Posted 20 hours ago

Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking: A Life Lived Obsessively

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The author has an incredibly engaging writing style, which I enjoyed, but I found myself feeling like the story was cyclical. Overall I would say this is a great book that is pleasantly honest about mental health and being neurodivergent.

I found a lot of things to relate but mostly what struck me is how different neurodivergent brains manifest and how the way we grow up shapes the experience again. 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. 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. It definitely would be a comfort for people with similar experiences and it does eventually end on a hopeful note, not dismissing the difficult experiences the author had through their life, but ending on a note that those experiencing these thoughts are not alone in their experiences.References to social media trends, language and, I apologise in advance, *discourse* gives me the same feeling as a film which references wokeness or, worse, covid. Marianne Eloise has a lighthearted, easily readable tone that is present all throughout the book and works really well when talking about mental health and neurodivergence. I also felt that at times the essays felt somewhat disjointed when viewed as a whole - for instance, cultural references that showed up time and time again were sometimes reintroduced from scratch. By the end of the book, reading about the author’s privileged time during the first Covid lockdown spent sunning herself in Lisbon, interspersed with a load of Portuguese history that I didn’t care to try to retain, I was ready to put the book down and move on.

Purely because when I read I want to get lost in the world of the book and not be reminded of real life, which is my own personal preferences!Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking is a culmination of a life spend obsessing, offering a glimpse into Marianne's brain, but also an insight into the lives of others like her. It was well-written, it could have been more structured at times (it is biographical and I found some elements confusing at times, getting mixed up between boyfriends for example). But there is so much in being neurodivergent that is who I am, and to cure the bad, the things that make life harder, would be to pull out the person I am at the root. Presumably informed by Baudrillard, Marianne Eloise reads the manicured joys of Disneyland’s “picture-perfect, pastel world” in three ways: as a source of obsession; a space for healing; and a site designed in its “DNA” to defer the fear of death. I recognised a lot of myself in these essays - a deep commitment to vegetarianism, a grocery list of sensory issues, a brain that tells you you are responsible for everything around you and should you stop doing or not doing things Bad Things Will Happen.

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