Your Therapist Says It’s Magical Feelings
Sadie McCarney’s Your Therapist Says It’s Magical Thinking is a buoyant second collection that playfully navigates the turbulent waters of life with mental illness and neurodivergence. In much of the book, history and science are treated the way they are often viewed by a brain in mental turmoil: places and events get switched around, facts get rewritten, and the fantastical reigns supreme. Through poems ranging from didactic (the horrible “self-care” advice received by the poet when she was struggling most) to historical fiction (patients in an asylum in 1800s England), to the quirky and unexpectedly fantastical (a rainbow carpool unicorn, a young child’s timeline reversing each morning, and an everything bagel that includes competing theories of time), McCarney digs deep into the muck of her own lived experience. She resurfaces with, if not gold, at least an old time capsule and a few treasured hunks of bone. Your Therapist Says It’s Magical Thinking highlights the sometimes dubious (but always jubilant) inner workings of a mentally unwell brain at play — especially within the context of a larger society that frequently seeks to tamp down this weird and rare form of magic.
Charlottetown, PEI–based Sadie McCarney is the author of the poetry collection Live Ones and the found poetry performance text/mental health memoir Head War. Her work has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry, The Walrus, Literary Review of Canada, the Gay & Lesbian Review, and various literary journals.