September 2010

Say Hello to My New Limit

by Bill Brenner September 30, 2010 Coping tools

Another mood swing this afternoon. The dark, brooding sky appears to be rubbing off on me. The happy lamp helps, but if I sit in front of it too long I get the sweats. And it’s not the same as sunshine. Mood music: [youtube=] I’ve been having a lot of these episodes lately, and it worries me. It’s most likely the result of my sleep pattern being out of whack. I alternate between too much…  [Read More]

Debunking the Shrink Stigma

by Bill Brenner September 30, 2010 Depression

A friend was telling me yesterday that he can relate to this blog. In a whisper, he said, “I see a therapist.” When people tell me that, it’s usually in the same hushed tone. Clearly, we have another stigma to shred. I’m not sure why people are so hush-hush about this sort of thing. Maybe it’s because I outed myself so long ago. But I just don’t think people should be embarrassed about seeing a…  [Read More]

The Devil’s Music

by Bill Brenner September 29, 2010 Faith

Some readers suggest my Faith and love of heavy metal music are an odd combination. Some of the rock crowd think my religious beliefs are at odds with the spirit of metal culture. Some of my church friends think metal is the devil’s music. You’re both wrong. Mood music: You’ve heard my story. Faith has been central to my recovery from OCD and addiction. Metal was there for me as a confused, tormented kid, wringing…  [Read More]

The Amityville Obsession

by Bill Brenner September 28, 2010 Children's issues

Part of my obsessive-compulsive behavior includes a study of the more morbid pieces of history. The Manson murders is one example. The Amityville murders is another. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the latter. Mood music: [youtube=] The match for the fire is a book I just read called “The Night The DeFeos Died” by Ric Osuna. The book goes a long way in crushing the bullshit hoax about the house being haunted. I watched “The…  [Read More]

Writer’s Block IS the Devil

by Bill Brenner September 28, 2010 Adventures in writing

It’s been a very long time since this has happened. And I don’t like it one bit. Mood music: [youtube=] I have writer’s block. I want to write a new post here (I am, actually) and I have a CSO column to write later. I figured I’d get up at 4 a.m. and burn some keyboard rubber like I usually do. But the words didn’t flow like they’re supposed to. When you are a professional…  [Read More]

Two Years Clean

by Bill Brenner September 27, 2010 Addiction

Two years ago yesterday, I went on my last binge. Actually, it was more like reaching the end of a final, two-month long binge. The abstinent and sober life hasn’t been perfect by any stretch. But it beats the hell out of where I was at the start. Mood music: [youtube=] Appropriately, I’m leading an OA meeting tonight, which means telling my story in 15-20 minutes without notes. Here’s some of what I’ll have to…  [Read More]

A Pastor Moves On

by Bill Brenner September 26, 2010 Addiction

Dennis Nason, pastor of All Saints Parish, steps down Oct. 1. He’s struggling with cancer and decided to step aside so the parish can move on. He’s earned a tribute here. He made a believer out of me by coming clean about his own sins. We have it in our heads that priests are supposed to be perfect and sinless. That’s why the sex scandal hit people so hard. We were taught to trust priests…  [Read More]

The Happy Lamp

by Bill Brenner September 26, 2010 Coping tools

With the days getting shorter, I’m on the lookout for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), something that hits me like a bat to the head each winter. I’ve written extensively about the medicinal therapy for this, but now I have a new weapon. Meet my new friend, the Happy Lamp: Erin bought two of these, one for me and one for Duncan, who also gets a bit crazy when the daylight recedes. To be honest, me…  [Read More]

Never Forgotten

by Bill Brenner September 25, 2010 Depression

That post about Zane resonated with a lot of people. It’s comforting to know he hasn’t been forgotten. Being forgotten. It’s everyone’s fear. I often worry that people who end their own lives will end up that way. Mood music: [youtube=] Though I’ve had many an episode with depression, I’ve never once considered suicide. That makes me no better than those who have. In my case, Faith has always prevented that line of thinking. Suicide…  [Read More]

Welcome to the Outcast Club

by Bill Brenner September 24, 2010 Communication skills for the crazy

An old friend is reminding me of the outcast I used to be and how like-minded people tend to stick together — even when they shouldn’t. I was actually quite a prick to Stevie Hemeon. I used to punch him in the Theodore Roosevelt School yard because he was one of the few kids I was strong enough to hit. He never deserved it. Yet he still hung with me, kind of how high school…  [Read More]