When I was 4 years old my father took me for swimming classes in Delhi for the first time. As my father would say, I almost drowned in the water and my father had to rescue me.
I am Arun. This is my story of how I overcame one of the most basic fears of all: The fear of drowning.
Aquaphobia and School
Now let’s flash forward to a year ago. I was in class 11. I had to attend swimming classes in Delhi as my school curriculum. Soon came the first day of my swimming class. Even the thought of dropping down in a pool filled me with fear but it was sort of comforting that my best friend Rahul was with me in my fear. So though it was an absolute nightmare for me to land up in water, I had some support with me. If nothing at least he promised to watch over me in the pool.
Ready Or Not Here I Come!
I changed my clothes, donned my headgear and the goggles and there I was not at all ready to face my fear. While I saw other kids jumping in during the swimming classes in Delhi, I panicked, in a flash the memory of me as a toddler came to my mind. After 16 years of birth, I was again 4 years old. Our swim coach standing nearby immediately understood my state. I guess over the years he had seen a lot of kids with aquaphobia like me.
The Coach, My Steady Guiding Light
My coach suggested That I start by getting my feets wet. I followed his instructions. I submerged my feet in the water. I felt a lot of nervousness and a little adventurous. Seeing that I am fine, now I could slowly dip in and gradually go deeper into the water.
The Worst Nightmare
It seemed as though the trust I had on my coach was finally paying off. Suddenly I heard him shouting something at me. At the moment I turned to him. My face splashed against the water, I lost my balance and before I could know it I was deep inside the water. I was sure at the point that I would drown, I shouted but only bubbles of air came out of my mouth. Yes! I had collided with a classmate of mine in the water.
In a fraction of second many thoughts came to my mind while drowning. My coach was too far away to save me. I just had to save my self. I held my breath in the water and kicked against the floor to rise up. Soon I resurfaced and I immediately held my balance in the water again.
Coming of Age
I just went through my worst nightmare and made a comeback. I felt for the first time that water was not my enemy anymore. But fear of it was still an issue. So I asked my coach what to do now. He said keep splashing water on my face till I felt comfortable with water. Having gone through my nightmare and coming out fine, I felt splashing helped me and I lost all fear of the water. I was not an aquaphobic anymore.
Now Let’s fast forward to the present.Now I am a college guy. In retrospect, I would say Fear is not something real but the danger is. Don’t confuse between the two. I would advice all the aquaphobic people out there to take the following steps to help yourselves in the water.
- Start by getting your feets wet then go deeper in water
- Have a lifeguard looking over you
- Splash water on your face till you feel comfortable
- Take a dip in the water and face your fear