As I was cleaning up around the house yesterday, I started to wonder what my maternal grandmother would think about me consuming cannabis on such a regular basis. Despite her religiously-conservative childhood, I knew my grandmother to be quite the rebel. She had been married twice before being widowed in her mid-70s. According to my mother, after her second husband died, my grandmother opened up. She started to travel, drink wine more often, and generally do whatever the heck she felt like doing.
As happy memories swirled about my mind, I started to wonder: could I have gotten my grandmother to smoke weed with me before she died in 2013? I think so.
Like I said, once she was widowed, she began to present herself with less concern for the thoughts of others. She wanted the world to see Marge instead of “Mrs. Smith”. She wanted to travel to places her late-husband’s RV couldn’t reach; places such as Ireland and England. So she went.
In addition to Dementia, and eventually Alzheimer’s, my grandmother also lived with undiagnosed mental illness. Her mind was an unfriendly place all of her life; and it only got worse at the end.
For years, I also lived with undiagnosed mental illness. From 2014 to 2018 I actively fought away intrusive thoughts; predominantly, thoughts of unworthiness, fear of abandonment, and suicidal ideations.
Cynics may to try to argue that, because I began to consume cannabis on a more regular basis in 2014, cannabis must be at fault for my distressing thoughts. However, quite the opposite is true.
Besides losing my grandmother in December of 2013, I also moved from Eastern Washington state to Western Washington state to be closer to the job that I lost not even two days later. They couldn’t afford to extend my contract, and I could no longer afford rent. A month later, I started graduate school.
It was major change after major change that caused me so much distress. It didn’t help that I had no mindfulness or self-care tools to help me at the time. Cannabis, however, was readily available and seemed to be the only substance capable of lifting me out of a depressed episode long enough to leave the house to buy groceries.
Cannabis offered me so much relief that, today, I can’t help but believe that my grandma might have enjoyed a few puff puffs and a pass with me.
I like to imagine that maybe cannabis would have made her final years far less painful; especially as she watched her brain slowly start to prune away memory after memory. Maybe she wouldn’t have lost so much weight at the end. Maybe, just maybe, cannabis could have made it possible for her to successfully string a comprehensible sentence together the last time I spoke to her on the phone.
I imagine that she, too, would have welcomed the kinder mind I seek whenever I consume cannabis today. A mind that doesn’t care if I finish off an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s in one sitting.
Even if she hadn’t been destined to be as prolific of a smoker as The Dabbin’ Granny, I’ll bet my grandma would have been interested in just one hit. Though, based on the number of half-eaten candy bars in her freezer, I’m confident she would have been more of an edibles girl.