Because We Are Bad: OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought

Because We Are Bad: OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought

by Lily Bailey


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A Washington Post Best Book of 2018

“One of the best [books] I have read on the phenomenology of OCD.”—Scott Stossel, the Washington Post

Written with the indelible power of Girl, Interrupted, Brain on Fire, and Reasons to Stay Alive, a lyrical, poignant memoir by a young woman about her childhood battle with debilitating obsessive compulsive disorder, and her hard-won journey to recovery.

By the age of thirteen, Lily Bailey was convinced she was bad. She had killed someone with a thought, spread untold disease, and ogled the bodies of other children. Only by performing an exhausting series of secret routines could she make up for what she’d done. But no matter how intricate or repetitive, no act of penance was ever enough.

Beautifully written and astonishingly intimate, Because We Are Bad recounts a childhood consumed by obsessive compulsive disorder. As a child, Bailey created a second personality inside herself—"I" became "we"—to help manifest compulsions that drove every minute of every day of her young life. Now she writes about the forces beneath her skin, and how they ordered, organized, and urged her forward. Lily charts her journey, from checking on her younger sister dozens of times a night, to "normalizing" herself at school among new friends as she grew older, and finally to her young adult years, learning—indeed, breaking through—to make a way for herself in a big, wide world that refuses to stay in check.

Charming and raw, harrowing and redemptive, Because We Are Bad is an illuminating and uplifting look into the mind and soul of an extraordinary young woman, and a startling portrait of OCD that allows us to see and understand this condition as never before.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062696175
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/23/2019
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 289,285
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

Lily Bailey is a model and writer. She became a journalist in London in 2012, editing a news site and writing features and fashion articles for local publications including The Richmond Magazine and The Kingston Magazine. Lily lives in London with her dog, Rocky.

Table of Contents

1 Chesbury Hospital 1

2 My Friend 3

3 The Letter 5

4 New School 11

5 Mum and Dad 19

6 Swearing in Church 29

7 Most Apologetic Girl 37

8 Hambledon 47

9 Running from Words 55

10 Stumbling 61

11 Special Needs Department 67

12 Coming Home 73

13 Doctor, Doctor 83

14 Pills, Pills, Pills 95

15 Driving 105

16 Those Who Love Me 119

17 Thailand 129

18 Dublin 143

19 It Is My Fault 159

20 Mental Ward 163

21 Harley Street 169

22 Urine Test 179

23 Loser, Friend 191

24 Skating 199

25 Ashleaves 207

26 Nursery 217

27 Journalism 229

28 Rocky 241

29 The Truth 251

Acknowledgments 259

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