It may seem a little incongruous that someone who declares their love of swimming may also express their fear of drowning, but believe me, the two can, and do, co-exist.
Unashamedly, I admit that I am uncomfortable in deep water. The two worst scenarios are: 1. a long way from shore, and 2. very deep swimming pools.
Undoubtedly, my issue with the former lies in the fact that it takes greater time and effort to get back to safety than being close-handy. My problem with the second is linked to fear of heights. Swimming with my eyes open, looking straight down into the depths, spooks me severely.
First of all, let me say that fear of drowning isn’t baseless. Those of you who’ve ever suffered leg cramps can testify to their degree of incapacitation. Get a beauty in the water, and bingo! You’re in trouble!
I’ve learned to come to grips with my fear, and it’s all based on common sense. Firstly, I needed to practise doing it, but strictly under safe conditions, i.e with other, strong swimmers. Importantly, too, the conditions had to be right, both in the water, and in my own health. It can be counterproductive to push yourself too hard, and especially bad to swim when you’re unwell.
I guess what I’ve really done is to minimise my fear, harnessing it to controllable levels, and in the process, recognised that it simply isn’t baseless.