Sensory deprivation tank experience, Part 2b. (The “WHY?”)

Good morning! So. I said I would write about my second experience in the sensory deprivation tank, and I will, but there’s still so much interest in the “WHY?” that I thought I’d take today’s post to elaborate on that. If I also describe my second experience in the tank, this post would be too lengthy. Look out for that part next week Friday, if you please.

[Tuesday’s post will feature my January Favorites. Hello, February.]

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Q: WHY the insistence on this sensory deprivation tank?

A: I’ve been saying, “I’m working on overcoming my claustrophobia.” But being honest with myself, I recognize that answer as an abbreviation for: “I want to be able to keep my composure during claustrophobia events.”

Because in all likelihood, I’ll always be claustrophobic to some degree. No doubt I’ll improve, but I’ll never be completely stress-free in a small space, or while trapped anywhere.

I’m training myself to be mentally strong in the face of my phobia, because the ability to deal with claustrophobia would be the next best thing to not having it. It’s easier to approach the sensory deprivation tank with this mindset of acceptance. This is reality. If I do end up free of claustrophobia, great; if not, I should at least be able to handle it in a situation.

Naturally, PTSD is behind this, and I’m thankful for it. I’m always looking for exits, for the way out; always checking people out in the elevator, assessing threats and potential dangers, etc. At Callaghan’s company party in December, I realized that it would behoove me to assess the dangers within myself as well as the dangers around me.

One of the dangers within myself is claustrophobia. It makes me vulnerable.

For instance, if I meet with foul play and wake up in the trunk of the Bad Guy’s car, the last thing I want to do is freak out because I’m in the trunk of a car. I want to be able to stay calm so I can think and act. If I flounder in panic, I would be a victim… of my claustrophobia. I’d be a victim of myself. Not acceptable. Hence:

 

Sensory deprivation tank (pic taken by Callaghan during my second attempt)

Sensory deprivation tank (pic taken by Callaghan during my second attempt)

 

…here’s my dummy car trunk. Filled with water. Just as an example, of course.

That’s the longer explanation behind this sensory deprivation tank endeavor. I figure I train to be physically prepared for various situations, so I should also train for mental preparedness; I know my weak area, and I am correcting it. I need to be armed with the confidence of knowing that I can depend on myself.

I’m choosing the sensory deprivation tank route because I’ve learned from experience that an effective way for me to overcome a phobia is to confront it head-on. (Let’s please not talk about roaches at this time, though. Or ever.) After all, I overcame my elevator phobia by getting into an elevator every day to get to work. I had no choice! I still hate elevators, and being in one still stresses me out, but now I can take one without going nuclear in my head.

I hope this makes sense! Next Friday’s post will be about my second experience in the tank. Happy Friday, All.

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