Before the caterpillar can
become a butterfly she must cocoon. The hospitalization
proved to be very traumatic for me in spite of the lessons
gained. I came home feeling shameful, and guilt-ridden.
Shameful for the weakness that I believed caused me to
have to go to the hospital in the first place,
guilt-ridden for having the unacceptable thoughts of
giving up on life. I was terrified at the thought of
having to face anyone outside my home. The shame caused me
to turn inward. Just as the caterpillar spins her cocoon
around her, a protective shell that envelopes her, I
pulled inward. I created a sort of cocoon within my own
bedroom. It was there that I began to journal my thoughts
and feelings. Sitting in my overstuffed chair I could
re-live the therapy sessions that had become as necessary
as breathing, meditating on the words that were said
during the short time spent with my counselor, giving them
a chance to take root within my thoughts.
I rediscovered my faith in God
and the power of prayer. It took great courage to allow
myself to be admitted to a mental hospital. I needed help
and in spite of the stigma attached to such a place, I
went where I knew that help was available. I am actually a
very strong person - a weak one could not have endured the
trials I have faced as a result of this illness.
God understands my pain and
the despair that eventually caused me to attempt to take
my own life. His Son felt that pain. He died so that I
could be forgiven for that very sin. I had to learn to
Do you wonder what it feels
like to emerge from that dark, lonely, cocoon? I know.
is a bit scary, actually. But the world seems incredibly
bright and full of promise. The butterfly has a choice.
She can simply stay on her branch all safe and secure, or
she can spread those magnificent wings and fly away,
meeting her greatest potential.
During my time spent in
introspection I changed. Just as the caterpillar stage
will always be a part of the butterfly's life, the time I
spent battling my depression will be a part of mine.
the butterfly does not allow that necessary stage of her
past to hold her back, and neither will I. The going is
shaky at times, but I will continue to soar.
There is a very special job
awaiting the newly emerged butterfly, that of pollinating
the flowers around her. I truly understand what it feels
like to go through a depression. I know the pain of
hopelessness and despair so great that it is overwhelming.
I feel the joy of becoming myself again. Now I can share
that with those who follow me. I can offer hope because I
have been there and have come out on the other side.
doesn't mean it is smooth flying. But now I rejoice when
trials come my way. I see them as an opportunity to make
myself even stronger and to make the colors of my wings
even more vivid.
Now would someone please open
the window? I have some flying to do!
© Lori Dickerson. Lori also has a book available on clinical depression
entitled Beauty from Ashes, by Lori Gallagher
Dickerson. It's available at Publishamerica.com,
Here's what the book's about:
novel was born out of the authorís own experience with
clinical depression. While in the throes of this illness
she found that writing helped her cope with the intense
pain and confusion that are a part of this disease. In
reading over those journal entries she realized there was
a definite movement from despair to recovery, ashes to
beauty. The author began to see herself as a butterfly in
the making, and prayed that God would use this tragic
event in her life to prepare her to reach others in pain.
The greatest strides were made when she turned to her
faith for guidance. This became her source of strength.
The book is a gift of love. It is an attempt to offer
comfort and encouragement to those experiencing
depression. It is the authorís hope that the footprints
left here will offer guidance to those who follow, making
their trek a bit easier.