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Cult Survivors Open Up To Share What Their Experience Was Like.

Cult Survivors Open Up To Share What Their Experience Was Like.

1. My aunt (never met her) is part of a cult in Texas. A couple of my cousins, her daughters, got out and were basically shunned by the community. My aunt told my cousin that she would go to her wedding and then before the wedding she sent a letter to my cousin that she wasn't going anymore because the marriage was damned to Hell. She also told her sister, my other aunt, that she got sick (had cancer) because she didn't believe enough.

My cousins are very successful now and work hard but damn, they went through some crazy brainwashing as kids.


2. I was born and raised in a cult, and considered myself a member up until I left my parents' home at the age of 18. The group I was associated with is not well known, but the effects on the members are tragic and undeniable.

We were literally brainwashed. We had weekly services with a set program (three hymns, prayer, sermonette, hymn, announcements, main message, hymn, prayer.) It never altered from that layout. As well, the messages we would hear were often videotaped sermons from maybe five main people at "headquarters". The topics were extremely narrow (Prophecy/the end is coming!, Self Improvement/all of you suck and you should hate yourselves, Setting Ourselves Apart/don't talk to "worldly" people, they will taint you.)

There were many ways in which we were indirectly encouraged to harm ourselves. Many people looked down upon modern medicine, and felt that using it was a way of turning away from God - slapping him in the face, making it clear he wasn't needed. I personally knew people who died for their faith, waiting for God to heal them. On the other hand, when any of the main leaders fell ill, they were immediately rushed off to receive medical care.

They controlled our diet. We pretty much were kosher (though they denied all influence or association from/with Jewish people.) There were annual days of fasting, and whenever the leadership could scare up enough drama within the members, they would declare a "church-wide fast" so we could all get closer to God and resolve our issues. We fasted when the church's income was said to be dropping. We fasted when leaders were ill. We fasted when people died. We had our own personal fasts for the hell of it, or when we felt especially guilty and out of touch with God. Parents were encouraged to get their children involved as young as possible. My parents tell me I started observing the annual fast when I was three years old. I remember one year when my brother was two or three, at at one point during the day, he just broke down sobbing because he was so thirsty (oh, yeah - we abstained from food and drink. We got obscenely dehydrated, every time.) Looking back, I just don't understand how a parent can behave that way.

There was actually an entire message once where one of the leaders took on the subject, "Are we a cult?" and he actually went through a checklist for us. His conclusion was that we were a cult, but that it was a good thing. We should be proud! Only not, pride is a sin. We should be pleased.

They were so sex-negative, I can't even describe. We spent so much time and energy frantically thinking, "I can't think about sex" that it was all we thought about. It was "evil, dirty, wrong, and it would hurt if we weren't married." I literally built up so much fear over it that when I did finally have sex (Continued)

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I literally built up so much fear over it that when I did finally have sex (as an unmarried adult, hah...) I had developed vaginismus, a sexual pain condition. The cause is often psychological - in my case, being so afraid of it hurting, that it hurt, which further fed into my fear.

You had to be baptized before a minister would marry you. You couldn't be baptised and marry someone else who wasn't. You couldn't marry outside the church. Some ministers wouldn't baptize you if they thought your only incentive was to get married.

There were rampant cases of sexual abuse from the leadership, but we were always too fearful to report it. Always taught that it must have, in some way, been our fault.

"Traditional" gender roles were enforced - i.e., women stay home, pop out babies, cook, and clean. Men were to work and support the home. Having children, and lots of them, was strongly encouraged - "Be fruitful and multiply", and all that crap. Adoption was frowned upon, even for those who were unable to have their own children. So many families were living in poverty because there were just too many children to take care of. God forbid that any of them have a medical condition that required constant treatment.

We were robbed on a regular basis. They called it tithing. Not only did we give ten percent of our entire income, but we were also to set a second ten percent aside (to be used at a seven day religious convention of sorts every year) and on every third year, we would give an additional ten percent to the church. Imagine losing 20% of your income every year, and 30% every third year. Imagine being poor to begin with. Imagine being told you are poor because you have been literally stealing from God by not diligently paying your tithes.

I could go on forever. There is so much.

3. I was part of a fundamentalist Christian cult known as ATI/IBLP. Recent scandals have hit the news about the cult leader Bill Gothard when over 50 women came forward with allegations that he sexually harassed/assaulted them. But that's only scratching the surface. Let me tell you my scariest experience - and just keep in mind, I'm far from the only one.

First off, throughout my childhood my father and sisters abused me. Since the cult taught a strict familial hierarchy, with the father being top dog, then mother, then children in order of birth, as the youngest I was bottom of the totem pole. My father would twist Bible verses to justify anything he wanted to do. Because ATI is a homeschool cult, it was really handy to cover up the abuse from any prying eyes. My home was a prison for 11 years until he died of a massive heart attack. And that's not even the scariest experience.

Fast forward 2 years. I'm 13, with a mother who's frantically fixated on me being a "troubled child" because 1. I dared resist my father's advances and argue against the abuse I was suffering, gaining me the reputation of 'Rebellious', 2. I'm severely depressed because I'm a freaking victim and depression is considered sin, and 3. I asked too many questions as to WHY we believed the things we believed - you don't ask questions, needless to say. So she calls some cult members here and there, pulls some strings, and long story short, she gets me placed in a secretive program called the "Log Cabin" program. They tell her very little details about it, and she tells me even less. All I know is I'm about to move to Oklahoma for a while to be fixed by "nice counselors" because I'm a dirty sinner.

Wednesday, July 11th, 2001. I'm dropped off. (Continued)

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Wednesday, July 11th, 2001. I'm dropped off at a locked-down compound in the middle of nowhere near Skiatook, Oklahoma called "Eagle Springs Training Center". They pose as a "residential childcare facility" for appearances sake. This means my mother literally signs over custody of me, her own child, to a bunch of strangers in a compound in the middle of nowhere, and leaves me there and goes back home far away. They assure her I'm in good hands.

For the next two years, I am tortured, brainwashed, starved, sleep deprived, threatened, punished, humiliated, interrogated, and terrorized. I lose 40 pounds in the first month or two. They take me off my medications (believing it is wrong to take them) cold turkey; I exhibit severe symptoms of withdrawal and they go ignored. I am worked grueling hours, sent on aimless hikes and marches, scrubbing floors on my hands and knees until my knuckles are cracked and bleeding from the bleach, punished with hard labor until I'm near fainting. They had fun coming up with new and strange "punishments". One was a forced vow of silence: You were told never to speak for days or weeks on end - if you do, you are punished further. I was given tasks designed to fail (for example, extremely short time limits on difficult tasks) in order to be punished and humiliated. I was forced to grovel and confess humiliating sins (existent and non) in front of the 30-or-so members in the compound. I was given spoiled, undercooked foods, and even chemically-treated water that burned my throat and left me horribly sick. I was placed in solitary confinement for 2 1/2 weeks, while they blared music to torture me (the song lyrics went, "Trust in the Lord, he makes no mistakes, he knoweth the end of each path that we take - for when I am tried, and purified, I shall come forth as gold" -- basically it was a blatant're being tortured because God loves you and he's going to put you through fire to melt you into gold) and gave me endless confessional papers to complete detailing what a terrible sinner I am. I was interrogated for hours on end, as well as hypnotized. I was screamed at and "exorcised" for hours on end. I had no privacy, even going to the bathroom they would stand outside the door.

I was there for TWO YEARS.

The scariest part of all of this is that I am far from the only one. The Log Cabin program was run in Oklahoma, Indiana, and I believe an alternate version for Russian orphans was done elsewhere (either Indiana or Illinois). All of these programs secretly tortured and brainwashed children and teenagers. Many of them were so-called "delinquents" (they had committed minor, petty crimes) who were ordered by judges to be shipped to these compounds and held against their wills.

This runs very deep. It has never been accounted for and probably never will be. They tried to investigate alarming allegations of child abuse in Indianapolis, IN and the whole thing got swept under the rug. The only thing you got to hear about on the news was Gothard feeling up a bunch of women. You never hear about his systematic child torture programs.

Bill Gothard and IBLP simply have their fundamentalist hands in too many pies. They will probably never be caught.


4. My parents were members of a cult with a fake guru/ holy man sort of thing. He used to lead group chants and things and one time while everyone's eyes were closed chanting away in the semi darkness, me and him locked eyes and he realiszd that I was laughing at how dumb it was. He had a vendetta against me since then.

He turned my parents against me first, convincing them that one day in the future (he could read the future apparently rolls eyes) i would break their hearts and leave and destroy the family. because they were so invested in him they started believing it and treating me (a 13 year old) as if I had already committed the unspeakable act.

After this he made my parents focus on my older brother more than me, lavishing him with expensive gifts such as gucci watches, a brand new mitsubishi jeep with a private plate before he even passed his driving test, and experiences like executive box seats to major sports events up and down the country plus more.

This wasn't enough, after this he (Continued)

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convinced all of his followers that I was mentally disabled, and needed to be kept isolated. for most of my teenage years I would come back from school/college/ university to an empty house, many times not seeing another soul for weeks. the story of my parents retarded child spread through the entire community where it is an accepted fact now, and i cant get married because everybody just assumes that I am mentally disabled.

After this, he bankrupted my parents and family, making them pay all his bills/ expenses and rewarding them with "prayers.

He convinced my parents that I was their enemy and to ignore me my entire life. To this day, I have never once been able to have a heart to heart talk with either of my parents. I have been working for 6 years now and they don't even know the name of my boss, or team, or even what i do. they are only interested in what day I get paid.

I am a better man than anyone has ever understood, and I forgive my parents. I forgive them not because they deserve it, but because I believe that this experience made me stronger as a person. If all this could not break me through all those years, then what can break me now?

If anybody is reading this, who is going through something similar, all I will say is that your family is ill. If they were of a sound mind, they would not be doing these things. Be kind, be good, be better than them.


7. A friend of mine accidentally got involved with a cult in Iowa. He thought it was just a really close knit church, but eventually snapped that something wasn't right. He moved to Texas for work pretty shortly afterwards and after about a week of being here someone knocked on the door. It was one of the members. She came there to try and talk him into going back, and progressively became more and more emotional. They ended up having to call the cops to have her removed from the property.


8. I was best friends with an Olympic athlete who was into Scientology. Due to his semi-fame, he was given the VIP treatment at their Hollywood "Celebrity Centre" where I often accompanied him. I sat in the waiting room with the likes of Lisa Marie Presley and Giovanni Ribisi while he did his auditing sessions. When he introduced me to John Travolta at one of their celebrity events, Travolta wrapped me in a bear hug and lifted me off the ground.

My friend convinced me to leave my day job and work as his personal assistant. He was doing a lot of corporate speaking appearances. I moved into his house and we lived like brothers, swimming in his pool, going to strip clubs, working out at his training gym. I had some amazing experiences like going backstage at the American Music Awards and hanging out with Guns N' Roses for two hours.

The Church's publicity team wanted to set him up with a girlfriend. They set up a series of dates with very cute Scientologists, but nothing really took off.

We had a lot of philosophical discussions. I found many of Scientology's aspects to be very insightful, but the money-grubbing and the Xenu business kept me too skeptical to fall in. At one point, he made an anti-gay argument, basically saying, "Imagine carrying that to the extreme. We'd all die off."

Things got creepy when he started asking me for (Continued)

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Things got creepy when he started asking me for rubdowns after his workouts. Then one night inviting me to masturbate with him (I passed). Then at a party he propositioned my gay cousin, who immediately told me. Obviously I have nothing against LGBTQ people, but I felt very creeped out. He was behind on paying me because he had run up huge debts for services at the Church. I left and we haven't spoken since.


9. Former member here.

I was a part of a "Christian" cult. They referred to it as a discipleship program. Whenever we did something wrong, they made us work-out as form of punishment.

The year I was in there, I made a new friend in the program/cult; he was a chain smoker. About 7 months into the year, he got caught smoking. They woke him up at around 5 AM to run. Later on in the day one of the leaders there took him to an abandoned prison and made him run around it several times, amounting up to about 6-8 miles of running.

All this happened because he got caught smoking a single cigarette.


10. I was married to a Scientologist (Scn).

Well, Scientology is weird. It's all consuming, as most cults are. My ex-husband only knew and associated with people in Scn. However, all his friends were actually very very nice and really cool to me. I never felt outwardly pressured to join Scn, but the insidiousness was absolutely there. I'll get to that.

Ex-husband was raised in it, you could say he was a second generation Scientologist. His parents joined up back in the L Ron Hubbard days and they were IN IT. They both worked for the church, as auditors. They were dirt poor; all of their money went to the church. Hundreds of thousands of dollars. They were deep in debt. They had no health insurance, and no money for anything except rent for their tiny, run down apartment. That part made me the saddest. They were nice people.

Now, I married him back when I was younger, more idealistic and willing to overlook major differences. I was a bit lost myself and really just looking to connect with anyone. I was always atheist, and actually really against organized religion, but he always assured me that Scn was not something he was active in and that it wouldn't be a problem. He wasn't taking any courses all the time we dated and were engaged, so I believed him that Scn was more like his parents thing, than his.

After we got engaged, he started telling me how a friend of his needs some "help". She was training to become an auditor (that e-meter thing you hear about) and needed someone to practice on. I declined.

He kept asking and insisted that its just for her practice, it doesn't mean I'm "doing Scn" and that it would mean a lot to him. So I did it, and (Continued)

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So I did it, and ...What a silly experience! You sit in a room with the auditor, hold these cans. Let me tell you- the rigamarole they use to get the "cans" set right so they pick up your wavelegnths (or whatever they call it) is laughable.

Lotion on the hands, squeeze the cans--that didn't work? Go for a walk, drink some water. Lotion again, squeeze the stupid cans ...all this over and over, until something on the auditor's end says it's all working now, and then you're good to go.

I lied though the whole thing. They acted like I made some amazing breakthroughs, (I got a "floating needle"!) and then that was it.

However, I was then called over and over and over to come back in. What the hell? I thought this was a one time thing to help this chick out?? Nope they were all over me. They wanted 3 hour sessions, days in a row, on weekdays! No wonder Scientologists are all poor- they want you in constantly, during work days! I became so disagreeable to them that they actually gave up calling me to get me in. I guess they figured me being married to one was enough to eventually get me.

The overriding insidiousness I saw was the learned ability to scam people. I witnessed a Scientologist owned business get taken down by the feds for fraud on their clients.

The reason I divorced him was because he stole a large sum of money from my account that was not to be touched. It just vanished and he had nothing to say for it. He opened TWO credit cards in my name and maxed them. He put me into financial ruin. It was a disaster.


11. I'm surprised there aren't more former Children of God/The Family International babies posting on this thread.

I was born and raised in the COG/TFI and I'm convinced it is/was one of the most detrimental cults out there because of the way their doctrines were weaved into every tiny area of people's lives. Everything was dictated by leadership and controlled by peer pressure (it was a communal cult; hive mentality was rampant). The type of food you ate, the way you dressed, who you lived with, the education you received, the movies you watched, the music you listened to, who you had sex with, who you married...EVERYTHING was controlled. There was absolutely no real free will allowed and very minimal contact with the outside world happened, except if you were asking people for money or trying to convert them to Christianity/the cult.

I left when I was in my early 20's and it's only been a few years since then so I'm still trying to unlearn a lot of things. I decided to go to college and get an education and I'm so miserable because basic things like "how to study for an exam" or "how to interact with your professor" are completely foreign concepts to me. I didn't find out till college that I'm pretty good at science and math - subjects that were highly discouraged in the group, or if taught at all were either very simplistic (math only went up to basic algebra, if you were lucky) or taught with such a religious/creationist spin that it's unrecognizable as science. (Someone actually posted excerpts from the biology textbook I had in "high school" on reddit a while ago, and everyone was commenting "haha, those are all lies and not real science!" And I'm all "well...damn...")

I like to imagine that if I'd had regular schooling when I was younger maybe I could have been an engineer or an astronaut or something awesome.

Forget dating. I have more sexual knowledge and experience under my belt (hurhurhur) than most people my age, and I don't have a clue what normal dating looks like. To me, sex is synonymous with intimacy is synonymous with control. I am terrified of getting into a relationship because I know that it would be so ridiculously easy for someone to abuse their power over me. When you're raised to always say yes, you have no idea what a struggle it is to say no.

When people find out about this cult the thing that usually gets focused on the most is the sex aspect of it (it was literally a sex cult) but for me the worst part is just having no frame of reference for connecting with other people outside the group. I can forget the bad things that happened and just get on with my life, but it's difficult knowing how to make new friends and build a life outside of TFI. I just don't GET most of what people talk about (I've only got a few years of movies/music/pop culture history in my brain), and can't really relate to how other people act/react to things. I didn't have any of those "normal" experiences like high school, dating, going to prom, etc. My best friends are former TFI people because I can't seem to make real friends out here in the great wide jungle of a world. I wonder how I will ever be able to get close to people when they will never be able to comprehend the experiences I've gone through, and at the same time I can't relate to their experiences either. "Real life" things that most people take for granted like graduating college, buying a house, having a successful job, etc. seem like fairy tales to me because nobody in my life growing up did those things. I don't have anybody who can give me advice on how to accomplish those normal life tasks because nobody I grew up with (or our parents) did any of those things.

I feel pretty lost. I'm still picking pieces of this cult out of my identity and it's exhausting.

I went to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire recently and I broke down crying in the middle of it because I had a sudden realization that I grew up believing that the sort of apocalyptic, depressing scenario played out in the Hunger Games was an inevitable outcome in my future. Not the actual hunger games, obviously, but the extreme government control, oppression of the people, dire social circumstances, etc. It made me feel very alone in that moment, sitting with the knowledge that I was viewing the very thing my childhood nightmares were made of and knowing that nobody around me could possibly comprehend the reason for my tears.

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.