July 6, 2022

Words to Hold on to When we Feel Ourselves Sinking.


Tonight, I was feeling sad.

I had been making so much progress in tackling my fears of the water, and today, whilst taking another step forward, I fell backward.

I was at a waterpark for my son’s 10th birthday, and I came flying out of a water slide into a plunge pool where I was unexpectedly out of my depth.

I’d never been on a big water slide before—I wasn’t expecting to be in deep water. I thought it would be relatively shallow. I mean some of them don’t even have pools, right?

So, when my feet couldn’t find the bottom, instead of swimming calmly to the side, I panicked and swallowed loads of water whilst doing a frantic and childlike doggy paddle to the side.

I’ve never jumped into or even swum in water that I can’t stand in before, because I’ve always been too scared. I’ve been thrown into the sea from a surfboard, but while wearing a wetsuit and in the white water, where it’s shallow enough to stand up anyway.

My youngest child, who is seven and also not a strong swimmer, shot out of the other slide just after me, and swam out in a similar fashion but without a problem.

The difference between us is that while I got scared, he didn’t.

I was terrified that I would drown, while he was giggling with excitement and paddling toward the steps.

I had been working toward trying wakeboarding at our local cable park. I practiced swimming in the water with the impact vest on and the wakeboard on my feet, so I had become used to being quite floaty in the water with minimal effort.

I always wear a wetsuit and vest when I go paddleboarding along the coast too.

I can’t tread water, but I can swim that short distance, properly, so there was no reason to panic. I felt ashamed and embarrassed, because I was scared.

I felt helpless.

Soon afterward, my boyfriend came out of the slide too, and I told him what happened, and it didn’t sound like a big deal. Yet after the children ran off to the next slide, my world started spinning, and he had to take me to sit down on the grass and breathe until the dizzy spell passed.

I was scared.

I felt helpless.

Tonight, I thought about giving up on trying to surf, trying to wakeboard, trying to be someone I’m not.

But then, while scrolling through Instagram, I saw this quote:


Hearted by


A voice whispered to me:

Don’t give up.”

And I thought, what really makes us who we are anyway?

Is it something we are good at?

Is it something we love doing?

Is it something we do to pay the bills?

To many people I’m a waitress. They only see me at work.

To others, I’m a mother. They only see me at school, picking up my kids.

I’m also someone’s girlfriend.

I’m also someone’s daughter.

To you, right now, I’m a writer.

I could be a wakeboarder too one day.

Why not?


Hearted by


Focusing on the positive, I plunged into water deeper than me for the first time, and nothing bad happened except in my head. Regardless of how I did it, I swam to the side.

Was it really a step back?

I did something I’ve never done before.

Instead of giving up, maybe I need to take this as a reminder to put more energy into becoming a better swimmer.


Hearted by


Before I read that quote, I was going to call my boyfriend, tell him how I felt, and probably cry about it more. Instead, I decided to write about it and look for more quotes.

And in doing so, I turned my mood, my feelings, and my attitude around completely.

I realised that the only thing I was really drowning in today was fear.

I felt helpless

But I am not.

I am free to decide where I will go from here.

And I’m going to keep trying.


Hearted by


I’m not going to give up.

If your head is above water and you are breathing, you aren’t drowning.


Hearted by


I’ve never thought of myself as a strong person, but there is a light inside me that never goes out. It flickers and fades sometimes, but it’s always there.

I’m not going to give up.


Hearted by


Please consider Boosting our authors’ articles in their first week to help them win Elephant’s Ecosystem so they can get paid and write more.

Read 49 Comments and Reply

Read 49 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Linda Maria Jones  |  Contribution: 55,580

author: Linda Maria Jones

Image: Kenneth Gorzal Surillo/Pexels

Editor: Michelle Al Bitar

Relephant Reads:

See relevant Elephant Video