all evil and that we need to convert the heathens into following “the one true religion.” (Whichever one that may be, I’m not a religious person so I have no bias as to who or what is “god.”) Who cares what someone else’s faith is.  I’ve read the bible, and the Qur’an, and been open to hear all opinions of faiths. (I like hearing all sides of all subjects, it’s the Libra in me I guess.)  What I’ve found in hearing all these different viewpoints, is that ALL faiths are based around the same ideals. Do good to get good back to you, don’t be an asshole, stay faithful to your significant other, don’t kill people; basically be cool to everyone and don’t be a douchebag.  (While some preach more violence towards non-followers *coughChristianBiblecough*, they’re all basically about the same thing just different ways of saying it)

The problem lies in our interpretation of centuries old texts. All the world’s civilizations are vastly different from when all religious texts were written. Our interpretation of the teachings needs a fresh perspective.  If you’re going to follow a faith, and want the freedom to be able to follow said faith without persecution, then you do not have the right to impose regulations on other faiths. (Freedom of religion ring a bell?)

This country was founded on the premise of freedom. Freedom from being persecuted for any of our unique beliefs. Just because another person doesn’t have the same views as another, does not allow the opposing view to be oppressed or regulated. We cannot achieve freedom by only allowing one side of anything to be expressed.

Fear and greed is what I believe is behind all of this hate and intolerance. We fear what we do not understand and we’re living in a generation that is “every person for themselves” mentality. 

All this really makes me want to unplug and live in the middle of the woods. (Something already in the works but the plans have been fast tracked.) Is this really what we’ve become? A culture so blind to the struggles of someone “different” that we hate them and make their lives a living hell?! Does it really make us sleep better at night when we’re stripping away basic rights from people who are not what we are?!

I know I’m losing sleep because of those who spew hate and intolerance. I feel so deeply for those who don’t benefit from the same liberties that I do.

I am a Native American and Spanish, 30ish year old female. My looks favor my Spanish heritage. I am not married but have a very committed relationship with my boyfriend of almost 9 years. We have pit bulls instead of children. I medicate with medical marijuana for my chronic pain from rheumatoid arthritis and years of not treating my body right, my severe anxiety and panic attacks from PTSD, and to be quite honest, to help me cope with assholes I encounter in day to day life. I support anything that allows others freedom to life their life as each individual sees fit.

I understand that I do enjoy certain privileges due to the fact that I appear Caucasian. I don’t (usually) get followed around a store being suspected of being a shoplifter. I was in a situation one time where I was the only one NOT arrested when I was just as guilty as the others involved (they were not Caucasian). You get the picture.

While being who I am and surrounding myself with a very diverse group of people. I can understand the divide. I see the mistreatment of my friends and although I’m not dealing with a lot of this stuff being directed at me, it still hurts to see a beautiful soul crushed by intolerance of who they are just because of who they are. 

Racism is alive and flourishing. Homophobia and transphobia run rampant. Sexism is a real thing. We can’t keep raising children that need therapy to help them recover from their childhoods.

We don’t have to agree or approve of everyone’s choices/lifestyles/genetics. We do have the moral responsibility to just let them be. If you don’t agree or approve, instead of attacking in any way, shape, or form, how about we just ignore it the same way I ignore inflammatory posts and comments on social media. Everyone has an opinion but not all deserve a reaction.


For a long time, I would refer to myself as a victim of sexual and domestic abuse. Internally and when sharing my story. I was just beginning to be comfortable sharing my experiences and was still pretty screwed up in the head over it all. (Not to mention by brain was recovering from a few years of being fried by my methamphetamine use. Needless to say, I was a mental mess.)

It was so hard having to finally face all my demons without the shield of drugs and making it worse was the realization that I wasn’t just dealing with the normal ups and downs that come with early sobriety. I was also diagnosed with PTSD.

Then one day, out of the blue, I had this random realization. (Thoughts pop in and out of my head all day long, but this thought was definitely one of those “lightbulb moments.” A few seconds of clarity that has made a major impact of my mental stability.)

I wasn’t just a victim, I was a survivor.

Yeah, I went through a ton of horrible shit. But, I’m still standing. (Sure, everyday is a still a battle. Some days are all out wars. Some days aren’t even a struggle at all.) All the things I went through made me the strong woman I am today and has prepared me to be able to handle pretty much anything.

From that moment on, I refused to continue to refer to myself as a victim. If I had to keep reliving the past everyday, I might as well see the flashbacks as proof that I could make it through everyday bullsh** instead of allowing them to break me down. I decided to use them as fuel to motivate me to become the best version of myself.

It’s amazing how much changing your perspective can really do for your mental well being.

I’m living proof.

The real costs of healthcare

So there has been a lot of talk about this Affordable Care Act more commonly referred to as “Obamacare.” In the U.S., it is a very polarizing topic. (In case you aren’t familiar with it, here’s a very basic description.)  Basically, everyone has to have health insurance; if you can’t afford it, you get subsidies to help attain it, but if you are well enough off to be able to afford it, in most cases, the costs skyrocketed. (Let’s not forget that if you chose to not get any sort of health insurance, that you will be penalized on your yearly income taxes.)

See how it can be a hot topic for debate?! Personally, I agree with the basic idea behind it. Everyone deserves health care. I don’t agree that people were forced into this and the tax penalties. (Doesn’t the IRS get enough of our money?) Also, this bill was so highly contested in the Senate/Congress, that there was no time to actually plan for its approval and set up the necessities for such a huge change in the nation.
The uninsured population before this bill was passed, was/ is staggering. The websites set up for enrolling were constantly overloaded and personally, I was kicked off multiple times only to have to start my application all over again. (There were a couple times I felt like throwing my computer across the room.)

There weren’t enough available doctors to be able to take on the influx of patients. Any clinics that were accepting new patients filled up fast. Most people had to sign up at “Urgent Care centers” that seem to be popping up everywhere and have staff with questionable credentials (that’s a whole other post in itself, stay tuned for that one!).

Once all the chaos of people signing up before the deadline calmed down, things have been pretty smooth on the insurance end. For the most part, the Affordable Care Act is functioning the way it should. People who otherwise wouldn’t be able to see a doctor, are able to get the care they need.

But there needs to be reform. For those who were already insured, or wealthy enough to afford private insurance, their quality of care far exceeds those who were low-income and qualified for the Medicare/ Medicaid systems.  (Single payer health insurance would be ideal, but that would empty the pockets of big healthcare and big pharma.)

Every citizen of this country deserves basic health. If we keep our population sick, we can’t progress as a nation. Keeping people down is a recipe for disaster.

Why I chose medical marijuana

Hi! I’m Vickie and I have PTSD with the dominant symptom being anxiety. I am a 32 year old mother of 7 pit bulls who has an absolutely amazing boyfriend that is able to put up with all of us.

I decided to write this on this early Sunday morning, because I see so many people who are ignorant in the positive aspects of my chosen medication.  I see how this ignorance is hindering research into how marijuana can really benefit people. (I was thinking of citing a bunch of research and articles to help this entry, but instead I think that I will share my personal experience. I’m hoping that hearing my story will help a non-believer see that it is more than “getting high” and being a “stoner” and that responsible patients are functioning members of society.)

Let’s start at the beginning of all my issues…..

As a child I as abused in many different forms. Sexual, physical, mental, emotional, you name it and it probably happened. From being told I was unwanted and useless to being hit and molested; it really did a number on me. Especially coming from my father; the man I was supposed to be able to look up to and be protected by, was the monster I needed protection from. 

I buried myself in my schoolwork. That was my escape. (I also thought that if I did well in school and activities, that I would be able to prove my worth and it would end the abuse.) I made honor roll semester after semester, I was a pretty good musician and mastered flute and saxophone (and in high school played in the marching band, jazz band and orchestra all at the same time), and, while I was just barely decent at sports, I was on the swimming and track teams.

Still, I wasn’t good enough.

I started to see therapists in high school.  While I grudgingly went to talk therapy sessions, the subject of meds kept popping up. I finally caved and figured since these people were doctors, they knew what they were doing. (This was the mid 90’s and before the internet is what it is today)

Prozac came first. Within an hour of taking the capsules, I would be throwing up then super jittery. Not to mention MAJOR mood swings. Following doctor’s orders, I kept taking them thinking the side effects would eventually go away. 6 months later, I had to stop Prozac because the side effects were worse than my condition.

Paxil was next. The side effects were the complete opposite. (The nausea was still there.) I could not stay awake on this one. When I was awake, the panic attacks were ruthless. I couldn’t get an appetite for anything. I switched to taking them before bed, but I was still always so tired and the panic attacks were still there.

Next, came Wellbutrin. Nausea, panic attacks, some days were awake days, some days were can’t wake up even if the house was on fire, add in severe paranoia and even more severe mood swings.  Two weeks on this one was enough for my gut instinct to tell me it wasn’t good for me.

At this point, I was around 15 years old. The doctors I was seeing told me they wanted to try yet a stronger drug, Lithium. At this point, I refused (to my mom’s horror) and told them that I wanted a fix not a band aid. When I was told that this was their standard course of action, to rely mostly on medication with a back up of therapy, I walked out of the office never to return.
(A very good friend of mine was on lithium for her bi-polar disorder and after hearing all her horror stories how it only made her worse, when it was offered to me I knew they were past the scope of their capabilities to treat me.)

I began learning to cope on my own. By this time I had my own car and license and the permission of my mom to stay at a friend’s house after school until Mom was home from work. (She didn’t know about the previous sexual abuse at this point. Only the hitting. She believed the main reason I wanted to stay away was because of my father’s methamphetamine addiction.)

While everything at home was a nightmare, at this point in my life I had an amazing core group of friends. People who still to this day care about how I’m doing and check in on me. While everyone else our age were out screwing around and getting drunk. We would sit in RR’s room and play video games. They would go out and smoke some weed in the backyard. I would sit with them while they did but I wasn’t interested in it. (Even though the smell has always been pleasant to me.)

Then one day, when everyone was busy except myself and RR, we had been playing video games as usual. He went to go have a smoke break, as usual. I went outside with him, as usual.

(Side note: to this day RR still doesn’t know the scope of what I went through. I never told anyone back then. But him being my closest friend at the time, he knew me better than I knew myself.)

It had been just a bad day in general; high anxiety, father had left for work slamming doors and throwing things, and the weight of having to go home was messing with my head.

RR started asking what was up; he could feel my tension. So I told him the morning’s events and said how tired I was having to deal with that. I was already a cigarette smoker, so I lit a cigarette to help ease the fear.  RR handed me the blunt and said this might help more. Based on the trust I had in him and the fact we were alone and no one would see me if I acted stupid, I took exactly one hit.

Within a minute, I could literally feel the tension leave my shoulders and back. As it kicked in more, I felt a peace of mind that I don’t think I had ever felt before in my whole life. I felt my heart slow down from its ever-growing pace. I think I even said out loud, “So this is what it’s like to feel normal.” At that moment, I was able to forget for a while.

(This is where the doubters are probably going to say that this is where addiction starts. They may be right. But, please keep reading, I’ll get to REAL addictions soon.)

Eventually, my time of peace had to come to an end because I had to return to my house aka my hell. While it was less painful to go home, I now had thoughts of, “OMG! I just took an illegal drug. Does this make me a druggie? WTF did I just do?”  Those thoughts went away quickly as I did my homework, made and ate dinner and then went to bed early.

After that day, I’d partake in the smoke breaks every once in a while. Mostly when life was weighing the most heavy on me. My grades stayed on honor roll status, I graduated on time with a 3.5 gpa, and kept a job through all of this.

After graduation is when life finally decided to take a turn for the worst. Mom finally left my father after I was finally able to tell her about the sexual abuse and we moved into my grandpa’s. I started dating a guy that turned out to be a whole other level of monster than my dad was.

Unknown to me, my new “love” was a methamphetamine addict. I guess I didn’t notice the strange behaviors because I was used to them with my father. Eventually I moved in with him and his family and that’s when my world turned upside down. 

After a couple of weeks, I started not being able to sleep; it was like I had just drank a bunch of coffee all the time. Then it happened: I caught him putting drugs in my soda. I screamed and yelled at him and tried to leave. I was in the car about to start the engine when he ran out of the house with a knife and slashed all four tires. I hadn’t locked the door and he pulled me out of the car by my hair and dragged me into the house. I got beat so bad. My eyes were swollen, my nose bleeding and he locked me in the back shed for a couple days with no phone or anything. I was brought food by his sister. The drinks were drugged but after day 3 I had no willpower to refuse the food.

When I was finally “freed” from that shed, I was so broken I thought I deserved all of that.  I shouldn’t have made him mad. Shouldn’t have yelled. In hindsight, I realize at this point I was addicted to methamphetamine. He kept me locked in the room (at least there was heat) and continued to feed me the drugs.

After a couple weeks of my mom not hearing from me. She came over, saw my tires slashed, and tried to take me home. At this point, my mind was too screwed up to realize this was my way out. I had started willingly using methamphetamine to appease the monster I was living with. I lived there for almost 3 years before I finally got away.

I was recovering, with a few setbacks on the way, but I was getting better. I tried therapy, again. They recommended the antidepressants, again. So I tried them, again.

This therapist had told me that the drugs they had me on as a teenager were probably producing the opposite effect than intended because of my age. She told me how my brain wasn’t “old” enough for them to give the desired effect. (Imagine my rage hearing this) She asked if I’d be willing to give Prozac and Paxil another shot. (At different times, of course.) I agreed and had the same effects as before but this time I recognized the side effects gave me the same sensations as the methamphetamine. The only difference in side effects this time around was the addition of flashbacks to my addiction and abuse.

So, after more disappointment with “organized medicine,” I went to San Francisco and saw a doctor who approved me for medical marijuana.  The look of horror when I spoke of all the drugs they experimented with on me was all the confirmation I needed to know my gut instincts were right. Her history in child psychology made me trust her when she told me that the previous doctors should have never put me on those drugs at that age. She told me that trying those drugs at that stage in my brain development could have done more harm than good. 

Fast forward to 2013. Medical marijuana was working wonders for me. I finally was back to myself. I have an amazing relationship, my own home, and a good life. I felt that I was mentally and physically ready to get back into the workforce. The only problem: no one wanted to hire me because of my choice of medicine.

So, I went back to a “regular” (non pot) doctor to see more options. This doctor recommended Amitriptyline (Elavil). She told me she’s write the prescription and for me to look it up before I decided to take it. All the side effects etc were different than the other drugs I had tried, so I gave it a chance.

After two weeks, my heart was racing, my flashbacks were more frequent and stronger, my mood swings were terrible and I had a psoriasis-looking rash that was spreading down my arms, chest and appearing on my face. When I went back to the doctor, the doctor who prescribed it was no longer working in the clinic and her replacement said that my concerns on the side effects were unfounded and probably just stress.  I went home and did more research and that’s when I found countless class action lawsuits against the maker of the drug because of the harm it can cause.  I immediately gave up my search for a legal replacement for my medicine.

I know a lot of people make assumptions about me because of my medicine. I’m lazy, unmotivated, unwilling to work, ignorant, and a criminal drug addict. I am the exact opposite though. I want to contribute to society. I am a strong member of the neighborhood watch and have stopped quite a few of the real criminals from stealing my neighbor’s belongings. When I first told the neighbors I’m closest to my choice of medicine and that if the smell ever bothered them to let me know and I’d do my best to accommodate them, everyone was kinda shocked that I medicated with marijuana. “You’re so active and never seem stoned.” That’s the most common reply. That and their acceptance means the world to me.

It’s not about getting stoned to me. It’s about finding my own peace in life. I really think that after all my experiences with the chemicals in antidepressants, that they do not help, but instead keep you in the cycles of mental illness. Some doctors don’t do what is right but what will line their pockets fastest and most continuously.

An easy love

We met when we were both in transition from our past lives as addicts. Something about the way he moved, moved something inside me. He was different than anyone I had ever encountered. I knew I had to go about things different with him.

Usually super shy and reserved, I decided to dive in head first and be the one to pursue him. I knew from that first ride on his Harley that I found “home.”

I was warned by the others who had tried to win his heart (and failed) that he was angry and mean and temperamental. That it would only be a matter of time before I realized this and I’d leave him alone.  One look into those sapphire blue eyes showed more.

There was a wall up, for sure. Years of other’s lies, games, and lack of compassion for him made him harder than steel on the outside. It took me refusing to leave his side after his motorcycle accident to cut down that wall and prove I wasn’t like the others who only wanted him when he had something to offer.

I was (and still am) far from perfect. Years of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse left me damaged. I still battle daily with my demons but their numbers have dwindled. I often wonder if he saw the same thing in my eyes as I did with his.

8 years have gone by and I still get those butterflies watching him do even the most mundane things. The way he looks as he’s getting dressed for the day, the way his pants sit on his hips, the way he closes his eyes and has the slightest smile on his face as I braid his hair, watching him cook or do dishes (yeah, I definitely found a winner), the way he takes care of me and our dogs with a compassion I didn’t know a man could possess, and the way he supports my passions whole heartedly.

I believe all my struggles helped prepare me for him. They helped me realize how bad things could be so that I could appreciate just how amazing he is. While nothing is ever perfect, I’ve found someone close enough. I’m still in awe he chose me.

Love is finally easy.