I had the pleasure of jumping off of this cliff into the water with my 11 year old son on July 28, 2018. We were with family at a beach. The cliff was only 10 feet from the water but it looked like it was 100 feet. Yes, I am being dramatic! I was filled with so much fear that I knew it was time for me to overcome it. We walked to the cliff and looked down then changed our minds. We weren’t ready so we turned around to walk back to the beach area. Then all of a sudden I got a sudden feeling that we needed to take that leap. I thought to myself “This is going to open new doors for our bond.” So I spoke with my son about trying it again. He was all for it. So we talked & hyper ourselves up on our way back to the cliff. We walked up, held hands and jumped off the cliff! While I was in the water, I felt like I was drowning even though I had on a life jacket. I kept trying to gasp for air meanwhile, I look over at my son and he’s doing fine. He was acting normal as if nothing major had just happened while I was panicking! After a while I was able to gather my thoughts and focus on getting out of the way so that the next set of people could jump. All of this was within a few minutes time frame, however it felt like it was an eternity!
I then reflected on the event after I was calm and later again a few days after the jump.
I had intentions of holding my sons hand throughout the entire experience. Well my son told me I let his hand go before we jumped in the water 😂. Everyone else told me I had this puzzled look on my face. He handled it all very well during and after the jump, while I, on the other hand was gasping and moving slowly & repeating to him “I can’t breath,” while barely opening my eyes.
The thing about anxiety is that we sometimes create these irrational fears. Fears of the unknown or fear of the action that we take potentially causing damage in some way. Sometimes it’s necessary to take that risk to experience what the outcome would be for us.
4 Things I Learned That Day:
- Fear held me back from holding my sons hand throughout the course of the event.
- Fear stopped me from enjoying the experience.
- Pushing myself to do the activity opened up a bunch of thoughts where I felt fearless, powerful & happy.
- I am in total control of what I fear. I have a choice of whether or not I want to let go of the fear.
Overall, the activity did not go as planned but I accomplished something I had been holding off on doing. I now imagine, “What if I had done it sooner?”
Picture yourself doing something that you strongly desire but having fear that it will not work out as planned. If you do it now, you will be able to grow from the experience sooner rather than later.
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Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC
Love & Serenity Wellness