I deliberated over the prescription question with a few trusted friends. When I sat down with Marty, who is a nurse, we brainstormed about alternatives to psych drugs over brunch. I reminded her that I already meditate daily, that my anxiety is beyond what I can slow down with mindfulness practices an alarming amount of the time. As we walked toward our cars, we passed a store that carried CBD oil. We talked about it with the woman at the store for a long time. I agonized. Marty got out her credit card.
“Do you want to try it?” she asked me.
“Maybe, I don’t know.”
“I’d like to buy this for my friend.”
This morning I woke up on my friend Margy’s couch. I didn’t whine to myself about how tired I was. I didn’t remember my nightmares. I quietly padded down the hall and showered, did my morning practice in her living room as the sun rose over downtown Durham.
I feel calm and safe in the home of my new friend, and while she dries her hair in the bathroom, I dose myself with 500 mg of CBD oil via oral syringe. As I hold the oil beneath my tongue I wonder whether my meticulous thrice-daily dosing has in fact tamped down my anxiety or if it’s a fluke. I hope that it’s the CBD, because that would save me from SSRIs and from my anxiety. I have noticed in the past week that I’ve gotten some new male attention–and, astonishingly, that it hasn’t frightened me. I am watching these things unfold with curiosity–and with something akin to hope.