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!

#writers #authors #editors #publishers #inspiration #motivation #determination #lifestyle #addiction #reccovery

Help A Writer Out!

Image result for Story Writing

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

A Father, Daughter Moment

My father and I were very close for many years. Once I turned 18 that relationship began to slowly die off. I was out doing what people my age did, going to parties, drinking alcohol and making poor choices. I was no longer daddy’s little girl and I began to disappoint him in many ways. All he wanted was the best for me and I took his wishes for granted. I was an only child, I had two hard working parents who did their best to give me the best life possible. They succeeded and I failed them completely, but in my self-centered mind, they would always be there when I needed them.

I was close to both of my parents, but let’s face it, I was daddy’s girl and nothing could ever break that father-daughter bond between us. So, I thought. As time went on, we drifted apart. We were tried to be decent, but most of the time we didn’t see eye. By the time I was 30, I had my one and only child and married the love of my life. When JJ came into our lives, my father instantaneously bonded with him. When I seen them together it brought back memories from my own childhood and it was history repeating itself all over again. From the age of 30 and beyond, I made some more bad choices that costed me everything I had. That’s what drugs did to me, my relationships with loved ones failed. For the most part, my husband and I worked through it, but my father would not speak nor come into my presence for long periods of time.

In 2016, my mother had fallen due to her long-term battle with MS and she’s been bedridden ever since. My father did everything he could to avoid sending her to a nursing home, so he took on the role of caring for her at home 24/7 and still does to this day. That’s fifty years of marriage for you! Around that time we had a fallen out, again, and didn’t see nor speak to one another for another three years. It was the hardest thing I ever endured. I didn’t see my mother and I had to communicate with other family members just to be informed on her health.

For the next few years all I did was pray for a miracle to happen – to be forgiven by my father for the damage I’ve caused. I wanted to make things right, once and for all before it was too late. In June of 2019, I bought a father’s day card and wrote ‘Happy Father’s Day, dad! I’m sorry and I love you! Love, Holly.’ I took a big chance and tossed it in the mailbox, and felt that it needed to be done. A week later, I got a phone call from my husband, John (who I was living apart from at the time, but still together) that’s a story to be told there, but not today! I’ll save that crazy shit for another rainy!! He delivered the message to me – I was invited to my parent’s house for dinner that upcoming weekend. I was speechless, but a sense of gratitude flowed through me. I never thought I would get a response – but by the Grace of God it did! I said “amen!” Just like that!

The invitation to dinner was awkward in the beginning, but we slowly began to communicate, little by little. From thereafter, my dad gave me permission to come around and visit. That was a milestone for me. We didn’t have any in-depth conversations in the beginning, but everything happened the way it was meant to. In October of 2016, I decided to move back in with my family. My husband, son and myself live in the apartment upstairs and my parents live downstairs. It’s nice to be able to spend time with my mom when I can and help my elderly father take care of her when needed. I work all daylight hours so I’m normally home by 3 p.m.
This evening I came home, fed the teenage son and husband dinner, then went downstairs to say hello and ended up having a two hour ‘much needed’ conversation with my father. A few words turned into several different subjects and it was time well spent. Everything from old memories to current events. We laughed, we reflected, and we hugged each other. As I walked out of the room, I told him how much I appreciated his time and enjoyed his conversation. My eyes began to fill up with tears, I felt as if God was working in my life, once again. That was the highlight of my day, aside from my husband and son. Another good day and a memory made! What a Thankful Friday it’s been. If you have a loved one who is feeling some type of pain over a conflict of the past, don’t give up! Reach out via card or text message. Be compassionate and let them know you made a mistake that you’re fully aware of. Sometimes all people need is time to recover. Pray and let God handle it.

#stories #creativewriting #inspiration #gratitude #writers #motivation #personalessay #spirituality #prayer #God #faith #forgiveness

Friday Thoughts

Life is difficult, there’s no two ways about it, so why make it any harder than it already is? It takes more effort to be miserable than it does to be content. Oftentimes, we focus on the things that are unimportant instead of focusing on what’s important.

5 ways to improve your life:

  1. Smile more, frown less. Even though smiling uses more muscles, it is believed to take less effort than frowning. Fact: when people tend to smile more, the relevant muscles are in better shape – when muscles are in better shape, they require less energy (effort) when used.
  2. Get out into nature. Oftentimes, people underestimate how essential this is. Surrounding yourself in nature not only reduces stress, but it makes you more creative and boosts your memory.
  3. Express gratitude. It will improve your relationships and make life better for yourself and those around you.
  4. Challenge yourself. Take up a new activity and put it to the test. Whether it be a game, hobby or a secondary language. Learn something new today!
  5. Be flexible. Always be ready to embrace change and adapt to new roles. Keep your options open and try something new if it brings improvement to your life.

These are just a few examples to get started. Life is too precious to be pissed off all the time, so embrace the day and make it the best one you’ve had in a long time.

#stories #creativewriting #health #lifestyle #motivation #inspiration #gratitude #writers #advice

Traumatic Brain Injury: The Concussion That Changed My Life.

Have you ever suffered a life-changing brain injury that interrupted your cognition completely, and to a point where you could no longer achieve the things you once could? If your answer is yes then you’re in the right place. Welcome to the club of broken brains!

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury? (T.B.I. )

An injury resulting in damage to the brain by an external force or blow to the head. This condition is caused by severe sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, and violent related injuries. There

What are the symptoms?

Cognitive & Mental Symptoms:

  • Inability to speak
  • Profound confusion
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Poor concentration
  • Inability to recognize common things
  • Feeling depressed or anxious
  • Crying episodes
  • Agitation
  • Irritability

Sensory Symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears (Tinnitus)
  • Changes in taste and smell
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

Physical Symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Fatigue

Treatment & Aftercare

  • Rest
  • Medication
  • Occupational and/or Physical Therapy
  • Surgery (depending on severity)

The Author’s Experience & Advice

Overcoming a brain injury can be a traumatizing experience no matter how mild or serious the condition may be. My name is Holly and my life changed unexpectly in October of 2016, after a slip and fall accident while mopping my kitchen floor. Unfortunately, I lost my balance and fell head first into the oven door. Shortly thereafter, I was in the E.R. waiting for a catscan, then referred to a neurologist for further testing and diagnosis. For the first few days I suffered a relentless headache, then blindsided by the post-concussion symptoms out of nowhere. Levels of stress and anxiety, loss of my short-term memory, and Tinnitus in both ears. Most of those symptoms subsided after three months, but my cognitive abilities will never function the same way they did before the injury.

The Permant Impairments That Changed My Life.

My brain could no longer process information like it once had. I became disorganized in my daily tasks and my short-term memory no longer holds a thought for extended periods of time as it did before the injury. I grew frustrated by the minute and felt certain that my future was doomed. Several months after the accident, I picked up my tablet with the incentive to write again. I found myself staring at a blank screen with no words to fill in. A mind full of inspiration had gone dry and before allowing it to get the best of me, I forced myself to write. Instead of trying to write about one specific topic, I wrote about several different topics. That way if I was blocked from one angle, I’d jump to another and it worked. And, still does to this day! If you’re a struggling writer with the same issue, I highly encourage you to put this strategy into practice. I assure you will have good results in your writing practices.

My Own Personal Coping Strategies:

The beginning stage

  • Avoid stressful situations as they will come on more often than usual, due to changes in the brain. Find a solitary place or room for when these issues arise. One of the best strategies that’s worked well in my recovery stage. Peace and quiet is essential for a healing brain.
  • Follow up with your health care provider and/or neurological department for further care and treatment. Seek occupational therapy and physical therapy if needed.
  • Eat a healthy diet. This becomes more critical after a brain injury as you begin the recovery process – vegetables, fruit and grains. Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans and low-fat dairy products.
  • Light excercise and physical activity.
  • Rest when you can.
  • Find a hobby that will keep your mind occupied.

Long-term Impairments

  • If you’re on a medication regimen for depression, anxiety or brain stimulants like Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse, ect. Be sure to take them at the same time each day to obtain the fullest benefits. It helps an impaired brain stay on track for cognitive function.
  • If you have difficulties with remembering things, keep a notebook handy and pen in your daily obligations.
  • Do brain-boosting activities and excercise your brain. Jigsaw puzzles, reading, writing or card games you enjoy playing. Like any other muscle, the brain needs a workout, too!

I come to the conclusion that I’ll never be able to function the way I once had, but I never gave up on hope. These strategies have improved my cognition tremendously and I hope it does for someone else who’s impacted by this condition.

#stories #creativewriting #inspiration #gratitude #writers #braininjury #tbi #hope #faith #motivation #personalessay

Monday Night Motivation

Self-reflection sets in more frequently than ever before.  The older I get, the more I reflect on the past and how it’s shaped me into the person I am today.  My failures taught me lessons – those lessons gave me the strength and wisdom to view life differently.  I wouldn’t change a thing, because if yesterday hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today.    ~ Holly

#motivation #inspiration #gratitude #writer #creativewriting #stories #quotes #author #clarity #courage