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]

Chain Smoking In Bickford’s Was The Best

by Bill Brenner February 17, 2012 Addiction

Though I no longer smoke or eat the kind of food they served, I’m feeling nostalgic about the days of old when you could sit in any of the dim, dank coffee shops in the local Bickford’s chain for hours, hanging out, chain smoking and drinking those awful, bottomless cups of black coffee. I blame The Doors for this trip down memory lane. I’ve been listening to their first album this morning and when “Soul…  [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]

THE OCD DIARIES, Two Years Later

by Bill Brenner December 7, 2011 Addiction

Two years ago today, in a moment of Christmas-induced depression, I started this blog. I meant for it to be a place where I could go and spill out the insanity in my head so I could carry on with life. In short order, it snowballed into much more than that. Mood music: About a year into my recovery from serious mental illness and addiction — the most uncool, unglamorous addiction at that — I started…  [Read More]

To The Guy Killing Himself With Food

by Bill Brenner November 16, 2011 Addiction

There’s a guy I used to work with who was always a pleasure to be around. I loved his humor and work ethic, and, thanks to Facebook, I get to stay in touch with him. But I’m worried by what I see right now. Mood music: [spotify:track:7Foti4A082iVkY8Az1hvlX] By now this guy has probably figured out that this will be about him. He need not worry. I’m not going to name him or the place where…  [Read More]

Learn From My Mistakes

by Bill Brenner November 4, 2011 Addiction

In all my efforts to get sane a few years ago, I did a lot of stupid things. I’m sharing it with you here so you don’t make the same mistakes: Mood music: –Don’t try to control your compulsive binge eating problem by fasting. You won’t make it through the morning, and then you’ll binge like you’ve never binged before. –Don’t mix alcohol with pills that have the strength of four Advil tablets in…  [Read More]

Eat This! How To Survive Sans Flour And Sugar

by Bill Brenner October 19, 2011 Addiction

What exactly does a life without flour and sugar look like? Read on. Someone in work heard me rattling off everything I was eating for the day on the phone and looked at me like I had six heads. I was doing what I do almost every morning: Tell my OA sponsor what my food plan is for the day. Mood music: It sounds extreme. But it’s what I have to do to stay well….  [Read More]

Depressed? Drink More Coffee

by Bill Brenner September 29, 2011 Addiction

People often shudder over the amount of coffee I down each day. Even after I point out that it’s the only vice I have left, they still look at me like I’m nuts. But I’ve found new allies at Harvard’s School of Public Health. My new academic friends say those who drink two or three cups a day have a 15 per cent lower incidence of depression than those who rarely do so. Their point…  [Read More]

Call It An Allergy And Walk Away

by Bill Brenner September 22, 2011 Addiction

If someone offers me a drink and I tell them I’m sober, they accept it and that’s that. If I’m offered food that doesn’t fit my recovery program for compulsive binge eating, I can’t say it that way without getting odd stares. This is something all compulsive binge eaters deal with in society — a big, ugly lack of understanding that destructive addictive behavior takes on many forms, and that food can be as destructive…  [Read More]

A Relapse Isn’t The End Of The World

by Bill Brenner September 16, 2011 Addiction

When a person relapses back into addictive behavior, it seems like the end of the world. Everything they’ve worked for is in ashes, and they embrace their old demon with reckless abandon. It shouldn’t have to be that way. Mood music: [spotify:track:1JKiRbc7uA6B9QrO3I1zZH] I’m thinking hard about this because I came close to a relapse recently, and a friend now finds himself in a full, free-falling backslide. A lot of people have a hard time seeing…  [Read More]