adventures in writing

8 Things You Should Know About This Blog

by Bill Brenner February 16, 2015 Adventures in writing

Many family members have recently started reading this blog. Given the semi-autobiographical nature of this beast, misunderstandings have caused friction with a couple people along the way. I’ve written what follows in hopes of clarifying a few things. Mood music: I don’t come here to complain about life. Parts of the blog are dark. Other parts are chock-full of my blunt opinions. Some misinterpret that as unhappiness on my part. That’s not the case. Everyone has…  [Read More]

Carter Center Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

by Bill Brenner July 15, 2014 Mental health

People love to pick on the presidency of Jimmy Carter. To be sure, there’s much to criticize. But Carter has done awesome deeds since leaving Washington 33 years ago. One such deed: working to break the stigma around mental illness. Mood music: Being a journalist, I know how important it is for skilled writers to lift the veil off the scourge so the masses can understand. I never tackled such a beat as a reporter,…  [Read More]

So You Wanna Blog About Your Demons

by Bill Brenner March 3, 2014 Adventures in writing

Quite a few people are starting to share stories about their mental health challenges and other demons. Some ponder if they should start blogging about it. Having written such a blog for almost five years now, here’s my take. Mood music: If you feel you have reached the right point in your journey to start sharing, then do it. If nothing else, it will help you keep things in perspective. I always feel better after…  [Read More]

The Year That Will Be: 15 Goals

by Bill Brenner January 7, 2014 Adventures in writing

It turns out I have a lot of goals for 2014. Here’s a list. Wring all the sloppiness from my eating program. Find a cheap elliptical machine and use it for at least 30 minutes a day. Earn my way off the blood pressure pills. Get the first-ever security section of up and running. Learn how to play one new song a week on guitar. Start recording the original music I’ve been working on….  [Read More]

You Can’t Fight Depression with Unicorns and Rainbows

by Bill Brenner December 17, 2013 Adventures in writing

In recent days I’ve watched an interesting online discussion about depression and bipolar disorder. One one side is author and speaker Natasha Tracy, whose writing pulls no punches about the dark side of such maladies. On the other side is a blogger named Sarah Ryan. She believes the approach to addressing the subject should be uplifting and sunny. The truth is somewhere in between, in my opinion. But I must say that the sunshine part…  [Read More]

The OCD Diaries, Four Years Later

by Bill Brenner December 5, 2013 Adventures in writing

This weekend marks four years since I woke up in a funk and started this blog on a whim, figuring I’d at least feel better if I spilled my guts. It did the trick. But in the years since that day, it has become something far bigger than I could have imagined at the time. Mood music: I didn’t expect so many people to connect with the writing. I figured it would be no big…  [Read More]

All I Want for Christmas Is to Get Through It

by Bill Brenner December 4, 2013 Coping tools

So here we are at that time of year when everyone is supposed to be happy and glowing with Christmas spirit. As for me? This time of year really fucks with me. Mood music: [spotify:track:1kh2KHdYc1xCejan0h5ZUv] This has traditionally been a time of year when bad things have happened to me. The suicide of a friend at the start of one holiday season. The death of sibling at the end of another. Several childhood hospitalizations in…  [Read More]

The OCD Diaries in Book Form

by Bill Brenner December 12, 2012 Adventures in writing

Erin and I are making plans for 2013. One is to turn The OCD Diaries into book form. Mood music: [spotify:track:0PexPf8SzDe0xu0OS3p7ya] Almost since the beginning of this blog, readers have suggested that I do an OCD Diaries book. Flattering as that suggestion is, I sort of balked at the notion. This began as a memoir of sorts, and that might have been worth making a book out of. But the subject matter quickly evolved, and…  [Read More]

THE OCD DIARIES, Three Years Later

by Bill Brenner December 7, 2012 Adventures in writing

Three 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: [spotify:track:2o3ZNeSBuMEt7e3zZbTLk9] About a year into my recovery from serious mental illness and addiction — the most uncool, unglamorous addiction at that — I started thinking about…  [Read More]

A Tale of Two C-Words

by Bill Brenner July 12, 2012 Adventures in writing

I’ve always hated the C-word. I’m from Revere, Mass., and I can cuss with the best of ’em. But that word has always crossed a line for me. I don’t even like it when someone throws it out there with the “see you next Tuesday” innuendo. I also hate the other C-word: cancer. This is a post about both. Mood music: [spotify:track:04T3Vav6UnphVew2bBUDe5] The latter C-word is the one everyone fears. I’ve known many cancer patients,…  [Read More]