06.21.13

A SCARY STORY…

hi guys, sorry about the late post today! i thought i would share a personal story today. it’s been so uplifting to read all of your comments on my age post, the engagement really makes it a lot easier to open up about personal struggles and my daily life. i think we all just want to relate to each other…whether it’s about troubles in business, relationships, balance…we’re all going through our own junk.

comein

i’ve touched on this a little bit in the past, but never in detail. in 2009 i went to costa rica with arian (my boyfriend.) it was our first long trip together as a couple and we had an entire 10 day adventure planned. something truly awful happened however…

CLICK TO KEEP READING THE FULL STORY…

our second day we decided to go to the manuel antonio national park tour…i really wanted to see some monkeys. towards the end of the tour we were given a break to chill on the beach for about 30 minutes and we could swim in the ocean if we wanted to. when he announced that, i got this terrible feeling. i have always been moderately scared of the ocean (or any water that i can’t see the bottom of) my mind always drifts to the worst case scenario (sharks!) so i decided i was just going to sit on the beach and enjoy the view. a part of me was angry with myself for not going in…i thought “bri, when are you going to be in costa rica again?” and “seriously, nothing is going to happen, you’re being ridiculous.” but in the end i just didn’t want to. arian was nice and stayed with me on the beach, even though i think he wanted to go in the water.

this is the part i remember SO vividly. we sat there for maybe 5 minutes tops and all of a sudden we hear this woman SHRIEKING  a scream that i could never forget. the whole beach (there wasn’t a massive amount of people there, maybe 40 or so, and she was not a part of our tour) goes completely quiet. i look into the water and see a woman being thrown around in the water. her arms flailing in the air, being pulled under and then coming up and screaming. my mind immediately thinks shark. it felt like time stood still, like i was watching a movie. how could this really be happening? i turn to my right and arian is gone. my heart is beating so fast. then i see him running towards the water (how did i not see him get up?!) his shoes are in the water and he is pacing around trying to see what’s going on. i scream for him, so frightened that he is going in there. i see a man next to the woman hesitating. he reaches out his arm and yells “COME ON!” for some reason i remember his face the most. you could tell exactly what he was thinking. he wanted to help her but was absolutely terrified. then you see him make the decision to swim to the sand and run out of the water.

by now arian is about thigh deep or so in the ocean and i see the crocodile’s head clamped on to this older woman’s butt and wildly shaking her back and forth. soon she stops screaming and i believe she loses consciousness and her body goes limp (probably out of fear!) arian grabs the woman’s arms and starts pulling her towards the beach (tug of war with a crocodile? oh yeah that happens every day!) now i can see that this is no small crocodile (probably 10-12 feet) and the thoughts that were running through my head with my boyfriend right next to this thing were totally paralyzing. it literally felt like i could not move. then the crocodile lets go and chomps it’s jaws once. arian quickly runs backwards, dragging this woman up to the sand. (i know, this seems hard to believe, right?!) the crocodile sits and watches for a few seconds and then turns around and goes almost all the way under the water…we see the top of its head swimming into the distance. (it had a very “i’ll get you next time” vibe) everyone crowds around the woman at this point, no one saying anything to arian and he’s sort of pushed to the side.

she ended up being totally fine. arian said that he could see “holes” where the croc had biten into her backside. but from what we could see she appeared to be in okay condition, just massively shook up. arian runs over to me and says “did you see that!?” UM YEAH! I SAW THAT! about 10 minutes go by and the tour guide says “you guys ready to move on to the rest of the tour?” almost like nothing happened. it felt like we dreamed the whole thing. i was so proud of him i could barely put it into words. he saved that woman’s life. we got home and called our parents. they thought we were pranking them. i WISH we were pranking them.

now, do i think this is a reason not to go in the ocean in costa rica? probably not. it’s rare i’m sure. a freak accident. but i will tell you that i haven’t been in the ocean past my ankles since. i’ve been wondering lately if i’m ready to go in (arian went surfing the next day!!) or will i ever even go in again? i don’t want to go in if i am just going to be paranoid the whole time and i can’t seem to let go of that experience. but i’d like to overcome the fear…and i know, i know…that means i have to face it.

have you had a traumatizing experience that made it to hard to face your fear? of course i love a good story…do tell! -bri

(does anyone know where this photo came from, it fell down the rabbit hole of tumblr and i can’t find the source!)

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  • 1. Clio  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Holy crap that’s terrifying!!!

  • 2. Anna  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Wow! He’s a hero. Did you ever find out if she was OK? I bet that lady would have wanted to thank the person who saved her- I know I would!! Maybe this post will reconnect you. That would be pretty cool.

    And also… Oh my goodness I am completely terrified of swimming in open water and this has not helped!! I hate not being able to see my feet under the water so I know exactly how you feel and with what you witnessed it’s no surprise you haven’t been back in.

  • 3. Stephanie Hudson  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    How much does that say about your boyfriends character, that he would run towards a woman in danger and not away. So brave. I’m not sure how many people (including myself) could say for sure they would do the same!. I’m sure you both feel very lucky to have eachother after an experience like that!

  • 4. bri  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    anna, that WOULD be awesome if she somehow saw this post. i believe she was russian, i heard her family speaking to her in another language…

  • 5. bri  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    stephanie…totally! it really made me realize how amazing he was that day. we hadn’t been dating that long and it was a BIG sign of his character. i know i was completely frozen and worthless in that moment!!

  • 6. Colleen  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Umm that is crazy because my husband and I were just there last year on our honeymoon, in that exact park. I remember watching raccoons steal peoples purses while they were out swimming. I bet I know which beach you are talking about as well. I am perpetually terrified of the ocean due to sharks and crocodiles and this story makes me even more terrified. Your boyfriend is so brave; I can’t believe he did that. If that guy that ran away from her was her significant other at the time, you can bet your bottom dollar that they are no longer together.

  • 7. Kate  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Whoa, this is insane! I would never even think to be worried about crocodiles. I’m like you, not a big ocean fan–sharks! undertoe!–but I think this would put me off of it for life. Personally I see no need to get over the fear unless it’s holding you back from enjoying trips to the beach, since it sounds like you were never an ocean-lover anyway. Of course, boyfriends who like the ocean (like mine) complicate things! I’m trying to convince my guy that there is no need to go in California oceans because they’re too cold–he’s used to the water in Saudi Arabia!

  • 8. Ali Mackin  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Wow I was about to comment that I just tried the video feature on Instagram and it was pretty cool. But good God! I went to California a number of years ago and there was a big sign that said “Frigid Temperatures, Dangerous undertows, Dangerous Waves, Sharks…enter at your risk” My friend and I joked about that. But stayed far from the shoreline and just sat on the sand and drank wine. I have never been in the ocean past my knees I guess b/c I can not swim. But I guess partly b/c as I kid i was afraid of the beach b/c I was afraid of my Father who I was terrified of on dry land never mind the open sea who wanted to teach met to swim and I was like hell no! I hid in the bathroom. So frolicking along the shoreline in ankle deep water is about it for me! : O

    Ali of

    Dressing Ken

  • 9. bri  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    kate!
    i just wish i could enjoy it. i love swimming (in pools ha!) and it would be nice to enjoy beaches on vacations with arian…or snorkel. the ocean is SO beautiful. but the scary side of it is just too much for me to handle.

  • 10. Emma  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    So crazy how some people just snap into action like that. My mom had to save my little brother from drowning once – I was leading him across the river behind our house when we were swiming as kids & I was so little that I couldn’t keep my ears above water. I never heard him struggling but as soon as mom saw him go under she sprinted down the (very steep) bank & dove in head first to pull him back up… Thank goodness for everyday heroes!

  • 11. Lila D  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Oh my! I’ve been to that beach! I’ve been on that tour!! I’ve even heard from locals that there IS a crocodile that swims in the ocean near the park.. But oh my! I didn’t think that crocodile would actually come out to “play”! I have no doubt that I would have been paralyzed if I saw that. You BF sure is brave! Great story.

  • 12. Marjory (@sacredflow)  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Love a courageous man. Wow. Amazing story. There is so much life underwater…

    I have seen crocodiles in South Florida but have never had a violent encounter with them, thank Goddess!

  • 13. Amanda  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    That is an incredible story! You have quite the guy on your hands. I am ocean lover to the core (even though I live in Kansas) there is something about it that intrigues me. I could swim in it for days. My husband on the other hand is a lot like you Bri. He hates the unknown and things he can’t control. I forced him on his first roller coaster at age 24 (he hated it, so I’ve learned not to push), flying is a challenge but he does it because he loves new places. The ocean is a huge obstacle for him, which is hard because I want to share my love for it with him. Fears are never easy. I find that it’s easiest to over come them when you have someone cheering you on. (at your own pace ) I encourage my husband to take a couple more steps in every time we are at the beach but it’s hard to not yell “just jump in”. I’m very interested in how other over come and help their loved ones over come these fears.

  • 14. Sarah from a fine line  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Holy crap! I cannot imagine the mixture of shock and pride you must have felt. What a terrible thing, what a wonderful and brave man you have!

  • 15. Kayla  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    My husband, his brother and I went on a surf trip to Costa Rica in 2007. We went to some pretty secluded beaches and I stayed and hung out on the beach while my husband and BIL surfed. I was TERRIFIED to go any deeper than ankle deep because SHARKS and also, CROCODILES. Apparently it’s totally normal for them to swim out of the rivers and hang out in the ocean shallows.

    Sooo mostly I sat on my butt in the sand and carefully watched the water. It was really fun.

  • 16. erin @WELLinLA  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    OMG that is crazy… I am thankful that I haven’t encountered anything that traumatizing in my life. I’m leery about the ocean as well. I love sitting on the beach, watching the ocean and finding calm, but I prefer to stay peacefully on the shore unless I can see the bottom!

  • 17. Michelle Welch-Rivera  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Someone once told me that crocodiles house the soul of child murderers. It stuck with me…

  • 18. Mere  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I am also absolutely terrified of the ocean. I think it’s a combo of what COULD be out there, and frankly, waves scare the crap out of me. Being pulled under and drown by something is just as horrifying as being eaten by a shark. But in all fairness, I dislike swimming in general, so this is just another good reason to stay clear. Though all my friends think I’m no fun at the beach bc I won’t go play in the ocean, so that definitely is a suck side to it.

  • 19. Shauna  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Oh..my.. I have no words. That’s the one thing you wouldn’t ever think was in the ocean! Your boyfriend is so incredibly brave.

    I’m completely with you on the not wanting to go into the water thing. I grew up on the Florida coast and growing up my parents never let my little sister and I go in past our knees. This was partially due to my dad losing his father to the ocean (he got caught by a rip current I believe and drowned, his heart gave out). But I’ve only been in deep a few times and feeling cold water on my feet in there scares me, especially since you cannot see what’s there. I think that same time I went out chest deep with my friend there was a shark sighting so…
    To this day I prefer just walking the beach with my feet in the water, ankle deep. I like picking up shells and the sound of the ocean, but beyond that I don’t care for the beach.

  • 20. Kate  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Bri–Snorkeling would be nice…I remember my guy was disappointed in Hawaii when I backed out of it (luckily we were with a big group so he could still go). I think it’s easy for me to say “forget the ocean!” because I’m just not into fish/water/undersea life!

  • 21. Lynne  |  June 21st, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Bri, because of a serious childhood health trauma I was always terrified of doctors and most of all needles (and even the color white as a small child). Of course when I was pregnant I got gestational diabetes and had to deal with needles every single day. But, I had to do it and I got over my fear. I would say that if the fear is holding you back from doing something you want to do or need to do then expose yourself to the fear as often as you need to until you get over.

    That being said, I think it’s great that you sensed danger on that beach. I always think you should trust those instincts!

  • 22. Melissa  |  June 21st, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    OH MY!! I bet that was hard to write. How awful, has sent shivers down my spine. Not surprised you are afraid of the water. I am a holiday diver, but even that has made me think twice!

  • 23. bri  |  June 21st, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    lynne…i definitely struggle with the doctor phobia bad as well. turns out i have a lot of fears :/ i know someday when i get pregnant i will have to face that one (can you believe i have never had blood drawn!) it’s so easy to avoid things you are afraid of. usually when you face them, everything is totally fine. and you feel silly for building something up so big. this year i am definitely making ATTEMPTS to face a few of them. i have two doctors appointments coming up and i think about them every day…but i am GOING!!!! (i think)

  • 24. rachel rainbow  |  June 21st, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I cannot think of anything I enjoy more than swimming in open water. Although sometimes the thought of what could happen crosses my mind [small "eek"], the way I feel in the water far surpasses this fear.

  • 25. Allison  |  June 21st, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I first saw this photo on Messy Nessy Chic fb page, June 15. here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=551030891605437&set=a.190062564368940.45573.122975191077678&type=3&theater

  • 26. Julie  |  June 21st, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    How traumatizing is right! I had a scary experience too when I was traveling… alone… and for the first time. (What luck!)

    A man from my tour bus of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland went missing and we later found out he had committed suicide (by jumping off the cliffs… apparently it’s more common than we realize). I was so sad and shaken. I thought I should have tried to chat with him, maybe that’d have given him hope. The next day, I read in the local paper that it was discovered he had beaten and tied up his girlfriend and left her for dead. Fortunately she was found and rescued. Think of what he could to our bus full of innocent travelers!

    My experience, like yours, should not deter us from traveling, but teach us life lessons. I wrote about my reflections here: http://thosedamamericans.com/2011/11/14/life-lessons-in-ireland/

    xo

  • 27. megs  |  June 21st, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I also had MAJOR hospital/doctor fear and definitely was fearful of getting pregnant for that reason. What I learned is that once you are doing it for someone else — your baby — it totally takes the pressure off yourself. Surprisingly, two kids later and I get almost no anxiety now.

    And to your story — holy crap. Glad everyone made it out in one piece!

  • 28. bri  |  June 21st, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    wow julie, that’s crazy! what a story. my intention definitely wasn’t to scare anyone (although now that i think about it, it probably will) but honestly that could have happened anywhere. we are always around danger in our normal lives, it’s just certain days strange things happen. what i need to learn is not to hold onto that. what are the odds that would happen AGAIN? almost none.

  • 29. Christie Jones  |  June 21st, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    That is terrifying! I can’t even imagine your fear in that moment! My story isn’t as scary but I have this weird fear of escalators. I know super weird right? Anyways I was away for a weekend while my husband was training for his new job. I decided to go to Barnes & Noble to get some blogging done. The B&N in this city only has seating upstairs so I braved the escalator, found a table by the balcony and got to work. About a 1/2 hour later I heard this awful scream. I looked over the balcony and an elderly woman was on her back with her hair stuck in the escalator and it was slowly ripping her hair out. She was almost upside down since she was on the escalator going up! The staff ran and turned the escalator off but her hair was still stuck. The ambulance and EMTs rushed in had to cut her hair out and brought her to the hospital. The whole thing was frightening. And then I realized I still had to take an escalator DOWN!

  • 30. decotartelette  |  June 21st, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I have always been terrified of swimming in large bodies of water…rivers, oceans, lakes. There is a hidden world beneath the surface. My husband and I moved to Hawaii about 7 years ago. Every morning my husband would go swimming and watch the sunrise and I would watch from the beach. It seemed so magical to be in the water yet I was too scared to get in and join him. I gave myself a hard time every morning for about a week and then I finally decided to jump in…what the hell. I swam every morning and watched the sunrise while we were living in Hawaii. It was a very healing, special time for me. I no longer live in Hawaii yet live by the beach and….I don’t go in the water. Ha! I will always have that time in Hawaii! I guess there is a time and a place…xo

  • 31. kelly ann  |  June 21st, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I was almost in a plane crash in high school! One of the engines caught fire and it was total chaos – definitely a “my life flashed before my eyes” moment. Somehow our badass pilot was able to land the plane and get us all to safety – but ever since then I’ve had an enormous, almost paralyzing fear of flying. I only just started flying regularly again in the last year or two – and it’s definitely hard. But it’s such a rare thing and I know that I’m safe – and I’ve had wonderful, super easy flying experiences in the past year and that really eases the anxiety! I just have to remember to breathe deeply and maybe have a drink or two before boarding the plane. (and maybe sometimes during the flight, too ;))

  • 32. Gaby  |  June 21st, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Oh my Goodness I thought I was reading a movie script! So scary, but so brave of your boyfriend, insane!
    I lived 2 years in a deserted island in the pacific, and one day as I was getting ready to go out for a run with my son, I went into the mud room and prepared the jogging stroller, my water bottle, a snack for him…and then I went into his room, picked him up from his crib and when I was about 10 steps from the mud room, ready to go out, I see a giant centipede, as in GIANT. Maybe 30cm long and wide, very wide, and right there where I was just 2-3 minutes ago! At that moment I understood that I had no option but to kill it, because there was no way I was going out and then coming back knowing I could encounter it again, and who knows where! I grabbed a huge cutting board (which I threw away after!) and I just dropped it on top of it and then I stood on top. It was disgusting and just typing this gives me the chills. Then I had to pick it up and throw it in the garbage, this was probably the worst part for me. That day I learned 3 things: 1. This island was infected with centipedes, 2. You kill a centipede with oven spray and chop it in half with a shovel, and 3. I had a PHOBIA for centipedes. So, that same day I ran to the hardware store and bought oven spray and the largest shovel there was. These two became my weapons, and I would never go outside to the garden without them. I spent the next 18 months terrified of finding another one, which I did, in fact I came across 6 or 7. Some already dead, and some that I had to kill. Those 18 months were the most stressful months in my entire life. I was on alert mode 24/7, always expecting them, shaking my clothes before putting them on, looking under the bed every.single.night before going to bed, it was bad bad bad. We would get off the island every 6 months and the moment I would get on the plane I would be the happiest person, all my fears would disappear, and I would feel I could completely relax. The happiest thing about getting off the island was definitely the idea of life without centipedes! It’s crazy what phobias can do to you, I can’t explain how bad it was for me, I couldn’t even hear the word centipede. Anyway, this reminded me of that experience!

  • 33. Erin  |  June 21st, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Arian is wonderful– he helped when no one else could. No wonder you are proud of him! And no wonder you were terrified.
    Thing is, when I was in Manuel Antonio in 1991, my then-boyfriend (who had lived in Costa Rica) told me how dangerous that beach is. The riptides are the danger for most people, not the crocs– sooo glad I didn’t know that there were crocs in there when I was swimming there! Anyway, he had seen a young boy drown there in the late 80s. Now I read your story. I had something valuable stolen there. Do you believe that some places just have a bad vibe?

    I am glad you were all okay and that your terrible, scary story ended well for everyone. Hug Arian– he deserves it. And have him hug you– you deserve it for having been so scared.

  • 34. dana  |  June 21st, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    holy sh*t! we are going to manuel antonio IN TWO WEEKS! no swimming for me…

  • 35. Luv and Kiwi  |  June 21st, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Um I just read this with my mouth gaping open! Okay, I, too, am squared of sharks…hadn’t even thought of crocs…IN COSTA RICA! That is terrifying. I mean I get not letting our fears deter us from adventures and “living” but come on…Water is scary lol…

    You have an amazing fellow on your hands! He’s a frickin hero. Fight or flight? HE’S A FIGHTER! WOW!

  • 36. Luv and Kiwi  |  June 21st, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    scared…not squared. I will NEVER be squared away with sharks. We will never be friends.

  • 37. Catherine  |  June 21st, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    holy crap! That is both scary and amazing. Arian is so brave to good and save that woman and with such a high risk of him being hurt also. Crocs are usually in the North of Australia, but the lifeguards there are very observant to their behavior.
    When i was a kid i was very afraid of the deep end, mainly because i couldn’t swim. i understood the theory of swimming but not the practice.
    One day we were at the beach – most Aussie beaches has life guards and flags which this one did, but at some point in the afternoon a rip developed and as i was minding my own business in the ocean i suddenly noticed i was about 100m away from the beach. I have no idea how this happened and i started to struggle – more from panic but i remembered if you’re in a rip to swim parallel to the shore and keep going till you can start swimming back in. I was not a strong swimmer and was fighting the whole time, but i eventually made it out, completely exhausted and my friends all wondering why i was so tired.
    It wasn’t a big beach and the lifeguards did spot me but thought i was ok because i was doing the right thing!
    I think when you’re scared you just become a super human – thanks to adrenalin and also that human instinct to survive at all costs.

  • 38. Jules  |  June 21st, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Holy smokes! That is an incredible story and it doesn’t sound like your boyfriend got the proper praise that he deserved for being such a hero.

    I’ve had many traumatizing experiences that have left me emotionally very fearful on some level. Relationships being one of them. Four back-to-back failed relationships that were all really really hard on me have left me feeling a little scared to throw myself back into the water, so-to-speak. I’ll catch my fish, though, eventually.

    xoxo,

    Jules of Canines & Couture
    http://www.caninesandcouture.com

  • 39. Pink Ronnie  |  June 21st, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Wow, in utter awe of Arian….
    Ronnie xo

  • 40. Clarissa  |  June 21st, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Someone thought it would be a good idea to throw me in the deep-end and I’d learn how to swim. I was 9. Fast forward to now and I won’t go past 4 feet, and that’s me being adventurous.

  • 41. allison  |  June 21st, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    jesus, that’s insane! so glad that everyone turned out okay though! i couldn’t imagine watching something like that happen.

    i’ve never seen an animal attack, but i saw someone get hit by a car about four feet away from me. a million thoughts rushed into my head and i was completely powerless for a good 30 seconds, until i could get my hands moving again… then i dialed 911. being completely powerless is so terrifying. again, so glad everyone turned out to be okay!

    allison from lovelyish.com

  • 42. August  |  June 21st, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Terrifying story! Mother nature is so crazy sometimes!

    On the other hand, I’m glad you have a real man by your side. That’s priceless. And rare. Good for both of you to have found each other. You both seem to be good and true people—just working hard and sending good vibes out to the world! :-)

  • 43. Aleta  |  June 21st, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Marry that man right this minute!! What an intense moment… it definitely revealed his true character!

  • 44. ali thompson  |  June 21st, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    that is such an incredible story and can completely understand your fear of not going in. my husband always tells me that i’m grown and can do whatever i want. so if you don’t want to go in the ocean past your ankles, then don’t. if you do, great! either way–it’s a win since you are doing what makes you happy. we live right by the ocean and i can oddly enough say that i don’t have that fear of gators, or sharks! but–a rip tide…now that’s another story. thanks for sharing!

  • 45. Bridget  |  June 21st, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    That’s a terrifying story :( I’m sorry you had to have an experience like that …
    I was living alone in Japan when the big earthquake hit in 2011, and I wasn’t living very far away from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. I worked as an English teacher and I was at school when the big one hit. everything about it was just insane, stuff falling off the walls, celing crumbling… Even now, like 2 years later, I still get anxious when I feel vibrations from slamming doors and stuff.. There were so many aftershocks that it was really hard to tell when you were really absolutely still.. I still haven’t quite gotten over that feeling :(

  • 46. Laurel  |  June 21st, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I totally get your fear of open water and the unknown. I grew up in California and have always loved the water. Even though I am terrified of sharks I’m some how able to get over that fear when I’m with other people. But weirdly enough swimming in a pool by myself can feel strangely uncomfortable. Its as if I’m scared something is in the deep end and is going to come after me. Such a crazy irrational fear. I’ve definitely gotten over this, for the most part, as I’ve gotten older. I blame it on watching Jaws as a child! But again, there’s something about being with others that calms my fears. I worked on Catalina Island several years ago and we would take kids snorkeling in Emerald bay. I don’t think it was deep enough for great whites, so that was comforting… plus knowing that these kids trusted me made me all the more brave. I would definitely recommend trying it out in a shallow cove and bring a bunch of friends! :)

  • 47. jo  |  June 21st, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    good for your boyfriend, although i know you must have been so freaked out for him. my husband is that way too, he runs towards trouble if there’s a chance he could help someone. and he doesn’t even think about it. really, i’m not sure if i’d be like that, but i’m so glad there are people like him and your boyfriend in the world. anyway, thanks for freaking me out about oceans, kudos to your boyfriend, and good day to you. :)

  • 48. Jasmine  |  June 21st, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    That is literally most the ridiculous and terrifying story I have ever heard. I am terrified of the ocean as well, simply because like you, I don’t like water where I can’t see the bottom. I often wish I wasn’t so that I could enjoy the ocean more but just being in the water I know my body is giving away my fear and animals can sense fear! It’s catch-22. (not that I’m trying to put you off… ha!) If you figure out a way to overcome this fear, please let me know!!! P.S Arian is like a demi-god.

  • 49. Nicole  |  June 21st, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Wow! That is a crazy story. I have to admit I’m terrified of sharks, which is why I only go ankle deep. My husband is an avid surfer and swears i’ll be ok if I go out with him, but, no thank you. I’m good on the beach. I get nervous when he is out there. Thanks for sharing.

  • 50. Melissa @ Bubby & Bean  |  June 21st, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I have been swimming in the ocean at Manuel Antonio!!! How scary!

  • 51. Olivia Gunner  |  June 21st, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    OMG this solidifies so many fears I have. I have a hard time feeling like I have to overcome fears that are almost totally avoidable (such as going deep in the ocean.) Last year I was in Mexico (near Cancun) with my husband and his family. We hired some fishermen to take us to a small island where there was a bird sanctuary. On the way they dropped us off in what felt like the middle of the ocean to snorkel at the reef. The water was totally clear and beautiful but I could not bring myself to get out of the boat. I sat there fighting myself because I felt like I was missing out and being a baby but all I could think was REEF SHARKS. Arian is so brave. Nothing has ever happened to me and I am still terrified. I suppose I just watch too much shark week. It would be so wonderful if this woman could find him. I’m sure she would love to thank him. Amazing and scary story!

  • 52. Rebecca Spaccavento  |  June 21st, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Oh my gosh! I feel the same…and I really don’t think because us girls are too ‘girly’. I really believe its the mother instincts in us. Men just do and don’t think (which is kind-of good for us). I don’t blame you if you never touch those waters again.
    My story isn’t so bad. I live in Sydney. I was at a local beach, there were probably about 30-40 people in the water when a rush of bluebottles came in. One hit my cousin then when she flicked it off herself it hit my leg. Without all the following details let me say there were just a whole load of tears caused by pain. So…. I don’t like the beaches all that much but sometimes you just need to face your fears.
    Note: gut instincts are different to fears.

  • 53. Elisa  |  June 21st, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    YIKES. Happy to be back in Europe, where I can stick with the safe water of the Mediterranean! No sharks or crocodiles there ;-)

  • 54. Rachel  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 2:56 am

    Wow that sounds crazy… I’ve never really had that as i grew up and live in England where the worst you can get is a jellyfish sting. I’d never really thought seriously about the dangers of things in the ocean, more about currents and rip tides (stories about these do freak me out a bit!). Thank you so much for sharing your story

  • 55. Hello Sandwich  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Wow – Arian is incredible!

    About a traumatizing experience of my own – being in Tokyo for the March 11 quake was terrifying.

    I wrote a little about it here:

    http://hellosandwich.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/3-11-earthquake-japan.html

    xoxo

  • 56. http://www.youtube.com/wa&hellip  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 5:33 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddcKJDTQ7zI

    D E S I G N L O V E F E S T…

  • 57. marlene  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Crazy, intense, unforgettable, life-is-amazing experience!

    Did you just say you got ENGAGED or am I missing something?

  • 58. Jane Novotny  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 7:05 am

    ****Is this where you got the image? http://thetaoofdana.com/page/2
    (if you go to the home page of google images, you can search for an image by clicking the camera icon in the search tab and then dragging the image into the search tab)

    I’m very sorry about your experience. It just sounds so terrible… I’m speechless. I live on the east coast by the water and we’ve been having more and more great white sightings the past years and it’s terrifying.

  • 59. Kerry  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 8:07 am

    This is insane. I won’t go in much past my ankles either. My mom says that when I was little and at the beach (like youngyoung, maybe 2) I watched a kid get caught on a large fishing hook and blood everywhere and people freaking out, etc. I don’t remember it but I’ll bet that’s where my irrational fear of going in the ocean comes from. So many tiny things happen to us as little ones and it’s like we store them up in our brain but don’t remember them, and think we just ‘have’ this thing or that thing. So random but the fear has always stayed with me! As for everyone else in my family? They alllll (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc) swim way far out. Everyone! I like to say it’s a bonus because I get a few minutes of quiet ;) ;)

  • 60. Sophia C  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 8:29 am

    “If fear is all that we should fear
    Then what are we so afraid of
    ‘Cause fear is only in our heads

    Someone please say…

    Any day I’ll go bad thinking bad
    Everyone is against me and the world wants to fight me
    Preparing to battle an enemy unseen
    During my stressing I’m blinded to the lessons
    That could be a blessing if Id be confessing that the enemy
    I’m trying to beat is hiding inside of me

    But it’s ok now…what are you worrying about…”
    Happy – Natasha Bedingfield
    It’s my go-to song, when any fear is holding me back from having an adventure. Life is scary and it will hurt you, but only your fear of experiencing it all, will hold you from living it, the good and the bad. I DARE you next time your in the ocean to be stubborn about getting in. To fight your fear like it was an obstacle on your blog. If it takes you an entire day to get hip deep then you’ve made it that far! You’re an incredibly inspiring person Bri, I’d hate anything to get in the way of of my role model living life to the fullest!

  • 61. Araya @ Wind and Willow Home  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 9:47 am

    My husband and I went to Jamaica on our honeymoon, stayed at an all inclusive-gated resort(importance of this comes later). Now, we are adventurers so an all inclusive wasn’t quite my ideal spot to stay but there are a fair amount of warnings and stories about Jamaica so we decided that was the way to go.
    We had an amazing 9 days, visited Bob Marley’s house, met some nice locals and enjoyed snorkeling along the reefs but the last night we were there at about 4am I woke up with a strange feeling in my stomach. I got up to use the bathroom and to my surprise there was a man on the floor in our room going through our stuff! I immediately tried to wake my husband, groggily he woke up. The man stood up and yelled “lay face down *&%$#@” and pointed his hand at us which had a bandana over it to conceal his weapon. My husband, completely out of reaction, stood up and started hitting him. The man ran out of our room and jumped off the balcony. My husband chased him and was holding onto his belt as he jumped over. Finally my husband let go, he returned to the room bleeding from a couple minor stab wounds that had happened during the fight (he had a dull knife under the bandana). The frustration grew as the (shady) police came and took our stories and then the resort finally sent us a letter stating that there is no way a man could have gotten up through our 2nd floor balcony (the main access door to our room was locked and chained) in a secure gated resort.
    Well, he did!
    For months after that I was paranoid of anything out of place or unexpected…to the point of tears. It has been almost 7 years since and I am a much less trusting person I feel that it took away some of my sense of adventure. On the other hand, my husband sure proved himself and has a few scars to prove it (knight in shining armor).

  • 62. Lynn  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I’ve been to that beach and got hissed at by a huge iguana after getting stung by a jellyfish! Bad news beach!

    I spent about an hour googling that photo trying to find out where it was taken, and all paths led to this tumbler: http://petiteluz.tumblr.com/post/39489783144/need-to-go-back so maybe just maybe that’s the owner since the post is titled “need to go back” and there are some location names.

  • 63. Chelsea  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Holy Moses! I didn’t even know crocodiles lived in the ocean!

    Very glad I didn’t read this post before I went to Costa Rica. I would have been terrified to go in!

    I lived in Australia for two years, and I was terrified to go surfing. After I heard that surfers on their boards look like injured seals (i.e., easy pickings for sharks), I just couldn’t…

    Arian is a hero! I admire people who are able to just do what needs to be done…

  • 64. http://www.youtube.com/wa&hellip  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caSEY6ykNKw

    D E S I G N L O V E F E S T…

  • 65. Melissa  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Wow. I so wasn’t expecting to read that. What a crazy experience. Thank you for sharing. Can I just shake Arian’s hand (or send him an emoji) and tell him what a selfless and brave human being he is? When most people’s reaction is to tense up and freeze, he did the opposite and SAVED SOMEONE’S LIFE.

    I’m absolutely terrified of open water. I was a swimmer my whole life, but the open waters are different. Mother Nature is powerful, and when I’m in that Ocean I feel like I have lost absolute control and panic strikes. I tried to conquer my fear and dove off of catamaran into the middle of the ocean, in cuba. I screamed and yelled, “my feet, my feet… don’t eat my feet”… bahahah. I was talking to the oceanlife i guess. i tried calming myself down, took deep breaths, and finally floated there, focusing on the fact that i was surrounded by the beauty of the crystal, sparkling water with the sun beaming on it…
    a few minutes later, reality kicked in. I was in the the middle of the ocean, where millions of fish were probably underneath me. I bolted for the boat, and climbed out.
    …It was beautiful and peaceful, even if just for a moment. I’ll try again one day :)

  • 66. Nicole  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Ok I’m never going in the ocean again…

    Haha

  • 67. BC  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    that sounds absolutely terrifying! I love the ocean and all water activities, so if i witnessed that freak accident i don’t know if i would get back in the water without feeling paranoid. So I think you have every right to be suspicious, but the ocean is such a wonderful natural playground that it’s worth getting in. I’m sure car accidents are a million times more common and most of us get in a car daily without thinking about getting into a horrific car accident.
    I have had a traumatising experience… by all means not nearly as terrifying as yours, but it has definitely made me paranoid. I live in Australia and i got attacked by a magpie. A magpie is a black and white bird that swoops and attacks any passersby during Spring to protect their eggs.
    Eversince that experience I have become very paranoid around birds, and if a street looks particularly bushy with lots of high trees i would open my umbrella and walk down it to shield myself from any potential swooping magpies-ridiculous i know.

  • 68. Shannon // Luck Tree  |  June 22nd, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I have a story about the same fear but a very different outcome. In Puerto Vallarta, there is a Marine Biology program where you can swim with wild dolphins. I was in Mexico for a yoga retreat with Kathryn Budig, who teaches her students to Aim True, and to push through fear to get to love.

    In order to swim with wild dolphins, you have to attract them. The biologist identifies groups of dolphins (teenagers, because like human teens they are playful and reckless!), drops you off in the water nearby, and leaves.

    The boat left me in the bay where the water was deep, and I knew there were jelly fish and sting rays and goodness knows what else. I kept saying to myself “No fear, just love,”, took a deep breath, and dove deep under the water. No wet suit, no oxygen, just me.

    To attract the dolphins, you have to twirl as deep under the water as you can; if they think you look interesting, they will approach. “No fear, just love. No fear, just love.” I dove and began to twirl, and then four beautiful swimmers joined me, spinning around me, smiling, deep in the silent beauty of the water.

    It was the most rewarding and magical moment of my life.

    You don’t have to face your fears just because, but if you think you could experience something like love, then the time will feel right.

    Thanks for sharing your wild story! Talk about listening to your instincts!

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  • 71. Noor  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Oh my goodness that is an insane story. I am like you and as much as I love the ocean and staring at it I can not bare to get in to far. We went to Bali and I was terrified to get in the water thinking a shark would eat me or one of the thousands of jellyfish I saw would sting me lol.

  • 72. Court  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I was just on that beach in Manuel Antonio wow!!!! I got into the water too, scary. Didn’t realize there were alligators in ocean water?!

  • 73. www.youtube.com/watch?v=h&hellip  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 11:07 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0ZOJ8dcQIA...

    D E S I G N L O V E F E S T…

  • 74. Lauren Ashley  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    wow – what a brave man you have. That’s amazing that he actually took action and did something so heroic. Three cheers for him!

  • 75. Mily  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    How terrifying! It’s amazing how brave and selfless your fiance was. Good man!

  • 76. Dayna  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Wow, that is real life heroic. Holy crap!
    I know this sounds like a stupid example, but it really kind of traumatized me: a couple months ago I was about to pull out of a parking lot and a man in a car next to mine accused me of scratching his car. I knew KNEW I hadn’t (even just from the way I pulled in), and the mark was SO tiny, but the man kept going. Soon he started attacking me personally and my intelligence, and whether or not I actually had my license or was driving illegally (like I would drive without a license?!), and I was professional, and calm and cool the whole time. After we exchanged information and I drove away, I pulled over to the side of the road and collapsed in tears. The dude (and his snotty girlfriend) were as mean as they possibly could have been in the situation, and I was paralized with fear about driving again. Even after the couple dropped the claim because they knew they would lose, even after months of hesitantly driving, I am still terrified of an accident on the road. I know I should get over it, and want to get over it, but the incident really made-real the possibilities of an accident so soon after I got my license. I know I’ll get my confidence back with time, but right now I’m still a little freaked…

  • 77. Kristi  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    How freaking scary!!!! Wow, super brave of Arian to help her! I’m a little disturbed that no one acknowledged what it did (or at least in what you shared).

    I have issues with the ocean myself. :/ I went to Mazatlan on my senior trip and there were “jellyfish warning” signs on the beach so I steered clear. All my friends went and played in the ocean and I felt SO left out but I didn’t want to risk it. Finally, the night before I left (I had to leave early to go home and leave for CA/FIDM) I thought, why not, so I went out with my best friends boyfriend and another friend and I was about chest deep in the water when my entire waist down felt like I was burning on fire…I starred panicking not realizing I was being stung by a jellyfish!! I didn’t know what to do and my friends boyfriend tried to swish it away from me and got stung on his arm. The only thing I could think to do was take my bottoms off because maybe it was stuck in them?? I remember violently shaking them out and headed for shore. So I made it back to about waist deep before I got the courage to try and put them back on. As I got out of the water I saw a man running towards me with a shot glass size cup with something yellow inside…I remember hearing you’re supposed to relieve a jellyfish sting with pee…so I was screaming don’t put pee on me!!!! He assured me it was only vinegar and dumped it around my waist. Ugh. I had to go to the pharmacy and get a perscription and left with what I thought was a scar for life around my waist and down my leg….it went away after a few months, thank god!!!

    I’ve since been in the ocean a few times, but break out in a mild panic if anything touches me. I prefer a lake or pool now…haha

  • 78. kaylee koenig  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    You are a really amazing storyteller, Bri! I was riveted to the screen reading this and didn’t even realize I was clenching my jaw in suspense!

  • 79. theviewofchannie  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Bri – wow! What a story. A is so brave. When I was 29 (so just past the 27 confusion you’ve discussed!) I made this life-changing decision to move with work to a Pacific Island for a few years. It was SO scary and I was coming off a huge heartbreak so my confidence was shaky. When I was leaving my Mum gave me a card which read ‘Those who never risk themselves never truly become themselves’. I kind of used it for my mantra while there. That experience – where I learnt to speak another language, learnt how to dive, went trekking up volcanoes, etc. was such a powerful and life-defining few years for me. I think even more because I kept pushing myself. I’m sure you can enjoy the water again – go for it!!

  • 80. kirsten  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    This looks like the source.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dsz/8989490281/

  • 81. Megan  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Actually… My boyfriend and I went on a 5 week backpacking tour of Europe in 2009 and on the way there I read this awful story in a magazine about a woman going to (maybe Thailand) with her fiancé and he gets stung by a jelly fish and dies right there on the beach and no one speaks english to help her. Terrifying, no? So here we are a few weeks into our trip and all was going well when we ended up in Cinque Terre, Italy for a few days. Relaxing on the rock beaches, swimming in the clear water, eating seafood in the little towns, it was perfect. One day we are swimming in the clear water in a hidden alcove we found that is empty of beach goers. We see a plastic bag floating towards us and I have dumb goggles on my eyes so I can swim and see the little fish that are around us so hero boyfriend decides to push the plastic bags away so i can keep fish watching in peace. as soon as he pushed the bag away we both looked at each other and realized that this was no plastic bag but a massive jelly fish which had decided to sting his whole chest. Mind you this guy is 6.2 so its not like this was a tiny thing. He gets it off him and I immediately I begin to panic and my mind is racing to the story and we quickly run up to the empty beach and begin pouring afterbite all over him (i am a graphic designer not a doctor) and we go to the tiny pharmacy in town and try to explain to them what had happened and get maybe benadryl? He’s allergic to bees and I have no idea how different a jelly fish is from a bee so i spent the whole night up watching him sleep and imagining how I’ll have to call his parents and travel home alone etc… in the end he just had a red sore chest for a few days and was a little sluggish but it definitely was one of the scariest things that has happened. He of course thinks its a great story and has no problem getting into any water anywhere.

  • 82. Malavika  |  June 23rd, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Hi Bri!
    What a fascinating and scary story. Its such a wonderful feeling to be able to help someone in need and I’m sure you are the proudest ever of Arian.
    I think I found the source of the photograph here –

    http://thepoetryofmaterialthings.tumblr.com/post/52862298894

    Love from Mumbai!

  • 83. Dominika  |  June 24th, 2013 at 12:29 am

    He is such a brave man! I hope to be more ppl like him on the world! It’s a big story!

    http://www.psychocandyvintage.com

  • 84. http://www.youtube.com/wa&hellip  |  June 24th, 2013 at 1:22 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvHtc6p4seE

    D E S I G N L O V E F E S T…

  • 85. Ffion  |  June 24th, 2013 at 2:54 am

    That is crazy terrifying.

    But I am incredibly impressed with your man. I think very very few people would have that kind of courage, to do what he did, acting in total disregard to his own safety to save another person’s life.

    That is true courage. The world would be a better place if there were more people like him.

    Thank you for sharing this story. I hope you’re recovering well from the experience.

  • 86. Caitlin  |  June 24th, 2013 at 6:24 am

    My husband and I took our honeymoon in Costa Rica. At the concierges suggestion, we decided to take a stroll on the beach, which was more or less abandoned and beautiful. There were these huge rocks jutting out into the sea and we decided to climb out on them. Next thing we know, a HUGE wave comes, knocks us over, drags us across 50 ft of rocks. I was bleeding like crazy (you could see my knee bone), terribly scratched up over my entire body, by husband had dislocated his shoulder. We were lucky neither of us had hit our heads or broken anything. To top it all off, I had lost my engagement ring in the fall. We hobbled up to the hotel where they pulled out a ridiculously insufficient first aid kit, told us the nearest hospital was five hours away, and that apparently people die on that beach about once a year and it is very unsafe. THANKS FOR THE WARNING. Suffice to say, we were on the next plane home to go to an American hospital. On the bright side, before we left we went to the beach in hopes of finding my ring, and miraculously, there it was, sitting in a pool of water on a black rock. We’ve decided Costa Rica is crazy.

  • 87. Brian  |  June 24th, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I hate swimming in the ocean – more to do with the salt and then being wet on a sandy beach combined with really fair skin, I usually just sit under the umbrella and read a good book. But if you want to swim in the ocean you should!

    I’m petrified of heights. But, I climbed up (the iron see through stairs) of the Eiffel tower when I went. (shaking the whole way) but the view and experience is worth it!

  • 88. nadya  |  June 24th, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Wow–this is an amazing story. First of all, Manuel Antonio is such a beautiful place! We had a beautiful and peaceful experience there, and I”m so sorry yours was…not. Also, your boyfriend is so brave!
    I’m really drawn to the ocean in general but I don’t really like going in above my knees.

  • 89. Megan  |  June 24th, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I’m afraid of the ocean too. Why take the risk?! I’ll stick to pools, thank you very much!

    This story is inspiring. Your boyfriend is amazing!

  • 90. anne taylor  |  June 24th, 2013 at 8:00 am

    oh my gosh, that is incredible! go arian! that is really, really brave of him to go in and get her when no one else would. i am terrified of the ocean, too, but i have been since i can remember. i’ve tried to get over the fear, but there are so many other things in the world that enjoy that i just don’t really let it get me down anymore. a few years ago, though, i was about to move back to colorado from boston and i was driving to south boston for an event. i had driven through the sumner tunnel hundreds of times in the years that i had lived there, but for some reason, that time i ended up having a panic attack in the tunnel. i was so terrified and now i can’t drive through tunnels anymore. i can be a passenger, but i’m just so afraid of having another panic attack while being behind the wheel. yikes!

  • 91. Simone Anne  |  June 24th, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Ahhh! This was SO intense! I read it with bated breath and then later relayed the whole story to my boyfriend haha. Crazy that you experienced this!!

  • 92. Becca  |  June 24th, 2013 at 8:46 am

    A few years ago I was swimming at a crowded beach in New Jersey with my sister when the two of us got caught in a rip tide. We didn’t realize what was happening, only that we were being pulled out to sea rapidly while we swam as hard as we could towards the shore. It was summer, so the beach was busy and the lifeguards didn’t see us. Thankfully a man swimming near us grabbed her and dragged her in, but he couldn’t help both of us. So I was alone, struggling as hard as I could and I began to get tired. I realized that at some point I would be so exhausted that I would have to give up, float away and drown… I saw my own death.

    My boyfriend saw me, swam out and helped me get to shore. I can’t believe I didn’t realize what was happening to me, because I should have known what to do. I will never get caught off guard by a riptide again, but honestly I’m more afraid of the ocean than ever and I am really cautious if I decide to swim – so this happening again is very unlikely.

  • 93. richele  |  June 24th, 2013 at 10:24 am

    crocodiles in the ocean – things I didn’t know could happen. I’ll stick with the pool!

    trauma based experiences are odd aren’t they? I lost a friend in a salon mass shooting a couple of years ago. I get very nervous often when I’m in a public place and I can’t see the entrances/exits. It only gets worse when something happens in the news.

  • 94. Elisha Ferguson  |  June 24th, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Holy crap!! What a crazy story but what a brave guy your boyfriend is! Up until really recently I was afraid of the ocean/wouldn’t go in past my ankles. When I was younger I was boogie boarding and a really powerful wave took me under and some how the boogie board cord wrapped around the buoy line that runs down from the beach and I was stuck under the water. Thankfully I finally came untugged and was completely fine but SO terrified of the ocean ever since. Last summer my boyfriend went into the water with me and I would not let him let me go and that really helped my comfort level in the ocean. Still not sure if I’d venture in alone though!

  • 95. Jenna  |  June 24th, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    My husband and I both grew up on Lake Superior and love nothing more than spending the summer in it’s freezing cold water. So, while I don’t have that fear of water that you shared, I know exactly what it’s like to have a terrible water experience change your life forever. Both Ben (my husband) and I learned the rules of the water and of boating at young ages, but it didn’t prevent a very scary situation from happening. About 4 or 5 years ago we were out on his parents’ boat with a few friends, doing all the things we love to do – wakeboarding and wake surfing. One of our friends had fallen while wakeboarding and when we stopped the boat and idled around to pick him back up another friend decided to yell “bombs away” and fall off the side of the boat, scuba-diving-style. We were unaware he did this, as he didn’t tell us (rule number one: never jump off a boat without getting the “okay”). Suddenly the boat jarred and we heard a terrible thud. Seconds later our friend came bobbing up out of the water with the most horrific injury I’ve ever personally witnessed. Some part of the boat had sliced his head, taking out a part of his skull, and leaving him bleeding profusely.

    Fortunately, his body knew what to do, as I guess it does in a traumatic situation, and he did not feel or know that pain that we all saw before our eyes. My husband thought he had killed his friend and we all feared the worst. The bright side is that some amazing people rushed to our aid and after surgery and recovery our friend is 100%. It was a reminder to all of us that no matter how water-aware you are, the unexpected can happen. We now tell everyone that wants to come on the boat that they can’t go into the water until they get the okay from the driver. It was a day and a picture that is burned into my memory forever, but we’re all safer for it now.

  • 96. Natalie Jagers  |  June 24th, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I’m scared of water too. Even lakes and sometimes pools, which is totally irrational. But i think sometimes there are rational fears. And thats ok.

  • 97. Claire  |  June 24th, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    First of all, your story completely reminds me of this clip where a hippopotamus saves an impala from a croc!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENWp0Q2RkTA (I’m sure your boyfriend is better looking than a hippo though). What an incredible, selfless person to put himself in danger to help another! Not many would do that…
    I live in NY state and am an FIT student, so I take the trains every day. A few months ago I saw a woman fall onto the tracks. I heard a man behind me say “Oh shit!” and before I could blink, him and another man jumped down on the track to save her, even at the risk of a train coming and hitting them as well! By the time all of the MTA workers arrived at the scene, bystanders had already lifted everyone to safety. Such a touching thing to see in NYC!!

  • 98. Steffany  |  June 24th, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    A couple of months ago I was home alone and walked out of my bedroom to go to the bathroom and low and behold, sitting half under my housemates door and half in the hallway, lay a snake.
    Apparently just a harmless carpet snake but I freaked non the less. I always knew I didn’t like snakes but until I saw one in my home I didn’t realise how deeply they petrified me. It took me a while before I could walk freely out into the hallway without reliving the whole thing. EEP. So I understand that feeling, small steps, quite literally sometimes.
    What a story!

  • 99. Jess  |  June 24th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing that Bri! Funny because I was thinking about something that had happened to me 2 years ago and how silly my fear is, but I guess it turns out we all are terrified of something hey? Well, I was in this beach hut with my sister in Thailand, that day the locals told us that during the Full Moon Party thiefs will break into the huts as they know the tourists are out partying. My sis and I being the nanna’s we are, we stayed home with the thought of theives briefly crossing my mind. At about 3am my sister woke me up abruptly and in my sleepy haze realised that there were a few men on our balcony! With the full moon we could see their shadows as they walked around the balcony, never in my life have I had to fear that I would be in danger of death or rape but these thoughts crossed my mind like crazy. Eventually they left, and we think maybe they were just locals being cheeky or drunk trying to spook us. After that I just wasn’t able to sleep properly and really just wanted to get back home to Sydney.
    My boyfriend and I stayed at a house near the snow last year and during the night something made quite a racket and it scared the shit out of me!! We were isolated which made it worse. From now on I just can’t deal with the idea of sleeping somewhere isolated without feeling anxious, I guess over time it might fade.

    Jess :)

  • 100. CHICKYTHING  |  June 25th, 2013 at 2:09 am

    I believe i saw this house in house hunters. It’s someone’s backyard, next to an exposed bathroom. It’s located in Australia.

  • 101. CHICKYTHING  |  June 25th, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Btw, that guy of yours is a keeper.if he did this for a stranger, imagine what he can do for you :)

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  • 103. Rachel  |  June 25th, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Wow, your story is really intense! My “scary” reality check happened when I turned 21 and got my liver transplant due to an autoimmune disorder. The scary part wasn’t the actual surgery, it was the complications I faced post surgery. I got extremely sick a couple weeks after, I couldn’t breath very well, had a constant fever, swollen lymph nodes, and extreme pain all over. I thought to myself, “I thought the transplant was supposed to improve my quality of life, not hinder it.” Finally I couldn’t take the pain anymore and went to the ER. The scariest thing was having the tech take my pulse rate, watching her go pale, retake it then run to the ER doctor in a panic. laying in that tiny room with at least 10 nurses and my entire transplant team in there poking at me, drawing blood, running X-rays, scans, you name it( frantically working to find out what was wrong with me was the most indescribable feeling. That was the moment I really thought, “I’m not invincible, whatever this is may very well kill me.” It took a couple weeks to find out what was wrong with me, they thought it was TB, then a bad infection… Finally after being quarantined, losing a crazy amount of weight, my voice (because my lymph nodes were so swollen), and being on oxygen; an intern finally figured out what it might be; valley fever. I was tested, a few days later the results showed that I did in fact have a very severe case of disseminated valley fever. After that treatment was a struggle (and continues to be) but the hope of recovery was restored. I will never forget that feeling of almost losing my life, not getting the chance to do the things I always saw myself doing. But from all that struggle I discovered a new lust for life, new meaning, and a new purpose- to help others; now my goal is medical school to save lives, and one day help form an organization to raise awareness about the need for organ donors! So yup, that’s my scary reality story haha, good things will come from it though, I’m making sure of it!!

  • 104. http://www.youtube.com/wa&hellip  |  June 25th, 2013 at 6:36 am

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  • 105. Heather Wright  |  June 25th, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Hug for you both. The otherworldliness and trauma of moments such as that definitely burn into our character and change the way we see the world. I can understand its direct association with fear. I too, a native Florida girl had a frightening alligator encounter. I walked daily around our neighborhood full of retention ponds with our 1 year old. On this specific day, an older child, about 7, had joined us. He and my son were making leaf boat, setting small rocks on them and pushing them out. I saw bubbles that I likened to very large pipe just near us. I decided to stand up tall from a squatting position to use my size as a potential deterrent in the event an gators were around. As I did I instinctively lifted up my son with me and like a flash a gator jumped out of the water within inches of the accompanying childs hands and at the exact height that my boy wouldve been had I not lifted him. The solid smack of his jaws is a sound that I will never forget the rest of my life. Thankfully the gator retreated immediately back into the water and did not pursue us. By that time I had grabbed the neighborhood boy and we ran back toward the development. Everyone was fine but as I turned to look at the boy with us, I saw all the blood leave his face as the reality of what had just happen sank in. He simply said, “I don’t feel good. I am going home.” I regretfully did not follow him. I feel still that I should’ve let someone know what he had been through. I never saw him again.

  • 106. http://www.youtube.com/wa&hellip  |  June 26th, 2013 at 10:12 am

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  • 107. Trinidad  |  June 26th, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    i thought it was a shark, the croco was a total twist
    it didn’t become a phobia, but when i was a child, i was at my dad’s weekend house, walking around the huge, gigantic back yard, with a stray dog that was always around. her name was Blonde, and she was always there, and even though she wasn’t ours, she was part of the house.
    we were just walking around when a neighbor’s dog jumped over the fence, and came to meet us. i love dogs. i’m the kind of people who will make you stop a couple of minutes on the street, in order to pet your dog, feeling no remorse or whatsoever. so my initial reaction was trying to pet this intruder dog, but he wasn’t into. he actually growled at me. so i was like “i got the message. later, alligator” and started to walk away with Blonde, but the dog wouldn’t let go. he kept on growling. and then i got really nervous. i wasn’t close to the house, my dad was fixing some stuff, i was all alone and this dog was giving me da look. i turned around and started to run (BAD IDEA), triped, screamed and landed on the ground. i remember covering my head with my arms, and feeling the dog’s fangs on my leg. short after my dad was there, he picked me up and took me back home, while i was crying like crazy, and Blonde was even more frightened than i was.
    i wasn’t THAT hurt. actually it wasn’t even a big bite. after i was all cleaned up, i became more afraid for the dog than for myself. i’m daddy’s girl, and if he encountered the dog again, it would be bad news for the dog.
    i never became afraid of dogs, i still love them, but at the time, it was a scary situation.

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  • 109. dervla  |  June 27th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    wow, what an insane moment. Your boyfriend was so brave, what a good person. Did the woman thank him?

  • 110. Kasi  |  June 29th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    So terrifying! You must have been so proud of him. I had an experience a few years ago where I was kayaking with my husband and a tour guide in the Salmon River, which is pretty tame, but I got thrown out of my kayak into a “hole” and I didn’t know how to get out, so I was drowning. I was drowning and I could see my husband’s kayak just a few feet away but he couldn’t get to me, and I had already breathed in a bunch of water so I just reached my hand up as high as I could and tried to stay calm. Eventually our tour guide got to me and yanked me out of the hole (me vomiting all over myself, of course). I was really shaken up… and I haven’t been in a boat or water past my waist since. Ugh!

  • 111. MK  |  June 30th, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    crazy story! i’m glad arian wasn’t hurt. this post hit pretty close to home for me — one of my best friends was attacked by a shark in the caribbean (and lived!), and one of our schoolmates from childhood was killed by a crocodile in the ocean off the coast of thailand. i’m glad the woman survived!

  • 112. Kelsi  |  July 1st, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    http://heartofjoy.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/dear-water-were-gonna-be-ok/

    So scary!! I wrote the above story a couple of years ago about my relationship with water. Its better, but I’m still a little nervous. Of course, I married I white water guide soooo, I’m not allowed to be scared for long! haha

  • 113. Carly  |  July 2nd, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    um, holy crap…..

  • 114. Carla  |  July 3rd, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Amazing adventure! ;) congratulations Arian!
    i love your blog Bri!

  • 115. Nic  |  July 11th, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    It’s incredibly surreal when things like this happen. Did you have somewhat of an out of body experience? I feel like me body goes into panic/survival mode as to keep from shutting down completely. In the moment time is nonexistent, and yet when it’s all said and done everything is a bit foggy. The details are fleeting, perhaps to avoid completely reliving the moment over and over again.

    A few summers back my husband and I went to see Radiohead in Golden Gate Park. We go to many concerts together. This particular night it was different. We had a few drinks to ease into concert mode – nothing excessive or out of the norm. But about halfway through the concert, my husband who was standing behind me, leans into my ear and says I don’t feel so well. I look back at him, and he seems kinda pale. I run through a quick list of things I can help with – water, food, comfort, love, etc. We go on watching the show. Minutes later, I feel his entire dead-weight body on top of me. I try to turn back and notice he is non-responsive. Now, mind you, we are in the middle of a 60K crowd at night, with music blaring through the space around us and a mesmerizing light show consuming our every sight. My body goes straight into panic mode. My heart is beating out of my chest. I begin to shove through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd, with my 6’1″ 200lb husband on my back. His feet are dragging on the ground, still unresponsive. With one hand holding his arm over my shoulder, I use my other hand to call 911 on my cell. I can’t hear them, they can’t hear me. It’s useless. The only thing that is going through my head is ‘please don’t die on me, not here, not now.’ We finally get to the edge of the crowd, where he comes to and finds his footing. I sit him down, throw water in his face and ask what the hell just happened. Basically, he had a spontaneous, unexplained seizure. The last thing he remembers is the sound getting wonky and muffled, and then tunnel vision straight into a blackout.

    We joke about it now. He re-tells the story with pride about his super-strong wife. And he doesn’t know this, but every time we go to a concert now, I am on higher-than-normal alert. I pick spots away from the middle of the crowd. And I am always at his side. I can’t help but be paranoid.

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    Horrible.. 15 years ago I woke up in the middle of the night in our weekend house, that was on fire, tottaly on fire! Flames and smoke everywhere. In the evening I forgot to blow out the candle was standing on the TV box (stupid idea I know). Since that time I never light a candle…

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  • 118. Jimena  |  August 16th, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Bri! That’s so terrifying! I’m form CR and have been to Manuel Antonio a few times, and I love the water so I’m in the ocean pretty much the whole day! I heard from surfer friends that there’s bull sharks there (how the hell do they ever surf again, I have no idea). Crocodiles near river mouths at the beaches have been a problem for a while since pollution has killed their food sources in the rivers so they go out into the ocean to look for more. I’ll definitely be more careful after reading this. I’m usually scared of random animals when I can’t see the bottom, so I understand and sympathise. Good call on listening to your gut!

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  • 120. carly  |  January 4th, 2014 at 7:33 am

    bri that’s insane! I missed this post the first time, but just caught it now. I’ve been surfing in Manuel Antonio and went on that very beach that you talked about. Can’t believe it, that it happened, you saw it, and your boyfriend made the rescue. hope you can conquer your fears for Thailand, but if not, there is nothing wrong with dipping your toes in the water and wading in the shallow crystal clear areas!
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  • 122. Alyssa  |  February 26th, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Wow Bri, Now I understand your fear of the ocean in Thailand. It’s impressive that you’ve gone back to a place where you can even imagine yourself in water. That in itself is overcoming fear I think! :)

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