Saturday, October 17, 2015

near death experience

It has been five years since I died and came back to life.

The beginning of this story is innocuous. I was a healthy 29 year old, on my way to a friend's house with Andy. The only sign of trouble is that I kept complaining about how thirsty I was.

Things started off as they usually would. We gathered. We talked. We laughed, Then, one friend suggested we go out dancing. I was indifferent to the idea.

The club we went to was typical. Music. Booze. Dancing. So, I wandered with Andy towards the bar and ordered bottled water.

It was while I was drinking that water that I started feeling an odd sensation. A prickling behind my eyes. I tried to shrug it off, but it persisted. Irritated that a migraine was coming on, I decided to dance to distract myself.

After a few minutes of dancing, I lost time. I found myself standing on the dance floor, unsteady on my feet that the first pang of fear hit. What was wrong with me? How long had I been standing there? I looked around and a man in a dark suit was watching me. His expression unreadable,

I struggled through the crowd to find Andy. I managed a few coherent words once I found him and he helped me over to a quiet space. When I looked back to where I had been, the man in the dark suit was gone.

I vaguely remember telling him that the strobe lights were bothering me. That the smoke machines were making it hard to breathe. That I felt dizzy. He was concerned. He flagged down our group and suggested we go eat somewhere. Thinking giving me some time to reboot would me some good. I have had seizures in the past and I know now that is what he thought happened.

We left the club and walked to a local diner.

It was about five minutes after we sat down that I knew I was in trouble. Everything started looking like it was a strange shade of green. Like it was tinted. I couldn't get enough air. I was trying to tell Andy what was wrong but I could barely talk. It felt like I was separating from my body.

This is when I remember things in slices of fragmented time and fear. Like my consciousness was a skipping record. Nothing. Fear. My friend saying something was wrong with me. Nothing. Fear. Andy leaning me against a wall, telling me to open my eyes. Nothing. Fear. Andy calling 911. 

Then nothing.

It was a real nothing. No fear. No sound. Blackness and a distant sense of peace. The fear was gone and a huge part of me was gone. It was like I was experiencing the real me for the first time. At the same time, I had no sense of self.

I knew the secrets of everything. I knew I was dead. I knew that I had three choices. Go back. Reincarnate. Or go to a higher realm. I am not sure what I chose but I didn't choose to go back. Not at first. I was ready for a new life or a new world or both. But also understood my decision wasn't about me. It was about more. When I thought about it that way I didn't to go back.

The first thing I became aware of was a sense of self and it felt like an uncomfortable coat. Then fear followed. Quickly followed by pain and I heard Andy's panicked voice whispering. 

"You promised. You promised."

Through the pain I jerked my hand it felt like lead. My breaths couldn't get enough air. Andy hugged me and mumbled his thanks. I experienced the time skipping like I had before. At one point Andy stood me up. Then I was outside on a bench. There was a stranger next to me. A man. He had a lispy feminine voice. I could barely open my eyes. He held me at his side. Petting me. Whispering in my ear, breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out. I was grateful to him. A few times I would stop breathing and he would shake me. Tell me to breathe. We'd start the process over. It felt like hours of this.

Andy returned with paramedics. I remember bits and pieces of him explaining what happened. My symptoms. Him getting into a verbal fight with the paramedic. They wouldn't bring me to the hospital. I still don't understand why. The stranger that had been holding me, now backed Andy up.

He said, "I agree with him, you guys need to bring her to the hospital."

The paramedic said, "And you are?"

The guy who helped me shrugged, "Just some gay guy."

Afterwards, time kept skipping. We eventually were home. I remember it took days for me to not have loss of time. It took me at least two years to not think about it constantly, to not wonder why I was here.

When I asked Andy to describe that night to me, it started off similar to mine. Friends. Club. We got water. I danced and came back. I told him I didn't feel good. He gathered up the group and we went tot he diner. He said I put my head down on the table and relaxed. It was when my friend offered me some water and I didn't respond that they knew something was wrong. Andy told them to get the check and bring the car around. He helped me to the bathroom area thinking I was going to be sick and instead, I collapsed. He opened my eyes and they were blank. He checked my pulse and there was none. He called 911. That is when he scooped me up and kept telling me that I promised. Then my hand jerked and I was back. He decided to take me outside so that when the paramedics came they'd see me right away. He sat me on a bench. Minutes later the paramedics came and he stepped away to flag them down. He returned and the paramedics said I was fine. That I must have took something. When Andy said I didn't. They didn't believe him. That is when he said that a random gay guy appeared out of nowhere and tried to get them to bring me to the hospital too.

I told Andy about the gay guy helping me breath. He slowly said, "No, honey you were alone on that bench." Then I asked him if he saw a man in a dark suit at the club. He said, "No, I think I'd remember that."

I still don't know what to think of my experience. It's hard to say if everything that happened was a creation of the last synopsis of my mind. Perhaps, a moment of insanity. The only thing I know for certain is that I was dead, and now I am not.

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