Last year, I was on the Lehigh track and field team. Everything was great. I was at my “dream” school and was doing what I loved. I had 100 friends and was having the time of my life. Things changed quickly.
It was March 18, 2019, a day I will never forget. We just came back from spring break, and I was ready to get things going again. I just finished throwing and was on my way to lift when my coach said: “Hey Katie, can we talk?” I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous in my life.
I knew it was bad when he said, “Let’s take a walk.” He then informed me that he was cutting me from the team. It was the worst walk of my life. Tears started flowing down my face. I didn’t know what I was going to do without track and field. How could this happen?
Luckily for me, I had the best support system. I had my family and friends who stuck by me when it mattered most. For the remaining months of my freshman year, I pretended that I was OK, and I just tried not to think about it.
When people ask me if I miss track, my answer is always, “No.” The truth is, I do miss track. I miss the people the most, and that won’t ever change.
Fast forward to August 2019. I just wasn’t excited about going back to school. My brothers couldn’t wait to move back to school, but I was dreading it.
Aug. 24, 2019, the day I moved back to Lehigh. My mom asked me if I was excited. I immediately broke down.
Lehigh was and is my dream school, so there’s no way I could be sad, right? That’s what I kept telling myself. Even in your happiest moments, you can be sad, too.
The next couple of weeks were the worst weeks of my entire life. This isn’t a sob story, and I don’t want people to feel bad for me because “I’m good right now.” The truth is, I just want to help people and encourage them to ask for help.
When I moved back to campus in August, I didn’t want to do anything but cry. I was depressed, and for the first time in my life, I realized I couldn’t run from it. This was something that I was going to have to face.
I remember calling my mom and balling my eyes out. She told me that I should make an appointment with the Counseling Center. I told her no at first, as I was honestly ashamed. Over time, however, I realized there’s no reason to be ashamed.
It got to the point where I couldn’t even focus in class because I was crying all the time. I would look at people and get sad because it seemed like they were having the time of their life.
About a week or two into my sophomore year, I decided to finally call the Counseling Center and make an appointment. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I don’t think I would be sitting here, writing this edit desk, if it weren’t for the help I received.
Several different therapists suggested I attend group therapy. At first I was still embarrassed and sad, but my mom told me something that would stick with me forever. I would call her and tell her I just want to feel normal again.
“Minute by minute, no more — no less,” is what she would tell me. This quote changed my life. And from there on out, I decided that I needed to take it “Minute by Minute, No More — No Less.”
It’s OK to not be OK, and over time, I realized that. If you’re feeling down or you just want to talk to someone, I encourage you to ask for help.
Katie McNulty, ’22, is an associate sports editor for the Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected]