Updated: Aug 30, 2019
Amie talks trauma and how Hip Lives, an online community designed to help women connect and gain access to real stories.
By: Amie Reiman
August 23rd, 2019
Who am I?
I’m a mom first and foremost, a single one at that, and a Toronto working professional with the typical fast paced, on-the-go attitude that many women (and Torontonians) embody. I also enjoy simple things such as a healthy lifestyle, local outings, great food and people.
So, what makes me different than anyone else and what drives the urge within me to share my story that led me to trauma-informed consumption?
Well, I guess it comes from a series of unfortunate events that led me to hit a breaking point. Followed by how I’ve transcended what could have been my demise, yet instead became a rebirthing.
Over the course of 3 years, starting in the Spring of 2016, there were a number of life changing events that affected my direction and health.
It began when my son was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects development, learning and cognitive abilities. From that point on, a lot of my energy went into learning about the condition and finding us the best supports possible. This included enrolling him in a private Special Needs Education system, which was extremely costly, however, also incredibly necessary.
Being a single parent, the financial strain was significant as I also was in the process of building my career and had shifted jobs three times throughout that period, once due to harassment in the workplace.
As if these stresses weren’t taxing enough.
My physical, mental and emotional bodies were all struggling due to two impactful car accidents, the development of chronic pain conditions, the loss of two close family members all while recovering from being sexually assaulted after an NHL game in Toronto’s core.
When it seemed like nothing else could possibly go wrong.
In the Fall of 2018, I lost my best friend of 20 years to an opiate overdose.
This is where I hit a threshold of “I CANNOT TAKE ANYMORE!”
Due to the pharmaceuticals I was being prescribed for anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, muscle twitches, inflammation, I was not even myself anymore.
As my physical body struggled and I quickly gained weight, my mind was becoming clouded with worry and doubt. Victim mentality and grief thickened and I began losing patience and motivation until I was just a shell of the person I once was.
Professionally, Physically, Mentally, Relationally and Emotionally – I was drained.
It was time to hit the reset button in my life.
I wasn’t sure what that would even look like or what that meant. How the hell would a nearly disabled 35+ year old just hang up the corporate career hat to hunker down with a disability cheque monthly, which truthfully was a quarter of her typical spending?
When I first became a Mother, I had made a choice to set a certain standard for myself and my son. In my eyes, there was no way I could regress and start clipping coupons.
No – that wouldn’t do. I had to look at what WAS working first.
Yes, I had been a cannabis user all my teen years yet more just for a giggle and a safer alternative to alcohol at parties. Yes, I felt it did me some good but I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about being “stoned” all the time.
I decided to do some digging and experiment. Not just for myself, because I will add that I was also on a mission to rid my son of all his symptoms and the side effects of his ever changing medicinal regimes. At that point we both were heading down a slippery slope, gaining momentum with every trip to a new doctor. Each time resulting in more and more Western Pharma, and for me, this was no longer an option.
This is where Trauma-Informed Consumption began for both my son and I
It took some time pre-legalization to secure a reputable health clinic I was confident could treat me and my son (who was only 7 at the time). It was unheard of by my family doctor and his pediatrician that this “CBD oil”, new to Canadian dialect, was the be all, end all for all of our needs.
Truthfully I also had my doubts, but intuitively I was seeking to treat holistically, using only the cannabis along with more gentle therapies for our minds and bodies.
Let me be honest when I say that cannabis is a slow, trial and error – consumption based, phantom embodied medicine (my experience anyhow).
Sure, I could just go get high.
But that wasn’t what I was looking for as I needed to address all of the following: