Aquaphobia, the fear of deep water or turbidity waters. My aquaphobia is related to Oceans, Lakes & Waterslide parks which covers just about every nature scene to be had. My phobia is debilitating or should I say needed accommodations are in order. Recently, I took my mom and sister to Galveston Bay, Texas. I was extremely terrified of the choppy bay/ocean water.
My mom and sister enjoyed a 2 miles hike down the sand by the water’s edge while I stayed safely on the west seawall parameter, well above sea-level and about 50′ from the edge of the water. I would have loved to have gone with them, but my aquaphobia was in full swing. Since then I have been told that I should have listened to music or meditated or gone to the waters surge line. I’ve also been told that I should buck up and face my fear head-on — what are people thinking?
It is embarrassing to admit to a phobia- an irrational fear of something or sense of dread. Why go to the ocean if you’re not planning on going in you may ask? My mom has been close to Galveston, TX but never there and she wanted to experience it first hand. I figured I could suck it up for three days and have fun– and I did at what I thought was a safe distance. I have been on the shores of Padre Island and was perfectly safe until Hurrican Hugo sent us packing our tent and hastily leaving the island in the middle of the night. By the time the park ranger came to tell us to go water was surging and covering the roadway to the mainland. Result in fear of the ocean.
When I was a small child, I was at a red dirt bottom lake that had turbid water. I tried to get out to where my mom was at and fell into a depression that was over my head and swallowed lots of water and coughing the resulting in fear of Lakes.
Fear of waterslides is a new phobia garnered by too many people in the waterpark using the slides at one time, thus bumping into or dragging one beneath the water level. This being dragged under also happened as a child. Swimming pools also fall into this category although you can see the bottom if it is over 4 feet I won’t go in the deep end, and I won’t go in without a family or friend tagging alongside me. I took Beginning Swimming two semesters in a row at college; the first semester I was on anxiety medications and in talk therapy about my fear of deep water.
Taking showers, getting into the hot-tub/jacuzzi or bathtub is no problem for me even though I have had slips in them, too.
While on Galveston Bay Island we did activities that did not require me to face my fear head-on every day. I enjoyed looking at the ocean water from my distant perch, seeing the fish soar through the air as they sailed into the waves, and wonder why the seagulls didn’t have them for dinner when they were apparently seeking food.
Today, my grandson wanted to swim in the lake. I let my husband take him while I stayed safely ashore and revel in his success at swimming across the small lake. I didn’t tell my grandson that I was afraid because I don’t want him to become fearful of lakes, too.
My plan of action is to take small steps in acclimating to water features. We have a 1′ to 4′ deep community pool, and I am pleased to say I am now comfortable to be in it. I played with the kids in the shallow end and worked my way deeper till I was able to swim in the four feet center of the pool. I have found being distracted by talking about anything other than swimming has made this accommodation possible. Visualizing me being safe in the water and meditation has undoubtedly helped and listening to music doesn’t hurt.
Do you have a phobia, write about it in comments?