"A masterfully written memoir-meets-educational-meets-inspirational tale that I couldn't put down." Ashley Smith, PhD, coauthor of Childhood Anxiety Disorders
A gripping memoir that gives voice to the invisible, life-destroying power of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and how one woman stood up to fear, embraced the unknown, and reclaimed her life.
Even at nine years old, Shala Nicely knew there was nothing normal about the horrifying thoughts that tormented her at bedtime, or the nightly rituals she summoned to beat them back. More importantly, she knew to obey her mind's Rule #1: keep its secret, or risk losing everything and everyone she loved.
It would be almost two decades before she learned the name of the menacing monster holding her hostage: obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It would take years longer to piece together the keys to recovery that would change her life forever, beginning with the day she broke her monster's silence.
Writing with wry wit, unflinching candor, and resounding insight, Shala takes readers on a riveting journey into the dark and dimly understood inner workings of OCD and its frequent co-conspirator, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Thwarted repeatedly as she struggles to escape the clutches of these formidable foes, she finally stumbles upon an unexpected path to freedom. As she journeys into the heart of fear to reclaim her life, she weaves a self-compassionate roadmap to recovery: to living in an uncertain world and being happy anyway.
With an Afterword by Reid Wilson, PhD offering powerful guidance for applying Shala's strategies in daily life, Is Fred in the Refrigerator? will leave legions of those affected by mental illness feeling seen, understood, and empowered.
"A memoir ... about all of us with this kind of mind." Jon Hershfield, MFT, author of Overcoming Harm OCD
"One of the clearest descriptions of the experience of OCD ... you'll cry, you'll cheer, and you'll put your shoulders back with Shala as she conquers the OCD demon." Randy O. Frost, PhD, Harold and Elsa Siipola Israel Professor of Psychology at Smith College and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things