Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery – Book Launch Recap

book coverWell, we didn’t get off to the best start. The event planner had previously told me the bookstore typically orders twenty books for their author events. I told her I didn’t think that would be enough. So they ordered ten. No chairs were set up, and there was an actual rain shower in the event room from water leaking through the ceiling. I’d been worried all along about the weather outside, given all the snow we’ve been having in New England, but I never thought I’d have to worry about the weather inside! The cookies we ordered from the cafe were still warm when the bakers piled them on top of each other, so they all stuck together. And while I’d been given the impression that the local cable TV people would be videotaping the event, there was not a videographer in sight.

Luckily, my husband and I, along with our close friend Sheara, arrived an hour early. The two of them got to work rearranging the room and setting up chairs away from the leaks. I tried to unstick the cookies. Sheara brought her own video camera and set that up. Thankfully, at the last minute I had thrown a box of my own books that I had ordered into the car, and we brought those in.

We scrambled around for forty-five minutes, and just as everything was falling into place, it happened. People arrived. Long-time friends, relatives, blog followers, and quite a few people I didn’t know. All fifty chairs that had been set up were taken. I felt deeply grateful at that moment, and the book launch hadn’t even started yet! Thank you to each and every one of you who was there, and to the so many other people who have supported me along the road to publication.

Seth spoke first about what obsessive-compulsive disorder really is, using some examples from his own practice. He then gave me a moving introduction. I spoke about the importance of us all sharing the stories of our lives, of really connecting with one another, and also gave a brief history of how our book came to be. I then read an excerpt from the book. We ended with a lively 40 minute Q&A session, and Seth and I spent the remaining time signing books. By all accounts, it was a success. I’ll be posting video clips from the event in the near future, for anyone who might be interested.

Book Signing

Now that our book has been published, people ask me what my plans are, as if the book was the main goal – an ending of sorts. But that’s not how I see it. To me, it’s more of a beginning. I see Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery as a powerful tool to help me continue to raise awareness of OCD and its proper treatment. So the answer to the question “What are your plans now?” is plain and simple. I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing all along; spreading the word that OCD, no matter how severe, is treatable and there truly is hope for all those whose lives have been touched by this horrible disorder. I hope you’ll join me!


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10 Responses to Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery – Book Launch Recap

  1. Anne says:

    I wish I could have been there. We love the book and your blog and we offer our warmest congratulations to you Janet!

  2. How I wish I could have been there! It sounds like it went very well. Your book is just one of many ways you are helping to spread the word about OCD, and I appreciate you.

  3. Hi, Janet, I’ve got a seventeen year old son with OCD who is in ERP treatment and making progress, but it’s up and down. I’m a published novelist and wanted to share with you some thoughts about book touring. If you’ll friend me on FB, I’ll send along a very short thought piece called The Good Enough Book Tour, plus a page of tips. I’m in your cheering section, believe you me!

  4. Martin Shelley says:

    Hi Janet, Firstly I would like to thank you for the fabulous work that you do with OCD! I find your posts very helpful and informative and make certain to read every new one that arrives in my inbox. In general, your posts make me feel less alone and because I live in Thailand and work at home (which is not a culture where they discuss, or necessarily even acknowledge OCD!) this is extremely important to me.

    I have experienced a mismatch of OCD manifestations over the years and have, through force of will and daily meditation, managed to knock many of them on the head. The one that is absolutely the hardest to deal with is sensorimotor OCD though, which for me tends to revolve around a hyper awareness of the clothing on my body. This might sound harmless, but I’m not kidding when I say that sometimes I literally want to rip my T-shirt off! The sensation of bodily claustrophobia often sends me into sheer spiralling panic!

    I know for certain that it is OCD related, as it began with the classic what if…? spiral, but how on earth do I get rid of it? I know that there are supposed to be physical or mental compulsions to address through ERP, but I cannot identify them. Instead, I feel that this particular obsession culminates in endless rumination eg what if I can never stop thinking about this and it sends me insane ect ect. It is especially hard for me living in Thailand as they don’t tend to acknowledge these types of problems and would be much more likely to prescribe medication such as valium ect. I am even able to purchase this over-the-counter from certain pharmacies here and though taking it provides me with several hours of blissful relief, I really don’t want to go down this road and undoubtedly make everything much worse later! Any tips you might have for dealing with sensorimotor OCD (particularly my own bizaare brand!) would be greatly appreciated. Kind regards,Martin

    • Hi Martin,
      First of all, GOOD FOR YOU for working so hard to fight your OCD. It sounds as if you’ve made a lot of progress. I am not a therapist so can’t really advise you but I have a few thoughts in general. As Dr. Gillihan often says, ERP therapy involves “doing the opposite” of what OCD tells you. So if your OCD is telling you to rip your shirt off, the opposite would be to leave it on, or to take it one step further and maybe wear an even tighter shirt. Obviously you will feel anxiety which will eventually subside. When you get into the “what if” cycle of thinking you might never be able to stop thinking of this issue, perhaps tell yourself that maybe you WON’T be able to stop thinking those thoughts you don’t want to think. It’s about living with uncertainty, and when the “dreaded” event(s) actually happen, most people handle them just fine.
      Again, I’m not a therapist, so maybe also check out some of the resources on my blog’s sidebar, or some of the OCD workbooks listed in the Resource Section of my book…there are also therapists who do Skype sessions if you want to go that route.
      You’ve come so far; I know you can beat this!
      Wishing you all the best.

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