It was at this point in my pregnancy with Addie that I attempted to end both her life and my own.

Much of my life story can be told through pictures. Bad boyfriends, vacations, new friends, old friends, bad outfit choices and even worse hair choices.

But there are no pictures from that three month long period of my pregnancy with Addie.

There is really only one picture from my struggle with depression this time around. And I think it kind of speaks for itself.

23 weeks.

It’s hard to look at, but I’m grateful I have it.

There are also no pictures from the Spring of 2009 and certainly not many pictures from late fall of 2009.

These were two of the darkest seasons of my life. Having photos from them would only proves to be a constant reminder of how much was wrong, despite everything looking right through the lens of a camera.

here but not there, hiding.

Camera lenses can be excellent liars in the hands of a skilled person, I perhaps am a better liar. I can plaster on a smile for a camera that would never alert you to just how broken and destroyed I am inside. But when I look back at the photo? There is a place in my heart that aches, knowing that girl in the picture was lying with her whole body.

There is one photo in particular. I can’t stand to look at it. I haven’t even bothered looking for it, it hurts too much. That I could put on that convincing of a show…

Periods of my life remain photographically dark for good reason, however when the light comes back…so do the photographs.

The first photo I took at the end of a horrible 2009 was this one…

365 painting with light. kissing with lips.

My love for that man has continued to grow exponentially every single day since this photo was taken.

Just as I have to be so careful about the people and outside influences (mainly the media) I allow into my life no matter how healthy my brain is, I must also control what gets remembered with such permanence as a photograph.

ouch.

Comments

  1. this made me cry. perhaps b/c of how much I relate. Smiling to cover up my insides.

    xoxo

  2. I appreciate this post. My brain struggles, too, and I understand what you mean about being so careful about what you let in. I never thought about the photographs, even though I have some that it makes me feel ill to look at. I’m going to take this post as a word of advice.
    Also, I’m glad you’re here and your website is full of beautiful work.

  3. <3

  4. I think many artists feel this way. There is healing in producing art while in pain, but then the pain is immortalized forever.

  5. Sending big squishy hugs, for the good and bad days…

  6. i don’t know what to say, but wanted to comment that i read this.

    thank you casey.

  7. It’s so interesting to me that you can go back through your photographs and pick out those spots of time and see with such clarity what was happening. I’m curious to see if I went back through my photos what I would see.

  8. Huge hugs!

  9. That last picture of you??? STUNNING!!!!!

  10. Last photo…. wow. On a more shallow note, you that particular shot of you reminds me of Audrey Hepburn.

  11. Very moving.

    I am glad there is more light now and more photographs.

  12. Oh Casey… hearts.

  13. Amy in StL says:

    Aw, what a pretty girl. That is all, just you, being beautiful.

  14. Your eyes, in that last picture, make me want to hug you and not let go. I’m so proud of your fight, Casey. I know it’s not easy, but it’s so worth it.

  15. I love you to the moon and back a million times.

    I love Cody for being your rock and taking such good care of my wonderful, loving friend.

    I don’t know what I would do without you in my life.

    XOXOXOXOXOXOX

  16. Yes.

    Last fall was so ugly and painful for me, everything was stuck and unmoving. In January, the words started to flow again. Slowly.

    The memories are too raw and painful to bear. I’m glad there aren’t many reminders.

  17. I had never thought about it before but you’re totally right. The times when my inner life is darkest there are no pictures, no matter how joyous the outer life is. On the one hand, it makes me sad that my children will see gaps in our photographic history and know those are the moments when I couldn’t bear to document life. But on the other, how could I?

  18. so beautiful. you, your honesty, your photos. thanks for sharing.

  19. sometimes it hurts looking back to see an noticeable absence of “mommy” in pics of Eddie in his first year.

    but i know i don’t want to remember that person anyway.

    you’ve come a long way, baby.

  20. Wow, you are stunningly beautiful.
    Thanks for being real. Thanks for being you.
    Thanks for sharing this most difficult journey you’re on.
    Thanks for allowing me to see that it’s okay if I don’t succeed every day with my motto “Fake it ’til you make it!”
    HUGS!

  21. As always, thank you for sharing yourself with us. I was looking for a picture yesterday and opened the folder with pics from the day we hung out. We were at Coldstone. I had to smile thinking of how far you’ve come since that day. {hugs}

  22. Well. Even in your darkest moments, you’re still so beautiful. And THAT is not fake.

  23. couldn’t agree more which is why there are not as many portraits of myself as have been over the past eight or so years. Going through dark times are not something I want to record and I do feel fake some days faking it until things are not so ****ty. Even still, I do have the photos when you can see true happiness and joy in my eyes. I long for those again. Soon. I like it will be soon.

  24. Beautiful post. Big Hugs! I always wonder what people will think of me when they see my pictures. Will it all seem so fake?

  25. *hugs*

  26. You have once again put into words feelings I have a hard time speaking out loud.
    My love/hate relationship with my photos (ones I have taken, ones of me) is a constant struggle. I am very emotionally attached and invested in each frame. And that is scary to put out there.

    You are so beautiful. Inside and Out.

  27. I have a handful of photos from my first pregnancy and the immediate aftermath as well. I’m also missing pictures from the first three months of my second son’s life. I just couldn’t… even though it’s my passion. I misplaced my passion in the depth of my depression.

    I’m sending you lots of strength right now.

  28. Beautiful post. Beautiful photos. I really admire your honesty. And you’ve helped me feel a little less guilty about the “holes” in our photo albums over the past few years. Thank you.

  29. Love. You.

    Casey, only through your words and your shared stories, do I have any glimpse of the hell that you’ve experienced.

    I am so in awe of your strength, your power, your voice, you.

  30. You are beautiful on the inside and the outside.

    I’ll just be over here smiling, in the corner…

  31. I never thought about photos that way before…“Character, like film…”

    PS Amazing eyelashes.

  32. I feel like this post was written about me, but it also made me realize that maybe not taking pictures around my depressing times in life is okay.

  33. My life has changed dramatically in the last week (well, at least my outlook on my career, which I’d always assumed would never change). This post (while beautiful) makes me think I should not take any photos of myself; (I’m actually getting choked up typing this) I don’t want to capture this sadness, because I’m hoping it will go away eventually and I will be carefree once again. thanks (no, really :)

  34. I get this. I wish I didn’t but I do. I am a master of diguise. People were shocked when they finally found out the inner turmoils I was experiencing.
    I have photographs during my dark times and I chose to destroy most of them. I don’t want to remember.
    Hugs and thank you for sharing this difficult story. You are helping so many women…

  35. I have pictures like this, where I can’t bear to look.

    I know, it’s only me that reads this into the pictures…and to everyone else it’s just a picture.

    But I know what was in my mind at the time.

    It just kills me.

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