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Fear Into the Abyss

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by rob.mwpropane, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    Ok, so I've toyed with the idea of posting this as I'm not usually "scared". I've had it happen to me twice now over the last few years where I'm in the quarry, there's other people in the quarry just not exactly next to me. I go to look at something where it's eerie and dark and all of a sudden fear creeps up my spine and I can't do it. I look out into the abyss and I just can't do it. My brain tells me there's nothing there, I know there's nothing there, but fear gets the better of me and I swim the other direction. It's only happened when visibility was less than par. If someone's near me, I have no issues whatsoever.

    The other day I was at the top of a wall looking down and I could not bring myself to go down it. The sun was setting, viz was ~ 10' or so, but I was losing light fast. This is really unusual for me as I'm not ever scared. I love being scared, scary movies, haunted houses with the kids, jump outs...but when I looked down that darn wall I felt fear, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I lied to myself and said no we'll save that for another day, but it was fear.

    So what do you do, does that go away at some point? Is there something I can do to not have that happen? I will say that I feel the fear, but I don't "react" to it, it's not like I fly back to the surface gasping for air, I just simply swim the other way.

    To be honest, I get the same notion, although smaller, when I'm surface swimming and can't see the bottom. It's just something in me gets sceered! There's a part of me that likes it, but there's also a part of me that wants to be able to control this or be able to "dive" through it at least:)

    Any / all suggestions welcome...... even if it's just to tell me I'm a pansy:rofl3:
  2. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    You just grit your teeth and muscle through it. Only way.
    EdC, Bob DBF and rob.mwpropane like this.
  3. jgttrey

    jgttrey ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Houston
    Dive within your comfort level. This is supposed to be fun.

    My wife had a similar fear on wall dives. If you want to challenge yourself with the abyss, do it incrementally and with buddies you trust and gradually build confidence. Pushing 5% beyond your boundary is fine, but gritting your teeth and doing something that makes you really uncomfortable is a bad idea. I understand you haven't had a panic reaction, but there have a been a handful of threads in the last few months where people have reacted exactly that way and that's when it becomes a problem.
  4. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    Panic would not be an issue. I'm not sure I've ever panicked in my life and that includes some trips to the hospital and some dire situations. Panic is not something that fixes anything (at least to me). Obviously, I don't want to sound too mocho...I did post a thread about being sceered.

    I'm sure if I just pushed through it I would be fine, and there have been a lot of things I just push through, no problem. These 2 instances have me bewildered.
  5. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!

    Fear is nature's way to keep you from exceeding your limits. Listen to that inner voice. There's nothing down there worth dying for or even getting hurt. OK, it might due to ignorance. Solve your ignorance before you try to soldier through it. Diving IS supposed to be fun, not scary, not hard and definitely not dangerous. When my little voice is talking, I bail the Ef out. My second rule of diving: You can call a dive at any time, for any reason, with no questions or ramification. Bail today so you can dive tomorrow.
  6. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

    While you may not have experienced a full blown panic attack, you are experiencing panic. And every diver has a panic threshold. Some are far more tolerant than others. It's nothing to be ashamed of. As mentioned, you just gotta mentally work through it one step at a time.

    [ pan-ik ]
    1. a sudden overwhelming fear, with or without cause, that produces hysterical or irrational behavior, and that often spreads quickly through a group of persons or animals.

    2. an instance, outbreak, or period of such fear.​
    Diver below 83 and rob.mwpropane like this.
  7. scrane

    scrane Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boise, ID.
  8. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    I'm not sure what you mean. Nothing about the dive is dangerous, hard bottom at ~ 65'. It's not the "oh sh!t what am I doing here"...it's just fear.

    Edit, wanted to add that there's an aspect to diving, the fear, the unknown that draws me to it. I like it, sometimes I feel like I'm on a spaceship exploring new worlds...sometimes it gets the better of me.

    So no one else gets that uneasy feeling? The excitement, the fear?
  9. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    I think both @Marie13 and @The Chairman are both correct. For me a good example is Orange Grove, it is a cave entrance with a layer of duckweed over the top. That first five feet scare me, but I know that under it is crystal clear water, so I grit through it and push through. You don't grow if you stay exclusively in your comfort zone.

    But I wouldn't push through into unknown water where I didn't know what was under that layer, I just don't have the comfort level underwater to do that. So that would be well outside my comfort zone, and I probably won't grow by doing that dive.
    Marie13 and rob.mwpropane like this.
  10. icechip

    icechip ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Maine
    Reminds me of being on night dives and seeing the beam from your light and very occasionally that fleeting creepy sensation that there might be something just beyond the beam.
    rob.mwpropane likes this.

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