Recklessly Beautiful and Mental Health Realizations

Whoa, there was a whole different atmosphere at the pool today. The parking lot was full so I thought perhaps it was another swim meet, but no, I was told, it is the first day of swim lessons!

It mostly impacted the shallower pool but the atmosphere was so different with all those little kids around and their parents, not to mention that the front desk fired up the popcorn machine so the entire pool area smelled like popcorn.

I only warmed up in the deep pool for about ten minutes and then decided to make a run for an empty lane. The high school swim team takes up four lanes, so that leaves four for the general public.

I’ll be honest, there was no peace enveloping me today. No flow. No swimmer’s high. I was tired and a bit sore from a hard week physically and emotionally. I decided, however, that no matter what, I’d complete an hour in the lap pool and that’s what I did. Then I went to the deep pool unsure of how much effort I might put into the second half of my workout.

I ended up staying in there for almost 30 minutes. Part of the time I was entertained because about seven of the high school kids who were finished with their laps came over and asked if they could jump on the low board. I said, “Of course,” and gave them ample room.

As exhausted as these young people were, they were running off that diving board doing all sorts of fun, ridiculous, and beautiful things. Some had real diving experience and were giving it a good effort. Others just tried to jump the highest or out the farthest.

Once a boy landed badly and when he surfaced he exclaimed, “Oh, my balls.” And he cupped them as he walked to queue up again. It was really fun to watch them. It reminded me of what a gymnast would do if they could do their complicated feats and then not worry about landing on their feet but just fall into water. They were beautifully reckless.

I was going to spend some time writing about my go-to move in the deep pool, the cross country ski move. But I’m tired, rushed, and since I won’t be swimming tomorrow I’ll postpone that until tomorrow which is Weighday. Gulp.

I was giving some thought in the pool today about my mental health. I won’t bore you with my so-called diagnosis, but suffice it to say that my behavior has ruined my last two marriages, at the very least. Last October I decided to stop my insane cycle or risk being alone and miserable for the rest of my life.

This is how I look at it. If an autistic person can learn that their behavior is socially unacceptable, he or she can work to change that. They may not fully understand it, but they are intelligent enough to know that they must. It is expected of them. I now look at myself that way. I have issues, and for whatever reason they were brought on, they have the potential to ruin my life and make other people miserable too. However, I am smart enough to know that I now need to stop that behavior. If I don’t, the penalty is awfully severe. I deserve more than that.

I am not sure if I would have ever come to this realization on my own if my husband had not made me look at myself squarely, eyes wide open. I was mortified by what I saw, and still have an incredible amount of regret, but all I can do is behave better from now on. What a hard lesson to learn and at what cost.

So far, so good. I’m far from perfect and some days are harder than others, but when you consider that my anxiety level is pretty high because I have no idea what my future will bring or if my husband will ever consider taking me back, but I am not drinking, I am not overeating, I am not turning to heavier medication nor am I planning a stay at the psych ward. All I am doing is swimming. (And sending my husband a few too many texts and emails). It could be worse.

Have any thought to share? Please write in the comment section below. And please follow me on Twitter @movingliquid1

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