Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bucket List Update Part 2

I'll start by warning you, this does not have a happy ending.  If you missed part one, check it out here.

Wednesday - Mod 2:

We get to the dive shop and start choosing our gear we're going to use.  I was going to wear a bigger wet suit so it wasn't so tight around my neck, but no such luck.  The next size available last night was way too big.  I also wasn't able to get a small BCD, as they were already claimed by other students, so I had to take a medium, which was way too big (and you'll see the problem with this in a bit).  However, I found a better mask to use which allowed me to see a bit more than the one I had the day before.

We get to the pool and I'm suited up waiting for Danny and my mother in law.  I'm looking at the diving board and I notice the taller one is 5m, which is about 15ft, which is how deep the pool is.  Oy!  Now I have a visual idea of how deep the pool is, this is not good and I'm starting to get anxious about everything. 

Danny and my mother in law are ready and we get our gear all set up (I did remember how, yay me!).  Because the BCD is too big it's very awkward to stand with everything on.  Now to get into the pool.  I have to step off the pool deck into the water, eek - this is not my ideal way to enter a pool.  After a few attempts to do it I'm able to talk myself into doing it (after warning Danny I may have a panic attack when I hit the water, which I didn't). 

We're in the water and practicing using our snorkel, switching to the reg and back to the snorkel.  We also practice swimming on the surface using our snorkel.  Remember the BCD that's too big for me?  Well, it kept rising up and the strap across my chest is now across my throat making it hard for me to breathe.  Danny kept apologizing and undid the top release so I could breathe easier, which was nice but this caused my shoulders and up to want to float and my waist down to sink.  The tank of air kept knocking the back of my head since it was higher than it was suppose to be. 

Next, we're getting ready to descend so we can do another partial mask flood and clearing.  We're also going to do a mask removal, 30 maskless breathe (with our reg), see what it's like to run out of air, and that's as far as I heard... running out of air got my heart racing.  I get why we need to learn this, so we know what it feels like and can recognize it if it should happen on a real dive.  Not my idea of fun

This is where the unhappy ending starts.  I start to descend and I can't control anything, since the to half wants to float and the bottom half wants to sink.  I try to equalize, with no luck so I kick to move up a bit to try again.  Well, the top half of me takes over and I keep going up.  So, I stop kicking to go down to go to fast to equalize.  I can't control anything and I start to panic.  I kick to the surface (Danny said if we need to go up then do, but try to stay down) and cling to the wall while I try to calm down and control my breathing.  I try to go down again, only to see everyone else in the pool but Danny and my mother in law (logically, it's a pool and they can't go far but I panic anyways).  I find them and try again with the same thing happening.  I'm back on the surface (I think I managed to get down 5ft).  Try a third time to completely lose it.  I got out of the pool and gear in record time. 

I'm really upset about the whole thing.  I really wanted to do this, and it seems like a lot is stacked against me - I don't swim if I can't see the bottom and being in the deep end of the pool where I can't touch the bottom without being able to touch the top freaks me out.  I had time to get myself worked up before we even got into the pool, which I was already apprehensive about.  My BCD was too big, making it really F-ing difficult to control anything (and I like control, this is why I don't drink, I don't like not being in control of myself). 

I don't know what happens next.  I don't know how to try again since I couldn't descend past 5 lousy feet, nevermind get to 15ft, or heaven forbid 50ft if I ever make it to open water. 

It took me forever to fall asleep last night as I kept replaying everything over and over again.  The moment I woke up this morning I thought about what happened.  I googled panic attacks underwater, and got no definite help - either I need medication, therapy and shouldn't dive.  Helpful google folks. 

Thankfully, Danny's teaching tonight so I don't actually have to talk to him about any of this until tomorrow night, among his getting some quality time with Lynden, looking at a place and hopefully some grocery shopping.

Ok, I'm ready for encouraging comments now (and please no, "just get over it" or anything along those lines.  I'm already feeling like poop as it is over the whole thing.)


  1. Wow! So sorry to hear about this. Is there any way to book your gear ahead of time so that you can have gear that actually fits you? That would be my suggestion. Do give it another try but only if you can have what is appropriate for you to use. I assume if this is going to be an activity that you would pursue long term that you would eventually purchase your own equipment and that would take care of the ill-fitting issues. That said, if you are not comfortable in deep water that might be an indication that you are not really suited to this type of activity (although I do understand your desire to have a common interest with your husband). Our fears often are inconceivable to us and to others. Acknowledgment is the first step to over coming them if that is an option you want to look into. Therapy might help. In any case you gave it a try even knowing about the stated issues. Good on you!

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