It may not be easy, but is it worth the courage?

My husband had a life-long fear of large bodies of water. Recently, however, at almost 50 years old, he learned to swim. Within two weeks of his first stride, he was ready to show other family members what he learned so that they too could swim. Watching him has been exhilarating. It took courage: In order to float, you must let go, breathe, and allow the water to take over. At first you sink, then all of a sudden, almost magically, you start to float to the surface.

It was an important lesson for both of us. First, it is never too late to learn something new and worthwhile. Second, what took so long! He was swimming across the pool within days, learning new strokes, and floating on his back. He entered the deep end on his own in just under two weeks. Now his mind is filled with possibilities: Swimming in a lake or ocean; enjoying pool parties instead of sitting on the side lines; swimming with our grandson; enjoying pools at hotels and resorts; snorkeling, scuba diving, canoeing, white water rafting, jet skiing, and even accepting boating and cruise invitations without trepidation.

There is one other time that I remember that kind of opening of my mind -- when I truly decided that I was going to accept my alopecia. I remember standing at my door with one hand on the knob, terrified to walk out without my wig on. Then I held my breath and exited anyway. That day freedom washed over me the same way it must have when my husband relaxed and embraced the incomparable experience of being enveloped by water. All the things that I thought I could no longer do, I saw before me.

I also remember the first time I went swimming without my wig, rode a roller coaster without worrying that it was going to fly off, didn't cringe when someone hugged me because I was afraid that my hair was going to shift or get caught in a ring or watch, and stopped worrying about having to tell a mate about my alopecia. A lot of times I forget that feeling of utter freedom, but watching my husband's progress and listening to his excitement reminded me.

Whatever that freedom is to you, find it. Find a way back to doing all the things you love and expanding yourself to try some new things. It may not be easy, but it may very well be worth the courage.

Meet you in the deep end! <3

Views: 1238

Comment by DeniseC on August 8, 2016 at 3:22am

Great message - thanks.

My equivalent 'deep end' was sooner than this. It was admitting to myself that there was indeed something wrong, and my hair was indeed disappearing (I have FFA) - and then - 'deepest end' - telling other people. It took me a whole heap of courage to say the words, even to my nearest and dearest.

Once I had 'come out', I found everything easier to cope with as it normalised the situation and allowed me to see that there was nothing to be ashamed about. Losing my eyebrows and my hair was unfortunate (oh yes!), but that was all.

And, guess what? The deep end wasn't so difficult after all!


Comment by Debbi Fuller on August 8, 2016 at 7:50am

Congratulations RJ!!  That's fantastic!!  Of course you KNOW that I'm all for doing rash and crazy things as often as possible!  Life really opens up when you are fearless!!

Comment by Jordan on August 8, 2016 at 8:16am
Thanks for sharing! I've always needed uplifting stories when this alopecia things causes me to emotionally relapse. This not only helped with Alopecia fears but others as well. Courage is the ingredient eh. Awesome for your husband! As long as we're breathing it's never too late. Thanks again !
Comment by Mary Linda Simmons-Robinson to on August 8, 2016 at 10:37am
I like your post,this month is the month for freedom.
Comment by Versida on August 8, 2016 at 11:17am

Kudos RJ!! I too at am learning how to swim & loving every minute of it.  The fear of others finding out about my alopecia & the roller coaster of emotions I experienced kept me from moving forward and truly living my life. When I finally got through what I refer to as the stormy period of my life it was truly liberating. Facing ones fears is indeed freeing.  Thanks for the share!

Comment by Susan on August 8, 2016 at 10:34pm

Congratulation Rj. Freedom from fear is a beautiful thing...

Comment by Ral Yorar on October 19, 2016 at 3:47pm

Where it is possible to practice diving what equipment for this purpose is required? Advise all inclusive scuba diving resorts.


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