Sunday, September 13, 2009

Swimming Straight

I've tried denial and positive thinking. I've tried Evergreen and online support groups. I've tried coming out and going back in and sleeping on the couch. I've tried coming clean with my Bishop and counseling. I've tried anti-depressants, tranquilizers and sleep meds. I've tried journaling and blogging and watercolors. I've tried basketball, softball and swimming. I've endured suicidal depression and found Christ just sitting in the sunshine.

Slowly I've found what seems to work for me: striving for self-acceptance and steady breathing, family traditions and diverse friendships, exercise and writing, reading and music, pharmaceuticals and prayer. I've also explored alternate definitions, like "plumb" or "loyal" for "true". And the notion that swimming straight involves nothing more than making it 25 yards from one end of the pool to the other.


  1. That's how you have to take it -- 25 yards at a time, just making sure you're following the line...and just keep swimming.

  2. Thanks for your feedback, Kengo. I'm no longer trying to swim straight in any place other than a body of water. That's helped not only with my swimming but with life in general.

  3. "... just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

    -- Dory, the fish

    A lot of thoughts here...

    1. Don't give up. Just keep keepin' on.
    2. Move beyond your comfort zones.
    3. Push through your fears.
    4. Gain confidence where none existed before.
    5. Stop worrying about what others think.
    6. It's wonderful to be naked (or nearly naked) in public.
    7. Old dogs can learn new tricks.
    8. Nothing is impossible.
    9. It's amazing to touch.
    10. It's okay to be you.


  4. Great post Ned.
    Swimming straight. Reminds me of a ropes course for MOM couples this summer. Some activities we did as couples, some as men. During the 'trust fall' the instructor told us men to 'straighten up,' referring to our line. She kept reminding us to be straight. We couldn't contain our laughter. 'We're trying, we can't' we responded. I don't think she caught on.

    Beck #6 how public. Not too comfortable with this one!

  5. Bravone & Beck: I agree with all ten, but like you Bravone, I'm not too comfortable with #6. Although it does work for me in the "nearly naked" mode, such as wearing a swimsuit. I guess I'm OK with nudity in public locker rooms, but that's not really public nudity, is it?

  6. #6 was referring to appearing in a speedo at a swimming pool, or showering in a locker room gang shower... Don't get any idea that I'm all for public nudity, but these other publicly acceptable expressions of nudity or near-nudity were out of the question for me just a few months ago, and now I've accepted them as being very healing to my damaged soul.

  7. Beck: I guess that healing's been quite effective because I've got to tell you that I just don't see you as damaged in any way. Maybe a bit tired or frustrated, maybe in need of some additional companionship or even some new perspectives, but damaged? No way.