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Swimming to Happy in 2017

This is the long story.

As a human being I am a sensitive one, more so with noise and too much going on, my mind can't cope with it. In recent years my mind has had a lot to deal with, suffering with anxiety since mid 2012 until early 2017, some days turning my phone off to keep going.

For 15 months previous to February 2017 I had a neighbour with a barking dog that just wouldn't stop while they were out which caused a lot of traumatic stress as my work requires good concentration, they were aware of the problem but didn't do much about it. With all of the stress and anxiety I closed away most of my emotions to enable me to function better and generally hated most humans who weren't my friend at the time, which isn't like me.

After February of 2017 I moved house, not very far away but far enough for the barking to stop. This year has been more about restoring myself to a happy state of being and as you can see swimming is a major part of that. It took about two months for my body to accept eating properly again, I'm still working out what else to eat but with all my adventures it makes me quite hungry.

Being inspired by the KMF swim night, ChillSwim and a local swim club, I decided to take up swimming after seeing and meeting lots of calm happy and fun people. Dip one of the year was on new years day at fell foot, which was very cold and I was covered head to toe in neoprene. Then a chilly Buttermere with snow on the tops in early March. From there in April it all began still cold and wet suited up, until the 1st of May when I was with a trusted friend a quick non wet suited dip was needed at Capenwray.

Since the 29th of May I've been wetsuit free and since the 24th of July the water has been getting colder with the coldest being Hard Tarn. Adventuring with friends mostly taking the direct route up and down to tarns, then swimming, taking photographs and eating cake is making me very happy, the harder it is to get there the better. Recording memories more for the people I am with but also a log of where I've been. While the water is getting colder I don't seem to mind, my core copes well with it, it's more after when I am out putting my clothes back on, time to bring some hot tea with me.

It's now 6 months on from leaving the noise behind, while I still get stressed it's mostly around being tired the day/weekend after shooting an event and just before eating. I decided to not work hard this year leaving me with more time to heal. Now happier than it's possible to remember, although my long term memory it taking more time to restore.

It's only though swimming adventures, the act of getting to and from the swim, the amazing friends who I've had the pleasure of accompanying me on these adventures that I've started to be pro-active with dating. While I've still got to figure out how to date, it's a step in the right direction, there is one lucky lady out there who may soon find my kindness, affection and sense of adventure. That said then only things that make me nervous now are thinking about asking someone out and lightening storms.

With a rough idea of what the future holds I still can't tell what will happen, no one can. I'll be entering ChillSwim in February 2018, that's for sure. But it will be good, it will be happy and I'll probably become a merman or an ice cube... there will be lot of photographs, new friendships and so much more.