I have chronic insomnia. Over the past eight years, I have tried every possible remedy, home-cooked or prescribed. After a visit to my doctor this week to follow up on my progress, or lack thereof, I asked her if she thought cannabis would be a realistic option. I have a friend who has had great success with it and figured it’s the one thing I haven’t tried yet and I’m at the point where I’ll fucking try anything. My wife was skeptical about it when I mentioned it to her and my 16-year-old daughter furrowed her brow when she found out. Even with legalized marijuana coming to Canada in a month, there’s still a stigma attached to it, not to mention the potential for troubles crossing the border into the U.S. My question is this: how open should I be with this, particularly with regards to my social media posts and discussions with co-workers? I’d love to reduce the stigma (I’m a firm supporter of the legalization of marijuana) and be transparent with respect to its benefits (assuming I see any) but living a public life as a writer and a private life as a corporate 9-5er has me hesitant to share too much.
Sleepless in Canada
Slice of Advice:
Good for you for taking the step in asking your doctor! While cannabis use is becoming a more popular alternative to traditional pills, most doctors won’t broach the subject first. We are our best advocates and you found it in you to take control of your health. It’s a big deal.
My first instinct is to say “Fuck yeah! Tell the world!” but I understand not everyone understands how cannabis can alter someone’s life for the better, so you’re right to wait a tick and give it some serious thought. I can’t tell you what’s right for your life, but I think you would benefit from listing each area of your life and figure out realistic worst-case scenarios.
Could you lose your job? If so, would it be a legal dismissal? If your work doesn’t suffer, and you don’t appear under the influence, what’s the difference between your prescribed cannabis and a co-worker’s prescribed Ativan? I would find a copy of your works policy and procedures and see if there’s something in there first before speaking to them about it, but ultimately, it’s none of their business. Chances are they won’t know otherwise, so maybe wait and see if cannabis works for you first.
Genuine familial support is key in anyone’s life. You’ve taken the steps to see the doctor already, so you’ve made the decision this is worth trying. Everyone is skeptical of what they have no evidence of, so hopefully your trials with cannabis are successful and they see the difference firsthand. Depending on the 16-year-old, their experience with cannabis may be them or their classmates sneaking out back of the school and getting high with their friends before a boring Calculus class. You have the opportunity to show cannabis has a multitude of uses without ending up in binge-eating Cheetos as stigma dictates. What a great position to be in.
As with your doctor, you need to advocate for your needs in all aspects of your life. Weigh out the negative and positives and if they’re not catastrophic, go for it. And if they have the potential to be life-altering, maybe question why this is and how you can change that or if you care to. Lack of sleep dysregulates all parts of our lives. If you have a chance to create some routine and get to a point of restfulness, there’s nothing but positives.
With the countless testimonials of people who have benefited from cannabis, I wish you the greatest of luck with your insomnia.