When we met many, many years ago, we were both so young. We were both so innocent. And we were both so ignorant: ignorant to the “truth”; of all the trials and tribulations life would bring; to the difficulties our lives would bring.
But what can I say? We were 12 and inexperienced. We were naive and unlearned.
But that soon changed. We changed. And thanks to circumstances beyond our control — things like death and divorce, moves and job losses — our eyes were opened. We were tougher. We had hardened, and neither innocence nor ignorance could save us. The only salvation we found was each other. (Well, that and angsty, angry metal music.)
And we clung to that; we held on tight to one another. We tried to save one another, because we were afraid of what would happen if we didn’t. Because we didn’t know how to let go.
Make no mistake: Our relationship is rooted in friendship and love, and it always will be. But we both carried baggage. We both brought yet-to-be diagnosed illnesses into our relationship — your alcoholism and my depression.
Our illnesses fed one another. We sickened each other.
But even now — now that things are better and we are both healing — my depression still permeates every aspect of our lives. It affects how we spend our days and what we do at night; and it affects how I speak to you.
It determines whether I hold you close or push you away.
And while I know I don’t have to say it — I know you have never asked me to say it — I am sorry. Not for my depression, but for how it changes me. For how it changes us.
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