Sunaina Luthra ON March 18, 2023, IN BOOK REVIEW, I want to die but I want to eat tteokbokki By Baek Sehee-Non-Fiction
A darkness that grips and makes you despondent,
Affects your mood to be morbid and confused,
Makes you vacillate to the stupor,
The naïve me, a forlorn identity in the helm of this darkness
I turn my mindto a parched land,
For few drops of respite and peace to quench,
I have becomean intruder of my thoughts,
Futile and vulnerable,
The darkness does not leave me,
I call it Dysthymia,
Lurking as a shadow of my incomprehensible self!
Depression is an inconceivable fragility of the mind; the more you palpitate it with reprisals, the precarious incumbent it becomes to indulge in fisticuffs—a de rigueur I suppose. It manifests in different forms, an excrescence to various anxiety disorders and mental illness.
Baek Sehee, a successful media director, pulsates a profound story of her ordeals and tryst with Dysthymia, which is a form of mild depression acting as an adamant swing swaying back and forth without a breath to catch. She is aware of what grips her and is indulgent of unwarranted simulacrum of ‘yes, I have experience it before.’ To put the pack of cards back to where they belong, she resorts to the comfort and assurance of the counselling rooms, supplanted to a carapsse of her misery, unhappiness and low self-esteem.
The book ‘I want to die but I want to eat tteokbokki’ is Baek’s record of the therapy she receives for her persistent depressive disorder. She brings forth her arduous struggle with her emotions and exploring specific situations in her life. It is reconnaissance ofher pessimistic feelings that hampered her from leading a healthy life.
She grappleswhat many of us cling to as a raison d’ etre—a healthy weight, a satisfactory education and the perfect pirouette to garner friends and a partner. But depression as a ‘deuce’invokes a phantasmagoria of delusions and dystopia. Baek finds herself isolated in this quagmire, and with passage of time her paranoia towards strangers grows worse. Her anxiety around strangers is uncontrollable. As she gradually works through the therapy process, Baek puts a conscious effort to turn her gaze to positive things, is able to rationalize her thoughts and find her own ways to comfort the demons inside.
Baek is not different from many of us,who find it hard to maintain their sunny disposition despite life’s vicissitudes—embroiled in a cascade of disappointment and endless self -doubting.
Baek’s courage and honesty to bring forth her innermost feelings and candid conversationis praiseworthy.The book is Baek’s catharsis, pouring her heart into the pages reminding the readers that we are not fatally flawed. The book does not provide us with heaps of solution rather strengthens the truth that the feeling of imperfection and depression are a part of the impossibly complex fabric of the human experience that is difficult to part with.
Readers will find a positive change once the book reaches it finale.
As rightly said, ‘A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND INDEED’
Friends are there to enliven our spirits, support us in our darkest phase, inspireand boost our self-esteem.
We find a friend in the form of a book that expoundsthis very idea—easy to go back to when required and helps to search one ray of sunlight that we can linger on to.
A soothing read……