March 2015

A Priest Comes Clean About Binge Eating

by Bill Brenner March 31, 2015 Addiction

I’ve written at length about two things in this blog: my struggle with compulsive binge eating and my faith. My faith helps me deal with my demons, including the eating. So when a priest comes forward and admits he has a similar demon to fight, I take notice. Mood music: Rev. Ryan Rooney, a parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Springfield, Mass., did just that in an article he wrote about…  [Read More]

The AP’s Suicide Rule Is Inadequate

by Bill Brenner March 30, 2015 Suicide

The AP Stylebook, which I lived by as a journalist, recently added a new rule for reporters and editors dealing with the topic of suicide. It’s not a bad set of guidelines, but it’s inadequate. Mood music: The AP now advises the following: Generally, AP does not cover suicides or suicide attempts, unless the person involved is a well-known figure or the circumstances are particularly unusual or publicly disruptive. Suicide stories, when written, should not go…  [Read More]

Just Because It’s Satire Doesn’t Make It OK

by Bill Brenner March 26, 2015 Mental disorders

I recently got some comments about a post I wrote in November 2013 called “To the Asshole Who Wrote ‘5 Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder.’” Some noted the article was satire and I missed the point. Others complained that by mentioning it I was spreading the vitriol. Mood music: Said one woman: It’s satire plain and simple. I’m a woman who has struggled many years with eating disorders and I can see the…  [Read More]

Don’t Listen to the Critics: Keep Walking

by Bill Brenner March 25, 2015 Coping tools

Last week I was in Fort Lauderdale on business. Not a bad place to be after the winter we’ve had in Boston. My hotel was right on the beach, and I walked it every day. Before that, it had been a long time since I’d taken an hour-long power walk and at least a couple decades since I’d done so on a beach. Mood music: I made a point to get the walks in because…  [Read More]

What a Weird Dream Says About My Real Life

by Bill Brenner March 23, 2015 Mental health

I’m in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as I write this. I’m in a hotel by the beach and it’s pretty relaxed. I’m sleeping more deeply than I have in a while. I’m also having some fucked-up dreams. Since I rarely remember my dreams the next morning, I’ve decided to capture this one. Mood music: Sequence 1 I’m with my father, aunt and younger son in front of the old family business. Everyone’s gathered to go to…  [Read More]

You Are Bigger Than Your Thoughts

by Bill Brenner March 2, 2015 OCD

A reader once sent me a question about destructive, overpowered thinking — a hallmark of all OCD cases. She described a recurring thought about jumping out a window. Mood music: “I tend to get pure OCD (thoughts),” she wrote. “At the moment it is about jumping out a high window. I try to sort out in my head mentally why I am having this thought. Is it my true desire? Can I stop it from…  [Read More]

The Star Trek Lie

by Bill Brenner March 1, 2015 Lighthearted

Back when I was a binge-eating, 280-pound pile of waste, I’d hide in my room for hours, sometimes days, watching Star Trek. Since my life was such a mess, hiding in the world of science fiction was only natural. Now, when I’m in the same space as someone wearing the plastic pointy ears and Klingon forehead (go to the premier of any Star Trek movie and you’ll understand), I feel more like the punk on…  [Read More]