Growing up I had reoccurring nightmares of various things. As a child it was of drowning and as I got older it became car crashes. Needless to say it wasn't until I was 20/21 that I finally got my drivers license. As for the swimming ... in college I perfected swimming on my back. So long as my face wasn't in the water I didn't panic. I especially hated the idea of being in water too deep for me to stand.
One of my roommates my freshman year thought to help me by taking me swimming in the evenings several times a week. We moved gradually to where I could swim on my back in the diving tank with a little apprehension, but not enough to hyper ventilate. One night, she she'd deemed that I had sufficiently gotten over a fear of deep water, she thought she'd try something known as 'shock therapy'. She pushed me down in the diving tank with her hands and then stepped down on my shoulders. I went down far enough to see the observation window and panicking, I kicked myself up. My lungs were ready to burst when I felt her grab my hands and yank me up. She then said she hope I could see that it wasn't so bad and after I had caught my breath she did it again for a total of 3 times. As much as I love her, I never got in the diving tank again with her and I never quite found words to express to her my feelings about the experience! ;0)
This summer and opportunity came up for me to receive private swim lessons with a young lady in our ward who had plenty of experience teaching all levels - including paranoid, hydrophobic adults like me! I had to take it up, it was time. Besides, how in the world was I to explain to my son the need for him to learn how to swim without doing it by example.
Thanks to Amber I can proudly state that I can swim freestyle across the pool and even into the deep end! In some aspects it was easier than I thought it would be and in others, a thousand times harder by producing triggers I never knew were there. Though battered and worn, I'm am still swimming and even slightly enjoying it! Dory's mantra couldn't be better, "Just keep swimming!". I did, now I can, and I do!