I wasn’t born into a name, but I was adopted as a Baller and was called Melissa. I grew up always feeling outcasted by my family and friends. I struggled to know what real love was at the smallest level of life, which caused great difficulty for me to connect with anyone, even my own family members. I knew I was different before I was told I was adopted.

It wasn’t until college when I took a class on Evolutionary Psychology, where I learned this is a normal feeling for most adopted kids. That it’s a biological factor as to why I didn’t feel that same relation to my family. I used to be jealous of those who had families who were close and just seemed to connect without effort. But being non-blood related automatically made me feel like the lesser child vs my brother, who was blood-related to my folks. I used to believe my parents favored my brother more than me. It all simply came down to biology, and that it was no one’s fault as to why I felt the way I did. What I used to think what love was, was illusory. I’m not sure if it was a passion to want to love, or the closest thing I could make of it. And this whole time trying to figure out love outwards, I was still missing to love my own Self inwards. That was my biggest problem; I never truly learned to love myself.

And this caused false beliefs, lust, loss of friendships, depression, anxiety, numbness, self-harm and attempted suicide. I used marijuana and alcohol as scapegoats from the hollowness and self-hate. This was also before I knew everything is connected and happens for a reason.

I attracted the wrong people in my life unknowingly at times. I’ve been cheated on, I’ve been raped, and I’ve been abandoned by those I thought I loved.

It was all an illusion and I was a lost, deprived soul.

After graduating from college and going through more stress with relationships and with my career path, I met a man who still saw the light in me when it felt like no one else could. Chad. He helped me back on my feet and that’s when my real self-development journey began. I became aware that I couldn’t love anyone else if I didn’t love myself first. I used to tell Chad, “I want to see what you see in me.” I remember he told me, “I wish I could show you, but you’ll have to see for yourself.”

I began searching for answers. I’ve always been attracted to the metaphysical and the deeper meanings of life, and this time around, I took it more seriously. I began to learn about chakras and how there’s more to life than what can be identified with our physical senses. I started to practice yoga and meditation. I have practiced meditation previously, but only to learn how to astral project. This time, it was to learn self-healing and reveal the true meaning of Self-love.

Things began to turn around after a couple years. After turning 25 last year, however, I fell into another horrible depression. I didn’t understand why other than my job was stressful. I began to suffer from anxiety attacks without warning, where I initially thought something was physically wrong with my heart. It felt like I was having a heart attack each time. I succumbed to going on SSRIs and started seeing a therapist regularly.

At first, I had some relief, but it didn’t last long.

The anxiety attacks came back, even more frequently than before. They got so bad to where I would convulse and lose control of my body. It was scary. It kept me from being social and being able to work normally. I felt numb to my emotions, and I felt like my energy began to repel my family and friends. But Chad still stuck through it with me and still saw the light in me, although I felt like it was dimming out. I started to wake up in the mornings wishing I hadn’t; my thoughts were naturally suicidal. I almost checked myself into a psychiatric facility. Chad convinced me not to…and a few weeks after that, I decided I just needed to quit my job and truly just focus on healing myself. I obviously had a lot more pent-up negative energy that I needed to learn to let go.

After quitting my job, two nights later, I felt this heaviness and darkness disperse from my Being. I literally felt it. It was out of nowhere while walking to the bathroom. I dropped to my knees and inhaled a vastly deep breath. I didn’t know my lungs could fill to that capacity. I started to cry horrendously, the alleviation left me feeling so light, like a feather. I was on a higher frequency than I knew existed. I came to the realization that my job took so much of my energy, that it left none for me to use to self-heal.

It wasn’t a job I could pour my heart into, as much as I tried.

That was my heart telling me that I wasn’t on the right path. And I was too detached and controlled by the pharmaceuticals to see the truth. My heart beating out of my chest during my anxiety attacks was the only way it could get my attention through all the drugs I was numbing myself with. This all had brought me away from the progress of my self-healing in the beginning and I was back in the pits of my depression once again.

I had mentioned I used marijuana and alcohol previously to numb myself. I still did at times but once I started the SSRIs, I stopped drinking so much since I knew mixing those is harmful. I used cannabis though. But most of what I used were high THC Sativa strains. After stopping the SSRIs, simultaneously, I stumbled across information on Cannabidiol and how it affected the human body. I learned about the endocannabinoid system and how we produce our own cannabinoids. I started to refine my cannabis usage to CBD dominant strains and began to perceive my life in ways I’ve been wanting to since I started to suffer internally. I couldn’t believe it… Everything was telling me this was it. My mind, my heart and my gut all pointed and screamed, “jackpot!”

It was the first time I felt synchronized internally in a long, long time.

I decided at this point that I wanted to focus on starting my own business. I started selling art pieces as a means of income and it felt like the right path. But my heart was also strongly attached to cannabis. After truly experiencing what it can do, and how it helped me turn my life around, I wanted to support the cannabis industry and help bring its power to light to the rest of the world.

I was originally going to work as a part-time budtender while still holding my art business. But after some interviews, nothing really spoke to me. So, I decided to create an Instagram account as a cannabis advocate, posting about my own experiences and reviewing products that have personally helped me. I wanted to show others that there are healthy alternatives out there for people, like me, who couldn’t find relief with anything else. This started to feel right.

A couple months into building this account, Bevon, who is now my managing partner, reached out after finding me from a CBD hashtag. He loved the message I was putting out and explained that my vision coincided with his. He had already been working a year on his business and needed someone to help him write reviews for CBD products and articles educating the benefits. I accepted with a full heart, knowing this is it. This is my calling. With this business, I’ll be able to incorporate all the things I’ve ever wanted to do with my life; help other people, support the cannabis industry, create art, learn, and self-heal at the same time. It all made sense to me.

I am in a place in life where I do know what real love is and I now can feel I do love myself, that I know my purpose in life, and that I have no reason to feel hate, shame or guilt. I feel more connected to my family, Chad and my close friends. I know now what was missing; the love for myself. I am still progressing through my own self-healing, but now I’m in a place where it’s synchronized with helping others heal at the same time. I don’t know where I would be without the support of my family, Chad and his family, Bevon and our team, the amazingly supportive cannabis community, and cannabis itself.

I’m grateful to be a part of this movement and I wholeheartedly believe that cannabis can help heal the world.

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