By Fiona Fewell
I read ‘The Enumerations’ by Máire Fisher and experienced so many emotions from the beginning to the end. Somewhere into it, I had to put the book down as the impact of the story was so intense that I could not continue reading. It took me a few days to pick it up again. When I did, I didn’t put it down.
As fiction, it is a beautiful story, which has left me with both hope and gratitude.
I was convinced that the author had personal or medical experience of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) because she so accurately describes not just the turmoil that goes on in the brain and body of someone suffering OCD, but the impact it has on anyone in close proximity, too. I felt that she understood, at a granular level, just how devastating it can be, but equally, how joyful even the smallest wins often are.
OCD sufferers are masters of presentation and it can be truly difficult to see beyond their mask unless you live in continuous close proximity to them. I think trying to explain to someone what goes on in their head is almost impossible for an OCD-sufferer to do, so they hide behind the mask for as long as possible, and release all the energy that builds up when in the privacy of their own home. The release is like a flash-flood that takes over everything in its wake.
The author captures this so well, and tells the story of mental health in a way that builds understanding, compassion and generosity. While reading it, I just wanted everyone to be reading it, too. I still do.