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Thread: Fear of swimming in lakes

  1. #1
    Junior Member Pod of the Midwest
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    Fear of swimming in lakes

    Hi merfolks, I have a pretty intense fear of swimming in lakes or bodies of water I can't see down into. I'm perfectly alright swimming in the open ocean when it's clear (like around Guam/Micronesia). To be honest right now.. I'm afraid of seeing dead people in lakes. Scuba diving in the ocean is no problem at all because my head has this rationalization that the currents would carry bodies deeper and I know of all the fish that eat decaying matter..
    Any and all tips are appreciated. I go to college in southwest Missouri and would like to have the courage to swim in the lakes in my future tail.
    I'm happy to talk to anybody if you have strategies for getting over fears. 😅❤️

  2. #2
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    I live on a lake and when I first moved here, everything freaked me out. A little bit of algae, a leaf, the squishy lake bottom...ew! The first time I jumped in and finally got relaxed, I got a dead - really dead - fish stuck in my hair!

    I started getting used to my lake by using one of those floats that's basically a net in the middle and an inflatable tube that surrounds it.

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    By my second summer, I was swimming through mats of weed and lily pads, chasing turtles, diving deep...you just have to get acclimated.

    If it's any consolation, you aren't going to run into any bodies because where you are, it's going to be too warm for bodies to stay submerged...they would begin to decompose quickly and the internal bacteria is going to cause gasses within the body, causing it to float. Cold lakes hold onto their dead a lot longer. Lake Tahoe is famous for not giving up its dead because the water is so cold and the lake is so deep.

    I know. It doesn't help, does it?

    You just have to keep getting in the water. Soon the lake will make you feel welcome. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Junior Member Pod of the Midwest
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    That's actually really really helpful and hopeful for me! Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge. I now will be getting an inflatable to just relax and get used to the water and have happy experiences there.
    Also thanks about the whole dead bodies thing.. Very very reassuring for me.

  4. #4
    I guess when I have a strong fear, I try and think, well why am I afraid of this? If it's not rational, I try and rationalize out the "consequences" of coming face to face with that fear. Like what is the worst thing that could happen?

    Like I'm terrified of spiders. You can thank my brother and sister for that one, they use to put them on me and put them in my bed and stuff, and it didn't help my Dad liked to keep black widows as pets for a while..plus human instinct. And yes if one gets near me on my person I will FREAK OUT initially, but after that moment has passed and the adrenaline comes down, I'll be fine. There are very few spiders that could actually do any long term or severe damage to me, you know? The ones that are dangerous usually live in dark places, so I'm careful in those circumstances. But anyway, after thinking about that I'm not as afraid as I use to be. I can even get them in a cup and put them outside myself now, and when I walk into a web I don't flip my lid anymore.

    Or like I am scared of the underside of boats, especially the back end- but that's logical. What if the propeller came on, what the boat drifted over me? I take steps and rationalize it out. It's anchored, moored, or docked- it's not going to move. We're stopped, people know I'm in the water, they're not going to turn on the propeller. But the underside looks spooky.. yeah that's just cause it's dark and looks big in the water, and has barnacles n stuff on it. It's not actually dangerous like my mind is making it out to be!
    I also have issues with open water in some ways, mostly stuff touching my feet because I can't see it and don't know what it is. Natural human instinct and all that. But when you're in a tail, stuff can't touch your feet So it actually helps me, haha.

    So what is the worst thing that could happen if you saw a dead body? I mean it's pretty unlikely in the first place. But if you DID, then what? You'd freak out, sure. You'd go and call the cops and they'd take it from there. You'd come down from the adrenaline. You'd be squicked out for a few days, sure. But then like everything else, it will pass and you won't be hurt. But like Pearlie said, it sounds really unlikely for you in the first place.

    In the end the best thing you can do for a fear is face it. Exposure therapy! I even use to go into PetSmart and see how long I could stand and look at the tarantulas before I couldn't anymore, and it got longer and longer. When we went sailing I'd go out about 10 feet and just look at the underside of the boat and then hang out next to it by the back ladder. I started taking my tail off at the end of swims and just hanging out with my feet out, and even run my feet through some underwater plants and get use to the sensation.

    So you go, you swim in those lakes! Take some googles and a floaty to hang onto in case you feel panicked and need to see around you underwater and something to hang onto while you calm down. You can do an initial scope of the lake, it might make you feel better. You can do it!

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  5. #5
    Junior Member Pod of the Midwest
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    Thank you!! That was very encouraging and hopeful for me. Lol! I'm really feel much more prepared to start getting used to swimming in the lake. ❤️ I know friends will happily accept a ride to the lake beach so I will definitely have some buddies to be in the water with me.

  6. #6
    Hi,
    Everyone has some fears inside them, some will fear from darkness or some will fear from being left. One should calm their mind while facing their fears. Trust me, nothing is impossible, it's just your way of approaching.

  7. #7
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    I know this is an old thread, but I want to add my 2 cents anyways. I ONLY swim in lakes. The reason being is because I know that others who know me would see me as having a mental disorder if they knew I did this, so I keep this part of my life a secret. That would obviously force me to avoid public pools and go for lakes that don't have others around. These are difficult to find since I am limited to public land at night time and can't get to the more secluded places without trespassing onto someone's private land. With this difficulty, I have to first go into the lake, then put my tail on while in the water.

  8. #8
    Same, I feel only comfortable swimming in lakes or pools. Never seas. There's just the fear of the unknown in me that wonders what else is swimming beneath me which I can't see at all.

  9. #9
    I can only swim in the ocean or pools but lakes terrify me. I swam across one once, I did it but the thought of dead moose under me and I started to tire, both ruined me for lakes. Plus brain amoebas... Scared of lakes now. A good followed me menacingly the whole time too like he'd bite me if I stopped. Probably saved my life because no one would have saved me. The scary goose kept me going, bless him.

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  10. #10
    Ohh i see, I never thought about those brain amoebas before....but now that you mentioned it, i'm sure to remember that now if I go to swim in a lake now hahaha.

  11. #11
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    Well if I get a brain amoeba, then I guess I'll just die but I'll die happy knowing that I enjoyed some time with my tail.

    For those of ya'll talking about dead animals in a lake, if ya'll find one, just leave for a few days and mother nature will do the rest. The fish love munching on that stuff.

  12. #12
    I've only swam in lakes and rivers so far. I've always been one of those people who is freaked out by the unknown, especially strange textures under my feet. Once I had my tail on, I couldn't feel the water plants so I was fine.

    It's definitely one of those things that is easy to make a big deal in your head, but once you jump in you realize it's fine. I've swam in water with leeches before, no big deal. Just check for them once you're out of the water - I had 2 on me, each the size of a fingernail clipping. They were so small they couldn't even pierce my skin.

    Wearing goggles is a must for me, for several reasons. 1, lakes are full of sand, silt, and plant matter. You don't want that to get in your eyes. 2, I think it's important for safety reasons to be able to see underwater when you don't know the terrain well. Lakes can have sudden drop offs, and I like to be aware of where the deep and shallow areas are. 3, when you're swimming in natural areas, I find it much more enjoyable if I can see. There's so much beauty I don't want to miss.

  13. #13
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    I once lived close to lakes where the only thing I had to check for before stepping into the water was gators.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Mai'ana View Post
    Hi merfolks, I have a pretty intense fear of swimming in lakes or bodies of water I can't see down into. I'm perfectly alright swimming in the open ocean when it's clear (like around Guam/Micronesia). To be honest right now.. I'm afraid of seeing dead people in lakes. Scuba diving in the ocean is no problem at all because my head has this rationalization that the currents would carry bodies deeper and I know of all the fish that eat decaying matter..
    Any and all tips are appreciated. I go to college in southwest Missouri and would like to have the courage to swim in the lakes in my future tail.
    I'm happy to talk to anybody if you have strategies for getting over fears. ❤️
    Lakes can be scary, but it’s all in your head. I’ve grown up swimming in lakes and on boats and the scariest thing I have ever seen is a log under the water. It might be a little different for me because the lake I mainly swim in is the 8th cleanest in the US. I prefer lakes because I can open my eyes under the water and there’s no big fish I need to be worried about!


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    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by scilover View Post
    Same, I feel only comfortable swimming in lakes or pools. Never seas. There's just the fear of the unknown in me that wonders what else is swimming beneath me which I can't see at all.
    i think I rather said that lake scared me more than the sea since the water is a bit like greenish and it make me think that there are crocodiles watching me from afar hahaha.

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