Marriage and relationships

Monogamy Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Missing a Hashtag

by Bill Brenner February 13, 2015 Marriage and relationships

Chris Messina, the self-proclaimed inventor of the hashtag and advocate for open-web initiatives, has written an article for CNN about why he chooses non-monogamy. I respect his beliefs. People should be free to love who they want to love. I’m also a happily married, old-fashioned romantic who wonders if people have stopped trying. Mood music: Messina writes about being a child of divorce and having had the notion of “happily ever after” monogamy shoved down his…  [Read More]

Human Tourniquets And Freaks Who Love Them

by Bill Brenner March 29, 2013 Communication skills for the crazy

I originally wrote this three years ago. Looking at it again, it’s an important post describing a time when not even best friends were safe from my insanity. I’ve updated it for the present.  Mood music: [spotify:track:2YGwSRjcY4Hjz6fktW9619] You know the type. They hang  out with people who act more like abusive spouses than friends. They are human tourniquets. They absorb the pain of their tormentor daily and without complaint. This is the story of the…  [Read More]

Why I Skipped #ShmooCon — Again

by Bill Brenner February 16, 2013 Family

Like last year, a lot of people have asked me why I’m not at the ShmooCon security conference in Washington D.C. After all, it is one of my favorite events. Mood music: [spotify:track:3xMZrNrfyKUUqQVtoR13ml] Simply put, it’s too close to the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco the week after next. Being away from home for multiple days for two weeks inside a month is simply more than my family can handle these days. Last year…  [Read More]

14 Years, and She Still Turns My Heart to Jelly

by Bill Brenner August 1, 2012 Marriage and relationships

You would think that after 14 years of marriage, I’d get over that gushy feeling you walk around with when you first fall in love. But the truth is that I still get that way. All the time. Because I know how blessed I am to have Erin as my wife. Mood music: [spotify:track:6NQDxrvhCvKfbH9jLELav9] Everything about her makes me that way. Her hair. Her smell. Her relentless drive to do right by God. She’s my…  [Read More]

Celebrating Erin

by Bill Brenner June 30, 2012 Love

Today is Erin’s birthday, and it feels like a national holiday to me. My life is crammed with blessings because of her, so it’s perfectly appropriate to celebrate her life this way. Mood music: [spotify:track:4L8oqhumLHOrIVVKJKBk7r] A few things you should know about Erin: She’s the best mom on the planet. Our two boys have hearts and minds of gold. Their faces are always buried in books, they pray to God daily and spread joy everywhere…  [Read More]

Fatherhood Saved Ozzy, Eddie & Me

by Bill Brenner May 4, 2012 Addiction

Yesterday I watched the “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” documentary, which focused heavily on how his addictions maimed him and his family over four decades. Though my addictive behavior pales by comparison, it still struck a chord. Mood music: [spotify:track:6xb9RiyqpDXWF4wUYPDwI2] What hit me deepest is how Ozzy finally decided to get real sobriety after his son Jack had kicked drugs and alcohol. It took his son to show him the light. There’s a similar plot in…  [Read More]

The Monkey Will ALWAYS Be On Your Back

by Bill Brenner April 25, 2012 Addiction

I’m standing at a bar in Boston with my wife and stepmom. They order wine and I order coffee. My stepmom beams and says something about how awesome it is that I beat my demons. I appreciate the pride and the sentiment. But it’s also dangerous when someone tells a recovering addict that they’ve pulled the monkey off their back for good. Mood music: Here’s the thing about that monkey: You can smack him around,…  [Read More]

Strong Too Long, Or Weak Too Often?

by Bill Brenner April 23, 2012 Addiction

There’s a saying on Facebook that depression isn’t a sign of weakness, but simply the result of being strong for too long. Somewhat true — though weakness does feed the beast. Mood music: I’m feeling it this morning. I’ve always taken a certain level of satisfaction from my ability to stay standing in the face of death, illness, family dysfunction, depression and addiction. Sometimes, I get an over-inflated sense of survivor’s pride. People love to…  [Read More]

When The Going Gets Tough, I Disconnect

by Bill Brenner April 17, 2012 Addiction

I’m leaving my weekly therapy sessions with a headache these days, because I’m working through another deeply embedded flaw in my soul. Mood music: It’s not nearly as bad as the therapy I had in 2004-2006, when I had to endlessly churn the sewage of my childhood memories in search of clues on what was wrong with me and how I got that way. Back then, I didn’t know myself very well. Now I do….  [Read More]

Guilt Chestnut Number 5: ‘You Never Call’

by Bill Brenner April 16, 2012 Communication skills for the crazy

In a dysfunctional family few are without blame for the things that go wrong. But there’s one criticism I’ve heard time and again that makes me bristle: “You never call.” Mood music: It’s not just that I don’t call the person who says that. It’s that I don’t call a lot of people. I’ve never been a fan of the phone. I always feel awkward on the phone, especially when there are pockets of dead…  [Read More]