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My Review of Misunderstood Meri Jane, Episode 3 with @RealNickiAycox by Tracy Diane Miller

Actress and musician Nicki Aycox provides an honest, personal and unscripted look at the benefits of medicinal marijuana in managing her high functioning anxiety disorder in her continuing podcast, Misunderstood Meri Jane. The first two episodes introduces listeners to Aycox’s journey through the tribulations of years of relying on pharmaceuticals and psychiatry to deal with her high functioning anxiety, a pervasive disorder that undermined her quality of life. Sleep disturbance characterized by night terrors shadowed her for many years. In addition, the Hollywood entertainment industry with its focus on superficiality rather than recognizing the acting talents of women served as the proverbial thorn for Aycox who champions empowerment of women. Still, Aycox admits that the road towards pursuing medicinal marijuana as a feasible option in her struggle with her high functioning anxiety began with thorough research.

In Misunderstood Meri Jane, Episode 3, Aycox discusses homeostasis. For those people who aren’t familiar with the term homeostasis, Aycox describes it as “being balanced.” She notes that achieving balance is “helpful in living your day-to-day life.” Balance, as Aycox explains, is fulfilled when you experience this feeling in your body and your mind.  As I wrote in my two previous reviews for episodes 1 & 2, I find that Aycox’s candor is refreshing and cements a special connection with listeners. She admits that she doesn’t feel balance in her own life at the moment. She states that her lack of balance can be attributed to some factors within her control and others that are indicative of the current political climate. For example, not getting enough exercise is something she feels is within her power to change. Having an established exercise routine, as Aycox explains, is an essential weapon for someone suffering from high functioning anxiety. Even doing small things to get your body moving is key (e.g. breathing and stretching gives the body tremendous advantages).

Yet, exercising under the relentless glare of Hollywood’s unrealistic expectations was difficult for actresses, especially in an industry that coveted thin actresses. Clearly, there was that very real danger of becoming anorexic. How could someone with high functioning anxiety learn to keep a healthy body weight and continue to work in an industry that placed an unnatural emphasis over physical appearance? Aycox argues that moderation is the key.

Honesty permeates this episode 3. Aycox could have easily have offered a sugar coated podcast instead of a raw and unscripted approach. But she kept the promise that she made to listeners at the outset of Episode 1. In addition, I especially appreciated the weight loss story that Aycox shares about her time on the Supernatural set and how the late Kim Manners was instrumental in setting her on a healthier path.

Another deterrent to Aycox achieving homeostasis was the time she spent on Facebook. Her solution: Deactivating her Facebook page. What Aycox discovered that Facebook hindered her creativity.

Misunderstood Meri Jane, Episode 3 is as thoughtful as the previous installments. Aycox invites listeners to understand her experiences and permits them to uncover a framework in which they can apply to their own lives. Homeostasis doesn’t have to be an unachievable illusion. To recognize that essential partnership between body and mind is to lead us towards a healthier lifestyle.

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