My Other Self

By Laura Andrews

Her name is ‘Lola’ … at least that’s what I call her. And yes, she is a showgirl although being a showgirl, she doesn’t crave the limelight, but she likes to perform.

She came into my life after my first-born as post-natal depression. She rose her ugly head again on the breakdown of my marriage. And that time she really performed: six suicide attempts, self-harm – you name it. She really showed off and I was sectioned to protect me from her. She’s been here with me for nearly 20 years now, popping in and out of my life, visiting me. She’s here now, she took over again, she cut my arms, she made me hate myself again. I know she will disappear again at some point, and life will carry on, but she will be back! Friends tell me to be positive: “You’ll be fine.”

But they don’t have her in their lives; they don’t have a Lola. That shadow that follows you every day, who hides, waiting, biding her time! Who even in your happiest times is lurking in the corner of your eye. Prodding you now and again to remind you that she’s there! I dream, every day I dream, that Lola will die..

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