In the essay 'Deep Water',William Douglas shares his experience of drowning in water, the effect it created on him and the way he overcame his fear.
His aversion to water began when he went to a beach in California with his father at the age of 3 or 4.He got extremely terrified when as was knocked down by the waves. So to overcome this aversion he decided to learn swimming at
YMCA pool at the age of 11 or 12. But the misadventure took place at the pool which revived his early fears. While he was sitting beside the pool , a boy pushed him into the water. While he was drowning , he planned to hit the bottom of the pool and to come up quickly. But his plan failed and he came up slowly. He felt suffocated , panicky and cried for help. When he came up, his eyes and nose were out but not the mouth. But the force exerted by the water made him come down once again. Now his lungs and head ached. He felt dizzy and choked. He planned to come up by hitting he floor
but again his plan failed and he came up slowly. But when he went down the third time , he did not make any effort to save himself. He became unconscious and thus oblivious to his situation.
Douglas was taken out from the pool. He was weak and trembling when he was taken home. For several days the haunting fear remained in his heart. This fear deprived him of swimming ,fishing , canoeing and bathing. So he decided to overcome his fear of water. For this he hired an instructor who taught him five days a week ,an hour everyday. He taught him swimming step by step. When the instructor finished,he swam alone in the pool for several months to shed his fear completely . Next he went to Lake Wentworth and swam there alone. But still he had residual fear which he was able to conquer while swimming at Warm Lake. The experience had a deep meaning for him as he understood that terror is only in fear of death. So a person needs to fear fear itself.