We all want to believe we are perfectly safe, but the fact is, the world can be a scary and dangerous place sometimes.
For the most part, we can protect ourselves, but sometimes we end up in dangerous situations through no fault of own (or anyone else's).
Redditors are no strangers to situations like these. In fact, some of them have been in actual near-death situations, and they are ready to share those stories.
It all started when a Redditorasked:
"When have you ever feared for your life? Why?"
Fight The Ocean
"When I got caught in a riptide while stupidly swimming alone in the ocean."
"My brother saved someone this way, and he never forgot it! He almost drowned too because she was fighting so hard and pulling him under. Another guy had to come help get her out because the current was so strong, but they made it."
"I just started working as an ocular recovery technician and live in a beach town. My first case was a 26 year old man who drowned off the beach. I don’t know if he was a tourist or a local, but as a local I grew up being constantly lectured on water safety and how to get out of a riptide. It broke my heart looking at him in the morgue and thinking about how scary his last moments must have been. Water is not something to play with."
"Ex was driving and a moose walked out in front of the car."
"Moose are no joke. Every person I know who's been in an accident with a moose have their entire care totaled and the moose just walks away like nothing happened."
"Woke up in the throes of a severe asthma attack. Clocked my pulse at 227. As I was digging for my inhaler, I kept thinking what a stupid way to die this would be."
"I’m in the hospital on day 3 with my 10-year-old who is recovering from a severe asthma attack. It’s incredibly scary. The crazy thing is, he has not had any issues with asthma since he was 3. His pediatrician told me he outgrew it (he was born with juvenile asthma). Unfortunately, he did not, as the pulmonologist said it can go dormant, may never reoccur in your life but never truly goes away. My son had the perfect storm of triggers, and here we are. We’ll now have an aggressive asthma attack plan for him but damn this was incredibly scary. Like top ten level fear thinking he could not make it."
She Was Mad!
"Wasn't the only time or most frightening time, but the most memorable was when I was a teenager and got pinned to a wall by an extremely agitated cow. She'd knocked her water bucket apart and I was replacing it and she charged me. I just happened to fit exactly in between the horns. I do mean exactly - I had matching bruises on each side like I'd been hit twice with a length of pipe. She hit hard enough to drive her points a couple inches into the wall and stick. I've been in car accidents, fallen off things, been in fights and even had a young tree fall on me. None of that compares. Felt like being caught by a huge wave."
"Anyway I bonked her as hard as I could on the forehead and bolted out the door when she pulled her head back. The whole thing took maybe two seconds tops. Best part? My parents were right outside, they thought I'd just been killed. The wall was solid for the first 4ft, then 2in gaps between 2x8 boards for the rest. They saw the whole thing but couldn't see me below my shoulders - just the charge, the catch, and the wall crack from the impact and the horns pushing through."
"7.2 Earthquake in Japan made the apartment I was in wobble like Jello. Tried to stand up in my chair and walk away from the window, ended up crawling away and having a small bookcase spill my books on me."
"Spent a few seconds leaning against the inside wall/sliding closet, looking at the ceiling and having a very vivid picture of being crushed to death by collapsing concrete and debris."
"Slept outside for two nights after evecuating. Apartment did not even have a crack in it! 10/10 would recommend Japanese government housing."
A Surprise Drop
"I was minding my own business walking in like 2 ft of water at a beach, holding my toddler. There was a massive clay pit that had opened up in the shallow water, but the water was murky so i didnt see it. I slid into it and the water was just deep enough to be over my head, because I couldn't stand up due to how slimy it was. It was shaped like a bowl. I couldn't swim up because my feet were just sliding into muck and it felt like an undertow. Just when I started breathing in water, my knee hit a rock in the side of the pit so I put my foot on it and launched us up. The lifeguards didn't do anything even after someone called us an ambulance to make sure we didn't dry drown.. We were under for maybe 20 seconds."
A Scary Walk Home
"So I was 14, walking home from the bus stop, as I did every day. It was about a mile from the bus stop to my house. I’d walk home about halfway with a friend of mine, before he turned off to go home. About 2 blocks from our bus stop, a guy started walking along with us.
"This was in a major city, so it wasn’t the first time someone started randomly talking to us. What was weird was that he wasn’t crazy or weird. He was pretty normal. He was asking about our lives, asking about what was going on. Randomly he asked about what we’d been up to the last Friday night. We both said about the same thing, that we’d been home with our families, which was true. Even though he didn’t sound crazy, this guy was giving bad vibes. Something was off."
"We got to the turnoff point where my buddy would go to his house, he said goodbye, and left to go home. By the way, I don’t blame him for doing this, regardless of what happened next. So this guy keeps walking with me, bad vibes continue, but he hasn’t said anything directly threatening yet. We get to a cross street, and he says, “Don’t run, my boys are right across the street.” Then I look and realize about 4 guys are following directly across the street. And that’s when it all sinks in. The bad vibes are real."
"I could tried to run at this point. I had a friend who only lived a block away. But I decided not to. Maybe I just thought it was pointless. I kept talking to him."
"We talked for a while more as we walked, and he told me that his brother had been stabbed around where my bus was let off a few days before, and I fit the description. He said he’d gotten out of the life, but was back to avenge his brother. I told him that it wasn’t me. He asked me if I was taking drugs. I said I’d f*cked around with pot but nothing more. He believed me. We kept walking."
"Eventually he started talking about why he’d gotten out of the life, and that I needed to stay on the right path. Eventually, we got back to my house. He said that he was glad he talked to me, because initially he was just going to shoot me and walk away, but he believed me and was glad he hadn’t. He waved his boys away, who were down the block. The he left, and wished me the best. I told my parents, reported it to the cops, didn’t sleep for a few nights, and eventually moved on. But yeah I almost died right there."
A Shock To The System
"Got shocked the other day. Work in the solar industry, I thought I was having a heart attack and that this was it"
Bond. James Bond.
"Playing an outdoor game we called 007 at age 11 where you get dropped off a distance away from a home base and you have to sneak back in the dark without being spotted by your driver, who would call you out if they saw you while driving around the neighborhood. Me and a friend were sneaking through irrigation canals to be off main roads (not through people’s properties, those were fenced off) and someone who’s backyard we were sneaking past cocked a shotgun and fired a warning shot into the ground of his yard. We crawled on our stomachs in the canal until we were far enough away. Pretty scary at 11."
"What the hell is wrong with people and immediately shooting at things that move in the dark?"
Noises In The Basement
"I have a more light-hearted one. I heard strange noises from my basement and though someone broke in. My heart was racing and I didn't know what to do. I kept listening down the stairs at the noise and decided it wasn't human. Turns out a woodpecker came down the flue and out the access hatch and was flying around. I managed to shoo him out the door and breathed a sigh of relief."
"I am terrified of birds so this would have been a lose-lose situation for me."
Metal Death Trap!
"I hydroplaned when someone break checked me, and ended up in a ditch, I was fine my car was fine, my heart rate was goin insane."
"This is like medical-related, not a situation like in most other replies. So basically, one day 2 years ago I started noticing some really odd symptoms I had that resembled a UTI (which I had never had before), but I kind of had this gut feeling it was more than that, even though the symptoms were subtle so I told my parents immediately."
"I woke up the next morning at 5am, with this sharp pain in my bottom right side. Oh, maybe it's a cramp. I use the bathroom and try to get back to sleep, but this pain starts growing, sooo much it feels like a stabbing pressure. I toss onto my side. The pain is still fully there. I go on my stomach. Still fully there. I sit up, walk around, do any position possible, and the pain is only getting worse and at this point, like 15 minutes after I woke up, unbearable."
"I have no idea what's going on and I'm scared out of my mind, so I tell my parents. Our first guess is appendicitis. So my mom rushes me to the ER, and on the car ride there I'm writhing in pain, crying, no matter how I sit or how I press my side the pain just continues to escalate."
"I get to the ER and they don't take me right away, and in the waiting room I'm throwing up into a bag from the pain and apologizing to a couple next to me in between bouts of dry heaving/vomit. I'm finally taken in, and they take me to get an ultrasound like 10 minutes later, but I can't stay still when the technician is taking it because of the pain."
"I eventually stop even attempting to cooperate and demand pain medicine, and when it's put into my IV I took like 10 minutes to lay there and breathe and feel better, it felt so nice to not be in extreme pain."
"Anyways, I had a kidney stone. A tiny little kidney stone made me think I was dying and was genuinely the most painful thing I've experienced in my life. I remember asking my mom on the car ride over if I was dying, because we had no idea what it was and why it was only getting worse. It's a genetic thing for me, but if you're reading this, drink water."
Well, I'm definitely going to hydrate all the time now!
Most of us will spend most of our lives blissfully unbothered by our mortality.
We know we're all going to die some day, but we don't often stop to think about how close we could be at any given moment... unless you have a death-related anxiety, in which case this article may be triggering, so proceed with caution.
"Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well."
Sylvia Plath said that. It's a bleak line that encourages us to think about death in bizarre terms. It feels icky to assess death and judge whether a particular way to go is worthy, impressive, or admirable.
Yet, because human beings are very strange creatures, we totally do that. How any times have you heard someone wonder aloud, "What a way to go," after tuning in to some morbid local news calamity.
Some Redditors turned the commentary on themselves when they encountered some very close calls.
When they dusted themselves off and sat back in the relief of safety, they realized just how dumb it would have been to die like that.
Dr___where asked, "What is the stupidest reason you almost died?"
"I played video games too much and forgot to eat, so due to a lack of nutrients my white blood cell count dropped too low and i passed out to get rushed to the hospital..."
"...not the proudest time of my life"
Death by Grape
"Reason? I was young and dumb and heard a technique competitive eaters used and tried it out."
"I used to work in the produce section of a grocery store. I was the only produce worker that night and was alone in the cooler by myself."
"I had heard earlier that competitive eaters would swallow whole grapes to expand their stomachs and decided to try it. The grape got caught in my throat and I couldn't make any sounds or cough."
"Eventually I was able to give myself the Heimlich using a stack of boxed peppers."
"I almost drowned in the sink when I was a child thinking that I could breathe under water if I try." -- tulioarrudac1
"Imagine your parents explaining how their kid died." -- NotMrMike
"Someone:Your kid drowned..... In a sink. How???? Parents: We forgot to tell him he does not have gills. Moral: tell your children they can't breathe underwater." -- danielkratos219
"Not stopping at a stop sign on my bike. I figured it was a 4 way stop. I slowed down, and heard the car coming from a distance. The car also didn't stop, and I got t boned."
"I'm not sure if you can count this as almost dying, because there was somehow no broken bones and I didn't even end up going to the hospital. But its probably the closest I have ever been to dying."
"Huge bruise on my leg from hitting the pavement. Lots of damage to the car including a broken windshield."
"I make sure I stop at all stop signs and red lights now. It's not worth trying to save a few minutes on your ride."
Brief Blank Intervals
"I thought my being spaced out always meant I just needed to 'snap' myself back into reality."
"I did a lot things in the mountains that am almost killed me, f***ing around with waterfalls, climbing up and down cliffs with no rope."
"It turned out I was dissociating from PTSD so my adventures didn't help."
Problematic Beer Blanket
"There was a blizzard one night. The wind was so cold that it left blisters on your face. I decided to go to a friend's house to get a few drinks."
"I ended up drinking an entire big bottle of Jack Daniel's mostly alone and then I blacked out. However for whatever reason I decided I'd go home by foot through the blizzard. Maybe no cab would take me because I was so drunk?"
"In any case I know that as I was walking through the blizzard I started to come back to my senses and I realized that I was crawling more than walking, stumbling at every few steps."
"My home was about 40 minutes from my friend's so it could have been quite dangerous."
The Indirect Dangers of Hot Dogs
"DEATH BY HOTDOG"
"Bent down to grab hotdog I had dropped (5 second rule) and smacked my head on the table. Knocked myself out and was bleeding profusely when I woke up."
"My pediatrician thought advanced tonsilitis was just a sore throat and sent me home with some liquid Tylenol."
"When I could no longer swallow that, my mom took me to the ER where they did an emergency tonsillectomy. They said if she had waited an hour longer I would have died from suffocation."
Poop is Communication
"Woke up in the middle of the night, thought I felt like I had a weird poo coming. After spending about 4x as normal trying with no action, still feeling weird I made the call to go to the ER."
"Turns out I had developed appendicitis. The doctor said if I had gone back to bed like I originally planned my appendix most likely would have burst. Not guaranteed to kill me but not great either."
"So basically I almost died because I just wanted to have a poo and go back to sleep after a long day."
Just a Little to the Left and...
"Not me. I went on a camping trip last fall with a friend of mine."
"He was trying to split a log with some splitting spikes I brought. I was using the hammer for something so he grabbed the hatchet and tried using the back of it as a hammer."
"He had to get 33 stitches and 15 staples after it bounced back and wedged itself in his shoulder. It damn well could have hit him in the head or in the throat"
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It would be difficult to make it through a lifetime without encountering a near-death experience. Existence is simply too chaotic.
A human being roams the planet among so many other people and natural phenomena buzzing around at all times. Almost inevitably, a close call will occur.
Often, a scrape with death erupts suddenly and occupies mere seconds of time. The moment is over by the time you accept how close you came.
But on rare occasions, death is sense before arrival. The conditions arise, a threat is seen looming, and you can connect the dots--and those dots end with you a dead person.
Some Redditors discussed the times they were sure that they were about to die.
Backpacks_Got_Jets asked, "What was your 'So. This is how I'm going to die' moment?"
A Descending Shadow
"I was on a swim team when I was a young teen. After practice sometimes we would assist the lifeguards with pulling the tarps over the pool. One day I dropped my goggles in deep end and went down to grab them, and when I came back up the tarp was already being brought over."
"I pushed up on the tarp as hard as I could but the water wouldn't separate because of the lack of air. I was fairly certain I was going to drown. I eventually made my way to the end of the tarp. My eyesight is terrible so opening my eyes wouldn't have been much help."
"As soon as I found the opening I took the most refreshing breathe of air I have ever inhaled. Some kid on the team called me a dumba** because I almost died, thanks Cory."
A Brief Stint as a Dead Person
"After a car accident, sitting in the road watching the stream of blood going into the snow. As my vision started tunneling I just kinda accepted it and fell asleep."
"I woke up in the ambulance, beamed a big smile at the paramedics just in time to watch the heart monitor going flat, and said something along the lines of 'Well, that ain't good! Y'all best fix that nowwww...'"
"And then promptly died for about a minute."
"When I realized I was being stalked by a bear when I was hiking alone and I was two miles from my car. I have been in lots of sketchy situations in my life due to my troubled past and have had weapons pulled on me at times."
"The amount of pure helpless terror I felt when I realized that bear was following me was insane compared to any situation I had been in before. I have been able to fight my way out of any situation. But I knew I couldn't fight myself out of this situation."
"The only reason I lived was because I walked backwards facing it the whole time not exposing my back so it's predator instincts wouldn't kick in, but even then if it decided to charge me at any reason I was f**ked. It just got bored of me and left."
"I was so scared and had so much adrenaline pumping that I was literally shaking. That primal I am about to get eaten fear is unreal. It is a fear that is way stronger than any horror movie or ghost story will give you."
A Rupture, Then Blankness
"Had a blood clot. Spleen filled with blood. Spleen popped like a balloon. Lost 6 liters of blood before I got onto a transfusion."
"Lucky i was already in hospital when it popped. When everyone rushed in I ask my doctor what happened he said 'You have died, we will try and bring you back but you may want to say goodbye.' I was out cold 15 min later and woke up 400 km away 2 days later with 32 staples in my belly and in a lot of pain."
Skidding and Skidding
"A snowstorm hit as I was crossing over a mountain pass surrounded by woods. Sleet fell hard and heavy. I couldn't see the road."
"The car slid. I gently turned the wheel sideways and let off the gas. Instead of slowing down, the car picked up speed. I was closer to the drop off than I'd realized. I didn't jerk the wheel; didn't want to over-correct."
"I went into a ditch, still going much too fast. Tree branches and trunks were within feet of me, then scratching the car's paint."
"Instead of being scared, I became peaceful. 'This is it,' I thought, 'I'm going to die, but it'll be okay.' Just after this (though it seemed much longer) the car slowed, then stopped. I sat there for a while afterward."
They Don’t Know the Half of It
"I fell of my bike because of snowy roads that had turned to ice. My fall was almost instantaneous and basically painless, but I fell with my body and my head into the road."
"I looked back with my head on the asphalt and saw the wheels of a very heavy car driving directly towards my face. The car moved out of the way and missed me by a few inches."
"This was so strange, because basically nothing happened. I walked the rest of the way to school with my clothes all soaked from the snow. I was immediately yelled at for being late, followed by having to solve some math problem in front of the class."
"Then I just broke down and started crying and ran out of the class. It suddenly hit me that that moment had felt like I was going to die."
"Even now, it still seems like such a small thing, and there have probably been scarier moments in my life, but this one happened so damn quick. In this tiny moment I was so sure that this was it, so it always stuck with me."
First Panic, Then Logistics
"House was burning down. Was spraying the fire with a garden hose while waiting for the firefighters to show up. Start seeing fire coming out the window next to my gas canister."
"First thought - huh, guess I'll die. Then I thought about moving it."
A Complete Loss of Control
"A**hole drunk driver hit my car while I was stopped at a light. I hope I'm never again in a spinning car." -- ViolaNguyen
"Oh, how I despise drunk drivers. Glad you survived!" -- ilmonstro
"Being in a spinning car is the worst feeling. Source: someone who once got very stupid and very lucky on an icy road." -- silly_gaijin
"Walking my new puppy and two dogs jumped their yard. Pit and a boxer. I chucked my dog over a wall into a different neighbor's yard as they were trying to bite her. That's when they started chewing."
"One on each arm and took me to the ground, I got back up. I started screaming and a neighbor came out and scared them away. 3 hours of surgery and plastic surgery on my partially ripped off ear."
"I was sure I was being killed. I think the only reasons I survived is staying on my feet and my neighbor coming out. God bless him and his gun lol. I came out lucky, scars but no permanent damage."
What a Way to Go
"When I was small, I was shooting plastic beads out of my nose. One got stuck and wouldn't come out, and I figured it would kill me. I didn't want to bother anyone about it so I went to bed and waited to die."
"It fell out of my nose right before I fell asleep."
Swaying and Swaying
"Was on the top floor of a tall building in San Francisco when a decent earthquake happened."
"And I could feel the building sway, could see what looked like the earth's horizon swaying out the window (it was the building moving) and for a split second I thought the building was going to fall over."
Game of Inches
"Took a hit from a hunk of shrapnel in my right hip, basically right where the femoral artery is. Was bleeding like a motherf***er and I have a pretty good notion of anatomy, so I was fairly certain I was screwed."
"Turns out I was stupidly lucky. Missed the artery by less than a centimeter."
Shock Like You Wouldn't Believe
"When I got struck by lightning. I was trying to get indoors before the storm hit. I found myself in an opening and I made this stupid choice to run through it. That's when I saw the sky lit up and saw the lightning coming towards me."
"I said this is how I'm going to die. Of course, I was lucky. I was struck by the bolt. It went through me so quickly, the worst damage was the burn marks and passing out."
Cool Under Pressure
"I was a broke college student, going to my dad's to borrow money 20 miles away. January, - 18 F. Got right out of town, hit the gas, first winter driving (got my license later in life) and hit black ice."
"Fish tailed and then slid into oncoming traffic, a Kia Sportage coming the opposite way. I looked at the car and thought, 'Well, f***, guess I won't be buying groceries later' and then slammed into the opposite ditch, narrowly avoiding certain death."
"Didn't have money for a tow but a guy came along with his pickup and tow strap and pulled me out so I didn't freeze to death. So strange how at peace I was at that moment when I thought I was going to die."
Barely Enough Time to Realize It
"Last year I got a viral infection that spread to my brain and I went temporarily blind and deaf and was a couple hours away from dying of dehydration. I have amnesia of pretty much everything but thinking 'Oh thank god. It's finally f***ing over' and then darkness.
"Not spooky, not scary, just 'movie's over, lights are off, that's it' "
"Then I woke up in the f***ing hospital."
"I grew up in a national park full of mountains. One night when I was 10 years old I went on a night hike with my neighbours to see the full moon. While hiking we found this awesome cliff that we could climb up."
"I made it to the top first and overlooked the cliff down towards my friend. Unfortunately I looked forward too far and fell head first over the cliff. I was two inches away from hitting my head on a boulder."
"The cliff was about 20 feet high, so I was still injured in the fall. I had to be carried down the mountain by my neighbours parents as I was unable to walk."
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I wish I could say I had a more eloquent thought go through my head as I saw the Caddy baring down on me. But I didn't. It was just "sh*t" and the awareness that there was nothing I could do to avoid being hit, followed by annoyance that it was taking so damn long to happen.
Reddit asked about the thoughts people had in the moments before they believed they were about to die, and watching a massive Cadillac speeding towards me when I was in my tiny car with a cement truck next to me absolutely fit that bill.
I knew she was going to hit me. I knew the force would slam me into the cement truck. I knew I was about to die. All I thought was "sh*t."
There was no thinking about the things I never did, or how I was about to die dressed in "business casual." (The business casual regret hit about 2 days later... and I've avoided business-wear as much as possible since then.) I was resigned to my end, and was just annoyed that it was going to hurt so badly and was taking so long to happen.
They say time slows before an accident. The time before impact felt like eons but was a second, maybe two. Yes, it hurt as badly as I thought it would. The force of impact in a major car accident is something almost unexplainable.
But death didn't happen. Otherwise this article would be extra-weird.
The impact didn't push me into the cement truck, because the truck was big and heavy and hadn't really gotten going when the light turned green. Instead, the other driver flung me spinning across the intersection where I hit a wall and a post.
She hit the cement truck. She did not die. She did lose her legs from the knee down. Interestingly, it came out in proceedings that "sh*t" was essentially her thought, too. She realized she had blown the light moments before slamming into me and was also aware of just how badly this was about to hurt.
She did not experience the same slow-down of time that I did. According to her, before she had even fully had the thought she was already being smashed into her airbags.
Reddit users shared the thoughts they had, and quite a few had similar experiences. Check it out.
Shark To The FaceGiphy
I was caught in a rip tide at about 8. I had a few thoughts. One was I hope this doesn't hurt.
But the main one was "I really hope a shark doesn't bite me in the face before I die" because the visibility was almost non existent and I kept opening my eyes to see where the surface was.
I could see so little I remember thinking that I wouldn't be able to see anything trying to hurt me unless it swam directly into my face. And so that started a thought that occurs just about every time I go swimming in the ocean to this day, almost 40 years later
The water wasnt very deep when it started. Literally less than knee deep but I lost my footing in the wrong place and I was beyond standing by the time I got my sh*t back together. So first it pulled me a little bit out (I think if I was an adult I might have still been able to stand up) and then it pulled me down after I got a little further away from shore.
It was a life lesson:
Kids, don't play where the ocean and the inlet meet!!
Spun out my car on a snow-covered highway, car came to a stop clinging to a guardrail over a cliff.
I had been thinking a lot about killing myself and had been falling ever deeper into depression. I realized I didn't want to die. It was a hugely helpful experience.
Gotta love when possibly fatal accidents save you from yourself.
I was dumb and was trying to climb into a slot canyon with my friends, but I lost my grip and fell 40 feet into the canyon. I landed at the bottom and a rock the size of a basketball lands directly next to my head. It was eerie how in mid free fall your body just locks up, and my thoughts instantly were
"Well, this is it."
"Ah...this sucks...I'm gonna miss date night"
Thinking about the Mrs as I flat-lined. 64 seconds dead and gone before coming back and staying back, thank god.
Two Minutes From Home
SUV made contact with my left side at about 45 mph. I was on a motorcycle at night in the rain. Two minutes from home.
Before impact I saw the lights and said "Sh*t sh*t sh*t!"
As soon as it hit I felt heat. Like bright white heat through my body. It overwhelmed the pain and I couldn't tell where the pain was, just that my whole left side was on fire.
Then I was on the ground. I looked up at the sky through my helmet. I looked left and right and saw I was on my back, and I tried to move my arms and legs. Arms were okay, but when I tried to move my left leg I felt the top half move while the bottom half stayed still, because my femur was broken
I thought I was going to die. I started shaking a little bit and then kept getting worse and worse. I was bleeding out but didn't know it. After they got me in the ambulance I asked if I was going to die. The man told me I wasn't, but based on my condition he couldn't have known that.
I was in a car wreck and I did the whole Jesus Take The Wheel thing and my first thought was "this is NOT happening I am having a bad dream."
I hit my head pretty hard so I ended up fainting shortly after the crash and I don't actually remember anything that happened after I took my hands off the wheel (passenger can confirm I was awake during it, though.)
What I remember rather than being unconscious was saying goodbye to my family again as I was about to go on the long drive. Of course when I recounted this in the hospital they all started bawling.
It was kind of funny to me because at first my brain remembered as if I had not even gone driving yet, so when the EMTs informed me I was in a car accident while I was bleeding from a cut on the head and had a concussion, still trapped under an engine, I replied back "no I wasn't ."
So the answer was complete denial like it was a horrible nightmare I was going to wake up from. Still sometimes hard to feel like it really happened and wasn't just a traumatic nightmare, since I forgot the actual crash and I was pumped full of morphine very quickly after I woke up since they couldn't tell how injured I really was below my chest and feared I might have been disemboweled or something (I wasn't! Broke my femur though and it does in fact hurt like a bitch, don't break your femur. Even getting it set in the hospital WITH morphine it was the worst thing in the world.)
It's all a bit of a blur.
The level of unexplainable calm
I had this while fighting in the Angolan war as a South African conscript.
Our armoured car troop got trapped in an ambush in a minefield and I knew that it was a matter of minutes before one of the incoming RPG7 rockets would find its target. In the middle of the smoke and noise and smell of cordite I was so relaxed, tranquil and at peace. Happy and smiling, I remembered my home and family. and I was bitterly disappointed and felt very cheated when we managed to fight our way out. (Which was weird, because I was the gunner in the vehicle and had never stopped doing what we were trained to do).
I personally think it's to do with regularly high demanding levels of neural activity and the fact that your brain finally recognizes that nothing matters anymore.
I remember my brain shutting down and going into defensive mode and focusing only on what mattered. Instead of the inconceivable deserts of data and rivers of feelings flowing through my mind all that my brain cared about was surviving or doing the right thing if I don't.
People who experience calm at death are the ones who took life seriously, or were forced too.
Might As Well Relax
I was nowhere near actually dying, I was completely safe, it was just a weird mental reaction to some medication I got in the hospital right before they took me into surgery, but for a short time I definitely believed that I was about to die.
My thoughts were "Oh sh*t, I'm gonna die like this? Almost no one dies like this. How dumb. Oh well, I might as well relax." and then I just kind of daydreamed about things I liked and didn't actually die (because I was fine.)
Wife And Baby
I got thrown off of a snowmobile into a river at -35 degrees. I got swept under the ice when I went in, I was stuck down there in full sledding gear unable to swim or find the hole I went in.
It was a surreal feeling being pretty sure I was gonna die, images of my wife and 11 month old daughter kept flowing through my head. Luckily when I hit the bottom of the river I pushed off and through some miracle popped up through the hole I went in.
My riding buddies luckily notice I went missing and came back and were able to pull me out of the river. The 20 kms back to civilization at -35 was definitely the coldest I've ever been. Definitely the scariest moment of my life.
I had a severe episode of tachycardia in a remote area with no cell reception. I was driving alone, pulled off to the side of the road, and I was sure I was having a fatal heart attack. Over 200 bpm, felt like my heart was trying to leap out of my chest.
I got very very calm, and was worried that my husband would forget that I have two life insurance policies, not just one.
I passed out at some point. Woke up fine and drove home.
"God damn that moose is fast."
I held my ground against a bull moose charge because the people with me had frozen up. Thing stopped 4 feet away and we stared down for what felt like hours. My dumbass had slung my rifle and wasn't fast enough to shoulder it
Worked out though because I don't like killing things that don't need killing.
Amazed to see the experience seems pretty universal. In 2006 I almost drowned when I got rolled by a 4m wave. As I began to lose consciousness I thought "Oh, I guess this is how I go. Right now." I felt strangely calm and at peace. At the last second I felt sand touch my foot and I kicked off it with all I had and was able to catch a breath. When I crawled out onto the beach I was so grateful to have experienced what drowning was like. It's not a bad way to go. My mother had drowned the year before.
My lungs collapsed when I was 12. The last thing I saw before I lost consciousness was my dad in his Army BVD's. My last thought was:
"Please, any Deity who will listen. Don't let this be the last thing I see on this planet!"
I've been an acute asthmatic since birth and basically I had the worst asthma attack ever. My dad stabbed me with an epi pen and hauled it to the emergency room. The first thing I felt was pure panic because I couldn't breathe enough for a nebulizer to work, then a pounding headache. By the time I lost consciousness it was like fighting a nap as a toddler, I was exhausted but I refused to stop fighting. I don't think my heart stopped completely.
I moved to Oregon in 2018 and not only is my asthma better, I found out what my nose is for!
Seriously, I'm almost 42, and I never was able to smell or breathe through my nose. I thought it was just for bleeding or blowing 😁
I fell out of a vehicle and was still conscious when I landed face-first on the highway when I was 19. After the white flash when my head hit, the first thing I thought was "well, this is f*cking lame."
Mom And Mt. Fuji
I met friend of a friend while walking around town one day. We had dinner and a great conversation, but I didn't think we'd see each other again so soon. The next day he asked if I wanted to join him with another friend to climb Mt. Fuji in a few days. I declined initially as I had never even gone hiking so I had no business going up a mountain. That was until I realized if everything went to plan I could celebrate my birthday on the summit. I didn't have anything else to do so I went along with it.
We started the climb the day before my birthday from the fifth station just before sunset. As we started to get higher I kept seeing signs that showed how far off the summit was. For some reason I thought I could reach the summit before midnight. So when my friends decided to rest for the night on one of the stations I told them I was going to go up to the summit alone because I wanted to get there before midnight.
So I set off alone into the dark with a headlamp I bought from a dollar store. It was the middle of summer but it was still darn cold and the lights from the surrounding cities looked very small. About an hour or so later I started to doubt whether I could reach the summit before midnight. There was absolutely nobody around and I started to feel afraid.
Then I received a call from my mother. She called to wish me happy birthday and we spoke for a while, but I don't remember what we talked about. I was feeling very afraid at this point. I thought this might be the last conversation I would have with her if I died that night but I didn't want her to know how afraid I was, and it was getting late so I told her I loved her and would call her when I got home.
About an hour or so before midnight a fog set in at the top of the mountain. I couldn't see very far ahead of me or any lights from other stations or anywhere for that matter. I didn't have anything to mark distances so I became quickly demoralized. This is when I stopped thinking that I may die alone on Mt. Fuji and started to actually fear for my life.
At this elevation I couldn't breathe very well. I had dropped my Ventolin inhaler at some point and could only climb maybe a few meters at a time before I needed to stop to catch my breath. I was exhausted so I sat down for a while. My body temperature dropped significantly as I sat for over an hour. I was shivering and my teeth were chattering uncontrollably. I had never seen snowfall in my life, but that night on the mountain was the coldest I had ever experienced so far.
It was past midnight. I didn't make it to the summit before my birthday. I was disappointed in myself and regret going alone. I wanted to call my mother and tell her I loved her one last time but she was surely asleep by now. I wanted to cry but I couldn't. I started to think that this would have been so much easier if I had just waited with everybody else and climbed together. I hoped somebody would come by and help me to the summit, but nobody did.
I thought that if I had died on Mt. Fuji I'd be another cautionary tale, but for some reason I wasn't ready to die that night. I put myself together and rationalized if I don't start moving my body was going to succumb to the cold. I wasn't sure how far off the summit was but I was sure if I kept crawling for a few meters at a time like before I'd make it eventually.
It turns out the summit wasn't very far away. A mere 10 - 20 meters. I had been sitting at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit station for over an hour feeling sorry for myself thinking I was going to die.
My boyfriend got hit head-on by a car while he was riding a bike. Apparently, it was so quick that his last thought before impact was, "That car looks like it's going really fast."
When he came to, he crawled himself over to a patch of grass and sat down. A paramedic off duty saw the accident happen from her car and told him he was bleeding from his head. My boyfriend replied, "What?"
She repeated herself and he said, "Okay, where are my glasses?"
he ended up relatively unscathed. didn't break any bones but he's got scars all over his body. he used the lawsuit money to get lasik though.
Might Deserve Hell ... and Bianca Del Rio
I tried to kill myself last month, took a ton of pills and called my therapist to apologize, she called my Dad and my Dad hauled me to the ER. I thought I would die faster, which was why I called my therapist when I did, so it was about 30 minutes after I was in the bed in the ER when I started to feel so bad I thought I would die. I was freezing cold, everything was tingling and vibrating and felt mildly painful in a way I don't know how to describe. I felt like all of my insides where pressing against the outside of my body.
I looked over at my Dad and saw his face, and then I really thought I was going to die that instant. I prayed for the first time in my life (other than small prayers like "don't let someone die in a car accident" etc for anxiety) and I said to God "Let me die and go to hell, or to heaven, though I don't think that is an option, or let me live, I'm indifferent. Use your best judgement, but looking at my Dad right now, I understand if you send me to hell. I think I might deserve to go to hell."
Suddenly I felt like a ton of bricks had been dropped on me and I felt the most pain I have ever experienced in my life, and I started projectile vomiting the black charcoal they gave me like I was in a horror movie. I was raised atheist, I have only ever prayed as a method to ease my anxiety when I was afraid someone else might die. I guess I might believe in a God now, but I have no idea which one to pick.
A Dope Concert
Spun out after an icy night returning home from a childish Gambino concert. It was slow motion and my fiancée was next to me in the back freaking out.
I put my hand on her leg and just kept telling her it's okay, but in my mind I was convinced this was it. Honestly I went from "oh fck," to "sht well I guess this is it," to "well at least that concert was pretty dope" lol
I was in such excruciating pain that when I started to lose consciousness I was just thankful the pain was finally going to end.
Turns out I was fine, mostly, after surgery, but I still remember that overwhelming feeling of relief that washed over me when I thought it was the end.
Car Crashes And Coherent Thought
"Ugh. Ow. Where's my coat?"
Car accidents don't lend themselves to coherent thought, nor does being in shock afterward. My car was upside down, I'd separated my shoulder, and I probably had a concussion, but I really needed to find my coat.
I feel that. My thoughts after coming to were:
"I'm so glad I didn't kill my dad. Where'd my side mirror go? That smell is weird. I GOTTA PUT MY HAZARDS ON LIKE THEY TAUGHT ME IN DRIVERS ED!"
I put my hazards on, climbed across the car and hopped onto the interstate, and left the key in the ignition. My car was leaking fluid (might have been gasoline, don't remember), still didn't think to turn it off.
I got so concussed I still don't remember a year of my life, but damn it I remembered to turn those hazards on!
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/