Dave from Manchester tells his story and explains how cannabis changed his life for the better after suffering with anxiety, depression and agrophobia but now has ambitions to leave the UK to escape the laws that prevent him from accessing the medicine he needs. “Suddenly it was as though the world made sense”
I’ve lived on my own since I was 16, not through any choice of my own. My best friend drowned whilst out swimming when I was 15 years old, and I self imploded. My mind was troubled and any positivity towards the future went out the window, but, I didn’t know how to tell anyone so my frustration built up inside leaving my family afraid of me when all I really needed was support. As a result I have been alone, at least in my mind, for the last 9 years and have never had the confidence to reach out to people.
Hi, my name is Dave. I live in Manchester and have suffered with devastating depression, anxiety, and agoraphobia for the best part of 7 years. I isolated myself to the confines of my living room, unable to handle the thought of leaving my house for even the simplest amenities. I was always confident in the fact that I loved being alive, but things stagnated, I became lonelier and my health, both physical and mental, was dwindling at the age of 21. I had serious thoughts about killing myself and my ability to love just being alive was frittering away. Hope came when I went to the doctors and was diagnosed as anxious and depressed and as a result was prescribed citalopram. This seemed to help for a few weeks but did not continue to do so. I was then given something slightly stronger, something that worked and then quickly stopped working. Finally i was prescribed the “best” medicine, they also offered me Beta Blockers but I refused because they have warnings for asthmatics so I instantly developed a fear of them. The NHS has been helping me get back on track with therapy and nurses but the process is ridiculously long.
In the later part of 2012, having been in a pretty destructive relationship which had me back in suicidal modes of thought, I decided to throw myself into something that was very interesting to me. The beauty of the cannabis plant and the “difficulty” of growing it was enough of a distraction, so I went through a process of learning how to grow it the cheapest way. I wanted the end result of a healthy plant and nothing more, but with time and research all the positives of cannabis became increasingly obvious. While I had set out merely wanting to challenge myself, I found many North Americans promoting the use of cannabis for my problems. I was willing to give it a try so I exhausted all my contacts (mother, cat, and sister) and luckily I was able to get a hold of a clearly sativa haze for my first try. Suddenly it was as though the world made sense; it was a little unnerving but after the first 20 minute rush of endorphins I was high and my mind started coming up with solutions to all my problems.
The first step I took was breaking up with my girlfriend which was the most empowering moment I had felt in the 7 years previous. It blew my mind, so the first thing I did was research the shit out of any possible strains for my issues. I decided to go with Dinafem Seeds’ Original Amnesia Auto for its positive description and its sativa dominance; I also took into account how energetic sativas will and can make you, so I bought one Auto Bubbleicious seed to mellow me out and help ease into sleep but was unaware it was also a sativa dominant strain. I decided to grow them out and ended up with about the smallest amount anyone has grown but the amnesia was like a slap in the face. It hit me calmly and built up to a point where my brain would be able to focus and think clearly – it was though someone had lit a light inside my eyes – the world brightened up and I felt normal for once. I could do tasks that previously would have made me implode, sinking deeper into depression. It was like the movie Limitless, I felt the fog clear again as it did when I had smoked the unknown haze.
My intentions were clear from the start, I have never been so happy about being in a normal state of mind so my goal was to keep myself on a schedule where I could pull off about half an ounce a week, but the fear of being persecuted by the police and publically humiliated in newspapers has squandered my ability to help myself. I’m still waiting on cognitive behavioural therapy from the NHS that I have been waiting for since the start of this year. I understand that I need the help but I can’t have a life of any quality, once again burdened with the inability to control my thoughts – I feel I’m rapidly slipping down the hole again.
I have always understood that some people don’t want anything to do with cannabis and I’m all for people who don’t use it, that’s a choice that I need to respect so I smoke only in my own home and I make sure the smoke is absorbed by the house before opening my windows for fresh air. What I cannot understand is, if I pay for every aspect of my use and keep it completely private and unnoticeable, why I have to cater to the law and give my wellbeing and any the hope of living a life of any quality over to a system where I have to wait for months between sessions of help. I’m saddened by the lack of care and compassion our government have towards medicinal users.
To me even recreational use is a great thing; I can get “loaded”, sit in the middle of my floor and listen to music or go for a walk in the local forests and listen to nature. I have the occasional binge on a kebab or chinese if I smoke an indica but I prefer to sleep when I’m indica stoned. Sativas are the key to opening up my mind and venturing into life with a better mindset.
So, my point to all this is I’m a decent responsible adult who only wants to use this plant to help me live the life everyone strives for, without it I’m unable to think clearly and my focus will always go back to keeping my mind out of my mind. I would never need to profit from selling it or giving it away, although I’d much rather be able to grow for someone who needs the help of this plant than make a single penny from it. I can’t drink alchohol because it’s utter crap and does nothing for me. I strive to maintain a healthy diet, eating 90% of my food raw. I have aspirations of leaving this country for the simple fact that I feel it’s my only choice to receive the private care and medicine I deserve and need, and it only takes 3 months and some sunlight. The only risk in the position I find myself is being forced out of my door by the police, humiliated publically and then charged with a crime that does not cause a single harm or infraction on another person’s life. Cannabis is safe when it isn’t grown out of greed. True profit derives from the health of fellow humans, not the misery that this law causes!
If you have a story to tell about how cannabis has improved your life or aided in your recovery please send it into us to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will consider publishing it on the site. If you have anything to say about Daves story please leave a comment below.