and then I woke up

Last night it happened-- I got inspired and excited about something. It has been a long time coming and I woke this morning feeling a pinch of energy and hope. I went to a bookstore and got The Paris Review and Poets and Writers Magazine for writing inspiration, and I got this for some spiritual guidance and hopefully a little inner rest.

My big idea was to start a Life Collection Newsletter. I think I will send one out every other week to start. It will be full of creative ideas, inspiring quotes, and other hopeful "get you through the day" kind of things. It will range from writings on an ideal to do list, to thoughts on depression, recipes, and photographs. I would love for you to sign up for the newsletter. I will send out the first issue next week. Please email me at catherine(at)life-collection.com to sign up! 

I would also love guest submissions. If you have a quote, thought, fun recipe, or creative idea send me an email about it. 

It's weird how a little thing can pop me back up to real life and help me peek out of depression-land. I think it's time to get a bit excited, be a little silly, and get some stuff done. Ready? Here goes! :)

xx, C


"Talking 'bout finding a way out"

Life is incredibly exhausting these days. I'm in survival mode and have been for far too long (years). It's strange how right when I think I have reached my limit of how much I can handle, the limit stretches along the track so I'm not even close, and I can handle even more. This is an interesting and surprisingly painful realization.

I seriously never though a person could go through so much emotional turmoil and pain without dying from sorrow. I know that sounds so overdramatic, but it still shocks me that I have gone through so much and am still alive. I never realized I was strong enough to get through all this. Yet realizing that strength leaves me bitter, because I don't want to hurt, I don't want to see the limit of how much I can handle. I don't want to be pushed to the limit.

I'm working so hard to fight, to not be mired and live a full life, but it hurts, it hurts so bad I can't find the words. So I fight and I hang on, fight to get out of bed each morning, to connect with people, to shower and do something each day. I cry on Ronald's shoulder and he holds me tight, and it hurts excruciatingly, and I keep holding on because what else is there to do?

Part of me wants to stop sharing how hard things are on here and just act happy and carefree and like life is ok. I am worried someone reading this will think I am being bitchy, dramatic, or staying stuck. But then I remember this is my blog. That I am free to say what I want. And that I want people to know that it's ok to hurt. And who knows, in some way this may help someone.

Sometimes it's ok to just live with it. Not pretend things are ok, or perfect but realize some days are shit, some months and even years are shit, and you can fight all you want but sometimes the pain stays like an awkward ghostly stranger, and it is with you and rests and wakes with you, and you don't have to keep it a secret. This is the nature of depression and pain. You can fight all you want but sometimes you have to just recognize its there and go through it.

I know I'm not alone and you aren't either.

Love, a fighter named Catherine



Life has kind of grown flat and sink-y around me. I'm trying to get motivated to stand up again and fight but it's not the easiest thing to do, especially when I am exhausted from bad sleep, and all the fighting I have been doing to live a good life thus far.

The thing is, something isn't working with the way I have been fighting. So I'm trying to get some ideas  and inspiration to change that. I'm not sure what direction I'm headed and that is one sink hole I have been falling in to. I get discourage so easily because I don't know exactly what I want, I just know I don't want this. I know I want to live a full life, but what does that look like? 

So that is my thought for the day and I think I am going to take some time to slow down and just imagine what I want my life to be.



Blogging has always been a safe thing for me, something I wanted to do every day to connect and feel like I have a voice. Lately though, the blog-bug seems to be escaping me and I really don't want to say anything. I don't know if this is the depression or self-consciousness or if I am legitimately growing past this.

I feel like my blog is just another place to talk about how shitty depression is. I don't know if that helps anyone, I don't know if that helps or serves me in any way.

I might take a break or I might continue to blog, I just am not sure yet. But I am definitely going to release the pressure that I feel about becoming a successful blogger. I don't know if that is what I want right now or ever. But I also don't know if that is defeatist as right now all I really want to do is live in a tunnel. ;)

Today I just don't see a point to this. I don't see a point to much of anything these days. The edges get blurred and I am left wondering why in the hell am I doing what I'm doing.

So if it's quiet around here for a bit, you know why. Who knows though, I may feel like blogging tomorrow. We'll just wait and see.

xx, C



I cleaned my house today. This is really beyond amazing. It has been months and months since I have spent an afternoon cleaning and getting things done. I have been lacking so much energy these weeks that doing much of anything feels impossible, so to actually do it is awesome. I'm so proud of myself.

I know it seems little, but it's a big deal to me because I stood up to the raging ravenous monster of depression and did it even though I felt like shit, even when I could hardly stand and was dizzy from anxiety, I kept going and then a wonderful thing happened--I got some momentum going and I could do more and more and more.

So that's what it's like to get something done. It has been a long time coming...

xx, C



It's a down-dump morning. I'm frustrated at how much sad comes out in my poems. But here they are, starched shirt and shoes laced.

xx, C


My bumbling life slows down 

In its speedy suspenders. 

And I wonder and pluck at

The green messy mess before me.

Looking it in the orb, looking at

It in the nostril. Until not much

Changes but my level of frustration.

My life doesn't answer, it just rests there

In my lap, like a sickly elder.

And I watch as every other life 

strolls by. And that sick pine-smell

Dread soaks through me. 

And I fluster because

My life has stopped but not yet my heart.


I start it by saying "somehow"

I start it by looking him in the eyes.

I start it by pressing firmly on the so-called button.

I start it by noticing that the thing started a long time ago

And I am not even late for the party, I'm into the next week.

And I can't move. Can't get out of bed, barely washed

And dressed and soldered to this bump bump bump train

To this wired clicking thing. 

My bashful soul holding on and hiding like the humble pie

I ate as a babe.


I don't know it. The words to this song.

I can write a little poem about it,

I can describe the feeling the sounds

make on my tongue. But really this is

An old game. 

And the verbs have legs and the tune

Knows the hustle, and my muscles are weak

I can hardly stand.

But I do it anyway, my leaned on cane

Turned serpent and the music

Speckles on as I hide in my trundle bunker.


to summer flowers:

The flowers in my house are dying. 

They lay in heat waiting for the bees and the nourishment of

Black soil. But I have tricked them into little tousled vases 

To go and sin no more.

Thick cut, shin split flowers. Little do they know they will be 

Chucked in a garbage pail tomorrow. But for now they glow

In that lumbering soft-petal way flowers do.

And they smell fragrant, and they smell like rot, and it makes me 

Want to drink whiskey and whisper to them in a silvery sweet sugar 

Voice that things will be ok even if they're not.


Waiting at the movie theater to see The Dark Knight Rises. It's weird to be here and to think of all that happened in Colorado, it breaks my heart and makes me not want to trust anyone.

But we are here and that matters and life is short and don't forget that.

I am slowly getting healthy again, I feel like this whole year has gotten away from me due to being sick all too much.

So this week I have a long list of to-do's and we'll see if I can do half of it. Life is a bad bug, a hard entrapping parallel, it makes me tired and I try to savor it but that is encumbered by my fear, by my illness, by me lack of restful sleep. Damn you, you 28 years of life. Yet I love you and don't want you to end.

He makes things ok. Bearable. Sometimes even funny. That's good and whole and mine. I can hold onto that (my feet in the tether), and some days that's enough.

Love, C



Morning my dears. 

Last night I started antibiotics to hopefully cure me of this exhaustion/dizzy spell. The weird thing is I can't have dairy while on this medication (seven days). I didn't realize that almost everything I eat has dairy as an ingredient! Makes me realize how hard it is for people with food allergies. Anyway, I just have to be creative with my meals now. So far I have only had toast with peanut butter, apples, and orange juice (that's going to get boring after a while).

My life has basically stopped this week due to being sick. I'm so disappointed that all I have been able to do is rest, and rest some more. I know that is how things go sometimes, but that still doesn't make it easier. The worst thing is my brain wants to do things, I want to go places, and make things, cook and walk around but physically I just can't. Oh well...

Today we are going to see Les Miserables in San Francisco. I'm really excited! I hope I can walk and do ok being out.

What are you doing this weekend darling?

xx, C



Here is my cozy mess of a quilt that I am currently bundled in. I have been sick so the blog has been really quiet these days. I'm feeling so exhausted (I can hardly stand at times), and I'm dizzy and nauseas (not pregnant). This has been going on for three weeks in a subtle way. I first though it was stress or depression but it's getting worse. So much so that yesterday I couldn't even drive.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the doctor and had a bunch of lab work done, so far it has all come back normal. Of course I cried during my doctor appointment because he had me stand up to take my blood pressure and I almost fainted. I hate not knowing what is happening but knowing something is wrong.

So the doctor told me to rest and stay hydrated for a few days and just see how I do. I guess it's a mystery as to what exactly is going on. We'll see what happens...

Love, C


desktop mess + guest post

I'm listening to slow music at my desk, with a tummy ache and cool air rumbling through the windows. It's overcast and smells like moss, and mold, and tree sap, nothing like the thin solid air of Summer and I adore it.

I wrote my first ever guest post yesterday. You can find it on Baylee's blog The day I stopped Making Cents. Baylee and I just met in blog-land a few weeks ago and had an instant connection. She writes awesome poetry, and her blog is so cute, so check it out!

I ran errands this morning showerl-ess and hair a mess (seems to be a new trend for me), I got yellow roses that are sitting in water in the sink. I thought I would have the pulsing energy and motivation to clean but the tummy has other plans and instead I am sitting here cramped and achey. Some days I think I will never feel good and that there is always something hurting with me.

Well, here I go in this vast hurt-not-hurt day. Wish me luck my loves, and I will do the same for you.

xx, C




 A written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, and views of its female author. May include themes of empowerment, independence, self love, consciousness, affirmation, and individual acceptance; your positive beliefs about yourself. Created to give self-described definition in regards to the innate beauty inside of every woman. Yes, even you.

Join the movement here
Here we go!

I am a struggling to exist human. I am not PMS-ing, crying for no reason, being overly emotional, or just being a “girl”. 
I am good enough simply because I exist. I deserve respect, love, and kindness. I do not need to earn these things.
I am ok with my size and shape. I will not lose weight in the desire to be more loved, more accepted, or to fit some ridiculous standard of beauty.
I do not need to earn food. I do not need to skip meals to earn calories, or be proud that I hardly ate all day. I eat to nourish my body, I eat because it is yummy, I eat because my tummy growls and all of that is ok.
I am not going to fit into a standard that I need to look sexy in the world’s eyes, or be enticing to men. I can be sexy only if I want to, and express that in my own way. I do not need to earn love or acceptance this way.
I have tattoos and they aren’t something to regret. I have self-inflicted scars on my skin that I am not going to hide, they are all badges of how far I have come and the battle I am fighting. 
I have depression and mental illness but I am not a “nut-case”, “crazy”, or that different from anyone else. I will not let people judge my worth on that basis, I am a human, I have struggles, I am just like you.
Sometimes I don’t want to go on anymore and I hate life. I will not despise myself for this, berate myself, feel guilty, or reject my emotions. They are valid, they are real, I am allowed to hate living on occasion and it is just a facet of who I am. 
I will fight my utmost to stay here, to be present and live a full life. I am devoted to this crazy nonsensical existence, even when I hate it I am fighting to be here. 
I will love my lover as much as I can because I want to, not because I have to. I will give my love to him without measure, or fear of being rejected. 
I will be a housewife and sweep the floors when I want and how I want. I will cook because I want to cook, be in the middle of breaking the mold. I can do whatever I want. I like the white picket fence, that is my choice.
I do not have to work or earn a wage to be worthy or good. I am perfect just living, just breathing, and being kind to others. I can be as liberated or un-liberated as I want. Most of all I want to do what makes me happy. I deserve it, I am fighting through hell to get it.
It’s ok if no one “gets me” or feels what I feel. My emotions are still there, still beating and pulsing in a giant mess. My life and feelings are individual, distinctly and uniquely my own.
I can be creative when I want. I can write to get published or hide every poem under the mattress, I do not have to open a shop, or get recognized for what I make or do unless I want to be. Being known for my art will not dictate whether my art is valid, real, or beautiful.
I will dress the way I want, I will wear pjs all day and a pretty dress the next. I will shower or not shower. I will wear too much eyeshadow, forget to shave my legs for weeks, skip the makeup altogether, show my arms, and like my chipped nail polish. 

xx, C


It has been a while. I'm working on being present and ok after two weeks of depression and silence. I kind of want to keep hiding but know it is time to push myself back into reality. Depression is an awful thing. Even after a good day like yesterday, I lay in bed wondering in devastating fear if I will ever be fulfilled or content. 

I don't really know what else to say. I'm fighting so hard which is completely exhausting. I want to get back to my creative life, to doing the things I love, but I don't know when that will happen. Fingers crossed it will happen soon.

So I'm really wondering how are you?

xx, C


Tips for getting through a baddie

Here are some of my tips for what to do on the bad days.

Write it out. Whether it's anger or sadness, or just plain bitchiness, write out what is bothering you. If you don't know why you are feeling down write out the nonsense and thoughts that are floating around in your head or how you are feeling physically. This really helps you get a more clear picture of what is going on. You can keep, throw away, burn, or hide the paper when you are done. Each way of holding onto or getting rid of the paper has a meaning so do as you see fit and what feels best.

Talk to someone you trust about what is going on. Whether it is a family member, friend, lover, crisis hotline, or doctor/therapist, let someone know you are struggling, even if it is just a one day of sadness that you know will pass, still tell someone. No one likes being sad alone and it's great to get support. It also adds to your level of openness with others which helps build a closer relationship. You can even write down or tell the person you choose to speak with what they can do to help support you.

Go outside if you can. This time around I have so little energy with my mood swing I can hardly walk or stand, but I still have the curtains open so I can see the deep blue sky and trees. The weather and nature has a powerful connection to our emotions, so experience it!

snuggle something, or some critter, or someone. Whether it's a cozy blanket, pillow, cat, dog, or loved one-- hold onto something and hold it close for  a bit. Feel connected to something that is soft and comfortable.

If you can manage, do something you enjoy that is creative. Prove to yourself that you can make something good. Write a little poem, arrange some flowers, make the best cup of iced coffee ever, paint or draw.

This is an annoying one, but avoid alcohol at all costs. Sometimes it takes the edge off, but other times it just makes things worse so when the baddies are here, say no to booze.

If you are like me and you crave sweets when you are depressed make them instead of eating something pre-made. This gets you moving, gets you creating, and we all know it tastes so much better and is so much more satisfying when you know you made it. Plus, there is an end to the supply so you aren't tempted to keep running to the store for Snicker's bars. ;)

Write yourself an encouraging note. One site I love is Future Me you can write yourself a note and set it to send at any date in the future. What about a note guessing where you will be in two years? Or some inspiring quotes you would like to read again in six months? Regardless of how or where you write it, write something down. Type out a song lyric in a favorite font, or just write out "keep going" on a post-it. Words are powerful little things and we really should use them to our full advantage.

Another site I love to get lost on when I am blue is Letters of Note, it's full of encouraging/funny/tragic/quirky letters from famous people. Bookmark the ones that make you laugh or encourage you, or even the ones that make you want to cry.

Remember it's okay to cry. This one is hard for me and I bet many of us. But it's okay to let your emotions out, even in public, even in front of a friend, even alone in the shower, even with a mouthful of chocolate, it's ok to let it go.

x, C

"who loves you true?"

I'm feeling very fragile this week. At the moment I can  hardly keep my eyes open but don't want to go back to sleep due to the horrible-plaguing dreams I've been experiencing.

I keep crying at random times and just can't shake this sad feeling. I know why it is there, but that doesn't make it any easier. What's absolutely breaking my heart is the fertility issues we are having. I want to be a mom so bad, and I feel like time is just ticking by and there is no real promise that it will ever happen. I feel like less of a human because of the trouble we are having, I feel guilty, I feel devastated, I feel totally sunk in and exhausted.

I am even having physical symptoms. Constant nausea, tension headache, and sores in my mouth. I also think I skipped my time of the month (but am definitely not pregnant). Stress is a big monster.

We are waiting until February to start fertility treatments and to really define what is wrong. There are a few reasons for that. One is our insurance won't kick in until February, and the other is that I don't think I am ready to face it all just yet, so need some time to work through things.

I try to get through each day, knowing that eventually these feelings will taper off. There is so much I am getting behind on due to the serious lack of energy I am experiencing, but for now that is just the way it is.



It's been quiet around here the last few days. I'm in a dark, sad, cry-filled space and there isn't much to do but wait it out. 

I have been avoiding human contact as much as I can, including emails and blogging. Usually I am on my computer most of the day, instead I have been in bed staring at the ceiling or sleeping. 

This is just how things go sometimes. Life is hard, I try to fight and keep going but some days the only thing I can do is breathe.


the best I can do (for now)

I'm really failing with words these days. It's bean months since I tried my hand at this damned poetry thing. I suck at it these days, when before there was a sprouting, now all that is left is some old dried out soil. I am beyond sad. But I have to keep trying.

Also, discovering all my most-loved poets committed suicide is rather disconcerting and devastating. :(

Here are some mangled words and phrases:

Life goes and goes and goes.

I wait.  For more to come,

For good feelings.

For a slew of restful sleep.


If it doesn't stop, you think of the ramifications.

Hands falling off, a slight cut in armor,

A lackadaisical hellbent worn-down toothache of the soul.

It won't stop until you're dead, that's the sick-slick thing.

And you face it in each wake and sleep moment. 

No matter. It exists and so do you and somehow you must live 



I feel like my words are like brittle bones.

If you drown with this much brittle you float. 

It can't hold water, that's you, that's writing.

To be a strong boisterous boat, to say it from rooftops

With no holes in your sail, takes time and practice.

The thing is the talent left and that's sickening.



you are already out of season and I miss you terribly 

Though it has been one mere week.

Now to less tempting flowers. Yellow Pom-pom, sunflower,

And Freesia. 

Nothing is the same-difference without you.

Love, a broken hearted tear-drop peony loving girl.


The thing is (the sick thing, the thing that keeps you up nights),

Is the click-click-click-click of life. The clock-tock,

This undying dying feeling. I don't know, this living thing breaks

My heart, and yet I don't want to go, and I don't want to stay.

And mending brain, and my thickening waist reverberate with 

An intrepid emotion of floating, of exhaling, of running out of 



You think, you stutter. You end every which way. 

Your writing like an old mollusk. Near death,

Holding on in a thread-web of last resort.

Makes you feel ill, makes you want to give up

On hand and key and type-type-type.

Nothing comes out the way you like. 

I'm disappointed with the self I am and am becoming

And the way words fail me and the way I fail words.

home town

We are at a coffee shop in our little downtown. We walked here and it is a bit hot but nice to be outside. I'm trying to get inspired to write. We'll see how it goes. 

Yes, we have a pink horse on the rooftop of a shoe repair place in our town. It's awesome! They even put a wreath around his neck at Christmastime. I love him and think he is adorable! 

I like our town. It feels kind of tiny and country-ish even though it is only half an hour outside of San Francisco. But the thing I like most about our town is our adorable wreck of a house. When we bought it, it looked like this:

And now it looks like this:

I have to admit, the transformation is pretty amazing.

On the outside it still looks like this and is un-landscaped, but things really have changed inside.

Anyway, I adore our house. And now to writing.

xx, C