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10 thoughts on “A Really Good Day

  1. Julie Ehlers Julie Ehlers says:

    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 general drug related information At first I wasn't too enthused when Waldman went from discussing her own personal experiences to talking about how LSD was 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 inclined to consider it than I ever would've been before I owe that to you Ayelet WaldmanWaldman 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 careSo 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

  2. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    35 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 winShe 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 knewInterspersed 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 uite 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

  3. Kristin Kristin says:

    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 uest for sanity is painfully honest hysterically funny and deeply human I loved it

  4. Brett Benner Brett Benner says:

    I'd have to macrodose to read much 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 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

  5. Susan Susan says:

    I debated between 4 and 5 stars I enjoyed this book very much Ayelet Waldman's uest for a better mood less volatility and a happier existence overall rivals any self help book I've encountered I'm not sure if it's because we are the same age because we are eually neurotic because we have both lived with PMDD but her unflinching and often funny voice resonated a lot with me For example the part when she thinks her daughter has gotten a new tattoo on her neck that signifies meh and immediately wants to jump on the next plane to somehow rectify this Oh my I have been there much to my own daughter's chagrin and resentment While some people will view this memoir as ever so much navel gazing to me it was wonderful Perhaps people who suggest AW needs to get out of her head volunteer think less etc haven't suffered from a mood disorder or maybe they've figured it all out Ruminating obsessing self flagellating feeling guilty and ashamed that is the stock in trade of the dysphoric life And I'd guess those might be good ualities for a writer to possess I'll seek of AW's work She made me laugh taught me a great deal about the shameful war on drugs and the history of drugs and ultimately made me feel like I have a sister in arms out there I doubt I'll be microdosing any time soon though Here in the heartland of the US they'd probably send you up the river if you're not an accomplished writer with a solid legal career and a pretty fabulous life Alas

  6. Lesley Vandernoot Lesley Vandernoot says:

    Talk about a book not matching its reviews I think maybe a dose of something was reuired 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 rapuh thanks for the insight honey I'm sure Walter White appreciates itI disliked this book intensely

  7. Ilana Ilana says:

    An update I read this book and wrote the bulk of this review in 2017 shortly after its release It gave me a lot to think about I felt strongly that microdosing might be a viable solution for me as I have been treatment resistant for the 20 years since I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and because I spent than a decade since a major burnout in 2007 living with constant clinical depression unalleviated by antidepressants and various therapies I've been microdosing psilocybin now easy to source online in Canada for a month now as of the beginning of March 2020 and find myself in a much better place I don't think I can ascribe this solely to the psilocybin as I was already feeling much motivated than what had become my usual for a couple of months before that but I do find myself drifting away from what has been a constant funk and miserable existence There are other contributing factors for my improved state such as having disassociated myself from an abusive narcissistic parent in the last couple of years But I'm finding that my mentality these days is closer to the one I have when I'm slightly hypomanic which usually means I'm filled with lots of creative ideas and enjoy living people and never have enough hours in a day and not so interested in sleeping those days away This probably closely resembles a base state for many people but in my case having had to deal with trauma and genetic predisposition to anxiety and negative thinking it comes as a blessing Like dark clouds clearing away and allowing me to see things in full colour again I haven't told my shrink about this medication adjustment yet because I wanted to see results before mentioning a form of therapy that isn't yet officially accepted medically nor legally though I did tell my neurologist recently who seemed unsurprised and had read studies on the subject and said some people had found it helpful in treating cluster headaches but not migraines which is what I consult him for In any case I intend on continuing with this experiment to see whether it continues helping me find a relatively stable state of contentment and productivity over several seasons I don't recommend this to anyone unless they are well informed and are aware of the legal risks and would NOT want any minors to take any of what I say as encouragement to experiment with drugs while their brain is still developing I made that mistake in my teens and I'm certain it hasn't helped my mental wellbeing in the long run and am truly grateful I never fell on a bad batch to turn me into a permanent psychotic mess Nowadays when society is divided by polar opposites on so many levels the gift of relative sanity and stability is probably the biggest and most desirable luxury anyone can give themselves This book came to my attention a few months before its release when a caring friend mentioned that it might be of interest to me This friend along with most people who know me was aware that I struggle daily with my mood disorder and she was right in thinking I'd be curious to learn about a radically different approach to 'self medication' Ayelet Waldman like me has taken just about every pharmaceutical drug available on the market AND suffered all the accompanying side effects Treating a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder is complicated business and usually involves a whole drug cocktail to stabilize both the highs and lows Approaching menopause Waldman found that she was becoming and out of control and the feeling she was putting her marriage at risk with repeated angry outbursts along with suicidal thoughts prompted her to seek a solution Having studied a book on the subject of microdosing which provided helpful guidelines and not least of all having procured a small vial of LSD from a mysterious source she decided to become her own research subject for a month long trial which involved taking minute amounts of LSD every three days and journaled any changes she was able to perceive over this period At the kind of doses she was taking about one tenth of a standard hallucinogenic dose the user experiences no hallucinatory effects whatsoever Instead she describes the overall effect of the experience as providing a feeling that one is focused in control and with the general impression that one is just having a really good dayWaldman makes it very clear that she is by no means a typical drug user and that in fact with her background as a Federal public defender she is probably cautious than most She did a lot of reading and research on LSD to discover that it is actually a relatively safe drug and that one is unlikely to ever overdose on it Further she was very much against the idea of 'tripping out' or getting high in any way The doses she was taking did not produce psychotropic effects which leads Waldman to make some very good points on the merits of legalization of drugs which might be beneficial for treating individual who do not respond to other pharmaceutical drug regimens She makes good points on why there is a need replace the ineffective and ultimately racist 'war on drugs' and develop a practical approach to drug use to among other things allow for clinical trials and ultimately to give adults a right to decide for themselves whether they would like to alter their consciousness with drugs or notI would not say this is a 'general interest' book I had a keen interest in it because it treats on a subject that is very close to me but I can imagine someone expecting to read about wild LSD experimentation will be sorely disappointed My high rating reflects the interest level I had in the information this book procured and it left me thinking I might be a candidate for this kind of treatment

  8. Nissa Nissa says:

    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 comeMy 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 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

  9. Rachel León Rachel León says:

    I love Ayelet Waldman and her nonfiction is especially incredible She writes with so much unflinching honesty that it's hard not to rally behind her no matter what she's writing about Waldman suffers from bipolar disorder and this new book outlines her thirty day experiment taking microdoses of LSD in lieu of pharmaceuticals She combines personal stories with statistics so the book is a blend of memoir and a well researched challenge of the war on drugs I'd be willing to bet any rating under 4 stars is from readers who wished the book was of a memoir as yes it does become research heavy But I thought the balance was actually pretty perfect This book got me thinking and taught me a lot while also offering a personal account to an interesting experiment A really good book indeed

  10. Viv JM Viv JM says:

    This book is a very readable and occasionally very funny account of the author's month long experiment with microdosing with LSD in an attempt to alleviate her mood swings originally diagnosed as bipolar and later as PMDD Along the way she delves into the history of LSD research into its benefits and the effects of the ill fated war on drugs I found it an engaging and interesting book

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A Really Good Day 7 hrs and 37 minsA 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 uest 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 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 euanimity 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