Adventures in Depression and Microdosing

I feel there’s no avoiding exposing myself through and through on this one, so let’s cut to the chase. My mental health took a nosedive about seven years ago when I got dumped out of a relationship I had taken for granted as a forever thing. I picked myself right back up after the breakup, bought a bicycle, cycled halfway around the world, felt invincible and all grown-up for the hardship, and made a big deal of it all.

Berlin arrival, de rigueur dating-party-drug thing. I did have fun for a few months and have absolutely no regret.

But it all came crashing down on me like a high-pressure dam that’d been suppressing floods for too long. I don’t mean this lightly — it crushed me at max velocity. Pinned me down to the floor in a lost corner of West Berlin where I thought I had landed in a parallel universe I never wanted to know existed. An interstellar crap land of sort.

So there I was, trapped, lost, rolled up in a ball on the 70s carpet in a onesie too big for me because I was too broke to use the heating. Chain-smoking cigarettes as my newfound coping mechanism while advocating a healthy lifestyle. Chain-dating people to try and forget all that I had lost. Taking myself on Eurotrips to feel alive, yet wishing to be hit by a car at the next intersection.

I don’t know how long this undiagnosed situation of mine lasted but it became my default. Months, years maybe? It’s all just a blur. It took me over and became me. A broken person, and one too broke to afford the German health care system. I’ll leave here a few images of my then flat situation to set the stage for you.

I’ve been a strong advocate of full transparency throughout the now eight years that I’ve been writing here and on social media. So many bloggers and content creators are depicting unrealistic images that lead to so much distortion and malaise. I didn’t want to be one of them.

But also I didn’t want to let depression become a defining trait by letting it take so much space in my life that it becomes a topic, you know? I wanted to suppress it and walk the line I had tended for myself for so long. A line I most obviously could not walk in the fog of my depression. This became the deciding factor into how far down the rabbit hole I would go each time a depressive episode hit. The greater the distance between the standard I was setting for myself and the dumpster fire that was my mental state, the bigger the dissonance. I think this will continue to reverberate and bite me in the ass, like forever.

So I guess I clung to some sort of public image of myself, not as a way to deceive anyone, but rather as a means to survival. Except I created a spicy double-edge sword to bleed myself against every time hell broke loose.


Those last three years, I’ve had my life back on track, mostly. I have a full-time job, my own apartment, wonderfully supportive friends, health insurance, the means to pay for therapy, and the will to live a long healthy life.

And, perspective. And a great therapist, alleluia.

The reverberation still circles back around every so often, like a drill, to make sure I still know how to fall on my feet after a good spin. I don’t always.

A few things have helped, and one of them has been microdosing psychedelics. I think there is a time and place for this, and I wanted to give you the full 360 first because I don’t know if it would have served me as well had I not done the work first. Maybe? I’m glad I did the work first in any case.

For me “the work” has been first and foremost learning to sit in the center of the fire and let it burn and lick at my legs until it almost fully consumes me. I needed to feel my pain, and not mask it by cycling thousands of kilometers or doing so much yoga that I completely disembody from my own human experience. I needed to hit — and get comfortable sitting at — rock bottom. This was mostly unconscious work, but I always just wound up there no matter what.

I’ve previously written about my ayahuasca experience which you can read about. In the lead-up to it, I had been microdosing psilocybin (mushroom) with interesting, if faint results. I followed this protocol almost to the T and of course, experienced good results because I was taking care of myself, exercising more, decluttering my life, doing therapy, etc. I can’t decide how much of it to credit to the microdosing, but overall it has been a very positive experience and a very gentle introduction to psychedelics. I still found myself in a few depressive episodes through it, so this isn’t a cure-all or magic thing, ironically in this specific case.

Placebo or not, psilocybin positively affected my life, but at some point, I felt I had stalled in how it was serving me and wanted to try other things, not out of wanting to heal myself from anything, but as a way to explore untapped parts of my psyche. Now, this may come as a surprise to you, but LSD can be obtained legally in many parts of Europe. I buy mine here. And this for me has been far more transformative than psilocybin. Potentially because of all the preparation and work that have culminated in me being here now telling you about this, but also potentially because of the huge power of this drug. I mean, there is a reason why LSD has been researched in psychiatry for years to treat anxiety, depression, psychosomatic diseases, and addiction. I’m not here to tell you of the science, but rather of my own experience — and do please take it as anecdotal and do your own research. But what I’ve experienced is immense mental clarity, prolonged equanimity, intense wellbeing, drive, creativity, and pure joy in the present time and everything that led me to be here and now.

Microdosing has been the companion to the very tail end of a 3 to 4-year-long depression, at a time where I think I can speak for many when I say collective mental health hasn’t been at its peak. When all else fails around us and there’s little hope for humanity, at least I have found some solace in knowing that I can stand on my own two feet with poise and lightness when doomsday finally arrives for us all.


For the longest time, I was alienating myself by thinking that my pain was more intense, vivid, or different from that of others. It wasn’t. We’re all here living an equally vivid and painful existence, and I hope this can help you find a way to be more empathetic towards yourself.

Sending you love,
Amélie