I have a stalker.
They've been a menacing presence in my life since I was 20.
And since their appearance during my second year at university, there has been no escape. They've been every where I turned. Every where I looked.
They threatened my life. And they filled me with self loathing and hatred. Setting me on a path to self-destruction.
At one point they managed to break me. I was destroyed. A shell of a human being.
For a moment my life stopped. I was still breathing but I didn't know how to live. I didn't know how to be. Lucy had gone. I had been consumed.
But day by day their vice like grip loosened. And I slowly put myself back together.
I was no longer the person I had been. I was different. Being destroyed and then rebuilt changes your make up. It changes your DNA. I evolved. And they lost interest in the new me.
Over time I'd forget the threat they presented. I'd stop looking anxiously over my shoulder. I'd become reckless. I acted in a way that I knew would provoke them.
This foolishness would have one inevitable result. They would creep back in to my life. And once again my life would be turned upside down.
I can't even remember how many times this has happened. I have blocked it out. My memory has holes in it. Minutes, hours, days and weeks that have been banished.
Of course, it often comes back in my dreams. My subconscious taunting me. Forcing me to relive the moments that I want to bury. The times when my stalker was pulling my strings.
I wish I could say that my stalker no longer impacts my life. But they do. And they don't just affect my life. They threaten the happiness of my family. My two precious children and my loving husband. And for that I despise them.
But I can't escape them. I can keep them at bay. But they will not die.
Sadly, the past month has seen my stalker reappear in my life.
At first, I didn't notice. The tell-tale signs were there but I chose to ignore them.
But they would not be ignored.
And eventually I had to accept them and embrace them in order to minimise the damage that they could cause. So I opened the door and let them in.
And once again I was face to face with my stalker.
This time they appeared diminished. Smaller. I had the upper hand. I knew what I needed to do to beat them.
So, dear stalker. Dear depression.
I hope you realise that you have now met your match. I am stronger than you think I am.
Many years ago you tried to destroy me. Yet even with all the powers at your disposal you failed. And by failing you built a powerful enemy.
I am no longer that fragile pathetic little girl. Over the years I have become strong.
You aren't the only force to cause heartbreak in my life. But I've survived.
And I am now a mother. Motherhood has made me brave and fierce. Something you could never understand.
Yes, you scare me. I would be stupid to say otherwise. But I will NOT be beaten.
And if I were you I'd be less cocky. Less self-assured. Because I am not the push over you think I am.
So dear stalker, goodbye.
Until the next time.