Ira Glass revealed just how he rolls.
The “This American Life” host opened up about taking ecstasy for the first time and how it made him come to terms with his anxiety.
“I took ecstasy, and in my life I’m somebody who has a lot of anxiety all the time, about things I’m supposed to be doing,” he recently told GQ. “A lot of anxiety about [being] worried that I’ve said the wrong thing to people, that I haven’t been listening well enough to people, that I’m treating people okay, that I’m being responsive. There’s just a lot of worry. I don’t think I’m at a pathological level, I’m just a very mindful, worried person in a lot of ways.”
The 60-year-old continued, “I remember having the thought, ‘Do other people live this way? … Are there people who have this experience of feeling no anxiety, and just walking up to people and assuming that people might like them? And everything might be fine with other people, and there’s nothing to worry about with other people. Is this an experience that people go through life with who are not on drugs?’” he said. “I remember it was incredibly instructive. And I remember I carried with me for months, thinking about like, ‘Wait, that’s a whole way to be. That you could just go through the world and not be anxious all the time about other people.’”
But Glass confessed that his therapist didn’t agree with the sentiment.
“I remember I told him this story about how I did have this experience on ecstasy and how helpful [it was],” Glass said of his shrink. “He says, ‘People come in here, and they say like, “I wish I could have a life without anxiety. There are people out there who are going through adult life without anxiety.”‘
He explained that his therapist told him, “‘Having anxiety is what it is to be an adult. Living with worries about what other people think, and what you’re supposed to do, and worrying that you said the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. That’s adulthood!’”
Despite his therapist’s take, Glass still believes his MDMA experience was “incredibly useful.”
“I stand with my own experience. It was incredibly useful to have an afternoon with no anxiety. It was really a very helpful thing,” he said.
He also revealed that he has tried the drug a few times again but not for a very long time.
“I understand it’s really bad for your brain to do it a lot,” he said. “But anyway, yeah, I had uniformly good experiences on it.”