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by Liz Purcell
ON JANUARY 5, 2016
In January 2013, I was a junior in college in the journalism program at a state school in the U.S. I wrote for the school newspaper as an editor and a writer, I had tons of friends and acquaintances and I felt on top of the world. On this particularly boring day, I went for a quick jog around campus about 3 PM. It was unusually warm outside. I arrived at my dorm and I decided to rearrange my furniture before the new semester began.
I tore the crammed room apart with ease, pushing around beds and desks, cleaning off shelves and moving junk around. In my usual grace, I knocked over a huge cup of water and it splashed all over my desk, my papers, on the floor, just everywhere. I grabbed a towel quickly and began cleaning up the water on the floor. Then, as if planted from some other dimension, my fifteen-pound box of paint and art supplies fell about 10 feet and hit me firmly on the back of the head. My life would never be the same again.
Fifteen pounds seems minuscule compared to some head injury war stories I’ve read (have you seen the guy who survived a railroad spike that literally shot through his brain?) but it was enough — enough to force me to drop out of school because I couldn’t concentrate or remember new information, enough to confine me to bed rest for over 6 months because I could not read, write, exercise, have conversation or drive. It was enough to ruin almost all of my relationships because of my inability to act and react like the ‘old me.’ My personality did a 180 and I became extremely depressed, with mood cycles mimicking bipolar disorder. I wore ear plugs and sunglasses constantly because light was too bright and sound was too loud.
In short, my life became a complete nightmare overnight and I had no idea what to do about it. Unfortunately, neither did anyone else. I sought treatment from some of the most highly accredited neurologists in the country. The only advice they had for me was to rest and they readily prescribed me addictive, harmful medications to minimize the symptoms. After about six months, my symptoms improved enough to leave the house so I decided to try to go back to school. I failed all of my classes and no one seemed to understand. My thoughts always felt jumbled — I could not write papers or retain information being taught in class. I was addicted to prescription pills and I felt lower than I had ever felt in my life.
Then, a miracle happened. I was preparing to leave school for good when I met someone who changed my life forever. They had cannabis oil and they wanted to ‘treat’ me for free because they understood what I was going through.
New Year’s Eve was the first night I tried the oil. I took about three drops and I was higher than I had ever been in my entire life. When I woke up the next day, for the first time in nearly two years since my accident, my depression has completely lifted. I felt happy, stronger, better. I began taking the oil everyday. My body adjusted to the oil quickly so I no longer felt impaired by it. In less than three months of taking the oil, I had stopped taking ALL of my medications. My depression, anxiety, and PTSD faded almost completely and my brain quickly began to return back to normal. I started to read articles, then short stories, then entire books! I regained my ability to write and organize my thoughts. I could drive again and my memory improved everyday.
I was amazed, shocked — angry, even. How could such a simple, yet powerful, solution have been hidden from me and from the thousands of others who have injuries similar to mine? Yet here I was — happy, healing, and grateful to have encountered the beautiful herb, after only 8 weeks of cannabis oil therapy.
It’s been about a year and I still use cannabis oil everyday. I still have mood cycles but the oil completely regulates them and I can function wonderfully in the world.
I have felt very different since the injury (who wouldn’t?), but I believe and know marijuana has healed the remainder of the damage in my brain. Marijuana has also helped me see how my experience was profoundly positive in the end. Taking cannabis oil has instilled a deeply spiritual feeling within myself I cannot shake, nor would I want to.
I feel compelled to share my story with anyone who will listen. Cannabis oil has saved my life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This is so much more than a drug to get high off of. Marijuana is a medicine with the power to heal.
This story has been edited lightly for typos and clarity.