I had been drinking alcoholically for 30 years. I drank a quart of vodka but could not get drunk. I collapsed and blacked out, my wife called 911 and I was taken to the hospital. Next, I was on a table being attended by doctors when suddenly, I found myself 'floating' on the corner of the ceiling and I heard a doctor say, 'We're losing him.'
I turned or was turned away and found myself in a 'tunnel' of light, bright but at the same time 'soft' around the edges. I was proceeding down (or up) through this tunnel and I saw a figure, not describable, and this figure said, 'Go back; it's not your time.' I did not want to go back and the voice repeated 'Go back. It is not your time.' Then the voice said 'You have had enough.' I knew that the voice meant alcohol.
I reluctantly retreated and the next thing I remember is waking up in a hospital bed completely at peace and sober. I was all alone and I heard my own voice reciting the first step of AA. I have not had a drink or a desire for a drink to this day.
Date NDE Occurred: 12-30-89
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes ALCOHOLISM Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I passed out due to an overdose of alcohol; I fell breaking ribs.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal When I approached the tunnel and during my 'journey' in the tunnel. Then when I was retreating back from the tunnel.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I approached the tunnel and during my 'journey' in the tunnel; then again when I was retreating back from the tunnel.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I felt 'awareness' and understood that I had had enough. I did not want to go back but knew I must.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I not only heard but I understood some things far better than ever before (or after).
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I started down the tunnel but was told to stop and go back.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I saw a being but cannot describe that being. It appeared to be a male and very strong.
The experience included: Light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The light was very bright but had sort of soft cloudy edges.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Happiness, peace, and acceptance.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control It is hard for me to explain. I really did not have a big review but rather just an understanding.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I do think there is a God, but he or she or it is not the god of my childhood. I guess I just know this vast universe exists and I am part of it; part of existence.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I do think there is a God, but he or she or it is not the god of my childhood. I guess I just know this vast universe exists and I am part of it; part of existence.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I seemed to just 'know' where I was and what was happening to me.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I now have friends. I never had one true friend, today I have many and we help each other.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I knew I was not going to die. I knew I would never drink again.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I felt I was going to have a better life and happiness. This has been with me for 20 years now.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes As soon as I got out of the hospital, about ten days later, I went to an AA meeting and went to a psychiatrist.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It was profound and changed me in many ways. I still make foolish mistakes but I feel good about myself and am trying to be of service to others. Incidentally, the psychiatrist I went to pooh-pooed the whole thing and told me I had an alcoholic induced hallucination. I do not believe that. It was very real and changed my whole life.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I do not claim to know any higher purpose; I just know I am a person with a great deal of love, patience, and tolerance for others.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain I think about it a lot and it guides my actions and my thoughts.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Just to repeat; it was real, not a hallucination. I believe it happened to me and I no longer try to analyze it or dissect it. It happened. I am alive. I am not the same person.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I do not need reinforcement of my belief that it was real. I am answering this survey at the urging of my son who is a therapist.