My eyes are the colour of the sea

My eyes are the colour of the sea. Since I was a girl, I’ve believed that the ocean is inside me.
That my irises are made of glass, windows to the aqua and grey. Water lapping or smashing against the clear barrier that separates the inside from the outside.
I was ten years old when I regularly felt irrational worry. Like waves crashing over my head, obstructing my lungs. At night, I’d dream of gigantic walls of water coming toward me, smashing my face, filling my ears, sucking me up and spitting me out. Disorientated, I’d reach out in front and feel the sand in my hands and be hit with the realization that I’d swum in the wrong direction. I would wake up breathless, sweaty. I didn’t know if I preferred to be awake or asleep.
When I learned to dive under the waves, everything changed. In deep water, waves cause water molecules under the surface to move in a circular motion, acting as a buffer that separates what is above from what is below. So, if you dive under a wave, you will hardly feel it wash over you. Under the ocean is an escape from the turbulence and the noise on the surface. There is calm in any chaos. No matter how big the wave, simply drop beneath it and feel it wash over, and disappear.
As life presents a series of gigantic waves, the lip threatening to break overhead, the sea behind the glass windows smashes and darkens. The waves might not be stopped, but they can be escaped below. Hold your breath and let it out slow. Watch the bubbles float up to the surface. Underwater, there is freedom of thought. Underwater, there’s peace. Just close your eyes and sink to where you’re out of reach.

About the author
Natalie Matosin is a neuroscientist that is working on understanding the biological causes of mental illnesses. She has a deep connection with the ocean and writes about the turbulent sea as an analogy for experiencing anxiety. Natalie has been added to the Forbes 30 under 30 list and is committed in making science accessible for everyone. You can visit her blog here.

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