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Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking: A Life Lived Obsessively

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When I was seeking diagnosis, I met with a different, thoughtless psychiatrist who told me: ‘a diagnosis isn’t a cure, you know’. This book follows the fixations she has had throughout her life, stemming from a love for Disney and the whimsy a day at Disneyland can bring to an intense fear of death, tales of Medusa and the ocean.

However, as is the nature of essay collections/memoirs, varying topics brought with them varying levels of interest on my part - and as a result the reading experience had peaks and troughs for me. I've been a fan (if that's the right word) of Marianne Eloise for a while - I feel like she was one of the first women my. In her candid, witty memoir, Marianne Eloise offers a powerful account of what it is like to feel trapped by mental health problems and obsessions … A brave book that puts vulnerability fully on show.I was particularly interested in the distinction between healthy and unhealthy obsessions and their differing effects on the author’s life and health. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. She covers topics like TV, film, digital culture, neurodiversity, wellness and alternative music, for outlets including The Cut, the New York Times, Courier, Vulture, i-D, Guardian and more.

I liked the fact that she doesn't only explain how her OCD diagnosis (and her autism, but the essays focus more on the obsessive compulsive thoughts) affects her, she also shares her obsessions, lovingly writing about her favourite rides and her favourite parts of LA, her regular trips to California.I would have loved a more linear timeline through some of the essays as it was hard to keep track of where and when Marianne was and what events had preceded certain essays at times, but as this isn't a memoir, the format worked. Tenses would abruptly change for no reason, same or similarly-worded context would be reiterated multiple times throughout a piece, and, although stronger at the beginning, depictions of her conditions were 'told-not-shown' in rambling, disorganized lists (and not in a meta-mania way, which would have been really cool - like, take us inside! I'm not trying to say the author owes the reader all the ins-and-outs of her trauma, but if you are writing a memoir focusing on your mental illness and neurodivergency, dancing around the real nitty gritty is pointless.

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