A memoir of Falack’s movement from painfully obsessed victim to Kripalu-certified yoga instructor.
In her formative years of frizzy hair and grades low enough to class her with a student who had Down syndrome, Falack was all too acquainted with feeling abnormal. But she didn’t know to question the normality of escaping from bad situations by counting—counting ceiling tiles, freckles within each tile, the facial features of people she was talking to, the number of letters in a neon sign and more. While there are early allusions to grim memories regarding her nanny, Naomi, Falack reports it wasn’t until a hypnosis session with her first psychiatrist that she confronted the residual terror left by Naomi’s stomach-churning breed of abuse. This revelation is pivotal to the titular journey; much of what the author describes, at length, is not. A detailed depiction of the young romance that blossomed into marriage, for instance, might fit if it was woven together with Falack’s reflections and fears about what she didn’t yet know to call a condition. As is, this section and others like it only upstage her struggles. Falack continued slipping out of the present moment and into the safety enumeration offered through her pot-smoking, mouthy, boy-crazed high school years and on into marriage and motherhood. Not until she was a grown woman having braved turbulent childbirths and her husband’s battle with addiction did she go to the psychiatrist who would finally diagnose her. She turned to Dr. Levine shortly after beginning yoga class; she credits the meditative aura of yoga with helping her recognize just how aggressive her bouts of counting had grown. On the tail of learning that her problem had a name, she learned that OCD was treatable with medicine—a variety of medicines actually. She went through the medication turnstiles in an attempt to rid herself of side effects from cottonmouth to night sweats that left her soaked. With the thought in mind that there had to be a better solution, she became more involved with yogic practices and retreats, eventually making the ascension from student to teacher.
It’s a feel-good tale of triumph, but one that frequently gets distracted from its purpose.