Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking: A Life Lived Obsessively

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Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking: A Life Lived Obsessively

Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking: A Life Lived Obsessively

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I didn’t highlight it so I’m paraphrasing, but it PISSED me off when the author said something somewhere along the lines of “I have no respect for women who wear 1950s fashion, yearning for a period steeped in racism” on one page, and then a little later goes on to brush off Disney’s very well documented nazism and racism as a “rumour”? You can’t help but feel this style is influenced by the “wellness” idiom that has percolated through lifestyle journalism in the past decade or so. I've noticed that people often comment on memoirs by neurodivergent women with shit like "i don't get it/it seems self-indulgent/melodramatic/doesn't make sense/is repetitive/just a lot" And I'm like. 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.

The author paints a picture of herself as a complicated and extremely anxious person who obsessively loves and worries about her dog, takes weeks to pack for trips because of the crippling fear that she’ll forget something, is extremely socially anxious and nervous, is constantly in debilitating pain (none of which I’m disputing btw, not that I could or would want to anyway), and yet she somehow manages to travel the world almost incessantly (without her dog), hobnob with celebrities and bucketloads of friends, run marathons, and drown out the intrusive thoughts. I felt very seen by it, but a lot of the essays fell very flat for me and I wanted much more from them. It indicates a subjectivity, rather than just a diagnosis, which is no less valuable than other types of brain functioning. 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.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. Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking is a non-fiction book about being neurodivergent and having OCD. This collection of essays is split into three sections, following the author across the world, in and out of relationships and into different impacts her autism, ASD and chronic pain has had upon her life.

The rest of the book mostly annoyed me, because there’s this frustrating dichotomy between the person the author describes herself to be at first, and the person who constantly does stuff that the first version of herself would, surely, find extremely difficult if not impossible. i feel so fortunate to have been able to read this ahead of its publication date next month; i've been a fan of marianne's work for a while and this feels like a brilliant expansion of events and moments i've seen her briefly allude to online over the years.That said, I was surprised by how well she made such niche, personal, specific experiences feel relatable and general. Long Live the New Flesh” opens with a cryptic poem the author wrote back in 2016: “There’s a television in my stomach / and I watch it nightly / at odds with my own body / as it shrinks, fades away.

As a neurodivergent person myself, I found myself relating to the author a lot of the time - and when I didn't, her sense of humour and snide observations about the world around her made up for it.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. This collection of essays gives the reader great insight into the author's experience of autism and OCD. As a Los Angeles native, it was enlightening to see how Marianne wrote about my home with fresh eyes and made me appreciate it and question it in new ways. Having OCD myself I was hoping this book would offer some useful information on the subject however this is a series of personal articles on the author’s condition and with autism.



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