Swimming Accident.When I was 9-years-old, I was sent to a camp for two weeks as a vacation. While there, I went swimming at the lake with other children. At one point, I dove off a platform at the lake and as I was coming up from underwater, another child dove in and hit me square in the chest. This knocked all the air out of my lungs and forced me to the bottom of the lake.
When the initial shock of what happened wore off, I found myself tangled in the weeds at the bottom of a COLD lake. Terror and the pain of not being able to breathe engulfed me. I stuggled violently for what seemed like ages. Just at the point where I didn't think I could endure anymore agony, it stopped. Not like subsided, I mean stopped as if someone flicked a switch.
Immediately, I was filled with the most wonderful feeling of peace and joy. The pain and terror wasn't even a memory. The darkness that surrounded me no longer was dark. I was no longer the child on the bottom of the lake, I was the lake itself. Warmth, peace, joy and an acceptance of everything was all I felt.
Again, after what seemed like ages, the thought (or it occurs to me now as I write, that it may have been a voice in my head) that I shouldn't be here and that I was on the bottom of a lake, came into my mind. Fear/uncertainty entered into my mind like a pin that exploded my balloon of peace. That was the last I remember of the experience until coming to on top of the raft being administered CPR.
Apparently, when I was finally found, I had been already under the water for 10 minutes, and had no heart beat or air in my lungs. I was literally brought back to life again by the lifeguard using CPR.
The real story however begins at this point. What fascinates me today is what happened to me after the fact. I experienced a dramatic personality change following this incident. Actually, I spoke of this to no one for many years. Not until I had heard of someone actually having a similar experience. But in the years following this incident, I became more withdrawn, introspective and (as people have told me) more mature for my years. I developed an insight and perspective on things attributable to someone much older with much more life experience. I write this post now as a 36-year-old male working in the field of psychiatry as a nurse.
Looking back, I wish that I'd had the opportunity to be able to talk about my experience because it would have saved me years of searching/confusion about the whole thing. I felt different than most people after that experience. Had trouble connecting with kids my own age. It wasn't until years later that I began to understand what had happened to me. Today, it has helped to solidify my belief in God, and a life ever after. I do not fear death, although I am still fearful of dying (how/when it'll happen). But I know that this isn't the end, and we do go on.
Thank you for the opportunity to share this with all of you. I'd be interested to hear from others who've had similar experiences. This is by no means a full-description of what actually took place. The complete story is beyond words and as I get older, I find more ways to express what truly happened that day. Peace!