Tuesday, July 10, 2012

TLC Book Tour Stop: I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands: The Other Side of OCD by J.J. Keeler

Title: I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands: The Other Side of OCD
Author: J.J. Keeler
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Paragon House
Publish Date: March 15, 2012
Source: TLC Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You like memoirs. 
  • You're looking to learn something new.
  • You don't mind tough subjects.
What's the Story?:

"I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands: The Other Side of OCD  focuses on harming obsessions (fear of hurting oneself or others), rather than the traditional hand-washing compulsion normally associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and provides a candid look at the daily challenges faced by those who suffer with OCD.

Living with OCD is not for sissies. From her fears of having a bomb in her teddy bear, to her fear of running over innocent pedestrians, to her fear that she may have strangled someone, J.J. Keeler knows what it’s like to suffer from OCD. In her new memoir, I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands, Keeler offers a revealing look at this challenging disease and proves that despite the daily struggle of facing irrational fears, OCD suffers can learn to deal with their demons. An intrepid survivor of a childhood filled with both imaginary and real fears, Keeler develops into a courageous adult who manages to face the depths of her obsessions and shows us how she has learned to live with them."

My Two Cents:

This book is a fascinating memoir. Usually when I think of OCD, I think of people washing their hands a lot. I think of people who are uber organized and freak out if anything is out of place. I think a lot of people have that picture in their heads. Keeler speaks from experience and shows a completely different side of OCD, one that I definitely was not familiar with.

From a very young age, Keeler worried that she was going to hurt someone or that she was going to be hurt. She imagines quite frequently growing up that she has gotten AIDS. She checks the police reports to make sure that there wasn't a hit and run or something like that that she was a part of. She absolutely fixates on these things even when they're unreasonable things to fixate on. I really felt for her throughout the book. How would it be to have to run your life while worrying about all of these things? I can't even imagine how devastating that must be. Keeler writes in a way that you can imagine exactly what it must be like to live and to try to function with OCD in every painful and difficult detail.

Keeler is definitely brave for laying these tough things bare. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to write all of this down and therefore relive it. I think this would be a good book for those dealing with OCD or those that know people with OCD or even those, like me, who just want to learn more about this illness and want to understand it better.

Bottom line: This is a very brave memoir!

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Tuesday, July 10th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, July 11th: An Unconventional Librarian
Thursday, July 12th: Book Reviews, Fiction Reflections, ‘N More!
Monday, July 16th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, July 17th: Oh! Paper Pages
Wednesday, July 18th: Surviving the Madhouse
Thursday, July 19th: 50 Books Project
Friday, July 20th: Peppermint PhD
Monday, July 23rd: Lolly’s Hope
Tuesday, July 24th: I’m a mom. I have OCD.
Wednesday, July 25th: Bringing along OCD
Thursday, July 26th: she treads softly
Monday, July 30th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, July 31st: The Beat OCD Blog
Wednesday, August 1st: 71° & Sunny: One Christian’s Odyssey 
Thursday, August 2nd: Adventures in Anxiety Land
Friday, August 3rd: OCD BloggerGirl’s Blog
Monday, August 6th: Expoing OCD
Tuesday, August 7th: OCD Talk


  1. Definitely does sound like a brave piece of writing, and I'm sure I'd be able to relate in some way to Keeler!

    1. I appreciated that she was willing to be so truthful!

  2. This one sounds very interesting. Thanks for reviewing it.

  3. This sounds like a fasinating reading. I hope she has her symptoms in check now.

  4. Thanks for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    JJ Keeler

  5. I have a close friend who struggles with this as well, though his fear is that he will hit someone while driving. It can be a debilitating thing for sure.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    1. That would be horrible. I cannot imagine worrying about something like that all the time!

  6. @Heather...I have that fear too. The hitting someone while driving fear. It can be extraordinary debilitating. You're late for everything and people think you are just being rude, but really you are checking the streets for dead bodies.

  7. I too appreciated her honesty...that's part of the problem with mental illness. We need more people talking about it. :)

  8. I loved the book, I really could see where she was coming from. Great review!


Hi! Welcome to A Bookish Affair. If you leave a comment, I will try to either reply here or on your site!

As of 6/6/2011, this book is now an awards free zone. While I appreciate the awards, I would rather stick to reviewing more great books for you than trying to fill the requirements.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...