Legal Note: You must be of legal age, or have a medical dispensation to use cannabis in your area. The information here is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional and is only intended for educational purposes from one patient to others.
End of Disclaimer
I grew up in the recovery community. By “Grew up” I mean I spent my 20s being surrounded with people who were on various ends of the spectrum when it came to drug and alcohol addiction.
I tried all the programs, and in both insincere and sincere ways I did the steps, and I realized two things:
- The Recovery Steps are super powerful for figuring out your shit
- Entirely because of the kind of abuse that I experienced, the recovery rooms were not the place for me, largely because so many of the people in them, were the same kinds of people that abused me.
I had to step out on my own, and it took me a really long time to find cannabis, and actually healing, and while I won’t say that I am 100% healed, I will say that I am a hell of a lot better now than I was in my 20s, and Cannabis was only a small part of that.
For the better part of the last five years, I have been mostly stoned. I wrote my book stoned, I found my tribes stoned, and I discovered that I have access to seemingly impossible talents and abilities, because I started using cannabis.
Cannabis is not for everyone.
A bit like Tylenol in that way, just because it exists, doesn’t mean that it’s going to solve every single problem and make all the pain go away.
Our bodies, very much like computers, are finely tuned instruments at birth, some our bodies need a little bit of extra help at birth, and some of us get worn down as we age, cannabis is designed to work with our bodies, but again, not every body is the same, and not every single cultivar or strain will work with every single body.
There are days when I am stoned all day every day, and it’s because I need to feel every bit of the cannabis working through me. Sometimes because I am anxious, or nauseous, and other times because I am scared to my bones due to trauma and the cannabis helps to realign the fear particles in my brain.
Now, there are very few studies about whether or not people with addictions can benefit from the use of cannabis, but I know this:
In my twenties I was an untrained mental health advocate trying to get people into recovery and watching one after another die, or overdose, again, and again, and again. I lost a lot of really good friends to their addictions because I refused to lie for them, and because they chose their addictions over our friendships.
Cannabis helps to keep me accountable. For a very long time I have been talking about how my house is a mess, while I still have a very, very long way to go, I also have been working this weekend to at least get the work started.
I realized that if I want to help other people get their lives back, then I have to remember that cannabis is a tool, it’s not the cure.
That means that I check in with my friends at home and abroad, it means that when I need to lean, I let myself lean, and when I need to support others, I make time for that too.
It wasn’t until after I started this healing Cannabis course, that I decided that I wanted Stay Lifted Sis to be something different than Comfortably, Uncomfortable, Conversations. I wanted and needed laughter, I wanted and needed to speak to others who are experiencing the healing effects of cannabis, without the shame and guilt of the stigma that comes with using cannabis.
If you are dealing with addictions, and you’ve decided to use cannabis, here are some tips from someone who has a lot of years of working with people who have dealt with the worst, and best, levels of addiction:
- Have a support system in place BEFORE you start using cannabis. A doctor, some friends, and some close family members who support you are absolutely imperative to success.
- Get over the stigma: If you’re going to use cannabis while dealing with your addictions, then be honest about it, because lying is a part of the behavior you displayed when you were sick with your addiction, you’re healing now, you don’t need to lie anymore.
- Find healthy ways to let out the trauma. If you’re dealing with an addiction, chances are 100% high, that your addiction, in it’s fullness, stems from trauma. You are going to need to find ways to deal with those issues, here are some ideas:
- Breakrooms: Go pay the 15 dollars and break some stuff, and focus your pain on what you are breaking.
- Dancing: Dancing helps releases negative energy, and you don’t have to be the world’s best dancer, to dance in your living room.
- Painting, drawing, getting tattoos, (or giving them), all outlets for expression when the English, (or French, or German, or Iranian) won’t work. Great ways to talk about how you are feeling, without talking about how you are feeling.
- Exercise – back in the rooms everyone around me SWORE by the gym, they were all seriously insane, (they should all be committed), they were wrong, BUT I mean if you LIKE working out instead of eating Twinkies, go for it…I guess.
- Nature walks are amazing. Especially if you can take your shoes off and feel the grass and the mud between your toes. Cannabis is a plant, and witches everywhere will tell you that smoking a herb, or sipping on tea made from it, will connect your body, mind, and spirit TO the earth, which in of herself, has healing properties.
- Water: Showers when you’re stoned are also really amazing, not just because of the water element, but because of how you’re connected to the earth through the smoke, and the water through the shower. That’s 3 out of five elements, and that’s powerful majick.
- Keep to a routine.
When I first started smoking cannabis, everything hurt soooo bad, the trauma ran so deep that the pain was physically sewn into my soul, and some days it still feels like it is. Smoking every day all day helped to alleviate the pain, so that I could focus on creating something.
50-60 Paintings, drawing, drumming on my legs, whatever I could do to get rid of the negative energy that had wrapped it’s way out of me was done, until I decided after a lot of thought, to create this website.
Y’all know how that went down already, but what you don’t know is that I did a lot of this by myself. Sure there were lots of people watching, but they weren’t really helping, even though they thought they were.
You see, I’m not just Devon J Hall, I’m also “Jonquil’s Daughter,” and I am not joking when I say that for years that felt like a job title. I was ALWAYS introduced as “Devon, (comma) Jonquil’s Daughter,” and I mean EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. I KNEW, would say my name like that. As if being HER daughter, excused my reason for being wherever I was.
Cannabis helped me to remember that “I” am a whole person, outside of my mom’s existence, it helped me find a place and create a space where “I” could exist, without caring about how it affects the people in my real life.
Largely because this site isn’t “famous” people don’t know me as “The Loud Mouth Brown Girl,” and those who do rarely mention it. My mom certainly doesn’t, and not because she isn’t proud, but because it has nothing to do with her.
I have an entire life now that revolves around being the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, it’s not just a blog to me, it’s the culmination of nearly 5 years of me keeping on, even though I have plenty of reasons that would justify my deciding, that I no longer wanted to be here.
Recently I told someone that I was scared, because I see all these very huge monumental challenges that I am going to have to face, like everyone in this industry before me.
And then it hit me: There is not a single challenge that I cannot overcome. Looking back at all of my trauma, looking back at all the horrible, awful, and outright evil events, that made me who I am, brought me to this place where I now have to slay dragons instead of demons. I have graduated.
And I know this, because as I was writing this, three little Black kids knocked on my door to ask if I could donate money for their Terry Fox Run. I don’t have any money, (duh), and I flashed back to when that was me and LB (Little Brother), asking people for Terry Fox Run donations. That hit me like a ton of bricks.
It was what you call a full circle moment, now I am here, writing this post, encouraging others to believe that Cannabis is not a drug, it’s a medicine.
Drugs eat at your skin, and your brain. They take portions of your life, and destroy what could have been, by forcing you to believe that your only purpose on this planet is to feed the addiction, by feeding the darkness.
Drugs make you rob people, because you need to get your next fix. They make you destroy the lives of those around you, because better to ask forgiveness, then permission, right? They force you to tell lies, so that you do not become a disappointment, so that you don’t have to face up to the crimes you committed when you were loaded.
Drugs, specifically, destroy everything you could be, by showing you all the things you might have been, and telling you that you are not good enough.
Cannabis does the opposite of that, for me at least. It calms the fear sector in my brain, it allows me to see the world, the universe, and many dimensions that other’s cannot fathom. Which is probably why it’s my not so secret dream to be a fiction writer one day.
There are things, people, and places, that I would never have encountered, if not for Cannabis, and not a single one of them, was because I did what other people wanted me to do. My whole life, like the lives of many people who use cannabis or had hard drug addiction issues, was once filled with people telling me how to live, and who to be.
And in spite of them all, I get to be the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, who is telling you all, that if you are going to use cannabis, you better be prepared for your entire life to shift.
I don’t talk to any of the people in my past, and there are a great many of them, that I never want to see again, not because I am mean or cruel, but because I am not the person that they knew, and the idea of explaining to them, who I am now, is exhausting.
Every single person in my past used to tell me to use cannabis, but I waited until “I” was ready to make the choice, and unlike sex, that was a choice that I desperately NEEDED to control.
I wasn’t allowed to control when I “lost my virginity,” but I am allowed to decide that not a single sexual encounter of my past matters to me anymore.
For the first time in my life, as a girl, as a woman, educator, activist, ally, friend, sister, daughter, and every other word that means “human that doesn’t have a penis at birth,” I get to say that my body, mind, and soul, are mine, and mine alone, and I do NOT have to share them with any other living (or not living) creature in any universe, world, or dimension.
This is MY body, and the ONLY person who gets to decide what gets inserted inside of this body, is the person named Devon J Hall, aka ME, so to all of the people who read this post, who want to tell me that I am wrong, I ask you to consider this:
Who gets to decide who you share your body with? Who gets to decide whether or not you pick up a drink when you know you shouldn’t? Who gets to decide what food you consume? Who knows the body YOU were born into, better than you do?
Some days I feel like I have joined the “cult of Cannabis,” if I am being honest, but the truth of it is that my addiction was hiding my pain through lies, because it was simply easier than telling the truth, because I honestly believed that MY truth, was too unbelievable to believe.
Cannabis helped me tell all the lies that I needed to, to myself, and to others, while in private I could sort out the truth, in an attempt to find the closer I thought I needed.
Answering the door to those three beautiful little Black Angels, taught me that I am officially done with my past. It was a sign from the teachers that came before, that I am where “I” am meant to be.
That means that for the last few years I’ve been avoiding the people of my past because I didn’t want to face their judgement, or the shame they would try to dump on me, for not doing things the way THEY were doing things.
All I can say is that more than a few dozen times, I saw people NOT using cannabis, coming back year after year for a 1 year cake. And in the last five years, I’ve seen plenty of people using Cannabis to fight their addictions to harder and more dangerous drugs, leading happy successful lives, BECAUSE of cannabis.
I spent years wanting to be a business owner, an Entrepreneur, and now without a HS diploma, without a business degree, without the support of my local community, I am on my way to achieving that dream.
Cannabis has taught me that there is absolutely no challenge that I cannot face, and survive, including the trauma of my past. Cannabis helped me to find the little girl inside of me who believed in majick, who believed she couldn’t see a future, because abusers blinded her by trauma.
Now that I can see her, I can see other her. I can see the woman that I am growing into, and I am no longer afraid of her, instead I am ready to embrace whatever comes next, BECAUSE cannabis forced me to take an honest look at how far that I have come.
THAT ALL BEING SAID, You should NOT use cannabis if:
- You do not have an honest safe support system around you at the beginning of your new journey.
- You are not entirely 100% ready, to face whatever darkness that has been hiding beneath the bullshit of your past. By that I mean, you can’t just smoke cannabis and hope that it’s going to solve every problem.
You still have to clean your house, take care of your cats, make dinner, eat right, and take care of your ENTIRE self. These are things that I am still working on, but at least I can admit that without feeling ashamed that I am not where the rest of the world thinks that I should be.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
And for the record? Devon J Hall, is on her way to being the FIRST Mixed-Race, Female, Certified Cannabis Coach in Surrey, British Columbia. Ain’t no one can tell me that this is a bad thing.