July 2010

Friends Who Help You Heal, Part 2

by Bill Brenner July 30, 2010 Addiction

For a lot of years, I didn’t have many friends. It’s not that people didn’t like me. It’s just that I chose to isolate from the rest of the world for a long time. People with mental illness and addiction do that sort of thing. Mood music: “Damn Good” by David Lee Roth: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mIP7ySBXBg&hl=en_US&fs=1] I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately, because these days I seem to be spreading myself thin making plans with…  [Read More]

When to Let the OCD Run Hot

by Bill Brenner July 29, 2010 Coping tools

Sometimes the best way to deal with OCD when it runs hot is to simply let it run its course. That’s one of the things I’m learning about myself. Mood music for this post: “Check My Brain” by Alice in Chains: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OK1HRqP-fg&hl=en_US&fs=1] I’ve gotten pretty good at managing the disorder most of the time. Medication certainly helps, as do the therapy appointments and various coping tools I’ve developed over time. But even with those things,…  [Read More]

Was Abe Lincoln Really Honest?

by Bill Brenner July 28, 2010 Lighthearted

Readers of this blog may have seen one of my earliest posts on Abraham Lincoln and how he suffered with serious mental illness and depression. I revere him because he developed his own coping mechanisms to rise above it in a time when there were no anti-depressant medicines and medical understanding of the problem was all but non-existent. It’s been written that his depression and the coping tools he developed actually fueled his greatness. The…  [Read More]

A Good Day

by Bill Brenner July 27, 2010 Gratitude

These are the ingredients of a good day: –Getting up at 4 and writing in this blog with a strong cup of coffee on the table beside me and Korn in the headphones. –Seeing the sun rise from my living room chair at 5:30. –Talking to my OA sponsor at 6:15. –Talking to one of fellows I sponsor in OA at 7:30. –Having an abstinent breakfast with the family and helping Erin get the kids…  [Read More]

The Breaking Point

by Bill Brenner July 27, 2010 Mental health

Even when you learn to manage OCD it’s still there, biding its time in the background, waiting for the right moment to pounce. Most of the time, it only gets the chance to pounce if you let it. Mood music: “Coming Undone” by Korn [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioJ9ZHqzMT0&hl=en_US&fs=1] Lately, I’ve been giving the demon all the rope it needs to hang me. I’ve been pushing myself hard with work, looking for more events to travel to and setting…  [Read More]

Hung Over and Junk Sick

by Bill Brenner July 26, 2010 Addiction

When you have a binge-eating addiction, the feeling you get before, during and after is a lot like being drunk and stoned. “What’s my drug of choice? Well, what have you got?” Layne Staley, Alice in Chains Junkies have a feeling they get before binging: Their brain is stuck on having whatever ¬†gets them off. Alcohol. Heroin. Blow. For me, it used to be food. I’m free of the aftermath, but the demon still taunts…  [Read More]

Learning to Fight Well

by Bill Brenner July 25, 2010 Communication skills for the crazy

In every marriage there are arguments. They can be good for you, but only if you learn to do it with skill. I’m working on it, but I’m not there yet. Mood music for this post: “Hysteria” by Def Leppard: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SluRyO4EA4&hl=en_US&fs=1] I’ve always steered clear of this topic because nobody likes to talk about arguments with a husband or wife. But there’s a lesson to be learned, so in I go. And since I’m one…  [Read More]

Get Up and Live: A Playlist

by Bill Brenner July 24, 2010 Coping tools

Treat this post as a media player. The playlist is made up of songs that to me are about seizing life by the throat. Enjoy. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJDDxHIaaVk&hl=en_US&fs=1] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFG820EwvUQ&hl=en_US&fs=1] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn8vzTsnPps&hl=en_US&fs=1] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVXIK1xCRpY&hl=en_US&fs=1] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdTiZB0wjs0&hl=en_US&fs=1] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WkJ-ZB–G0&hl=en_US&fs=1] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7eRiAnZt24&hl=en_US&fs=1] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6_C4rV7x-Y&hl=en_US&fs=1] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhfRUYUkq_0&hl=en_US&fs=1] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2dI_a3GpS0&hl=en_US&fs=1]

The Pedophile

by Bill Brenner July 23, 2010 Addiction

Some people deserve to spend life in a box. But even they have a shot at redemption. As a dad, I have zero tolerance for anyone who hurts a child. So when I discovered someone I’ve known for many years spent a decade behind bars for pedophilia, It was like a knife in the gut. Further complicating matters is that as a recovering addict, I can’t help but feel bad for this guy. But only…  [Read More]

What’s Crohn’s Disease Got to do With it?

by Bill Brenner July 21, 2010 Crohn's Disease

I’ve gotten notes lately from folks who’ve read enough of this blog to know I have Crohn’s Disease. They have it, too, and seemed to appreciate that they’re not alone. Some ask what the disease has to do with the mental illness and addictions at the heart of this blog. And so I’ve made this compilation of posts where the Crohn’s is a major factor: The Lasting Impact of Crohn’s Disease: The author has lived…  [Read More]