It's very difficult for someone who doesn't suffer from OCD, to fully grasp the complexity of the illness and the negative consequences it can have on your life. OCD in many ways can ruin your life. Reading "Bent, Not Broken," was especially gratifying, as it portrays the true agony that one goes through with this hard to treat condition. What's especially nice about this book, is that the author is able to write in such a fashion that the book reads like a novel, yet at the same time he offers a great deal of insight to those who would normally benefit from reading self-help books.
Reading a story about the lives and struggles of real individuals is so much more enlightening than reading a self-help book about OCD and it causes and cures. Through the narrative of William Potter, we meet Dwayne, a person who's severely afflicted with OCD and its accompanying anxiety. We see how through no fault of his own, he's bullied at work and constantly made fun of through practical jokes. To the person suffering from OCD, these little taunts become gigantic weights that can take forever to rid yourself of.
Dwayne puts up with everything, always doing more work than anyone else at his place of employment, despite the huge obstacles he faces. Then he meets Dee-Dee and a whole new world opens up for him. Dee-Dee doesn't solve Dwayne's problems, and in many ways actually compounds them. But that's the power of OCD; it prevents you from living life to the fullest. When Dwayne's life becomes entwined with Dee-Dee, the OCD makes it all the more difficult to have a successful relationship, despite the overwhelming desire to do so.
The reader can very much relate to the agony that Dwayne continues to go through, even after meeting up with Dee-Dee. In the end, the power of love and the willingness for another person (Dee-Dee) to try to understand what Dwayne is going through, shows the reader that all is not hopeless. There is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. Dwayne's behavior, like many others suffering from OCD, takes the form of having to be in control of his entire existence. Whether it be keeping things in exact order, or performing what we would think of as ridiculous mental exercises, such as counting routines, to Dwayne these things are very real and virtually impossible to dispel.
"Bent, Not Broken," exemplifies the power of understanding, compassion and love. This insightful book brings the reader inside the mind of a person suffering from OCD, and the everlasting power of empathy, love and understanding that when given to someone from the heart, can change a persons life forever. This is definitely a 5 star read from an exceptionally talented author.
by Andy Rosenblum Saratoga Springs, New York
(TOP 500 REVIEWER) Amazon
William R. Potter's page at IAN