December 2012

But I Made All These End-of-the-World Plans

by Bill Brenner December 21, 2012 Lighthearted

Here I sit at 6 a.m. on December 21. We’re all still here as I expected we would be, despite all the end-of-Mayan-calendar, end-of-the-world talk we’ve been listening to for what seems like an eternity. I’m actually a little disappointed, because there were a few things I was looking forward to, such as: Mood music: [spotify:track:3lP4QgKArqyUAMDFPv3zFk] Avoiding the age-old problem of two kids who refuse to get out of bed on time during the school…  [Read More]

One Good Thing About Westboro Baptist Church

by Bill Brenner December 20, 2012 Communication skills for the crazy

The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) hates homosexuals. In fact, its members hate pretty much everybody. When terrible tragedy strikes, they praise it as God’s retribution for all the things they’re against. Mood music: [spotify:track:695TkRS0pEiVKg48sBiINi] That alone is reason for me to hate them back. But these people take it to even lower levels by picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers. Now they’ve threatened to picket funerals for the tiny victims of Friday’s Sandy Hook Elementary…  [Read More]

My ADD Ran Over My OCD

by Bill Brenner December 19, 2012 Mental health

As I struggle to get through all the stuff to be done at work and home before Christmas, something is occurring to me: My ADD runs over my OCD this time of year. Mood music: [spotify:track:5mR858YsHYG761aUqZoGkD] I guess I’ve understood what happens for a while now. It’s all part of the seasonal depression that whacks me upside the head come Christmastime. For most of the year my challenge is to control my OCD, to keep…  [Read More]

To the Siblings in Sandy Hook

by Bill Brenner December 18, 2012 Grief management

To the people of Newtown, Conn., particularly the surviving children of Sandy Hook Elementary School: I have no idea what it’s like to lose a child, and I pray to God I never will. But I’ve lost a sibling and know how that feels. So I’m hoping, nearly 30 years after my brother’s death, that some of what I’m about to say will be of some comfort to you. We all experience the death of…  [Read More]

Sandy Hook Lesson: Be the Change, One Soul at a Time

by Bill Brenner December 17, 2012 Lessons from the past

Like most of you, I’ve spent a good part of the weekend thinking about the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We all want specific solutions that will prevent more of these tragedies, but what we’re dealing with is too big and too gray for that.   A lot of people are debating gun control. Some people think the world would be safer if every law-abiding citizen had a firearm. Others say…  [Read More]

Heartbroken and Praying

by Bill Brenner December 14, 2012 Children's issues

This is not a post about whether we need more guns or fewer. This is not a post about what makes a man sick enough to fire a weapon at innocent children. It’s just a post to say how heartbroken we are in the Brenner house. Mood music: We don’t know any of the victims in Newtown, Connecticut. But we have children under this roof and couldn’t even begin to understand what so many families in…  [Read More]

People Who Talk About Themselves and Those They Torture

by Bill Brenner December 14, 2012 Lighthearted

I admit I haven’t always been the best listener. God knows I try, but sometimes my dysfunctional brain shuts down after more than 15 minutes of someone telling me about everything happening in their lives. I look like I’m listening, but I’m only quiet and staring at you because I’m numb. Mood video: I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into changing that. I took a class about ways to stay in the present…  [Read More]

When Living in the Past Is Your Only Sanctuary

by Bill Brenner December 13, 2012 Fear and anxiety

I had coffee with a friend and former coworker recently, and we reminisced about some of the colorful characters we’ve worked with. One person we particularly admired has suffered through a life of depression, fear and anxiety and is mostly a recluse these days. Mood music: [spotify:track:6KfzBFMXEOs7LgBcG4ZxyT] When this person does surface to talk to someone, the topic is always the old days. He carefully avoids the present because it’s so painful. Talking about the…  [Read More]

The OCD Diaries in Book Form

by Bill Brenner December 12, 2012 Adventures in writing

Erin and I are making plans for 2013. One is to turn The OCD Diaries into book form. Mood music: [spotify:track:0PexPf8SzDe0xu0OS3p7ya] Almost since the beginning of this blog, readers have suggested that I do an OCD Diaries book. Flattering as that suggestion is, I sort of balked at the notion. This began as a memoir of sorts, and that might have been worth making a book out of. But the subject matter quickly evolved, and…  [Read More]

Me, Duncan and December-itis

by Bill Brenner December 11, 2012 Mental health

I’ve had a lot to say lately about my own efforts to manage winter’s depressive effect on my brain, but this is also a challenging month for my younger son, Duncan. Mood music: [spotify:track:7BeOWHtwV9IQ7jmqwwvvLP] I’ve written at length about Duncan and my struggle to help him when his ADHD comes crashing into my OCD. I’m proud of who he’s becoming. But no matter how much progress father and son make on our mental health, December may…  [Read More]