In this picture, my mother and brother are on the right. Our trip to Catalina on a boat for the day was a wonderful memory – except that I was seasick!

“Swimming as my therapy”

It has been another long day in my formerly stressful life; but I feel great. I am also finding that humor has been helpful for me. From hypnotherapy, I have extracted the things that work, and deciding what is helpful or not really works for me!

I have survived my prior trials mostly by being in “zombie” mode. This was preferable to many other coping mechanisms that I’ve seen around me. Being a zombie allowed me to survive, but at some point, I decided that I deserved more out of life. I was always open to trying to find ways to help myself, and that’s why tennis was something that was therapeutic and continuous for me.

About two years ago, one of my tennis friends talked about how hypnotherapy had helped her. I was interested, and she said she had a friend that was just starting her own practice and was wonderful.

It was then that I started seeing Connie, and I credit her with changing my life. I will certainly write more about that later on. However, with all the complicated “stuff” that goes on in my life, hypnotherapy is what has helped me to achieve clarity.

I remember clearly the session with Connie, where we were searching to find something that could help me cope. Mostly only tennis came to mind.

Then I mentioned that sometimes I swam laps, especially when I was trying to lose weight. She was direct with her answer. “So, when you swim you feel like you’re on vacation, and it doesn’t cost you anything? What is stopping you from doing it more?”

I had told her that when I was done swimming, I felt so relaxed. It certainly did feel like I had been on vacation!

She encouraged me to find more time for this. It wasn’t about losing weight; it was about finding ways to “feel better.” It was still hard for me to find the time, but after that session with Connie, I started swimming again more and more.

It was especially important for me to make that time when I was feeling stress that could cause me to have physical ailments again.

When I started emailing again with my childhood friend, Joni, I was warmed to read her memories of me swimming during our childhood:


You always loved bugs, lizards, the outdoors, doing scary things, swimming like an Olympic athlete readying for the big race, and writing amazing stories. Jude, I could write a book about you being an amazing friend and role model.  Thanks for being the best friend I ever had as a young child. Truly you and your mom were really more than I ever had. I love you both so much.”


“That’s funny that you remember the swimming.  I still swim 50 laps maybe once a week, because it helps clear my mind.”


“Regarding swimming, I would watch you swim from my window or actually my sister’s window. You were so dedicated. You were flawless in form, continually moving faithfully forward until all fifty were complete. You were and always will be an inspiration to me.”


“Regarding the swimming, my hynotherapist Connie, has encouraged me to find any free moment to do that. Trust me, I sure don’t feel like getting into a bathing suit much and going to do it.

That’s funny about you saying I was flawless – I do my own thing, as far as form goes. I always admire the other swimmers that get to the end and “flip over underwater” to turn around. Every time I do that, I get vertigo!”

So when my complicated day was almost over, I decided it was time to swim. I went to the indoor pool at the YMCA. I walked in and the pool was like glass; empty. I had an entire Olympic pool all to myself. I swam like I had a motor on; I could do a hundred laps if I wanted without getting tired. The good part was that being overweight has never affected my ability to swim. I felt weightless and powerful, and while I was moving my head was clearing.

I am realizing that I am suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder now. All of the traumatic events I have gone through are surfacing because I am ready to write about them. I am feeling again compelled to write soon about Jason. It will be very difficult, but I am almost ready.

I was thinking about other possible titles related to swimming. Here are some of my other ideas that didn’t make it:




© Judy Unger and 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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