I was very young. A boyfriend of mine was using heroin and I wanted to try it. I had had it a few times before, but did not know how to inject it myself. He gave me an injection, but must have made a mistake. I immediately felt overwhelmed. He describes not realizing he had given me too much and leaving the room. He was due to go out and only looked in on me as an afterthought before leaving the house. He describes me as not breathing and having turned grey. He immediately gave me cardiopulmonary resuscitation and got me breathing again. During this time, I remember the feeling of being overwhelmed, and then complete darkness. There must have been a pause or some sort of change occurring as my feelings were very different. I was aware of being somewhere else. Somewhere not where my physical body was. There was complete darkness, but more than darkness as in absence of light. It felt like nothingness. I looked around hoping to find a light or some loving presence, but there was nothing. The most absolute nothing I could imagine. I began to panic and the fear I felt was like nothing I have experienced before or after. The realization that there was nothing there, no light at the end of the tunnel, nothing. I was absolutely alone. Then there must have been another interval and I woke up. I was very confused and very affected by the drugs at this stage. I was made to go outside and walk around so I would not pass out again. I later reasoned that even if there appeared to be nothing around me, there was still a ‘me’ who was aware.
Date NDE Occurred: Summer 1989
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Drug or medication overdose Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I was in very good health. I took a drug overdose which is connected to this experience.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I lost awareness of my body
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 Normally, I am engaged in many things, I am distracted by the world around me. In that instance, there was nothing else to think about. I was very focused. I needed to find a light or a presence that would help me.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the middle bit, in the darkness. Before and after I was affected by the drug. During my time in the darkness, I was scared, but it was all very clear. I felt very alert.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
The feelings seemed to be present all at the same time.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. During the experience I could see nothing. It was complete darkness.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It felt like my senses were very alert. Being in a space which felt empty and endless and dark, I can't remember seeing or hearing anything.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No I was looking for it. As if it was supposed to be there somewhere, but did not find it.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No I had the feeling that it should've been there somewhere. I was looking for it, but did not find it.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place I clearly knew I was ‘somewhere else.’ It didn't feel like the physical world we know. I knew I was lost somewhere and needed to get somewhere else. I needed help.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Fear, panic, and terror.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? No
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic I was raised a Roman Catholic but at the time of the nde I was no longer practising
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I think it has played a major role in my spiritual feelings. As soon as I came off drugs, I started practicing yoga. I have tried to find an explanation for it ever since.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths Student of Buddhism and yoga but not necessarily a Buddhist
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I was expecting to either go on to a different plane or cease to exist, I did not foresee this state of awareness in the void
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Not immediately after. I feel it took a long time for me to realize I wanted to live a more fulfilling life, but it did happen. I'm sure the experience played a large role.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No I was looking for one, but did not find it.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? I am uncertain if God exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably exists Uncertain I certainly knew I was no longer in my body but the void and darkness around me still make me wonder if that was the edge of life, that there really is nothing more, but I cannot explain the fact that I still had a consciousness
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I greatly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Not compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Weirdly, it did not put me off taking drugs. In fact, the terrible fear I felt during the experience contributed in taking me deeper into the drug world. I finally became clean in my late twenties and found a spiritual dimension to my life. I still feel a strong fear of repeating the experience and dying in general, but I am trying to reconcile it with my Buddhist beliefs.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain It was a long time ago and I was taking drugs. The experience is clear but I no longer see any of the people I used to be with at the time. My family was in a different country then, so they did not know anything about it.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience as accurately as other life events that occurred around the time of the experience This was a very difficult time for me, I remember most of it very well
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have the certainty that on a couple of occasions I witnessed something supernatural, but then my mind was not able to retain a memory of it. I know I saw something extraordinary. I retain the feeling of wonder and joy. The feeling that there is something there after all, but do not remember the event itself.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It seems rather short thinking about it now. It all seemed to happen simultaneously.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my then-boyfriend, but I don't think he believed me, although he was the one who both caused it and brought me back. I have mentioned it to friends over the years but people cannot really relate to it and find the subject uncomfortable.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Books, articles. It was something that I knew about.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It was so different from what I had read about. I was shocked by it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I still remember it so vividly. Nothing like that has happened to me since. I believe that I really had ceased to breathe as my boyfriend's reaction upon me waking up and in the following days could not be faked.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
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