Amen, Amen, Amen: Mem­oir of a Girl Who Could­n’t Stop Pray­ing (Among Oth­er Things)

  • Review
By – September 13, 2011
Amen, Amen, Amen is a sad rev­e­la­tion writ­ten in a humor­ous style by impro­vi­sa­tion­al come­di­enne Abby Sher. For Sher, the mon­sters that occu­py her uni­verse reside with­in and find destruc­tive expres­sion in obses­sion-com­pul­sion, eat­ing dis­or­ders, and sub­stance abuse. Sher por­trays the com­plex inter­sec­tion between Judaism and obses­sive rit­u­al­ism. She real­izes that “…mak­ing lists and repeat­ing things were a large part of being Jew­ish, too.” How­ev­er, this work does not lend psy­cho­log­i­cal insight and instead the pages filled with Kad­dish and oth­er prayers become tax­ing recita­tions to be read along­side song lyrics, food lists, exer­cise pro­to­cols, and tes­ta­ments to self-muti­la­tion. We are left to pon­der Sher’s predilec­tion for shred­ding her din­ner nap­kins along with her most pri­ma­ry per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al rela­tion­ships. This book cap­tures the intractabil­i­ty of chron­ic anx­i­ety in the face of loss (both real and imag­ined). This mem­oir could be a source of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for those suf­fer­ing from obses­sive com­pul­sive dis­or­der and might also be suit­ed for case study mate­r­i­al in a psy­chol­o­gy sem­i­nar.

Read Abby Sher’s Posts for the Vis­it­ing Scribe

The Shuls, They Are A’Changin’

Hil­lel House, Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go

Find­ing a Reli­gious Home

Audrey Fresh­man, Ph.D , LCSW, CASAC, is a psy­chother­a­pist with a pri­vate prac­tice locat­ed in Rockville Cen­tre, NY. Dr. Fresh­man is the Asso­ciate Direc­tor of an out­pa­tient sub­stance abuse agency and the Assis­tant Edi­tor of the Jour­nal of Social Work Prac­tice in the Addictions.

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