Cannabis for Moms? Emphatically yes!
Cannabis naturally makes you a little nicer. It softens the edges of your feelings, and gives more space to feel them. This is why it’s such a great tool for transformation. Last week I wrote about why cannabis pairs so well with meditation. It makes it easier to settle your mind, and it helps you feel more self-love and compassion.
Cannabis began to heal my heart and body without me even trying. But once I started going through my coaching program at the Functional Cannabis Coaching Institute, the level of transformation in my own life was staggering. I entered the program with a wish to help other depressed moms with cannabis. And that wish has strengthened into a life-altering purpose. Cannabis is medicine, and the help it can offer moms is just tremendous. Here’s why:
I’d love to talk more about this with you! My one-hour breakthrough calls are free and fun. We’ll talk about what’s going on for you, and what you’d like your life to look like. I’ll answer your questions, and we can feel each other out and see if we’re a good fit.
There is nothing to lose, lady.
It’s my life’s work to support YOU on your journey back to wellness.
I’ve been studying this awesome free MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) course, and what I’m learning is blowing my mind. Particularly about how neuroscientists have been able to prove and measure the benefits that a mediation practice can have on the brain.
According to Shauna Shapiro PhD, we all have a happiness set point. This means that we all stay pretty much at our personal baseline level of happiness no matter what happens. Her example was, whether you become a paraplegic or win the lottery, after about a year your level of happiness returns back to your baseline. There is scientific evidence that you won’t be happier even if you have all the money you want. Let that sink in.
Another study measured the activities in the prefrontal cortex that are associated with happiness. A group of participants who had no meditation experience were measured before and after 3 months of daily practice, and their brains were showing more of those positive brain activities. The take away here is that meditation can literally make you happier, and that’s fucking awesome.
But it’s hard, right? You sit down and your monkey brain is hopping all over the place and you start feeling like a total failure and you give up. This is why cannabis and meditation are a match made in heaven. Cannabis helps you to relax and focus. It makes it easier to think positively and be kind and compassionate with yourself. It just puts you in such a good place to meditate. Not every single time, but generally. So give it a try, friends! I especially like this app. Do the Learn to Meditate in 7 Days class. Commit to 10 minutes a day. Let me know what you think!
Do you have experience with medicated meditation? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve had depression all my life. Through my teens and twenties I would get sick for a few months at a time but most of the time I was okay. But as I got into my late twenties I really started losing it. I didn’t even realize it at the time. I had moved to a new city and started college and I thought it was those circumstances that I was struggling with. I was sick for six years. I coped with isolation, alcohol, and binge eating. I didn’t seek help because I didn’t know I was sick. I hid in my apartment and drank, unable to have relationships because I was so, so ashamed.
I never sought help until after my first baby was born. I couldn’t isolate myself and drink with a newborn, and I went totally off the rails. I couldn’t function, and I was terrified for my baby.
My first psychiatrist prescribed Lexapro. It literally changed me back into my old self overnight. I knew we planned to get pregnant again soonish, so I asked my doctor if the medication was safe during pregnancy, and did I need to wean off She said no, which I can tell you from personal experience is not the case. I got pregnant again, stopped the meds cold-turkey, and went completely bat shit in two days. I don’t know about you guys, but losing my mind scares the shit out of me. And though the experience turned me off to the drugs, I was wayy to freaked out to stop. So I started back up, and everything was awesome, until my daughter was born. I felt that numb disconnect creeping back in, and went back to the same doctor, who doubled my Lexapro and added Wellbutrin. It worked, but I had to wean my daughter from breastfeeding in one week because I was no longer taking a dose safe for infants. This upset me a lot, and I wondered if I could expect the medication to stop working again in the future. When I asked about it my doctor told me I needed to focus on getting better. Seriously.
So that’s what I did. I continued taking the pills and hoped for the best.
I believe SSRIs saved my life. But I’m also sickened by how easily they are prescribed, and how difficult they are to stop taking.
I did not intend to stop, ever. But after doing some reading, I learned that the effects of long-term use isn’t well documented, since the drugs themselves are too new. And I honestly felt like I had turned a corner in my life and was ready to try again, without drugs. So after 5 years on the drug I started a long and slow process of coming off Lexapro. I spoke to my doctor, who was totally supportive. The entire process took 3 months, I had very few side effects, and I’m honestly not sure if they were related to withdrawal or not. I read some horror stories about Lexapro withdrawal (brain zaps!?), which is why I chose such a gradual process. The two books I found most helpful were:
A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies and Reclaim Their Lives, by Kelly Brogan, MD.
The Antidepressant Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and “Addiction” by Joesph Glenmullen, MD
Cannabis has been instrumental in this whole process. It helped me a stop drinking, which was certainly exacerbating my depression.
It makes me feel amazing; every speck of beauty in the world shines like a diamond. It helps me be more self-aware. I notice how my body feels. It gives me space with my feelings, so I can calmly deal when shit gets crazy. And finally, it has really enhanced my meditation practice. Or, more accurately, I meditate now because cannabis makes it easier. And that daily practice is rewiring my mind to be more peaceful and positive. I use this app. I love it.
Now I’m totally off Lexapro, and plan to start weaning off the Wellbutrin in a few weeks. I’ll keep you updated.
Also stay tuned for my Mama’s Guide to Microdosing which I’ll be giving away free to subscribers.
Have you found cannabis helpful for your depression?
Let me know about your experiences in the comments!
How did I get Here?
I’ve asked myself this so many times. I was a happy, thin, free lady. How am I actually sitting here right now on a mysteriously damp sofa next to a laundry basket full of shit that I don’t even want to fold because the owners of those clothes are just going to throw them all over the floor anyway.
How did I become trapped in this futility?
I got pregnant on purpose at 33. I did prenatal yoga. I avoided all the foods. I carefully thought out and planned my beautiful natural birth. I was prepared. But when my son arrived all of my confidence disappeared. I realized I had no idea how to take care of an infant. And as the weeks at home slid by, my thoughts got darker.
Am I a slave now?
Is this the meaning of my life?
At six months postpartum I ceased being able to function and saw a psychiatrist. I started taking an SSRI and things got a lot better.
(Since I had been diagnosed with depression before having kids my official diagnosis was “Adjustment Disorder”. As in, I was having trouble adjusting to motherhood. This infuriated me, and still does.)
But the loss of my independence didn’t get easier. I resented it. Here I had a beautiful baby that I loved so much, painfully much, and I felt resentful of him. I felt trapped. My back hurt horribly from holding him and trying to get him to latch. I was hardly sleeping. How had this a become my life? I was raised by a hard working feminist mom. Now I was a mush-brained baby-feeder. I felt like my identity had been taken away from me.
I felt so much rage.
And so I drank. A LOT. Eventually I replaced alcohol with weed (which is SO common, isn’t it, ladies?) And started finding myself again.
After a couple of years, I had a daughter, and I began to get motherhood. To feel some confidence in my mothering. I found a loving support system. And as cannabis helped me heal my mind and body, I grew! I grew into a totally new, better version of childless me.
And I found my purpose. To lead other mothers from the darkness. From the unshowered, exhausted, emptiness, to The Life She Wants.
To normalize our problems so we don’t feel alone and ashamed. I joke that my icebreaker when I meet new moms is to confess that I’m incontinent and I love weed. It used to feel so shameful to me. But speaking about it normalizes it.
And sure, some moms judge me. But whatever. I understand where that comes from, too.
I’ll be honest. You’re going to have to take it, ladies. No one is going to give it to you. Your family will probably protest. But you have got to carve out a space for you in your family. As someone other than a caretaker. You will have to create and defend your boundaries. There will be confrontations. You will disappoint those you love. But as you grow into beautiful you, it will all be worth it. All of you will benefit. Your children will grow into healthy adults whose expectations will not further this antiquated, bullshit idea that women care for everybody, while men are free to pursue their ambitions without equal responsibility for the home and family.
This industry is so full of love and sisterhood.
Moms and weed are meant to be.
Let’s shout it from the rooftops and normalize that shit so we can all feel great and be better moms. It’s gonna sound cheesy, but wouldn’t it be amazing if this is the beginning of an age of women? I’ve never seen women rise up and love one another like this at any point in my life so far. It makes me so happy and hopeful. I hope that we are done sacrificing ourselves for our partners and children. We are done allowing our boundaries to be disrespected. We need to heal. And join together. And rise up!
I am Jessica DaCosta, I'm a proud cannabis enthusiast, advocate, and mom of two.