I’ve been hit for about 4 days with panic attacks. Now I’m confronted with the debilitating, paralyzed, frozen response I am often triggered into from a deregulated nervous system that doesn’t allow my body to do what my rational mind is telling it to. I feel guilty for not meeting deadlines, canceling commitments, not being as adventurous or spontaneous as I usually like to be, and not meeting expectations other people have on my time. But I have also come to a place in life where for the first time ever, self care and being authentic is my top priority. My definition of what self care is changes regularly depending on what the situation calls for in the moment. My day to day life is hyper social and over stimulating. I now know I need to take time for myself so I can slow down, breathe, feel into my body, read, write, think, meditate, sleep, whatever will help me honor myself in the moment. Sometimes that means checking out completely, not responding to calls/texts/emails. That sometimes makes me feel irresponsible and like I owe people an explanation– and if I attempt to explain myself I can get re-triggered because of all the messages I have received from certain influential people in my life over the years who have told me I am being selfish or lazy or complaining, or using my “issues” as an excuse, or that I am making it all about me, or that I need to just get over it.
I am not someone who enjoys using labels or pathologizing my own behavior. It’s not convenient to me to battle this stuff. The research that has been done on trauma and mental health over the recent decades has given us language to use for our otherwise difficult to describe experiences that create isolation within ourselves and our outward lives. I have been reading about the effects of trauma, pharmaceutical medications, meditation, cannabis, psychedelics, and movement on the human brain, and over the years I have learned that there are tons of people who experience what I do. Now, science has given us a language and an understanding of these things. I have learned through this research and through talking with other people and being candidly open about my life experiences, that I am not alone. Far from it.
This period in my life is about deep soul searching. The Women Of Weed Street platform is for connecting people who have shared experiences and exploring how we can heal ourselves, individually and collectively. Whether that takes form in a blog, a podcast, a web show, a meet up, I want to continue sharing this journey with others.
You are not alone. Let’s talk. Let’s create art and community for healing. We must continue to allow ourselves to be seen as we fight the forces that wish for us to stay hidden in the shadows of society.
With love and hope,