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My name is Xoe Xapoian. I was born in New York City and raised in Connecticut.
I was in an accident almost a year ago which took half of my left leg. I now walk with a prosthetic leg.
I want to be involved in this underwater transformative experience because I feel good when I’m close to water, like I’m one with myself. It is hard to express the myriad of thoughts and feelings resulting from my injury, but being underwater can help to process this.
When I’m underwater, I want to celebrate my new body and feel beautiful and serene. I want to move like dancing and express how I feel. I’d like to be very still and conscious, and let go of any nagging thoughts or fears and have my mind be clear and free.
Before the photo shoot, I was nervous because it was my first time going in the water since my accident and I didn’t know what my new body would feel like in the water, or if I would be able to swim like before. I was also excited for my first underwater shoot.
The water was warm and it felt very good. I kept getting water up my nose but I was having such a good time it didn’t matter. Once I opened my eyes underwater, I was able to see how really beautiful everything looked and interact with the camera more.
Erena was amazing to work with. She showed me a breathing technique which really helped me go underwater for a longer time. She kept making sure I was feeling good and showed me the snaps we were getting intermittently. She was very encouraging and comforting.
I was elated after the shoot. I felt so accomplished and powerful after getting in the water, yet serene and happy. I felt very content. I knew what it was like to go in the water post-accident and it felt great. I felt good about the work Erena and I did. The water is gentle yet powerful. It is very liberating. It generates a lot of emotion. The water is somewhere I used to really like to be and knowing that hasn’t changed for me is fantastic.
I slept especially well the night of the shoot. Being in the water had really made me feel energized and proud of a job well done. I was tired and happy and I slept very well.
I would highly recommend underwater transformation to any other survivors. Going in the water felt like overcoming a challenge and facing a fear, and there was so much light on the other side. I felt beautiful and confident in my skin. Being in the water felt like being transported to another world where things are more vivid. I had the opportunity to celebrate my new body and my journey and that is priceless. Thank you!
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