THE BLOG
10/28/2016 01:37 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Fighting Depression? Name Your Dragon

Drizella Tremaine is Cinderella's ugly stepsister on the right.

When Cinderella manages to make a bow out of scraps, Drizella rips it off her head. When Cinderella and her magical mice piece together a gown from cast-offs, Drizella shreds it.When Cinderella finds and dusts off the one precious item she owns--her departed mother's pearl necklace--Drizella tears it from Cinderella's neck.

Drizella tells Cinderella: "How dare you think YOU can go to the ball? All you're fit for is sweeping ashes out of the fireplace, and you aren't even good at that!"

Drizella's sole job is to keep Cinderella small, scared and sad, so she will sit silent on a little stool in the corner where she will not dream of singing, dancing, laughing or loving.

••• It took me a long time--over 10 months-- to recognize that the increasingly loud, ugly, mean, angry voice in my head was not in fact me, but clinical depression.

After I got the medical and therapeutic help I badly needed, I named the depression Drizella, because while it may be own personal pearl-ripping, gown-detroying, small-keeping, fire-breathing mind-monster, it is NOT ME.

"Drizella Depression" is my dragon.

Naming Drizella gave me the power to separate the real me from the depression. Once I named Drizella, I could fight her. Because she wasn't me. She was the ugly stepsister intent on keeping me small.Once I named my dragon, I could say:

NO.

NO Drizella, I will not sit silent on a little stool in the corner.

NO Drizella, I will not stop dreaming of singing, dancing, laughing or loving.

NO, Drizella. I will not give up and give in and let you rip everything beatiful from my life and leave me in rags.You may have convinced me in the past, but that's done.

NO, Drizella. I know who you are; I know what you are trying to do, and you are not getting away with it. Not today.

NO.

So recognize your dragon. Mine is depression. Maybe yours is anxiety, fear, grief, self-doubt. Maybe the voice in your head is your perfectionist mother, your absent father, your abusive pastor. But whatever breathes fire in your mind, that is NOT you. It is your dragon. Name your dragon.

When you name your dragon, you take back your power. You take back yourself. You take back your future.

And if your dragon's name is silly and makes you laugh--like Drizella--all the better.

 For daily inspiration & ideas, follow Reba Riley, author of Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: One Woman's Desperate, Funny, Healing Journey To Explore 30 Religions By Her 30th Birthday on:

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Or check out her Random Acts of Kindness (R.A.K.s of the Day) and Library Yoga on Instagram.

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