As a very young child I took swimming lessons. I was around four years old, maybe close to five. At the end of my swimming lessons I still couldn't swim. The instructor thought that since I knew the basics I should be able to do it. She asked me to jump off the diving board into the deep end of the pool. Her assistant was in the water waiting for me to jump in and would make sure nothing bad happened. I remember being afraid of jumping, looking down into the water at the waiting assistant. I hesitated. The instructor told me that if I jumped into the water she would buy me an ice cream cone. How could I resist such an offer? I jumped. The assistant swam away.
I can still remember sinking down into the water, eyes open. I don't think I even tried to swim. The assistant was supposed to come and help me out of the water. The assistant, however, was waiting for me to use the knowledge that swimming lessons were supposed to have given me. I didn't. I just sank down holding my breath. Finally the assistant came and pulled me out of the water. I didn't have to have CPR or anything. I was perfectly fine, but the experience scared me. It made me afraid of the water. It made me not trust people when they said they would be there. And I never got the ice cream cone either (that might have been the worst part to my young mind at the time). I didn't learn to "swim" until I was ten. Even then, it was just an awkward dog paddle. To this day I don't swim well, and I don't like getting my face wet. Water is one of my fears.
Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in life. I am supposed to know all the skills that I need to face the challenges of life and get through them. I had been taught the basics, and then I jumped into the deep end. But there are times I find that I am sinking, looking through the water, unable to move. "Get up!" My mind says, but I stay in bed anyway. "Do some house work! Cook dinner! Take care of the basics! Just do SOMETHING!" But I feel frozen. The skills that I am supposed to know seem to have fled and I am drowning...waiting for the assistant to come and help me out of the water, but not trusting they will come.