Dumbledore is the best spiritual guide there ever was. Well, no, I don’t mean that Harry Potter is real. What I am saying is that his priceless gems of wisdom helped me in my journey of healing. Of course the real credit goes to J. K. Rowling but its cooler to say that Dumbledore saved my life.

For those who have read Harry Potter –you know what I mean. For those that haven’t – go read it now! In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (spoiler alert) Harry is the last horcrux. A part of Voldemort that lives in harry and to defeat Voldemort that part needs to die and that part needs to be killed by Voldemort himself. And this can only work if Harry as a brave courageous man went forth and gave himself up to Voldemort, without fighting, without trying to protect himself and just face what he thought would be his death. He didn’t die. This has been one of the greatest lessons of my life.

I was recently diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety and PTSD – all at once. I have been diagnosed with depression at various points in my life. And my biggest fear is depression itself. Every time I was diagnosed with depression I thought it was a phase caused by external events – leaving home, coming out, break up, etc And every time I would fight it and then would think I won. I thought my depression is like Voldemort who would attack me at the end of every school year and then, once I would win the story was over. But then I started developing fear of it – fear of Voldemort. It made it difficult for me to deal with emotions because I was scared that Voldemort would come back. I had fear of depression. In fact depression was not so much of a problem as much the fear of depression which stopped me from dealing with depression itself. But then Dumbledore changed my perspective.

I realized that really I only had to deal with that part of Voldemort in me to kill Voldemort itself – I just had to kill depression and the fear would go away. And then I realized even that wasn’t completely true.

In deathly hallows, Harry didn’t kill Voldemort – Voldemort killed himself. He first killed the part of him in Harry and then when he tried yet again to kill Harry in the final battle, his curse rebounded and killed himself. Harry even tried to warn Voldemort but he didn’t listen. And Harry came out of it, his soul intact.

That’s when it hit me. I had to kill fear to end depression. Depression wasn’t Voldemort. Fear is Voldemort. Depression is just dementors – a patronus charm (like medication) and happy thoughts and love defeats dementors. As for Voldemort, I just needed to be like Harry – go forth and face it, not knowing if I would live or die. But just go forth and face it. And it will kill itself. And that’s what I did. And that’s how I lived to tell this tale.

Dumbledore once said – “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself”. And it is likely that he may also say – “fear feeds on fear” and “fear of something makes only fear stronger”.

Facing fear killed my fear – it killed my Voldemort. And now I can take on the dementors!

– Abha Talesara