A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life

A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life

A revealing, courageous, fascinating, and funny account of the author's experiment with microdoses of LSD in an effort to treat a debilitating mood disorder, of her quest to understand a misunderstood drug, and of her search for a really good day. When a small vial arrives in her mailbox from "Lewis Carroll," Ayelet Waldman is at a low point. Her mood storms have become in...

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Title:A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life
Author:Ayelet Waldman
Rating:
ISBN:0451494091
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:256 pages

A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life Reviews

  • Kristin
    Sep 15, 2016

    Take an over-medicated, moody, middle-aged mother of four, add a month of experimental microdosing with LSD and it makes for A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman. This mesmerizing memoir of mental exploration tackles the taboo topic of drug use in our society, the frightening rise of prescription pills and the devastating addictions developing during the War on Drugs. A rollicking ride through the realm of self-realization, Waldman’s creative quest for sanity is painfully honest, hysterically fun

    Take an over-medicated, moody, middle-aged mother of four, add a month of experimental microdosing with LSD and it makes for A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman. This mesmerizing memoir of mental exploration tackles the taboo topic of drug use in our society, the frightening rise of prescription pills and the devastating addictions developing during the War on Drugs. A rollicking ride through the realm of self-realization, Waldman’s creative quest for sanity is painfully honest, hysterically funny and deeply human. I loved it!

  • Marika
    Oct 23, 2016

    What lengths would you go to feel better? Celebrated author Ayelet Waldman, describes in detail her battle with a crippling mood disorder and how current medications have failed her. Waldman describes in a humorous, down to earth narrative how she discovered microdosing, or the use of LSD in therapeutic microdoses, doses so tiny that there are no perceptual changes. (no tripping) Readers will decide for themselves if the LSD helps Ayelet with her mood disorders, and will also find themselves lau

    What lengths would you go to feel better? Celebrated author Ayelet Waldman, describes in detail her battle with a crippling mood disorder and how current medications have failed her. Waldman describes in a humorous, down to earth narrative how she discovered microdosing, or the use of LSD in therapeutic microdoses, doses so tiny that there are no perceptual changes. (no tripping) Readers will decide for themselves if the LSD helps Ayelet with her mood disorders, and will also find themselves laughing at the comical ways that she procures the LSD. Honest memoir about the often taboo subject of depression and other mood disorders.

    Note: I received a free review copy of this book and was not compensated for it.

  • Nissa
    Nov 30, 2016

    I totally want to try the protocol. Also a really interesting peek into the war on drugs, the history of drug use, and research about drug safety. More robust review to come.

    My Netgalley review: A fascinating story of the war on drugs, the history of drug use and criminalization, and a suburban woman's self experimentation. I particularly loved her struggles with how to talk about drugs with her children, and Waldman lets you in on her inner monologue extraordinarily well. I came into this book

    I totally want to try the protocol. Also a really interesting peek into the war on drugs, the history of drug use, and research about drug safety. More robust review to come.

    My Netgalley review: A fascinating story of the war on drugs, the history of drug use and criminalization, and a suburban woman's self experimentation. I particularly loved her struggles with how to talk about drugs with her children, and Waldman lets you in on her inner monologue extraordinarily well. I came into this book having heard just a little about microdosing, but I found the accounts of drug criminalization and the war on drugs even more fascinating. Whether or not you've done drugs or are interested in doing drugs, this is a well researched and entertaining book, mostly about LSD. An excellent addition to most nonfiction collections.

  • Vikki
    Feb 03, 2017

    I received this book as an advance reader copy from the Amazon Vine program.

    How do you rate a book that you find irritating at times and very informative at others?

    I expected this book to be more along the lines of a serio-comic narrative, which in some ways it was. The author can be very funny at times, but she came across as so deeply into herself that I couldn't help but roll my eyes. The navel-gazing self analysis was just annoying. It very much detracted from her message as far as I was con

    I received this book as an advance reader copy from the Amazon Vine program.

    How do you rate a book that you find irritating at times and very informative at others?

    I expected this book to be more along the lines of a serio-comic narrative, which in some ways it was. The author can be very funny at times, but she came across as so deeply into herself that I couldn't help but roll my eyes. The navel-gazing self analysis was just annoying. It very much detracted from her message as far as I was concerned.

    That part of the book seemed just a daily recounting of how she felt, how she was impacted, how her family was impacted by her impaction and so on, without really looking beyond herself.

    Some days were discourses about her life and some days she talked more about facts and research.

    About three quarters of the way into the book, I really became absorbed in what Ayelet was writing.

    As a savvy lawyer in the past, Ayelet has had a lot of experience defending drug users. Her retelling of those experiences was interesting and relevant. She has also done a lot of research on the impact of the "War on Drugs" on society. She is honest and factual in what she has to say on the subject..

    Her own former career and personal experience meld remarkably well with her research. Ayelet cuts no slack for the powers that be and the horrendous misuse of their power. She reveals how US government agencies went so far as to grant asylum to Nazi war criminals in order to learn their interrogation and other techniques.

    Then used them on unsuspecting fellow citizens.

    I was especially impressed with her case for doing away with most of the restraint on drug use; how it is not effective, and worse, denies much-needed help to those who would benefit from drugs now classified as illegal.

    This aspect of her book reads as a well researched expose of both pharma and the illegal drug trade. I admire her courage in putting these things down in writing for all to see.

    The book would have been easier to read if Ayelet had been more organized in writing it.. As it was, her personal story and her research seemed randomly stitched together. The book I read was an advance reader copy however, and it may be better presented in her final copy.

    That said, I believe she has many human interest stories to tell, as well as having a real gift for research along with the ability to present it well.

    It seems to me that Ayelet has another book or two within, waiting to be written. I would love to see her develop her writing skills, because she has worthwhile things to say.

  • Julie Ehlers
    Feb 06, 2017

    I will admit that I initially picked this up because I wanted some gossip about Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon's marriage, and I have to hand it to her—Ayelet was pretty forthcoming in that regard. What I wasn't expecting was that the personal tales of marriage, mental health, and microdosing would be interwoven with so much more general drug-related information. Initially I wasn't too enthused when Waldman went from discussing her own personal experiences to talking about how LSD was initial

    I will admit that I initially picked this up because I wanted some gossip about Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon's marriage, and I have to hand it to her—Ayelet was pretty forthcoming in that regard. What I wasn't expecting was that the personal tales of marriage, mental health, and microdosing would be interwoven with so much more general drug-related information. Initially I wasn't too enthused when Waldman went from discussing her own personal experiences to talking about how LSD was initially developed, for instance, or the evolution of its reputation over the years. Eventually, though, I got used to the structure and began to appreciate all the knowledge on offer. Who knew there was so much misinformation out there about controlled substances? I'll be honest with you—I've never done an illegal drug in my life. No, not even that one. Not that one either. But now that I've read this, if someone showed up at my door with some LSD or MDMA (for personal use only!), well, I'd probably be more inclined to consider it than I ever would've been before. I owe that to you, Ayelet Waldman.

    Waldman used to be a public defender and has even taught law-school classes on the "War on Drugs," so she had a lot of wisdom to provide in that regard as well. While I, like most people, believe the legal penalties for illicit drug use are mostly too harsh, I never really thought much about whether drugs should be legal or not (no, not even that one). Generally I think sitting around getting high is kind of a waste of time, so I just couldn't work up much interest one way or the other. I was as surprised as anyone when Waldman managed to convince me not only that the "War on Drugs" was a colossal failure (something I already suspected), but also that all drugs should be legalized, with the money formerly spent on the criminal aspect of it instead directed toward regulation and health care.

    So there you have it. I decided to read this book out of sheer nosiness, and instead I experienced a total change of mind about a major issue. And I had a lot of fun doing it! Thanks, Ayelet Waldman!

  • Girl
    Jan 15, 2017

    I really like Waldman's voice. In fact, I'm probably going to read another book by her right now.

    Unfortunately, this book didn't really work for me. There is too little substance to the memoir part, and too much focus on background research. Whenever the book went back to the memoir / personal anecdotes, it was very enjoyable and readable. But then there is the history of LSD, the history of drug research, the background info on prison system of the US. Eh. Pass.

  • Lesley Vandernoot
    Jan 25, 2017

    Talk about a book not matching its reviews! I think maybe a dose of something was required whilst reading. Waldman is a self-indulgent, navel gazing, whiner. I realize this is a memoir of sorts, but the way she over-analyzes every single tiny feeling she is having, as if she is a new mother in awe of her newborn, is beyond annoying. Then to have her tell us, essentially, that meth has gotten a bad rap...uh thanks for the insight honey, I'm sure Walter White appreciates it.

    I disliked this book in

    Talk about a book not matching its reviews! I think maybe a dose of something was required whilst reading. Waldman is a self-indulgent, navel gazing, whiner. I realize this is a memoir of sorts, but the way she over-analyzes every single tiny feeling she is having, as if she is a new mother in awe of her newborn, is beyond annoying. Then to have her tell us, essentially, that meth has gotten a bad rap...uh thanks for the insight honey, I'm sure Walter White appreciates it.

    I disliked this book intensely.

  • Brett Benner
    Jan 25, 2017

    I'd have to macrodose to read much more of this woman whine. Reading about how microsdosing lsd has been a tremendous aid to her is fine for a Rolling Stone article, but stretched out into book form only meant spending more time with a woman who bares her neurotic psyche like a drunk party guest who has a bad case of verbal diarrhea and no censor. No thanks.

  • Diane S ☔
    Feb 20, 2017

    3.5 I first heard about microdosing on the radio. My commute to work is relatively short so I tend to listen to news radio. Especially since the election I tend to avoid the news of TV, which seems to be full of he who shall remain unnamed, so the radio fills this news gap nicely. They were discussing how microdosing is helping those who are dying, anyway when I saw this book I was interested enough to want to read further into the subject. Plus, I loved Waldman's Love and Treasure and she is ma

    3.5 I first heard about microdosing on the radio. My commute to work is relatively short so I tend to listen to news radio. Especially since the election I tend to avoid the news of TV, which seems to be full of he who shall remain unnamed, so the radio fills this news gap nicely. They were discussing how microdosing is helping those who are dying, anyway when I saw this book I was interested enough to want to read further into the subject. Plus, I loved Waldman's Love and Treasure and she is married to Michael Chabon, so this seemed like a win, win.

    She has a extensive background in the drug culture, laws, and prosecution of those caught with drugs. So there is much information about the various drugs, past and present and I found this both informative and interesting. Much I was misinformed about, other things I never knew.

    Interspersed is a memoir of sorts, the reason she wanted to try this, her mood swings, pain and feelings of insecurity and to be a better person. Her marriage is mentioned quite often, the problems with this and motherhood. Taking it day by day, she chronicles this month long experiment.

    Found this well written, very honest, and well done. I wish her and her family well. Sometimes life is such a struggle and I applaud her efforts to try to improve what areas she can

  • Peacegal
    Feb 26, 2017

    A REALLY GOOD DAY caught my eye because, well, I thought it looked funny. An upper-class, middle-aged mom with a history of mood disorders embarks on an experimental therapy utilizing the (in)famous psychedelic LSD.

    If you're imaging PTA meetings transforming into Salvadore Dali paintings, that's not what you'll find here. Waldman takes the tiniest of doses--meant to tweak her mood and productivity, not go onto a full-blown trip. That said, there's still funny stuff to be had here, and some grave

    A REALLY GOOD DAY caught my eye because, well, I thought it looked funny. An upper-class, middle-aged mom with a history of mood disorders embarks on an experimental therapy utilizing the (in)famous psychedelic LSD.

    If you're imaging PTA meetings transforming into Salvadore Dali paintings, that's not what you'll find here. Waldman takes the tiniest of doses--meant to tweak her mood and productivity, not go onto a full-blown trip. That said, there's still funny stuff to be had here, and some gravely serious subjects as well.

    For lack of a better term, I at time marvelled at how "California" the author's setting and values were. Many of the attitudes and places she describes are lightyears away from what I live alongside in small-town America. I think I laughed hardest when Waldman described a radio-inspired conversation with one of her children, because I had asked the EXACT SAME QUESTION as a child:

    Child: "Mom, when he sings, 'I get high with a little help from my friends,' is he talking about getting high on drugs?"

    Waldman: "Well, yes, he is." (Cue serious discussion about drugs and why people use them.)

    My mom's response: "He's talking about getting high on life, not on drugs." :D Contrast this also with Waldman's "harm reduction" approach to drug and alcohol use by her teen and young adult children, including a pact that they won't get in trouble if they're drinking and call her for a ride home, instead of riding with an intoxicated driver. For

    21st, I ordered a frozen daiquiri while dining with my parents at the now-defunct chain restaurant Chi-Chi's; my dad stormed out into the parking lot in a rage and refused to come back inside until I had intercepted the waiter and cancelled my drink order. (Ah, memories!)

    But back to the book. The author shines when she's talking about the history of drugs and their prohibition, as well as her experiences as a lawyer fighting for poor and often minority clients caught in the crossfire of the cruel War on Drugs. Plus, I always appreciate a shoutout to

    which I have, and which can be difficult to describe to others. I loved when Waldman shared that she spent her childhood meals with her hands over her ears because her dad's chewing panicked her so. As for me, I would ask repeatedly, "Do you think we could turn on some music?" with an increasingly freaked out expression in the same situation.

    That said, I can understand why others have been a bit exasperated with A REALLY GOOD DAY. When Waldman isn't talking about the interesting asides described above, she's stuck on herself, which can be both boring and intrusive. She opens each chapter with a diary-like cataloguing of her mood, productivity, bodily pain, and so forth. She describes her intimate life with her husband and their various arguments over upper-class things--such as who gets the writer's studio--which was rather off-putting and uncomfortable. And frankly, I don't understand how anyone who suffers from misophonia could have four children in the home without intentionally deafening oneself.