Growing pains

For Parents With Kids Freaked About Winter Storms

by Bill Brenner January 25, 2015 Children's issues

With a blizzard in the New England forecast this week and next month’s 37th anniversary of the Blizzard of 1978, I thought this might be of use: Mood music: I got a message awhile back from a mom who reads this blog regularly. I’ll keep her anonymous but share some details of the note: “My son, only 7, has suffered from pretty severe anxieties about weather over the past 3 or so years. It took me…  [Read More]

5 Things I’ve Done That Scare Me

by Bill Brenner September 3, 2014 Courage

A while back I wrote a post celebrating Eleanor Roosevelt’s call to “do something every day that scares you.” Rereading that post recently, I realized I forgot something important. Mood music: I forgot to mention how I’m living that advice and not simply parroting it to be cool. If this blog is to mean anything, I have to lead by example, though not in the ways you may be thinking of. I’m not about to skydive…  [Read More]

The Ego OCD Built

by Bill Brenner November 26, 2013 Lessons from the past

The author has an ego that sometimes swells beyond acceptable levels. OCD fuels the fire. Written in December, 2009 and just as real now as it was then. Mood music: Last night I got on here to explain that sometimes OCD is good for me, in the sense that it provides fuel for my professional ambitions. Some might look at the post and think I was letting vanity take over. Truth is, I was. And…  [Read More]

Together We Fill Gaps

by Bill Brenner May 14, 2013 Love

I did some more thinking after writing yesterday’s “Burden of Being Upright” post, and I think I have a better perspective. I was frustrated all day knowing that I need frequent wake-up calls. I want to be so good all the time that I’ll never need them. Truth is, I’m always going to need it. But what’s important is what a person does when the alarm sounds. Several years ago, before I was released from…  [Read More]

MomDay Monday – School Daze

by Bill Brenner April 22, 2010 Children's issues

Every school has its issues. Issues with teachers. Issues with other parents. Miscommunication. Problems with other students. Every school. There’s no getting around it. We’re all human. We all have failings. And a school is, after all, made up of us imperfect humans. But at what point does a school have so many issues it becomes dysfunctional? Is it when the faculty talks out of turn to your child about their parents’ divorce? Or perhaps…  [Read More]

Why the Cigars Must Go (and Why it Pisses Me Off)

by Bill Brenner April 16, 2010 Addiction

The author needs many coaches to keep clean and sane. Sometimes it sucks. Mood music for this post: “Sludge Factory” by Alice in Chains: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej39l_aqkLc&hl=en_US&fs=1&] Like anyone in recovery, I rely on several coaches to keep me from falling back into the sludge pit. The OA sponsor keeps me on the path of abstinence (OA-speak for not eating compulsively; like an AA sponsor who helps you stay sober). I have to call her every morning…  [Read More]

Bad Behavior, Easily Defined

by Bill Brenner April 14, 2010 Addiction

The author turns to his musical hero for some easy-to-remember descriptions of depression and addictive behavior. Mood music for this post: “Pray for me” by Sixx A.M.: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFjz6O7ewwg&hl=en_US&fs=1&] Many times by now, I’ve mentioned that one of my inspirations for this blog is Nikki Sixx, bassist and lyricist for Motley Crue. That’s because he gave the world a naked view of his madness at the hands of addiction in his book, “The Heroin Diaries.” I’m…  [Read More]

Meet My Demon

by Bill Brenner April 13, 2010 Addiction

Why the author treats his demon like an imaginary friend, and how it helps. It won’t give up It wants me dead God damn that noise inside my head From today’s mood music, “The Becoming,” by Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDfyR22u_gI&hl=en_US&fs=1&] At last night’s OA meeting, I saw quite a few people with heavy weights pressing on their minds. I won’t share details, because these meetings are all about anonymity. But it got me…  [Read More]

A Little Bitter

by Bill Brenner April 12, 2010 Addiction

The author on three of the 12 Steps he keeps tripping over. Mood music for this post: “A Little Bitter” by Alice in Chains: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3qpF9xUTT0&hl=en_US&fs=1&] Of the 12 Steps of Recovery, there are three  I keep tripping over: 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or…  [Read More]

Pieces of Mind

by Bill Brenner April 11, 2010 For travelers

This happens every time I have a week of travel. By the time Sunday rolls around, I reach a point in the afternoon where I sit in the chair by the living room window as my brain cracks into pieces. I feel a buzz, even though I’m sober. I feel some bloat, even though my eating has been clean. Mood music: “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxJwP0izGgc&hl=en_US&fs=1&] I feel like a wheel that’s spinning so…  [Read More]