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I suffer from severe anxiety and depression. I’m 24 years old-Luke Witmer, Cannabis Impact Story
8 Nov , 2018

I suffer from severe anxiety and depression. I'm 24 years old and had to move back in with my family after getting out of the Marine Corps in 2016. I've been married, I'm now divorced, I have a beautiful 4 year old daughter, I have a loving a caring family and only a few, but very close friends. During my time in the Marines, my anxiety and depression began affecting my active lifestyle and seemingly began to take away everything in my life. I got into a very deep, dark hole that I could not get myself out of. Luckily I've always been able to count on my family and a couple doctors along the way that would allow me to talk how I was feeling out. I got medically separated after 4 years in the Marines, and thought I was in the clear to live a happy life, working a great job, living with my family and daughter without a second thought. Again, things began to change for the worse. I was finding it increasingly difficult to wake up motivated and happy. I was waking up in physical agony, in tears almost every morning because of the things I couldn't control going through my brain. There was a span of a few months where I didn't have custody of my daughter for a while, I had to put my dog down, a close friend lost his life to the violence in Baltimore, my grandfather passed away... and with all these things happening in my life, my anxiety has kept me from being able to go out and about with my daughter and family and friends. It's kept me from attending funerals and weddings... Socializing like a normal 20-some year old does. I had to stop working my job because I was hardly able to make the drive to work without panicking. I don't even step foot outside of my neighborhood at this point because my anxiety in vehicles is so bad. I began to fall back into that deep dark hole that I thought I was slowly crawling out of. My most memorable moment with weed was one night I was sitting outside in my backyard with a blunt, not yet lit. My daughter had just left to be with her mother for a while. I was looking around at all of her toys in the backyard and couldn't choke back my emotions. I didnt want to be alive in that moment. It was the first time I felt like everything had been taken away from me. I began to smoke the blunt that I had rolled and everything just relaxed. My mind, my body... I started to think in a more creative, positive, optimistic mindset and since that day, no one will ever be able to take away that marijuana has saved my life. There have been numerous instances when I could not control my thoughts, and marijuana has been the miracle to walk me off a ledge. As someone who was strongly against weed as a drug in high school (no pun intended), I no longer understand how people can hold a stigma or negative opinion towards such a beautiful, naturally healing, life changing plant.

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