Tuesday, October 9, 2012

in which I was victorious over anxiety

My neck is sore right now. Probably because I swam yesterday, and I was very committed to keeping my face out of the water. I did try to re-teach myself to stick my face in the water, especially since I even had goggles. But I didn't get it working very well, so I worked a few extra muscles and kept my face up.

Anyway, I haven't been swimming in a long time. There are multiple reasons for this. But some (if not all?) are just anxiety issues, especially at this point. For example, somewhere in their long list of rules, I'm pretty sure it said you had to be two weeks healthy from being sick. Possibly specific enough to refer to stomach issues, not just the common cold. Well, I wouldn't want to break a rule, so if I even might have been sick or experienced any such symptoms, I'd better not go in, right? I might possibly make someone sick. Actually, I'm not too worried about making someone sick from a bug I had a while ago. I think it has more to do with breaking the rule.

But I know for pretty near fact that when certain children go to take swimming lessons, they are not all two weeks illness free. And me? Well, I was something like a week and a half illness free. Ooh, makes me anxious to type that.

Then there is the whole scarey process of going swimming, from changing to showering to appearing sopping wet in public where I feel unsure of myself. So yesterday evening, I decided the time had come (I've been working up to this for a while.) I gathered my things, and down I went.

And at the beginning, I was saying, "I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die." This being the voice of anxiety, not depression, and sounding remarkably like what I heard a very dramatic little girl say when she was hungry once. But I wasn't hungry. I was anxious.

Then I started swimming, kept swimming, thought I was a great example of not-good swimming, swam some more, swam until the lady I shared a lane with (who actually put her face in the water and swam with what appeared to me to be skill and dedication) left, treaded water (I have liked that particular step/stroke/whatever-it's-called for a long time; I can keep it up fairly easily, and my face stays safely out of the water - at least my breathing does), swam some more. I was going to swim for 30 minutes (including time spent floating or trying to get myself to keep my face in the water). And I did it.

And I showered and I left and by then I was singing, "I won against the boogey-monster, I won against the boogey-monster. Spell check thinks I have the name wrong; if I spell it "boogey," it is supposed to go with "men." But I didn't have a spell check in my head, so that is what I sang. Victory is so nice.

By the way, I've gotten too much spam, so for now, I have returned to the setting that makes you type the verification word to post a comment. Sorry.


  1. Yay for you! -I hate swimming or anything near having to swim!!

  2. Really, really great, Abigail! I am SO proud of you!

  3. I am so proud of you!

    Abigail- it's HUGE that you can recognize that voice as the voice of anxiety rather than a voice to be believed. I'm still working on that.

  4. Very nice to hear this from you! Stay positive!

  5. Glad for you that you were able to go swimming and sit with the anxiety! Congrats!