The following is a sample, with brief commentary, of a period in my life when I loved an “OCDer,” who was subsequently diagnosed with a terminal illness that killed him in six months. In my memoir-in-progress I write about how I cared for him during the last part of his life, and how I began to adjust my behavior to his increasingly bizarre habits. Among the lessons I learned is that no caregiving model fits all. Where I could see the humor and beauty in my circumstances, I was comforted and energized.

Healthy Stories book cover

Bitten by a Squirrel. OCD and the Grim Reaper. Miami-Dade County Health Department Healthy Stories (2011)

Stepping Over the Threshold Published in PenBayPilot.com on Feb. 8, 2014 this is an adaptation from the beginning of a memoir about how my life-long search to belong led me through the obsessive-compulsiveness of a loved one to find meaning in it and the Jewish culture and values that he stood for.

A Leap of Words  (The Ruby Collection; tales2inspire.com). When your beloved is dying you want to do everything in your power to maintain the same routines that have comforted him throughout his years as an obsessive-compulsive. But when you and he come from two different religious traditions – one secularly Jewish and the other Protestant – a new ritual involving bedtime prayers creates a moral dilemma. Gud som haver all threeThis is a story about how it’s possible for someone who never liked change to find solace in the soothing rhythm of words he can’t even understand.For a man who thrived on rigid routines it became increasingly important at the end of his life for me to nurture his habits while gently suggesting a comforting change.

Golf Digest coverI Found My Obsession.  When life became unbearable with an OCD’er I discovered my own obsession with golf.

 

OCD newsletterInternational OCD Foundation Newsletter, Vol 23, no. 4 (Fall 2009)