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"Vine of My Soul," a Charlotte Lit Lit/South Awards Finalist in Nonfiction

Updated: May 11

Hi, friends

My nonfiction story, "Vine of My Soul," was a finalist in the 2024 Charlotte Lit Lit/South Awards. The story is in print and online.

This essay, which is an excerpt from my upcoming book Mountain Medicine, details my decision to attend an Ayahuasca ceremony. I was experiencing the long-term trauma of losing my husband (and my life as I knew it) to opioids--a story that is familiar to millions of Americans. I knew others who'd used this South American plant brew and experienced profound healing.

This essay describes my inner conflict as I debated the use of an "illegal drug" for healing and describes my first ceremony. Traditional South American cultures have used Ayahuasca for generations, and the first Western reports of its use date back to the 1700s.

Following the 1970s ban on psychedelic plant medicines, these natural substances became illegal and listed by the DEA as a Schedule I drug, right beside heroin, the drug that ultimately killed my husband and altered my life trajectory.

Today, research into these powerful healing substances has resumed. The prestigious Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research is studying the therapeutic potential of psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and the Veterans Administration is funding research into the use of MDMA (ecstasy) and psilocybin to treat PTSD and depression.

How far we've come.

Please follow this link to read my essay and many other works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by talented writers.

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