I was a full grown adult when I learned to swim. Oh, I mean a full grown adult who was married with three kids when I learned to swim. My irrational anxiety induced fear of drowning in water that came up to my neck…water I could stand up in and it would only come to my chin kept me from learning.
Eventually, because my kids were learning and I didn’t want to have that fear anymore, I paid an instructor through the city to teach me how to swim. It took a lot for me to talk my brain out of panicking every time I entered the water. I learned to float on my back and it took another two weeks before I could learn to float on my stomach.
One thing I noticed every time I went for lessons was that my swim instructor would always jump into the water. She jumped in without a care in the world. I on the other hand would ease in gently still afraid of going completely under water.
I realized that the way I entered the pool was how I entered my life. I was never spontaneous or adventurous. I was always cautious. It also reminded me when I played poker in college. I was incredibly good at Texas Hold ‘em poker but I was still very cautious. My husband was the “I’m all in!” type and I was more “let’s just bet a little at a time” type. I never wanted to take a substantial risk.
33 years of this and I realize…I’m bored with always playing it safe. I hate that my anxiety keeps me from just letting go and having some fun. When I am having a manic episode sometimes I am able to throw caution to the wind and have some fun, but mania “fun and uninhibited pleasure” normally always leads to regret and depression. I never make the best decisions when I’m manic.
My goal is to purposefully make the decision to do something not in my little box of comfort. I want to engage in an activity I would not normally do yet something that I would not regret. I just got that opportunity when my friend invited me on a Girl’s weekend in Las Vegas.
My friend would be driving me and a few other ladies to Vegas in her van. I was down to have some fun without my kids or my husband, It sounded wonderful that I would only have me to take care of for a weekend. The trip to Las Vegas was not the anxiety inducing part of the adventure. Oh no! The problem is that I have to drive to Santa Clarita and meet up with my friend before we head to Vegas.
I may never have mentioned this before but…I am TERRIFIED of driving through the mountains. I was born and raised in Indiana. There are no mountains in Indiana so I fear driving through them. Whenever we go to LA or anywhere in southern California, I always make my husband drive.
My brain tells me “You are literally going to die. You are going to fall of the mountain and die. That is your fate.”
However, I’m doing it guys. I am driving alone to Santa Clarita and I’m going to Las Vegas. It is hard to shut my brain up and to get rid of the thoughts of failure or doom. I live with those types of thoughts on a daily basis but I am tired of being bored with my life and want to jump in the pool. I want to jump in despite the fear I have.