BABES & BLUNTS: How One Photographer Overcomes Lyme Symptoms with a little help from Mary Jane.
Local Denver photographer Samantha Neill (aka SoulySamanthaPhoto) takes over our blog to share her story about how cannabis has helped with her Lyme Symptoms. We are so proud to support her on her journey and will be sponsoring her first cannabis industry event, Babes & Blunts Wednesday April 17th 2019. Alongside the Bad Bettie Project a non-profit organization that helps foster friendships and aids women in crisis, we are creating an event to bring women together over the power of Mary Jane.
Samantha Neil: My Journey with Lyme Disease
I have had Lyme Disease since I was about 17 years old and I'm now 28. So, it has been a long journey and I've become really quite accustomed to the daily symptoms.
“My daily symptoms include severe morning nausea, chronic joint and bone pain, muscle spasms, fatigue, brain fog, and an all around "achey" feeling. It has been a major struggle and battle trying to find the best way to treat my symptoms. “
When I was originally diagnosed with Lyme Disease, a very heavy round of antibiotics and lots of blood work was needed. Every now and again, my symptoms will begin to get much worse, leading to seizures and other things. When this happens, I know I need to find a doctor and get treated once again with antibiotics. Although this helps, the medication led to multiple other ailments and dietary intolerances. I would become so severely sick while taking the medication too! It was honestly the worst. But, it was needed and taking heavy antibiotics is really the only thing so far that helps me and gives me a break between relapses.
How cannabis has helped me
When I first started consuming cannabis, it was strictly to help me with killer migraines and nausea due to my Lyme Disease. I started out with edibles and now enjoy cannabis in countless different forms.
“Cannabis has truly been the ONLY thing that has positively helped my day to day Lyme Disease symptoms without also giving me awful consequences and side effects. On mornings when I typically wake up and have no will to get out of bed, I can now take a quick dab and literally feel myself within seconds.”
How can I not get behind something that legitimately helps people in such a phenomenal way?
Cannabis & Creativity
When it comes to creativity and let's be honest, just me being myself.. Cannabis is my jam. I am a photographer and entrepreneur in general, so when I'm not running around like a mad woman trying to get the perfect shot, I'm entertaining new clients, answering never ending emails, and searching every corner, nook, and cranny for new brands or businesses to work with. This all causes anxiety and stress for me. If I didn't consume cannabis daily, I wouldn't have a job. I wouldn't have clients. It's a natural way for me to unwind, relax, and actually enjoy what I do. Cannabis helps me talk to clients, when I'd normally be too introverted. While getting into a creative mind set, I don't second guess and doubt myself. Coming up with fun ideas is easy and I am SO much more creatively free thinking when elevated. Another part of being a photographer means a lot of time in front of the computer screen editing photos. Cannabis is a huge part of my creative work flow. I love to smoke right before editing a session.
“ During the work day I take several breaks to clear my head, ease my aches and pains, and get myself back into a creative head space. Cannabis is my secret weapon for getting shit done. “
Socializing While Lifted
Anyone that knows me, has known me high with or without realizing it. I am no different of a person when I make the choice to consume cannabis. I am a huge supporter and believer in fostering friendships and community with purpose. That's one of the reasons I am so passionate about the cannabis community and why I am choosing to dive into it. This is an untapped avenue for like minded people to rise up together and help educate the masses about this amazing, natural, Earth given plant. A plant that has helped me in so many ways, that I feel the responsibility to pay it forward and help others. Not only by educating them on how to care for themselves and lookout for warning signs of Lyme Disease, but to also educate anyone willing to listen that cannabis CAN help. There is an answer, it's just time for society to accept it.
My name is Samantha, but friends call me Sam. I'm a brand, portrait, and lifestyle photographer who seriously loves a good taco and guac. However, I like to think of myself as a visual storyteller with a knack for capturing and curating soulful content. What started as a hobby I truly enjoyed, turned into the decision to ditch the 8-5 job that was making me miserable and embrace my creative side full time. Between you and me, I don't think the white knuckle grasp I have on this Cannon of mine will be going any place soon. So welcome to my world. Have a seat and stay awhile. I promise to entertain you with bad jokes, worse singing, rad photos, and meaningful connection.