Part 2: Oh Captain, My Captain

          Today is about three months from the day that I chose to call for help. I am not a different person. I am not fully recovered. I have not given up swimming, nor do I intend to quit swimming. What I am is content. I am rediscovering my abilities. I am training with the help of coaches. I am listed on various boats’ radars. I am attending regular appointments to regain my physical and mental well-being.

          As aforementioned in other posts and photos on my blog, I have been commuting between Boston and Rhode Island more often than regular during this semester of school. In previous years, I rarely returned home for cause other than a week-long holiday or summer vacation. I love living in Boston. I love my friends in Boston. I love my apartment in Boston. I feel like I can be whoever I want to be when I walk, or rather, strut up and down the city streets. I love the energy of the city, and for the past few years, I often felt suffocated when I returned to my small, suburban hometown. Of course I love my family and I love the breathtaking landscapes of my hometown, but I’d felt like the energy there held me back from being free. I reinvented myself in Boston and I was resistant to return to a world of people that saw me for the person I was in high school. I felt a stronger sense of belonging in Boston, so wrongly let go too much of my hometown identification.

          At the beginning of the semester, I made an arrangement with my family to return home every weekend for them to see me and for appointments with professionals. Our plan was logical and it ensured that I received more than enough support to regain my strength. I was thankful that I developed an incredible support system, but I couldn’t help longing to be in Boston. Facing my own truth and learning to accept my limits is as nearly exhausting as the swim that almost drowned me. I work endlessly to regain my strength and I undergo constant surveillance. There are times when I doubt if I will ever be a champion, but instead of allowing such negative thoughts to drag me below the surface, I pause and strategize how to reach air. Although I am naturally resistant to call for help, I am learning when it is necessary to work with others to reach my goals.

          My routine in the past three months has been draining in the best way. Yes, it drained much of my energy, but my family reminded me that they would never let me drown. My recovery partially drained my energy, but it mostly drained the toxins that once poisoned me. I have since discovered that my Mom was the captain of the ship that rescued me. My brother and dad were absolutely crew members crucial to my rescue as well. Captain Mom’s aggressive desire to make me call for help coupled with my resilience to accept help throughout the past years resulted in frequent tension. Since my rescue, she has improved her coaching in a manner which suits my needs. She has worked endlessly to devote her attention to my success. Upon her boat, I stand on safe, solid ground where it is impossible not to float. We have developed a rejuvenated friendship. My dependency on her is not a weakness. My ability to recognize the wisdom in her advice is a strength.

          In the past few months, I have become more appreciative of my mom and of my family than I may ever be able to express to them. Because of my family, I have something to look forward to when I return home. Because of my family, I can simultaneously belong in the city and in my sea-surrounded hometown. 

Image Shane, Mom and Dad, thank you for guiding me back to shore. 

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