Suicide or psychedelics?
Those were the options this week’s guest, Ayelet Waldman, found herself facing.
A married mother of four and novelist living in Berkeley, Waldman struggled with bipolar, anxiety and depression her entire life. According to her, mental illness ran wide and deep in her family. Over the years, she’d found a pharmaceutical regime that made life tolerable, until peri-menopause destroyed her ability to time her medication and things spiraled rapidly out of control.
Waldman found herself increasingly mired in suicidal ideation. Nothing seemed to be working any more. Then, she heard about decades old research on psychedelics and a non-trippy therapeutic approach called microdosing.
Through a series of events, Ayelet found herself in possession of a vial of pure LSD and, seeing few others options, decided to try following a 30-day psychedelic microdosing protocol shared in James Fadiman’s The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide.
Those 30-day changed everything. Within hours, the gray numbness began to lift. Life got more vivid, connected, stable and alive. Waldman wrote about her psychedelic microdosing journey, its affects, her fears and concerns, along with the politics, history, mythology and truths, how microdosing affected her work, mindset, relationship with her husband and kids and more in her latest book, A Really Good Day.
Head’s up. This is a raw, unfiltered and provocative conversation. The bigger questions, issues and potential applications extend far beyond Waldman’s immediate circumstances and life. This episode is neither an endorsement, nor an indictment of her choices or the use of psychedelics, but rather an exploration of deeply-challenging, yet critical issues from mental health to parenting and drug policy to science-fiction vs. fact.
Photo credit: Claire Lewis
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