An Open Letter To My Growing Fear of the Ocean

Dear newly-budding and unexplained Thalassophobia,

What happened? When did you come around? I don’t remember you ever! When I was a kid I loved going to the beach! My mom couldn’t DRAG me out of the water if her life depended on it. I was so attached to the waves and the salt and feeling like I had my own personal giant swimming pool. But somewhere along the lines I took a break from swimming in the ocean. I assume this was probably around puberty, when suddenly wearing a bathing suit in public was a torture worse than water-boarding. Between that time and now, apparently I became terrified of the ocean.

I also completely blame all those terrible shows on Discovery Channel during Shark Week that explain (in gruesome detail) how a shark eats a person and also how most people are attacked by sharks in 3 feet of water less than 20 yards away from the shore (AHHHHHH!!!) Shark Week both terrifies me and engrosses me. On some level I am so incredibly scared that its all I can do not to piss myself, but on another completely different level- I’m so intrigued that only a house fire will make me move out of viewing distance from the TV. A few years ago I also started watching “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” (again, a Discovery Channel gem) and its not the episodes where people are stuck out in the African bush or lost in the Sierra Nevadas that keep me up at night. Its the ones where people are stuck out in the ocean and…of course, there are SHARKS!!! Everywhere SHARKS!!!  Or barracudas, or sting rays or God forbid, Narwhal’s (p.s. how did I go 24 years of my life without EVER hearing about these mythical creatures?!?!) WHATEVER! The ocean is full of killing machines.

This image explains in perfect detail why I will never swim in the ocean ever again!

I guess I do it to myself. I mean, I fully admit that every time the movie “JAWS” is on, I will watch it from beginning to end credits with out blinking. I have no idea why. There is no excuse. I’m only adding more fuel to my phobia fire. I think its something about being completely defenseless in the ocean. You have no natural abilities that you can use in your defense. The utter exposure is terrifying. AND MIGHT I ADD!!! What genius over at Nicorette thought that this would be a funny/appropriate commercial to show on TV!?!?!?!!? Every time it comes on I reach for the remote faster than when those heartbreaking dog pound commercials come on.

But it isn’t even swimming in the ocean, the idea of going out on a yacht where I couldn’t conceivably swim to the shore is not appealing to me what-so-ever! My absolute idea of hell is being stranded at sea. No water, no food, no direction, monsters of the sea at every turn. GAHHHHH! No-to the way-Jose!

I suppose I should be grateful to my newly found Thalassophobia. My fear of the open sea will protect me from ever becoming trapped in a situation that my nightmares are made of. But I find that even now whenever I go to the Beach I’m hesitant to even dip my feet in the water after my friend from Miami told me about Sand Sharks. WHAT?!?!?!!?

I don’t care, I’m sticking to my umbrella in the shade and a mai tai rather than swimming in death infested waters! Even though I know that the human species has little advantages in the water, I’d like to leave you with a tale that brings me personal satisfaction. Hopefully this in some way evens out the score given the complete BAD ASS-NESS of the victim’s Uncle!


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