My body coordination started to fluctuate, panic is around the corner and I’m starting to lose focus, my lungs shouting for air. I can see the edge of the pool, I know of course that it’s not such a great idea to open your eyes and expose it to pool-water but I really have to do this. Trying to relax myself and go a little more, I looked at the bottom of the pool– the reflection of the sun rays and the sky made the bottom a majestic place. It calms me for some seconds as I felt the first touch at the edge. I pull myself up and started to pant. And decided to go, one more time.
I have a paranoia on drowning– or maybe, that’s not really the proper term but some sort of fear of drowning. When I was about ten, my cousin and I were almost drowned due to the uneven seabed on which we never expected the other part to be that deep. I panic and so does she. The memory is hazy now, I forgot the events that happened prior to that but all I can remember is that my survival instincts were kicking in. We were trying to get some air in our poor little lungs and resorted to pushing one another below and reversing the action. We were trying to survive and it was difficult to think straight and not breath for a while. I went up as I pull my cousin down, inhaled some air and felt her pull. I descended, I never closed my eyes as the seawater started to rise to my face; my vision became the sky on the upper half and the seawater below. It was my own vision of death– death by drowning. It terrified me as I went down.
I didn’t die that day, we were saved by my cousin when my father saw us and called on him. We hang on to him for dear life and was brought to safety. After that day, I never enjoyed the water by swimming on the deep blue sea. I would envy my friends who has the gut to jump from the board and swim on the freedom of the sea. Surely, I would go on swimming on the not-so-deep part and stay there. I know for a fact that I can really swim, not at the pro-level but I still can survive. If you’ve seen what I’ve seen and felt that your life is at the hands of the harsh water, it won’t be the same for you.
I started swimming again, after 12 years since that incident, I have the courage to cross a 6-foot pool without the hint of drowning. It took me this long to master the courage and tell myself that I won’t drown, I can float and swim. It took a lot of swimming sessions with my boyfriend and my friends before I can even swim on my own near the edge. It took me 1 bottle of beer(of course! I know for a fact that swimming and being drunk is a big NO) for me to have the courage to start crossing the pool at a greater length than I ever had in the past 12 years. Don’t worry, I’m not even drunk at that time– I just need to courage up and pull that thing at that instant. Boyfriend was watching me all the time– he really doesn’t recommend drinking and swimming too; he was closely monitoring if I accidentally drown myself.
I did it that day and for the days that followed, with no beer to boost the courage, I can freely cross and swim the pool. I’m starting to enjoy the water again, I’m starting to learn other swimming stunts and how to make my lungs stay down in the water longer. The panic-attack still do come but no, they’re not as over-powering as before, I can still swim. When the panic settle in, I lose focus and my lungs would panic for air, it’s a constant battle between my head and I. I want to enjoy the waters, fully enjoy the fact that I can swim and life is good– it won’t end by some silly drowning paranoia.
I usually chicken out because of some things other people doesn’t really mind– drowning(when I know how to swim), plane ride(I’ve been to it a lot of time) and sleeping(what if the burglar would come at night and do some bad things to us). Well, the list could go on but I’m trying to cross-out a few things. I’m battling my fears and surely, it can be done little by little– by a little step.