Skinny Dipping vs Depression

I went skinny dipping. It’s great. It’s like when I first discovered not wearing a bra was far more comfortable than wearing a bra – and hence ditched my bras almost all together. (Resulting in my true form ‘flat as a pancake’ being rocked daily. The mastectomy certainly helps with this look.)

My parents have a pool, and for a long time I’ve though how lovely it would be to skip the uncomfortable bathing suit and just jump in – but never went for it. Well, as I was in one of those ‘f-k it’ moods lately, and since no one was home at my parents except Zsolt and I, and because the weather has been so crazy warm . . . I just went for a swim a la nude. It was beautiful.

You know that cold dread of getting out of the pool, as you towel off while the suit you are wearing clings and chills your skin? That sticky resistance as you try to pull it off, after having stepping into the air conditioned house where the cold air hits hard against the cloth of your damp suit? Well there’s none of that when you’re butt naked in the backyard, drying off with your towel.

And when you swim through the water, there’s really no resistance. It’s just slip and dip.

So from now on, whenever possible, I’m gonna swim a la natural. It’s just better this way.

This too, is one off my reminders that life isn’t all cancer. It’s hard, because my mind and body seem to be trying to convince me otherwise. I wake up in the morning thinking about scans and appointments and whether anything will every work. I think about slipping through the cracks of a system. I think about mortality and final days and fighting and sleeping. I think about my eyes and their warped sight  . . . and such. I wake up every morning and some nights stuck with these thoughts, and they sink deep into me, making everything heavy. And I have to pull myself out somehow – it’s not always so easy – pull myself out to be here in the moment, here today, living now.

Things like skinny dipping help with that. So does going to the river in Packenham (where Z and I were married seven years ago in the church there) this past weekend, and putting our feet into the flowing water – watching as schools of tiny fish swim up to investigate our toes. (eep!) That helps pull me out too.

Last night we watched our wedding video. The ceremony was lovely, and vows reminded me that not everything has gone wrong. Yes, life is threatened, yes we are frustrated, and yes, I deeply regret not having had children – but in listening to the vows, I remember  we made promises that have been kept and held as precious. We have and hold though good and bad, through sickness and health, through rick and poor – we have been an amazing married couple. And though I sometimes feel as though I’m failing, particularly as the cancer spreads, I must remember that we are in fact blessed.

Every day when we get to find our ‘in the moment’ joys, we really truly succeed. But also, when we hold each other and cry, and when the doctor gives bad news, we still shine through. He’s my husband and my life is a slice of satisfaction thanks to our relationship.

Anyhow, there’s a wandering post where I am sorting out my emotions. Depression vs skinny dipping, love vs expectation, good times and deep pits of sad.

Today we are outside in the backyard, and the pool is waiting. There are no scans this week, or tests, or results. And I will try my best to be Catherine the normal, with her husband Zsolt the loving – and later this day, will jump in that pool buck naked once again.

8 thoughts on “Skinny Dipping vs Depression

  1. I’m so glad you discovered that awesome sensation when you go skinny dipping. In my case, I was on an isolated beach in the Caribbean. Didn’t last long though … I panicked when I saw a guy walking on the beach … I was sure he could see through the water even though I was 30 feet away in the ocean … struggled to get my bikini on while treading water. I still remember the feeling of freedom, and of panic and the potential for embarrassment.

  2. This is really beautiful and evocative writing. Thanking you for sharing it. I’m in exactly the same place – trying to find the beauty and the things that keep me going but also letting myself feel the sadness. But I don’t do it nearly as poetically as you do.

  3. Love your positivity Catherine. Shane, Jude, and I are sending positive vibes your way! Also, kick cancer in the face for us.

  4. My friends and I skinny dipped in a lake when we were young many years ago. Ahh, the freedom. I do need to do that more often and am visiting some lakes soon… rambling is ok. You are processing so much. I am glad you are finding the little joys. 🙂

  5. I haven’t ever been skinny dipping. But then again, a swimmer I am not in the first place. This is such a special post, Catherine. I’m feeling rather speechless by the beauty and magnitude of your words. May you keep finding those special moments of freedom, joy and of course, love. And can I just say again, your Zsolt is a real gem. xo

  6. Nake swimming is so nice. Two years ago I purchased a home with a pool. It is relatively private with bushes around it blocking the view. Once in the pool I remove my suit for the most relaxing swim ever. Most neighbors have jobs and no one is home. I always skinny dip unless there are other reason jot to.

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