NEXT060 Diving In Spite of Anxiety

Posted on : 13-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Coral Reefs, Featured, Heart Talks

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If you have anxiety attacks, constant low-grade anxiety and/or bouts of panic attacks (with mine I usually either feel like I am going to lose absolutely lose control and go crazy or die) then you can probably guess that scuba diving may not be the best choice of sports for someone like us to partake in, especially since shooting up to the top after a deep dive of 60 feet or more for 45 minutes or so would definitely cause your lungs to pop.

Well, I love scuba diving so much that I have been determined to find a way to be able to dive in spite of anxiety.  My panic attacks and anxiety began years ago after a weekend of heavy partying when the recreational drug I’d been doing decided to rip through my brain and disarm any defense mechanisms, doubts, worries and fears I was harboring. The good thing about it, was that I got scared enough about losing my mind that I got my butt into therapy. The bad news about it was the endless days, weeks and months of anxiety and panic attacks.  When I began having them it was at a time that medicine and therapy did not have much to offer unless you were psychotic or needed intense levels of valium of which I was neither.

Fast forward a couple of decades, log a bunch of therapy, getting sober, learning meditation techniques, all kinds of healing and Reiki treatments and I was able to enjoy long expanses–even years–of no anxiety or panic attacks. In 2000, my husband and I got certified in scuba diving and began going on regular diving trips almost immediately.  I loved the feeling of freedom that I got from swimming in the ocean. The fish, coral, sponges and marine life were hypnotizing. I was hooked.  Then a series of things happened while on diving trips from 9/11 to my best little Cairn Terrier friend dying when we were away on a trip and out of nowhere my old friend the Panic Attack came out of nowhere. In fact, I was on a dive at the Palancar Reefs in Cozumel about 75 feet under water when the first panic attack hit me.  It was so not fun.  Pretty soon thereafter, every other dive would end up with me having a panic attack.

Again, I went back to therapy and healings and have been on a very healthy eating program that involves no flour, sugar, caffeine or nicotine. All of this has been good for me, but I would still have the edge.  You’d have to be a diver to understand why I’ve been willing to put myself through the uncomfortableness of diving with a good chance of experiencing a panic attack.  Finally through working out my anti-depression medication (Effexor XR 37.5MG 3x/day) and 0.5 Xanax 2 times a day when diving, I’ve been able to enjoy already 6 dives with no anxiety or panic.  I’ve also been humming a Bahai saying, “Yabaha allah u abha” when I swim which immediately makes every dive almost a form of worship and I also think the fish enjoy hearing it too.

Last night we went on a night dive with a Master Diver who is not one of our favorites. We chose the Paradise Reef because we’d heard about all the sea life (including 8 seahorses) that our other dive friends had seen that day.  The Master Diver did say there would be fast moving current so we needed to stick together but a.) we had no idea it would be so fast moving and b.) we didn’t realize there was a big ole cruise ship docked at the nearby harbor.  On a night dive, I prefer not to have a really fast current because there is so much sea life to witness (like the little purple octopus changing to blue) that you really want to just hang around awhile and observe to see who comes out and what is going on.  It was a good dive in spite of all of us divers rolling on top of each other sometimes like a pile of puppies because of the strong current.  We’d been told that because the dive was shallow, we’d probably go as long as an hour but all of a sudden 37 minutes into the dive, the Master Diver was clanking on his tank and moving his flashlights for us to surface.  I saw big bright lights up above so I assumed the full moon had broken through the clouds.

We were soon to find out; however, that the fast moving currents had taken us about 5-10 feet from a big ole huge Carnival Cruise Line.  And through all of this I did not have any anxiety or panic attacks and was so looking forward to the dives this morning.

I’m outing myself about the medication that I am taking and how it is helping me because if there is another diver out there (or anyone who is experiencing anxiety or panic) I hope my experience/information can help you.  This is definitely NOT something to do without the help of a trained doctor (psychiatrist) and I have over 175 dives under my belt as well so I know all about safety and paying attention with diving.  Please don’t try to figure this out for yourself, do ask for help.

And may you enjoy diving as much as I do.  Today, I saw little tiny trunk fish that were about as long as half of my pinky. So worth the effort you put in so that you can get the most out of life!

reefs of Cozumel

NEXT020 Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Learn Something New

Posted on : 04-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Featured, Mind Fodder

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The old me would be telling you that my husband “owed me big time” because I deigned to accompany him to a “Wealth Builders” meeting tonight to listen and learn about investments from people who have been investing and succeeding for many years now.  The new me will tell you that although 1/10th of what was said made it into my pea brain for further gestation, I’m glad I went.  I saw old friends who I haven’t seen in a long time, from work and outside of work, as well as  some new words and concepts which made it into my brain for further investigation.

When you consider that the subject of finance and investing is probably the last box that I’ll ever check on any questionnaire about my interests, I’m glad that I was willing to show support to my husband about something he is interested in by going with him and listening.  I do know the difference between a Bear market (on the down trend) and a Bull market (on the up trend) and that gold is a very good thing to invest in right now, but that is about the limit of my understanding of what seems to me to be a very complex subject.  Now, what does intrigue me is the psychology and sociology of our western culture (as well as other cultures) and how the affect it has on the market.  Human thinking and feeling is something I can sink my teeth into.

The good thing about stepping out of your comfort zone and learning something new, like I did this evening, is that I can always find some place/thought/idea that I understand (human psychology) and find a meeting ground with the new subject (finance and investing) that can keep my interest long enough to be curious about why certain actions have been taken and to want to understand how/when/who took what action as well as their impact.  When we expose ourselves to new arenas for learning, we enrich the areas that we already know and keep that  rich soil for our ideas moving and accepting of nutrients instead of packing down into dense, stale, non-absorbent ground.

Now, will I begin voraciously reading books and sites on investing?  I don’t think so, but I will probably go to next Month’s meeting to let more new ideas sift in.

What about you?  Where can you step out of your comfort zone and learn something new?   What will it be?  When?





DINK #215 Doing Whatever It Takes

Posted on : 22-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Are you the kind of person who does whatever it takes to get the job, task or goal done? Or, perhaps, do you know someone who does whatever it takes? My husband is one of those people although I don’t think he thinks of himself in that way. If queried he’d probably tell you that he is just lazy enough that he’d rather get stuff done quickly and then be able to lay back and snooze but he’s really not one of those people who does anything by half measures. Over the years, his willingness to get up and get chores and tasks done around our house has certainly influenced me to get things done rather than sit around and complain.

But there’s really more to someone doing whatever it takes than just to get things done. There are people who are like two Baha’i friends I know who are about the age of my parents. They are the most giving people and the mother is always at the Baha’i center before the Sunday Devotions, making coffee and tea and spreading out delectable treats for the community after the services. She has always made me feel very, very welcomed and special. My friend and her husband have made the decision to take what they have learned over the years about the Baha’i Faith to Africa to share and help build communities there and I have to say that I was both touched and a little sad. I’m so glad that our African friends will know these two special Baha’i and yet at the same time I am selfishly feeling sad that my friend will be gone for awhile. I will miss her smiling face and her warm, gentle heart. She is truly someone who embodies doing whatever it takes to get things done but even more to touch many people’s hearts with her love, kindness and attention.

Lately, I feel as if I’ve allowed my life to become a holographic computer program where I flit from project to person to project and don’t spend as much time or give as much attention to anyone thing as I would want to do. I know that many of us are feeling this same way because of all the new technology, discoveries, inventions that we are getting to enjoy now. I hope that I can learn to enjoy and use the technology instead of allowing it to winnow into my being and use me. This afternoon I took Paul for a five-mile run through our hood and it felt so good for just my little machismo man dog and me to be running up and down the hills. It was a nice piece of time for me to commune with my God, for me to be in sync with my dog and for me to exercise my body in the gorgeous October air.

What does doing whatever it takes mean to you? When you do whatever it takes what propels you to do it?