Life in Rewind

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9780007317530: Life in Rewind

'Time equals progression. Progression equals death.' This is a thought that consumes Ed Zine, a handsome, athletic, twenty-four year old. The victim of a debilitating form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Ed's illogical mind tells him that if going forward in time moves him closer to death, reversing an action will carry him away from it. The youngest of four children, Ed Zine's life was thrown into turmoil when his mother, the centre of his universe, died from ovarian cancer when he was just eleven years old. Not warned by his family that his mother was sick, and beaten and screamed at by his father on the night of his mother's death for leaving the lid off a jam jar, Ed was shell-shocked when his mother died and, for years, kept quiet about the fact that he witnessed his mother's last breath and never truly grieved her death. Ed's trauma over the loss of his mother manifested itself in bizarre physical affectations and as he became less able to articulate his sorrow and his pain he became more and more isolated from other humans. Thirteen years on, Ed Zine lived alone in a basement, meticulously counting and rewinding any action he made in an obsessive and illogical attempt to prevent his loved ones from moving towards death. All efforts to help him, from members of his family, and numerous medical professionals, had been in vain, until Dr Michael Jenike, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and one of the world's leading experts in research and treatment of OCD made the long drive to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This was just the beginning of the extensive and difficult journey the two were to endure together!

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From the Back Cover:

"Time equals progression— progression equals death."

The equation is logical. But few of us think of each moment and each physical movement as comprising a path to our certain end. Surely such torture would drive us mad. But for Ed Zine, who suffers from a debilitating form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), this statement is a mantra that holds him prisoner—figuratively and literally.

Ed's OCD tells him, illogically, that if going forward in time moves him closer to death, reversing the action will carry him away from it, and if he can hold back the progression of time he will not age. If he doesn't age, the people he loves will never die. This obsession, triggered by the horrific experience of having secretly witnessed his mother's death at the age of eleven, keeps him trapped in a nightmare of perpetual rewinding rituals. Walking from his bed to the bathroom takes seven to ten hours and 16,384 precise, but necessary, movements forward and backward, with each step and turn having potentially dire, even fatal, consequences—or so his OCD convinces him. The tens of thousands of exacting rituals stop him from showering altogether for two years, as he lives isolated in the chaos of a basement littered with refuse and human waste. But the filth in which Ed lives and the placement of the things he hoards—from a tiny ball of lint to an unopened bar of soap to an unwashed pair of sweatpants—all represent important placeholders of time in the grand scheme of irrationally keeping his loved ones alive and well.

It would be a full year from their first meeting before Ed would come to fully trust world-renowned OCD specialist, Harvard professor, and decorated Vietnam War hero Michael Jenike enough to allow him to enter the dark prison created by his isolating obsession. Breaking the rules of traditional medicine, Michael, who was carrying emotional scars from his own traumatic past, from the loss of too many young men Ed's age with whom he served in the war, would travel many long hours from Boston to Ed's home, and spend countless hours treating him. Finally, with all treatments exhausted, and all hope lost, the unconditional friendship between Ed and Michael remains. The bond of honor that intertwines their lives enables Ed to use his amazing mind to break down OCD and heal himself as a way to reward Dr. Jenike for his compassion.

From the Back Cover:

"Time equals progression—progression equals death."

This mantra held Ed Zine prisoner in the basement of his father's Cape Cod home. A handsome, athletic twenty-four-year-old suffering from a debilitating form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, he thought that going forward in time moved him closer to death, and that reversing the action would prevent it. Trapped in a ritualistic nightmare, Zine would spend nearly ten hours a day making the 16,384 precise movements necessary to get from his bed to the bathroom. Then he met Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Michael Jenike. One of the world's leading OCD physicians, Jenike took on Ed Zine's seemingly impossible case, breaking medicine's cardinal rule in the process: he offered the tragically disabled young man not only his professional help...but his friendship and trust, which ultimately led Zine to create his own coping skills to heal himself.

Life in Rewind is a miraculous true story of commitment and determination, darkness and hope, love and inspiration.

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