I started using CBD a few summers ago when I had a client in the cannabis space. My assignment was to research different cannabinoids (AKA the chemical compounds in cannabis that make you feel good), beyond the well-known psychoactive poster-child, THC. As a writer, I don’t always want to get lifted, so CBD became a go-to supplement for feeling calm and focused.
Learning more about CBD was a turning point in my mental wellness journey. When I left Brooklyn in 2018, I wanted a slower pace of life: one that allowed me to breathe easier, to sit still, to take long, uninterrupted, meandering walks. After moving back to the midwest, I decided to get off the benzodiazepines that i had been prescribed for years—they were causing anxiety, plus insomnia, cognitive impairment, and untold other detriments. But i had formed a dependence on them over the years, and I was learning by experience that getting off of them would require lots of time and energy.
Eventually, I found a Dr. willing to help me taper and withdraw off of benzos (something that you should never do cold-turkey because of seizures, by the way). The psychiatric practice also happened to have a dispensary, and my Dr. respected that I wanted to avoid using pharmaceutical drugs long-term, if I could. CBD, along with certain cannabis strains, nutrition, movement, and sleep, (and self-love, of course!) became the main ingredients in my tapering, withdrawing, and the recovery process. Getting off of them proved to be one of the hardest things i’d ever been through, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Over a year off of them, and I’m glad that I did it. And I’m glad i did it my way—sometimes, you just have to.
CBD helps get me out of my head, and into my body, which most writers will tell you is a good thing. Creativity is killed by rumination, and i would know. But i’m feeling better now. I’m working on some new projects, including a book about mental health and benzo withdrawal. Want to read it?