Friday, 6 September 2019

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. (Mindscape Reviews)

Hi Readers! Lately, I have been off the reading game. I’m unable to concentrate or binge read anything at all, no matter how interesting. But, yesterday, I finally finished this book by Lori Gottlieb titled ‘Maybe You Should Talk To Someone’. To be honest, I read it over a period of a month & got to its end yesterday. When I started reading it, I did not think I would be able to complete it, but as I got really into it, I absolutely started enjoying it. I think this is the kind of book everyone should read. Here goes the review!


As the title suggests, ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’ is about therapy. Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist & talks about her different patients who see her for a lot of different reasons. Their therapy journey is beautifully showcased from start till end. We also get to see Lori’s therapist & their sessions. Throughout the book, there is SO MUCH character development from all these characters that is nothing but inspiring. Lori, her patients, her therapist! It’s brilliantly written & after reading it, even you will take something from it in the form of therapy.

Lori’s main patients are John, Julie, Rita & Charlotte.

JOHN is shown as a famous TV writer who tends to feel that everyone is an idiot. He has intimacy issues & a secret he has hidden deep inside him. It is even irritating, at first, to read about his sessions. But, his journey from there & after he rediscovers the real problem layers underneath is so evolutionary. At the end, you won’t even feel that this was the same person in the first chapter!

JULIE is a newlywed young woman who has recently detected cancer. One can only imagine what happens to a person when they know that they are dying. Keeping that in perspective, she still goes to therapy & it helps her to face her death more bravely unlike before. To Lori, Julie seems like her younger self & they happen to create a bond like you have never seen between a patient & their therapist. Julie’s journey is just too sad & lovely at the same time.

RITA is a 69-year-old lonely lady who comes to therapy announcing that she will end her life when she is 70 unless she finds something worth living for. Her past is full of regrets in which she goes through domestic violence along with her children. It consists of a lot of bad choices, neglect, abandonment, hurt & pain, so much that she finally decides to die. But, in that one year of therapy, so many beautiful things happen to her! She finds a man she loves & who loves her despite her past. She makes another proxy family. Her art website grows so much. All in all, you never know what one year can do for you.

CHARLOTTE is someone who drinks a lot & sleeps around a lot. She always seems to choose the wrong emotionally unavailable man to get involved with. But even she finds her way back. There isn’t much focus on her story.

And finally, now LORI herself! You can see her story unravel in flashbacks. In the PRESENT, you know she is a successful therapist who is having a lot of trouble dealing with her breakup with Boyfriend. To be honest, it seems unreal even for her, how she was at the beginning & how much she changes too. And, in the PAST, we see how she ends up being a therapist. She starts her journey from working as a journalist, which leads to writing for medical drama shows, which then makes her want to go to medical school. But, she is not able to go through with it entirely, which is why she quits med school. A lot of years go by not really knowing what her career path would be & age wasn’t on her side. I think this is why she decides to have & raise a baby all by herself, to take control of her life. And then, finally, she finds herself on the path of being a therapist. Her story sends such an important message. No matter what your age, you can always choose a new career path!

Her problems start with her breakup & then she goes to discover other things, like, the book she cannot make herself to write, her health issues & ultimately leading to her fear of death! It is amazing how Wendell, her therapist puts all of this into perspective for her. In his own way, Wendell was just the therapist Lori needed.

In each & every case, you see how these people change & grow by tremendous amounts. Even though the book is non-fiction, because of its therapy-oriented narrative, the character stories feel so real & make it almost fictional. There are parts where Lori talks about emotions & feelings in the non-fiction way. But there are also so many parts with her patients where it is real! You actually feel the things her patients are feeling.
“Be it Julie’s cancer or Rita’s loneliness. You feel it in your bones!”
There is a part where Julie’s cancer resurfaces & she tells Lori how she will miss herself! It is so incredibly emotional! There is another part where John tells his dream to Lori & that too is just so heart breaking! There is another chapter where Rita talks about Myron & of true love, which just melts you. I think Lori’s writing skills are incredibly powerful. Being a therapist, she can put feelings into words remarkably! I loved this book for that.

My only complaint, if I may, is that the book is TOO LONG. It must have taken me a month to finish it. But, when you have read it more than half, it becomes more interesting. You get keen on knowing how the stories of these fictional people will end up like. While I am happy about Rita’s fortunate turn of events & Julie’s unexpected changes, I wasn’t so pleased about Charlotte & John. John is one of the most focused-on patient & his journey is shown in a very slow transition. Even his breakthrough is not a Eureka moment, which was weird for me. And, there could have been more content for Charlotte too. Given that so many people these days face drinking & addiction problems, more highlight on that could have worked better. But, anyway, there isn’t a book quite like this one. I think this will be one of the classics of our century & definitely needs more acclamation! Whether it helps you or not, it sure will leave an impact.

·       “Before you speak, ask yourself, What is this going to feel like to the person I’m speaking to?”
·       Don’t judge your feelings; notice them. Use them as your map. Don’t be afraid of the truth.
·       Happiness equals reality minus expectations.
·       It’s impossible to grow without first becoming vulnerable.
·       Love can often look like so many things that don’t seem like love.
·       Avoidance is almost always about fear.
·       You can’t get through your pain by diminishing it. You get through your pain by accepting it and figuring out what to do with it.
·       In a way, our silences serve another purpose: They give us the illusion of stopping time.

Until next time,

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