By Traci Foust
Gallery, $24.00, 371 pages
Nowhere Near Normal, a compelling look at Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, doesn‘t shy away from the painful reality of this disease. Author, Traci Foust begins her memoir at age 7 when she is already staying up at night to lick door locks and unplug all appliances in order to protect her family from certain death. In her early teens she’s finally diagnosed with OCD and begins talk therapy. Unfortunately, this is only a partial solution which she augments with massive doses of Nyquil and Benedryl to quiet her mind. At eighteen, a doctor starts her on Prozac and for her the change is bittersweet, “I felt like I was losing an important part of myself. Who was I supposed to be if I couldn’t be upset about everything all the time?”
One of Foust’s few sources of pleasure was writing and words and it’s evident in this book. Her recall of even the smallest details is astonishing and her way with words masterful. She writes with unflinching honesty, not just about herself, but about all those around her and the havoc her disease wreaked on their lives. An intense but readable book. Author Q&A and resources are included.