Fear and anxiety

Pearl Harbor Reflection: Why Does God Let This Happen?

by Bill Brenner December 7, 2015 Faith

I know some people who hate God right now. One lost a child to illness. Several have simply had a bad run of luck in recent years. They can’t understand why an all-loving God lets bad things happen to them. I used to be there: When my brother died or when my friend Sean Marley  died. In the aftermath of those events, I wasn’t on speaking terms with God. At other points in my life, like my struggle…  [Read More]

Remembering Cliff Burton, Metallica’s Original Bassist

by Bill Brenner September 27, 2015 Coping tools

I couldn’t let the day go by without acknowledging a grim anniversary. Twenty-nine years ago today, Metallica bassist Cliff Burton was killed when the band’s tour bus flipped over on a lonely road in Sweden. Mood music:  The band’s first three albums had a huge impact on me. In fact, Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” album helped me get through my last major attack of Crohn’s Disease. It might seem bat-shit crazy of me to intertwine these…  [Read More]

Anxiety Level Green

by Bill Brenner September 4, 2015 Fear and anxiety

A while back I wrote about the various stages of anxiety based on the first five colors of Newton’s primary color system. In the last week, I’ve realized that I’ve been at level green for at least three months. Mood music: At the time I wrote it, my description for Level Green was: Green. This anxiety appears when the less-frequent stresses spark up. Yesterday was a perfect example in my world: I was already ramped up from…  [Read More]

Two Days, Three Shitty Anniversaries And One Bloody Month

by Bill Brenner April 19, 2015 Crime and punishment

Today — April 19, and tomorrow, April 20 — we have a trio of tragedies to remember. Full disclosure: I’m about to steal liberally from Wikipedia. April 19, 1993: Waco, Texas The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), accompanied by several members of the media, attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel,…  [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]

For Parents With Kids Freaked About Winter Storms

by Bill Brenner January 25, 2015 Children's issues

With a blizzard in the New England forecast this week and next month’s 37th anniversary of the Blizzard of 1978, I thought this might be of use: Mood music: I got a message awhile back from a mom who reads this blog regularly. I’ll keep her anonymous but share some details of the note: “My son, only 7, has suffered from pretty severe anxieties about weather over the past 3 or so years. It took me…  [Read More]

Torture Was Another Bad Response to Fear

by Bill Brenner December 11, 2014 Fear and anxiety

The CIA’s use of torture during the Bush era was more insidious than previously revealed and did nothing to prevent terrorist attacks, the Senate Intelligence Committee says in a report. No surprise there. I’ve said it before: The fear that drove us after 9/11 led to a lot of inhumane behavior in the name of safety and security. And the American people — scared out of their wits — were perfectly fine giving government carte blanche to do what…  [Read More]

40 Years Ago in Amityville

by Bill Brenner November 12, 2014 Addiction

Some of you have seen the “Amityville Horror” and instantly think of it as the story of a haunted house. I never believed it, but I’ve always been drawn to the murders that started the whole thing off. This week marks the 40th anniversary of the murders, in which Ronald “Butch” DeFeo was convicted of killing his parents, two brothers and two sisters. I’ve always had an interest in it because at its bare core, this…  [Read More]

In InfoSec, Fear Shouldn’t Be a Barrier

by Bill Brenner October 29, 2014 Fear and anxiety

As some of you know, I’ve been deliberately signing up for uncomfortable, even scary tasks at work. Not scary in the grand scheme of normal life, but they are things a guy with a journalistic background doesn’t come to easily. This time I’m managing an incident management schedule. Managing schedules in any form is something I suck at, so it’s appropriate that this responsibility has crashed into my wheelhouse. Mood music: Truth be told, I…  [Read More]

Ebola and the Disease of Hyperbole

by Bill Brenner October 22, 2014 Fear and anxiety

For weeks, the main cable news stations have been obsessed with Ebola. While the appearance of Ebola in the U.S. is certainly new, I think the bigger problem is a disease that has dogged us since the dawn of TV news. Hyperbole. Mood music: There’s no disputing that Ebola is a fearsome disease. The symptoms are brutal and the death rate is high. It’s been a problem mainly for Africa until recently, when a couple of…  [Read More]