Some of you may know I have 2 children.
My oldest son Dallas is 28. I don’t talk about him often because I don’t know how to.
You see, for 18 years he was my everything. We grew up together. Most days he was my reason for waking up. He was my purpose for being alive. I am forever indebted to Dallas as he was the first mirror that opened my heart and showed me what Unconditional Love was.
I, like every mother dreamed of my son growing old and finding love. I imagined all the ways he would change the world for the better.
That is, until that night about 10 years ago when my heart was broken beyond repair. There was a knock at my door. Never would I have imagined that awaiting me on the other side was the very thing that could shatter my soul and rip out whatever foundation I thought I had.
A few weeks earlier my son, Dallas had left my home after his graduation party. We had, had a fight after I caught him passed out in his car, the engine running, with drug paraphernalia. With my other son, just 9 years old at the time, I insisted that he never bring that stuff near our home again. He, being stubborn and armed with a pocket full of graduation money, chose to leave.
I don’t think I have ever cried as hard as I did on that day. There he was, holding a giant, black, garbage bag filled with clothes and random items. I was curled in a ball on the bathroom floor when he found me. In an effort to console me, he laid next to me on the floor, hugged me and said, “Don’t worry mom. Everything is going to be ok.”
Then he left.
When I opened my door weeks later, I saw someone who looked like my son. He knew who I was and recognized our home. But, he was different, so very different. He was paranoid, delusional and seeing things that weren’t there. He didn’t understand how to do simple tasks like use a bathroom. He would launch into incoherent rants and mumble to himself about death and fire.
Panicking, I jumped into mom mode. I managed to get him into the car and in the name of love I faced one of my greatest fears. As a survivor of drug addicts and their unreliable behavior while under the influence I knew that I was not safe. Next to me in the passenger seat wearing my son’s skin, was in that moment a very dangerous person. He was essentially a stranger who was paranoid and stuck in survival mode with no grasp of reality.
I was relieved when we arrived at the hospital and he was admitted. I was sure that they would be able to make it all better. That they would give me my son back. The nurse escorted him to a room with cameras so that he could be observed at all times. I watched the monitor as they drew his blood to test it. Then I waited for the results. I needed to know what mind-altering substance he had ingested. I needed to hear that he would be okay as he had promised. When I received the results of the test, I was shocked to hear that the substance that had sent my son into what the doctors were calling a Cannibis-induced psychosis was THC- otherwise known as marijuana.
It took several days for him to even reach a point of intermittent coherence. And as of today I have never seen that boy, the one that laid on the floor with me in the bathroom assuring me that it would all be ok, again.
I am writing this in hopes of informing you of the dangers in THC. I do believe that Marijuana can be a medicine. In fact, there was a time in my life when I needed Marijuana as a crutch. I’m not sure I could have made it through some of the trauma in my childhood without it. We all get sick from time to time and often when we get sick medicine becomes necessary. My fear is that Marijuana has been glorified as something that people should use as a tool to awaken or become more spiritual instead of being view as it was intended. We are seeing it intermingled with yoga (a practice that stands on its own in its ability to heal and bring contentment, joy and well-being). We must start having the conversation around the risks of the medicine. Marijuana, like any medicine has it’s side-effects and dangers.
My son is not alone. The emergency rooms are being bombarded with Cannibis- induced psychosis these days. Many people who never would have tried Marijuana before are doing it now without the proper precautions and paranoid delusions, depression, schizophrenia are on the rise. People are finding their loved ones, spouses and children in confusion and delirium where Marijuana is the culprit. The risk is increasing as the potency is increasing and it continues to be promoted, advertised and hailed as the cure to everything with no mention of these side effects.
Side effects of Cannabis are not limited to the above mentioned. A few more of the many side effects of marijuana are panic attacks, elevated heart rate, paranoia, depression and for mundane tasks to become increasingly overwhelming. Even sporadic use, just occasionally can aggravate these reactions because Marijuana stays in the system for a very long time after use.
Marijuana was my crutch and I am thankful it was there for me. However, the day I found Yoga I didn’t need my crutch any more. Yoga is the medicine.
I would imagine every one of us has a Dallas in their life and yet somehow we are not talking about it. I see this as an epidemic and as we are faced with this incredible culture of fear right now we all need to bond together and re-align with something higher and greater.