By Jay Ayer
As a human I am naturally afraid of things like accidentally hurting myself, falling from a height, and getting into a car crash. And while these events may be frightening in a general sense to me, they do not compare to my biggest fear: drowning.
Drowning is the single most terrifying thing in the world to me, so much so that I get extremely scared when watching movies or TV shows where a person has to hold their breath or is trapped underwater.
This fear began in 2012 when I was swimming at Pensacola Beach and was pulled by the waves just off the sand shelf beneath me. After I lost my footing, I spent what seemed like several minutes trying to catch my breath as I bobbed above and below the waves, swallowing sea water each time I tried to catch a breath.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had drifted several feet off the shelf and ended up a good distance from anyone around me. Luckily, somebody saw me and came to pull me back in.
Even though I am able to swim, ever since that day I have felt this aversion to deep and open water. I am absolutely terrified of going past anything chest deep at a beach or any other form of open water.
The good thing is that this fear has not spread to other parts of my life. I’m not irrationally afraid of showers or anything like that; this fear only applies to really deep and open water.
I never really had any fear of water or a swimming before what happened in 2012, and even though I have made efforts to return to that state of mind, nothing has helped to remove this fear from me.
I still enjoy to swim in deep pools, but I wish I could return to a day when I could swim in the ocean without being mortified of being pulled out to sea. I still swim in pools and even in shallow water, so I hope that someday I can escape this fear.