“I have always had an issue with anxiety.” In my case, this is a vast understatement. Anxiety has ruled my life. So much so that, until a few years ago when I started working with plant medicine for anxiety and stress, I didn’t even realize that there was something wrong. I thought it was normal to have fear when going into a grocery store, making a phone call to a friend, walking into work, paying bills, going over to a boyfriend’s house, or even going over to my parent’s house where I grew up in a loving, supportive family! Being in a constant state of fear was my baseline. I thought it was normal to take hours to fall asleep only to wake up every few hours or every time there was a noise. I tried to exude confidence but inside I was reeling with thoughts and feelings that were rarely comforting.
I will never forget the first time I used kava kava root. My life changed that night. I researched plant medicine for anxiety, went to my local health food store (aka “my heaven”) Good Earth, and brewed myself a cup of tea. The root had a numbing effect on first my mouth and then my mind. It was like a stadium of 50,000 people all suddenly and completely stopped talking and moving at the same time, leaving a noiseless void. That was my first experience with a quiet mind. I remember looking around my home like “Oh my God. This is what normal people experience.” I felt present, truly PRESENT. Each thought was loud, clear, and precise instead of the jumbled up static I was used to. It felt like freedom.
From then on I began incorporating different herbs and roots to treat my anxiety with marvelous effect. Ashawaganda and holy basil, both adaptenogens, have changed my life by providing steady and constant adrenal support. Dandelion root deliciously detoxes my liver, supporting chemical balance.
About a year and a half ago,during a particularly stressful time, I was introduced to CBD. I was amazed by the instantaneous relief of anxiety without the onset of drowsiness that kava kava root provoked. I could feel my muscles relaxing but my cognitive function sharpened. I continued to use CBD on an as needed basis for several months to curb breakthrough anxiety that couldn’t be contained by my other plant pals. I also established a deeper meditation practice to help build a foundation and familiarize myself with my center.
I then began taking CBD with my all natural sleep supplement before bed to aid sleep onset. Experiencing those first few nights of falling asleep was a wild experience. Before CBD, I would try to remain very still for hours, laying in a waking dream state limbo. My muscles would rest but my mind would race until I fell asleep out of exhaustion. CBD changed that. The sensation of my mind slipping seamlessly into unconsciousness in the moments before sleep was absolutely beautiful. After a few weeks, my circadian rhythm stabilized and I have been enjoying restful, rejuvenating sleep for months for the first time in my life.
I currently take CBD twice a day. A half dose in the morning and a half dose in the evening right before bed. It supports my mind and body throughout the day, allowing me to work a physically demanding, high intensity job while enjoying my coworkers and customers without the constant strain of anxiety. I’m so grateful to experience my life with out the oppression of chronic stress and all of the damage it causes to the mind and body.