Pour ceux qui se demandent pourquoi j’écris en anglais depuis le début du mois de juillet, c’est parce que je participe à NaBloPoMo ce mois-ci.

I took the time to explain this because I got at work at 6:45 !! Last night was the first night in a while that I slept through the whole night without getting up to go to the bathroom, to empty the air-conditioning unit or because the cat decided to take a walk across my chest.

So I woke up at 4:45 completely refreshed. I didn’t drink coffee this morning. I drank a mix of home iced tea (mixed with ginger herbal tea) and orange juice and apple-pear juice. So refreshing. I ate a bit of quiche and I watched a bit of Combat Hospital. But I didn’t watch more than 15 minutes of it.

So I got here earlier.

Today’s prompt is Are you scared of being in open water?

My answer is yes. If I can’t see the bottom, I get afraid. My chest feels constricted, my heart hurts. I have always been afraid of water. I learned to swim when I was 12 once my mom told everyone to leave me alone. In high school, walking through a river almost made me faint. I think it was because I was so careful where I put my feet and I was watching the water go by. Anyway. I was even afraid of being on a bus on a bridge across water. I kept thinking the bus would topple over and fall in the river and we would all die !

With most of the things I feared I had decided to get on with it and proceeded to what is called desensitization. This is a therapy used to deal with fears and anxiety. I didn’t know it was what I was doing. What you do is put yourself into situations where you are uncomfortable. Gradually going farther and farther until your fear becomes more manageable. It takes 10 breaths for your head to clear. 10 seconds until your vision is no longer blurred, your head clears up, your heart rate slows a bit and you can relax your hands that were bunched in fists. I discovered that this year through my readings for my course on psychotherapies.

Slowly I would get near water and just stay there until my breathing slowed. I would go into a pedal boat and float around and I would sometimes touch the water. I would let a cousin steer a canoe and then I would do it myself. Even iced water made me afraid but one winter I went to my ex’s chalet and walked on the lake. I kept thinking that a fairy would fly over us, thaw the river and I would drown. But I stayed on the lake for half an hour. I did many things like these.

The result is I can now go swimming at the beach Jean-Drapeau. I can’t see the bottom but I never have water higher than my chin. So it feels safe. I can do water aerobics. I can go swimming in huge pools (that too frightened me).

Voilà !