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August 02

Miista reviews: So Sad Today by Melissa Broder.

By Oriana Kubinska

 

ori

Fuck society's beauty ideals!
*tries to change everything about body*

— so sad today (@sosadtoday) June 16, 2016

I've never heard of Melissa Broder twitter. After a brief recommendation from Wessel, Miista's digital advisor (and a book worm) I've decided to give her bestselling book a go. He might have mentioned the writing being quite graphic but hey
I've read everything from the cheekiest, Charles Bukowski type of stuff. I'm well prepared for this. But even after browsing casually through her twitter feed while waiting for the book to arrive, I was totally not prepared for this one. 

"Babies are born, because parents feel that they themselves are not enough. So, parents, never condemn us for trying to fill our existential holes, when we are but the fruit of your own vain attempts to fill yours."

She might have started as an anonymous Twitter account @sosadtoday but Melissa Broder is a poet to begin with.
Mental note: I used to write a lot of poetry myself (as a very young ladette) and I find it enormously helpful in my writing work for Miista. I have strong fetish for words. It absolutely does not matter if it's a newsletter, shoe description or an Instagram caption, I'm striving for that moment when the punchline comes together. When you can almost hear the sound of the snare drum and the cymbal:
Ba dum tss..

It's called a percussive sting and I truly believe you can hear it throughout the whole book. Every page is like a scene from the Whiplash movie:


Not that scene. The other one:

Here lies the reason why she's so brilliant with the words. Like a virtuoso act of poetry and humour, she writes with a stunning confidence, especially given that the book is about her crippling anxiety and depression. 

First pages I've simply devoured, chuckling in bed at 2 am in the morning about how funny this woman is. I mean look at how hilarious some of the stories are:

I've had sex with a lot of gross people. I've had sex with enough gross people that I feel like I should have gotten paid for most of them. While I've never gotten paid for having sex with any gross people, I have been a sex worker of sorts. 

So Sad Today. Chapter: Love in the Time of Chakras.

But So Sad Today is not an essay collection of just funny confessions and Melissa Broder is not a Lena Dunham type of New Yorker. These essays will knock you back as too raw, too graphic, too sexually explicit, too outrageous. And yes, 'GirlBoss' readers will find it in-relatable as soon as they read about bodily fluids along the way.
Oh, and speaking of it, she specifically talks about her vomit fetish surrounding it. This book really hit a nerve.

The happiest I've ever been is when i was just a sperm.

— so sad today 

She writes about addiction, depression, and anxiety with an openness I've not read before now. There is a vulnerability to opening yourself up in this way and it is hard to not see that as brave, regardless of how many times I read the "D" word in this book.
It's not pretty but is lovely intimate. A lot of books dealing with depression leave out the "good" parts, focus on the sadness and ignore that there's another energy-draining component, the back-and-forth between being weirdly lovely on top of the world and feeling like the most fucked-up loser. it's human and imperfect and grossly.

When Wessel mentioned the book for the first time I thought the author was very young. I've googled her right away and in the pictures she looks youthful. 

melissa

It was quite a relief that she actually might be closer to my age. Also, I felt bad for noticing how beautiful she is. Melissa wouldn't have chosen to go down this spiritual hole for that acknowledgment. She might have ended up there because of people like me, focusing on the wrong things. MY sudden compassion surprised me, as if I was trying to get something for myself out of it.Yes, I wanted to relate and for the most part I did. If i could ask Melissa one thing, that would probably be: Did you write So Sad Today to connect with others? (or am i just talking to myself).

I have to be honest here, SST sometimes borders on glib. I was particularly unsatisfied with the bits about her open marriage, her husband, his sickness. She has no solutions for the problems she presents. Maybe there aren't any. But once you recognise the pain and sadness, you can choose how to cope. Broder does so through writing, through her poetry and her Twitter account.

 In the spirit of spilling secrets, a couple of things that make me #sosadtoday:

1) I am completely and unhealthfully obsessed with things going bad and getting hurt. I despise myself for making plan b, c and d just to calm myself down that I have a backup plan. There is maybe be one person I truly trust. I find it supersad. 

2)  Despite my decent list of achievements and my almost flawless work ethic, asking for help makes me want to vomit. I only ask for help that one person I trust. That person is very annoyed with me.

I am happy that I did like the book. If I didn't like it, I'd be alone on an island with my exotic opinion :) People love this book of essays. I will be interested in hearing what miistas think: oriana@miistas.com

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