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Living with OCD is not for sissies. J.J. Keeler proves that. From her fears of the bomb in her teddy bear, to her fear of having run over innocent pedestrians, to her fear that she has killed her waiter, she tells her story in a way that allows us to see inside her disease and to see that she has not lost her sense of humor. This light-hearted yet serious and comforting look at OCD lets some light into the closet of sufferers. This book is for those with OCD, those who love someone with OCD, and for those who would like to know what it's like to live with the daily challenges of OCD.
|Publisher:||Paragon House Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
J.J. Keeler has lived with OCD for her entire life. She has a bachelor's degree in English literature, runs a successful business, and is happily married with six pets. She is living proof there is life with OCD.
Table of Contents
Welcome to the Other Side
When AIDS Came Out
The Bomb in My Teddy Bear
Ashes to Ashes
The Dating Game
It's Not Always OCD
A Bump in the Road
A Talk with God
The Belly of a Babe
First Do No Harm
I Know This Sounds Crazy, But
A Final World For Those with OCD
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An absolutely brilliant description of life with O.C.D. Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (4/12) I am sure most of us have jokingly said at some point in time that a certain behavior or pattern of ours or somebody else’s is due to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but I am also sure that most of us really know preciously little about the disorder affecting quite a few among us. If there’s one thing that I am certain of after having finished reading J.J. Keeler’s “I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands,” it is that I will certainly never joke about anything like that again. While I hesitate to categorize her book as funny, that truly is the first thing that comes to mind. Her descriptions of life with OCD, as heart-wrenching as they are, are also incredibly funny, and never ceased to amaze me with the continuous display of intelligent humor and astonishingly sharp and poignant observations. J.J. Keeler accomplished something truly rare – she not only made me see OCD for what it is, but she made me feel like I was looking at it from the inside. I was not just a mildly curious observer, I felt immersed in the daily struggles of somebody coping with OCD. This was a true revelation to me, and a much needed reminder how little is generally known about such disorders and how easily they could be misunderstood. I would highly recommend J.J. Keeler’s “I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands” to anybody who wishes to be better informed about OCD and most certainly to anybody who is struggling with the disorder. In addition to the truly brilliant descriptions of daily life with OCD, the author offers a lot of practical advice, written in a way that should help any fellow OCD sufferer realize that they are not alone in their battle with it. Although it is all written with a big dose of humor, it is also completely serious, pointing out that OCD is a real disorder and completely terrifying for those living with it or those sharing their life with a person afflicted by OCD. A brave book by a gifted writer, this is a winner on every level.
A surpringly lighthearted memoir about the dark thoughts that characterize harm OCD. The author's humor and very relatable ancedotes helped me understand what this illness feels like from the perspective of someone on the inside. If you are looking for a place to start reading about OCD, this short memoir is a quick place to start. The letter to fellow sufferers at the end is a useful standalone piece.
I liked the first few chapters.... but then it got repetative to the point I was bored. Don't get me wrong... it is very brave of the author to discuss such a secret disease and as a fellow ocd sufferer, I know it is not easy. I kept waiting for her to weave in how she got better and got treatment but she saves this for the last few pages in a way that got tiring. I was tired of repetative chapters and waiting vfor the punchline of some personal struggles with recovery... and never really got it. Not satisfying for me.
This is an author who tells you of her trials as a child. The OCD at that particular time was more a case of angst that every single one of us on the planet suffers from. In her younger days she heard about AIDS on the news and was convinced she’d contracted it on several occasions. Another thought that was ingrained in her mind from the always depressing news about war, led her to believe that there was a bomb stashed in her teddy bear. And one of the most poignant things she says is that her teenage years were the easiest because there was so much angst - obsessing over good grades, boys, etc. - that her slightly darker and odder obsessions took a backseat. A majority of us will always maintain that the teen years were the worst because that WAS the time that held the most angst and worry, showing exactly how Keeler’s OCD played out - by being different from the ‘norm.’ This is a person whose OCD has nothing to do with being a hypochondriac or a crazed germaphobe. She doesn’t wash her hands constantly - doesn’t even worry about the mouse living under the stove. In fact, there are things that do not affect her at all, even though they would be placed in the OCD category. When OCD hit her square between the eyes she was in her twenties - and small obsessions or odd thoughts became obsessions of terror. She was afraid of killing - herself, strangers, children - it didn’t matter, and she felt as if there was a serial killer resting somewhere deep inside. As this look on life moves on, offering humor, pain, fear, and every other emotion on the human scale, readers will truly begin to feel something, and that ‘something’ I would have to call knowledge. A huge percentage of us are completely ignorant about OCD and the various ‘types’ that can stem from this particular ‘illness.’ What this author does - and quite well - is she defines the truth about life, what we look at as ‘crazy’ versus ‘sane’ and how a person can, with full understanding and help, learn how to live with OCD and live happily. It’s odd because a book review is a judgment of sorts, and after reading J.J. Keeler’s story, learning the facts and statistics and feeling the emotions that she expresses about her own trials, makes me see that having any judgment about OCD is simply wrong. We can not make an informed opinion, nor can we help others who suffer from this illness any better without knowledge - and Keeler provides it in spades! Quill Says: A hard, yet warm-hearted introspection about a life plagued by fears that, thankfully, turned out to be a life of happiness and love. A must-read!