18 year old me after basic training at Fort Leonard Wood.
I served two tours while enlisted in the United States Army in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. As a result to my deployments I was diagnosed with Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, better known as PTSD.
Being deployed to a combat zone, it puts a real pressure on your sanity. You deal with consistent explosions both near and far, culture shock that has no limits, and loneliness beyond dispare.
I always like to explain a deployment to my civilian friends like this. "It's like prison only you get to eat better." I don't think I'm far off either. You are infused into an environment where your gang will either make or break you. To add, you are constantly on guard, and encompassed by uparmored vehicles or prison constantein wire surrounding your living quarters. If you leave that "wire" you will be shot.
It goes without saying that in those living quarters you are told when to eat, sleep, shit, and work. And the work is, of course, paid slave wages.
I only say this to explain a mind set in which a soldier enters when he is surrounded in war. It's a mindset that once one obtains it can become almost like an addiction in where the withdrawals can become the hallusantions of an action from the past. It's a mindset that is habit forming at best and mind altering at worst.
Well, "Big Pharma" without a doubt loves war I can guarantee it. By my six month being back from iraq I was taking 27 pills a day. Half of those were to make sure I wasn't on guard duty with my personally owned weapon in front of my apartment complex again.
I've seen it left and right. A pill for this and a pill for that. Only numbing the pains and the regrets of conflicting morality rather than find alternatives to creat coping capabilities.
I want to point out here that being diagnosed with PTSD did not mean that I was crazy. The wires in my head were not misfiring at all. I was blocked emotionally and had no way to relieve myself of what I continued to play on repeat. For me I had a burden of guilt. And no reasoning done by a chemically created pill could ever influence me the way that it should be able to.
I was forced into therapy again when I was admitted to the 9th floor of Beaumont hospital in El paso Texas. For the next 3 weeks I met some other soldiers there and we would have 5-6 hour conversations about what crazy shit our prescriptions where doing to us. Some of the other guys there where so comotized that they couldn't engage in conversation with themselves if they wanted to.
The number one subject we would fantasize about was marijuana. We all smoked weed in the military even though it was illegal. One of the guys mentioned that he had read an article where medical cannabis can treat PTSD. our jaws dropped and our mouths salivated. But we all knew the propaganda and knew there was no way for it to be legal for soldiers.
About two months later I was chaptered out of the military, for reasons that I am still trying to upgrade my discharge for, but I never forgot our conversations for the course of those three weeks. It left an indent in me more than any psychiatrist words ever did.
My first day out of the hospital I had a field grade article 15 to adhere too where I was restricted to the barricks with extra duty and half pay. The extra duty ended up holding post at the batallion HQ where they had a computer with internet access, and I did my research. I researched into what was being said about marijuana and it's effects of PTSD. Both for military reasons and civilian reasons.
Here are some sources for you to look into now. I would be lying if I posted studies I found from almost 8 years ago. I have no idea which ones they were now.
There is a common trend that you will see in many of the studies that you will find. Marijuana unlike pills does not cover over symptoms of PTSD. Instead it provides a safer, relaxing way to identify what it is that you deal with from a different point of view. A view that one can obtained from a place of zen if you will. A mind of content within the present.
That night I took what change I had and made some calls. My first joint that night was that with a mission. Smoke and think rather than just smoke to chill. That night I wish I could say was my revelation but I would be a liar as well if I said it was. The revelation was over the course of the next week.
Where my week would consistent of life manipulating strategies to avoid certain smells, noises, and sights, I found myself now in a moment if ignorance. Not ignorant as to the existence of the world around me. Instead I was now ignorant to why I cared in the first place to ignore most of what would normally bother me. It was not full proof. I still had mental slips but not nearly as much as before I smoked that joint. Over time my tolerance became greater and my intake increased as normal.
If it we're a pill I was reffering too this next issue would be that of overdose, but instead what I am talking of is a herb as natural to this Earth as the air in which we breath. You cannot overdose on marijuana. It may feel like it at some point but it will not happen. What will come into play with the increase in usage is the increase in cost.
However, we now have the ability to grow that in which this country was founded on. Cannabis!!! Today a seed can be found for the cost of a dime bag and grown at the cost of natural dirt and water.
So we have an alternative to pills for PTSD right? We have studies from respectable sources that show this wonder drugs ability to cure almost anything in one form or another. But why still federally illegal? Could it be possible that the condition is the desire of big pharma to get rich and stay rich.
After all, this completely 100% all natural medicine is affordable to the poor, grown quickly, easily mass produced, and costs next to nothing to grow.
I argue with experience that this medicine provides an avenue to heal the broken hearted. It is not only my hope, it is my plea that this medicine makes it into the hands of every suffering combat veteran across the world of both allies and enemies.
After all the suicide rate for veterans is out of control and this may be a way of bringing people back to a rational reality. I know it did for me. It's been 8 years since my last deployment and things have calmed down a great deal in my life.
I still know my exits in all buildings. I still check the creases if pockets for the siloettes of weapons and bombs. I still check roof tops and I still Hoover the center of my car when I drive down the road.
None of this is a problem in my oppinion. I think I am one up on many who would become a possible victim in these crazy times. The only difference for me now compared to 8 years ago is that it's not anxiety that drives me to doing this, it is curiosity and saftey that causes me to do this. Techniques that drive me to be safer than your average Joe.
Not a day goes by where I don't think of my time over there. Nor does time go by where I don't reflect on those guys who had my back in the worst time of my life.
For a Side Note.
The very purpose of this article was for a steem page with a contest about a personal natural medicine story.
I only found it yesterday, but you too can find it today @naturalmedicine. There you will find many story's from people like this.
My entry would never be to boast myself but rather this story, I hope, will boost someone elses life for the better.