When it happened to me I was like "fuck" and then a moment later I was like "thank fuck"
When I was drowning it was weird, a mix of calm and tranquillity but at the same time sorrow for all the pain I was gonna bring upon my family and loved ones. My last thoughts were to them, and somehow the current brought me to the shore.
My moment was much more brief, but my thoughts were incredibly clear. My mind instantly went to "huh, well this is it." Very calm and relaxed. Not exactly content, but no real panic. My mind just accepted it, probably judging that fight nor flight would help.
Well, I guess I'll just be done with hiking forever.
Got caught in a flash flood in 2003. I was on top of my completely submerged car, hanging on with my leg wrapped around the seatbelt inside the car. Helicopter flew by twice and couldn't see me. Surrounded by power lines all around me, and high walls of the near underpass, all I could see was one man I never met. I could hear him saying hold on. I just stared at him in shock with tears rolling down my face. Looking at him, I was able to make peace with my time coming up. I pictured my kids (who I was only moments away from picking up at daycare) and in my mind said goodbye to them. I knew they would be in good hands with their dad and grand parents. I was able to be at peace that the would still have a happy life with a great support system. I was ready. I closed my eyes and let go of my internal need to fight for life. I had no fight in me. When I opened my eyes, the helicopter had found me and someone was on a cable descending to reach me. All I could do was reach out one cramped up hand (long panic attack cramped my muscles) he got on top of me and jerked me up to get me to respond. I closed my eyes and remember nothing until I woke from the turbulence of the Huey helicopter. It was a frightening shaking and rattling of metal. I man in full rescue gear reached down and laid a hand on my head to calm me and let me know I was ok. It took about a week for it to hit me but when it did...it was damn near disabling. Survivors guilt. That's the thing that ate me up inside. For several years I had dreams the water was coming back to claim what was his. It would take the form of a person and wiggle its way through hallways and buildings, me always waking when the water came down like a wave to finally take me away. That's the thing I still deal with. The pain of getting to the point that I said goodbye
Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad I read this.
Reading that gave me almost as much anxiety as my own experience. Having no idea what type of shark bit you and how big it was, with about a 200 yard paddle back to shore, is fairly nerve racking.
EDIT: proof, sorry https://imgur.com/gallery/S8MVi
Anything involving water is scary as hell, I remember once when I was younger I was in a really bad beach - for the lack of a better term - and everything was fine until it wasn't, waves crashing one after the other, tide was pulling a lot, after the 5th or 6th wave I was tired and another big one came and got me real good I was gasping for air when I felt a second wave crashing and the back of my knees and I felt like a gymnast with the amount of mortals "I did", luckily the waves pushed me back to a place that I was able to swim for a few meters and be in more calm waters. I'm not afraid of the ocean, but I'd think twice before doing it again.
Edit: Also if anyone interested on my thoughts during the event, it was like a huge blank I only saw a gray-ish colour and I was struggling a lot to keep my head off the water and/or swim, I guess my lack of thoughts was my brain way to say "I can't provide you any thoughts, just enough commands to make you survive, let instinct do its thing"
I nearly died back in July, although I wasn't scared of the thing that nearly killed me because I didn't know about it yet. I wrote it up very long here: https://www.reddit.com/r/panamacity/comments/6vuwsp
Basically, I was walking a short distance and getting lightheaded and fainted. When I came to, my vision was mostly blacked out and my heart was racing / palpitating. I didn't know if I was about to die or not, but I was all alone.
It was weird. I was thinking a number of different things. Will anyone come along and find me? Is this it? If so, that kinda sucks.
I wasn't scared of death in that moment. I didn't want to die, but I was resigned to it if it happened. I was glad it wasn't painful - that terrifies me.
I'm always the person who people know doesn't take medications (unless prescribed by a doctor) like, I never even took aspirin if I didn't have to. And when I got the flu, I'd sleep it away. So when my wife asked if I wanted to go to the ER to get checked out, the fact that I immediately said "yes" actually managed to worry her even more. lol
i was in an induced coma for 4 nights and flatlined a few times. also didn't become responsive for quite a long time after the uhh... sedatives? stopped being fed into me.
being under general anaesthetic before this occurred, i wasn't "awake" before my NDE.
i wonder how that affects what the individual experiences.
for me, i was at least partially aware it was a dream. and like a dream, the time distortion effect must have set in amazingly.
it's been almost 2 and a half years and i'm still not entirely comfortable putting everything into words.
having said that, i was completely alone for what felt like (5-8?) decades. easily double the length I had been alive before the fact.
i walked. there was no sun, therefore no sunsets to count to pass the time. there was a fire beyond one horizon, and a warm off-white glow beyond the other. i went to one end for answers, then unsatisfied (unwelcome) i went to the other.
it was long enough that i'd well and truly run out of things to think about. in the end, it was just me. breathing was optional, i felt no hunger or thirst, the only thing i could "do" was walk. or sit.
every memory i had before has been processed and reprocessed and compartmentalised and stored away.
i'm now living on my own borrowed time and i often struggle to see the difference between the path i walked in that dream and the underlying point of waking life now.
in my dream, i did wonder if i was ever going to wake up, or if my body had already failed and i was just to remain where i was for eternity.
i wish there were more of a silver lining or a positive i could draw from the whole deal, but in short i was relieved when I woke and found myself in ICU where I'd been before, and not in a nursing or palliative care facility. waking up with literally 14 lines in my arms was a relief compared to the notion i might either be a vegetable from brain damage, or that i'd been through all that only to die soon after.
the unexpected negative was that aside from friends being too freaked out by seeing me on what was at several times going to be my deathbed and "not knowing how to look at me the same again afterwards" was that it took a full year before i accepted i was actually back.
when you're about 30, you're already in a set of routines. i didn't make any new friends, i didn't go anywhere i hadn't already. i questioned whether the people i did meet now were just faces and voices i'd heard from people i'd dealt with years before, that my mind was now forming memories and thoughts around as they do in conventional dreams. i honestly didn't know if i was still in my own head or not.
i'm past that now, what i'm not past is learning how to interact with people again. spend 2 lifetimes not talking to anyone, i guess you forget the soft skills. i lowkey fear it's just brain damage now, but i never want that connotation so i choose my own narrative on that one.
it felt good to put this to words. thanks to anyone who bothered reading it.
When I was young, about 11 years old I fell into a bog. I was walking to meet my dad, the fishing rod he made me in hand. It was a big deal because my mom actually let me walk the trail along the creek to go join him fishing alone. It had rained and I was jumping in mud puddles, celebrating my independence. I could see my dad casting, focusing on his fly near a bare tree in the distance. Then I slipped and part of the trail gave way. I fell right into a large patch of mud feet first, instantly to my stomach. I tried to move but I kept sinking. I can't remember screaming but I must have, because my next memory is my dad running towards me at what I remember to look like he was a video in fast forward. He could not reach me and I was up to my shoulders. I don't remember words being exchanged but I remember grabbing the tip of his fly rod and him grabbing mine, and he used that to pull me up and just close enough to reach me. The next thing I remember was waking up in bed.
What amazes me is the detail that I remember of some parts of the experience. I can remember the trail, what the tree my dad was near looked like, and the view from inside the bog as if it was shot in HD. I remember the smell of the bog and the smell of the room I woke up in.
I still use the fly rod he made, it's a great little creek rod.
My sister nearly drowned when her foot got caught in a rock on a swift moving river. I had that same "calm, everything moving slowly" feeling while I was rescuing her. It felt like a trance.
I get it. On my first deployment (Navy), we were in the Persian Gulf in the RHiB about 20 knots from the ship for added presence. Before we knew it, comms went down and the Helo went back to refuel. The stress was building, while two boats (assumed to be Iranian) were coming over the Horizon. They were much faster than they were, probably pushing close to 60 knots to our 30 or so. We turned tailed and tried to turn back, but they were gaining quick. Once they got within 200 meters, they started firing upon us. I will never forget the sound, the feel of a bullet missing me by inches, nor pulling that trigger as fast as I possibly could; all the while praying I could get come alive. Holy fuck it was terrifying.
We didn't lose anyone, but that certainly did. I must have gone through 3 magazines before all the chaos died down.
I wish now, that would have been the only time I fired my weapon in the line of duty.
The most fucked up part? I would give anything to be back in that RHIB, just so I know what is going on in my head is real.
Not totally related, but I've been drinking and I wanted to share.
A couple years ago, I was skiing on an awesome mountain in California (Mammoth, for the curious). I've been skiing since I was six years old at least once or twice a year if not more. While I'm certainly no "true expert," I can handle black diamonds just fine and I've done a few double-black diamonds (the most difficult runs).
Off Mammoth's summit are some of its most difficult runs. They're narrow, steep, covered in moguls, and many have rocks. The "easiest" (relative term) of those double-blacks is probably Wipeout Chutes. It's wide and doesn't have rocks, but it's still very steep and has moguls as tall as your average person that you have to navigate around. Also on the mountain's summit are signs that say, "Experts only! Falls may result in injury or death."
You can probably see where this is going.
I'd had a great weekend, and decided that I wanted to do one double-black diamond before heading home. Why not do Wipeout Chutes? I'd already done it five or six years before when I was much younger and far less experienced. Of course, I didn't take into account the angle of the sun thanks to the time of day, a mistake which I didn't realize until I had started down. The shadows over the mountain meant that I couldn't see any dips or bumps or even much of the moguls beyond their silhouette. I stopped and caught my breath, then started taking it slow, but it only took a couple turns for me to hit a bump I couldn't see and have my feet go out from under me. Before I could blink, I was sliding down the mountain on my butt with snow flying past my face, spraying from my boots.
I could feel the friction against my legs trying to drag them above my torso, and I knew that if I didn't fight it using every last ounce of strength I had, I'd start tumbling and most certainly break something, if not several things, possibly my back or neck. I had seen the aftermath of other people in similar accidents, and it wasn't pretty. Somehow, I managed to remember something my dad had told me, that if I ever started sliding and couldn't stop, that I should dig the heels of my boots into the snow as hard as I could...so that's what I did.
Amazingly, it worked. I have never been more relieved than when I came to a stop. Because of how fast I was sliding, I had gotten some pretty nasty road rash on my arms and back. I looked back up the mountain to see how far I'd gone, and was surprised to see my skis about 700 vertical feet above me; later calculations showed that I had gone about 30-40mph *on my back*.
After a half hour of thanking whatever cosmic entity was out there for my being alive, catching my breath, and trying to get the attention of people on neighboring runs and chairs (to no avail), I finally had the wherewithal to pull out my phone - which was somehow just fine - and call ski patrol for a ride back down the hill.
I'll never forget the sheer terror I felt, however, nor the feeling of literally fighting against the mountain for my life, knowing that failure could have paralyzed me or killed me. It's something I hope to never experience again.
I'm not much of an avid skier anymore, after that.