August 2010

Dreading the Darkness

by Bill Brenner August 31, 2010 Depression

It’s 5:12 a.m. on Aug. 31, and it’s still dark outside. I already miss the 4:30 a.m. daylight of a couple months ago. Looks like my anti-depression experiment is underway. Mood music: [youtube=] I’ve mentioned before that the fall and winter are usually periods of depression for me. There are two reasons. The first is that some ugly things have happened to me in previous winters. But the bigger reason is that the hours of…  [Read More]

In God’s Hands: My Search for Redemption

by Bill Brenner August 30, 2010 Faith

Some people don’t like to discuss religion. I can’t avoid it. It’s central to my recovery from OCD and addiction. These posts are about my struggle to find a moral compass and learn to “let go and let God.” Mood music: [youtube=] The Better Angels of My Nature How a Jew became a Catholic, and what it has to do with overcoming mental illness and addiction. Forgiveness is a¬†Bitch Seeking and giving forgiveness is…  [Read More]

More Bullshit About Mental Illness

by Bill Brenner August 30, 2010 Communication skills for the crazy

Every once in awhile I read something on mental illness that sends my blood boiling. Please indulge me while I rant about one such item. Mood music: [youtube=] I recently tripped across a website called HeretoHelp, a project of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information. It’s a great resource for people like me who are recovering from mental illness and addictive behavior. It’s chock full of articles from medical professionals and people…  [Read More]

Wasted Worry

by Bill Brenner August 29, 2010 Mental disorders

I’ve spent many years worrying — assuming, really — that various people hated me for some of the things I’ve done. This year, I’ve been realizing what a waste of worry it’s been. Mood music: [youtube=] By definition — my definition, anyway — OCD is worry out of control. You worry about all kinds of things beyond your control while failing to do something about the few things that you can control. Along the way,…  [Read More]

Summer of 1990

by Bill Brenner August 28, 2010 Depression

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the summer of 1990. That was a rough summer with a serious streak of depression. And yet thinking about it takes me to a happy place. Mood music: [youtube=] I’ve had to do a lot of digging into my past as part of my therapy and recovery from OCD. Sometimes I see it as a waste of time, since you can’t change the…  [Read More]

Another Unsettling Truth About Facebook

by Bill Brenner August 27, 2010 Communication skills for the crazy

My friend Linda noted that I changed the settings on my Facebook page to allow wall comments. It amused her because it was my birthday. She knows me well. Truth is, I wanted to see the birthday messages. Here’s the uncomfortable thing that says about me… Mood music: [youtube=] I suffer from an inflated ego. It’s a side-effect of where I’ve been. I have this odd fear of being forgotten. And I didn’t want to…  [Read More]

40: The New 20

by Bill Brenner August 26, 2010 Gratitude

A lot of people get depressed on their birthday. Not me. The fact that I turn 40 today is almost a freak of nature. Mood music: [youtube=] When I was sick with the Crohn’s Disease as a kid, I lost a lot of blood and developed several side ailments. I’m told by my parents that the doctor’s were going to remove the colon more than once. It didn’t happen. They tell me I was closing…  [Read More]

You Think Too Much

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

I have friends who spend a lot of time raking the same problems over the coals in their heads over and over again. The worry consumes them. I always tell them, “Don’t over think these things. That’s how you get the tumors and shit.” I know, because I used to let worry incapacitate me. Mood music: [youtube=] This shouldn’t surprise readers of this blog. I’ve described it before. OCD is very much about worry spinning…  [Read More]

The Anxiety Attack

by Bill Brenner August 24, 2010 Fear and anxiety

Overcoming fear and anxiety is a major theme of this blog, and people who think they’ve experienced it often ask me to describe what it’s like for me. Mood music: It’s been about four years since experiencing a real anxiety attack, but I remember the feeling well. It starts with a worry. Maybe it’s concern that Sean and Duncan are sick. Kids below the age of 10 spike fevers all the time, especially in the…  [Read More]

The Exploding Toilet

by Bill Brenner August 23, 2010 OCD

Back when my OCD was running out of control, one of my many fixations was cleanliness. If a toilet or sink backed up and spilled all over the place or one of the kids threw up, my brain would spin until it detached from its stem. With that in mind, this was a weekend of real progress. Mood music: [youtube=] Saturday, the kitchen sink backed up with dirty, putrid-green water and an entire bottle of…  [Read More]