Swimming as a remedy for bad gossip.
Swimming as Therapy for a sane life
I have written before on Drugs and swimming, which originally was intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek. However, I thing there is something in it, or maybe I have made something of it. In addition to my ongoing drug addiction we have been faced at home by a great deal of emotional upset, rift within a family unit, including outright rejection of sibling by sibling and mother by child and children by their mother. Without going into gratuitous detail one tremendous error, by one family member, has created a tsunami of emotion in my partners family. The feelings unleashed have been of truly disruptive and destructive proportions. This overbearing and unwanted horror show has become so bad that I have had to take time out, (which is why I have written nothing for hubpages recently), and has shown me further uses of swimming as mental therapy.
It seemed that every time I saw and spoke to someone yet another piece of completely unsolicited previously unknown, family drama was revealed to me. Now gossip of the good natured variety has a small part to play in most of our lives, but this was all gossip of an ill-natured sort at a meta-level, I never want to experience again. Gone are the days when I want to be 'in the know'. The main problem with having 'privileged information' thrust upon you is what then to do with it. Its more than likely you have been told this piece of informarion or gossip, either in a malicious way, to pass on to others it will harm, or perhaps because the unshared weight of the knowledge is simply too much for the tale teller to bear alone.
So what to do with this unwanted information, well the first part of this probllem is easy enough to deal with,:-listen carefully and keep your own mouth shut, the second part dealing with the burden and responsibility of carrying this trash around, all by yourself can be overwhelming. This is where swimming and drug addiction have a good part to play. Most drug users on Dangerous Drug Prescriptions have a counsellor, now they are the ones to talk with, they are not emotionally involved, are reasonably used to dealing with traumas sensibly, and most importantly, because of client confidentiality they do not pass it on.
But where does swimming come in and why do I find it so useful in times of stress.?
Firstly, a pool in a gym can be a very secluded place. Once in the pool, phone switched off, a person becomes very difficult to contact, specially if you have not told anyone where you are going. Secondly, I find swimming as excercise, particularly soothing. Firstly, one can move and stretch in ways just not possible on land, which I find makes me feel very comfortable in my body, similarly the mere fact of being immersed in water for an hour or so makes one feel very cleansed. However, the really beautiful and useful part comes when you eventually find your stroke. I guess it is a form of meditation or self hypnosis. After a length or so the actual swimming becomes easy and rhythmical, something your conscious busy mind does not have to be involved in, in addition if you can swim in a straight line you can close your eyes. Finally, it is very difficult to hear anything going on out of the water.
I suppose it might be similar to being in a sensory deprivation tank, but not in a scary way. A bit like being in the womb maybe, immersed in amniotic fluid , the beat of your own body and the implications of senses self forming and linking up in your mind. The eye can in the warm sensuous caring wash of the protective water feel free to turn inwards again, and review the implications of his senses to his thought patterns. Now an an adult he can act on his reasoning.
What is even better, like all well walked neural/physical pathways this ability to think totally imaginatively but clearly and without much sense of the ego playing the starring role in this other world drama being considered, is a very useful ability to be able to access at will. I believe swimming facilitates this ability to gain a reliable overview of a situation and maybe, to imagine ways forward previously unconsidered. This heightened reality of perception becomes quicker, easier and deeper the more you practice it. I think it must be like suddenly being able to play chess really well. Also it seems danger free, it's not like you are going to fall asleep and drown by accident!
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Richard Laymon one Rainy Night. one of the greats of modern horror gore. Great Read.