Welcome. My name is Leslie Robinson, and I'm glad you're here.
As a freelance writer, I've published in a variety of local and national publications, including the Chicago Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, Games magazine, World Tennis, Sky and Cosmopolitan. I wrote a biweekly humor column for LGBTQ publications across the county, and now blog at www.generalgayety.com.
There, that's the official bit, my writing bona fides.
But what makes me qualified to expound on obsessive-compulsive disorder and hoarding disorder is the fact that I have both of them. Do I ever. I've had them, or they've had me, for decades.
In "Fun With Fred," I reveal what it's like to need to check constantly, and to be unable to part with useless pieces of paper. I trace when the conditions asserted themselves, and my benighted efforts to ignore them. I delve into my attempts at therapy, medication and support groups. I glare at suicide, and it glares back. I total up what I've lost to these two beasts, and they hand me an IOU.
I knew humor would be a big part of the telling, because that comes naturally to me, and OCD and HD are, on one level, patently ridiculous disorders with embarrassing manifestations. I can laugh at myself and my circumstances, and I invite you to giggle along, but let's none of us forget that these are mental illnesses, and sufferers don't deserve ridicule.
It was never a sure thing that I'd finish this memoir. I'm awfully glad I managed it. The process of looking back has crystallized much for me about my life and my disorders. The writing process amounted to the world's longest, but cheapest, therapy session.
I hoped folks who know they have OCD and/or HD would read "Fun With Fred" and feel the relief that comes with not being alone. I hoped those who flounder would read it and recognize themselves. I hoped friends and family members would gain understanding of how powerful is the anxiety that besieges their loved ones. And I hoped everyone else who read it would simply start to understand why people like me do the odd things we do.