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Just Checking by Emily Colas
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Just Checking (edition 1998)

by Emily Colas

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216653,956 (3.49)7
Member:Melkor81205
Title:Just Checking
Authors:Emily Colas
Info:Atria (1998), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 176 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:Obessive Compulsive Disorder, Germaphobe, Humor

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Just Checking by Emily Colas

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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
1.98
  aletheia21 | May 2, 2014 |
I bought this book SO many years ago because I have some interesting tendencies toward OCD and because a quick peruse of the book made me laugh (i.e., she is funny, not that I was laughing at her).

I finally re-picked up this book and read it from front to back. It did not quite live up to its expectations. Emily Colas is writing mini David Sedaris'esque essays on her life. It is somewhat chronological, though often flips between her past and her present, in an effort to make a single point.

Some of the essays are funny. Some are sad. Some are enraging or depressing. Emily Colas indulged in her ocd and those around her did the same. She managed a marriage and motherhood despite her rather severe (at least at times) inclinations. Although she appeared toward the end (and in the afterward interview) to have finally made some progress and address the issue (e.g., seeing a doctor; taking medication), it took her a LONG time and a LOT of heartache to get there.

I think that this book is probably a good read for people who know people with OCD, to help understand the disease a little better. Colas seems to be pretty (at times, embarrassingly) honest and definitely self-depricating (i.e., not making things sound better than they actually were) and I think provides a good understanding of those people with the disease who have NOT sought to address the problem. There are certainly amusing moments, and there were definitely stories to which I could relate.

Overall, the book just fell a little flat because she was just not particularly likeable and the reader was left frustrated with her lack of willingness to do anything for herself. So, a kind of hit and miss, overall. Not terrible, somewhat useful, somewhat entertaining, and somewhat recommended. ( )
  avanders | Mar 6, 2014 |
The style of the book as a whole was unique and a nice change from a regular format memoir, but, unfortunately, I didn't care for her writing. Each story just sort of felt like it was scratching the surface and never really led anywhere. Also, what is with the ones like " Get Down Here This Instant." Parents should not tell their children some things... ( )
  earthforms | Feb 2, 2014 |
An enjoyable book, you find yourself torn between feeling sorry for Emily and wanting to strangle her at points. It is hard to imagine something like sending your spouse to sort through garbage in your dumpster to identify what fluid may or may not have been on your garbage back when you touched it.

The book is her story arc, sprinkled with numerous short stories of her life with OCD. Humorously written but can be a bit grating on one's nerves at the thought of some of the excessive lengths the author goes to avoid contaminants. But then again, she is showing the severity of the complex and it's impact on her and her life, and that is kind of the point no? ( )
  Melkor81205 | Nov 29, 2012 |
The style of the book as a whole was unique and a nice change from a regular format memoir, but, unfortunately, I didn't care for her writing. Each story just sort of felt like it was scratching the surface and never really led anywhere. Also, what is with the ones like " Get Down Here This Instant." Parents should not tell their children some things... ( )
  wwtct | Jun 21, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671024388, Paperback)

As my friend the heroin addict says, "You're only as sick as your secrets."

Emily Colas -- young, intelligent, well-educated wife and mother of two -- had a secret that was getting in the way of certain activities. Like touching people. Having a normal relationship with her husband. Socializing. Getting a job. Eating out. Like leaving the house. Soon there was no interval in her life when she was not

just checking

This raw, darkly comic series of astonishing vignettes is Emily Colas' achingly honest chronicle of her twisted journey through the obsessive-compulsive disorder that came to dominate her world. In the beginning it was germs and food. By the time she faced the fact that she was really "losing it," Colas had become a slave to her own "hobbies" -- from the daily hair cutting to incessant inspections of her children's clothing for bloodstains.

A shocking, hilarious, enormously appealing account of a young woman struggling to gain control of her life, this is Emily Colas' exposé of a soul tormented, but balanced by a buoyance of spirit and a piercing sense of humor that may be her saving grace.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:12 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

This raw, darkly comic series of astonishing vignettes is Emily Colas' achingly honest chronicle of her twisted journey through the obsessive-compulsive disorder that came to dominate her world. In the beginning it was germs and food - to her mind, anything from ground-up hypodermic needles to disease-tainted blood could be on her restaurant plate. By the time she faced the fact that she was really "losing it," Colas had become a slave to her own "hobbies," from the frenetic daily hair trims she gave herself to the incessant inspections of her children's clothes for bloodstains, the carpet for dangerous debris, packaged goods for possible tampering. Soon there was no interval in Colas' life when she was not just checking.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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