The Army of ME

The Army of ME:  An Allegory on DEPRESSION

          ~ written by Jacqueline (JAKE) Pratte


In INNOCENCE my two best friends were PLAYFULNESS and FUN

And along the paths of JOY and CREATIVITY we’d run

IMAGINATION told us stories about the Sea of DREAMS

The Land of ABUNDANCE, Ranges of TRUTH and other places he had been


I had a crush on MAGIC at NAIVETY’s Primary School

Until JEALOUSY and EMBARRASSMENT made me appear the fool

I raced down the Halls of HUMILIATION to the basement of BROKEN HEARTS

Tried running away to the Isle of SADNESS to make a hopeful start


Got lost, though glimpsed FREEDOM’S sails, before PUNISHMENT hunted me down

For MISGUIDED LOVE and OVERPROTECTION feared that I might drown

After being handed over to INTIMIDATION, I was locked in INSECURITY

Then eventually transferred onto a train bound for RESPONSIBILITY


At the border of HESITATION, DOUBT and WORRY had embarked

Brothers, con-men, friends in arms, I, their unknowing mark

Convinced at the end of the line, in CONFORMITY, I’d be lost

I agreed to let them help me, I didn’t care the cost


We chugged along through BOREDOM and the desert of FRUSTRATION

Escaping somewhere in CONFUSION, near DISAPPOINTMENT’s station

The nearest town was OBSESSION, where I fell in love with SELF-DEFEAT

After years of abuse, ran until the Sea of LONELINESS splashed my feet


Along the shores of LOSS, I stumbled upon the cliffs of INJURY

Where waves of FAILURE and rains of REJECTION came crashing down on me

When I finally surfaced and caught my breath in the coves of COMPLACENCY

I soon discovered they tipped the cape of the Wastelands of SCARCITY


HOPELESS was the first who found me washed upon the sand

BLAME nursed my wounds with LIES, while RESENTMENT held my hand

They told me the mountains of MANIPULATION were clearly where I should go

Climb the jagged peaks of SELF-PITY to EXPECTATION’s plateau


The higher I rose the temperature dropped, thanks to the chill of FEAR

Took a wrong turn somewhere and slipped on the dangerous slopes of SELF-DESPAIR

I tumbled forever it seemed, landing in DESPERATION’S tomb

Where VICTIM’s choir sang a lament to my impending doom


I tried to imagine the Land of ABUNDANCE and the Ranges of TRUTH

But MEMORY, too, had abandoned me, stealing the stories of the my youth

As I cowered in the shadows, INSTINCT built a fortress to protect

With armor and shields and weapons from SELF-DESTRUCTION and REGRET


In the dark a battle raged with GUILT and SHAME and NEED

Silently ANGER and DEPRESSION attacked, while PRIDE just watched me bleed

They pillaged my very Being and nearly took my life

I narrowly escaped through the empty caves of MISERY and STRIFE


Tears of OVERWHELMENT burned as they trickled down my cheek

And the poison from DESPERATION’s stings had left me trembling and weak

First the mist of DISCONNECTION, then the fog of POWERLESSNESS

Blinded me as I wandered aimlessly through the tunnels of UNWORTHINESS


I found the stream of SUFFERING and SORROW and followed it to the heart

Where a bolt of UNDERSTANDING pierced me, as a dart

Falling to my knees, the spark of HOPE ignited me free

For in the pools of SELF-REFLECTION, I glimpsed into the Army of ME


SURRENDER lifted and carried my body, for the war had taken its toll

To the soothing waters of ACCEPTANCE to heal my broken soul

The scars of COWARDICE became tattoos of feathers on my skin

Silvery symbols to remind what released the Phoenix of WILL within


SUPPORT threw down a harness and rope from somewhere high above

ENCOURAGEMENT and DETERMINATION pulled me toward the light of LOVE

ENTHUSIASM and GRATITUDE met me at the top

Where COMPASSION and ALLOWING flew me straight to my next stop


From the base of OPTIMISM, MOTIVATION was by my side

Through the Pass of AUTHENTICITY to where Mount VULNERABLE resides

Its beauty painted a magnificent view from the valley of HUMILITY

There in the meadow I learned from PERSPECTIVE, the power of TRANSPARENCY


On the gentle hills of FORGIVENESS, I met HONOR and INTEGRITY

Who taught me the art of APPRECIATION needed to reach SERENITY

Through the forests of FORGIVENESS, flowed river FAITH in the UNKNOWN

Nurturing the flowers of WISDOM and TRUST, GRACE had planted and grown


From the summit of AWARENESS, I could see as far as the Sea of DREAMS

And all the people and places on the journey taken in between

Forgotten childhood friends, MYSTERY and MARVEL, reappeared

And in the symphony of SILENCE, the voice of MINDFULNESS rang clear


He said, “Remember the pools of SELF-REFLECTION and within them what was seen,

For in the years to come you’ll travel again many roads where you have been

And all the faces falsely perceived to imprison or rescue thee

Were obeying the orders of EGO, under the misguided SELF-LOVE of ME


So INSPIRE your emotional legions through PARTNERSHIP and LOVE

Show how PASSION and ENTHUSIASM may lift them all above

How FEAR is one’s greatest ally and to embrace UNCERTAINTY

For everything and everyone, are the collective Army of ME