Thursday, November 19, 2015

Seek Your Strain Reviews

Remember the old days when I used to review cocktail bars and food? I still do that too on the down low. Now most of the time, I think about gratitude and weed. As many of you know I finally started smoking medical marijuana at the age of 38 after a depression set in so deep that it destroyed my life.

I took to smoking weed like I was born to do it. I had already all but quit drinking alcohol by the time the depression set in. I've always had rules about alcohol and "depressed Chantel" and, rules about being sober when performing. This comes from years watching my Mother, ex-husband and Son struggle with addiction.

The pills just weren't working, I needed to change my life. I will go into the story more as I review and talk more openly about the effects of marijuana on my emotional condition. More importantly I discovered a strain that has literally been a game changer in my daily life. I'm going to start there.....stories will unfold as they normally do when I'm telling a story.

I've been smoking like a champion in training. Over time after the initial crisis symptoms subsided I noticed when smoking weed for anxiety, depression & PTSD; LESS IS MORE. Many of my friends hate hearing that but; most smokers don't need the highest THC, they need to find their strain.

Over smoking can often lead to all the negative side affects of weed. You also must eat when smoking because, smoking on an empty stomach will get you very very high - it can also increase anxiety, paranoia, again, all the negative side affects of weed.

After smoking pennywise, my head immediately cleared I also developed some motivation to take care of myself. As in; I WANTED to meditate, I WANTED to eat something healthy, I WANTED to shower. None of these chores left me feeling overwhelmed or confused as to my next step throughout the day.

I appreciate after a few minutes my body loosens up. The pain of my back injury, the broken ribs, the dislocated shoulder, the tinnitus, all ease up. Stress is relieved and I go on about my day terrorizing my nephews with terrible rap songs. I smoke a little throughout the day and I notice my energy stays up, my head stays focused and my general anxiety about existence, levels. I think about writing without having a full blown panic attack. I write it and then somehow, somewhere, I find the strength to hit publish. Shit or not, somehow I'm writing again.

The rest is up to me:
I mediate every morning, I walk outside on rainy fucking days and stand in the cold grass in our backyard and wait for a break of sun. I close my eyes, wait to feel the earth grip the soles of my feet and I thank the sun for my life. I literally taught myself how to feel gratitude in the midst of the chronic despair that flows through the world.

When I want to sleep, I still use pennywise. I smoke a little alone and think about how wonderful my 9 hours of sleep are about to be. I look of to the stars from the shelter of the shed in the back of the yard, leaking but still slightly protecting me from the gorge wind. I still say thank you again. Then I smoke a big bowl of the heaviest indica I can find, or the lovliest indica I can find. Whatever will complete the process of a long day into complete and utter bliss.

High CBD strains also work well when smoked regularly. The medicinal affects of the weed build up and over time your symptoms can begin to subside more and more. Take your time friends, do what Mommy says; eat well, take care of your bodies, laugh a lot and, we'll get through it together. All the strains do something different and they do it well if the marijuana is; grown properly, stored properly and the genetics are strong. Take the time to experiment to find the right combinations that allow you to be productive and, be a driving force in your own daily wellness.

Do not consider reducing your pharmaceutical medications without care from your doctor. I've not been lucky to have a doctor on my side - I've discovered all of this with my own research, trial and error and, my children who are surprising weed experts. (this is the story of how I became a "Hood Mom")

I've had a lot of help and done a lot of hard work toward my own recovery. But we all have to start somewhere.

Pennywise, Strain information via
Pennywise is a high-CBD indica cross between Harlequin and Jack the Ripper, a combination that lends this strain its killer clown name. Four phenotypes of this Stephen King-inspired strain exist, some of which have fingerlike buds while others appear more round. Notes of coffee and pepper lift from the purple-fringed flowers with undertones of lemon and bubblegum. Rich in the therapeutic compound CBD, Pennywise is especially effective in treating arthritis, PTSD, epilepsy, neurological disorders, and cancer symptoms. It contains a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC, so the psychoactive effects are milder and more relaxing. Jack the Ripper’s cerebrally focused effects are detectable in Pennywise’s genes as euphoria and mental clarity take over with an invigorating buzz.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We Stand With The People Of France

Feeling overwhelmed by the world. Not sure where I stand, not feeling hopeful.

Pema Chodron
“When I think about the tragedies in Paris and in Lebanon and in fact in many places in the world, It seems to me that’s it’s very clear that the cause is hatred. Therefore I feel for people that are committed to waking up and being of benefit to others, the key is for us is to not nurture hatred in our hearts. It may seem beyond many of us to feel compassion for the perpetrators, but probably the most important thing is for us to not add any more aggression to the planet, but to add as much open kindness and open heartedness as we can.”

Today as I sat in mediation I noticed my weariness and my inability to catch my breath. So, I started there. In and out of my belly, I breathed in and out. It hurt sometimes, I was tense and I didn't feel as if I was getting oxygen to my lower regions. This is the same symptoms as an anxiety attack. I sat down to meditate and realized I was having an anxiety attack.

It happens sometimes.

The world weighs heavy on people like me. The ultra sensitive. Oh I'm sensitive. I'm sorry, this is my coming out statement. Those bootstraps and that sense of humor are a sham, I've been sensitive this whole time. I can turn an anecdote into thousands of words. As we turn back time seasonally, the days grow dark for me. I meditate more, I spend more time, taking time, I become more aware of what's going on with me. I have to - I took a solemn vow to care for myself like no one has ever done before. But its tough right now for me to selfishly focus on my inner light.

People en mass are dying. It weighs on me. I need to take this time to focus on isolation floating to keep the pain at bay. I need to work on myself. But I feel guilty.

Because I was sorry for Paris, equally for Lebanon but instead of joining our collective empathy. We vilified each other for showing any empathy at all. Why didn't I hear about Lebanon before I was shamed publicly? Why didn't you? Why are we so focused on destroying each other for social power over discovering and uniting in peace?

Is it that I've been hearing about Lebanon, Libya, the Middle East Conflict, Iran Contra since the Reagan administration - oh I could go on and on........we have been programmed to not care about Muslims. At home. In church. If I accidentally mention Barack Obama in public, 90% of the time someone in the room openly admits to wanting to shoot another human. This is absolutely shocking to me.

We don't know where our terrorists come from?

I need to not be exposed to this shit on a daily basis. I have severe PTSD and you're not making it any better. Sorry for being so fucking selfish. I need to find the energy to exercise. I would like to reconcile with my children. Did you know that I've been struggling with my relationships with my children? No you didn't, I've been trying to hold down the fort over here.

Sit here and sending happy golden unifying light. I've not been spreading my negativity all the while remaining focused on the core causes of my own fucking suffering.

Maybe it was my Father's suicide after he returned from Vietnam.
Maybe it was when my young pregnant mother became desperate and married a violent alcoholic.
PTSD in the 70s; there were only deserters and cowards.
Our family's suffering never ended, single mothers became the enemy.
4 children grow up to become mothers and fathers after a life of violence. Collectively hiding their scars in silence and shame.
I ran down the street one day covered in welts and blood, banging on neighbors doors, begging for help to save my brothers life.
"I can't have this here", the lady said over and over.
Doors were slammed in a 9 years olds crying face in 1981 - we haven't evolved.
We now shoot our young in streets.

Maybe its memory, my mind, my desire to be and constantly get better. I'm always lost in my thoughts and memories.

I suffered still. Now I meditate and that's all I want to do. I no longer have the energy to sit and suffer, I'm busy fixing my shit. I've been a little lost for a few years, a little unstable financially, socially, emotionally, it's all gone.

But I'm getting better and I would like it to stay that way. I'm the fucking definition of defying the odds, breaking the mold, being the exception to the rule. I can't continue to post pretty pictures for you and pretend that its getting better because I saw the rays of the sun today. I don't have funny stories for you - I've been overwhelmed with grief.

My immaculate memory is my downfall but,
War created me. War is the root of my suffering.
And we don't know where our terrorists come from?

So I stayed up all night last night and I asked myself, what needs to happen?
What is it that we, I, YOU need to do. How can I get myself back to floating and, meditating and, sun gazing. I need to talk to my kids, find my professional niche again (selling pot is great but I haven't had a solid place to live in 4 fucking years), consider my career in comedy and writing - I need to get back to that you know, this is fucking killing me.
War will kill me.

This is all I came up with, over and over and over and over until I smoked enough weed to get myself to sleep.

Lay down your politics and prejudice
Release yourself from your prison
Lay down your Dogma
Your guns will fall to your feet

Try that OK?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Dear Paris

You are my first love. I dreamed of you every day as a child. My mother lied to me and told me I was part French as an explanation for my name Chantel. That was the first gift my Mother every gave me. I small white lie to make a child feel better about her obvious awkwardness. I felt special and I became obsessed. The only reason I ever try to travel is to get near you. The most truly romantic moments have happened to me with you.

I danced down the Rue Madeline with my lover after a meal of wine and escargot. For a girl who once lived in a car - I spun in the street and wanted you to know how happy I was to be there at that moment. Every day I was there, I would pinch myself and thank every god that ever existed for my luck. My dream did come true and it came true in the most beautiful way, with you.

Two years later, I would cry while looking out my hotel window broken heart packed away in bags. I ran to you when it ended. You comforted me, I wandered your streets allowing you to love me. You made me feel whole again. You have always been my light.

These last few years when I've needed to remind that young homeless girl who she is - I've looked to you. Even when I didn't know why, I would look at the photographs, pour through my broken notes, remember another lover. You would fill me with warmth, love, lights, accomplishment and I dream again. The kind of dream that makes me think that we will see each other again.

I used to wonder if the world knew how special you are; how much your light means to the entire universe - we know now in this tragedy. We've always thought of you when we think about love, art, food, beauty - you are all things beautiful. When so much beauty is disrupted with such devastation, the whole world cries with you. When beauty is attacked.

I cry with you, for you. I will hold my light for you. Because you, Paris - have been the light for me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

There's no going home again

Lake River Railroad Bridge, 2009
It was my home for a while. The river a refuge from the storms where families live. 
Each time I went back to pay my respects to the river,
 illegally cross the railroad bridge on foot. 
The light was unnatural, ominous warnings.
There is no going home again. 

Lake River Railroad Bridge, 2013

Lake River Ridgefield, 2013

Lake River Railroad Bridge, 2013