Born and raised in Pullman, Washington, Nic Turinski was diagnosed with Lyme Disease roughly 10 years ago. At one point, his health got so bad where he was bedridden for two years and came close to death. He saved himself by never giving up and using his mind to talk to his body to perform everyday activities. Overall, this allowed him to avoid complete atrophy and work on his passion for spreading joy and humor through unique Cannabis cartoon apparel. “The power of our mind and spirit is the biggest tool we have against fighting disease,” says Turinski.
How did you get your company chronic2wear started?
I originally drew the chronic2wear characters when my mother was locked up in a mental hospital. This was my way of channeling the negativity into positive actions of creating joy and humor for myself and others. I officially launched chronic2wear in 2004, during college at Oregon State University. I sold my first 200 shirts, but then was robbed for my t-shirts and other money when I was selling Cannabis. I was pretty discouraged and quit selling the shirts. When I became disabled with Lyme Disease about 10 years ago – that’s when I picked up my passion of chronic2wear, to have a purpose outside of my disease.
How has Cannabis improved your overall quality of life with Lyme Disease? What Cannabis products do you use most frequently and why?
Cannabis helps me a lot with sleep, anxiety and pain. I take no prescription pain pills and use CBD oil and CBD RSO for pain and anxiety. A lot of people with Lyme Disease have insomnia and I use indica dabs for a guaranteed good night of sleep. My favorite products are Kind Mother Botanicals CBD tincture and Siskiyou Sungrown RSO.
What new perspectives have you gained from your illness? How do you channel those newfound gifts into your business?
My illness gave me a deathbed perspective in my 30s that I could apply to the rest of my life. I realized we have to channel negative energy into positive actions, or it will consume us. Adversities are an opportunity to gain skill and knowledge, to become the best version of ourselves. I now highly value the joy of little things like taking a shower, fresh air and sunshine, and spending time with family and friends. If we are not grateful for our current moment, then things will get worse because we are not present for our current blessings and we compound issues by making mistakes. The essence and most powerful part of a human being is our mind, spirit and soul, not our body. My disease taught me that there can’t be joy without suffering, and if we don’t quit when we’re up against severe suffering, we will lead a very joyous life. Through my disease I realized that one of the most important tools to combat suffering is joy and humor. My mission at chronic2wear is to create joy and humor to combat suffering – this is what I care about above anything else.