My Depression

Recently there have been a lot of articles and commentary regarding depression, anxiety, mental health, and suicide.  I read these articles and can’t help but feel as though people think they know what someone else’s mental health was/is like.  I know that mental illness and diseases have similarities defining them, but I won’t act like I know anyone else’s experience with depression or anxiety.  I only know mine.

My depression.  A shadow lurking in the background. Sometimes unnoticeable even to me, but always present, ready to take advantage of any vulnerability.

My depression.  Sometimes it wraps around me so tight that it’s hard to breathe.  It’s so tight and heavy that the weight is too much to even sit up, or get out of bed.

My depression. It consumes my thoughts as I lie awake, trying to sleep.  Sleep is the first guard I put up- but soon depression creeps even into my dreams, becoming inescapable.

My depression. It strangles my relationships, sucks the energy out of me to return phone calls, texts, emails.  It slowly creates mountains between me and the people closest to me.     So many relationships have become distant or nonexistent due to the power my depression has had over me.

My depression.  The guilt it feeds isolates me from those I love most.  The support, love, fear, frustration, and strain it causes on others strengthen my guilt and fuel my isolation.

My depression.  It feeds my self-hate.  It replays mistakes I’ve made over and over in my mind. It recalls awkward conversations from years in the past, it continuously finds my faults and focuses in.  It tears open past wounds, never allowing anything to fully heal.

My depression.  It clouds my mind, slows my thinking.  It steals my words from my mouth, leaving me with lost sentences and silence.  It pushes my memories far away, forgotten, maybe forever.

My depression.  A disease that not only haunts my soul, but also my body.  The scratching at skin until it’s raw.  The reopening of scabs until they turn to scar.  The blood to remind me of it’s everlasting presence.

My medications.  Change an all-consuming burden in to a dull, constant ache.

My Pip.  A constant therapy dog, despite his continuous need to bark at rabbits.


My son.  A soul not yet burdened or consumed by this disease.  A reminder of all that is good in my life.


My self-awareness.  A way to slowly try to combat what depression has taken away.

My choice.  To stay.

My goal.  To always choose life.

Oops I made a blog

So, I made this blog approximately four months ago. I wrote a few posts and then I forgot about it.


This is pretty similar to the Insanity Calendar hanging across the room from me. I completed a week (out of two months) and then stopped. Ah, what great examples of my life.

I wish I could say that I will continue to write posts and be consistently updating this site.. Truth is, I am consistently inconsistent. I start things and they go unfinished. I try hobbies, I stop hobbies, I try new hobbies. I start a deep clean of my house, and decide it’s too overwhelming after everything I own is spread out across the floor.

One thing about me is I tend to feel guilty about things for a very long time. The whole “self -love” concept always seems nice, but I am never able to master (who am I kidding, I’m not even able to comprehend the idea). I hold guilt about relationships 5-10 years back, how I stopped working my last job, decisions I made in high school, and my many many incomplete ‘projects’.

Some things deserve to hold guilt in my life. Decisions that hurt people, most of all. As I think, however, I’m not sure I can justify all the guilt I hold for only writing 5 blog posts, or not finishing my insanity, or starting and stopping a diet every week. Who am I hurting? How does this make me a failure?

News Flash to me: It doesn’t.

Sure, I would probably be in much better shape if I was able to stick to a diet or exercise regimen- but it isn’t worth hating myself over. This trait of mine I can surely work to get better at- but in all honesty, maybe it’s a good thing too. I get to try out all sorts of things! It keeps life interesting, right?

I have some awesome ideas to write about in this blog. I recently started working part time again. Trying to navigate being a mom and work is something that many women experience, and I would love to explore how it’s been a personal struggle and triumph at the same time. Before that, I went on a cross country road trip- with just Cormac and Pip (our dog). Six days- eight states- a tiny house, a teepee, and a two day snow storm in Texas. One experience that I surely want to document at some time.

Maybe I’ll write about these things soon. Maybe it will take weeks or months. Who knows (obviously not me). I do know, however, that I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I’ll work on giving myself a break a little more, and roll with what life brings next.

Memories Like These

My mind is most accurately described as a sieve. I often forget things that happened last week- or even yesterday. It’s awesome because I can frequently watch movies several times. I usually remember the main plot, but the ending seems to be a surprise every time. Back when I was a kid, I read all the Harry Potter books. I know something REALLY BIG happens in the end, *no spoiler alert*- but I don’t remember what it was. at all. Unfortunately, while my movie selection is never-ending, this particular quality of minedorymeme is not super helpful when trying to claim that my husband never told me something, or when I try to remember if I was supposed to babysit Kateri and Rosemary.

I attribute this lack of memory to my late teens and early twenties. Before then, I was able to remember quite a lot about my childhood and different occasions. Through college I began a fierce battle with depression and anxiety, which for many years was coped with by not coping at all. I was successfully [depending on your definition] able to navigate nursing school and learning to be an adult, with suppressing all emotion and feelings that I was experiencing. Since then I have since learned that my [un]coping mechanism was not a long term solution, but the effects on my memories are here to stay- at least for now.

Last week itIMG_0215.jpg got up to 76 degrees in Wisconsin. WHAT?! To celebrate the weather, my mom [who was watching my nieces] and I decided to take a long walk at a marsh not too far from where I grew up.  The Horicon Marsh is part National Wildlife Refuge, part State wildlife refuge.  It’s all beautiful.  I also just learned via Wikipedia that it’s the largest cattail marsh in the country.  Thanks, Wikipedia!


My mom and I have special relationship [I like to think].  She is my confidante, and I truly consider her my best friend.  Since I’ve been married and had Cormac, I haven’t spent nearly as much time with her as I used to.  It’s always nice when we are able to spend some quality time together.  We talked about this new blog thing I’m trying out.  We laughed about my last post, locking Cormac in the car [because if you don’t laugh, you cry].  We joked that I was going to have to have way more events like that happen to keep writing anything interesting.

We had a picnic lunch with the girls and Cormac, and walked about 3 miles.


Cormac decided to poop through his clothes (typical Cormac), and Rosemary took a tumble out of the stroller – don’t worry- she was fine.  All in all, it was a pretty typical afternoon spent with some of my favorite people.  There was no specific event during the day that stood out or was incredibly abnormal.  It was fun, tiring, and relaxing all at the same time.  It wasn’t something super ‘notable’ to put in a blog post, per say.  But it was everything I want to remember about this part in my life.

I am sure that I won’t remember this particular afternoon in 20 years, or even 5 years.  Not with my memory at least.  But when I think back about when Cormac was little and I got to stay home with him, I want to remember the feeling I had last Friday.  I want to smile back on the thoughts of spending time with my favorite people in relaxing and beautiful environments.  It’s memories like these that I want to bottle the essence of and carry around with me to old age.

I think that it’s all the run-of-the-mill things in life that can shape how you view your past.  I hope that this ordinary afternoon will shape my past in a positive way- and I hope to continue to capture these moments in time.  I want to recollect all the good vibes as I continue on this journey.

What to do when you lock your keys in the car…with your infant inside

1. Don’t Panic.

While parenting has been full of surprises, one of the biggest surprises for me has been how relaxed I am as a mom. As someone who has been told by a psychiatrist that I have “quite a high baseline anxiety”, I take this as a serious win. Sure, I’ve thought about how we’ll raise our kids and what techniques we’ll use, but never have I thought “I’m not a good mom”. Usually I think about all the people who have kids in the world, and I come to the conclusion of ‘if they can do it, surely I can too’. Not exactly a Mother of the Year speech, but it’s important for me to always keep things in perspective. This past Monday was truly the first time I thought “Calli, you really fucked this one up”.

Recently I have decided to make a serious effort in becoming more active. Monday morning I was determined to start the week off right. I fed Cormac breakfast and loaded him in the car. We rolled in to the health club parking lot and I dropped Cormac off at the childcare room. The director is amazing there so I never worry when I leave him with Miss Jill. Cormac crawled after all the other kids, never looking back. In true Calli fashion, I was about two minutes late to the Body Pump class-so I rushed in and got settled. After a great workout- I was able to take a nice long shower without hearing a screaming baby in the background or worrying the shower would wake Cormac up from a nap. What a rare and relaxing occurrence.

It wasn’t even noon and I was feeling pretty great about my day. I had been quite productive and was about to do some grocery shopping before heading home. I picked up Cormac from his day care and walked out in to the beautiful, sun-filled, 60 degree day. I opened up the back van door and threw my keys up in to the passenger seat. Cormac didn’t even fuss when I buckled him in to his seat [a miracle in itself].

I should say that we bought a mini-van about two weeks ago. I LOVE IT. I always thought I would be an SUV mom, but seriously- mini-vans are amazing. If you don’t believe me, you really need to try one out. It changed my life. Anyways, it’s important to note that while I love my new family friendly vehicle, it does not have keyless entry and keyless start like my old [and also loved] little Versa.

I used the cool little button to have the van door slide shut, and walked around the van and to the driver’s door. Locked. “Rats,” I thought. I’ll have to walk around and open his door back up to get the keys. I walked back around and tugged on the door. My heart dropped in to my stomach. After checking every entry point, I looked inside and locked eyes with Cormac, who smiled his cute little 6-toothed smile at me. Such an innocent, unknowing smile.

Locking myself out of my car is no new occurrence for me. My super awesome ’93 LeBaron convertible from high school was victim to this careless act at least once a month. I became quite talented at pushing down the window from the outside and sticking my [then considerably smaller] arm through to unlock the door. It didn’t seem like this would be the best idea with my new van. Instead, I saw a pesticide flag in the lawn nearby, and decided to take a stab at sticking it through the window and trying to unlock the door that way. FYI- don’t try it. I failed- and got a few funny looks from the cars leaving the parking lot.

Starting to panic a bit more, I decided to run inside to call AAA. Surely with our premium membership they would be able to help. I did what no mother wants to do- and left Cormac in the parking lot. At least I knew no one would be able to steal him… since he was locked in. I was able to call AAA and go through the 235342 prompts before they allow you to talk to a representative. Finally I was placed on hold, and the voice on the other end of the line said “A customer service representative should be with you in 10 minutes.” The initial feeling of panic was nothing compared to this feeling. Tears started streaming down my face and I hung up. Holding myself together, I called the non-emergency police line and told the nice lady on the line that I locked my keys in my car-with my infant son inside. She sent over an officer immediately. Total time indoors on the phone: about 5 minutes.

I swear, when you start crying, you go from being invisible to people coming out of the woodwork to help you out. The staff overheard my conversation and were nothing but nice. I was able to regain all composure by the time I made it back out to the van. One lady walked outside and waited with me until the police officer came. By the way, when we got back to the van- Cormac was sound asleep with his lovey- Goobie the gnome.

It took a total of 45 minutes, a towing company, and a 60 dollar bill (which will be reimbursed by AAA) to get me back in to the van. Cormac slept the entire time. Exhausted, I sat in the front seat and debated whether or not to just go home and skip the groceries. Part of me worried I would lock Cormac in the car by accident again (what would the chances be of that?!).

It seemed clear that before doing anything else, I needed to go through the Starbucks drive-thru and get a super sugary drink. and two cake pops. Trust me- this will ALWAYS make you feel better. It’s best to get one birthday cake and one chocolate- for appropriate variety.

While eating, I thought about how terrible of a mom I was and what would have happened if it was a super hot summer day. I thought about all the people who helped during my crisis and how genuinely friendly they all were. I realized something that I had heard before, but I had never truly felt. In the midst of a highly charged emotional event- I did exactly what I needed to in order to keep my son [and myself] safe. My reaction was what it needed to be in the moment- despite a few tears running down my cheeks.

In an unexpected moment of self-love [and a sugar- high], I put on my big girl pants and drove straight to the grocery store.

As a mom, I will make many mistakes. I will never be able to be perfect, and I will never be able to shield my kids from bad things in life. I don’t want to shield them. I want to teach them what to do when things go wrong. I want to teach them that when they do something, it may have consequences they did not intend. I want them to know how to deal with bad situations and take them in stride. My trip to HyVee was Cormac’s first lesson.

Is this real life?

If you would have told me five years ago that I would have a blog, I would laugh in your face.  Heck, the same thing would have happened if you told me that last week.   Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against blogs- I’m just not someone who tends to write things out.

I’m Calli.  27 years old.  Mom of a wonderful little [almost] one-year old.  Wife to a great guy.  Daughter to my best friends.  Sister to my [other] best friend.  Nurse taking a sabbatical to stay home.  Interesting how so many things can define one person.

I spent most of my life growing up in small-town USA.  I focused on academics and sports- and always measured success by achievements in these areas.  Went to college, got a degree, and started working.  Fast forward about 5 years.  No [paying] job, and a post-partum body that has had a few too many Oreos… But honestly, who can say no to Oreos?

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations.  You have made it to what [I think] the point of this blog is truly going to be about.  Me.  My life.  My thoughts.  My struggles.  Bummer, eh?  Although I like to dream that I live an epic adventurous life traveling the world and climbing mountains– I don’t  (But some of my friends from college totally do that and it’s amazing and I totally stalk them on Instagram).  That being said, I think my life is pretty interesting anyways.  And maybe you want to read about it.  Maybe not, and that’s fine too.

I started this blog because I have this constant feeling of discontent.  It takes about a year, and then I get antsy and decide I need to do something different.  Previously this has manifested itself in relationships (particularly in high school), jobs, and hobbies.  Right now, it’s been about a year since Cormac was born.  It’s not that I’m getting bored of him– he’s the cutest little guy ever.  But I seem to start questioning if there is something I am missing… am I not fully happy staying at home?  Will I lose my nursing skills if I don’t go back to work?  Am I contributing to the world in any way?  What is life truly about?  So then I start to make changes.

Don’t worry.  In addition to starting this blog, I have also started scouring LTE employment opportunities, selling tons of used clothes on Poshmark, and making lists of DIY projects for around the house.  I figure something’s going to give, right?

Probably I should learn to just be content with my awesome life.  Maybe this blog is a good start.