Change

Change is inevitable - a process of acceptance and reflection,

"I could be addicted to worst things."

One.

"This could be drugs."

Two.

"Seriously, this isn't a real addiction."

Three.

I sat in my twin size bed surrounded by three unopened bags of Halls brand cherry cough drops. It had only been two weeks since I had moved to New York City but had still managed to find enough time to learn of all the local drug stores in a 25 mile radius that sold them. I knew what routes got me there the quickest and was quick to figure out what routes took me there the longest (for when I wanted to get an extra workout in).

If one store didn't have the Halls brand, I didn't purchase any other. If they didn't have cherry flavored Halls I didn't purchase any other flavor.

They had to be red cherry flavored Halls.

It was three months after my first visit with a clinical therapist that I began a similar routine. The therapist had labeled it exogenous depression. I just called it my day-to-day.

But there wasn't any reason to be depressed - seriously.

I grew up in a trailer home, but at least I had a home.

I grew up with two parents who "stayed together for the kids," but at least I had two parents who stayed together for the kids.

I had no reason to be depressed - especially after just turning 18.

All my life I had been know as a "smart" girl. I had two amazing older siblings who paved the way, so to speak, for my success once I got to college.

It didn't hurt that I was on a scholarship too, and had the luxury of not having to work my freshman year. On top of that, I was attending one of the top globally ranked universities.

"What was wrong in my life?

Thats what I kept asking myself before every weekly therapy session.

My therapist, who I will refer to us as Linda, was kind. She was sweet, she was patient, and genuinely seemed to have an interest in what I was going through.

Except that I really couldn't voice exactly was I was going through.

I felt like she deserved to be paid a little extra for sitting through my one hour rambling sessions. I was saying so much but was not saying anything at all.

i needed some liquid courage - the PG version - so I began to indulge in Rockstar energy drinks.

"I could be addicted to worst things."

One.

"This could be drugs."

Two.

"Seriously, this isn't a real addiction."

Three.

People around me would shrug it off.

"Wow. Do they really work that well?" "How can you drink so many?" "Are you actually tired all the time?"

It was easy to come up with excuses. No one knew that I was on academic probation.

Being a girl with two majors, a strong work ethic, and involvement in many student organizations, it was easy to say that I was just really busy.

It was easy to make people believe that - and it was true - to some extent.

I was busy with therapy, support groups, and meditation exercises. It wasn't hard to sneak away and have people assume that I was just in some event or doing homework.

If the ability to hide depression was a college course, I would have gotten an A,

I had become so good at hiding emotions that when it actually came time to feel emotions there weren't any there.

By the time that midterms rolled around, My mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

And while I cried when I got the phone call, I didn't feel any emotion after.

Things had changed and things were about to continue changing.

"I could be addicted to worst things."

One.

"This could be drugs."

Two.

"Seriously, this isn't a real addiction."

Three.

I never realized what the drinks were doing until I stopped drinking them about 8 months into therapy.

Suddenly it was like someone had powered a machine off after leaving it running for years.

My mom had gone into remission, I was off academic probation. I was doing better in my classes, and met my two best friends from college.

Life was on my side, I thought. Until those feelings woke up again.

You can't kill depression, but it can kill you.

By this time my junior year rolled around, energy drinks had become cough drops, and the routine had begun again.

"I could be addicted to worst things."

One.

"This could be drugs."

Two.

"Seriously, this isn't a real addiction."

Three.

Why did I pick cough drops?

I guess I picked something that I knew would be anywhere and no matter where I was, I would be able to find them. And the same went for the energy drinks too.

No matter where I was, this would always be the same.

The thing is though, things can't always remain the same.

I could be addicted to worst thing, but I could be addicted to better things as well.

It's time for change to become one.