The OCD Diaries Is Temporarily On Ice

By now you’ve gotten used to new posts from me almost daily. So I thought I should warn you that there won’t be another new post for a while. It’s all part of the relaunch of the new OCD Diaries.

We’ve been moving all the previous posts to the new site and working out the bugs. With all the most recent posts and all the older ones now in the new place, I feel funny about posting new stuff here. Besides, I could use a few days off.

Fear not: I’ll be back soon. And when I return, it’ll be on a new OCD Diaries with better categorizing, a much more user-friendly layout, more guest posts and a broader theme. You’ll also be able to access all my favorite mood music by clicking a box in the posts that will take you straight to my Spotify library. No more copyright cops chasing me on Youtube.

Until I return, be well.

–Bill Brenner

Gave Up Giving Up For Lent

Here we are starting another season of Lent, where Catholics the world over give up something they like for 40 days in an effort to honor the sacrifice Jesus made for everyone. Sean has given up the computer. Erin is TV-free. Duncan put aside the chocolate.

Mood music:

What have I given up? Nothing.

It’s not for lack of faith or gratitude. It’s not even the move of a curmudgeon who doesn’t like to follow the rules. It’s just that I’ve given up everything already.

I no longer smoke.

I no longer drink.

I don’t eat flour or sugar, which means I don’t eat candy.

As for giving up coffee, my family won’t let me. They fear the monster I would become (not that I’d ever give up coffee anyway).

Instead, I’m going to try and build something: My communication skills.

You might be thinking that’s ridiculous. I communicate in this blog all the time, after all. I’ve told you about every skeleton in my closet.

The thing is, for all my ability with the written word, I suck at face-to-face communication, especially when my mind is in a depressed fog. The folks who suffer the most for this are those closest to me.

I’ve tried hard to demolish the wall I hide behind when my mind isn’t right. But whenever I think I’ve made progress, shit happens and I find it’s taller and thicker than ever.

Far as I can tell, I do make progress, but then I take my eye off the wrecking ball and the wall rebuilds itself when I’m busy internalizing everything.

For all the sharing I do in this blog, sometimes it’s still ridiculously hard to open up to those closest to me.  One reason is that I’m still a selfish bastard sometimes. I get so wrapped up in my work and feelings that it becomes almost impossible to see someone else’s side of things.

I also don’t like to be in a situation where there’s yelling. There was plenty of that growing up, and I tend to avoid arguments with loved ones at all costs. Putting up a wall can be a bitch for any relationship, because sooner or later bad feelings will race at that wall like a drunk behind the wheel of a Porsche and slam right into it. Some bricks in the wall crack and come loose, but by then it can be too late. Relationships are totaled.

I’m starting to believe this is a chronic condition hardened by my early history. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit here and accept it.

Working on that communication is like building a better wrecking ball to smash the wall with. It’s a goal worthy of Lent, methinks.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.


After lots of feedback, I’ve decided to change this blog rather than kill it. Erin is going to be my partner in crime in this endeavor. She’s my soul mate and has lived through much of what I’ve written about, so it makes perfect sense.

We’re in the brainstorming stages, but here are some ideas we’re kicking around.

Mood music:

I kicked around the idea of changing the name, but most of you have advised against that. The blog is rooted in my desire to raise awareness of OCD and other illnesses of the mind, and readers have suggested I should keep the name as a reminder of where this all started. Others pointed out that it’s become a brand name. When you change the name of a known brand, you confuse the audience.

The tagline of the blog will definitely change, though. It started as the blog that kicks all those demons in the teeth, but the topics have expanded so much that it’s really a blog about dealing with life. Maybe I’ll hold a contest for new tagline ideas.

I think the banner will have to change in other ways, but we’ll see. If my cousin Andrew, the artist behind my banner, is reading this and has any ideas, get to work!

I’m going to switch platforms from to so I can further customize the blog and allow for ads. There are many great organizations out there that can help people with their demons, and I want to offer them a place to get known.

I also want to invite more guest writers in.

Erin has a good idea for readers who have followed my no-flour, no-sugar posts: A section with recipes for those who want to live it without getting bored by the same old food.

Since my love of hard rock is an ongoing theme, I want to devote a section to exposing new and local bands I think you should know about.

Faith has been another main theme, so maybe we can create a special section for that.

The possibilities are endless.

This thing is still in the planning stages, and we welcome your ideas.