Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How I got past #MyFear of…in #BoostYourBlog Challenge

How I got past my fear of the deep ocean was to plant my feet and breathe in and out to help change my thinking. My fear of deep water stemmed from my childhood when I was about 4 years old, I think. My dad had taken my little brother, my little sister and I to the community swimming pool. There were so many little kids around and families with their kids. Since I was old enough at the time, my dad told me to take my little sister into the woman's dressing room to get our swimsuits on and then meet him on the other side where the pools were. However, I didn't actually hear it that way. I thought he said go ahead and get in the pool. I was nervous that I messed up and didn't hear everything he said so, thinking that I was going to fix it by "getting in the pool" like I thought he said, was the answer. So, my sister and I went over to 12 feet and jumped in!

I don't know what it must feel like to be in the moment of half drowning but I found myself under water looking up at the top. I could feel myself paddling under the water as I fought to get to the top. At that time, I was just learning to swim and I was going no where. I could hear nothing, but all I did see was the light above me coming from the sky through the water. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt hands grab me and pull me up. It was a woman who saved me and a man who saved my sister. We were both pretty shaken up by the whole thing. When my dad finally got on the other side, he was pretty cool about it and ended up throwing us back in the pool but on the kiddie pool side.

Now, winding the tape forward through my life, I could not get in a swimming pool. When I was in my late teens, I did go swimming but in my twenties, I just started to have this fear. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that the moment I almost lost my life to drowning, was the event that began to haunt me. I love the water too and enjoy cruises and the whole experience but getting too close to it really freaked me out. It wasn't until I realized "why" I was having this fear, did I say to myself, "I have to learn to work with this".

So, that is what I did and what I continue to do. If I find myself close to large bodies of water, I take a silent, deep breathe in and out and I force myself to think about something else other than the event when I almost drowned. If people are around me, they wouldn't even know that I'm dealing with this fear because I'm not a  very dramatic person in a crisis. I try to stay calm as possible in any emergency, period, and that goes for myself as well. I do believe that reprogramming my thoughts in the time of fear helps me most in overcoming this. I tell you, that is one fear that really sticks with you but I'm not the one to let it keep me down.

Photo from blog of Chris Keeney

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  1. Thank you for posting this article on fear. Even though I can swim really well, I still have a fear of swimming in lakes and in oceans. It is because I don't know what kind of fish I might swim into. This was a very interesting topic.

    1. Thank you for stopping by , deaf47 and sharing your experience. The ocean is huge and yes, very intimidating. I don't know how people swim in those waters but they do. I'm not quite that brave :)