Books

Life_in_the_Loop_Cover_for_KindleLife in the Loop is a collection of nineteen essays on life with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The pieces are deeply personal, but they range in style – from traditional biographical narrative to quasi-poetry to brief, Nietzsche-style essays and aphorisms.

Life in the Loop: Essays on OCD is available in paperback and Kindle editions.

OCD isn’t just an isolated set of tics and fears; it’s a pervasive way of being in the world, an orientation that colors everything. In the book, I seek to show how OCD plays out across a range of topics and concerns – self and other, sex and relationships, politics and religion, even space and time. I write about OCD as I experience it: in dips and phases and quarter-turns of the kaleidoscope.

I wrote these essays to help me survive. But as I began publishing them here on my blog – and later in magazines – it became clear that they were helpful to others, too. Those of us with OCD need to hear what it’s like for others, to know that we aren’t the only ones with broken brains. We need the ecstasy of recognition to interrupt the tedium of our isolation.

Our friends and families need these stories, too. One of the hardest things about being close to someone with OCD is realizing how little you can relate to what they’re going through. It doesn’t make sense because it doesn’t make sense, and it’s enormously painful to feel the normal tools of communication – reason, logic, linearity – breaking down. (My parents would have mortgaged their house to know what a day in my teenage life felt like.) In the absence of rational explanations, a view from where your loved one sits is the next best thing.