Thursday, October 12, 2017


Depression is such a cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes, no blood tests to send people scurrying in concern, just the slow erosion of self, as insidious as cancer. And like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience; a room in hell with only your name on the door.

"It's so difficult to describe depression to someone who's never been there, because it's not mere sadness."
-J. K. Rowling

How does a beautiful...


 Full of life && adventure && talent && dreams && potential && L O V E

 with the sweetest heart in existence

 go from this...

who weaved words, believed in magic, was a hopeless romance, exuded kindness, and light

 become so depressed?

 so lost,

 a shell of a girl whose dreams in which she was dying were the best she'd ever had?

 She'd made lots of mistakes in her past, but the people who judged her for her past, she decided, had no reason being in her future. She was silently suffering. The past was gone; the present seemed unbearably painful; and the future felt like fiction--the fairytales she grew up dreaming about came crashing down when she learned the hard way that they didn't exist. Prince Charming was a fraud. "Prince Charming" was abusive in every sense of the word. "Prince Charming" shattered her heart into a zillion pieces and ran off with his adulteress. Not-so-Prince Charming was charming when he wrote me poetry, gave me flowers, stayed up with me when I was bedridden from surgeries and endometriosis, fell in love with me (and I him), slid a gorgeous ring on this princesses' size 5 finger, married her in the SLC Temple for time and all eternity, and then revealed he was the villain not the prince. This princess wasn't perfect by any means, but she was faithful and kind and loved being a wife. She thought eternity meant forever. It turned out eternity was only two years on the prince's timetable. He poisoned her and ran off into the sunset with his mistress while the princess was in the ICU for liver failure.

 There are many vivid memories, excruciatingly physically, painful memories that haunt me to this day,,,


then everything went BLACK

Not once did "Prince Charming", my husband at the time ,come and visit his wife who was hanging by a thread and about to be put on the UNOS liver transplant list.
When a few days had passed and I regained some strength, I picked up the hospital phone and called "Prince Charming". His voice was cold and detached. He seemed busy and his tone made it loud and clear he did not want to be talking to me. I explained to him what happened, trying and pleading to get answers. His response: "You drink too much soda."
Yeah I'm no doctor... I took a few medical terminology and radio-graphic classes in college, my mom is a nurse, and the most of my medical knowledge comes from House and Grey's Anatomy but I'm positive soda doesn't cause liver failure. 
I almost couldn't believe the words coming from the man I thought I loved who vowed to love, honor, care for, and protect me. (I later learned he was at our townhouse with she-who-shall-not-be-named cleaning it out entirely). 
At this point, because our marriage was so volatile, I was scared to meet with him or argue. 
I couldn't handle any more physical, emotional, spiritual, or emotional abuse. 
Everything about "Prince Charming"'s story regarding what happened over the past three days of my blackout were sketchy and changed often depending on who he was relaying it to. I got a sickening feeling. I knew it would be one of the most difficult things I'd have to do--separate from my supposed to be eternal companion and file for divorce--but I knew it was the right thing. The only option. I am convinced "Prince Charming" tried to murder me that April night 2015. 
The story of our marriage.
The story of us.
"I used to think one day we'd tell the story of us. How we met and the sparks flew instantly. People would say 'they're the lucky ones; (and they did). The story of us is a tragedy now. The end."
-Taylor Swift

[I will go more into detail in my book COMING SOON!}

 Love was everything to me.
I lost my "prince" but found myself and somehow that was everything. 
#princesslessprince #neversettle
I don't want someone standing next to me because they are lonely. I want someone who stands next to me because they cannot imagine standing next to anyone else. 

After attending life changing treatment programs for PTSD and major depressive disorder, I was doing really well in outpatient therapy. I met the BEST friends in treatment from all over the country and gained a support system like no other. To this day we remain in contact. So many people are suffering in silence ashamed by the stigma of seeking help for fear of being judged or seen as weak or imperfect.

No one is perfect except our Heavenly Father and Savior.

With their help and the help of family, friends, therapists, and loved ones, there is hope.
Mental illness, depression, and suicide are as real as any physical disease and should be treated as such.

Believe it or not, there is a leader (president) and co-leader (vice president) in residential treatment centers.
I'll give you one guess as to who was voted leader...
Yes, me!
President Charley of rehab/treatment haha... I joked about how proud my parents would be.
And to be honest, I absolutely loved it and thrived. Helping others is the most rewarding thing. It helped me feel closer to God, and I gained a newfound confidence in myself.  My mom had to drag me to Memphis, Tennessee where I resided for 30 days. Who wants to be ripped out of their home and life to a strange place full of strangers all the way across the country?! NOT ME! I didn't even know where Tennessee was! The decision was made for me at the last minute.
I'd OD'd on Tylenol 10+ times in a month so the doctors and my mom had the final say. AKA against my wishes I flew with my mom to Memphis. 
The first few days were rough but then an AMAZINGLY INCREDIBLE woman named Leigh (who was about 10 years older than me) moved into my room. It was as if we had known each other all of us lives! Conversation was effortless. Leigh became the older sister I always wanted. We had the best of times. That girl is my female soulmate. She just gets me and has from day one. I never imagined I would meet one of my forever best friends in treatment, but I am OVERJOYED and thank God every night for bringing a Tennessee-an and Idaho girl together at the perfect time. Our memories are moments I will cherish always and forever. 
The time I spent at La Paloma was everything I never knew I needed and more. I gained a sisterhood of forever best friends. Together we healed and bonded. These girls knew me better than my friends at home. They knew the worst things about me and still loved me! [and vice versa]

Just when I thought my life was over; I watched it begin again with their help.
I awakened a heart long afraid to feel.
Lovelies, we are broken to be rebuilt stronger.
That's the purpose. If we didn't have days where our souls were so wracked with guilt or sadness or loneliness or stress or all of the above, we would not be able to enjoy and lose ourselves in the moments of sheer happiness that get your heart racing, racing, racing. Pounding. Threatening to burst through your chest. You can triumph any and all adversity. Lean on your family, your friends, your people, me... and most of all, Heavenly Father. He is all knowing. 
We all make these plans, goals, and expectations in our minds that rarely work out the way we want them to.
In that moment, you're faced with two choices: 
1. Give up. Curse God. Complain. Waste your potential by holding onto bitterness and hate and fear.
2. Pray. Pray always and often. Remember the promise that you will receive all of the blessings God has to offer if you choose the right. God's time table is infinitely more accurate and better that ours. It's perfect like Him. His plans for us--for you, for me---are coming and will surpass our wildest dreams and wishes. He knows the desires of each and everyone of our hearts. He has something planned for you far greater than you could make up on your own. In the meantime, don't sit around pining and waiting for prince charming to come along and save you. SAVE YOURSELF. Enjoy the single life. Make every moment count. Be happy. Do what you love! Love yourself and everything else will fall into place.

Once upon a time, I had THE BEST seminary teacher in high school and in the world in general.
Brother Smedley.
I'll never forget the exercise he had us do one class...
He gave us two options. 
1. We could choose anyone on the Earth to marry us and love us (even celebrities, singers, etc).
2. We could choose to let God lead and guide us to the eternal companion He made perfect for us.
That really opened my eyes. 
God's ways are infinitely better because He knows more than all the population of this breathtaking planet combined.
He holds the priesthood keys of Heavenly Father. 
He will never lead us astray if we follow him.
One day, your prince (son of our fatherly king Heavenly Father) or your princess (daughter of a king and queen in heaven), will come and it will be perfection. Your mind, body, and soul can't even begin to comprehend the glory and eternal love ahead for you. 
Two words [the hardest words ever to me]: BE PATIENT.
I promise God is aware of you. You are never forgotten. Take this time and better yourself and prepare to be a wife or husband.
You are never alone.
Prayers are waiting and available 24/7 with no holds or horrible Muzak. 
God loves you. He loves me. He loves us.
God is ALWAYS there.

 Class of 2015: La Paloma Crossroads Ceremony
The "Fab Five"
Sara, Me (Charley), Leigh, Liliya, Karly, & Stacey (L'il Bits)

Speech that Sara (my co-leader/best friend/love) wrote for me and presented at Crossroads (our graduation). It brought tears to my eyes...

Charls, Lai, SarBear, & Karls.
Summer Break Reunion in Memphis.
July 2017 (: 

I had the fortune of reuniting with most of my Tennessee girls this summer!
(missing Liliya and Stacey)
Karly, Sara, Leigh, Me (Charley), & Natalie <3
We were able to catch up and have lunch on this stunning lakeside. 
I wish we all lived closer together These girls are spectacular in their own ways.

The Truth:
I would go through the hell of being infertile at 23, over a dozen surgeries, an abusive marriage full of adultery, depression, suicide attempts, instability, and being shot (twice) if it led me to these strong, witty, B-E-A-utiful women [especially Leigh]. No one compares to best friends and sisterhood.  

Y O U C A N N O T B E R E P L A C E D.
Suicide Awareness shouldn't be just one month; it should be every month.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with the darkness of suicide or having suicidal thoughts, call The National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
or their TextLine text TALK to 741741
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 25 to 34 and the third leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death world wide.

44,193 Americans die by suicide each year.
121 people die by suicide every day.
1 person dies every 40 seconds by suicide.

Suicide is an epidemic.

The dictionary defines suicide as 1. The act or instance of taking one's own life voluntarily.
2. A person who commits or attempts suicide.

Risk factors include depression, mental disorders, substance abuse. Other suicides are impulsive acts due to stress such as financial difficulties, troubles with relationships, and bullying, to name just a fraction. The saddest part is sometimes there are no warnings... or it's too late to see them. Be vigilant in loving the people in your life. Tomorrow is never promised. 

I am a suicide survivor.

"I couldn't be with people and I didn't want to be alone. Suddenly my perspective whooshed and I was far out in space watching the world. I could see millions and millions of people, all slotted into their lives, then I could see me--I'd lost my place in the universe. It had closed up and there was nowhere for me to be. I was more lost than I had known it was possible for any human being to be."
-Marian Keys

"Is there no way out of the mind?"
-Sylvia Plath

"I'm not sure what I am anymore... sometimes I think I'm nothing but a big collection of brainwashing, surgeries, and 'cures'... that, and all the mistakes I've made. All the people I've disappointed."
-Scott Westerfeld

"...I drag myself out of nightmares, and find there's no relief in waking up. But.. its better not to give in to it. It takes ten times longer to pull yourself together than it does to fall apart."
-Finnick Odair

"The so-called 'psychotically depressed' person who tries to kill herself doesn't do so out of any quote 'hopelessness' or any abstract conviction that life's assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems appealing. The person in whom it's invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire's flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It's not desiring the fall; it's terror of the flames. And yet nobody on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling 'Don't!' and 'Hang on!', can understand the jump. Not really. You'd have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling."
-David Foster Wallace


 Sometimes depression means not being able to write for weeks. Because the only words you have to offer the world are trapped and drowning and I swear to God I'm trying. Sometimes depression means ignoring every phone call (and text) for an entire month. Because yes, they have the right number. But you're not the person they're looking for, not anymore.

I heart them.
From left to right: Charley (me), Karly, & Leigh.

"Which dies first: your hope or your light?
Lately my waking thoughts have been consumed with suicide.
I am alone.
I'm suffocatingly lonely even when I am surrounded by people.
I feel unrecoverable. Irrevocably broken. Wanted by none. My life has evolved into a waking nightmare. I'm trying so hard it hurts everywhere to move forward and be better yet. I'm confronted by my mistakes every second. Forgiveness is conditional with my family and some so-called friends. There's so much hate, judgment, and cruelty in this world.
Depression is the most deadly, dark, destructive disease. No one should have to suffer like this. 
I'm always emotionally and mentally drained.
Sleep is the one thing left that I somewhat enjoy on a good day/night, I have beautiful, sweet dreams where I'm loved and everything is more than okay. At worst, I have nightmares but I know it's not reality and therefore it's manageable. My reality is the bad dream.
I honestly don't know which is worse: the pain possessing and poisoning my heart or the pain of the bullets that shred holes through my body last year.
I feel like a burden to everyone who has ever loved me or even just met me.
Sometimes I cry and feel my soul die when I hear, read about, and see people dying everyday--amazing people with wonderful, full lives. Why am I still alive?
Life doesn't want me so why doesn't death?
My words feel hollow, wasted, and meaningless..."
-One of my journal entries from summer 2017

The thing is, what a difference a day makes.
Find things you are passionate about and do them... even when you are tired and would rather isolate. Never give up. You never know when the best day of your life will appear around the corner.
I read a poem that struck me like lightning and lit up my heart...

The Last Thing You Said
As you lay dying, we asked if there was anything else you wanted us to include in the book before we sent it back to you.
"Love, at every opportunity you are given to love. Be less afraid. Embrace each day (none are promised). Cry when you need to, it'll make you feel better. You were put on this planet to feel every feeling you could, do that. Everything works out in the end. I promise."

Love, lovelies. Feel.
The moments we feel most alive far surpass the moments we wish we didn't exist.

Depression is such a cruel punishment... bur life and love and God and the ocean and kisses and fresh air and family and friends and overcoming the impossible make it a million times worth it.

The prologue of my soon to be published book! (and more untold details from the day that was almost my last day on Earth).

I love you, lovelies.


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