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To the Person Who Called Me 'Disturbing' for Giving My Child Medical Marijuana

The most helpful emails in health
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You wrote me an anonymous email. You said that my views on medical marijuana  are “disturbing and disgusting.” You also added some other things about how God will judge me soon, but that “disturbing and disgusting” part… that hurt the most.

I just wanted to say thank you.

It took me a lot of time to sort this out. Because your words deeply wounded me. But in that quest for the healing of my heart, I realized I can thank you. And that has  brought healing in itself.

Thank you for cementing my resolve that I would do anything to help my daughter. I give her medical marijuana through her feeding tube three times a day. It is a strain that is high in Cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC so she does not experience the high usually associated with the drug. Since we started it a year and a half ago, her seizures have been reduced by 75 percent. This is after seven years of watching her seize every day. After trying 10 different anti-epileptic drugs without great success. Imagine lots of tears and sleepless nights mixed in. Do I have one regret about medical marijuana? Not one. Would I run through a glass door if they said that would stop her seizures? Absolutely. Thinking about what could possibly be “disturbing or disgusting” about finding a treatment that finally works has solidified my determination that I will do whatever it takes. No matter the cost, no matter the ridicule, I will do my best for my child. Aicardi syndrome has already taken too much from her. She deserves to have parents who will do whatever they can to give her the best life possible.

Thank you for teaching me to stop the never-ending judgment reel in my mind. Each one of us has a constant line of judgments running in our minds. Well, I assume you do too. She shouldn’t be wearing that. How can they afford that car? She is rude. He is driving too slow. Their kids are out of control. That guy talks too much. It is always running… unless we consciously stop it. We have to renew our own minds. Our minds will go there on autopilot unless we decide not to let them.  

Because I was so mad at you for assuming you know what we have been through, I realized I too have no way to know the road each of these people has trudged to get this point, on this day, where I am judging them. I will renew my mind when that judgment reel starts playing and will choose to focus on the things in my own life that need refining before determining things that need to change in others, especially when I do not know the full story. Which is probably most of the time.

Thank you for reminding me to be careful with my words. Words have power. They can either breathe life into another. Or they can suck it out. Few neutral words exist. I had several days taken from me because of your anonymous words. You probably have not thought of me again. Words have power. I want to use them carefully.  

Thank you for teaching me the importance of saying “me too” as often as I can. When I read your email, my first ache came from feeling alone. You may not know this. Parenting a rare child can be lonely and isolating. In this case, all I could hear was… yep, you are the only one dealing with this. And everyone thinks you are disturbing and disgusting. She is just the only one willing to say it. Have you been there? I really needed to hear someone say, as author Brene Brown says, “the two most powerful words when we are in struggle, ‘me too.’” Showing up, coming alongside and just saying “me too” can heal lots of wounds.

So to you, the author of the email, I say thanks. Thank you for making me stronger.  

Thank you for making me kinder, I hope. Thank you for making me gentler, I pray.  

Thank you for making more aware of the need for “me too.”

You probably thought I’d fire back. But the beauty of raising a medically fragile child is… you get strong and with that, you learn to endure pain and keep moving forward.  

Onward, with more grace and love, hopefully for us all.

Follow this journey on God’s Alive!

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Originally published: May 4, 2016
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