Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Irrational Fears

Most of us have irrational fears...or maybe I just made that up. Whatever the case may be, this blog entry isn't about most of us. It's about me and my irrational fear of fish, so let's just cut to the chase...

I don't mind them on my plate. I don't mind them out of water. Hell, I don't even mind them in water, as long as there are six inches of plexi-glass between us. Being in the presence of fish isn't what bothers me, it's the mere prospect of skin-on-skin contact with one of the slimy bastards that I find terrifying. So terrifying, in fact, that I'd rather dunk my head in a bucket of snakes than go toe-to-toe with a goldfish. I'd take a bath in spiders before I petted a stingray at the zoo.

Okay, I got a little carried away with that last one...

The feeling is most acute when swimming in water I can't see through. As a teenager, I wore tennis shoes into the local rock quarry for fear of having my toes bitten off by some unknown creature. I had this vivid image in mind of some huge, razor-toothed behemoth weaving in and out of the submerged machinery, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. But my fear of fish goes deeper still. It follows me into the most unlikely of places!

As long as I can remember, I've had an irrational fear of being eaten by a shark in
the swimming pool. It's strongest when swimming alone, obviously! I've convinced myself that the likelihood is halved by the presence of one other swimmer. It makes sense, right? The chances of being eaten go from zero to 0/2.

Yeah, it's like that. Thank you, Google Image Search, for giving my nightmares substance.

Despite knowing full well how ridiculous this is, I still can't shake the uneasiness I feel in water. I tried doing some research on how to quell the anxiety, and I was surprised to find that there *are* other people who experience the same feelings. One guy said he got over his fear of being eaten by sharks by actually swimming with sharks, to which I said, "PFFT."

After a little more research, I learned that this particular phobia is supposedly akin to a fear of the dark. It's not the chlorine-resistant pool shark I'm afraid of, it's the fear of things beyond my awareness. The things I can't control. Well, that's the theory, anyway.

If only this psychological nugget did something to keep the imaginary monsters at bay. I've got some swimming to do this summer.


  1. Could be a weirdo and be scared of midgets like me..


    1. I think the P.C. term is "little people." You are afraid of LITTLE PEOPLE. GAWD. :)

      Love you.

  2. I think we all have those crazy fears. I would relate to you my own fears but one of my fears is having my fears written down for the world to see. Crazy I know.