Survival.

I nearly drowned once.
I watched the light at the surface become smaller and smaller
until it was no larger than a speck of dust in an ocean of darkness,
as I ascended deeper and the blue turned into a black
which left me blindly staggering,
unable to find my direction,
unable to tell if I was close to the surface which awaited me
with fresh air and new life,
or whether I was closer to the bottom-
if there even was a bottom because I was tired of falling.
It felt like I was tied down
but the chains that had me tethered were nothing but my own hands
and the weight on my shoulders that had me spiralling downwards
was nothing but the weight of what my neck supported,
and as the pressure increased I could feel my lungs caving into themselves
and my throat ran dry though I was surrounded by water,
my hands shivered and trembled
and my legs could not have carried me had I tried to walk,
if I could even muster the courage to attempt to do so.

I nearly drowned once.
The only thing worse than wanting to swim
but being unable to do so out of sheer exhaustion
caused by being propelled deeper into a tide
where every wave is a tempest,
the only thing worse than the helplessness you feel
when you know that all the will in the world would not be enough
to get your body to swim,
is the horror you feel every time you let the foaming waves gently caress your ankles,
and you’re reminded of how your body felt
like it had been carrying every grain of sand
on the beach you are standing on,
when you are suddenly washed over by a fear
that makes you tremble,
afraid of losing your footing and plummeting
back into the deep depths
you fought so hard to swim out of.
The only thing worse than having nearly drowned
is the fear lives on
and surfaces every time you’re at a beach
and the sound of the ocean fills your ears,
and suddenly the sound of the ocean
is substituted by a cackling static
like that of a spoilt radio
and it doesnt stop,
as though your mind is, at once,
both blank
and sweeping with waves of dread,
one thought crashing over the other
before the first has the chance to retract;
suddenly the sand has vanished from under your feet
and the waves are crashing down on your chest
with a ferocity so intense it breaks your ribs,
shattering them
like the rocks which have been powdered into the sand
that seems to have flooded your blood,
and they pierce your lungs and puncture your heart
which is struggling to continue pumping life into you,
fighting against the tide of terror
that is trying to drown you.

I nearly drowned once.
The water is still in my lungs.

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