Clearing the Wreckage of my Past

Good afternoon. My name is Darlene and I am an alcoholic, addict, bonafide do anything that feels good until it almost kills me human being. I haven’t had a drink or a drug since 2006. Doing other feel-good stuff however (eating, over spending, etc) I have partaken in and it is time to quit that shit.

©2019, Darlene A. McGarrity

One of the things I had to do to get where I am today is “clear the wreckage of my past.” Now, this is a term used in treatment programs and it began in AA. And while it is mostly used in twelve step programs, I have to say that it can do wonders for anyone who feels stuck in the molasses of life.

I have cleared the wreckage of my past a few times… Taking a personal inventory is not a one time thing. It’s kind of like a tub drain. It gets clogged from the daily debris and muck of life and then it starts to slow down and before you know it, there is a clog. Clear the clog and the drain is flowing smooth and free.

Ain’t no arguing with the truth when you spin it in an honest way.

That’s how it is in life. All that crap we hold onto clogs our judgment, thinking, and decisions until we find ourselves in places we don’t belong with people we shouldn’t be with doing things we swore we’d never do.

In 2005, I tried to get clean and sober but refused to take responsibility for anything in my life. Finger pointing still kills me every time. These days I don’t drink over it, but I do feel shitty when I don’t look at my life honestly and decide to blame other people for my shit.

Even this morning, this lady in traffic pissed me off but then after my self-checking honesty I said, “Darlene, you’d be fine if you had left the house on time.” Ain’t no arguing with the truth when you spin it in an honest way. Did I want to be the one to blame? Hell no. But I was and after I admitted my wrongs, I felt way different after I got over my bruised ego.

When I take a look at the shit I have been through and any shit I am currently experiencing, I can absolutely see a correlation with past events if I am honest about it. There are a few gurus I have listened to and read that have helped me with his process.

Some people call me a pretentious, self-righteous bitch. And I am totally cool with that. We can only reach the people the way they are listening. I was that person a long time ago and once in a while I still am that person. A lot of times I want to write something and then I have to rethink it. “Am I speaking from my heart or my ego?” I do speak from my ego sometimes… we all do.

So, every day I try to figure out what is going on with me and live my best life. There is no substitute for rigorous self-honesty. There just isn’t. It is the one thing that will transport you to every next level of your life. So far it has done wonders for me. I am not saying that I am like Deepak Chopra or The Dali Lama and forgive everyone immediately or that I am all peace, sunshine and flowers all the time… hell no.

Peace and Love.

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Don’t Panic

Don’t panic. If you’ve ever read Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you know all about that awesome catch phrase. Besides awesome works of fiction, it applies to any humans’ daily life as well.

Today I was driving to work and as I neared my destination (I was about ten minutes away) I felt this excruciating burning on my back. What the hell? I had to think about it for a second. Then it went away, and I kept driving. Then it came back. Holy shit, what the hell is that?! I knew what it was, but I couldn’t figure out how it got to my back. Then I realized all four of my windows were down (my AC doesn’t work) and the culprit must have gotten sucked into the cab of my truck.

Bee sting. Ouch.

Once I figured out it had to be a bee, I took deep, intentional breaths and found a spot to pull over (church parking lot). I was moving faster now as it was burning like hell. I threw the truck in park, hopped out, ran around the side away from the traffic and tore my shirt off over my head. I shook my stripped clothing vigorously and spotted the bee.

“Mr. Bee, why?” I asked as he fell to the ground. He didn’t answer but I knew that it didn’t matter why, it just mattered that I managed to not panic and was able to pull over and get my situation back to normal (without causing an accident) before I continued to work. When I got there, one of my female coworkers was in the office and I asked her to go in the bathroom with me and see if there was a stinger in my back. She looked and there wasn’t. Just a giant, red welt.

Okay, I can deal with that. I took some Advil, made my green tea and got on with my day.

So, why am I telling you this weird story about a bee sting and not panicking? Because when we panic, shit gets effed up. I mean, what if I had panicked and drove into oncoming traffic? Or hopped out of my moving car? I’m not sure that it is human nature to panic or of we just tell ourselves that because we’re expected to panic.

No matter what happens: don’t panic.

In my new book, I am writing about a carnival that comes to a small Pennsylvania coal town and a local waitress disappears during this time. Are they related? You’ll have to read the book to find out. But in writing my female lead, she is also the type of person who doesn’t panic – other people in my books panic, but my female leads don’t. I tend to like people who don’t panic…

Do you tend to panic or remain calm in high stress situations?

Let’s Talk About Down Time

Last week I had kind of a scare.

How busy are you? Between relationships, jobs, kids, pets, appointments, hobbies, paying bills, making meals, self-care, commuting… where do you fit in to everything? Like, where is there a section of time blocked out for you without kids, pets, deadlines, spouses, bosses, etc.?

Last week I had kind of a scare. I went in for a routine OB-GYN appointment then found out I ultimately have to have a full hysterectomy. Okay, I am 46 years old, I can deal with that. So, we set it up (even though I still need to go for more tests – can you say MONEY GRAB?) and I am scheduled for the end of August. Then, at the end of last week, I had an awful migraine to which nothing would relieve it. I left work early on Friday and had a grueling weekend only to have to go to the ER because I could not stop vomiting and felt like walking death (literally). Well, here, I did not know that feeling the way I did would lead to potassium depletion and that can make a person feel like dogged hell.

So, why am I telling you this? When we get busy we often forget to take care of ourselves. It is so easy to put our health last, to push off eating or forgoing a nap when we are exhausted. Taking care of our bodies is as important as taking care of our minds. I realized that a few days ago as I laid in the hospital on a potassium chloride drip due to potassium depletion that I had some serious decisions to make about my life. And I came up with a few:

  1. It is time for me to get serious about finding work closer to home. We moved three years ago and my current job is 25 – 27 miles from my home. That makes for close to an hour of travel each way. That is ten hours a week travel time and 250 miles a week (12 hours and 300 miles during tax season).
  2. I have to get consistent with my meditation and self-care. I noticed I feel so much better when I meditate and get mindful about my day. One of the terrible things I do is run on autopilot every day. Not a good idea. Also, taking my vitamins and getting in some exercise. I am forty-six years old… the longer I put it off, the worse I feel.
  3. I really have to commit to saying “No.” when I feel it is justified. Sheesh. How many times do I say, “Yeah, sure, I’ll get right on that.” only to regret it immediately and be mad at myself for not sticking up for me. I have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable for a little while in the name of self-care.

The truth is, there is no shame in self-care. If we’re not careful we can exhaust ourselves and for most things that could wait or will go on long after we’re gone (jobs, chores, etc). So do yourself a great thing and take the nap, have that bit of ice-cream, write that book, move to that new place… do what it takes to take care of YOU. You’re the only you there is! I think Dr. Seuss said it best:

Have a blessed day. ❤

Hanging Out With America’s #1 Crime Writer

Good morning everyone… Consequences hit shelves a couple weeks ago and people are loving it. The first review is five stars! If you haven’t read it yet, go pick up a copy at Amazon here.

Today I am guest blogging over at Barry Bowe’s website to say hello to everyone. His latest book is The Uber Connection. I love Barry’s story telling style, and you will, too. He shares some of his Uber ride experiences on Facebook, so it is no wonder he got a great idea to use his experiences as a great fictional story.

The more books I read these days the more I notice a lot more telling versus showing and, hey, that’s great if you’re writing a memoir or an essay. In fiction, it’s boring to read the blow by blow of action coupled with varied tags. So come over and hang out with me and we can talk about how we show and tell.

And we’re talking about showing vs. telling over here.

Thanks so much!

It’s Official – I am a finalist.

Finalist for Poetry through Recovery

How exciting! I got the email a month or so ago, but they just sent out badges for everyone. Yay! It was stressful putting myself out there with this book because although everything I write is a small piece of me, a poetic memoir is about as stripped down and raw as it could get.

I still plan on writing a lot of personal essays in the coming months, but this really makes me feel loved that so many people voted for me. Writing may come easy to a lot of people, but for some of us it is a mentally and emotionally valley – especially when it is as personal as poetry and memoirs.

Thanks again for all your support! I’ll keep you posted on coming events.

Countdown to Awesomeville

It’s on like Donkey Kong

Hey. How are you? I am well and here to tell you that Consequences in Kindle format is still on for June 13, 2019. The paperback version will be available in a couple days! I figured out how to format the book with minimal stress (after dealing with major stress – we live, we learn) and accidentally bypassed the part where I ask for author copies before I publish and hit publish.

Oops…

Since I can’t unpublish it without scrapping the whole thing, it will stay there as I figure out this whole advertising thing and getting people to go to the Amazon page and buying the book. Go me!

In other news, lookie! www.freelancingthestone.com Super excited about this. This is my new freelancing website. I have already done a bunch of freelance editing gigs and I have to say, it is a fun way to make extra money while building my portfolio. I am available and since I am in the clips building stage (with over twenty years of writing experience), I am pretty reasonable right now (aka cheap). My best qualities are writing descriptions for blogs, websites, book blurbs, etc. along with SEO keywords. I can nail an essay, but those aren’t as much fun. If you need help with something, reach out. ❤

http://www.freelancingthestone.com

That’s it for updates right now… keep your eyes peeled for some The Ashes We Bury news coming in a few week! ❤

June 2019 – It Will Be Here

That’s right! Finally, after much anticipation, procrastination and wonder… Consequences is set to be released via Amazon on June 13, 2019! This book is so near and dear to my heart. I love every character in it (even the meanies) and was sad it had to end.

This story is about a young girl who has been relegated to a youth house. Despite her mother’s pleas to stick it out with a promise that ‘things will get better,’ Rose decides one day that she’s had enough and runs away. Trouble seems to follow her to a little Pennsylvania coal town despite her rationale that life is sure to be better now that she is somewhere new. I’d love to tell you more but you’ll have to read the book. ❤

Here is the preorder link: Consequences – Kindle Version

So, what’s next? The Ashes We Bury! Yes. This story is a little more creepy than what I normally write out loud. 😉 It involves clowns, carnivals, mine fires, a small town diner (of course!), and murder.

Also, I am now freelancing. I plan on making this a regular gig, but as with any new business venture, I am looking for clients. I mostly do copy editing and article writing. I also proofread and look over existing websites to see if your prose and message is clear and interesting. If not, I can show you how to use keywords and short bursts of vital info to keep people interested.

That’s all for now. Take care and have an amazing Tuesday!

Blessed Be. ❤