Coming Out of the "Green Closet"

Surviving a disabling and life changing car accident was awesome.

The chronic pain, multiple surgeries and numerous pain pills that followed was my hell on earth. As I struggled to put my life back together, my doctors gave me large quantities of powerful pain medication. The drugs were taking its toll on my body.

My medical chart reads, "substance abuse" because I was honest about my weed usage. I don't drink alcohol or take any dangerous drugs but there it was as plain as day ... SUBSTANCE ABUSE.

One day, I just woke up and decided that this wasn't the path for me. I started to use marijuana to ease my suffering. What a difference! No matter how much I smoked, I didn't have that hungover drugged feeling or any of the misery associated with the pills. The only negative side effect was jail. I couldn't afford to buy marijuana, so I grew my own plants and made edibles and medicated butter. Louisiana is not a medical marijuana approved state so when the police came, I was arrested and faced five years in jail.

Me. A woman in her late thirties with no previous record was about to spend time behind bars. Had I kept taking drugs instead of medicating with marijuana, I might not be here to tell this story.

My parents don't even acknowledge my cannabis usage. My father refuses to even talk about weed. I've been honest about my marijuana usage but they immediately change the subject or get very quiet when I have enough courage to even mention my life changing decision.

Many things have happened to me after I came out of "the green closet" about my marijuana consumption. I've been ostracized by family and friends who stopped inviting me to functions because I am a crazy drug addict.

That's when the depression got worse. I just wanted to end my suffering. End my life. Everyday. Multiple times a day. Who would miss me? The truth was, I'd miss me. I missed being able to live and be happy. Cannabis has given me the strength and ability to walk my path with reduced pain. I've paid the price and have suffered enough. I found my inner peace and the strength to keep moving.

If anyone is out there and can relate to my pain, know that you are loved. Know that you are an amazing human being with the power to move mountains. Embrace your reflection. Kiss the mirror. Find yourself and own who you are destined to be.


For the last ten years I have been battling depression and bulimia. I've never said the words out loud to anyone. Ever. Not my husband, not my parents, not my best friend. I know they all know. How could they not? I always want to tell them. To thank them for getting me through it time and time again. For taking care of me and for loving me even when I was unable to take care of myself. I wouldn't be here writing this if it weren't for them. 

Thank you.

I love you.

I'm still here.

In My Past

I remember every single detail; I was nine.

About seven months prior, my parents gathered us in the living room and made an announcement: we were going to have a sister. I crawled off the couch, put my head in my mom's lap, and cried. I'd never been happier or more filled with hope.

Would she have dark hair like me? What would her voice sound like? Is she already alive somewhere else, just waiting to be born?

Those seven months flew by, and one day my parent's called another family meeting: we wouldn't have a sister after all. There was something called an umbilical cord that fed the baby, it got a kink, and my sister starved to death.

Later that day, my parents brought me and my older sister to the front yard. We stood around a tiny red bird house my dad had built earlier that day. My mom explained that she wanted us to see my sister. She said that what we were about to see wasn’t funny or gross, that we should try and understand the sadness.

I remember having no idea what she was talking about and I turned my face up and looked at her. When I turned back, my dad had removed the lid to the bird house, and there she was, my sister. I’d never seen anything so beautiful or horrible. I hid my face in my mom’s side and tried to scream, but I couldn’t make any sound. I ran to my room and cried, and I didn’t speak for weeks.

My sister was lying on her left side, her tiny face was twisted in pain, and her mouth was open as if she were screaming. She even had a furrowed brow, or what I imagined was a furrowed brow. Her head was slightly deflated, I guess from the lack of development. Her hands looked to be about the size of a penny. But she was perfect to me. I loved her completely. I built a little cross out of scrap wood, and my family had a ceremony together in the evening. We buried her on our land, which now belongs to someone else.

I stopped praying to anyone but her. We started having conversations. I told her I missed her and knew that someday we would be together. I imagined that she lived in a vast field with tall grass. I told her what was happening at school and what it was like to turn ten. I promised her I’d never forget. I was sad she left me behind. Time passed.

My mom had another baby who turned into my redemption from deep depression and loneliness. She brought me back to an earth filled with hope simply because she existed. We spent every waking hour together, and found ways to travel the whole world: books, an old canoe we found back in the woods, stories, everything.But after all this time, I’ve still not forgotten my little sister. And I will always miss her.

Her name was Passie, because she died on Passover.