Work-life balance

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]

The Job Performance Review

by Bill Brenner February 3, 2012 Job discrimination

A confession that probably won’t shock you: I used to turn into a pile of jelly each year when it was time for the job performance review most employed people endure every 12 months. Mood music: I bring this up because my annual review is Monday. Today I’m supposed to turn in my self-evaluation. And I feel an absolute lack of drama about it. Overconfidence? Perhaps. Apathy? Definitely not. It’s just another indication of where…  [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: http://youtu.be/IKpEoRlcHfA About a year into my recovery from serious mental illness and addiction — the most uncool, unglamorous addiction at that — I started…  [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: http://youtu.be/l4Xx_vjGnlo –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]

Finish What You Started

by Bill Brenner September 28, 2011 Adventures in writing

Funny thing about people who suffer from serious mental illness: They tend to make all these big plans but never really follow through with anything. I don’t fault them. For one thing, they have an illness. Also, I used to be just like them. Mood music: [spotify:track:37A5wFomo4EVz5tGInAynI] Watching the start-stop-start-thud behavior of a friend is reminding me of what I used to do. My friend, who I won’t name, always has some big plans afoot….  [Read More]

What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

by Bill Brenner August 31, 2011 Depression

A friend keeps telling me about big fears he has of not getting the mortgage paid and being homeless. There’s no danger of that happening. But OCD and reality rarely see eye to eye. Mood music: He wrote: My Biggest Fear is that we will lose our house because we will get too far behind in our mortgage and we will end up homeless.  I even wrote a script that details how it all happens…  [Read More]

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]

BlackHat, Defcon, BSides: Symptoms Of Withdrawl

by Bill Brenner August 4, 2011 Addiction

Funny thing about how my brain works: I’m working from home, loving that Erin and the kids are right here with me. I’m getting a ton of work done, and the weather is perfect. But there’s a pull in the back of my brain, and it’s coming from Las Vegas. Mood music (Despite my recent post about Vince Neil, I do like his cover of this Aerosmith classic): http://youtu.be/_HHLWvfAPMA I’ve mentioned before how I love…  [Read More]

I Thought I Was Perfect. I Was Just Stupid

by Bill Brenner July 26, 2011 Addiction

Let me tell you about the time I wanted to be perfect, how the urge nearly ruined me and how I learned to accept — if not embrace — my flaws. One of the great delusions an OCD sufferer labors under is the notion that he/she can achieve absolute perfection. Maybe the goal is to be the perfect employee. Maybe it’s to be the perfect parent and spouse. In some cases, the goal can even…  [Read More]