October 2010

A Sunday Afternoon Meltdown

by Bill Brenner October 31, 2010 Children's issues

So Duncan is in quite a mood this afternoon. He’s easily set off, keeps rubbing his eyes and alternates between fits of laughter and just plain fits. No mystery here. The boy is suffering from way too much sugar in the form of Halloween candy. He’s also wiped out from going to bed too late and getting up too early. It’s no big deal. As parents we expect this from kids who have had too…  [Read More]

Killing in the Name of… FarmVille?

by Bill Brenner October 31, 2010 Communication skills for the crazy

We’ve all had our tough roads to travel. Some roads are harder than others. Is that any excuse to kill your own child because your fake FarmVille universe was intruded upon? Mood music: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNzIKoAy2pk&fs=1&hl=en_US] This story makes me want to slam my head through a closed window: JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Alexandra Tobias, a Florida mother accused of shaking her 3-month-old son to death after he interrupted her FarmVille game on Facebook, has pleaded guilty to…  [Read More]

Why Halloween Doesn’t Scare Me Anymore

by Bill Brenner October 30, 2010 Addiction

I used to hate Halloween with a passion. It’s one of the worst days for someone with a compulsive binge eating addiction. Now that I’ve broken the binging cycle, I find myself in the odd position of looking forward to the holiday. Mood music: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohB922c2uQ&fs=1&hl=en_US] I used to dread it because I knew there would be candy everywhere. I would stuff it in my pockets, in the car and every other hiding space. Then I’d…  [Read More]

Soundtrack of the Week: 10-30

by Bill Brenner October 30, 2010 Music therapy

Since music — especially metal — has been a vital tool in my recovery from OCD and addiction, I celebrate each Saturday by sharing songs that got me through the week. I must be getting into the Halloween spirit or something, as you’re about to see. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6pRJhP4Lrw&fs=1&hl=en_US] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU6iP0WLsU8&fs=1&hl=en_US] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKYALsp-sIg&fs=1&hl=en_US] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xcwt9mSbYE&fs=1&hl=en_US] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awi14wDTxNw&fs=1&hl=en_US] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rC3l3niTaE&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Facebook Follow Friday

by Bill Brenner October 29, 2010 Communication skills for the crazy

There’s a thing we do on Twitter called Follow Friday, where we list people we follow and suggest others do the same. I’m starting a new tradition: Facebook Follow Friday. Here’s why: Mood music: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TksqEIl1uxU&fs=1&hl=en_US] Facebook has become a place where people spill out their state of mind like blood. Sometimes, it’s beautiful to see and I get something from it. Other times I just roll my eyes. I use it as a place to…  [Read More]

The Cab Driver

by Bill Brenner October 28, 2010 Gratitude

I used to have this dumb, ego-driven idea that I was better than people who did things for work that were “beneath me.” Here’s how I learned to stop being stupid. Mood music: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG1FlsgLQQY&fs=1&hl=en_US] The lesson came from an obvious place that wasn’t so obvious once upon a time: God. I expected a lightening flash or something like that, not realizing God works through other people instead. I’ve needed these graces, because as a thick-skulled…  [Read More]

Moderation is a Myth

by Bill Brenner October 27, 2010 Addiction

Some interesting conversation with friends in Toronto this evening about addictive behavior. At one point, the focus turned to another truth about people like me: Moderation doesn’t exist. Mood music: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eVQh0TPbos&fs=1&hl=en_US] People like to say it all the time: “Why do you have to give certain things up? Can’t you just have everything in moderation?” Well, my friends, that’s the problem. Moderation is an alien concept to me. When someone leaves half the food on…  [Read More]

Homeless Men, Inc.

by Bill Brenner October 27, 2010 Gratitude

Observation: There are a lot of homeless people on the streets of Toronto. It’s a lot like San Francisco, except these guys have a stunning cleverness about them. Mood music: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsCtUj9K_tw&fs=1&hl=en_US] You’re asking what this has to do with addiction, recovery and mental health, and here’s the answer: Whenever I travel and see someone living on the street, I’m reminded of just how easily I could have ended up the same way, and how my…  [Read More]

Sober in Toronto (Better Than in San Fran)

by Bill Brenner October 26, 2010 Addiction

The #SecTorCa security conference finds me surrounded by more booze than I confronted at the RSA conference back in March. But I think I’m learning how to be sober at these events. Mood music: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB6a2jYfxNs&fs=1&hl=en_US] A little history: A little over two years ago I gave up flower and sugar and started weighing almost all of my food as part of my 12-Step program of recovery from a binge-eating addiction. But I clung to the…  [Read More]

Stuff My Kids Say, Part 2

by Bill Brenner October 26, 2010 Children's issues

Sean and Duncan continue to give me a fresh perspective on a world that can be full of trouble. Life getting you down? Feel like shutting out the world? Read this instead. For more of the whit and wisdom of the Brenner boys, see last week’s post. –Duncan, watching a rack of CDs fall on a girl in the bookstore (the kid was freaked out): “I hope those CDs don’t get a scratch in them.” –Duncan:…  [Read More]