When I was very young I almost drowned. I was in Florida and my mother was in NY and when the news got back to her she immediately signed me up for swimming lessons. I learned how to swim but soon my fear of drowning returned and as an adult I took swimming lessons again. As I learned to swim all over again I became comfortable with my head under the water and I even began to practice my breathing in the shower.
Overcoming my fear became my obsession and I realized that one of the reasons I could overcome my fear was that I could identify it. An unnamed fear can be paralyzing.