The Alanna Morrison Story

Alanna Morrison was an only child, she had high hopes and big dreams like every other twelve year old girl. She was kind-hearted, and had a love for animals who wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up. Her life changed instantaneously on December 23rd, 1992, after her parents were killed by a drunk driver who crossed the center line and hit their car head on. Four lives were taken on that cold, snowy day. The 27 year old intoxicated man who had an argument with his girlfriend earlier that day and caused the accident, both, Mr. & Mrs. Morrison, and their unborn child. Shortly thereafter, Alanna went to live with her grandparents in another town. She tried to adapt, but never quite recovered from that unfortunate event. In the years to come, her life had become an endless battle of trials and misfortunes. She questioned God, asking why he took her family away from her. As she grew older, she tried to understand why difficult situations arise in life, and why things unfold the way they do, but she never could.

Alanna grew older and went off to college. She met people along the way, considered them friends, and helped them when they needed her. Some of those friends took her kindness for weakness, leaving her high & dry when she needed a shoulder to cry on. She tried to understand why they did what they did, but couldn’t understand those people neither.

Time marched forward and her grandparents had both passed, and she had no one to tell her that everything would be okay.
Alanna became more anguished and seeked someone’s support; but she could not find it anywhere. She immensely needed an anchor admist to survive the inevitably, unpredictable nature of life, but there was no anchor. She was drowning in the deep waters of despair, shouting out for someone to help, anyone that would pull her out and give her a brief moment of their time like she once did for them. But, no one could hear her cry, because they were all too busy living their lives. They only existed in their own times of need.

That’s when she threw in the towel, and gave up! She gave up on people; she gave up on faith; then she gave up her herself.. Alanna went on living without feeling anything at all and fell into a deep state of numbness and indifference. Then, one day she looked at herself in the mirror, not knowing who she was anymore; becoming a stranger to herself. She was ready to reunite with the family she’d lost, leaving the agony & despair behind, in an unwelcoming world where she didn’t belong. One bullet, a 357 Magnum and she was gone.

#shortstories #creativewriting #flashfiction #writers #newauthors


Oftentimes, I get myself jammed up in awkward situations that are preventable. I am my own worst enemy and it’s a result of my own self-inflicted behaviours. Lack of impulse control would best describe it. 😉


It’s one of those things where I act before I think and it’s like “oppsie daisy I did it again!” Now that’s my brain when I fail to take my medicine. Like, who didn’t know that?
I was diagnosed with ADHD at the young age of six. Subsequent to the diagnosis, I felt like I was different than everyone because of it. Why? Because it was a challenge for me to obtain good grades in school when my fellow students had no issues. Shortly thereafter, my doctor treated me and put me on the medication Ritalin. Back in the early 1980′s, Adderall and Vyvanse wasn’t on the market yet and Ritilin was the only known medication that seemingly worked best for me. Moving forward, I was able to focus on my school work, concentrate without distractions and my grades improved. Thereafter I learned to accept it, work through it, live with it, crack jokes and laugh about it, just to make the best of it.
Im some cases, Individuals who were diagnosed with childhood ADHD outgrow the disorder by the time they approach adulthood. Then here’s me, still ADHD as hell and when I fail to take my medicine I have a difficult time focusing on what I’m going to do next or what I’m “OH look at that cat, did you see that grey cat over there?  Oh, sorry I got distracted. Let me apologize now for my actions later. 😂

Have you ever heard of PROCRAFTINATING??? Yes, it’s when you’re working on a crafty project when you should be picking up the kids from school, making dinner, or finishing the 5 loads of laundry that your husbands been riding your ass about all week. 😭

So my train of thought left the station without me. That only means one thing? I guess I’m stuck waiting for the next one. 😃


My ADHD makes it hard for me to focus and focus and it sounds like hocus pocus and I really like magic a whole lot, abracadabra, hahaha.
You know you have ADHD when you don’t realize that you’ve interrupted somebody until they get pissed off at you. 😂


I wish I could sleep, but my ADHD kicks in and well  basically…one sheep, two sheep, cow, turtle, duck, olé McDonald had a farm, heyyyyyy macarena! 😉


2020 Goals – To accomplish the goals of 2019, which I should have done in 2018 because I made a promise in 2017 that I planned in 2016. 😭

#stories #creativewriting #comedy #humor #poems #shortstories #newbies

Gratitude Thursday

A Short Story Written By: Holly L. Brandt

It was a hot summer day in the small town of Lake Mills, Iowa and society was beginning to bounce back from the Great Depression. The town was nothing more than a crossing where North Lake St. intersected with Old State Rt. 971. Marshall’s Hotel & Restaurant was a well-known family owned business, established in 1892. A post office occupied the corner directly across from Marshall’s and next door to that was Ernie’s Service Station, a garage where the townspeople took their cars for repairs & gasoline. Then, there was Cooper’s Grocery & Farmers Market directly across the street from the gas station, also family owned by Dick Cooper and his wife, Beverly. Such a swell couple.

Then, there was eight year old Thomas Anderson on his way home from fishing at the lake all afternoon and decided to stop for an ice cream break at Marshall’s. He left his fishing pole leaning against the wall outside the entrance, then he went inside and sat at the only open table by himself. It was lunchtime and the restaurant was crowding with hungry patrons flowing through the door waiting for a vacant seat. A waitress named Elisabeth approached the table and sat a glass of ice water in front of him. “Can I help you?” She asks, wearing a black & white uniform dress that went down to her middle knee’s, her waist length dark hair was twisted up in a bun. She stood at the table with a pen & tablet and was more than ready to write down his order.

“How much is an ice cream sundae, mam?” The little boy asks the waitress, sitting at the table and sipping his ice water.

“Fifty cents” the waitress replied quickly. Then he pulled his hand out from his pocket to count the coins he had in his hand.

“Well, then how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” He asks, and by then, the impatient waitress was seemingly annoyed with the boy.

“Thirty-five cents” she replied, in a brusque manner. He recounts his coins one last time.

“I’ll just have a plain dish of ice cream, please. The annoyed waitress walks away for a moment, then returns with the dish of ice cream. She leaves the bill on the table and walks away. When the little boy was finished, he took the bill, paid the cashier and walked off. When the waitress returned back to clean the table, her eyes filled with tears as she found two nickels and five pennies sitting next to the empty dish. You see, he needed enough money to leave her a tip, and that’s why he didn’t order the sundae.

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Continue reading “Gratitude Thursday”

Pieces Of My Memoir – Part 2

Christmas & New Year’s had come and gone, and I became a lonely woman with a lost soul. John worked all day, but even when he was around in the evenings, he didn’t have much to say. My father would drop JJ off once John got home from work. My family no longer trusted me with my son, because of my active addiction. They were only looking out for his well-being. In retrospect, I can’t say I blame them one bit. Rich began to call on a regular basis and as much of an asshole he was, I needed someone to talk to. He listened to me and treated me like a friend. He would always tell me that l had self-worth and try to build me up. He finally had his own vehicle and a place to live. By no means, was I interested in finding another partner, I had no intentions on leaving John, he was still my soulmate and I wanted to make things right with him once and for all, but it wasn’t looking good. I spoke to Rich once a day, normally in the early afternoon while John was at work, which was probably for the best. He invited me to go stay up in Erie for a few days to clear my head and get away from it all and he’d drive me back whenever I felt better. I was severely depressed, but leaving wasn’t the best idea, only because I wouldn’t see JJ in the evenings and put him to bed at night like I always did. It was the only time I got to bond with him and John had no problem with it when he was around to supervise our visits. Rich began to talk me into leaving and I just kept telling him I couldn’t because I still had priorities to take care of. He told me to make arrangements to have JJ cared for and he would bring me back. Again, I clarified to him that it would be virtually impossible for me to just up & leave. He continued to play his game and make me believe that he was my friend, and he’d never give up on me like everyone else had.

On February 13th, 2013 at 9;30 p.m., John and I had heated argument when he found out I was communicating with Rich. It took him over the edge completely. JJ was at my parents house spending the night, because he enjoyed going to visit his pappy and nana. It was a good thing he wasn’t around, because things got ugly. I felt like I was being shanked multiple times in the heart by my husband. Although, John never abused me in any way, not physically or mentally, but the things he said that night really fucked me up and sucked the life right out of me. By this time, I was a hot mess. I was suicidal and was ready to opt out of this world for good. That’s when my vulnerability got the best of me and I decided to take Rich up on his invitation and get out of town for a few days. I went upstairs to pack a suitcase and called Rich. I pulled my phone out of my back pocket and dialed his number. After two rings, he answered.

“Hi honey, what’s up with you?” He said.

Crying hysterically, “I just can’t do this anymore, Rich. Please-please-please come get me!’ I said, in my sobbing voice while setting the big, blue suitcase on the bed.

“Honey, what’s going on? Talk to me, PLEASE!! He said, overly concerned about what just happened.

“Me and John had a big fight, I just want to get out of here.” I said, as I was pulling clothes from dresser and closet. I said. “I need to get a shower and I’ll be ready. I felt unwanted, as if I was no longer worthy to my husband.

“Okay I’m going to start my truck, give me an address so I can put it in my GPS, then I’ll give you an ETA. I’m gonna start my truck and warm it up for a few minutes than leave. Finish what you’re doing and I’ll see you in a few hours.

“Okay, I’m getting a shower and I’ll talk to you shortly.” I said. starting to calm down a little. I finished packing my bag, jumped in the shower, got dressed, and took my suitcase downstairs and put it in the foyer next to the front door. I got a message from him saying he would be here by 12:30 a.m.. It was getting late. Finally, John came upstairs from the basement and walked through the living room to go upstairs to bed. Suddenly, he stopped when he recognized the blue suitcase sitting by the door, then turned his head to look at me. We made straight eye contact for a brief moment, I think he was appalled by me leaving, he didn’t say one word, but his facial expression said it all. He turned away and walked upstairs. I sat in the living room, playing games on my phone until Rich arrived to pick me up. Finally, I received a text from Rich at 12:40 a.m. saying he just pulled up to my house. I quickly got up, tossed my phone in my purse and walked over to the front door to open it up. There he was in a green GMC Envoy, it was rather nice and I thought that maybe he got his shit together now that he has his own apartment and a vehicle. I walked outside with my suit case and down the steps towards the truck and Rich jumped out of the drivers seat and approached me with a big hug. “Heyyyy honey! You look great! He said while he was hugging me.

“Yeah, well I don’t feel so great, Rich!” I said, as we walked towards the back of the SUV and opened the hatch to put my suitcase in. As we closed the hatch and went to get into the SUV, I looked up to the second floor window and seen John staring out at me. Our eyesmet from a distance and a big part of me wanted to run back in to him. I began to tear up again and opened the passenger door and got in. Rich never seen him because he was already in the driver’s seat and buckled up.

“You okay, honey?” He asked, rubbing my left shoulderThere was a brief moment of silence, then I answered him, “yeah..I’m just fine, let’s get out of here.” Trying not to make it obvious that I was saddened by what I’d just seen before I got in the truck. We pulled away and drove 130 miles to Erie County, PA. that night. This would be one more bad choice that would effect my life for years to come.

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Pieces Of My Memoir

Part One – Draft One

In December of 2012, I relapsed on oxycontin after two years of sobriety. One bad choice and I threw it all away. My husband who supported me through those two years became immensely disappointed when he found the straw and crushed up pill residue in the cigarette cellophane in my dresser drawer while putting laundry away. He came downstairs and approached me while I was in the kitchen cooking dinner, I could see the anger in his eyes before he got any words out. “Honey, what’s wrong? I asked him, and instantly my stomach knotted up, feeling sick with apprehension, I knew I was fucked and had a good idea why.

He opens his right hand and shows me the straw and the cellophane I crushed my pills up in and says, “what the hell is this–I don’t have to ask that now, do I? How–I mean HOW COULD YOU DO THIS??? John was boiling with anger. He would never get violent and he rarely ever got pissed off about anything. John was laid back, and lived a straight edge life-style.

My eyes overflowed with tears streaming down my cheeks. “I’m so sorry…I-I don’t know, I just wasn’t thinking.” I started bawling and from that point forward I thought John was done with me. “I’m so sorry, John, I just—”

“YOU JUST WHAT, HOLLY? There was a brief moment of silence. John was angry, but I could see the disappointment in his anger. He finally calmed down somewhat and said “you worked hard for two years to better yourself and I tried to stand beside you every step of the way…here, if you want to fuck up your life, go for it, but I’m not going to stand around and watch you kill yourself any longer than I already have.” He grabbed my wrist and putt the parafenilia into my hand then closing it. “Do what you’re gonna do, Holl, I can’t stop you” and turned around and walk away.

I sat down on the kitchen floor with my back against the cupboard doors and cried until I couldn’t shed anymore tears, Jonn went back upstairs to get JJ up from his nap and got him dressed. I could hear them both coming back down the steps. I over heard JJ asking John where mommy was, John told him I was busy and we’re going for a ride. A few minutes later, I heard the door slam shut as they left. I was heartbroken, but it was over my own actions. As time went on, John wasn’t his old forgiving self. He became distant towards, seemingly disappointed, which he had a right to be and never had anything to say to me unless it was necessary. We continued to live in the same house to be parents to JJ, who was five at the time, but other than that, our house became a silent place. I tried to reach out and do everything possible to shape up and earn his forgiveness and it wasn’t enough. For the next few months. I became severely depressed and started using again. It didn’t matter anymore, because I had lost the love of my life. I was supposed to be a ‘stay at home’ mom at the time, but even that ceased after my father got involved. He would come to the house in the morning and take JJ to school when John was leaving for work, then pick him up and take him to his house until John returned home from work. At that point I was more that ready to throw in the towel and give up completely. I was sleeping a lot throughout the day to pass the time, I would purchase dope when it was available just to mask the pain I was feeling and that was the story of my life. This was one of the lowest points in my life, but only time and manipulation would make it worse than it already was.

Then out of nowhere I get a phone call out of the clear blue sky from Rick, a guy I met six years prior at an outpatient treatment center in Erie, Pennsylvania. At the time, John and I lived in a small town called Linesville, about two hours north of Pittsburgh. That was when my addiction emerged and I checked myself into an outpatient methadone maintenance program. Erie was the closest facility, about a 30 minute drive from where I lived and I went there times a week for my therapy sessions and medication. Rich was a guy I met in the program, we initially met when he asked if I could give him a ride home one day, because he somehow ended up stranded at the facility with no ride. I never thought anything about it and considered it a good deed so I say yes, I can do that. This was in 2007, he was 35 years old with a heroin addiction, He was married with two young children and his ex-wife threw him out and filed a PFA on him for stalking and harassment. Little did I know at the time. All I knew was he stayed with his father, had some ‘poor me’ issues going on and had a way of making others feel sorry for him. While I was driving him home, he asked to borrow my phone to call his father and let him know he would be arriving shortly. The real reason he used my phone was to call his house and obtain my number off the caller ID. I was a married woman with a toddler and I was trying to get my life back together. I made that crystal clear, however, it didn’t stop him from calling me to say hello and striving to be my friend. I felt violated at first, but I just tried to be nice. For a while I thought, maybe he’s just lonely and needs someone to talk to and build him up. I always had more male friends most of my life anyway, so it wasn’t that serious. Out of respect, I didn’t say much to John about it, not that John had anything to worry about, but I wasn’t trying to provoke him neither. Rich began to develop feelings for me and when I told him that those feelings were not mutual he got a little aggressive, so I backed off completely. Eventually, I stopped going to that treatment center, because John had a job transfer for bigger and better opportunities, so we ended up moving to Pittsburgh, and it worked out well, because my parents lived there. Once we packed up and moved, I was relieved that I would no longer have to worry about this wacko bothering me again. I was 100% wrong! Rich continued to go to great lengths to find me. I had a brand new phone number in a whole different area code, but my parents however, had a landline phone and the number wasn’t unlisted. After a year or so, he somehow contacted my parent’s and told them he was some credit union calling about an urgent matter and needed to speak to me asap Boom! That was it and that’s all it took! He would call and want to chat on a regular basis. He didn’t get pushy like he did in person, but he just wouldn’t give up. After a while, John found out about the goof, but he didn’t really get upset. Even though I was in recovering and relapsing in between, we had a healthy marriage, our sexual relationship was through the roof and nothing could ever come in between that. But, that was in 2008. Our marriage didn’t start to decline until that last relapse and things just did a downward spiral from there on. I became vulnerable and felt empty inside, and desperate for any communication from anyone. The timing was just right for Rich contact me and take my vulnerability to his fullest advantage. He was older, a con artist and a brainwasher. Oh, and a wife poacher, too! I was in for a rude awakening! TO BE CONTINUED. STAY TUNED!

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Help A Writer Out!

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As a new writer, I’m always looking for tips, suggestions, and advice so I can sharpen my skills an improve my content. Ever since I found my passion for writing, I knew I wanted to make a living out of it. I want to learn how to write kick ass blog posts, articles and personal essays. I like to do research so I can learn different things, then write something relevant to that specific topic. In my personal opinion, there’s always room for other’s to learn a piece of useful information from another’s knowledge. I don’t mean just articles, but also personal essays and stories pertaining to life experiences, I’m most familiar with addiction & recovery, mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and ADHD, and also traumatic brain injuries resulting from concussion, post-concussion syndrome and coping in everyday life with a permanent impairment. Last, but no least, the traumatic events that transpired during the time I was faced with challenges that are guaranteed to knock you for a loop and evoke interest. I will continue to post practical information and pieces to the stories that changed my life for good. Some for the best and others I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my days. Feel free to follow me on here at WordPress and on Tumblr as well. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and have a wonderful rest of your weekend.

#inspiration #stories #personalexperience #addiction #recovery #mentalhealth #adhd #depression #anxiety #braininjuries #concussion #personalessay #writers #authors #publishers #editors #guestposts #faith #hope #love #lifestyle #health

Addiction Story # 1

In 2008, I became dependent on opiate painkillers after my doctor discontinued my prescription approximately one year after I broke my back in a motor vehicle accident. He explained to me that the medications were no longer necessary and urged me to use an over the counter pain relief medication instead. At the time, addiction to narcotic pain medication was beginning to emerge, however, many medical professionals were unfamiliar with the consequences, assuming there would be none as long as the medication was properly administered and taken as directed. That was bullshit and nothing could be further from the truth!

From April of 2007 to March of 2008, I was prescribed just about everything under the sun. The first month after the accident, I was in the hospital on a morphine drip, six weeks later I was released and sent home with 40 mgs. of Oxycontin twice per day for the next two months. Once that medication was discontinued, I was given 10 mgs. Of Norco (Vicodin) on a regimen of four times per day as needed – for the next year. There were days I would take less than the recommended dose, depending on the level of pain I was feeling at the time. I wasn’t too familiar with substance abuse addiction at this time. The only drug I was familiar with was smoking a joint in my younger years. Growing up in the 90’s, we had keg parties and bonfires out in a field on someone’s property. That was the extent of my bad habits until this perplexing issue arised more than a decade later.

Once I finished my last prescription of Narco, I was prescribed 800 mgs. of Ibuprofen and it seemed to relieve the back pain and I was okay with it. The first and second day off the narcotics I felt fine, the third day I became nauseated and couldn’t keep food in my stomach. I was completely covered in sweat from head to toe and my clothes stuck to my skin. Every muscle in my body ached like crazy and I couldn’t sleep to save my life. At first, I had no idea what was going on. I thought I was coming down with the flu. I wasn’t familiar with opiate withdrawal (dope sickness) and never anticipated it to be as discomforting as it was. Before this occurred, I thought an addiction was a mental issue, like trying to stop smoking cigarettes for instance. You crave a drag off that cigarette and when it’s unavailable, you become temperamental. Not pain or discomfort, just a little pisssed off until it passed. The second day I called my PCP to be seen for these symptoms I was having. He squeezed me in to his office that afternoon and seen me in between patients. I certainly didn’t have no cold or flu by no means. After explaining my situation to Dr. Patton, he told me I was in withdrawal. He prescribed me this medicine called ‘Clonodine,’ a medication used to treat patients with high blood pressure. It’s also used off-label to treat opiate & alcohol withdrawals. I didn’t feel much relief from this medicine and before long, I was out in the streets buying pain pills and whatever else I could get my hands on to relieve the symptoms.

For the next decade, I was in and out of drug rehabilitation. While most people were out chasing their dreams, I was out chasing my next fix. I’m currently writing a manuscript about my substance abuse problem and I don’t want to give too much information about it, but I will say this much, this disease nearly killed me, literally. Not once, but twice and by the Grace of God, I’m alive today and very fortunate for that.

I will write more about those experiences and the lessons I learned, stay tuned for that. Addiction is a bad bitch and so many people are out there overdosing each day. I’ve lost eight friends in a matter of two years from this disease and it baffles me just thinking about it. You never know what you’re getting out there and it’s frightening. Just for today I’m doing alright and I’m grateful to be where I’m at in my life. If you’re struggling with an addiction there is help out there and it’s available to everyone. Please reach out to your local resources or feel free to contact me and I will do what I can to help you. I’m a recovery advocate with extensive knowledge and I can help.

#stories #creativewriting #inspiration #gratitude #writers #motivation #personalessay #addiction #recovery #faith #family #lifestyle