A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life
When novelist and memoirist Ayelet Waldman tried using LSD recently, it “wasn’t just a hippie’s midlife lark,” said Nora Krug in The Washington Post. The Berkeley, Calif., mother of four had long suffered severe mood swings she’d been unable to quell with prescription drugs or therapy. When the pattern worsened, she decided to take up a Bay Area trend popularized by renegade psychologist James Fadiman: using psychedelic drugs in tiny, “sub-perceptual” doses to stabilize mood and improve creativity. Waldman only “microdosed” for a month, and to avoid prosecution, she doesn’t specify when she did it. But she’s used the experience to produce both an “engaging” primer on a taboo activity and “a compelling case for more research on it.” Waldman withholds little, said Kevin Canfield in the San Francisco Chronicle. She scored her LSD from a friend of a friend, and every third day, she took roughly a 10th of a recreational dose, then wrote log entries that become “short, vibrant” chapters here. On Day 7, she reports being more patient and productive; by Day 30, she’s clearly much slower to anger; and even when she overshares, she’s “reliably thought-provoking.” It helps that her agenda extends beyond selftinkering, said Carrie Battan in Bloomberg Businessweek. A former public defender, Waldman once represented clients who were criminalized for lesser drug infractions, and she uses her LSD tale to argue for a shift in drug policies and public attitudes.
That’s why she should have been more careful about facts, said Jennifer Senior in The New York Times. At one point, she claims that Francis Crick was on acid when he visualized DNA’s double helix, then adds the footnote “Couldn’t we just pretend it’s true?” We can’t, because the therapeutic use of psychedelics is controversial, and the case for it is undermined by flippancy. Still, Waldman has helped start the conversation. Quibble with her methods if you want. “In normalizing the conversation about LSD, she may one day help others feel normal.”