In Your (Water) Shoes

I have always been a water baby. When we are fortunate enough to go on a "beach vacation," I spend most of the day in the ocean or sea. Suffice to say, that I am extremely comfortable in the water.

Except once.

We were snorkeling in Kauai along the edge of a coral reef. The tide was going out and at the same time the wave action was increasing. In order to get back to the shore, it was necessary to find the narrow coral-free channels. Not so easy to do in these tricky conditions.

At one point, I could feel myself getting nervous. I began to breathe faster. I was on the verge of panicking. This was something new for me. Fortunately, I was able to engage in my self-talk and use techniques that helped me apply reason and skill to this situation.

I now know first-hand what the onset of a panic attack feels like and how debilitating (and dangerous) it can be. There is hope through awareness and training.