Monday, September 14, 2015

Is it ONLY Fight or Flight?

"Fight or Flight" is a cliche phrase that we have been taught since a young age; meaning that, according to certain circumstances we encounter, our bodies naturally produce chemicals that cause our body to either fight a problem or flight a problem. This isn't new to anybody, right? But yet, here I sit in a health course, and I am listening to this same lesson. Again.

It's become tiring to me to hear people talk about this phrase because I've had certain situations in my life that have caused me to ask, "did I fight, or did I flight?" And for years I had never been able to come up with a decisive response to my question. Because of this, I didn't understand why I didn't do either of them! It made me angry and upset with myself as a result. Was I broken? Did I have a terrible chemical imbalance? Was there a cord that didn't connect properly within my brain? Was I just simply insane? These questions plagued me. I didn't understand why I wasn't a normal human being. And then it would lead to the thoughts of "well if I was a normal human then things would be SO much different!" (Hindsight is 20/20, also: hindsight can be super annoying!)

And then, a couple months back, it hit me. There are actually three responses the human body can have:


There may be instances in your life when you don't fight. And you don't flight. But guess what! You are not "broken!" Your biological response to that situation isn't "wrong!" It's just different than you were taught. For me, there have been times where I have been so filled with fear/anxiety/distress that rather than punching the problem straight in the gut or running a thousand miles away from the problem as fast as I could; my mind, heart, and body simply decided to freeze. And it sucked! But let's be honest, fighting or flighting wouldn't have been anymore fun! It was just the psychological and biological response my crazy self decided to produce at that moment. But understanding what happened inside me is a breath of fresh air.

My biggest reason for writing this is that hopefully, if you didn't understand this concept, it brings you a little bit of relief as well. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Time Recap

Well, well, well. It's been a hot minute since I've blogged about life! I thought I'd do a quick post to recap a little bit of what Erron and I have been up to this summer. (:

As my Spring semester ended, I still wasn't quite sure what I was going to do for the summer. I had looked at nannying jobs out of state, as well as the usual "summer jobs" within my own city. I wasn't having any luck and it hit me that I didn't feel right about spending my summer working. And when I made that realization, I discovered that I was to enroll myself in summer school for the first time in my entire life. 

The classes I needed lined up impeccably well, and the next week I embarked on my summer of schooling. I took 17 credits this summer, a task that I didn't presume to be hard when I signed up, but one that I am now seeing the effects of as I spend my days working through anxiety and depression. 

For those who haven't been to school during the summer semester, it's a little bit different than the traditional model. Since you only have a couple months to complete a whole semester, the school divides your semester into two blocks. This is where my mistaken "easiness" was presumed. Each block is 7 weeks long, so the first block goes from May to the end of June, and the second block goes from July to the end of August. My first block I had 3 classes, totaling 10 credits. Since I've always gone to school full-time (at least 12 credits) I assumed that while school would be going faster, 10 credits was definitely do-able. 

Wrong. So completely wrong.

I struggled though my classes and came out excelling at all of them. Even my "advanced philosophy" class that was an absolute nightmare because I don't really give a crap about "the coming singularity" and when humans merge with robots. But whatever, A+ for Chels.

And while the first block was really really stressful, and really really hard, I didn't expect that it could get any worse. And that was where I was wrong. Again.

My second block didn't start out well, mostly because my Nana and Papa have been planning a family reunion/50th wedding anniversary celebration at Aspen Grove for the last year or so. And I spent almost that entire first week away from school. Which, given a normal semester, wouldn't have been an issue, but by even mentally being on vacation, I had missed out on at least two full weeks of school. And it went downhill from there. 

This last month has been so completely depressing that I spent almost nearly a full week after my birthday lying and lounging around my house. My inner happiness was completely diminished. I only had 7 credits this block, but I felt as if I was failing both of my classes. In reality, I am not failing either of them but attempting to learn a language in a matter of a couple months is no small task. While I may be excelling in the class, I still cannot speak French. And it's frustrating. And my other class has been no walk in the park either.

However, even with all my school "failures" this summer, I have still had quite an adventurous season! Erron and I decided back in April or May that we were going to spend our free-time in the mountains and across the state. We decided that we wanted to fall in love with Utah, and consequently, we have. 

The thought of us moving someday isn't as much of a hallelujah anymore, as it originally was. We have been up canyons, and playing on rope swings in the middle of nowhere. We have gone camping, and we have shared our nights with hot dogs and friends more times than I can count. 

However, I am still anticipating our eventual move. I'm a very sentimental person, and sometimes it makes my life fuller, but at other times I believe it makes it easier for me to be filled with heartache. Because of past experiences, living in Utah County has not been the dream that I wish it could be. Just about a month ago I had a run-in with somebody who I don't get along with. I didn't even speak to that person, but the very act of seeing them filled me with sadness. I shouldn't care, but I do. And it's like ugh. Whatever. (:

But there are also so many great things about being down here in "the valley." I love living with my grandparents, I get to see and interact with them all the time. I love the relationships that I have built with them, and I will always cherish the time I have spent here. 

I love the school that I go to. I've really thrived in my studies at UVU. I've made friends, and succeeded in my classes, and have finally found a major that I absolutely love.

And Erron and I have grown closer to one another. Being "far away" from our life long friends as well as our family members hasn't been as easy as we thought it would be. Our communication with everybody has grown a lot stronger, and we have some of the very best friends a person could have! (Although, only a handful of those friends do actually live nearby.) But Erron and I have had to grow through struggles and challenges that we never anticipated, and I can say with confidence that I have never felt as much love for my darling husband as I currently feel today. 

And my relationship with my Savior and Heavenly Parents has grown immensely. I am so incredibly blessed to be a member of the gospel of Christ. I know without a doubt that my Savior lives, and that He loves me. I pray every single day, that I can be a little more like Him through my everyday actions.

This summer has been great. It's been hard, and crazy, and dirty, and tiring. But I couldn't have asked for anything better. (Except mayyybeee to just be GRADUATED already. Ugh.) (;

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Post-Spring Break

Why does it seem that I only blog when I have other {better} stuff I should be doing? Right now I'm trying to draft out a paper on sunspots for my astronomy class tomorrow, and I can't make it past the third page. 

This last week was fun, but a complete waste of my time. I would have appreciated spring break if it had happened sometime in March, but two weeks before finals is NOT the time to throw spring break into a students schedule. 

However, the time off was nice. I taught myself how to sew some new things, and my goal is rather than purchasing new clothes I am going to make an effort to refashion my old ones! (: I also spent a day nannying a cute family with two adorable children & one annoying puppy. We filled the day with make-believe, freeze dance, and Cheetos eating. 

For the most part, I have been happy these last few weeks/months since I wrote here last. There have been a lot of rough patches, but who doesn't have their own set of problems? (: 

Off to finish about sunspots, oh the joy of generals. I'll be glad when this class is over because I will be DONE with all my gen-ed courses! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Boob Thoughts

I like to imagine a group of youngin's, gathered around their space-age technology, reading their great-great-grandmas blog, one day. 

They will be eating delicious snacks, and laughing their heads off at the pure hilariousness and knowledge that ol' Chelsey was telling them, way back in 2015. And as I was showering tonight I thought of another great story that is a gem of my past. A junior high gem.

I looked down at my teeny boobs, and started to chuckle. 

It started in 7th grade. I was a newbie to Mueller Park Junior High School in Bountiful Utah.

This is the only picture I have on my computer that resembles me in the 7th grade. Unfortunately, it is probably closer to 9th grade, so just try to imagine my even tinier, and frail-er, 7th grade body. Complete with the beginning of acne, and all.

 I shared a locker with Jessica Wilson. I think it was locker #4. Something at the beginning, which was really rad to us at the time. 7th grade was the year I learned how to type profficently on a keyboard by good ol' grouchy Ms. Thompson. She ran over my foot plenty of times in her motorized, red scooter. I had science with Mr. Venable, a middle-aged man that made the class laugh every day. And my favorite teacher, Ms. Hurley. She taught English, my favorite subject, and I loved her from day one. 

I'm pretty sure I was the only one who liked her, I remember friends complaining about her all the time outside of class, but I thought she was funny, spunky, and smart. In fact, I wanted to be just like her. Except her "boy" hair cut. I did NOT like that. 

But I digress. It was in Ms. Hurley's English class that I distinctly remember seeing the girl with the perfect body. Her name was Sydney Robinson and I wanted to look like her SO badly. She was skinny, had blonde hair, and always wore brand name clothes. Not the brand name expensive clothes that my mom bought me, but rather the brand name trendy clothes that the cool teenagers wore. Hollister, American Eagle, and Abercrombie.

I only mention the clothes she wore because when I first decided that I wanted my breasts to be the same size as hers, she was wearing a Hollister shirt.

And she looked perfect.

I had gone to elementary school with Sydney. In fact, we were good friends at Boulton Elementary School. But something about seeing her maturing body (okay, creepy much? Sorry Syd!) in such a "mature" place as Mueller Park, was just too much. I went home that day and ran to the bathroom in the furthest corner of the basement as to not be disturbed, and I looked at myself in the mirror and I cried. 

Over, and over again I looked at my fragile, tiny, childish body and cried. I remember talking to God and telling him that I would do whatever it took to have boobs the size of Sydney's. 

Yes, this is 100% historically correct. How embarrassing.

And in the days following, I would anxiously check myself out again and again seeing if there was any improvement to my chest department. But there never was. I think at one point I got angry at God. I asked him why he could be so cruel as to not gift me with a rack the size of some girls my age. (Oh, such angst!)

And I grew up. And that was that. I forgot all about it. 

Until tonight. As I was standing there in the shower some part of my brain decided to flash back to the despair I felt in the 7th grade. And I laughed because although I have not talked to Sydney for yeeeeaaaaars, I know that our chests are about the same size. I can pull off a good push-up bra without looking like I'm trying to flaunt my stuff in your face. OR I can wear a sports bra and have absolutely nothing there. *abracadabra-alacazam!*

I die of humor, as well as humiliation, to think that there was a time when I was legitimately upset at God, my parents genes, and even just the world, for the little chest and tiny and awkward body I had. 

Everybody matures differently. Everybody is different. And it's easy for me to say that today, as a self-confident 22 year old, but back in the days of cafeteria food and cheerleading tryouts all bets were off. There was no confidence in this girl. 

You could not pay me enough money to go back to the awful times of Jr. High. But Mueller Park was only the start of it. What about when I moved, and had to go to South Davis across town? 

To be continued.....

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Kidney Girl

Let's skip the formalities. Yes, it's me. I'm still a blogger. Hey.

I am also proud to announce that if any of you had doubts that I still had my kidney's, I am happy to announce that they are both located in their proper positions and working well enough to give me kidney stones. Last night was quite the adventure. And as much as I really love spur of the moment adventures, I really could have done without last nights.

For the past couple of days I have been getting sharp pains to the sides of my abdomen. It was enough to grab my side, sit down, let it subside, and move on with my life. However last night, after a delicious spinach artichoke pasta dinner, the pain came back to the left side of my stomach. This time it was so much stronger, and my first thought was "well, perhaps I need to use the bathroom and clear myself out." I proceeded to spend 20 minutes doing nothing in the bathroom but withering in pain bent over the toilet. {This is SO TMI for me, I apologize!!} I finally gave up on the clearing out plan, washed my hands, and put a pillow on the living room floor and proceeded to lay down while making terrible wailing noises. It hurt. Bad. I am trying to think of something to compare it to, but honestly I've never been in so much excruciating pain. I've had fevers that hurt, and make me cry. I've had menstrual cramps that really sting, and knock me out for days. But nothing has ever been as sharp and horrible as the pain I felt last night lying on the floor of my apartment.

Over the next 30 minutes I tried to chat with my roommate Kirsten about Chick-fil-A awesomeness, and with Erron about the game 2048. And then I decided, since the pain wasn't subsiding whatsoever, that I needed some medical attention. Luckily for me, my Grandma is a nurse and so I called her. No answer. I laid there, just praying that the pain would dull a little bit, and miraculously my Grandma walked through the door about 5 minutes later. 

She brought me a heating pad, and felt around my abdomen to get an idea of what could be causing my pain. Ultimately, she concluded that it could be a couple different things. At this point she, as well as Erron, was telling me that I really should go into the emergency room. Which I was hesitant about because A) I have wonderful insurance, but I presumed that the ER would be pricey. And B) I just felt so dramatic, lying on the floor, moaning, and crying. I mean, maybe I was just being a baby? The pain wasn't actually *that* bad, was it? 

It was. My Grandpa came down to give me a priesthood blessing alongside Erron, and while it was such a nice blessing I remember thinking "Come ON, hurry UP, I am in pain here!" And at that point, I knew that I needed to go in.

Erron drove me to the hospital and I walked right in to the ER. It was an easy process and they made sure I was comfortable, with warm blankets and all. Initially when I walked in, I told them that the pain was at a 7 out of 10. But once I lied down and waited for the doctor it started to subside a little. Finally. 

The doctor promptly came in to analyse the problem, and shortly after he decided to get blood work, a urine sample, and put me on pain meds. I didn't know what I was expecting when I came in, but I completely forgot about the whole "needle" thing that happens when you go to the hospital. And so began my mental journey to prepare myself for an IV. The good news is, that when you are in as much pain as I was, you want them to do whatever they can to fix you. 

I clutched Erron's hand as a nice man named Andrew came in to take my blood. Erron wanted to know all about how the needle worked and so I got to get a demonstration about what was going to happen to me, thinking to myself the whole time "just poke me, damnit!"

He did, and he did it well. The most horrific experience I had with needles was when I found out I had mono, and the nurse couldn't get the IV in. It was my freshman year of college, and ultimately she tried 5 times without succeeding, 3 times on one arm, 2 in both hands, and then finally got the vein on my opposite arm. That experience haunts me to this day. But after about 5 viles of blood were taken he put me on a saline solution so that I could pee faster. How kind.

When I was able to use the bathroom I paged Andrew, and he came back and guided me to the restroom. I quickly did my business and went back to my room where a nice lady got the wonderful job of picking up my pee cup. Erron and I then waited for about 45 minutes while they got their results. The doctor came back within this time, after the blood work was done and told me that they couldn't determine if I was pregnant yet, so I would have to wait awhile longer. He told me that if the test came back that I was negative for pregnancy, that he would send someone to pick me up for a CT scan.

Andrew came, and told me that they had found blood in my urine, and that they were going to proceed with a CT scan. TMI here, but I always imagined blood in urine would be just that. Blood, in your urine. But I'm telling you all right now that it was not visible to my eye, and when they told me there was blood in it I was astounded!

I started to get up out of my bed, and he quickly told me that they were going to wheel me through the hallways. Which was fun, but I felt like I was on House or General Hospital or something. Here I was being dramatically wheeled on a gurney through the halls of the emergency room. 

Andrew didn't stay with me for the scan, much to my dismay, and the guy that was running the machine gave me the creeps. He was generally nice, but there was something about him that was just off, and I just wanted to be taken back to the comfort of my brightly-lit ER room. 

After I went through the machine 3 times, holding my breath at different intervals each time, he wheeled me back to my room and told me it would be about 1/2 an hour to get results from the urologist. 

At this point I was feeling SO much better. The sharp pain was gone, the ache was gone, and there was just a dull pain in my back. After some time, the doctor came in to share his findings. The ureter on my left side, where the pain had been, was severely inflamed, causing them to think that I had just passed the stone either right before I came in, or in the very cup that sat on the counter. I told him I had seen things floating in the cup, and he scooted his little chair-stool over to my urine and took a look. It did indeed have remnants of the stone in it, and he seemed pleased with me. {Thank you, thank  you, I try to pass kidney stone just for you Dr. Leblanc.} He then scooted back to share that I also have a small stone in my right side, still in my kidney and that it could pass at any time. He told me it could pass tomorrow, or a year from tomorrow. At this point I was feeling almost completely better and I didn't even care that I had another stone. 

We talked about ways to prevent future stones, and he told me that I should try to collect the stone that I still had so that they could test it and figure out how to better help me prevent future issues.

And with that- I was done! 4 long hours after entering the hospital, I was out! We collected our things, and walked out to the car, following behind a police officer who was leading a sick, handcuffed man to his patrol vehicle. 

As we got in the car and drove home, I thanked Erron over and over for staying up half the night and keeping me calm. His selflessness was such an inspiration to me, and I hope I can be like that if roles are ever reversed.

Kidney stones SUCK. And I am more motivated than anything to drink lots of water now. I never ever want to experience the pain I was in last night ever again, and I will do whatever it takes to keep them away!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sad Songs Don't Make Happy People

I know you all know that feeling. Bad day = sad songs on repeat. That has been my routine like 3 out of all 7 days in a week. I have a sort of sad day, and then I just decide to listen to sad songs about heartbreak and sorrow. 

It's always worked in the past, I get sad, listen to my sappy sad crap, I feel better, I move on. But lately I've realized that my sad music has really taken a toll on me! I'll have a sort of sad day, and listen to sad music and then the next day is worse and then I'm belting these songs out while I drive wanting to cry, and then the next day I end up crying at some point. It's a vicious cycle. And I've realized that dwelling on the sadness, even by listening to completely innocent songs about your problem, does NOT help you feel better. 

If you want to feel better--you have to change your outlook! You cannot just dwell in sadness and hope that it will help you feel better because even though music isn't a person: "misery loves company" and you'll just wind up in a nasty cycle of sadness.

On that note, I did listen to "Dear John" like 11,000 times today. (Can you say Taylor Swift obsessed this week!?) The lyrics are just so powerful that I get chills every time. I also love that it isn't necessarily a sad song, rather it tells a story. (Which I believe is MY story...) It starts sad, and turns into this empowering message that "hey I wasn't wrong--YOU were!" 

 But still! Happy songs are what are going to create happy people, and I need to remember that in the future. Even when times get somber.

I also need to remember not to dwell on the past through my words or thoughts. I went through a rather sour experience a few years back and I was talking to my friend Aubree who had gone through a similar issue. She advised me to write down everything that had happened and then delete it. Well I decided to start writing it down, and although I'm not even close to being done, I know I have issues. Ha, I told Aubree that I am so uber morbid and creepy because I don't WANT to delete it! I seriously want to just read it again later on and be able to feel that pain again and again. (Can you say masochist? Yikes!)

But I think it's human nature to want to punish ourselves. We have regrets and it's not necessarily easy to move past them and forgive ourselves. With time we might heal and become whole again, but there are going to be periods of sadness, I think it's just part of human nature. 

Okay, again, this post got super dark and gloomy. And I do apologize for that, but at the same time, not really because I think it's important that I get my feelings out in the open and move past them.

I've been pretty happy lately. It's been weeks since I really felt down in the dumps. And then today happened. And I felt rotten. I wasn't able to fall asleep last night because I knew what was going to happen, but I also knew that I couldn't avoid it and that I needed to face it. 

"It" wasn't really a big deal for many people, it was just a discussion in one of my classes. But I knew it was going to be painful. Probably because I'm weak, but also just because I'm human. I ended up leaving class and calling Erron in tears. I used our emergency code (calling 2 times in a row) to ensure that I spoke with him. I then proceeded to sit outside in the freezing cold sobbing my eyes out to him. The poor guy was apologizing, and I could tell I was just making him feel sad, but I didn't know what else to do. I couldn't go to my English class, and that only made things worse because of how guilty I felt for skipping it yet again. 

Erron tried to get me to tell him what I was sad about, but honestly I couldn't remember anything. He asked me to tell him what we had talked about in class and all I could remember was hearing certain phrases and then staring blankly at the whiteboard ahead of me. He then asked me if I started to cry in class. Of course I didn't cry! I'm not a crier unless I am by myself or with somebody that I absolutely trust completely. I think a lot of people would think I'm a pretty strong (emotionally, NOT physically.....hahahahah) person, because when I am in public I hold my head high, I smile, and I make sure I am not deflecting my problems onto people. But the truth is that I am such a mess. When I am alone I am completely opposite. I cry, I yell into the mirror, and I am a complete grump. 

I feel almost two-faced, but I don't know how to act any other way. I don't want other people to feel my pain. I don't want them to feel like they have to help me. Because the truth is, most of the time, only I can help myself. I just wish I could be as strong of a person in private that I am in public. I guess if that happened I'd probably turn into like some sort of hot super hero though. And I'm not ready for that kind of career in my life. (:

I guess the bottom line is that I need to be happy as a person. My life is so incredible. And I am blessed beyond belief by my friends, family, and Heavenly Parents. I just hope someday I can help somebody with everything I am learning today. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Civil Rights Today

I'm a white girl from Salt Lake City, UT. I did a stint in Southern CA from years 3-8 in my life, but I wouldn't say I come from a very urban area, at all. I realize my opinion isn't weighted too highly in the scope of things, especially when it comes to civil rights. 

Have we heard of Ferguson? Yes? Good. No? Yes you have, let me recap: black boy fatally shot by white cop in St. Louis, MO last August.

Ever since that case people have been going nuts all over America about white privilege and the safety of blacks. I think we all need to chill out. What bothers me the most is that these black folks living in St. Louis aren't allowed to feel outraged by the death of a young man living in their community. 

What also bothers me is that life isn't just or fair. At all. It kills me to think that we label people by their race, religion, or anything else.

In my History 1700 class the big theme for the class has been the topic of "you can't change human nature." It's such a sad thought--but I've come to the conclusion that human nature can evolve and become beautiful, but you can't change the way humans naturally are. And I don't believe we ever will be able to. I think there will always be hatred in the world. Somebody is always going to be angry at somebody for doing something. And that anger towards one person could turn into anger for a community. 

I know in my personal experience that I hate a boy that lives in Lehi, UT. And it doesn't make any sense but I absolutely cannot stand that city. It pained me to move 3 minutes away from there. And when I hear that anybody is from Lehi, the bad taste in my mouth that I hold for one individual is automatically transferred to this {probably awesome} person that I am hearing about. I feel stupid writing it, but it's true. And when I think about the people in Missouri and throughout America, outraged at the prejudice that happens there, I completely understand {on a different level} what they are dealing with. 

The painful truth is that we don't understand what other people are feeling. We don't understand what factors into their lives, that makes them feel pain towards certain people or situations. Take Ferguson for example--we have no idea what happened there. And we never will. We can get pieces of the story from the media, but lets be honest- we hear what they feed us so that we will buy what they are advertising. It's a simple business model. 

We all need to chill out, and try to see the other persons perspective. Even if it's a "stupid" opinion to us, the world will spin a whole lot smoother if we work as a team to fix the injustice in the government and in humanity.

Civil rights are still an issue nowadays because we are all humans. And civil rights are bigger than just minority groups. They are human rights. I would urge you to look around your family, community, nation, and even around the globe today. Try to see the suffering that is happening and do something about it! Smile at somebody you don't like. Get involved in a group to bring awareness to your cause. If there isn't already a group-start one! Be the bigger person, be a honest and upstanding citizen, and protect those around you from harm and sadness.