Finding Me: How Going to Therapy Helped Me Reclaim My Happiness

by Krista White

I sat there, sobbing on the counter, eating an entire bag of shredded cheese and thought, “Maybe I need to change something in my life.” So naturally I continued sobbing and finished the bag of cheese. Everyone’s depression is different. Some people turn to drugs. Some people have a gratuitous sex with strangers. And others retreat into themselves, only coming out of their messy dorm room to devour ungodly amounts of cheese. I almost wish I were the “make reckless choices” brand of depressive. That might have been kind of fun. But no, when I was deeply depressed for about half of my college career, I mostly cried, ate, slept, and watched LOST.

I’ve always been what my mother politely called “sensitive” and what she now calls “dramatic.” In high school I would lie in my room listening to “Chasing Pavements” for hours when my crush rejected me. I’ve cried over botched auditions and my current 90-minute commute. You’d cry too if you saw my gas receipts. But I’d never been so sad for such a sustained period as I did in college. It seemed as if there was no end in sight.

At the beginning of my junior year, I started seeing a therapist. Let’s call her Lauren. She helped me, sort of. She was this mildly crazy Jewish woman with a cozy little office in the Upper West Side. We talked about boys and school and she sent me to a psychiatrist who charged too much money and gave me drugs that made me feel better then worse then nothing at all. I stopped taking the drugs, even though Lauren told me to “pop a klonny” if I ever felt overwhelmed. (That was her pet name for klonopin). But Lauren did help me get it together enough to finish my junior year. All jokes aside, therapy is a wonderful resource and anyone considering it should give it the old college try. It can take pressure off of you and your relationships (even your mom doesn’t want to hear about that same old issue again).

The real thing I got out of therapy was learning about why I did what I did. I didn’t learn how to fix all of my problems, but I did learn how to manage things. I realized a lot of my issues go back to my parents. (Don’t they always). I wasn’t connecting with people because my mom had always pulled information out of me and been forthcoming with her own life. I adore my mom and think she’s wonderful, but with her nudging me along I never had to try. So when I went to college, I didn’t know how to truly connect. And my closest friends noticed and began to pull away. They didn’t want to be friends with a girl who took and took without once asking “but how are you? What do you need?” I didn’t mean to be, but I was a selfish friend. And having distant friends sent me spiraling into a pattern of “reach out, feel rejected, sink deeper.” What I learned, and what I’m still learning everyday is that we must be generous with our time, our thoughts, and our words. As much as we have to learn to love ourselves, we also have to love others, and let them love us. It’s no easy feat to remain open when you have been wounded, but I’ve found that I now have friends who will take the cheese away when I’m sad. Or better yet, eat it with me.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A recent college grad, Krista White is a writer, actress and blogger currently working in PR. She reading, travel, and binge-watching Netflix series. You can follow her on twitter at @kristanicki, or read her blog on

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