Firstly before I start this I just want to say a really big thank you I was blown away that just over 400 people took the time to read my first blog. I really wasn’t expecting it so I thought I’d give it another go I hope you enjoy this one and hopefully take something from it.
Before that day in September 1999 I could swim I wouldn’t say I was a strong swimmer and I hated been out of my depth.. You would never catch me jumping of the harbour wall in Bridlington or anything like that I was far to scared for that kind of thing but I could swim. Pinderfields had a hydrotherapy pool and once I got a bit of movement back in my legs the physiotherapist took me there to get me slowly walking across it. At the time when I was in hospital I had a very different attitude to what I have now I felt I could do anything and beat anything I’ve always referred to it as ‘my hospital attitude’ and sadly something I’ve lacked to get back for years no matter what I’ve tried. They say you never forget to ride a bike or swim so I had this in my head.. It wasn’t like they just dumped me in a pool and said go on then al. I had lots of floats around me but that cheeky I can do anything attitude came out and I decided to undo the floats and have a swim needles to say this did not end well and under I went. Panic kicked in I thought that was it I was drowning.. What I thought was very dramatic and was under the water a while was probably only a matter of seconds but that’s all it takes for it set into your mind that you don’t like this and you have a fear of it.
Since this I have tried to get into a pool a few times but the fear as just been too much the panic is unreal when you go to learn forward and start to swim it’s like being a little child I know I’m not going to drowned as I’ve always had a friend stood in front of me holding me and willing me to do it.. But I just can’t..!!
I was lucky enough to spend my 34th birthday in Egypt last week. This posed a few problems mostly things which I covered in the first blog so I won’t repeat myself and want to focus on the pool side.
I know if I didn’t get in that first day I would let it build up in my head that I can’t get in. Surly I couldn’t go ten days with out getting in the pool especially in that heat. I told my friend to make me go in on our first day there. He didn’t have to I got myself in within hours of been there I didn’t leave the side but that’s not the point I got myself in and my shoulders under the water and it felt good and I felt a little proud of myself.
I’m also very conscious of my arms and legs I hate wearing shorts and especially vests you would never see me in the street with just my arms out but here I was confident walking around in a vest and getting into a pool and even the first night got talking to two lovely girls. How is this possible? I wouldn’t do this at home but I was away and wasn’t worrying if people where looking at me. They didn’t judge me very down to earth girls who didn’t care and definitely didn’t mind been with us and even coming for my birthday meal. I felt great and relaxed in my own skin for the first time in so long then a bomb shell. After a meal and drinks we went over to another group of Brits to join in with their conversation. The words that came out of this guys mouth rocked me and got under my skin. Have you seen the guy whose walking around like he’s s**t himself or been b***ed now I was going to name and shame this bloke but he’s definitely not worth it as I did say a few harsh things back and I’m ashamed of what I said but thinking about it now I know he was on his own and obviously didn’t feel bad about what he said just shows what kinda person he is but this did affected my confidence. Where other people thinking the same? Do people really think that and not tell me and just don’t say anything. One of my defence mechanisms is to mock myself on the way I walk a few of you will have heard me saying I walk with a stone in my shoe or my pimp walk things like that but to hear what this man said I must admit shocked me. Luckily the nice people I’d met over there pulled me through and made me realise he wasn’t worth my time.
So my question is anxiety a real thing why does our minds stop us doing certain things? I proved I could get over the fear of the water the wearing of vests and the walking around even after those harsh words.. Why can we do things in a place where know one knows us yet at home our fears and feelings just won’t allow us to do it. I did realise a few things while I was a away I got a bit of bad news with a few days remaining the doubts kicked in about is it the way I walk etc but knowing that person like I do I know full well it’s nothing to do with that and then with time to think and try to set things out in my own head getting into something with someone right now isn’t right I had my first physio session before my holiday and was told I can improve so much with work building my right side back up but if not I’m not far from a wheel chair again if I don’t do this. I worked so hard not to be in a chair I won’t allow that to happen. So with the fact I did those little things on holiday I’m going to put theses things into practice I’m going to start some volunteer work in January at a friends business in hull taking me out of that comfort zone get me use to being in a office environment meeting new people. with these little things I can hopefully beat anxiety and prove its just mind over matter.
If you suffer with anything like this please get in touch with me Im finding that been open about these things really helps.