One of the things that has always irked me about Doctors, is that they are so quick to chalk what I say up to sounding crazy, because they would rather believe that I am crazy, then believe that what I said happened to me, might have actually happened.

I have legitimately lost count of the number of times that I have been raped, sexually abused, and traumatized by men. The ease with which doctors ignore what I say and how I say things is frightening, because it leads me to believe that not only am I not alone, but that perhaps Doctors are just not listening to the stories of victims.

Recently I learned that I am going to be published in a magazine. On paper. Not just on the internet, but in a tangible form that people can actually hold onto, and touch.

That means that there are people in this world who not only believe that my stories matter, but other people will benefit from hearing my stories. That means there are people in this world who are genuinely interested in making sure that my voice is heard.

That must mean that my experience matters, which means that if my voice matters, then your voice must matter too, because I assure you I am absolutely no better than anyone else…there for all our voices must matter.

This is the logic of a stoned thirty-seven, almost thirty-eight year old, who honestly feels about five years old when she is surrounded by the women in her circle.

Ninety percent of the time that I am on Zoom calls it is someone from Budsista’s, or it is the women of EducanNation, that I am talking to, and every single time I am on a call with any of them, I am either stoned, or about to get stoned. I do not expect that this is going to change any time soon.

Now people who don’t know me, don’t know my friends, supporters, allies, interviewees, or anyone else that I talk to, might thing that being stoned all the time is abnormal.

But the thing is, the community that I am a part of is stoned, ALL the time, and we’re getting a ton of work done, in fact we’re kicking ass promoting and working together in teams or alone, in order to get the work done. And every single one of us is focused on doing whatever we can to inspire, help, teach, challenge, and push other people, to be better, stronger, wiser, smarter, and more educated.

I am not a college educated woman, and I can’t afford to take any of the cannabis courses that I’d like to take, but what I can do however, is share with the world, my experience. My experience has value, because as I have recently learned, there are women out there – and men for that matter – who have been involved in sex cults. Who have been viciously, violently, violated, at the hands of men and women, who decided that our consent didn’t matter to them.

There are people out there drowning in misery, asking me why I am not. Asking me why I get up every single day, even on days like today when I am not feeling so hot, to talk about my perspective of the world, and the answer is simple.

It’s because putting it up on the page, feels better than keeping it inside my head. Releasing what I’ve been through, sharing my story, and talking about my experiences helps other people sure, that’s important. But it’s not as important as the knowledge that writing it here means that other people are going to be able to change the way they think about trauma and abuse.

My Doctor would tell you that it’s not healthy for me to be stoned every day, right now she’s hoping that while I’ve had these months away from her, that I’ve taken the time to find a “real” job. She thinks that I am well enough to go back to work, but she’s wrong.

I am well enough to work yes, but I am not well enough to force myself to remain sober every single day, so that I can go to a job that I hate, which would take me away from the job that I love.

It is my belief that if you want anything in this world you have to be willing to give up everything that would distract you from that dream coming true. I believe that to my core, and thus I am okay with not applying to Walmart or the local cafe so that I can have actual money in my pocket.

You know why? because I would suck at those jobs, and I would be fired within a week, when people are forced to do shit they hate, they end up being miserable and that causes more problems. I have more than enough problems to deal with.

Every single day of my life, whether I want to be or not, I am reminded of what happened to me, and sometimes I find myself curling in a ball screaming silently about the emotional pain that I am experiencing. At least once a day I have to tell my own thoughts to fuck off, it’s exhausting work, and the only thing that pulls me away from enacting these episodes is talking about my experience here on this website, or on other platforms.

In March my essay Six Hundred Words, is going to be inside the pages of WHO Life Magazine, and they’re even sending me a copy so that I can see my first ever essay written inside a magazine. I am so excited, because no matter what happens, no one will ever be able to change the fact that “I” wrote those words, and hundreds of people are going to read them.

And then maybe they will start thinking about their own trauma, and maybe they’ll start finding creative ways to deal with their own pain. That’s the bonus, not the goal, and I say that because at the end of the day, you have to help yourself, before you can help anyone else.

One of the things that used to drive me nuts, was how many people would come in off the street, and then a year later they would start trying to help others as if they had been healed. It worked for some people, gave them a place to focus their energies and taught them how to stay sober, but it didn’t work for everyone, and that’s because healing takes time.

No matter what a Doctor, friend, partner, or parent says, you’re going to heal when you’re absolutely ready to heal, when you’re ready to say “yes it sucked, but I am ready to project that energy into something positive now.” And that time will come, when you are ready, and not one moment before.

I can easily understand how people end up on the streets after they develop a drug addiction, if I had chosen anything other than weed, there’s a very good chance I would have ended up there too, but I had my mom, and for all her faults, I can honestly say that she has always been there to lift me up when I’ve fallen…even when it felt like she was leaving me to suffer, she almost always met me halfway…almost.

Sometimes she left me to figure it out on my own, and that pissed me off a lot, but the truth is in those rare situations, there was almost never anything she could have done differently that would have changed the outcome. Which is annoying, because it means I can’t blame her as much as I’d like to.

I don’t know how often doctors in my area compare notes, but I do know that I am unlike any patient my doctor has had to deal with. I’ve written a book, and I’ve found a way to heal my own trauma, I’ve found a way to move on from what happened to me, even if people in my life keep trying to pull me backwards.

More importantly than any of that stuff, is the fact that I am moving forward, always. Every single day that I get up I am discovering something new about myself and using it to fuel my passion for my craft.

Recently I started the BIPOC Media Awards Facebook page, and I get to highlight some of the most amazing BIPOC artists in the world. When I wrote “Celebrating“, I didn’t realize that as much as I am proud of myself – and as a BIPOC Black woman, I should be, I was also subconsciously asking myself how I could “really” be a part of Black History.

Through this blog I have learned that I have a lot to contribute to the medical cannabis industry as a user of cannabis, and a patient of a psychiatrist, but through that process, I learned that I also want to contribute to the BIPOC community, and focusing on that blog is going to be a big part of that.

So tell me again that cannabis doesn’t help. Tell me again that I am psychotic because I say I was gang raped by a sex cult, tell me again that my experience matters less because a doctor has more paperwork about his education than I do.

And I’ll simply show me my website, and ask you how crazy I’ve sounded over the last four years, because I think I come across as a perfectly rational person, and last time I checked, I wasn’t the one claiming that Jewish billionaires were using space lasers to create forest fires in California.

I want my words on the Loud Mouth Brown Girl record, so that any girl or boy, who comes after me, can point to me and say “she did it, why can’t I?” My brother said this one night when he lied to my mom about eating the last cookie or something….she told he he couldn’t lie to her. I’d like that “why can’t I?” to be for a more positive reason.

Trust me when I tell you, it’s okay to tell people who tell you that their way is best for you, that they might in fact be completely wrong.

I know my mom wishes I had a real job that provided real constant money, but I am sure she’ll be pleased when I look down at her from the BIPOC Media Awards big stage and say “thanks mom.”

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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