Thursday, January 22, 2015

one of those, sunflowers growing in patches of weeds, posts.

there are so many things.
i've been avoiding this former safe haven of mine for a lot of reasons.
i wrote a post a few months ago when i was having suicidal thoughts and it was like, pretty real. 
didn't post it because i was afraid that errbody would think i had lost it. again. i've never not posted something i gushed into this blog.

then a friend made a comment about how every time he checks my blog he sees another crisis in my life and i was like, yikes, i'm that person.

which i never used to care about.

of course there is the whole, travis joining the military when i didn't want him to and marriage is hard sometimes but i don't want to talk about it on my blog because it's pretty personal and unlike a certain uncle of mine likes to think i don't post every single detail of my life for the public to read. thing.

and now the current situation which is my husband being two thousand miles from home while i'm here being the only parent to our toddler son who throws food and tantrums all over my face.

plus the feelings that come from getting further and further from the religion you were raised in and how you want to write about it but not disappoint your loved ones.

yes, i know i'm a person who has a lot of feelings and maybe i do have crisis after crisis. don't we all?

a lot has been going on. but tonight i'm thinking a lot about all the good that has come from this current "crisis." you know me, trying to find the silver lining or the sunflowers in weeds sheeeeeet.

the two things that are keeping me sane right now are two things i never would have experienced if travis hadn't left, my job and my climbing gym membership.

working with the junior high kids has been... i can't even find the word. incredible or amazing isn't right. i feel smart again. useful. completely encompassed in the love you feel for kids you are trying to help. ready to get serious about becoming a therapist. this opportunity has helped me realize the right program for me is social work, and i am surrounded by social workers who will write me the best letters of recommendation. the kids are wonderful, smart, strong, resilient, hilarious. i never would have applied for a job if travis had stayed here. i only started looking because i didn't want to be home alone with a babe all day every day. plus, travis's sister, melissa, watches remy while i work, and it has been wonderful getting to know her and her kids better and having her get closer to remy. i'm so lucky to have such a good mother and friend to take care of my boy.

then the climbing thing.

we've dabbled a little in the past, bought the gear, gone occasionally.  but this time, it filled the hole of travis being gone and gave me something new to work toward. being on the wall and only having to think of the next move to make is therapeutic, almost to the point of being spiritual for me. my good friend and i were talking about religion and feeling spiritual and how it's not just something you find in church. for me, climbing is that feeling of calm. the days i climb, my depression and anxiety are nowhere to be found. i come home at night and don't have the OCD issues and certainty that remy will somehow die in his sleep if i don't swaddle him the exact right way with the blanket tag facing down. (for reals.) i've gotten closer to my brother chad, who is my climb buddy, and i feel a new confidence and love for my body.

these things are huge! if travis hadn't joined the national guard, i wouldn't have experienced any of it.
blah blah, with hard things come great opportunities for growth, blah blah, you've heard it all before.

it doesn't make it any less meaningful for me.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

(here is that damn suicidal post i was too afraid to make public.) fighting it.

this is not a cry for help. 
i am not suicidal. i'm doing fine. 
this post was written back in september. 
by the way, c.w., this post talks about suicide. 

today i went to see my psychiatrist to get my refill.
so basically i got to pay $30 to spend seven minutes with a guy i barely know, who stares at my file on his clipboard and says dumb things.
i see him roughly every two months, so it's not much skin off my nose. but today he really bothered me.

in general, with the whole 'robin williams is an actor i loved so i feel the need to talk about his suicide and my opinion of it online' thing really bothered me. there has just been a lot of suicide talk lately and i guess today was the last straw.

my depression hasn't been doing so great lately. the past month and a half it's come creeping back. my energy is low, i'm not that interested in things, i feel numb or sad or like my insides are ripping apart, i nap almost every time remy does in the afternoon even though i get plenty of sleep at night, and i'm having a hard time connecting to others. there have even been days where i think about ending my life.

this is nothing new; i spent most of my teenage years and early twenties fighting these feelings.

and i'm not saying this so that you will call me and say, "oh collette! read your blog! i am so sorry!" (obviously that's nice of you to say. half of the time i write here i don't even think about anyone reading it. this is not a cry for help. i have lots of help. i'm okay.)

i guess i just want to say that depression is tough.
i'm not trying to be selfish.
i actually hold most of it in and try really hard to be happy, to be thankful for everything i am blessed with, and to listen and serve others.

today the psychiatrist made several comments that i was a little shocked to hear.

"oh so you aren't doing as well with the depression. have you had suicidal thoughts?" thumbs through my chart. "you've actually attempted suicide before right?"


"huh. you tend to go from doing well to suicidal pretty fast."

"uh huh."

"well you can't be doing that now. you have a baby to think about."


"you need to let go of resentment over things and work on some forgiveness."

i actually started laughing at this point. "doctor, if you'd give me your secrets on how to do that on command, i'd love to hear it."

seriously this man has gone to medical school. i'm assuming he's pretty intelligent. so i'm always shocked when he says things like this.

he's not all bad though, really.
when i first started going and was still adjusting to medications and fighting the postpartum depression at its worst, i had a really bad week. it was so bad that i dropped remy off at my mom's and then headed home to end my life. it was scary. i was done.

then my phone rang. it was my doctor, calling to check on me. i held the phone in my hand trying to decide if i should answer. i answered and immediately started to sob, telling him i was driving home to kill myself and that i didn't want to and that i was afraid. he talked me through it very calmly, reminding me that it was probably the medications making me feel worse and that it would pass. asking if i needed to go back to lds hospital to commit myself. he brought me back to myself and made me promise to call him the next day. that phone call saved my life.

and here is where i can hear matt walsh, freaking matt walsh of the matt walsh blog, which i will not post a link to because i do not want to add to his blog traffic, saying things like, "no one was forcing you to drive home and kill yourself. you had a choice."


or at least that was the impression i got after reading his piece of garbage about robin williams.


yeah, that whole thing really chapped my behind and actually, the entire thing with the whole internet thinking they needed to weigh in on robin william's suicide was disgusting.

unless you have been there, you do not understand.

i don't know exactly why my depression worsened this past month. one week i was pretty happy. then the next i was sad again. when i say sad i mean, i have an ache inside of me that is oh-so familiar. the ache settles into my chest and stomach and hands and eyes. as i go about my day, the ache is there, distracting me from remy, telling me travis doesn't really love me, reminding me that i'm damaged ridiculous boring useless exhausted.

until you have fought with this ache following you around, you don't understand how a person with a good life, a beautiful child, and a loving husband could think about ending it. physically, there is something wrong with my brain. PTSD and depression have physiologically changed my brain. that doesn't mean that i am not going to keep fighting it, taking my meds twice a day, and going to therapy.

just means that it's hard. hard enough without the internet and my psychiatrist making those kinds of comments. depression is real and it physically hurts.

when i'm having a particularly rough day, i listen to this ingrid michaelson song on repeat. hopefully if you are feeling the ache, this helps.

San Francisco in November
The water, it's still warm

When you're broken,
You can't tell them what went wrong

Ohhh, ohhh
Ohhh, ohhh

Jumper is what they'll name you
Just another jumper
You're not the first

When you're broken,
You can't tell them where it
When you're broken, 
You can't tell them where it hurts

1, 2, 3
1, 2, 3
Did you count 1, 2, 3?
Did you count 1, 2, 3?
Easy as 1, 2, 3
Easy as 1, 2, 3
Easy as 1, 2, 3
Did you count 1, 2, 3?

And then...

Ohhh, ohhh
Ohhh, ohhh

I'm sorry that I never met you
And I'm sorry that we never touched

When you're broken,
You forget there's so much
When you're broken,
You forget there's so much more
You forget there's so much more
You forget there's so much more

than you. 

there really is so much more and it is possible to feel it.
keep fighting it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

family fail-tures.

so i'm a photographer.  so i'm obsessed with photos. and i obsess over creating perfection for everyone else's photos.  i advise you what to wear, where to go, what time will be best. i goo and gah and jump around like a loon to get babies to smile. when a mother tells me her kid isn't a smiler, that's my challenge to get that kid to smile and i will do whatever is necessary. i've gotten grass stains on my jeans, broken a flip flop and gone barefoot for the shoot in the weeds, been bitten by 100 misquotes, come dangerously close to a moose, trespassed, hiked through snow up to my waist, invited a gang of skateboarders to join a bridal shoot, stood outside in 20 degree weather and in 95 degree weather. been rained on, sunburned, waded in a lake. gotten up before the sun, stayed way past my bedtime. 

i'll do whatever i can do to make your pictures perfect.

then, there's the challenge of my own family pictures. i have the awful obsession with perfection, but i'm not able to take them. i also love my equipment and am skeptical of a lot of photographer's gear. i don't want to pay anyone else! like probably every other photographer out there, i just want to take my own family pictures, dammit. 

alas, it never works. 
this year, first we tried my brother reed. he has a good eye and is willing to use my camera. there was finally a day that travis didn't work and i didn't have a shoot already scheduled. it was the only day available. i round brushed my hair. travis actually put gel in his. i'm wearing eyeliner. remy's outfit was perfect and all the clothes finally fit him, not to big, not yet too small. (the struggle is real, okay.) 
and then. we get to our location. and remington throws the biggest fit. he refuses to cooperate. i even ran to a store near where we were, bought a bag of cookies, and let him eat all of them. 

i was pretty devastated. 

this was the best one we got and we used it for christmas cards. which i have yet to mail. ... 

yeah, they are funny and definitely more entertaining than if remy had just cooperated.

so then my mom wanted to do family pictures with the charles side. there was a mix up about what my brothers were wearing, my mom dashed to the mall ten minutes before we were supposed to start, blah blah blah we didn't get the lighting i wanted. also i don't like using a tripod and then running to my place and hoping it turns out. these ones were okay.

as my heart explodes with love. 

my dad was teasing me about acting like i didn't want to be in the photo with him, so this. 

was pretty bummed this one came out blurry. but we are still cuuute. 

i probably will never get that perfect shot i have envisioned. maybe in a few years when rem is old enough to listen to me, but still young enough not to be a grump about pictures. 

not ideal, but still a good time to look through. 

always dissatisfied, 


Monday, January 5, 2015

halloweener 2014.

we had a really good halloween this year. travis was actually off work and we squeezed in some real halloweeny activities like parties, pumpkin patch, zombie shooting, and corn mazing. which we haven't ever really done together.

 petersen family farms pumpkin patch was perfect. a row of tractors for the kids to sit on, a free corn maze, and tons of pumpkins to choose from.

 we also carved pumpkins with rem for the first time. he was not a fan of the feel of slippery pumpkin guts. really he was skeptical of the whole experience.

then halloween night we decked remy out in his pooh costume (he is obsessed with winnie the pooh.) and took him trick or treating with all the other cousins on the bodtcher side. how exciting is it to a kid to get to go door to door taking handfuls of candy? well i'm not sure the people giving candy wanted rem to take handfuls, but that's what he did. like both hands full.

we also made chili to share with the family and had treats!

after trick or treating, travis and i dropped rem off with my parents so we could go shoot zombies down in provo at a zombie forest with roxanne and hyrum. travis and i had a good time hiding from each other in the corn maze and trying to scare the other. it seems that since having remy, we cherish our child free time so much more and also act very childish, like finally i don't have to act like an adult/parent! 

speaking of acting childish, i am watching it's always sunny in philadelphia while writing this post and can't think of a clever way to end, as i'm really distracted by how hilarious this episode is.

(charlie is currently spewing blood all over the lady they are driving in the limo to set up with frank.)


catch up.

it has been a little while since i've posted. probably had something to do with how i've been bottling up my emotions about travis leaving for basic training and AIT. i knew that if i sat down to write, it would all come spilling out and then i'd have to deal with how awful it all felt. 

luckily, things are going better between travis and me, so i thought i'd get caught up in my suuuuper interesting life. here's what we were up to during fall. 

we finished our backyard! put in sod and a little patio area. 

my mum plant was really spectacular this year.

we take a lot of train rides over at southtowne mall these days. also my cheeser at the grocery store.

 my roommate and friend roxanne took me to First Aid Kit the night travis left. music to the rescue!

 hanging out with uncle chad during a lot of the days.

remy taking lots of selfies these days and of course, always playing "cooking!"

we went to st george for thanksgiving with my family. this was an after dinner hike we took.

we see auntie morgan as much as we can.

went to zoo lights with lilian and her family. we didn't stay long because of how freezing it was, but we had a good time.

we had a run of really great weather for utah december, like in the upper 50s! i even wore a crop top one sunday!

remy insists on wearing my socks over his pjs.

took a bike ride around the lake one of the warm december days with papa, who came out and patched a hole in my bike tire. love dads!

this was one of the ducks we saw, which looked like a turkey crossed with a duck.

remy helped me back cookies for a bridal shower i threw for roxanne.

which seemed sweet until you discovered they were penis cookies. mine was a clown.

 we had a fun time playing dirty games and frosting peens.

playing in the snow.

 i initially thought that it would be so tough being a single parent while travis is gone, but i actually thing it would be harder without remy. it's so nice to always have my pal around telling me, "i lub you!" and slobbering me with kisses.

super out of order pictures. but more of how beautiful fall time was and that mum plant!

little guy always reading a book.

those curls! how i love my rem.

basically the past few months have been all about adventures with my kid and learning to be a mentor to the kids at work.

speaking of kid, i hear him stirring in his crib, so i'm out. more filling in soon.


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