September 2011

Duncan And I Need A Trail Of Post-It Notes To Get Through The Day

by Bill Brenner September 30, 2011 Children's issues

Things are rough in the Brenner household lately. Duncan’s ADHD is running hot, and so is my OCD. The resulting FUBARs are probably entertaining to the outsider, but it’s quite possible that Erin and Sean are ready to kill us. The back-to-school grind is great in that the kids needed to get back to their routine. But by the time Duncan gets home he’s fried. Not good when there’s homework to do. He can’t focus,…  [Read More]

Depressed? Drink More Coffee

by Bill Brenner September 29, 2011 Addiction

People often shudder over the amount of coffee I down each day. Even after I point out that it’s the only vice I have left, they still look at me like I’m nuts. But I’ve found new allies at Harvard’s School of Public Health. My new academic friends say those who drink two or three cups a day have a 15 per cent lower incidence of depression than those who rarely do so. Their point…  [Read More]

Steve Clark Lost His Battle But Helped Me With Mine

by Bill Brenner September 29, 2011 Addiction

I’ve been listening to a ton of Def Leppard this week. It started when I caught two documentaries on the making of “Pyromania” and “Hysteria” on Youtube. I’m remembering what this band did for me during my troubled teenage years. Mood music: One of the big points in both documentaries is that those albums wouldn’t have been the classics they became without the late guitarist Steve Clark. When we think of this band, we…  [Read More]

Finish What You Started

by Bill Brenner September 28, 2011 Adventures in writing

Funny thing about people who suffer from serious mental illness: They tend to make all these big plans but never really follow through with anything. I don’t fault them. For one thing, they have an illness. Also, I used to be just like them. Mood music: [spotify:track:37A5wFomo4EVz5tGInAynI] Watching the start-stop-start-thud behavior of a friend is reminding me of what I used to do. My friend, who I won’t name, always has some big plans afoot….  [Read More]

Midwest Center For Fraud And Bullshit: Epilogue

by Bill Brenner September 27, 2011 Coping tools

When I wrote about spending $450 on the Midwest Center for Stress & Anxiety program designed to help people defeat anxiety and depression, I had no idea that it would strike nerves the way it has. The post, written on Jan. 2, 2011, is easily the biggest traffic generator of this blog on a daily basis. Some days it gets so many page views that I’m left dumbfounded. It has also gotten by far the most comments of…  [Read More]

Irish Alzheimer’s: Looking For The Cure

by Bill Brenner September 27, 2011 Addiction

Alzheimer’s Disease is a terrible thing. I’ve known some precious souls trapped within that mental prison over the years, and it’s one of the saddest things to behold. But there’s another mental prison we all find ourselves in from time to time. The late Father Dennis Nason, former pastor of my church, described it as Irish Alzheimer’s. Simply put, you forget everything but the grudges. I’d like to tell you I don’t suffer from it, but…  [Read More]

Entourage Disease

by Bill Brenner September 27, 2011 Communication skills for the crazy

Entourage Disease: A disease where the sufferer surrounds him or herself with people as a shield against painful encounters. Mood music: The sufferer will show up in a hospital room, at a family party or a funeral surrounded by up to six people. Usually the number is about three. If it’s a hospital visit and the room is really small, the sufferer will be brave and only come in with one hanger on. There are…  [Read More]

Narcissism Is A Fatal Illness

by Bill Brenner September 26, 2011 Communication skills for the crazy

Call it what you will: Narcissism. Selfishness. Ego. We’re all a little full of ourselves. But people like me are worse than others. It’s a shameful thing, but it’s the truth. People with addictive tendencies tend to be the most selfish souls alive. Mood music: [spotify:track:76Je5Wklky23mVoxiRszcN] And that’s why we have Step 3 in the 12 Steps of Recovery: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we…  [Read More]

Racists AND Idiots

by Bill Brenner September 26, 2011 Political discourse

I’ve received some interesting feedback to Friday’s post about the gay soldier who was booed during the most recent Republican debate. Instead of repeating all the background, I refer you to the post “Gay Haters Or Just Idiots?” I suggested that there was more stupidity than racism going on, but I’m thinking these comments from a couple friends are painfully true as well: Mood music: Joe Yuska: “What made this so egregious was that after…  [Read More]

Beauty And Gratitude In Every Bad Thing

by Bill Brenner September 25, 2011 Adventures in writing

In the battle to manage OCD and all its byproducts, I’ve learned something that’s helped me a lot: To always see the blessings hidden within the bad stuff. Mood music: –When I lose people close to me because of death or resentment, I try to remember the good stuff we got to share and how lucky I was to have known those who eventually left me. –When I feel my addictions starting to creep up…  [Read More]