Recovery

It’s a Long Road Through Self-Hatred

by Bill Brenner March 4, 2016 The stormy past

Given the size of my ego and my normally upbeat persona, this might surprise you: Once upon a time, I hated myself. I hated a lot of people, but none more so than myself. The worst of that hatred came after I started facing my demons. Mood Music: I disliked myself before I started to tackle the demons with therapy. A couple years into that therapy, the self-loathing deepened. I had learned much about who I…  [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]

Turning Mental Disorder into a Superpower

by Bill Brenner December 15, 2014 Coping tools

Instead of fighting some mental disorders, such as OCD or ADHD, picture yourself accepting and even embracing them. Then learn to use your disorder to your advantage. It’s kind of like Luke Skywalker learning to use and control the Force instead of it controlling him, or Superman learning to control his super-senses. Mood music: This won’t work for every disorder, of course. Some are more serious than others, like PTSD and schizophrenia. But Edward (Ned)…  [Read More]

Just Showing Up Is a Victory

by Bill Brenner October 16, 2014 Dealing with life

My friends, I’m not going to lie to you: Life seems mighty hard lately. It’s not an illusion: life is hard for all of us. But these last few weeks have been the most difficult I’ve experienced in ages, with one work crisis or health debacle after the next. Mood music: These moments used to give me cravings for dark, quiet rooms with a bed or couch, where I could binge eat, smoke, drink and…  [Read More]

A Vulnerable Soul, a Big Mountain and a Bigger Lesson

by Bill Brenner October 15, 2014 Dealing with life

After weeks of feeling exhausted, depressed and out of control, I escaped to New Hampshire’s White Mountains with Erin for some rest, relaxation, romance, and hiking. We found all those things, but I also found myself humbled and shamed when hiking up the mountains. Mood music: After a back injury, job stresses and the breakdown of my food plan, I knew I was out of shape when we started up Mt. Willard in Crawford Notch….  [Read More]

The Day the Devil Beat Me

by Bill Brenner October 14, 2014 Compulsive behaviors

I haven’t posted in a while for two reasons: One, I’ve been burned out. Two, I needed time to describe what it’s like to slide back into old habits. Mood music: It seems I’ve spent so much time writing about my recovery from binge eating and other addictive behaviors that I forgot what it was like to be back on the other side — where recovery gives way to failure and the fallen is left feeling…  [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]

Your Excuse Is Invalid

by Bill Brenner October 24, 2012 Inspiration

Like everyone else, I find it hard to motivate myself some days. Then I read tales and see photos of people doing big things despite big disadvantages. My own problems then seem microscopic, and I can move on. Mood music: [spotify:track:3G6Pmvb6lsEu7dFkW0bpQc] Today I’d like to thank three people for giving me a much-needed kick in the ass.  Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed and sorry for myself, I can look to them and see my excuses for…  [Read More]

Lost in the Overeaters Anonymous Wilderness

by Bill Brenner August 22, 2012 Addiction

I’ve explained how food is my addiction — an uncool addiction at that. I’ve written about how Overeaters Anonymous (OA) was my salvation from that addiction. And I’ve told you I’ve been living the 12 Steps of Recovery. Now it’s time to tell you about my summer of going astray, and how I don’t completely regret it. Mood music: [spotify:track:63kyrMgKo0M0qvrDVtD4yN] I’ve kept my eating clean most of the time, though I’ve gotten sloppy in spots. I’ve…  [Read More]

Parental Overload: No Big Deal

by Bill Brenner April 25, 2010 Children's issues

Nothing like a week of screaming kids to realize OCD aint what it used to be. Mood music for this post: “Mama Weer all Crazee Now” by The Runaways: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0nKcHaQowY&hl=en_US&fs=1&] A week like the one I’ve just had would have been impossible just a couple years ago. The kids were on school vacation, the same week as Sean’s 9th birthday and some very big security events in Boston. I did a lot of speeding back…  [Read More]