HiBnb’s “Read Hi” section is pleased to announce we have joined forces with eccentric, iconoclastic cannabis influencer and social media guru Jacqui Childs for the column, “Higher Living with Jacqui Childs.” The column will be about… whatever Jacqui feels like addressing, which can run the gamut from stories about her strange relationships to her position on mental health in the Western world to her favorite travel spots and why. In her second column, Jacqui writes about how her declining mental health forced her to start taking a regular regimen of prescription drugs and how she longs to return to a cannabis-only health regimen. If you missed it, don't forget to check out the first Higher Living with Jacqui Childs column, "Blame It on My Father-In-Law."
Jacqui Childs' Cannabis Corner
Everyone knows I’m a big cannabis advocate. I wasn’t always that way, but then I realized that it totally wasn’t the dangerous, taboo drug I was warned about. It's a beautiful plant that allows me to feel these spiritual energies and makes me more aware of what's was going on. I get more insightful and less distracted by all the noise.
There was a time when cannabis saved me. It eased me out of my depression and calmed my anxiety. That was all great and that’s the way I always wanted it to be. But then when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, all my energies were disturbed and I became completely unbalanced. I was struggling with bipolar episodes – these terrible mood swings – and I couldn’t get out of bed for the longest time.
I don’t mean a week or two. I stayed in bed for six months. I literally couldn’t drag myself out, which was something that had never happened to me before. I had always been a get-up-and-face-the-day kind of girl, and the transformation was alarming.
I thought I might just need a change of scenery and that I would be okay.
My husband and I went to Jamaica. I stayed in bed. When I was awake I felt so much pain and sadness. I was so emotional, but I couldn’t express it verbally or vent my energy with therapy or exercise -- or weed. I just cried and went back to sleep.
My mental health problems were worse than ever. It seemed like Covid-19 sucked the life out of everything and sometimes I felt like it was the end of the world. My depression got worse. I felt like I wanted to die, but I didn’t have the energy to kill myself. Okay, that’s a little dramatic. I don’t think I was ever that far gone. But when my doctors saw what I mess I had become, they convinced me to go back on regular pharmaceuticals. It wasn’t anything crazy like the stuff they give to schizophrenics and sociopaths. Mostly, it was run-of-the-mill antidepressants and anxiety meds that a lot of people you know are on, anyway. They just never tell you.
But now I find I’m stuck on these mood-altering pills that keep me in this hazy middle ground. Most of the time, I’m not exactly depressed and I’m not happy, I’m just there in this fog. Everything feels like it’s filtered. The bad stuff is gone and the real happiness is hard to reach, and that leaves me in a really weird place. Sometimes, I’m completely functional and sometimes I burst out in tears for no reason. I don’t know if it’s the pharmaceuticals that are making me like that or if it’s the coronavirus and the war in Ukraine and this merry-go-round of hostility from every direction.
I think that’s the problem with benzodiazepines like Ativan and Xanax. You feel unhinged so you take them and you feel better right away. But the longer you’re on them, the more you have to take to make them work. And then you get to this point where you’re all stressed out and anxious so you take a pill and you feel better.
But you don’t know if being off the Xanax before you took it again was what was making you feel like shit in the first place because you’ve become chemically dependent on it. And you don't know if it really is your mental illness that's making you unstable and without taking the drug you'd spiral into a tailspin.
You don’t know, but you become a slave to it because if you don’t take it you just want to crawl back in bed and cry. That's what I'm struggling with now. It discourages me because for four years I was off everything. I was just using cannabis and I felt better than ever.
These days, I wake up in the morning and I reach for my medication and panic for a split second. I always say to my husband, “What happens if we're stuck on a desert island and there’s no one to prescribe medication? What am I going to do?”
“When are we going to be stuck on a desert island?" he replies, then smiles warmly.
I smile back, but I’m still really concerned about the way the pharmaceutical industry pumps out these pills by the millions and doctors fill one prescription pad after another, rewarding them to patients for their (hopefully) good behavior as if they’re kids getting boxes of candy for staying quiet on a long car ride.
I’ve started what I hope will be a return to an all-cannabis wellness regimen. For now, though, I’m still taking my prescribed medication as well. Most of the time, I’m okay with that. But sometimes in conversations, I get stuck, like someone hit a pause button in my brain, and I choke on my words. I’ve never been the kind of person who’s ever at a loss for words, so I know I’m still not completely back to normal, but I’m working on it as if anyone can even really define what normal is.
I’m counting the days until it’s all cannabis, all the time again. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not that bong rip girl who’s always stoned out of her mind. I’m more into the spirituality and health aspects of the plant. And I’m completely in love with the culture of cannabis. Some of the coolest, nicest, and smartest people I’ve ever met are immersed in the scene and whenever I feel confused or lost, they’re the ones that help me regain my balance. I’m so lucky I’ve found them and I’m forever grateful.
About the Writer
Jacqui Childs is an award-winning social media personality, cannabis & mental health advocate, podcast host, author, published writer, and more. Her story has inspired people from all across the world to embrace their inner warrior and to live a life that is full of purpose. You can find Jacqui interviewing industry trailblazers on the Green Room Podcast, spreading kindness on social media, and appearing at your favorite cannabis-oriented events.