Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I have a stalker.

His name is Clinical Depression.

His aliases include melancholia, depression, rapid-cycling, a form of bipolar disorder without the really high highs... highs that just get me to functional or over achieving (like Darwin, who committed suicide (didn't you know?), and Lewis (of Lewis and Clark) who forged the Oregon Trail and discovered hundreds of species of plants and animals but whose records show periods of darkness, "episodes," when he could not even write.

I have a restraining order: a handful of pills each morning, a few more scattered throughout the day.

But a restraining order is just a plan. A plan that relies on a stalker's obedience.

Restraining orders do not eliminate stalkers. They are just directions.

For a criminal to follow.

As prey, I have to know that my stalker is out there and I have to learn to live despite his presence. I have to live bravely and fully and with confidence and gusto, even on days when all I really want to do is make sure the doors are locked and the phones are off, then pull the covers over my head and hide.

My stalker violated the restraining order, so I am asking for a stronger one.

I am also coming to learn that some stalkers are like that--they can't be stopped. Some stalkers find a way to break through the protective medications that shield their prey and then they hold their victims hostage.

If my stalker were human I might kill it. But it is a disease that has captured my brain chemistry, so I have to learn to manage it because there is no cure and it's the kind that breaks the rules.

This battle is my new reality. I have to be stronger than I ever wanted to be. Some people want to believe it will just go away, but I know that ignorance is not bliss. I would rather know the truth and work with it than just blindly hope for the best. Hope is powerful, but hope combined with the proper tools is also practical.

A New York Times article from today worth reading: "Living With..."

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