In February, 1974, when I was fourteen years old, I experienced some kind of overdose which nearly killed me. I had willingly and recklessly smoked something called “angel dust.” Quite a rebel at that time of life, I was expelled from the public school system—too many truancies and disruptive behavior. I also was recently arrested for drug use by undercover cops at the new school.
The night of the overdose I entered my room and closed the door to the outside world. I drifted into a deep, faraway sleep. The voices from other parts of the house faded into the distance. My body lay listless on the bed and I suddenly was some place outside of myself—beyond the storm, the suburbs and the city lights.
I was traveling, tumbling through the darkness into a strange void of unfamiliar space. Sharp, stabbing nameless voices, without form, seemed to chase me in the blackness. Loud, buzzing, irritating and incessant taunting seemed to pursue me. It was as if I was spinning, but I had no body. I felt confused, frightened and utterly alone.
As I reached the peak of my despair, a new thought pierced my awareness. A dim and promising glow appeared in the farthest reaches of space. Intuitively, I knew that the light would save me from this torment. It seemed to magnetize me like a beacon in a sea of darkness and I knew I had to direct myself to it.
The brilliance grew stronger and more alluring as my desire to be near it surged. And in an instatn, I was completely and profoundly surrounded by the brightest, most intense and loving light imaginable. It welcomed me with a sense of peace that I had never known before. I was awestruck. But I was thinking, “How did I get here? Do I really deserve this?”
With that thought, I felt myself slide off the beam, as if all my protection vanished. The forces of darkness were just too great. I heard that haunting, malicious laughter again and it drew me down into an abyss. I wondered how I could retrieve the peace. What had I done wrong? Was it real? In a flash, I traversed the universe and felt enveloped in serenity once again. This time it was as if I could see without eyes. I perceived an ethereal mist and a lush, life-filled place awaited me. My energy merged with that of a golden-white glowing essence—one of complete love and absolute safety. Filled with bliss, I knew I was going home at last.
Yet before I could cross the threshold into my true home, I also knew that I must return. Something unspoken filled my awareness and in seconds (as if time can be measured at these levels), I was being drawn backwards. I perceived flashes of light swirling quickly by. They were like tiny electrodes of information that contained scenes from my life. A vacuum-like suction swooped me directly from that safe haven and I woke to my father’s face bent over me.
He was shaking me violently, saying, “Get up! Get up now!” They had been calling me for half an hour and I hadn’t moved. “If you don’t get up now, we will call the hospital and your parole officer will know that you have been using!”
I felt as if I had been shot back to some kind of hell, disconnected from the light. My dad’s nostrils flared with the smoky haze of his cigarette. He paced adamantly, “Get up,” he commanded, when he saw my eyes open. Somehow I was sentenced to live with this family and it felt so foreign to me. Oh, what a task it was to move. My body felt paralyzed initially, as if it were filled with lead.
As disconcerting as it was to return to this world, I knew what I had to do. I dragged my sandbagged legs across the floor and reached up to tear a pot leaf poster off the bedroom wall. My dad stood incredulous. His mouth dropped open in disbelief, his eyes widened. “Do you want me to get rid of this?” he asked. I nodded and proceeded to rip down another black light poster of Uncle Sam giving the finger. My dad just shook his head and muttered, “Unbelievable.”
I could feel his heart lifting as my body grew lighter with every movement. I turned more lights on and proceeded to clear my room of clutter, surrendering all the paraphernalia I had stashed. I stopped using drugs that night.
With the support of some wonderful teachers, I became an honor roll student, and learned to meditate while still in high school. I was introduced to the works of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross and Dr. Raymond Moody, pioneers in the NDE movement. It helped put things in a new context for me. I am grateful for the inner experience and the continuing opportunity to explore this multidimensional world.
Kesha L. Engel, BA, CMT, has over a decade of experience as a practitioner in the healing arts field. She is certified in breathwork coaching, SHEN, (an emotional-release bodywork method), cranial-sacro therapy, and hypnosis. Kesha is available for individual and group consultations at LIVES UNLIMITED in Madison, WI.
As of November, 2015, Kesha writes that she now lives in Brookfield, WI, and is writing a book, Soul Stories. She owns her own business and one can find out more about her work by going to www.soulcodecoaching.com.