The Cloak

An Essay By Damaris Ann // 10/29/2019

Invisibility is a choice, but it’s not an easy one.

It is a heavy cloak; warm and comforting, though dark and worn. Once it’s been pulled on and clasped about the shoulders it’s difficult to slip it off and let it sink down into the floor, clouding your ankles and disappearing forever. For, once it’s taken off, it can never be put back on again. One admission; one second of bravery imprisons you in a permanent lack of protection from the judgement being cast by the outside world, and very few are comfortable with that alternative.

So the cloak stays on. It stays; shielding you from what you don’t and can’t know. It shields you from what you’re afraid to say. What you’re afraid to hear. Bust mostly, it shields you from what you’re afraid to feel.

Suppose, just for a moment, you were to take off your cloak? Let’s say that seven out of ten people were to cast judgement on you and your struggles. Would it not be worth it, just knowing that because of those three other people, you are not alone? How freeing, and how inexpressibly wonderful it is to have just one person look at you. But it’s not just that they’ve looked; oh no! It’s that they have seen you, too. You are no longer invisible. To be visible means that you are not alone.

For now, you have chosen to keep your cloak on. It feels safest to be alone, and I understand that.

You walk in the midst of a society that doesn’t know how to see or be seen in the ways that matter. But this society is made up of people, and many of those people are, like you, shrouded in an invisibility cloak.

What if we were brave? How would that change the world?

The answer is, it would make a bigger change than you could know. Because, my friend, bravery is contagious. All it takes is one person standing up and shaking off their cloak. One person. And when others see that, they will, in turn, stand up and shake of their own cloaks.

I wish we were all brave enough to stand up and say “I am struggling, and I am not okay.” Because it is okay to struggle. It is okay if you’re not okay. But it is NOT okay to struggle alone. Silence and solitude are not as safe as they may seem to you. Vulnerability is scary but oh, my friend, let yourself be comforted.

Let someone remind you of how sweet it is to be alive.

What is it that you hold so closely to your chest underneath your cloak? Is it depression? Anxiety? Chronic illness? Emotional trauma or suicidal thoughts? An eating disorder maybe? Throw off your cloak, my friend. Let yourself be helped. Let yourself be seen.

Vulnerability is the key to healing, and you hold it there in your hand. Let your cloak slip to the ground. Be helped. Be heard. Be seen.

Comments

Oh this is so good!! I feel

Oh this is so good!! I feel everyone (including myself) needs to hear this! I love how you compared being isolated and hiding your feelings as being 'cloaked'; I thought that was a good illustration. You made this very personal and really like that! One of my favorites parts was "To be visible means that you are not alone."

Beautiful job! I especially like this piece of writing of yours!

You're in my thoughts and prayers! :)

Joy J. | Thu, 10/31/2019

C.H. Spurgeon - "God’s mercy is so great that you may sooner drain the sea of its water, or deprive the sun of its light, or make space too narrow, than diminish the great mercy of God. "