Posted 20 hours ago

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki: The cult hit everyone is talking about

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No matter where on that journey you may be, you are never truly alone and this book spoke for far more than what was contained in its pages. This issue of extremes, her black-and-white thinking, is a recurring theme, and the psychiatrist does their best to make their patient aware of the issue, so that she can overcome it. I had expected this to be more of a memoir of depression with a bit of humour as well (the title and cover suggest at least that much) but it’s really a self-help book, existing of written down therapy sessions. He is the winner of a PEN Translates grant and a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant, among many others, and his translations include Kyung-Sook Shin's Violets, Bora Chung's Cursed Bunny, and Sang Young Park's Love in the Big City. Psychiatrist’s statements like: “We drink precisely to get drunk but now you’re envious of people who drink and don’t get drunk” or inquiring with an only slightly hidden shock why the author gained five kilos (“Really?

This takes place over the course of twelve weeks, and if you go into this book expecting more than simple conversations about therapy and the sad feelings Baek is going up against every day in her life, then you’re probably not going to be a fan of this book. When you said you felt so comfortable with me, it made me feel pathetic that I was feeling uncomfortable myself. Baek Se-hee, the author, has sky-high expectations of herself and is extremely self-critical, which is something I struggle with on a daily basis. I just appreciate how real and messy this book explains life, it really embraces the complexity of mental health and self perception.

Overall, the book is really just snippets of conversation between her therapist and her, tape-recorded, transcribed and stitched together with diary-esque musings from the "author" that concludes with some feel-good cliches. The antidepressants will lift you from the ground a little more, and I’ll also include some mood stabilisers”. Ihre Gefühle kann sie gegenüber jeder Person gut verbergen und strahlt eine Gelassenheit und Leichtigkeit aus. Part memoir, part self-help book, I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki is a book to keep close and to reach for in times of darkness. The reason for her decision to open up her sessions to the wider world is to show others who may be suffering from similar issues that they’re not alone.

The educational impulse is overwhelming, protagonist Baek remains a chiffre, and the (highly professional) dynamic between her and her therapist doesn't allow for enough immersion. In the end, reading this book was like experiencing someone's inner monologue: someone who's trying to figure out their own traumas and motivations, drifting from thought to thought at will. Baek was in her 20s and work She hopes that by opening up about her emotions, she’ll strike a chord with others and help them out of a dark place.If I were to record my hypothetical sessions with a therapist or whoever, I doubt anyone would want to read transcripts of it. Clearly, the book is meant as a weapon to fight the stigma around mental illness, it is supposed to function as a resource to give visibility to people who suffer from depression and who might feel alone - and these are important objectives, as depression is a potentially deadly illness that is still misunderstood by many people. For a book that supposedly lays it all out, it lacked depth in terms of allowing the reader to step into the author's experiences with her struggles with her mental health (examples of books I read recently that did this well: The Limits of My Language: Meditations on Depression by Eva Meijer, Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me: Depression in the First Person by Anna Mehler Paperny).

There was something about the title and cover of this book that brought to mind Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation and a line from Madame Bovary: ‘She wanted both to die and to live in Paris’. For ten years, she received psychiatric treatment for dysthymia (persistent mild depression), which became the subject of her essays, and then I Want to Die, but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki, books one and two. I decided to read this book to understand more about my own childhood trauma and why I was so much like her. It is forbidden to copy anything for publication elsewhere without written permission from the copyright holder.or for those who want to understand how complicated one’s mind can be when one constantly needs external validation, and on top of it, is extremely empathetic.

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