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February 24, 2022

She Finally Told Me Her Name.


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I was alone in the dark for many years, piecing together her cryptic identity.

The more I scraped, the more the truth eroded, leaving me burdened with more questions than answers. Other tasks on my to-do list accumulated dust as I embarked on a quest to uncover her identity, and it drained the life out of me silently—from inside out.

After years of wallowing in confusion and darkness, she finally told me her name.

Box checked. Mystery solved. Puzzle complete.

Knowing her name is a liberating revelation, but the path to true liberation is paved with forgiveness. To regain control of my life and enjoy wholesome healing and living, I must walk this path and forgive her for all the pain and suffering and mental ache she caused.

As crazy as it sounds, forgiveness is easy—but how do I forget?

I remember crying myself to sleep many a night, seeking and pleading to know her name—the missing piece to unlocking her complex nature.

She watched on, unmoved.

Despite my best and even desperate efforts to put a name to the voice which ushered me into dreamland, all she offered was a cold and ominous smirk.

I hate her as much as I love her—it’s kind of complicated.

Our relationship started when I was in high school. I was young and naïve. She was enigmatic and enchanting, unlike anyone I ever met.

We were from two different worlds, but it didn’t matter—I was just glad to have a friend who knew and composed much of my thoughts when the world seemed preoccupied and out of sync.

Her presence, though dark and dreamy, provided the warmth and connection I craved. We went everywhere and did everything together. We held hands like lovebirds and spent endless hours under the sheets, playing silly games, which always ended with me in tears. Then she would mimic my ugly crying face and make me laugh.

We fooled around for years, flirting casually, until she interrupted one of my many monologues.

She asked to be the center of my world.

She wanted my time, access to my mind, and ownership of my body. My feelings and expressions also had to be born of her, by her, and for her.

Who in their right mind would surrender such power?

I balked at her ridiculous demands and threatened to walk away, but she grabbed me and hugged me and whispered into my ear.

She promised to always be there.

She knew I loved hugs and many other things she could use to her advantage—things I didn’t tell her, things I didn’t even know about myself.

Seduced by her charm and profoundness, I put down my defenses in surrender, trading autonomy for companionship. The reward for compromising was a deeper and more personal connection. All I had to do was to claim her—I had to call her by her name.

So, I asked her, “What is your name?”

Her disappointing gaze pierced through me as she turned her back and headed for the door. In a moment which felt like forever, life without her flashed before my eyes. It was cold and lonely, so I grabbed her and hugged her. Then she whispered into my ear.

She told me to stop asking questions I already knew the answers to.

I was not ready to probe or challenge her even though it made little sense—I was just glad our friendship was progressing because she made me feel seen and heard and wanted in a way no one else could.

I wanted to tell people about this new relationship, but how could I introduce someone whose name I didn’t know? She became a secret—my secret. It didn’t matter because she knew and composed much of my thoughts, and she promised to always be there.

People saw less and less of me, and no explanation for my unusual absence from places and company I used to enjoy added up. Even when I socialized, my emotions lacked definition, tainting the window of my experiences and blurring my view of the world.

All the vibrant and colorful expressions which characterized my persona soon bore attributes of a Broadway show designed to fool and distract onlookers from the real mechanics of a life orchestrated by one whose name I didn’t know.

Her presence loomed over everything, clouding my voice from within and my light from above, so much so that I could hardly distinguish my thoughts from hers or feel the warmth from the sun.

Everything appeared as they ought to, except for the unanswered question, which sowed doubt in my mind: What is her name?

The more I mulled over this question, the bigger the doubt grew. Her mysterious identity, once an awe-inspiring attribute, now bred anxiety and distrust and curiosity.

I wanted to claim and embrace all of her so I could explore the power of understanding—of knowing. But with every attempt I made to grab the light of truth, I sunk deeper into her bosom. Day and night, I expressed grief through every conceivable touch point on the emotional spectrum, but she remained adamant.

Nothing could crack her, so I did the unthinkable.

I asked for a break.

Unfazed by my tantrum-cum-tactics, she walked out and mingled with other people who seemed well-acquainted with her. These people didn’t just know her; they had unlocked the mystery behind her identity and claimed and embraced her like I always wanted to but couldn’t.

Watching her interact with others not only drove me insane, it inspired a reflection of our rocky relationship—how far we’d come and the times we shared. In that moment, rage and introspection collided, unearthing memories buried within.

She was right—I knew who she was all along.

Our paths crossed briefly and unexpectedly when I was younger. I was sitting alone—sad and scared—when she appeared out of nowhere and sat next to me like a fairy from a tale. She held my hand, looked into my eyes, and whispered into my ear.

She told me she knew what I was going through, and even if I didn’t have the words to express my thoughts and feelings, she could take it all away if I let her.

There was no time to forge an actual relationship, but she told me her name before disappearing into thin air. It all happened so fast that I convinced myself it was all a dream.

When she came back years later, she was a forgotten memory—but she never forgot about me and neither did she leave. She was always there: with me, in me, and beside me.

Sometimes when I felt her familiar presence, I called her by other names because no one would believe that I met her. And even if they did, I would become the laughingstock of my friends and family and society.

Times have changed. I’ve been to hell and back and I am ready to claim her because there is power in knowing and embracing all of her.

Her name is depression.


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