October has been such an interesting month this year on many levels, including an increase in positive insights about myself and especially related to progress towards beating water anxiety. At the time of writing this, the month is not even over yet! What else is it going to bring my way??
I wrote about a little big win around my hatred, or fear (still cannot say which one, specifically) of water earlier, and how I managed to enjoy a relaxing shower for the first time in years. I had actually hoped that that experience would eliminate the negative feelings altogether, solidifying my showering routine once and for all, but, alas, it doesn’t work like that.
There have been a few pleasurable shower experiences since then, sure, but not all of them have been as positively surprising. There’s a lot of active thinking I need to do in order to wrap my mind around the routine aspect of showering properly, which kind of takes away from the pleasure of it. I still have a way to go, but it’s definitely looking better since that time.
I would like to tell you about two additional, very recent occurrences that count towards the pile of little big wins related to water.
1. The showerhead occurrence 🚿
I wear glasses and cannot see very far without them. When I shower, I take my glasses off (obviously), and I can’t see my surroundings very clearly… including different aspects of the bathroom. When one of my creep cats walks in the room to stare at me showering, I can just see a hairy lump sitting there and assume it is a cat.
I was doing some cleaning in the bathroom the other day, getting rid of some empty shampoo and conditioner bottles on the edge of the bathtub. I should do that more often as some were coated in dust. I was wearing my glasses, and I saw something out of place in the corner of my eye. It was the showerhead near the wall – specifically, the clumps of limescale (and beginnings of some mould formations!!) on the surface of where the water sprays out.
I scrubbed it clean, and later on when I took a shower… Oh. My. Gosh. It was like a different shower altogether. The water didn’t shoot in all directions anymore. The water pressure felt pleasant and very soft while still being strong enough. The massage-type of stronger water spray wasn’t completely scratching my skin off anymore and randomly pinching me in… sensitive places… while shooting from one end towards the ceiling – it was actually soothing, flowed straight down, and felt great on my neck.
That shower experience was positively surprising again. Because I managed to spot the limescale problem there is now one less thing to feel anxious about when showering – the pleasant water spray is actually something I look forward to now! I just wonder how, despite my poor sight, I didn’t see the limescale build-up earlier… or even suspect that that was the issue. Instead, I just assumed that showering is crap and this is part of it. 🤷♀️
2. The blog post occurrence 👀
I enjoy visiting other blogs, to learn about blogging itself from other bloggers and those who are more experienced at it than I am. I also like to just learn about a variety of different topics as well as see diverse views on various matters.
Twitter is great for finding new blog posts to read and bloggers to connect with. I’m also on Twitter if you’d like to connect with me! 🤓 While browsing around on Twitter I happened to discover a blog post link where the words “stress-busting” caught my eye. I’m big on discovering ways to relax and prevent stress, so that sounded intriguing, and I clicked it.
I arrived at a post written by Nyxie about how to create a Turkish bath at home. It seems super relaxing, calming, and indeed, stress-busting, and despite not liking water all that much, it planted a seed in my mind. I wouldn’t have a full Turkish bath or even a bubble bath – those are too advanced forms of bath for me. However, I decided to have a regular, plain, hot bath. And I decided to do that the same day because suddenly, I felt ready.
The first bath in about 7 years:
I’m not going to go into much detail about that bath experience, apart from noting that it was half pleasurable and half exhausting. The pleasurable part came at the beginning with 1) being able to actually go into the water without panicking and 2) feeling surrounded by warmth and the amazing tingling hot-shower feeling on my skin, just completely enveloping me.
After soaking in the hot bath for a few minutes I started to feel pressure and it was getting more and more difficult to breathe properly. I felt like my lungs were being compressed by the water, my skin was crawling and my face felt super flushed, like when you have a fever. I got out of the bath, out of the bathroom, and had to lie down on the sofa for a short while so I wouldn’t faint.
That sounds like a pretty negative experience, but I’m choosing to concentrate on the positives instead. I did it!! I recognise that there is potential for the next time where, I hope, I can extend the enjoyment and decrease the pressure.
Check out that Turkish bath post here by the way, for some great relaxation tips. Maybe one day I can try it out too. 👍
3. What learnings can you take from the above? 💡
Writing down, and actively thinking about, all the little big wins – small but positive things that move you towards your goals – is incredibly helpful to keep trying to reach something that you’ve repeatedly failed in the past, but desperately want to achieve or overcome.
Insights towards how to move forward, even just a little bit at a time, can come from surprising places like a dirty showerhead, or a blog post that I wouldn’t have read had I not seen the words ‘stress-busting’, and had I concentrated only on the aspect of water that I dislike.
Don’t let the surface of something deter you – dig a little deeper and you might find that inside a thing you initially felt would be dreadful, anxiety-inducing, or even scary, there can be some positive bits and pieces hidden for you to discover. You can then take those as learnings for next time, and build from there.
Have you ever experienced water-related anxiety? What about little big wins? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂