February 2010

Friends Who Help You Heal

by Bill Brenner February 28, 2010 Coping tools

The following was written one winter in a moment of absolute clarity. Mood  music: [spotify:track:27xIf7tzHPQFX068pFYlAh] Today was sunny and warm in San Francisco. After the never-ending winter back home, I got what I needed today: A walk all over the city with my good friend, Rob Westervelt. We started by walking along Fisherman’s Wharf, then Golden Gate Park and covered a lot of ground in between. It brought back memories of when I came here…  [Read More]

I’m On My Way

by Bill Brenner February 28, 2010 For travelers

I’m sitting at Gate C21 at Logan Airport, waiting to board a flight to San Francisco for this week’s RSA security conference. My VPN to the company network isn’t working, which means I’ll have to send my articles to somebody else to post. That pisses me off. It’s a lack of control. But it’ll all work out in the end. I’ll write my stories and they’ll get posted. Gotta have a little Faith. A lot…  [Read More]


by Bill Brenner February 27, 2010 Coping tools

That was one hell of a storm. The power went out around 11 p.m. Thursday and is still out as I write this Saturday morning. It gives me a new appreciation for what people went through after the ice storm in December 2008. No power for weeks for these people. Yeesh. We spent the night at the home of dear friends, and that was what I’d call making the best of things. But I won’t…  [Read More]

The Lasting Impact of Crohn’s Disease

by Bill Brenner February 25, 2010 Crohn's Disease

The author has lived most of his life with Crohn’s Disease and has developed a few quirks as a result. Mood music for this post: “Bleeding Me” from Metallica: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftV_XepIwpo&hl=en_US&fs=1&] As the reader knows by now, I’ve spent most of my life with Crohn’s Disease, an affliction that in the long run has been more damaging to my mental health than my physical health. It screwed up my brain and pushed me toward an adulthood…  [Read More]

Running from Sin, Running with Scissors

by Bill Brenner February 24, 2010 Faith

The author writes an open letter to the RCIA Class of 2010 about Faith as a journey, not a destination. He warns that addiction, rage and other bad behavior won’t disappear the second water is dropped over their heads. Last night I attended the first of what will be a month’s worth of Tuesday-night meetings for this year’s group of RCIA (The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) students. I’m doing it partly as extra…  [Read More]

The Angry Years

by Bill Brenner February 23, 2010 Addiction

The author can’t say his temper was a direct result of OCD, depression and addictive behavior. But dealing with those things did make it go away. Mostly. I had one hell of a temper when I was younger. To call it a byproduct of OCD, depression and addiction would be a stretch, because I think the temper would have been there even without the mental illness. Some of the more colorful examples of my temper:…  [Read More]

Outing Myself

by Bill Brenner February 22, 2010 Adventures in writing

The author on why he chose to “out” himself despite what other people might think. Mood music: [spotify:track:1Qdnvn4XlmZANCVy3XjrQo] A couple friends have asked why I “outed myself” in this blog. Wasn’t I afraid people would blackball me at work? Don’t I worry that I’ll be defined by my struggle with OCD above all else? It’s a fair question. First, let’s get the notion of “courage” and “bravery” off the table. Some have used those words…  [Read More]

Another Reason Addiction-Depression Stinks

by Bill Brenner February 20, 2010 Addiction

I’ve mentioned before that one of the inspirations for this blog was a book called “The Heroin Diaries” by Nixxi Sixx, bass player and lyricist for Motley Crue. It’s a book of diary entries he wrote from late 1986 to late 1987, at the time the “Girls Girls Girls” album was recorded and the band toured the world to support it. At the time, he was in the tight clutches of a heroin addiction that…  [Read More]

Pain in the Lent

by Bill Brenner February 19, 2010 Faith

The author gives a progress report on the Lenten sacrifices. It’s holding steady, but it aint pretty. I didn’t expect to have cigar withdrawal. I didn’t think I had them often enough to get withdrawal. But here it is, day 3 of Lent, and giving ’em up for Lent is proving tougher than I expected. AP photo at right by Jose Goitia The thing about having an addictive personality is that the brain, in its…  [Read More]

Metal to Stick in Your Mental Microwave

by Bill Brenner February 18, 2010 Coping tools

As I’ve written before, heavy metal music has been an essential tool for my recovery from OCD and the related addictions. Some would say this is in conflict with my Faith. After all, isn’t heavy metal the Devil’s music? To that I say that all musical genres have their light and dark sides. A lot of classical music will take you to a dark place and some of history’s more evil players loved Classical. True,…  [Read More]