A Short History of The OCD Diaries

I started this blog in December 2009 during a wave of depression.


The goal was to get the sad and angry feelings out of my system. Then I decided to simply come clean with the world about all of my demons, OCD and addictive behavior in particular. Maybe doing so would destroy a few stigmas along the way, I reasoned.


I soon expanded it into a memoir of sorts, including my upbringing in Revere, Mass., my childhood battle with Crohn’s Disease and how those things shaped the manifestation of OCD within me.

I expanded the focus again by covering relationships, specifically with my wife and children, extended family members, colleagues, friends and the legions of nameless souls who have come and gone, helping me along the way. Relationships destroyed along the way haven’t been spared, to the anger of some family members. But I’ve also covered broken relationships that I have been able to repair.

I also write a lot about my faith and how important it is to me. You’ll see a lot about my church community — the good and bad.  There’s also my passion for metal music and why it’s so important in helping me manage my demons. Most posts include musical selections that capture my emotions at the given moment.

More recently, I’ve expanded the topics to cover America’s ongoing political discourse. It makes sense, because it fits one of the overriding themes of the blog: how we talk to each other and the resulting consequences.

Some posts will reassure you. Many will make you uncomfortable.

The original tagline of the blog had something to do with kicking depression and addiction in the teeth.

But it’s become about so much more than that. It’s really about Everyman’s struggle to survive the dark moments in life and spend more time in the light. It’s about exposing those who practice hate, bigotry and other unpleasant behaviors that make life miserable for the rest of us.

It’s about staring adversity in the face and making it blink. It’s about becoming better — on our own and together.

Welcome to my world.

—Bill Brenner

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim Abercromby February 15, 2013 at 11:18 am


I can’t believe this shit man. I am not a religous man.
I am a spiritual man, a recovering man and a survivor of more bad shit than you could ever shake a stick at.

I am an information security professional, the true term is always be hacker.

But there was a reason we met on LI a couple a days ago, but you have have renewed my faith in a lot thing.

No it’s not my belief in the church. Please, no disrespect to you.

But will just leave it at that man.

I would like to hear and know more face to face.


Peace to ya bro.

Gail February 17, 2013 at 11:04 am

Dear Bill,
I love seeing the ocd thing thru the eyes of “manly-men” as I am a girl-y girl who struggled for years without a name for this thing. This week we had an accident at work, and it felt like I was really ready to give up and pack it in, so huge was the ocd reverberation. I feel like i can live my life for a year with just a few pinches, then suddenly something happens that feels like the end of the line. Does this happen to eveyone? g

Bill Brenner February 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm

That’s happened to me many times. Not so much anymore, but every once in awhile there it is.

stephen edwards July 9, 2013 at 10:48 am

It seems that when one opens oneself up, that is when the sun shine in to effect a cure. We get rid of that closed up energy, objectively and rationally, we seek the internal dialogue to self correct mistakes. Those who lack this capacity appear to have more severe symptoms with any chronic disease.

Dave Mackey May 5, 2014 at 11:16 am

Bill – I’ve been on the web for years, I don’t know how I’m just discovering your blog now. Looking forward to the read. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, I think those of us who share the common curse of OCD bring great encouragement when we share our struggles.

Judy July 2, 2014 at 1:21 am

Hi Bill, I’ve had Crohn’s since was was 8 or 9, misdiagnosed with anorexia till they put me in the nut ward for that for 3 months, to gain weight and then diagnosed me in the 2nd month. I’m in my late 50s now, unable to work since age 45, 4 huge surgeries living on oxycodones. Like the way you handle these problems, I, too, am clinically depressed. Living on a liquid diet mostly. Glad you are in a long remission…you described flares so accurate! Keep on fighting the good fight and never lose faith…that’s what keeps me going, my faith and music. Take care!

Melissa Yosua-Davis August 25, 2014 at 10:37 am

Just discovered your blog thanks to many FB friends who shared your post on “crazy Mike”. I also suffer with Crohn’s; I was diagnosed as a child and have been in remission for 20 years. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts – I am looking forward to following your blog!

Bert Knabe December 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I’ve been reading the OCD Diaries for 5 or 6 years. It’s been a help to me in many ways, even though I don’t suffer from depression or OCD. It really is an every man’s blog, because we all experience these things to greater or lesser degrees, and your frank, honest expression of your thoughts and feelings is a wonderful expression of that. Thanks for writing your life for us.

Angela Kearns February 15, 2015 at 8:09 pm

its great to see how this originated! I enjoy your share here Bill!

Amy Jatczak November 30, 2017 at 12:32 am

Have you ever gone to one of the ocd conferences? They are every summer in different locations each year. I’ve spoken at some of them. It’s really a great opportunity. You learn so much and meet so many other sufferers. http://www.iocdf.org is where you can find more info. Keep fighting.


Amy Jatczak

Bill Brenner December 7, 2017 at 4:38 pm

I haven’t. At this point, I understand myself enough that I don’t see the value. But I have no doubt they are valuable for some, especially those just starting to learn about OCD.

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