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An awesome 5 star read!

Recently, I received an email from TLC Book Tours asking me if I would review a memoir by a fellow OCD sufferer. Of course I said yes, because I love books, memoirs, and the word “free.” I am so glad I did, because I ended up reading the best book on OCD I ever read. The book is I Hardly Ever Ever Wash My Hands: The Other Side of OCD by J.J. Keeler. It was as though the author ran a spinal tap to my soul and drained out my own experiences with OCD. If you suffer from OCD, you might get the same jolt of recognition from I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands as I did. This book is also invaluable to those who ‘suffer’ a friend or family member with OCD. One receives a candid look into the mind of  an OCD sufferer and the horrors we often suffer in silence day by day. Fortunately, the book isn’t a dark abyss of misery either. J.J. Keeler has a brilliant sense of humor that shines through the book’s heavy subject matter and shows that we aren’t just a bundle of nervous buzz kills, that we can indeed be ‘normal’ on the outside, that we can be fun, and we are good people. Really, this is a book anyone can enjoy and learn from, an entertaining summer read that shines a light on the fact that no one is ‘perfectly normal.’

I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands is not a memoir about the pop culture OCD sufferer, the meticulously clean germ phobe who keeps everything in its place. When a friend suggests to her that she may have OCD, the author responds with, “but I hardly ever wash my hands.” I had a similar reaction when I was diagnosed. I remember saying to my shrink, “but I don’t compulsively wash my hands or flip light switches over and over.” It’s all here in the book, the truth about how OCD messes with the mind. I could identify with the author from page 1. I used to “catch” AIDS all the time too and was afraid of being pricked by a wayward needle in the grass. When Keeler describes being afraid that her teddy bear had a bomb inside, I could recall my own teddy incident. Except mine was an orange squirrel. I was convinced it was full of drugs that would either kill me or get me thrown in prison. Afraid of stabbing someone just because one sees a knife and being filled with terrifying images of hurting people? I’ve been there before. Ritualized praying, I still have the T-shirt for that one. 

J.J. Keeler

J.J. Keeler also shows us how some phobias are normal, that not everything is our OCD. She also addresses what to do if you are just realizing you might have OCD. She reminds us that those who pontificate on how “it’s all in our head and we don’t need medicine or therapy” don’t have a clue. It’s really difficult dealing with people who think they know everything about our issues,

English: Teddy bear Français : Ours en peluche

and just this reminder from Keeler is extremely comforting. We are able to see through Keeler that OCD isn’t curable, but one can live a life not dictated by our mental illness. The most important point of I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands, however, is seeing that we are not alone. 

Here is a link to other blog reviews for this book. http://tlcbooktours.com/2012/05/j-j-keeler-author-of-i-hardly-ever-wash-my-hands-on-tour-july-2012/