Goodbye from MAPS Staffer Brandy Doyle

Summer 2005 Vol. 15, No. 2 Israel Conference: MDMA/PTSD Research

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As I wrap up the editing of this issue of the Bulletin, I find myself procrastinating on the article that is to be my Goodbye to MAPS. When we started work on this issue, I was a full-time staffer, living and working at the MAPS home office in Sarasota. Now I write from my laptop, having handed over my desk, my former duties, and even my old bedroom to the very capable Valerie Mojeiko. After four incredible years, I’ve decided to pursue other interests and see what else the world has in store. My future plans are up in the air, but I do know that the MAPS community will continue to be a part of my life.

In fact, I hope to see many of you at Burning Man this year, where I will again work with MAPS to provide volunteer “psychedelic emergency services.” This will be my third year helping to organize MAPS’ involvement at Burning Man, and I can’t wait.

Brandy in the hills above Edinburgh, Scotland

I’m also coordinating the publication of two new MAPS books this summer. We will be re-printing Albert Hofmann’s LSD: My Problem Child, which has been out of print in English for years. We’ll also be publishing a new book on death and dying by psychedelic therapy pioneer Stanislav Grof, M.D. It’s an honor to be working on both projects, and I’m glad for the chance to keep contributing to MAPS and its mission. I hope to continue finding ways to stay involved in the months and years to come. The experiences I’ve had working at MAPS will stay with me for my lifetime. I’ve had amazing opportunities for growth, both professionally and personally. I’ve met wonderful people, many of whom are friends and some of whom have become mentors. I feel very fortunate for the chance to work on causes that are inspiring and meaningful to me – and to do it for a living.

Writing this, it’s hard to remember why I’ve chosen to leave at all. Yet paradoxically, it’s my experiences at MAPS that give me the courage to step into the unknown. MAPS has been a great place to learn about taking risks and coping with uncertainty. Nearly every project involves breaking new ground and challenging the status quo. Often there is a crossing of boundaries, a synthesis of seemingly disparate aspects of life – science and mysticism, bureaucracy and healing, work and play. With a mission as ambitious as re-envisioning society and its relationship to psychedelics, MAPS depends on continually imagining and enacting new possibilities.

So it is with this awareness, of the necessity of uncertainty and the value of dreaming, that I venture forth to seek the next phase in my own career and in my life. After four years at MAPS and eight in Sarasota, I’m excited and somewhat terrified about the changes ahead. To use a favorite MAPS analogy, it’s like a psychedelic experience – staying with the anxiety, facing the void, to see what’s on the other side. I’ll let you know what I find out.

Thanks for everything,