As she stepped out of the chair, it was a new her, a new woman’s reflection which stared back at her. From long locks of hair to a rough pixie cut. The change was drastic. It was what she needed. It was the first change in a series of changes that she needed.

Later that week she was headed states upon states away with her team. She surprised everyone with her hair as they gushed over how adorable it was and how great she looked. She was fine with these things.

The long weekend away from home was emotional. See, she plays roller derby and was at a weekend long tournament with her team. They had been there before, and so had some of the other teams, but it felt like everyone had stepped up their caliber but her team. They played down. She played, a lot. Her team mates fouled out of games and where she had vowed to never do that, she did in the last game. Each defeat went into the record books and was forever captured on the internet. Roller derby had never brought her so many tears.

The team left the tournament before the closing announcements and trophy awards to beat traffic. They knew where they stood – at the bottom of the list, which is actually where they would stay for quite some time after that.

She came home with knots in her stomach. All week she avoided her boyfriend, Henry, and come Friday she jumped in a friends car to head off on a weekend camping trip.

After a weekend of wet clothes, attempting to dry off by the fire, cards and s’mores she came back home. She still felt the knotting twist in the deep spire of her stomach. She didn’t want to be home, not with Henry there. She had fallen out of whatever kind of love she was with him. The choice she would next make pained her more deeply then the knot in her stomach. It tore at the strings of her heart. It made her mind wonder with fear, a sea of ‘what if’s’.

She sat sheepishly at the other end of the couch, head buried in her phone, Henry at the other end deeply involved with a video game. And then it happened. Then he asked a question about her behavior and she responded I don’t think I want to do this any more, I don’t think I’m in love with you.

Henry left that day and it would begin the long awkward process of removing him from her life.

Henry would come back to the house and attempt to win her over by leaving flowers, candy and stuffed animals while she was gone. By spending the night in the house he had been asked to leave, eating her food and leaving a mess for her to clean up. He would use all of her pink post-it notes to make a giant arrow two hallways long. He would leave another gift at the end of the post-it note trail, one that she would never open or see. He would show up at her parent’s house insisting she was there. He would show up at her house, the house they once shared, moments after she finished changing the locks. He would yell and scream. He would walk to the back of the house where he knew he could still get in. He would be greeted by the cops, who were the only reason he would be let in.

Later he would message her dad asking if it was a good time to reach out to her again. He would be told you should really think about it and moments later emailed her. He invited her to a show she already had a date to go with and tickets to. She said no.

She wasn’t really lost in life, but not really found either. She was happy, but also in so much pain. The changes had happened, they occurred. For better or for worse things had changed; people had come and people had gone.

New things had found her – anxiety and depression. She struggled with this dichotomy, she had wonderful things, she was loved unconditionally – how could she be depressed? And sure, she got nervous, but anxiety? Get outta here. But, doctors confirmed they were true and as she thought she was stabilizing after a year of change, she was now learning to live with these new things.

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