Swimming For Freedom & Overcoming PTSD


To me swimming is more than a simple recreational activity that may lead to physical fitness, boating, jet-skis, fishing, scuba-diving, accolades and trophies,…etc.,. It is a “road” to a potentially fun life and freedom on many levels for me. It is another key that I have discovered to help me unlock the maze of multiple layers of invisible gates, doors and bars that have mentally imprisoned me for many decades now. It is a tool that is allowing me to swim to the near distant shores of sanity within my mind that have always remained torturously,…just out of grasp,…much like a prisoner may have felt locked up in Alcatraz while being inadvertently teased by the lights of a thriving San Francisco just across the bay. So recently I started swim lessons simply to test my nervous system and push boundaries for myself. Ironically,…I invite you to imagine how difficult it is to walk out of the confines of a type of brutal mental purgatory and all it’s “comforts” that I’ve become used to for so many years simply because I know where the edges are. This adventure requires me to literally swim in [four feet] of deep water where there are no edges or boundaries much like the endlessness of the stars in the sky. I’m walking out of the non-brick & mortar prison and I dare to reach for any of my hearts desires simply because it’s my birthright,…while simultaneously trying not to appear awkward or inept. Since my therapist recommended that I take up my drumming once more for the right-left alternating brain exercise, I surmised that swimming might also help to accomplish the same task. To my surprise, my body is consistently remaining relaxed in the water eventhough it never has before,…and the sound of the water in and around my ears does not trigger me as I approach my 6th class this week. My right-left coordination with my arms and legs appears to be progressing favorably just like my drumming has done in recent years with complex rhythms that I had always struggled with. For a long time I knew that something was odd to say the least,…with my nervous system and my relationship with the sound of water on and within my ears. The seemingly simple sound of running water across my ears would trigger uncontrollable panic within my nervous system in the shower or in a swimming pool environment for no apparent reason ever since I was a kid. The tense muscles would in turn translate to a lack of floating ability and thus more fear,…more muscle tension and a resulting vicious cycle. Now the sound of the water over my ears appears not as amplified volume wise,…yet oddly muted and calm. Well,…for obvious possible funky reasons,…I could not avoid daily showers,…but I could refrain from attempting to swim over the past decades,…until now! I’m swimming…! The below Video clip was taken on my second day several weeks ago and will illustrate me doing a “simple” kick & glide,…however, I have progressed to adding in the arm strokes. For some reason this type of exercise seems to help my right and left side of my brain communicate better in addition to the *EMDR treatments. I look forward to further progress during the up coming weeks.

So,…for those Men & Women out there that are doing your best to overcome anything including but not limited to PTSD / Anxiety,…whether you’re single, married or otherwise in a relationship,…please consider choosing to find a way to thrive with the “Good” or “Bad” moments? Don’t give up on you! You’re worth it! Your family & Relationship is worth it! The world is better with your contribution and thriving life,…however you personally choose to define your vigorous growth & development! Consider choosing to know that,…You Deserve It!

Howard Lovely, Jr.
RockSolidPotentialLifeCoaching@gmail.com                                                                  (970)353-1180


*Eye-Movement-Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

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