I don’t always get high before I start writing, but it’s not exactly a rare occasion either.
My decision to smoke depends on how self-confident I’m feeling that day. Although I have been told by many people that I am a great writer, and am even able to humbly boast about my skills from time to time, there are still days I struggle with Imposter Syndrome.
Some of my Imposter Syndrome struggles were born from the abuse I endured as a child. I often felt like nothing I did was good enough. That feeling followed me into adulthood. I was able to ignore it while I was studying for my bachelor’s degree, but it reared its ugly head again when I started graduate school in 2014.
My fight with Imposter Syndrome didn’t stop when I graduated with my master’s in 2015. When I started working for Amazon.com full-time in 2015, my fight against Imposter Syndrom turned into a daily battle. Not only was I struggling with my own internal issues, my manager was a bully who knew how to — and often did — play on my insecurities. I wasn’t my manager’s only target, but I was one of the easier targets for my manager to focus on. I eventually quit my job at Amazon, but my insecurities and months of workplace abuse followed me home.
Now it’s 2019, and although I’ve made a lot of progress in my mental health recovery process, I am still battling some intense internal demons. Thankfully, those demons were not strong enough to hold me back when I decided to take the dive and apply to be a Contributing Writer here at RealFunctional.com. Unfortunately, my strength to fight them off varies on a week-by-week basis.
Some weeks, I’m able to write without any help at all. I sit down and knock my assigned articles out in 2-hours or less! Other weeks, it takes me 10-hours to write the same amount of articles. Partly because I am no longer taking stimulants to help manage my ADHD symptoms, and partly because I still do not feel s though I am doing a good enough job despite the fact that I receive positive feedback.
My struggle with Imposter Syndrome is often worsened by my two most disruptive mental disorders: Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and ADHD.
With BPD, I require constant validation and reassurance. However, as part of my recovery process, I am trying to supply that validation and reassurance to myself. I used to depend heavily on other people’s opinions of me and completely disregarded my own self-assessments. But that’s not how I want to live my life! I want to be proud of the work I put out, despite what others think about me. Cannabis gives me that confidence.
Actually, no, cannabis doesn’t give me the confidence. It’s more like cannabis removes the barriers between me and my ability to achieve self-approval. When I consume cannabis, I only care about what makes me happy. Being proud of myself, and being able to love me, makes me happy. Cannabis makes that feeling more attainable.
Cannabis also helps my ADHD when I consume the right strains (i.e., Sativa and/or Sativa-dominant hybrids). The reason people with ADHD are prescribed stimulants is that our prefrontal cortex functions at a slower pace than those without ADHD. Psychoactive and non-psychoactive stimulants work to increase my brain’s ability to focus on the right things, utilize executive functioning skills, and organize my thoughts in an effective manner.
But I stopped taking stimulants last year. At first, I was taking a psychoactive stimulant called Adderall to manage my symptoms. Unfortunately, psychoactive stimulants have a negative effect on people with Borderline Personality Disorder and can sometimes cause psychosis. Which is what happened in my experience. As a result, I switched to the only non-Psychoactive stimulant called Straterra. I eventually stopped taking that because it also had some negative side effects. Specifically, it prevented the ability to orgasm. Being unable to orgasm isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s maddening! Especially since part of my recovery process is developing a safe, sexual relationship with my partner; something I struggle with as a result of past experiences with sexual abuse. Cannabis, on the other hand, does not cause psychosis when I consume it; nor does it prevent me from orgasming. It does, however, help me focus when I consume the right strain.
Which is where Sativa comes in. You know how some people get anxious when they consume Sativa because it causes racing thoughts and paranoia? It doesn’t do that to me. It has the opposite effect on me. It slows down my hyperactive mind. Subsequently, I feel calm, relaxed, and focused. My two (2) favorite strains for managing ADHD symptoms are Trainwreck and ACDC.
But here is the description for Trainwreck on Leafly.com:
“Trainwreck begins its speedy hurtle through the mind with a surge of euphoria, awakening creativity and happiness.”
For some people, a “speedy hurtle through the mind” would cause a “speedy hurtle” towards anxiety, paranoia, and/or a panic attack; especially people who react better to Indica and Indica-dominant strains.
ACDC, on the other hand, does not have the same “speedy hurtle” effect as Trainwreck. It is actually a high-CBD strain, so it is more well-known for helping with anxiety, pain, and stress. But it is still a Sativa-dominant strain. So although it might not give me a euphoric head high like Trainwreck, it still helps me calm down and focus. It’s a different type of focus though. Trainwreck provides a creative focus with lots of energy and euphoria. ACDC helps me focus, but it’s a more calm and stable type of focus. Trainwreck is great for staying on track in a brainstorming meeting; ACDC is great for independent work in front of a computer.
Although I thought about it, I didn’t get high to write this article. I have 3.5-grams of Blueberry Trainwreck (a cross between Blueberry and Trainwreck) right beside me in my stash bag, but I’m actually feeling quite confident today. I’ve been taking it easy since I had surgery on Friday, and so both my anxiety and depression are at 0 out of 10 today. I don’t really have a lot to worry about besides getting my work done on time, so there’s no pressure to be a good writer as well as a functioning human being.
Without that extra stress holding me back, Imposter Syndrome doesn’t really have the chance to disrupt my flow.