I wake up in total darkness, drenched in sweat, and gasping for breath. I immediately threw off the covers and got out of bed. I need water, a glass of water will help me calm down. I open the door to the cabin and walkout, stopping just in time to save myself from marching straight into the ocean. Oh. Yeah. I’m on a raft. With that thought my anxiety multiplies ten fold.
What do people do when they are having a panic attack? I’ve read articles before… Breathe into a paper bag. Not an option. Glass of water. Nope. The senses! Umm I see water. Smell, the ocean. Feel, damp. Hear, my heart pounding in my ears. This isn’t helping.
I drop to my knees, bend over the side of the raft and splash the icy water in my hot face. Once. Twice. Three times just for good measure and fall backwards on to the floor of the raft, my breath finally regulating. I’m not tired, but there is not much to do, so I close my eyes and try to summon sleep.
I lay there for a better part of an hour, when I see bright light through my eyelids. My eyes flutter open ready to greet the sun. Instead, I see a bunch of tiny yellow dots resting on the water. Like a lot of them. Hundreds, if not thousands of dots of light that were quickly getting bigger, getting closer. I sit up trying to figure out exactly what I was looking at. Soon they were so close and bright that it felt like daylight. Eventually they got close enough for me to be able to see what they were. They were torches, hundreds of torches on hundreds of rafts. Each one of the rafts were made of wood, with a single small cabin, with a single torch. Just like mine.
I expected another panic attack to come, in fact I braced myself for one. But instead a feeling of calm came over me.
“Hello?” I scream out, voice a little scratchy so I try once more. “Hello? Is there anyone out there?” All of a sudden my raft launched forward and I loose my balance. I fall face forward and onto the floor of the raft. I look behind and see that one of the the other rafts had collided with mine.
I jump up and ran to the other raft and board it. Standing next to their cabin is a woman in a Long, yellow dress, with a lacy white collar. “Ma’am! Ma’am! You’re alive! Are all of these alive people?” Instead of answering me a look of disappointment spreads across her face and she reaches out and pushes me off the raft and into the water.
I go into full panic sending my limbs flailing around. The long dress tangling around my arms making it impossible to swim. Between fighting the dress and trying to find up, it felt as if I was sinking more and more. I can’t fight anymore. there was no way I could swim with this dress, and I have been fighting for too long. So I just stop. My arms and legs drift away from my body. I close my eyes and wait for death to consume. But nothing happened. I lay there and just float there. Once I stopped struggling and gave in, it felt just the same as if I weren’t in the water. I calmly started swimming up to the surface and boarded the raft that I had been pushed from. When I “gracefully” climb back on I look down at my dress. It’s bone dry.