Depression, anxiety, panic disorder, and addiction all resonate in this outspoken collection of essays.
Broder’s (Scarecrone, 2014, etc.) collection of 18 provocative essays began in 2012 as a formerly anonymous Twitter account loaded with dark humor and downward mood swings. Since its unmasking, the author now fully embraces the peaks and valleys of her emotional landscape as she attempts to “fill my many insatiable internal holes with external stuff.” Following a cursory glance at her upbringing, where “the religion of the household quickly became food,” Broder admits to chronically chewing her nails and ingesting other bodily products to “find comfort...even in the darkest, most disgusting places.” This graphic depiction of her youthful melancholy suitably sets the tone for the remainder of the essays, mostly overcast with angst yet punctuated with self-deprecating humor. The author lucidly describes her post-collegiate years living in Northern California, “melting down” in a whirlwind of alcohol, drugs, sexual experimentation, and employment in “a Tantric sex nonprofit.” Some sections read like slam poetry, as when Broder ruminates about love, graphic sexting with an online flame, or the things that bring her shame. The answers to an Internet addiction quiz compellingly illuminate her innermost fears of death and rejection. The author digs even deeper as she unveils an odd affinity for nicotine gum, Botox, open marriage, and a fetish for vomit, something she believes taps into the “dark, untouched corners within all of us.” While Effexor played an integral part, readers will also realize that Broder’s tweets were just as instrumental in her sobriety. In these vividly rendered and outspokenly delivered essays, the author admits to being in better shape now than before, and “sending what I was feeling out into the universe” has become the ultimate wellness elixir.
Sordid, compulsively readable entries that lay bare a troubled soul painstakingly on the mend.