Something that I used to enjoy, years ago was scuba diving. I can still remember the very first time that I took a breath under the water. It was a very tense and scary moment, wondering whether or not I would actually be able to breath, or if I would suffocate, deep down under the water.
I do not know why, but I held my breath all of the way down to the bottom of the pool, where we were being trained. Now, I knew that I was an avid swimmer, and that even with the weight belt and wetsuit on, I could get me to the surface to breath, if I needed to; yet, a moment of panic set in. It was an all-encompassing moment of dead silence, where I had no one to listen to but my inner self. I can remember saying to myself, “Just take a breath, just breathe and everything will be alright.” Of course I did, and of course, it was. I took that breath and started to swim; and because I did, a whole new world was opened up to me. I enjoyed diving for many years, and have recently converted to snorkeling, but I may just jump back into a wetsuit, and hit the greater depths of the ocean again, someday. My favorite place to dive is in the Caribbean, even though the water is very warm there, wetsuits are still in order for me. The fish and coral reefs in the Caribbean are a sight to be seen by all; the are literally astounding!
I kind of experienced the same sort of feeling when I was first told, over the phone, that I had leukemia. There was an overwhelming silence that took over my body and soul, and I felt as though I may drown. I heard myself, once again repeating those words, “Just take a breath, just breathe and everything will be alright.” Of course, I did and of course, it was.
Reflecting back to those first moments, I am now beginning to realize just how scary they were; probably more so for everyone around me, than for myself, because up until recently, I have been living my life on auto-pilot. It has been a whirlwind of a year, and I am going to try and remember, that despite the fear of taking that very first breath, the rewards are great!