The Dark Year of the Soul (Part 2)

by Chris TerryNelson

The second dream was more empowering – no tigers ripping apart dogs.  I had been sleeping soundly when my son suddenly kicked me in the head at 4:30am (we have a king-size bed, but toddlers stretch horizontally because…).  I angrily awoke, grabbed his foot, and somehow managed to throw him to the other side of the bed without waking him up.  Then I felt startled – where was this anger coming from?  I had recently come out to my wife about my doubts, and we had been carrying this stressful secret, not knowing where they would go.  I began processing all of the fears I had about feeling like I was slipping, like I was losing God, faith, church, self, and I didn’t know where the story was going.  I sunk back into a dreamy sleep.  It was a very simple dream: I was in a dark room with a spotlight on a well filled with black ink.  I leaned over the well, seeing my reflection on the oily shimmer.  A voice spoke: “Chris, you wouldn’t suffer so much if you would just enter into your depression.”  And so I jumped into the well.

I woke up that morning feeling like I had done something brave, and that I had done it for me.  I took a leap of faith into the abyss.  It was the only way to love my self.