The Shroud of Depression
I lay here at one in the morning, and I know I should be sleeping. But tonight, my body doesn’t feel inclined to follow the desires of my mind. Or maybe the mind refuses to listen to the direction of my body? Either way, the two are not in cooperation with each other.
I’ve found myself in the hell that is depression. Unfortunately, this is an all too familiar place for me. Too many hours, days, weeks, and months of my life have been spent enshrouded in the suffocating emptiness that depression breeds. It’s a very strange way to navigate life – you are in life, but you don’t feel as if you are a part of life. You’re not even an onlooker. It’s as if you are a ghost or an apparition and you know, somehow, that there is life – beautiful, glorious, extraordinary life – no more than a handspan away. If you could just step out of the shroud, shed the weighted cloak, break free of the chains, you could experience it again.
But you can’t step away from it and you don’t know why. You try, but the weight remains, and the vibrancy of life continues without you. Somewhere, where your heart lives, a vast emptiness threatens to engulf you, threatens to pull you under.
You see it, you feel it, you know it’s there, but by damn you won’t let it take you.
Because despite this shroud, despite the weight, the pain, and the fear that depression breeds, and despite the fact that there is a gaping chasm yawning open before you, a spark of hope still exists, burning just enough to remind you that there is a way home.
Home is not what most believe it to be. Home is not a place, or a person, or an idea. Home is You waiting for you. Home is the realization that the shrouded, scared, powerless person you believe yourself to be is not you at all. That version of you is truly the apparition, the ghost masquerading as you. The You that is waiting – that is who, deep down, you know yourself to be.
Who is that person?
Who are you?
Why do you fear You?\
That person – You – the person you discover when you pass beyond the shroud, when you take off the mask and the chains that enslave you now. That person is home.
And you know what that person is?
That person is extraordinary.
That person is vibrant.
That person is who your heart beats for.
That person has more power in the depths of their soul than you can ever fathom.
Because they have overcome. Because they have faced the darkness, have battled the fear, have gone into hell and managed to keep standing.
They have found strength.
They have found beauty.
They have found power.
They have seen the person God created them to be. And by damn, that person is incredible!
So when the shroud comes upon you, when the darkness and the weight descends, you hold fast to that spark of hope, to that inner fire that God lit to guide your path.
And you remember, damn it, you remember who you are, what you have done, what you have overcome, and you see the incredible soul that exists, waiting in the wings for the shroud to lift once more.
Because it will. The shroud will always lift, the sun will shine again, and when it does your light will mingle with it and it will shine so bright you won’t be able to believe the lies that are sown in darkness.
That, that is what it means to come home.