Ayelet Waldman says she had been “held hostage by the vagaries of mood” throughout her entire life. Psychotropic medicine and all manner of therapy never worked for her. So she decided to try LSD. A Really Good Day is the book Waldman wrote. It is the first-person account of her month-long adventure into microdosing LSD. In the preface, Waldman tells readers that she was diagnosed years ago with a variant of bipolar disorder.
Waldman wrote, “When my mood is good, I am cheerful, productive, and affectionate. I sparkle at parties, I write decent sentences, I have what the kids call swag. When my mood swings, however, I am beset by self-loathing and knotted with guilt and shame.” Waldman said she tried everything, from therapy to psychiatry. The list of drugs she had been prescribed over the years takes up almost a page in her book.
So, in an attempt to be less of a “difficult woman,” Waldman looked into the work of James Fadiman, a psychologist and researcher who studies the effects of microdosing psychedelics, with the general idea and based on the long-held belief, that they can help work through problems and see the world in a different way. Psychedelic microdosing is the practice of taking a sub-perceptual dose, or an amount too small to produce traditional psychedelic effects, of a substance such as LSD.
Although Waldman was once a law professor and public defender, and has full knowledge of U.S. drug laws, she decided to give microdosing a try. Book reviewer Maureen Corrigan said, “After squinting through her middle-aged reading glasses to make out the directions on the LSD testing kit she’s ordered on Amazon, Waldman takes a leap of faith, swallows two drops from the mystery bottle, and jumps down the rabbit hole.”
It turns out that Waldman’s experience was a good trip with positive results. She reports in her memoir that her mood leveled out, she got an enormous amount of writing done, her frozen shoulder improved, and she became so unfamiliarly mellow that one of her kids finally asked, “Who are you?” Waldman wrote that she had some sleep disruption, but nothing as bad as the side effects she had experienced on prescription drugs.