The true story of how a renowned writer’s struggle with mood storms led her to try a remedy as drastic as it is forbidden: microdoses of LSD. Her revealing, fascinating journey provides a window into one family and the complex world of a once-infamous drug seen through new eyes.
When a small vial arrives in her mailbox from "Lewis Carroll," Ayelet Waldman is at a low point. Her moods have become intolerably severe; she has tried nearly every medication possible; her husband and children are suffering with her. So she opens the vial, places two drops on her tongue, and joins the ranks of an underground but increasingly vocal group of scientists and civilians successfully using therapeutic microdoses of LSD. As Waldman charts her experience over the course of a month--bursts of productivity, sleepless nights, a newfound sense of equanimity--she also explores the history and mythology of LSD, the cutting-edge research into the drug, and the byzantine policies that control it. Drawing on her experience as a federal public defender, and as the mother of teenagers, and her research into the therapeutic value of psychedelics, Waldman has produced a book that is eye-opening, often hilarious, and utterly enthralling.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Back when she still worked as a lawyer, Ayelet Waldman was a federal public defender and taught a law school course about the War on Drugs. That makes for some good punchlines as she maps her personal experiment with “microdosing” LSD for a month to counteract her mental health struggles. But it also gives her book rare insight. A Really Good Day is simply a great read, full of chatty humor and smart real talk about everything from the roots of unhappiness to talking with teens about drugs. We loved every second we spent in Waldman’s company, observing the profound effects of her endeavor.
Novelist and essayist Waldman (Bad Mother) mother of four, married to another high-profile writer (Michael Chabon) worked as a federal public defender and taught at prestigious law schools. After struggling with mood swings and bouts of depression, Waldman becomes a "self-study psychedelic researcher," taking small doses of LSD on repeating three-day cycles and discovers plenty to exonerate the illicit substance. It's a major departure for the author of novels and a mystery series, and though the book's subtitle broadcasts the happy ending, the hows and whys of her journey are the great payoffs. Waldman structures the book as a diary of her microdosing protocol, but each entry is a launchpad for topics on which she speaks frankly and knowledgeably. Her journal tackles drug policy, her days as an attorney, parenting, writing, and marriage maintenance. It's a highly engaging combination of research and self-discovery, laced with some endearingly honest comic moments. She is exactly the sort of sensible, middle-aged, switched-on, spontaneous woman whom any reader would enjoy taking a trip with. Waldman, by her own account, is firmly in control when it comes to controlled substances: she doesn't want to feel out of it; she just wants to get on with it.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This was an fascinating and educational book. It raises important questions that really show why things need to change. I couldn't put it down once I started, it was totally engrossing. Wish "Micro-dosing" was possible for more people!
It was okay but ....
Interesting topic but the ratio of the word "I" to all other words is off the charts high. WAY too much about the author's feelings, neuroses, visits to therapist, fights with husband etc. Tried to give all that the benefit of the doubt -- wondered "is all this germane to the topic of what effect micro dosing will have?" -- but there wasn't anywhere near enough tie in to merit all the navel gazing.