Welcome to THE OCD DIARIES, the blog that kicks fear, anxiety, depression and addiction in the teeth. It’s written by Bill Brenner, a man who went through hell, saw the light and lived to tell about it.

What’s This Freakin’ Blog Really About, Anyway?

Glad you asked.

Let’s see if I can capture it here:

I’ve gained several new readers in the past month. They have a lot of questions for me, which I like and appreciate. The most common question goes something like this: “What exactly is the focus of this blog?”

It’s a fair question. Here’s the explanation. In this case the embedded links are important to seeing the whole picture. But don’t try to read them all at once. That would be insanity.

I call it THE OCD DIARIES because it’s primarily about my struggle to manage the disorder. If I have an OCD moment, I write about it. Where I’ve had success in gaining the upper hand, I share what I’ve learned so other sufferers can try it for themselves. Where appropriate, I laugh at what it makes me do. Sometimes, the result of an OCD incident is humor. But this isn’t a blog that tosses the acronym around to loosely describe every hyper moment of my existence. A lot of people say they have OCD to describe their Type-A personalities. This blog is about the real thing and why it’s so insidious.

It’s also about my upbringing in Revere, Mass., my childhood battle with Crohn’s Disease and how those things helped shape the manifestation of OCD within me. Every person’s struggle is shaped by where they’ve been in life. Historical perspective is important.

It’s also about the byproducts of my OCD, specifically addictive behavior and, even more specifically, my struggle with a binge-eating addiction. Part of that means telling you about how I brought it under control, which is why you see a lot about the 12 Steps of Recovery and Overeater’s Anonymous. I also tell you about all the stupid behaviors that goes with being an addict, including the secondary addictions that surface after you’ve put a lid on the main, most disruptive addiction.

It’s also about relationships, specifically with my wife and children,extended family members, colleagues, friends and the legions of nameless souls who have come and gone, helping me along the way. It’s about relationships that were destroyed along the way, and about broken relationships I’ve been able to repair in my recovery.

It’s about my Faith, which is all over the 12 Steps and is central to my ability to get honest with myself and get the help I needed. You’ll see a lot about my church community, the beauty as well as the warts, which we all have. 

It’s about daily learning experiences. Sometimes the mood of the writing is depressed and sometimes it’s joyful. It’s merely a reflection of all of us.

Finally, it’s a blog about metal music and why it’s so important in helping me with all of the above struggles. Most posts include musical selections that capture my emotions at the given moment.

Some posts will reassure you. Many will make you uncomfortable.

In the end, it’s just a collection of my experiences.

29 thoughts on “About THE OCD DIARIES

  1. Hi Bill, I am also a compulsive overeater. I got my one year chip in OA, and then immediately fell apart. I’ve just finally gotten back down to a little less than where I started. I also have OCD, and gluten sensitive. My OCD manifests as “checking,” excessive hand washing, only being able to be in running or moving water, only allowing dishes to be washed under running water (my family follows this for me), and worst of all, scratching the skin off my head so it looks like I have a massive case of dandruff when really it’s scabs. That’s the one OC behaviour that my husband can’t handle. I’m so glad you found me, which enabled me to find you.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I Guten-tagged you. Read my Good Morning to You post and play along if you wish. Cheers!!

  2. Hi Bill –
    I came across your blog while googling “sans flour”. I too, have addiction problems and I have found great relief in life without flour. I avoid all flours; wheat, rice, oat, tapioca, etc. I do eat intact grains such as oat groats, hulless barley and starches like potatoes and corn in very strict moderation and only at the end of the day. Sleep seems to help in avoiding the post-starch hunger and restarts my abstinence.
    I can not get over how eliminating flour (any grain milled to a dust) has changed my addictive personality. I am almost free from impulse control problems, compulsions and obsessive thinking.
    I have lost 54 lbs in the last 16 months and I feel so much better. I have tried explaining this to people who ask what I am doing, but nobody believes me or gets how simple this is. I eliminated refined sugar ages ago, but I still suffered with other addictions and binge eating. The real change occured when I cut out flours. Now I am beginning to understand how it feels to have some control over my appetite and I find myself thinking “this must be similar to how normal people feel”.
    I’m so glad I found your blog and I LOVE your mood music.
    Peace to you!

  3. Hello Bill,
    You have seen me rant on a few entries here, I mostly stay quiet as I tend to be a bit blunt on some topics, but I just wanted to thank you for keeping the blog going.

    I don’t have OCD but I did/do suffer from addiction. I have been everywhere, up and down inside and out, still looking for my balance. I kicked the hard stuff 1/11/1997, but have since been put on pain pills for my condition. It sucks because I was deep in a hole with my illicit addictions and climbed my way out, only to get addicted to what doctors give me now. I couldn’t function without them due to the pain so until they legalize medicinal marijuana in my state, I am stuck with them. I would rather smoke than take these liver killing chemicals to be honest, MJ really does help me.

    Enough about me, thanks again for keeping me entertained in my isolated world. I have a blog as well but don’t have the resolve to write all the time. I usually rant at tb2942.com so stop by sometime but be warned, I REALLY rant sometimes. 🙂


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  5. So this may seem corny, but another blogger nominated Crud My Kids Say for some blogging award. I was in turn supposed to nominate 5 more blogs. So I chose yours as one of them. You certainly don’t have to do this, but I figured I would. Thanks.

    The rules are simple:

    1. Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their blog.
    2. Nominate and link to five other blogs that each have less than 200 followers but that you think deserve more.
    3. Spread the Liebster Blog love Karma!

    So simple, and a quick way to make someone’s day!

    Don’t forget to post the Liebster Blog badge in your post and on your page. You can copy it from my page.


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  8. Just discovered your blog, so glad I did! I can totally relate to having OCD and to being Catholic, the heavy metal, not so much. 😉

    I really appreciate this…

    “Where appropriate, I laugh at what it makes me do. Sometimes, the result of an OCD incident is humor. But this isn’t a blog that tosses the acronym around to loosely describe every hyper moment of my existence. A lot of people say they have OCD to describe their Type-A personalities. This blog is about the real thing and why it’s so insidious.”

    So many people throw around the term OCD and speak of it as if it some character flaw. Can’t stand that. I too find humor helps lighten the reality of OCD behaviors, but as you said, only where appropriate. My husband has done a great job of learning “where appropriate” exactly is. Plus my Tourettes adds a whole other level of “where appropriate” humor to our lives.

    Anyway, good looking blog, I look forward to following your posts.

  9. Thank you so much for your piece on the “Lost generation of Revere.” Jay Nickerson was one of a kind and a loving husband (mine). It was wonderful to have another glimpse into what he was like as a child. From the sound of it, I don’t think many things changed! As for how Jay handled his disease- the same as he handled life. He concentrated on fighting the best he could and made the best of his time left. It has always truly amazed me how he was able to do that! Even my last hours with him were filled with laughter.

    Thank you!

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  15. Hi,

    We reached out to you recently about the OCD and Hoarders Expert Panel featured in our Anxiety Disorders center.


    We are still actively covering this topic and promoting this piece, and we think it’s a great topic to share with your visitors.

    Let me know if you are able to mention the OCD and Hoarding Expert Panel on billbrenner1970.wordpress.com, and we’ll happily give you a Twitter shout out to our 35,000+ followers.

    Healthy Living!

    Blaine Skrainka
    Outreach Director
    Everyday Health
    345 Hudson Street, 16th Floor
    New York, New York 10014


  16. Bill — I have written a novel on OCD, which I think you will find interesting, empathic, and, in the end, uplifting. Would you be interested in reviewing it for your followers?

  17. Hi,

    A&E’s “Hoarders,” TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and Style Network’s “Clean House” are not only huge TV reality hits but expose the real life anxiety disorders millions suffer from daily. We think the visitors of billbrenner1970.wordpress.com will find the 10 topics on OCD and hoarding, covered by our chosen 13 experts, invaluable and useful for their everyday lives.

    OCD and Hoarding: Experts Weigh In


    Please be encouraged to share the whole package or even just the most relevant topics with the readers of billbrenner1970.wordpress.com on site (plus Twitter and Facebook).

    Happy Healthy Living!

    Julia Lee
    Outreach Director
    Everyday Health
    345 Hudson Street, 16th Floor
    New York, New York 10014


  18. Hey Bill! I was recently diagnosed with OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I must say that finding someone who went through the same sort of ordeal as me and is coping well is definitely uplifting. I’ll be sure to check back often. Take care! 😀

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  21. Hi Bill,

    Sorry to spam your comments, but I couldn’t find a contact email for you on your site. I’m Kate, the Health and Entertainment Editor at Opposing Views in Los Angeles. I really enjoy reading The OCD Diaries — great content. I’d like to invite you to share your work with our readers.

    We’re a media site that publishes content from hundreds of contributors and experts like the NRA, PETA, the DOJ and Amnesty International. Our traffic is over 750K a month and growing.

    In order to build out our mental health section, we’re reaching out to qualified writers on the subject. I think your blog would be a strong addition.

    What does that mean exactly? Essentially, you would give us permission to publish content from your RSS feed. You’d be listed as a contributor, which includes bylines, a profile and links. You get full attribution (promoting your site), and some of your content will be added to Google News, Facebook and Twitter. Your work will also be seen on associate sites run by Deep Dive Media. This way, you’ll reach an even wider audience.

    Thanks for taking a minute to consider joining us, and please let me know if you are interested.

    Kate Wharmby Seldman
    Health and Entertainment Editor
    Opposing Views
    Los Angeles, CA

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