I remember the first time I met you. I was seven years old, you came holding the knowledge of freedom. I saw you in the eyes of the other children my age, who had no shoes on their feet. I saw you in the lifeless body of a baby, left on the streets, touched only by the parasites eating away it’s skin. I saw you in these nightmares. I was seven and no one in my school talked about death. I was seven, so I thought that I should not raise any questions. You locked me in my imaginations.
Then, I was nine and you came back. You called me stupid, lazy and a failure because I could not understand what was being taught in school. I tried so hard and yet would fail every Hindi exam. You made me worry about the money being wasted in private school education. You told me that I was unwanted, a burden and I was sad for no reason. But, I was nine and I didn’t know your name, so I couldn’t voice the torments you put in my head. You didn’t leave for the next three years.
Then, I was thirteen. You showed up with a gift and pressed it against my skin. I watched the blood drip. I was in so much pain, yet it was nothing compared to how much you screamed inside my head. It was too painful to bleed and I wanted to stop, but you would not stop until you held my body in your hands. Then, I was fifteen. I lost myself in religion and almost defeated you. You, the egomaniac, could not handle the defeat. You loved me so much you drew a curtain over my eyes of dying children in Syria, Egypt and Palestine and I felt their deaths as if they were my own children. I couldn’t cry enough, I wanted to scream in pain. And still, no one at school talked about death.
Then I was seventeen, eighteen and nineteen. Depression, you will not rest until you take away my family, my friends, my success, my ambitions, my life. You shaped my history and became a replacement for the love that I lost. Your roots are tangled so tightly with my childhood. You are the only friend I recognise and I see you in my reflection, in my shadow, in my nightmares. Yours is the voice that burns and withers in my head. You know me as deeply as I know you.
Now look at me, how I am breaking your chains. I am defeating you once again. Are you shocked to see that I have not given up? I unlocked my door and ignited my shame. The solution was just that simple, I had to learn how to pronounce your name.
Yours, I will never be. You will never hold the power to finish my story. This time, it is you who has failed. You will not be missed.