Sobriety and abstinence

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]

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]

Smarter People Drink, Which Makes Me Feel Stupid

by Bill Brenner January 26, 2012 Addiction

I’m pissed off about an article in Psychology Today that suggests smarter people consume more alcohol. As someone who’s sober, the article is kind of insulting. After all, I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person. Mood music: Here’s a snippet from the article by Satoshi Kanazawa: Drinking alcohol is evolutionarily novel, so the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent people drink more alcohol than less intelligent people. Human consumption of alcohol, however, was unintentional, accidental, and haphazard until…  [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]

Slaying Old Fears In The Hollywood Hills

by Bill Brenner November 30, 2011 Addiction

This week I’ve been in Los Angeles on business. But I’ve been slaying some old demons while here. Mood music: Let’s go back 20 years — July 1991 — when I came out here 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 hot about the idea, and back then I was always out to impress the man. So off we went, on…  [Read More]

Is It Bad That Two Family Members Are In Therapy?

by Bill Brenner November 28, 2011 Addiction

If more than one member of the same family is in therapy, is that a sign that the family is seriously screwed up? Mood music: That’s the question we are asking ourselves these days. As the reader knows by now, I’ve been in therapy for OCD and related issues for seven years. Duncan sees a children’s therapist to help him work through his ADHD. Is this family a basket case? In my opinion, it’s exactly…  [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]

Beauty And Gratitude In Every Bad Thing

by Bill Brenner September 25, 2011 Adventures in writing

In the battle to manage OCD and all its byproducts, I’ve learned something that’s helped me a lot: To always see the blessings hidden within the bad stuff. Mood music: –When I lose people close to me because of death or resentment, I try to remember the good stuff we got to share and how lucky I was to have known those who eventually left me. –When I feel my addictions starting to creep up…  [Read More]