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8 Works 377 Membros 13 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Se Hee Baek

Obras de Baek Sehee


Conhecimento Comum

Outros nomes
Data de nascimento
Korea, Republic of



This Korean memoir consists predominantly of conversations between the author and her psychiatrist. It is candid and deeply personal, and yet full of omissions, because she doesn’t tell us all the details of her life, not even all the details she tells her psychiatrist.

I read this quickly. I found it really engaging and interesting! And it was easier to approach with a more open-mind, and with less judgement, than if it been written by someone in a more similar context to me (or at least in an English speaking one) -- I know what sort of advice I personally have found helpful, but I am neither Korean nor have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder.

As a memoir it would be more satisfying if it offered a cohesive narrative, but I think it’s fitting that it doesn’t. Because that’s what therapy is -- or can be -- like. It can be slow going and meandering. It can be like treading water. And knowing why one should change one’s patterns of thought doesn’t mean it is easy to break old habits.
I’ve always looked at the past from the future’s perspective: how would twenty-eight-year-old me look to thirty-five-year-old me? Or twenty-year-old me to twenty-eight-year-old me? Now I want to go to my past me’s and tell them: ‘You don’t have to try so hard.’ [...] I’ve worked hard to get here. And now I make a living doing what I enjoy. I’ve no anxieties about whether this is the right path for me. All I want is to get better at it. That’s enough for me -- why did I torture myself by comparing myself to someone else? If twenty-year-old me met me today, she would cry with joy. And that’s enough for me.

Towards the end there’s a note from the psychiatrist:
This is a record of a very ordinary, incomplete person who meets another very ordinary, incomplete person, the latter of whom happens to be a therapist. The therapist makes some mistakes and has a bit of room for improvement, but life has always been like that, which means everyone’s life -- our readers included -- has the potential to become better.
I thought this was an interesting thought too.
… (mais)
Herenya | outras 12 resenhas | Jul 5, 2024 |
Giving voice to what I think are a lot of concerns of a generation. Deeply personal, raw, and even funny at times. Liked it a lot more than I expected to and will probably reread in future
LadyLast | outras 12 resenhas | Jun 18, 2024 |
This must be one of the most misleading titles in literature. The title promises a certain mood and you expect a certain kind of story-telling but most of the book is a transcript of the sessions between the author and the therapist. The author may have intended readers to benefit from the therapist's advice but it was difficult when it was hard to understand the author. I don't want to be harsh but there are better memoirs to read.
siok | outras 12 resenhas | Jun 2, 2024 |
There were definitely some little nuggets of interesting information in Baek Se Hee's work here, and a handful things I highlighted to revisit later. Some bits were just nice reminders, like this quote where Baek reminds herself, "I am someone who is completely unique in this world, someone I need to take care of for the rest of my life, and therefore someone I need to help take each step forwards, warmly and patiently, to allow to rest on some days and encourage on others".
I admire her for sharing her (sometimes dark and struggling) thoughts with readers; it's no easy thing to expose therapy session discussions and the ways one might be hurting, so I am appreciative for her giving this to readers.

However, aside from those little nuggets, this work became increasingly either difficult to read or just flat-out put me off of it at times. The formatting is erratic, especially near the end: the book begins as just chunks of back-and-forth dialogue between Baek and her therapist, and many pieces of their conversations seem very unnatural or sanitized. There is a stilted feel to the way their dialogue reads that makes it feel like a draft or as if large pieces are missing. Then near the end of the book there are dozens of little 1-3 page chapters of seemingly random thoughts/reflections from Baek that read like scribbles on a napkin that were never meant to be published.

But perhaps the most off-putting thing about this work as a whole is the therapist. They seem so vastly underqualified for their job, and I was shocked at some of the "advice" being given. At one point, Baek expresses a concern that she may be drinking too much and wants to stop, and the therapist simply says "Stop going out with friends who drink" and "Just tell yourself, 'I won't drink so much next time' and let it go" and "Learn to blame the alcohol a bit".
In another moment, Baek is talking about her anxiety in regards to forming relationships, and her therapist straight-up tells to to try and stop thinking about the future so much because "Your anxiety can become a burden to others." So much of what was being said by the therapist just seems like empty sentiments or downright harmful advice.
There are also a few instances of fatphobic comments/sentiments that were weird to encounter, and, again, the therapist had very odd reactions to them that didn't sit well with me.

I guess Baek benefitted from these sessions, and I don't want to be too harsh about someone's personal mental health journey, but I will say I can't see myself heartily recommending "I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki" to someone, especially if they are currently experiencing depression or struggling. I think this would be best in the hands of someone who is an okay headspace and can put some separation between themselves and the sometimes questionable content.
… (mais)
deborahee | outras 12 resenhas | Feb 23, 2024 |

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