The Princess and A Bong
Every journey begins with a single step. In my case, one could say it began with a few falls and bruises first.
To understand, or better still, to grasp just how drastically cannabis has altered the direction of my life, is not an easy task. My childhood was far removed from conventional.
At age 6 my parents divorced. My dad moved to Mozambique, leaving my sister and myself in mom’s care. It was at this age that I began to manifest what I can now identify as an anxiety disorder. Perhaps it went unnoticed, I am not sure, but I remember feeling alone and confused about life as well as everything going on around me.
Soon after, my sister and I moved to my dad in Mozambique. My dad was and still is my hero! He understood me and we remain incredibly close. Although it was difficult to keep in contact with my mom, we found a way. Long distance calls over landlines and two-way radios was a normal occurrence. Life slowed down in Mozambique, and I began to see what the divorce and conflict was doing to both my mom and dad. I isolated my emotions and stuffed every frustration and semblance of anger deep inside my spirit, because I honestly had no way of dealing with it.
Before I could adjust once again, another sudden change took place. My mom, who had been away from us for some time, would be joining us in Mozambique. My dad, sister and I left our home in Mozambique to fetch my mom from South Africa, which was when a majorly traumatic event took place.
I remember it was late, almost 10pm. We were driving to South Africa when we hit a dog and burst a tyre. My dad pulled over and started fixing the burst tyre when we were approached by three off-duty police officers, who asked us for a lift to the next town. On route they banged on the roof signaling us to stop and started to open fire, throwing my dad out of the vehicle. My younger sister and I were still in the car.
Eventually the anti-hijack on the vehicle kicked in, and we were left lying on the road. I picked my sister up from the cold tar and we walked to help my dad, who had been shot seven times. He luckily survived.
Time has had little effect on the sense of fear and complete destruction left in the wake of that night. With all that had happened and this deep sense of sadness, I began to vocalize and act on my silent torment.
By my teens I had become a terrible person. Rebellion was my only outlet and not having the ability to help myself, I sought the company of destructive friends who I felt accepted me. I had suffered from chronic asthma since I could remember, and at age 15 started abusing my asthma pump as a means of escape, as well as smoking weed to disconnect from the chaos around me.
Confrontation and anger were my means of processing what I essentially could not. The relationship with my family, who we now lived with in KZN, was difficult at best. Every word and thought was filtered through my anguish, and I longed to feel at peace.. I began using hardcore drugs at 17. It’s been years since and there’s still so much damage I need to repair. Besides the difficulties with chronic depression and anxiety, the endless sea of storms at home gave me little hope of anyone seeing just how much I needed help.
Life had, by this point, spiraled into a mass of constant hurt, having lived through it alone I now realize my behavior was a desperate scream for help. Unconsciously seeking toxic elements and sabotaging every means to drag myself out of that nightmare, I gave into a life of suffering
My thoughts are very quiet now, I have tried to acknowledge a moment of truth in time that changed everything. It came about in ways I never thought possible, but it did happen and thankfully so.
My daughter has been my reason for life since I first discovered I was pregnant. I spent several days in a hospital bed with complications and it was decided an emergency cesarean was needed. After her birth we stayed in a dark, sinister situation with my boyfriend for another year before reality revealed itself, and I could take no more.
My daughter has been and still is the light of my life. She needed me to be a mom and I am so proud of who she has become 7 years later. She is the wind, and I am the Willow tree.
There have been so many aspects of my life that seem as if they have been taken from the script of a crazed movie. It’s these ups and downs, these hard lessons that have helped me to begin healing. I have a full-time job teaching a class of Grade R learners from Monday to Friday and I assist my future husband (hint hint) with administrative duties in his business. We have similar goals and hope to grow our dream together. Starting a company from the ground up has not been easy but using skills I acquired through study and experience in hospitality management, I have had the opportunity to be a part of something good. Trevor is an amazing person and reminds me that I am no longer a victim, but a good person who has experienced terrible things.
Trevor pours his passion and creativity into his work; he is a master carpenter and jack-of-all-trades. As a grower and cannabis user, we bond and strengthen each other. Although we are often apart, I only need to look at what we have accomplished to remind myself that I am close to that peace I have always dreamed of.
I use cannabis daily to treat my medical conditions, and try my upmost to educate myself, so I am certain I am on the right track. Where previously I was using Salbutamol and Budesonide asthma inhalers daily, I no longer need them at all. I am now down to a quarter of the dosage of the medication I was prescribed to treat Type 2 Bipolar. My constant headaches and intense aches and pains have all but subsided.
I do have trouble sleeping, but with a positive mindset and patience I am beating the odds.
There is a fundamental difference in living and life. Some seek answers in excess, while a lucky few, like me, have found a healing path. My mind is a highway of thoughts and sometimes the emotions are not easy to control, unless I smoke a bong. I have responsibilities and maintain a good level of discipline at home and professionally. The most important part of my healing has just begun, I am slowly learning to walk hand-in-hand with that part of me who could never be heard. Smoking and using cannabis oils has allowed me to try and repair the damage of a toxic history.
Many people believe cannabis removes you from the worries of life. The true gift is its ability to humble the heart and allow the warmth of love and light to penetrate the darkness of what we call unforgivable things. In sharing my journey, I hope only to give some of the light I have, so those on a terrible road may see that sometimes we fail to believe in the things we choose not to understand.