Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is characterized by fixations and repetitive behavior. I used to check the stove at least five times a night to make sure that it was off. I’d also check and recheck the front door to make sure that it was locked. This meant that half-way down the road, I’d feel a compulsion to go back home and rattle the door knob, just in case I’d forgotten to lock up. Inevitably, the stove was off, and the door was locked. Did that satisfy my compulsive behavior? No. My anxiety persisted until I completed these daily rituals.
The repetitions were disruptive and time-consuming. Finally, I found a healthy way to channel OCD into a worthwhile project. I had always wanted to write a novel . . . .
My grandmother’s favorite novel was ST. ELMO, by Augusta J. Evans Wilson. The book was handed down to me and became my favorite novel also. I read it seven times and liked it so much that one copy wouldn’t do.My obsession with ST. ELMO led to an interest in the author, Augusta Evans Wilson. I began collecting photos of her as well as the houses she lived in or visited.
I even made a pilgrimage to Mobile, Alabama, where Augusta spent most of her life, and to Columbus, Georgia, where Augusta was born and finished writing ST. ELMO. Once I came within six feet of her.