Personal growth

Using Mental Illness to Get Attention

by Bill Brenner January 19, 2016 Compulsive behaviors

I came across an interesting article on the AG News site listing 10 traits of someone who uses mental illness to get attention. A couple years ago it would have offended the hell out of me. But knowing myself as I do today, I see a lot of truth in there. Mood music: People with big egos often think of themselves as supremely awesome and interesting, even when they’re not. As I’ve said before, we OCD…  [Read More]

With Burnout Comes Wisdom (If You Survive)

by Bill Brenner November 5, 2015 Work-life balance

I’ve devoted several posts to combatting career burnout, particularly in the information security industry. But something recently occurred to me: Burnout can be a good thing, but only if you survive. Mood music: The thought came to me after talking to a fellow industry veteran and work colleague. We’ve seen friends younger than us either setting themselves up for the fall or crashing to Earth after burning to a crisp. My friend knows burnout. So do I. We’ve…  [Read More]

5 Realizations and Defenses from the Family Business

by Bill Brenner November 2, 2015 Dealing with life

Big pressures aside, I’ve learned much while cleaning up and selling off the old family business and managing trusts Dad left in my hands. Mood music: Until I took on this family business stuff, I’d never had to deal with lawyers or real estate people at this magnitude. I had certainly never managed this kind of money. Here are five realizations — and five defenses — that have saved me from implosion. 5 Realizations Lawyers are the best and worst of humanity….  [Read More]

Coming Soon: The OCD Diaries Book Series

by Bill Brenner October 14, 2015 Adventures in writing

For years, people have told me to write a book based on this blog. And for years I’ve resisted because life was busy enough between work, family and writing for three blogs. But after some brainstorming with Erin last weekend, the decision is made: I’m diving in. The time is right. Mood music: In 2016 I’ll still write fresh posts here, but my main focus as far as The OCD Diaries goes will be on book writing. Not…  [Read More]

Anxiety Level Green

by Bill Brenner September 4, 2015 Fear and anxiety

A while back I wrote about the various stages of anxiety based on the first five colors of Newton’s primary color system. In the last week, I’ve realized that I’ve been at level green for at least three months. Mood music: At the time I wrote it, my description for Level Green was: Green. This anxiety appears when the less-frequent stresses spark up. Yesterday was a perfect example in my world: I was already ramped up from…  [Read More]

Just Admit You Were Wrong

by Bill Brenner June 1, 2015 Adventures in writing

When you passionately push opinions, it sucks to be proven wrong later. It’s happened to me plenty of times, and I’ve learned to simply correct the record as I go. Doing so keeps me honest. What follows are posts I’ve done here and in my work-related blogs when I’ve had a change of heart. The lesson: When you’re wrong, just admit it. It’s the right thing to do, and it will keep your credibility intact. “The Women…  [Read More]

Life Doesn’t Suck, We Just Need Our Life Jackets

by Bill Brenner May 27, 2015 Coping tools

Lately, I’ve been going through a tough period and been documenting it here because it’s another journey and I like to document all my journeys. One thing I’m re-learning on this trek is that it’s important to find life jackets that keep you from drowning when the floods come. Put on the life jacket for a couple hours or a couple of days pockets to keep your head above water. Mood music: Last weekend while the…  [Read More]

Ireland’s Gay Marriage Vote Was Inevitable

by Bill Brenner May 26, 2015 News

Some on social media are surprised Ireland voted so overwhelmingly to legalize gay marriage. One reason may be because Ireland is so predominantly Catholic, and Catholic doctrine says homosexuality is wrong. As an American Catholic, I think the vote went as it did because more and more Catholics are thinking as I do on this subject. Mood music: My conscience tells me that government has absolutely no business defining what marriage — and, more to the…  [Read More]

Irish Alzheimer’s Disease

by Bill Brenner May 19, 2015 Communication skills for the crazy

Alzheimer’s Disease is a terrible thing. I’ve known some precious souls trapped within that mental prison over the years, and it’s one of the saddest things to behold. But there’s another mental prison we all find ourselves in from time to time. The late Fr. Dennis Nason, former pastor of my church, described it as Irish Alzheimer’s. Simply put, you forget everything but the grudges. I’d like to tell you I don’t suffer from it, but…  [Read More]

A Basement in Revere

by Bill Brenner May 13, 2015 The stormy past

A photo from the old days in Revere is sparking some flashbacks. It’s November 1991, and Dan Waters, Sean Marley, and I are in the basement of the old house I grew up in. From left to right: Bill Brenner, Dan Waters, and Sean Marley We partied a lot in that basement. It was the scene of many impressive and entertaining mood swings. I could be mistaken, but I believe we were having a belated Halloween…  [Read More]