Coping tools

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]

Heavy Metal Saved Me

by Bill Brenner February 2, 2015 Coping tools

I am your main man, if you’re looking for trouble. I’ll take no lip, no one’s tougher than me. I kicked your face you’d soon be seeing double. Hey little girl, keep your hands off of me…I’m a rocker. “The Rocker,” by Thin Lizzy A lot of people are amused to learn about my musical tastes. My work space at home and the office is cluttered with political and history-based trinkets, which would leave one…  [Read More]

The Only Way Out Of The Fog Is Through It

by Bill Brenner January 28, 2015 Coping tools

We all go through it: Something upsets us so much that we go into a fog; unable to function when we’re still required to do so. It rises up like a brick wall. Mood music: We smash into it a few too many times and go through the rest of the day dazed and confused. It’s a natural reaction to life’s more stressful and traumatic moments. If a loved one is sick or dead, or…  [Read More]

EddieTheYeti’s Images, My Words: Chapter 1

by Bill Brenner January 7, 2015 Coping tools

I’ve been releasing posts as part of a project where I put my feelings to images created by artist and infosec pro Eddie Mize, more popularly known as EddieTheYeti. The project will continue indefinitely, but here’s a compilation of what’s been done so far. Think of it as chapter 1. Mood music: EddieTheYeti: Art as Mental Therapy I sucked at a lot of things as a kid, but I could draw. It was the one thing…  [Read More]

Cut Toxic People Loose

by Bill Brenner January 2, 2015 Coping tools

We all have dysfunctional friends and family. In some respects, they add color and fun to our lives. But sometimes you find yourself up against that special someone who constantly complains about others and puts you down. We want to accept the latter as much as we accept the former. But there’s a problem. Mood music: The latter group — we’ll call them the toxic people — rub off on you. Their toxic tirades seep…  [Read More]

Turning Mental Disorder into a Superpower

by Bill Brenner December 15, 2014 Coping tools

Instead of fighting some mental disorders, such as OCD or ADHD, picture yourself accepting and even embracing them. Then learn to use your disorder to your advantage. It’s kind of like Luke Skywalker learning to use and control the Force instead of it controlling him, or Superman learning to control his super-senses. Mood music: This won’t work for every disorder, of course. Some are more serious than others, like PTSD and schizophrenia. But Edward (Ned)…  [Read More]

Dissecting EddieTheYeti

by Bill Brenner October 28, 2014 Coping tools

A few months ago I told you about an artist from the security community named Eddie Mize, a.k.a. EddieTheYeti. I identified with his use of artistic expression as a way to cope with inner demons. Since then, we’ve gotten to know each other better. Mood music: I’ve used his art to illustrate several posts in this blog. At DEF CON in August, his art exhibit was one of the more popular attractions, and he kindly…  [Read More]

Lower Your Expectations

by Bill Brenner June 5, 2014 Coping tools

Occasionally, my kids get all kinds of upset when their high hopes for something don’t go as expected. A good example is the disappointment Duncan felt when it was too chilly to go in the campground pool Memorial Day weekend. He remembered one campout last year when he got to swim for hours, and to him, that was an important ingredient for an awesome weekend. He got over it and still had a good time….  [Read More]

The Misguided Coping Tool of My Teenage Rage

by Bill Brenner April 7, 2014 Coping tools

The first car I ever owned as a kid was a beat-to-shit 1983 Ford LTD wagon. It had a catalytic converter that always flooded and stalled the car. The power steering was gone. And it was the misguided coping tool of my teenage rage. Mood music: The LTD’s exterior was a toxic green, covered over in patches with stickers promoting whatever anarchist political causes I espoused at the time. In one inspired move, I took a…  [Read More]

EddieTheYeti: Art as Mental Therapy

by Bill Brenner April 2, 2014 Coping tools

I sucked at a lot of things as a kid, but I could draw. It was the one thing that always got me compliments from people who otherwise ridiculed me. Those drawings were an exercise in emotion. There were pictures of my favorite rock stars, recreated scenes from my favorite movies (particularly the violent ones) and doodles that captured my frustration during school and periods of depression. A good example of that is the Paul Revere…  [Read More]