For travelers

41 Years

by Bill Brenner August 26, 2011 Addiction

Some people get depressed on their birthday. Not me. The fact that I turn 41 today is a freak of nature. But a year into my forties, I know I have more cleaning up to do. Mood music: Item: When I was sick with the Crohn’s Disease as a kid, I lost a lot of blood and developed several side ailments. I’m told by my parents that the doctor’s were going to remove the colon more than…  [Read More]

When Playing It Safe Makes Things Worse

by Bill Brenner August 5, 2011 Children's issues

I had coffee with a friend from the security industry yesterday. I thought I was coming to offer feedback on something having to do with the profession. Then he told me about a mental-emotional problem. Mood music: [spotify:track:4DA95pyBe6QORPGvTEuMWQ] He told me he had a bunch of medical tests and they discovered that a small corner of his brain doesn’t work as well as it should. The result is that his short-term memory frequently takes a…  [Read More]

Fear and Self-Loathing in San Francisco

by Bill Brenner June 21, 2011 Addiction

Just got to my hotel in Santa, Clara, Calif., with a few random memories shifting around in my head — memories that illustrate who I was and who I am now. Mood music: It was July 1991 and I was with Sean Marley on my first trip to the west coast. I didn’t really want to go because I was afraid of everything and everyone. But Sean was red h0t about the idea, and back…  [Read More]


by Bill Brenner May 14, 2011 Addiction

Since I’ve been adding new readers along the way, I always get questions about why I started this thing. I recently expanded the “about” section, and that’s a good starting point. But more of a back story is in order. Mood music: Before I started THE OCD DIARIES in December 2009 with a post about depression hitting me during the holidays, I had always toyed with the idea of doing this. The reason for wanting…  [Read More]

RSA 2005 (Fool in the Rain)

by Bill Brenner February 14, 2011 Fear and anxiety

As I cover RSA Conference 2011, I can’t help but think back to my first RSA trip in 2005. This isn’t about security trends then and now. It’s about my state of mind back then. Mood music (because I was listening to this one a lot back then): [youtube=] I had been writing for for less than a year, and I was in the middle stages of an emotional breakdown. I just didn’t know…  [Read More]

Snake on the Plane

by Bill Brenner February 12, 2011 Addiction

Tomorrow I get on another plane to another city — this time San Francisco. It’s time to go cover the RSA and B-Sides security events. I used to be a raving lunatic the day before a flight. Not anymore. Still, I feel uneasy this morning. Mood music: [youtube=] My mind has been raw all week for a multitude of reasons. Mostly, it’s a case of winter getting to me. The sun is setting later each…  [Read More]

Never Trust a Sushi Place Built into a CVS

by Bill Brenner January 28, 2011 For travelers

Last night was one of those dinner experiences that tests someone in my type of addiction recovery program. The scene: I’ve just checked into my hotel room in Washington D.C., where I’m attending the ShmooCon security conference. I venture downstairs in search of dinner. I run into a group of friends from the security industry and they invite me out with them for dinner. I’m glad to see them and I’m hungry, so I accept….  [Read More]

Somewhere in New Jersey

by Bill Brenner January 27, 2011 For travelers

Last time I made the drive from Boston to D.C., we got lost in New Jersey (See: A New Jersey State of Rage). Mood music: [youtube=] This time I’m not driving, so we’ll probably be fine this time. We’re 8-plus hours into the journey. It was a slow start with the snowstorm, but we seem to be going at a good clip now. Google Maps says we have about 5 hours to go until we…  [Read More]

We Have Lift-off

by Bill Brenner January 27, 2011 For travelers

Aboard the ShmooBus en route to Washington D.C. for the ShmooCon security conference. In a snowstorm. What could possibly go wrong? So far, so good, though. I got shoveled out and my friend Jack Daniel got the RV to me. Let this character-building exercise begin! And to think a few years ago this type of adventure would have reduced me to a pile of water. If you live with fear, anxiety and depression, let this…  [Read More]

Midwest Center for Fraud & Bullshit

by Bill Brenner January 2, 2011 Addiction

Cleaning out the trunk of my car yesterday, I came across a stack of cassette tapes from a period in my life when I was so desperate I’d spend stupid sums of money on anything to remove my fear and anxiety. These tapes were part of a program that cost me some $450. Each tape, sold by the Midwest Center for Stress & Anxiety, is designed to help people learn the skills to defeat anxiety and…  [Read More]