Response To Reader Who ‘Wants To Die 5 Out Of 7 Days’

by Bill Brenner March 30, 2012 Depression

I’m scrapping today’s originally scheduled post because of a message that hit my inbox overnight. I’ll keep this man’s name out of it, but a more visible response is necessary. Mood music: This was a comment attached to a post I wrote a few months ago called “A Depressed Mind Is Rarely A Beaten Mind.” I’ll give you this fellow’s comments in bold italics, with my responses along the way. Hello. Was wondering if I…  [Read More]

Was ‘Hunger Games’ Star Too Fat For The Role?

by Bill Brenner March 28, 2012 Children's issues

There’s a controversy swirling around online regarding “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence. With one critic suggesting she was too curvy to play the role of emaciated heroine Katness Everdeen, the anger is on. What is making some people bristle is that this smacks of the bullshit talk that sends girls into the hell of eating disorders. Mood music: I’m not a girl. But I’ve dealt with an eating disorder for much of my life. So, naturally, I…  [Read More]

What Else Is There?

by Bill Brenner March 20, 2012 Addiction

When I’m wallowing in self-pity, I like to ask that question. It always goes back to those moments when I’m not particularly enjoying the clean and sober life. Mood music: For the most part, it’s gotten easier. When you don’t spend all your time thinking about how to pull off a binge, you get to experience a much fuller life. You enjoy the company of people more. You pack a lot more living into your…  [Read More]

Such A Waste To Lose One’s Mind-Fulness

by Bill Brenner March 14, 2012 Communication skills for the crazy

A combination of OCD and ADD has given me a bitch of a handicap: Living in the moment and being present has become tough as nails. Health experts call this elusive thing I search for “mindfulness.” Mood music: Here’s what happens: When the OCD runs hot, I develop tunnel vision. I focus in on the task I’m either doing or thinking about. That’s good if you have a major work project to complete. It’s bad…  [Read More]

When Difficult Kids Turn Out Alright

by Bill Brenner March 9, 2012 Children's issues

Readers know by now that Erin and I have a big challenge — helping our second child manage ADHD. He’s often difficult. Fair enough. I was a difficult child, too. Duncan is actually tame compared to the 8-year-old me. He’s never filled up my gas tank with a garden hose. He’s never lit his plastic toys on fire, nearly burning down the house in the process. He’s never stolen money from his Dad’s wallet. He doesn’t bring home…  [Read More]

Beyond Boing Boing: Xeni Jardin Inspires Me

by Bill Brenner March 5, 2012 Courage

I’m a long-time reader of the Boing Boing site and have always been particularly fond of the work of editor Xeni Jardin. Her openness in talking about her breast cancer makes me appreciate her all the more. Jardin’s greatest strength as a writer has always been her ability to focus on the human side of technology, and she was doing just that in early December when she live tweeted her first mammogram. She poked fun at…  [Read More]

I Bet Health Insurers Would Gladly Cover Suicide Pills

by Bill Brenner February 13, 2012 Depression

The Catholic Church is bringing out its heavy artillery to fight a Massachusetts ballot initiative that, if passed, would allow doctors to prescribe lethal pills to terminally-ill patients that want to be put out of their misery. I’m with the church on this one. Mood music: Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh describes this quite nicely: An initiative petition to legalize physician-assisted suicide has been certified by Attorney General Martha Coakley. If backers collect enough signatures, and…  [Read More]

In Defense Of Wolfgang Van Halen

by Bill Brenner February 12, 2012 Children's issues

With a new Van Halen album out, everyone has an opinion. Fine by me, because I have mine. But one writer has taken his displeasure over bassist Wolfgang Van Halen to levels that earn him a smack to the back of the head. Mood music: When you question quality of the songwriting and musicianship, it’s all well and good. If you’re a music critic, that’s your job. But Martin Cizmar, former music critic at Phoenix New Times (he’s now…  [Read More]

RIP: Whitney Houston

by Bill Brenner February 12, 2012 Addiction

As a rocker kid in the 1980s and 90s, I never really liked Whitney Houston. I always respected her talent and she seemed like a decent person, but that was it. Mood music: Whitney at her best… But I had kept track of reports in recent years about the drug use, the family dysfunction and the fall from musical grace, and it always made me sad. Everyone has a demon or 10 to fight….  [Read More]

Gisele Bundchen Ain’t My Cup ‘O Joe, But I Give Her A Pass On This One

by Bill Brenner February 7, 2012 Fitness

My interest in football is minimal. I love a good story of athletes overcoming the odds and showing us that anything’s possible. In that regard, Tom Brady is a hell of a role model. I’m also not a fan of the Patriots quarterback’s wife, Gisele Bundchen. Mood music: It’s nothing personal. The world of professional modeling and fashion bores me, except for the occasional episode of Project Runway. And that’s just to see the train wrecks. As…  [Read More]