Way back when, in the 90’s, when I was a girl/tween, I was on a swim team… the Country Club Cruisers. Our team colors, if I remember correctly were blue and bright pink and our mascot was a penguin. It was a swim team that was part of the community pool and it was the reason I existed each and every summer. Although I hated waking up early in the morning (before 8 am), I absolutely loved, loved, being on the swim team. I loved to swim and had loved swimming since I was a young child. And I loved that I could spend hours with my friends. I was never bored during the summer as result of being on the swim team. I had purpose, and it brought me happiness and joy.
Although I like to be a humble person, I must state that I was pretty good at swimming. I loved that although we competed as a team, it was comprised of being an individual and you worked against yourself. So each time I was in the water, I worked to perform better than I had the previous time. Of course I wanted to perform better than the person on the other team as well, but for me, I really wanted to improve my time and continue to improve.
We were awarded ribbons if we placed in first, second or third place at the weekly swim meets and at the end of the year depending on how we swam at the championships, we would receive trophies. It was pretty phenomenal.
Yesterday after leaving a doctor appointment with my psychiatrist I was thinking about swimming specifically about swimming freestyle (army crawl). I was thinking about how you swim the stroke. That you pull the water with your arms, you glide and then you kick with your legs and feet. And you do this over and over and over until you have achieved the number of meters that you wanted to swim, alternating the arms and changing the position of your head for breathing. It is a very streamline stroke, very rhythmic and orderly.
It made me think about what I was about to encounter. We increased my anxiety medication to try and reduce the immense and relentless anxiety that is plaguing my brain from the time that I wake until the time I fall asleep. The anxiety that I attempt to override all day, every day. The anxiety that is wearing me out, although, from the outside I appear to be fine, and doing well, but inside I am struggling, but staying quiet, because well, I am tired of having something wrong with me. The medication should assist with the elimination of the anxiety, but it will most likely take up to two months’ time. When I was informed of the length of time it would take to be fully effective, I felt like I was hit with a sucker punch and I felt my eyes fill with tears.
Jumping back to being in the car, driving, thinking about swimming. It was no surprise to me that I would go to swimming as a way to comfort myself in a time of sadness, despair and frustration. Swimming brings me joy, happiness and peace. Plus, it shows me that in life there are times when we need to pull ourselves along, then times we glide, and then other times that we just need to kick. I feel that I an going to be cycling through a few hundred-meter sprint of freestyle over the next two months. There is going to be some pulling, some gliding and some kicking as hard as my legs can to propel myself along.
I am scared about side effects. I am overwhelmed at the idea that I may have to suffer for another two months. I am reminded that things have been MUCH worse, and I have overcome them and therefore I can overcome this with much certainty. I am empowered and more than capable of working through all challenges that are put on my path. I will press on. I will persevere.