My Choice

A lot of people are talking about choices right now. Many people are angry. Others are upset about “rights,” who has them and who does not, or who is a human and therefore has rights and who is not.

I felt it was time to share the choices I have made.

Maggie as a small child, smiling

As a young woman growing up in the early 1970s, I was exposed to a society yelling about my rights. Of course, I wanted rights! Yes, of course, I didn’t want anything to happen to my body that I did not have control over (let us ignore the fact that all throughout my childhood, I was experiencing exactly that since I was the victim of sexual abuse from a very early age). I agreed with all of the rhetoric that screamed about my right to choose what happens to my body.

Then I got pregnant at 16.

The woman who was supporting my father at the time demanded that I get an abortion. My father became offended, saying the pregnancy was “his grandchild,” and I was confused, yet thrilled that the doctors who had told me I would have difficulty conceiving after many medical issues (from the early abuse) were wrong.

After a tumultuous nine months that included changing my own custody to join my mother leaving my father alone, crawling back to the woman he left to “save his grandchild from abortion,” I gave birth to my first son. During the pregnancy I voluntarily underwent counseling for adoption. Then, when he was born, I took parenting classes with my baby.

When my first son was nine months old, he weaned himself from the breast. I believe that was the emotional inspiration for the conception of my second child. But at the tender age of 18, I did not think I was ready to cope with being the single parent of two children.

I made an appointment for abortion counseling which would be followed in two days by the surgery. I was approximately seven weeks along.

The day came. I took my infant son to daycare, just as if I was going to school. Then I got on the bus to go to the abortion office.

I hadn’t eaten at all that day. I couldn’t stop the nausea, it seemed even worse than normal. As I looked out the window down Harrison, I saw the building where I knew from the protest signs, held the office where I was going.

Suddenly, I felt something in my lower abdomen. A shutter? A shake? A “quickening.” I felt what I knew was my second child’s soul enter his body.

I stayed on the bus.

18 and pregnant with my second

Then came the difficult part of admitting to my family that I had gotten pregnant once again. I was going to be a single mother of two at the age of nineteen. On February 14, 1986, my sweetheart of a second son was born.

While raising my children, in SPITE of the fact that I was completely upfront about the above story with my family, I also taught my children that it was a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body. I continued to stand up for the legal rights of women to choose to abort their pregnancies.

I didn’t change that viewpoint when I was Baptized in 2013. I considered it. I prayed about it. Then, I read a story written by a woman who had survived her mother’s choice to abort her. She asked, “What about her choice?”

Abortion and childbearing are very emotional topics. Sexually active women struggle with choices. No one responsible makes these choices without a lot of consideration and more often than not, a lot of tears.

Personally, I am thankful that I am no longer sexually active. I made a choice to be celibate until and except within marriage. I am also long past the age of unintended pregnancy. So, in that respect, my choices have already been made.

Do I want the world to go back to a paradigm of women dying by hangers in the alley? Of course not. I DO want my granddaughters to think carefully about all of the consequences of sexuality BEFORE they choose to make that very large leap. I DO want all people to understand that sex is far less casual than it is portrayed by the media. There are repercussions.

I wouldn’t trade either of my boys or their children

I also hope and pray that we, as a society, become more charitable with our feelings towards those who behave in opposition to our or even their own, beliefs. I pray that we as a society start FEEDING the HUNGRY and HOUSING the HOMELESS, especially the children. These are URGENT human rights concerns.

I am heartbroken by the tears of so many of our population right now. We have differing beliefs, we all come from different backgrounds that formed those opinions. We feel strongly about those beliefs and opinions. I only hope we can learn to respect one another and learn from each of our experiences.

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Standing Up to Live

When my physicians “discharged me without notice” flinging me headlong into massive withdrawals from some of the strongest narcotics on the market, I thought my life was over. My blood pressure reading when a paramedic was called by my Facebook friends echoed that assumption. 50/30 is not the blood pressure of someone who is doing well at living. Six months later, I was dancing with a Saint, celebrating a life I didn’t understand ahead of me. But I knew I was alive. That was something of a miracle.

In a pool of vomit and other detritus that any self-respecting adult would be embarrassed to be found in, in level 10 pain, I prayed. I prayed to a God I didn’t know if He knew who I was. I called out in tears, “PLEASE HELP ME!!!!”   He did.

look-into-my-eyes-what-do-you-see-001About 4 years prior to that breakdown, while I was still on Fentanyl, percocet, neurontin (gabapentin), and 16 other medications, a friend asked me if I had ever tried marijuana for my pain. I had used it as a teenager, then as a young adult when I wanted to drink and party with my friends, noticing it’s anti-emetic properties allowed me to drink when I was taking medications I should not have been drinking with (my bad!), but I had put my “stash” far away when I began having pain that completely ruined my life… overtaking every aspect, finally putting me in bed. It was in that bed that I lived. A life consisting of watching DVDs from the library (I could check out an entire season of a television program at a time) and Netflix. When I could focus.  When I said to my friend, “but won’t it make me unable to do anything?” She told me to look around at my life. That was a sobering experience.

Once I looked at the life that had been crumbling before and around me for the previous 3 years, I thought, “what can it hurt?” After all, the mind-numbing narcotics and antidepressants and antianxiety medications had made me nearly a drooling idiot, what more could marijuana do? Hey, maybe I could “get high” and stop thinking about the pain? Either way, it was worth a try. 11182775_1624731581136715_86556055208525763_o

I tried it, and it worked. This was in 2006, two years before my youngest graduated high school, four years after my physical disabilities had taken my permanent employment from me, 10 years before I was to learn about the emotional and mental disabilities that had been haunting me my entire life. Before 2006, I had been heard to say on several occasions that people were just using the “medical marijuana” excuse to get high. God proved me WRONG on that account. 

By 2008, while I was still using multiple opioid and other medications (19 of them, total), I found “breakthrough pain” relief in cannabis, marijuana. I talked to my urologist and internist (my primary care physician) and they both agreed that the changes they had seen since I had been using it were positive and they agreed with me using it, but neither of them sugar-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-awww-honey-honeywere ready to put their license on the line by recommending it (the marijuana alternative to “prescriptions” due to the federal illegality it can not be “prescribed”). So, they referred me to a specialist that JUST recommended marijuana.

I met her in a hotel conference center with my $200 and a large file full of my medical records. After completing a short exam and reviewing my records, I was given a paper that allowed me to have an “affirmative defense” if I was ever in legal trouble for my use of marijuana. At that time there were NO dispensaries and I was left to find my own supply of medicine from the streets.

In 2008, one ounce of fairly decent bud would range from $250-$300. I needed at least that for a month. But that was a lot of money to someone living on $900 in disability. I made it work, running out nearly every month towards the 25th of the month. But the difference in my abilities was ASTOUNDING!!! Not only could I get out of bed, but I learned to ride a bug-catchin-on-2002-low-rider-damn-fun-2009Harley Davidson (2002 Low Rider)! Riding on the wind was so much more freedom than I could have imagined. My disabilities still had me bed-bound 5/7th of the week, but for 2 days each week I felt like I was LIVING again!

THEN, in August of 2009, I felt like I was dying. Around the 20th of the month was when I would make my monthly trip to Tacoma from Olympia, Washington to visit my urologist for the purposes of picking up the paper script for my Fentanyl patches and percocet. When I arrived at the doctor’s office, I was told that I had been “discharged;” I was no longer a patient of that clinic. They claimed to have sent me a letter, but it was never received.

I began to panic. The 3-day patch on my arm was my last and I was on the last day of it. Even the idea of withdrawals from an opioid 100x stronger than morphine scared the living daylights out of me. The reality sent me into a panic like none I had ever experienced before. Although my diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder wasn’t to come until 2015, my symptoms were in full swing, causing me to lose more time than I could remember during frantic panics and pain.

The next few weeks were physically and emotionally gruelling. My body and brain gave out completely: days and nights blended together as I lay on the carpeted floor of the bathroom not knowing what end should be towards the commode when both needed to be. I felt like I was in absolute hell. This continued for days until a Facebook friend heard my pleadings and worried about me, called 911.

3209497472117The paramedics arrived, taking my blood pressure both they and I were surprised I was conscious: 50/30 are numbers I won’t forget. After they loaded me up and took me into the hospital, my husband at the time demanded my release before I could be admitted to a rehab, he needed me at home was the excuse. The nurses looked at me like a junkie. They all looked at me as an addict, not as someone who was dependant on a medication prescribed by the doctor… I felt lower than dirt and went home with a prescription of clonidine (a blood pressure medication to LOWER my blood pressure from the impending pain) knowing I would likely be committing suicide to take it.

It was the 25th of August, 2009 and my monthly ounce of cannabis was long gone. One of my personalities hid my pocket knife from me… as my nightmares continued day to day. After the spasming in my legs and the pain in my body and brain evened out to a “normal” of about a 8-9 waking level on a scale of 1-10, I tried to do my best to get on with my life. I had lost about 40 pounds during the withdrawals, and looked emaciated to my family and friends. In March 2010 I met a man who taught me how to maximize my cannabis medication by infusing it into butter in addition to smoking it.

The first time I ate a cannabis-buttered piece of toast, the difference was unbelievable! green-grilled-cheeseMy pain was MUCH better, lowering to about a 6 or a 7 within a half hour… then I began LIVING!!! Out of bed, I started looking around me to see what I was missing. I was missing out on LIFE!

My last child had “flown the coop” in June of 2009, moving in with the man who would become her husband within a few years. I left my husband and the confusingly abusive relationship with him (and parts of my brain I wouldn’t begin to understand for 7 more years) in March 2010; by October 2010 I was finally recovered enough from the physical trials to start exploring. My Facebook friends who had saved my life the previous year by calling 911 continued to bolster me and invited me to visit them all across the country.

12027761_854199591361628_1229843056908513068_nSomehow, through the Grace of God, I was able to put my MASSIVE social anxiety aside and get on a train, then a bus and a plane, finally in my own vehicle to visit many of them. What I found was that all around the country there were people like me in pain physically and emotionally who needed a reason to live. A reason and a method to Stand Up To Live. That is why I travel to this day: To show it can be done.

As I travel and talk to people, learning more about humanity than even about the herb I have spent the last 7 years researching, I have found not only a following, but deep friendships that I could not live without. As I continue my goals to write my books and then develop the “Lightehouse Recovery Center Network” (a holistically-based wellness recovery center network for the disabled with a focus on hemp production and use), my focus is on helping others to “Stand Up to Live.”12004115_843631165751804_1709398889653203692_n

While reading a children’s book on writing, I came across the quote, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” By Henry David Thoreau, A few weeks after I read it, I saw Mr. Thoreau’s name on a report by Relative Finder as my distant ancestral cousin.

I took both of those instances as a sign. The quote that so perfectly described the decision I made almost 7 years ago was destined to influence the title of my journey.

“Standing Up to Live” is the title of the book I am writing about this journey. I prayed to know what to do then I used that faith I had hiding in the back of my soul, followed the impressions I received from God, through the Holy Spirit: I stood up and I began to live; Now I share that life in my writing and photos. Thank you all for being with me on this journey, I could not have done it without you!!!

I Never Wanted to Be a Medical Marijuana Mormon

I never wanted to be a “medical marijuana Mormon.” I didn’t want my Testimony tinted, or tainted, green. My Testimony of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father’s influence in my life is not limited to my use of cannabis as a medicine. It’s also not limited to my religious conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon).img_20150905_071226

I have recognized God’s touch in my life for quite some time. Most notably when I left everything I ever knew behind on October 10, 10 at 10:10am and got on a train following a Holy Spirit. I had prayed for years for His comfort and companionship. Since that very binary moment my life has completely changed.

Where did I begin? What Changed? Why did I leave everything behind? What was I looking for? What did I find? These questions and more are what I am answering in the book in progress: Standing Up to Live.  I enjoy writing about God, Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in a blog I have been keeping since before my Baptism: Slightely Mormon.

Until I started taking a class in Southern New Hampshire University towards my degree, called “New Media,” I had vehemently resisted the branding of myself as a or “the” “medical marijuana Mormon.” I separated my cannabis-oriented blogs (420-Friendly Recovery and Gma Maggic 420) from my religious blog and even shared them on separate Facebook accounts. It was easy to assume that I was attempting to hide one group of friends and fans from the other. Or worse yet, to believe I was attempting to keep my behaviors as a medical marijuana patient and journalist private from my family and those I went to church with. Nothing could be further from the truth about my intentions.

img_20160717_112738312The class I am taking is based upon the principle of “branding yourself” to assist your readers and the demographics who’s interest you draw as a writer find you. After compiling a list of my current and former blogs it became apparent it was time for some integration. Since I am also working on integrating my brain and healing from the trauma that inspired over 25 personalities to be created, it seemed appropriate that I finally integrate my “brand” for the purposes of selling my upcoming books: Medical Marijuana for Mormons and Standing Up To Live.

In the past I kept parts of my life very segregated. When I humbled myself on my knees and asked God how to become closer to Christ, I wasn’t ready to share with my marijuana activist friends how I felt about my Testimony. I wanted to have a separate place to share my Testimony with any who wanted to read it. But the audience that had followed my writing about cannabis was not it.

I had initially created a separate Facebook account for my family and close friends who were not interested in being pummeled by my cannabis activist posts constantly. This grew into the account I friended my church friends with. Before long, I could see how people might think I didn’t WANT them to know I had another account. That wasn’t and isn’t the case at all. In my attempts to keep my friends and family from being offended, I have created the illusion I feel I am offensive: I don’t. 14067869_1096902187062432_6113606991054337688_o

This summer when I landed a position as a Feature Writer for a new medical marijuana magazine, Everything Medical Marijuana, I was proud of my achievements. I gave one of the first “promo” copies to my Branch President. My closest friends, also church members, received signed copies as well. I may have shocked a few of them who might not have known I was a patient until that time!

My beliefs are as strong as they ever were, perhaps even stronger. I am writing Medical Marijuana for Mormons to attempt to explain what cannabis IS and to attempt to give some guidance to those who are embarking on this difficult journey. A journey where people on the outside, and in our church WILL judge them. A journey that will test their faith, but perhaps not as far as their faith has already been tested with whatever malady has driven them to search for an alternative answer. That is all cannabis is: One alternative in a sea of alternative medical choices.
This page, Maggie Slighte is ALSO Medical Marijuana Mormon. When I made the decision to purchase both URLs in preparation for my books to be published, I finally owned that label. It doesn’t change my feelings, but it does allow me to be a bit more direct. It also allows me to have a more direct connection to the market for my writing.

In 2011 I took on the cause of medical marijuana and was called an activist. In 2013 I chose to be an activist of a different sort:  I desired to be an activist for God. Cannabis is ONE plant that was created by God. It is my medicine, but my passion is in my savior, Jesus Christ. I am not JUST a “medical marijuana Mormon” but I am a medical marijuana patient and I am a Mormon. I am a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

 

All of MEs on the Road

All of my parts wanted to share a bit more about the trip…

My MEs

This last month has been one of the biggest challenges for me since my diagnosis. I will admit I did not behave perfectly, but I know I did my level best. Going through a divorce  for a marriage I was wishing never happened was only one small component in my January excitement. The car that ran on prayers got an oil change and was loaded up again as full as it could get with Athena and her 3 month old son, Ruger Bear and all of my possessions. Then I asked a friend to come along.wp-1485991832896.jpg

I have had a few companions in my travels across the country over the last seven years. They are usually the age of my adult children or younger, the perfect age for a road trip. My current companion, Jacob Larsen, is a professional photographer who had most of his life limited to the great…

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Revisiting the Road

I have travelled across the country many times in the past seven years. When I left everything I knew on that binary moment, October 10, 2010, I had no idea what or who I would meet across the country.

When I started travelling in 2010, I had been a medical marijuana patient for a bit over 2 years. I was quite innocent about the ways of

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(photo by Jacob Larsen)

the world and what life was across the country. I also knew myself a lot less than I do now. I had very little idea about my mental illness. I knew I had “moods” but not that I had over 25 fairly-easily-identifiable personalities. Neither did the poor friends who invited me to stay with them! But most rolled with the punches and were true friends, supporting me with love, hugs and tissues for my tears.

Back in 2010, I had not seen the country. I had no idea where I was heading. I prayed and trusted a Spirit I asked God to give me to impress upon me where to go and what to do. Seven years later, four years after my baptism in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, even I marvel at the faith (or stupidity) that I displayed back then. I do remember stating to several friends who were worried about my safety that the worse that could happen (with the exception of being killed) had already happened in my own home, so why should I be anxious about the world? Anxious I was though.

As I displayed courage to those who followed me, pieces of my personality would cry and scream inside my head. My anxiety was just the beginning. I didn’t know what I was looking for, Then, in the kitchens and living rooms of Facebook friends across the country, I came face to face with the absolute mess that is inside my brain. To my utter and complete horror, other people began looking up to me. WHY??!??!!! What did I know, what was I doing that they would ADMIRE????!!!! My head screamed more. I got back down on my knees for answers.

wp-1485625907771.jpgSeven years later, I am here to say that I still don’t know WHY anyone would look up to me. I am learning what I need to do for my brain, and I am enjoying this current trip across the country as a writer with credentials for the first time in my life. I am a writer, an author as well as a blogger.

My work for Everything Medical Marijuana magazine is exciting! To have the opportunity to use the contacts I have spent the last seven years developing to educate the country about cannabis is the answer to many of my prayers. To be a Feature Writer for a national magazine while I have yet to finish my Bachelor’s in nonfiction writing is just a dream come true.

This current trip across the country began because I needed to attend a divorce hearing in Arizona, but it has continued across the country in a car that runs o

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Me and Maria in 2011

n prayers. I am now in Florida to celebrate the life in print form of an incredible activist and my dear friend, Maria Mills Greenfield, who passed away in Florida the morning before I attended my divorce hearing in Arizona.

I will be remaining on the east coast as the magazine premiers in April as the first medical marijuana magazine to have nationwide newsstand distribution.

Excitement abounds in my life as I am travelling across the country with credentials for the first time in my life. I brought a dear friend who is a professional photographer along with me this time to help out with the two dogs and the driving (as well as photography!). Jacob Larsen has watched my progression since before I headed out on the road the first time and is  a perfect person to be my first formal assistant. Watch for his photos to be sprinkled here and there throughout this site during the next couple of months (those without his credits were taken as part of my addiction to my phone cam, no stock photography here!).

I hope your life is full of Love and Lighte. Take a chance, say a prayer, and do as you are impressed. It did WONDERS for my life.

 

Welcome to Author Maggie Slighte’s Blog

This is a very special blog. I have many blogs out there. I started my first several years ago. This one is not by an “alter” or alternate personality, it is a integrated blog just as I am seeking for integration of my brain. All of my many sites with many interests will be featured and linked to this website!

I appreciate all of my friend’s and fan’s interest in my writing projects. As a part of finishing my Bachelor’s degree in nonfiction writing, I am currently taking a class called “New Media” in which we learn how to market ourselves and our writing! As many of you may already know, I have been attending Southern New Hampshire University in this program since November 2016. This site and the posts are a part of the class.

If anyone has suggestions about what they would like to see here or updates to my other sites, I welcome your suggestions! Thanks again for stopping by! I hope your day is full of Love and Lighte!