In early 1997 I fell very ill, both physically and mentally. I woke up one morning, joints so swollen that I could barely get out of bed and with pain that I had never known before… Imagine having a really bad tooth ache… all over your body!
At first, the doctors had no idea what was wrong with me. They thought it might be rheumatoid arthritis (runs in the family) but all the tests came back negative. A couple of months later, after a chest x-ray, I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a rare disease which can affect the whole lymphatic system.
At the time, I was a young mother of two babies, born only a year apart and had virtually no support network around me. I spiralled into depression with severe anxiety that worsened every time I had to spend time in hospital, surrounded by lung cancer patients in the Thorax Clinic.
One day, I decided that unless I got some real help for the state of my mind, I would die… I literally felt like I was dying and my grip on reality started slipping so I went to a Swedish Psychiatric ER (I was living in Stockholm at the time). This resulted in treatment with antidepressants and a referral for group therapy.
However, the group therapy made me feel even more mentally ill and vulnerable. Some of the other people in the group had problems that were extremely severe. I was very sensitive to the heavy negative energy in the group and wondered if this form of ‘support’ would maybe do more harm than good.
About six weeks in to therapy, I had a wonderfully vivid dream. I was in the ocean but because this was a dream, I found that I could breathe with ease. I was surrounded by dolphins and they were streaming love to me. Wordlessly they managed to make me feel all the love and support that was so sadly lacking in my day-do-day reality.
Then the fun began… we started dancing together. Having a background in classical ballet, I enjoyed this dance more than anything I had ever done before… The feelings of sheer delight and weightlessness in the presence of these wonderfully loving dolphins was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced.
The next day happened to be the day of our weekly group therapy session. We were all asked to share something, so I shared my dream. As I did, another woman in the group who had depression so severe that she hadn’t been able to work for years, broke down in tears. She had had the same dream that week.
Now THAT is what I call group therapy! After this session, I left the therapy group. I was on the path of recovery. Spirit had shown me that I was not alone.
This was but one of many power animal dreams to come. I have since met Wolf, Eagle and Raven… Have you had any life-changing animal dreams? I would love to hear from you in the comments!