One of the most significant things that started the second week of the first MPD hospitalization was a “picture”/”image” that came immediately to view whenever we closed our eyes. It came complete with sensations and sounds. We were slowly wading deeper into a vast expanse of water. Our destination was somewhere on the other side of this body of water, but it was too far away to see. Over the course of that first week of this experience the water gradually got deeper, and then occasionally we would feel something cold and slick touch the side of our leg, but we couldn’t see what it was. We searched the water around us but could see nothing until one time we saw a dark fin moving fast away from us right after feeling the touch on our leg. After that first sighting, the touches and more sightings of sharks came more frequently as we continued slowly progressing deeper and deeper into the water. Even though the presence of the sharks was frightening, there was a deep inner determination that had a sense of assurance with it that we were doing what we must do.
Dr. H took this whole thing as a very significant and important message from our subconscious. We were on a journey through deep water containing life-threatening elements towards the far off shore of strong, secure mental health. There was no turning back now that we had begun this journey. Dr. H strongly believed that somewhere (maybe someone) inside was well acquainted with what needed to happen and when it needed to happen. It was up to the two of us to grasp what the subconscious was telling us and follow that plan for us to succeed. He was very concerned about the presence of the sharks, and he tried a number of things, including hypnosis, to formulate a method of securing safety during the journey. Each attempt to get rid of the sharks or secure our safety in the water failed to have any lasting impact on the image we kept seeing.
After about a week of efforts focused on dealing with the sharks, it got to be the night before our Sabbath. We explained to Dr. H that we took a break from our weeks work from sundown Sabbath Eve to sundown night after the Sabbath, so we would need him to excuse us from groups and plan to meet with us after sundown night after the Sabbath. He agreed to this, and even though I couldn’t attend worship, we took a rest from therapy of any kind and focused our attention on personal worship, spiritual songs, prayers, and rest. We couldn’t do anything about the image that continued whenever I rested, but we tried to basically ignore it or in our thoughts and prayers we lifted up the image to God for Him to deal with in whatever way He chose. Getting close toward evening, as I was resting, the image changed. God brought dolphins into the image to surround me and protect me from the sharks. When Dr. H came in that night and we told him about the dolphins, his joyous response was, “Who but God could have come up with a solution like that!”
The image continued to be something I could intentionally “check in” on if I chose to or if Dr. H wanted me to, but it no longer was a constant presence whenever I tried to rest. Dolphins became a symbol for us that God would protect us as we continued to face and deal with the potential hazards along the journey toward mental health.