Afterthoughts Vol 2: Hovering™

I have made some rather interesting claims in this blogject.

Correct me if I’m wrong here… but, did I describe an out of body experience after a suicide attempt?

Did that happen?

*dave goes back and rereads earlier posts*

holy shit

I wrote I had an out of body experience!


That is a rather outrageous claim.


*busts out magnifying glass*

*black clay pipe*

*deerstalker hunting cap*

In A Strong-Willed Child™ Pt 4 I wrote the following sequence:

There is a memory in my brain that is unlike any other.

It is impossible to describe.

This memory has a different texture than any other memory in my life.

I am staring down at a 17 year old kid lying on his left* side.

I am Hovering™ above this person.

I feel no emotional attachment to the person lying on the gurney.

I feel pity for him.

He looks so sad

and sick

and asleep.

And I’m just staring down at this poor kid. And my heart is breaking for this person. And I don’t know why. The feeling in this memory is one of a strange birthing experience… or arrival is a better word.

There’s a murkiness to the start of the memory… like it’s a bokeh shot that’s blurry and comes into focus.

I describe the texture of this memory as though you were watching a photograph develop in a pan of a chemical bath in a dark room…. if you ever took photography before the digital revolution.

The way the photopaper slowly changes and hazes and clarifies but is always still slightly obscured by the wavy action of the liquid bath and the red light reflecting and dancing and refracting on the surface.

That is the texture of this memory.

It is a pleasant feeling. Or rather it is not unpleasant.

And I am transfixed on this poor kid….

And as I Hover™ over this kid and stare at him through the water bath texture of this memory…. at some point in the memory it becomes clear to me that the person lying below me… IS. ME.

And the knowledge of this information hits me in an entirely cerebral and completely unemotional way. Even though I know the information that that is my body… I don’t feel sad for myself or wish I could be back in that body… In fact, I feel glad I’m not in that poor kid’s body.

And the memory is just that.


I wrote that?!?

WTF was I thinking?

How do you unwrite that?!?

So. That is such an outlandish claim that it deserves stopping the car… throwing it in reverse… and heading back to see if that big furry 7 foot tall blur WAS ACTUALLY BIGFOOT… or just a stump from a broken tree.


I have not spoken of this incident to many people. A few here and there.

It’s kinda private and a rather personal experience and I’ve never been too interested in other people’s opinions of it. I was never curious to know WAS THAT AN OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE or something else… definitively.

Meaning I’m comfortable not knowing for certain what the memory is.

Maddening, isn’t it?

This is how I break it down:

I was lying on a gurney with a tube updown my nosethroat.

At some everything goes black.

Lights out.

Not even black.

Just off.

And then I become aware of a different memory that interrupts the memory of being on the gurney and then waking up on the gurney afterwards.

And the memory inbetween those two moments is what we’re focused on here.

I feel this is clunky coming out of my fingers onto the page in a way that hasn’t affected me since I first wrote it but I’m definitely struggling as my synesthesia takes over here… I can taste the texture of this memory on my tongue while I type



The memory starts as this hazy emergence… best way I can describe. The metaphor that I’ve always clung to is a photograph chemically appearing in the tub of emulsion/chemical/whatever that they have in photography classes.

And as you put your plain white sheet (that you exposed the image onto) and you submerge it in various chemical baths it finally hits the one bath where the image emerges onto the paper.

It was like that.

And there’s a separation between me and what I’m viewing as if I’m apart from the room with the L’ilGurneyBoy™ I’m looking down on. Like we’re in the same space, but I’m not in the same space as everyone else.

And it’s a feeling of light or energy or sparkles dancing across the surface of the memory like the way the red light dances upon the surface of the chemical bath the photopaper is in. Except it’s not red light sparkles, the memory is bright white/gold/electric? there’s a shimmer dancing on the edges of the memory.

Fuck none of this makes sense.

But I am staring down– although it does not feel like there is an up or down or gravity. The person I’m looking at is in front of me. At first I’m not aware of what I’m seeing because it feels like I’m standing upright even though I have no body. The sensation of just… normal upright consciousness.

And so when I’m looking at someone in front of me, and they are turned and curled and on a gurney the image at first doesn’t make sense. And I have a memory that the memory starts with confusion.

And then I become aware that this is a person lying on a gurney and I must be looking down at them. Although I don’t recall processing much about me in the memory. I don’t think I realized I was above something. I recall the realization hits me that this is a person on a gurney and I don’t understand why I am looking at a person on a gurney. None of this is making any sense to my conscious thought.

I don’t see any other people in the frame of the imagery but I get a distinct sense there is a nurse out of my vision below the feet of the kid on the gurney and possibly that there may be a presence out of sight by the head of the person I’m looking at. I can sense other people in the room but I don’t see anyone but L’ilGurneyBoy™.

And I do not see L’ilGurneyBoy™ move or breathe.

There is stillness.

There is no sound in this memory.

I don’t realize it’s me because the hair is slightly covering the face.

But also… I am not directly over L’ilGurneyBoy™. I am slightly off to the left and am looking at myself at an angle where I can see behind my right jaw and ear.

And this is what confuses me in identifying who the person in the gurney is:

I’ve never seen myself in 3D from this angle before.

Trippy, eh?

And so, that’s the memory. I Hover™ above myself slightly off center and I just Hover™ and stare.

Where does this leave us?

How does one process this kind of memory experience?

Who would ever be able to counsel someone with any kind of authoritative understanding of this concept… like where is the support group?

Or where the fuck was it in 1994?

Let’s examine what this “memory” is or isn’t.

I’m going to walk you through my logic process as flawed as it may be.

I believe that this memory represents 1 of 3 possible realities.

  1. dream
  2. dying brain
  3. out of body experience and proof of afterlife of some kind

Dream Theory

Was this a dream? I believe that at face value this is the most likely of the 3 realities. I have always been an extremely vivid dreamer– usually nightmares– and often remember most of my dreams in great detail.

So, it fits that I recall a great amount of detail. And this is a very vivid dreaming experience.

The major problem I have with Dream Theory is that I have never in my life had a dream where I was outside my own body or viewed myself from a 3rd eye perspective. I don’t recall even being aware of my body in most dreams– which fits here! But, this was significantly different, I may not have been aware of my body– but not like most dreams where usually I’m engaged in some activity and monsters or ninjas are killing me or I’m taking stage and forgetting all my lines.

In this memory I have no awareness of body, but this memory I don’t think I have a body. I feel like a free floating conscious thoughtbraineyeball™.

So what makes me think this was not a dream is that I’ve never dreamt an out of body experience before or since. And that this would be the ONLY time I would have a dream of this nature where I view myself from outside my own body… that’s a hard obstacle for me to overcome based on the lifelong experiences I’ve had with dreams.

And I take dreams seriously. Because as a kid, Churchtopia™ would tell you that young men have visions and old men have dreams where god talks to you and so for years I tried to get into lucid dreaming and dream journaling hoping I could find god somewhere out there… so I probably take my dreams a little more seriously and put more effort into remembering them and understanding them than most people… and this one is utterly unique. No other dream I’ve ever had has the same factors.

And the texture of the memory. This is what really sets it apart from any other dream I’ve ever had. I can feel this memory. There’s a textural separation between me and the room I’m viewing as though I’m gazing through a liquid bath of shimmering light. It’s faint. It doesn’t overwhelm what I’m experiencing and watching and viewing. It’s there on the edges of the visual space I’m looking at.

These are the factors that lead me to believe that this is likely NOT a Dream based on my experiences with dreams for 46 years.

Dream Theory

Dying Brain Theory

Having never experienced death before this particular death experience makes me hesitant to claim any sort of expertise on the subject. It’s why this whole thing has been so damn confusing.

Nobody prepares you for what death is.

Oh sure… all the religions THINK they know wtf is happening… and who’s gonna tell them they’re wrong?

So, having never died before, I don’t know how much or how little my dying here follows along with the typical dying brain shut downs.

Maybe the final memory a dying brain creates is an out of body experience.

I can imagine all sorts of fun sensory stimulation as the brain fritzes out for the last time. PLUS. Holy shit I had so much chemical shenanigans happening that my brain had to be tripping the fuck out.

Perhaps the energy sensation and sparkles and light at the periphery… maybe that’s just synapses misfiring and electrical signals going haywire and my brain is inventing thoughts of me being on a gurney since I’m on one. Kinda basic logic.

I give more credence to this theory than the dream theory actually…

But the one problem I have with this theory is that it was the seeing of myself in 3D that was so confusing at first… I feel like that’s not something a dying brain makes up. There was a distinct logical flow of thought from one thought to another and then a conclusion is reached which leads to more thoughts.

I was confused at what I was seeing… and then I understood what I was seeing… and then I understood the implications of what I now understood.

It was a very cerebral experience. I don’t think a dying brain produces an in depth thinking process of observing and analyzing and then coming to conclusions.

But maybe.

Dying Brain Theory

OOB Theory

Out. Of. Body.

That is some seriously creepy shit.

It’s a memory that is unlike any other. And I can’t shake that.

And maybe that’s what happens when you’re poisoned and dying and your brain has dying poisoned dreams or your brain fucking dies from poison. Maybe these are normal and natural memories to have under those circumstances and if there are others who had similar poisoned brain memories would love to hear it.

But, the reason I have largely concluded at about 85% certainty that this was an out of body experience is aside from the texture I can feel on my tongue like testing a battery… Aside from the uniqueness of the memory that defies any prior dream… Aside from the fact that I was observing myself on my left side before I was awoken and realized I was on my left side– hey maybe my brain dreamed that while they were turning me over after all… but the one thing I can’t shake about this possibility that negates the idea it was dream or a dying brain…

I could see my jaw and ear from behind-ish. And with such details that I don’t believe my brain could have accurately predicted or made up that data in the dream theory or dying brain scenario.

And largely it’s because for decades I’ve really tried to prove to myself that it MUST HAVE been a dream or a dying brain but no matter how I try to rationalize the data I experienced with data that I’ve got of dreams and dying brains… it doesn’t hold up. Out of body consciousness is really the only option that makes the most sense for me.

And that may frustrate the readers who want clarity and definitive answers, but I don’t have any. And a big part of my story is sitting with that discomfort and Not Knowing™.

Gun to my head I believe it was an out of body experience.

But… I admit… I’m not 100% convinced.

So which is it, Dave?!?


Dying Brain?

Out of Body Experience Disproving the Abrahamic Faiths?

*puffs black clay pipe*

*injects cocaine*

*plays violin and annoys Watson*

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” – Sherlock Holmes

It’s a conundrum.

This is where I begin to walk in Two Worlds™ in my life…

and as my story progresses this will have some very interesting learning experiences and awarenesses.

Walking with one foot in one world and one foot in another.

I was someone who was healthy.

And then I was someone who was sick.

I was someone that had never died.

And then I did.

I had privilege.

Until I didn’t.

If you force me to quantify what I believe the memory to be I would say the following– and I think I’ve held to these numbers for the last 20 years or so, sometimes my opinion changes– but where I’ve ended up is that I believe that it was an 85% probability that it was some form of an out of body experience.

10% I think may be the Dying Brain Theory

And I leave a small 5% possibility for Dream Theory.

I’m fairly certain it was the latter but a thing that has confounded me for 30 years since it happened is:

I saw no god

nor a devil

I saw no angels

no demons greeted me either

I saw no heaven

I was not cursed to hell for my suicide

all I felt

was bliss

I did not want to go back into that body

not that I was aware that was an option

One of the reasons my faith starts to be questioned lying on the floor of the Isolation Room in the Lounge of Lunatics™ is that I was carrying this memory with me during that moment.

I had seen no god.

But there was no devil to curse me for my sin, either.

And I had been told all my life that hell awaits us sinners.

And that killing of thyself is murder!!!

And yet… not a single omnipotent motherfucking entity gave a damn and I was blissed the fuck out in my OOB memory.

It was blisstastic.

It was freeing.

Can’t wait to experience it again.

Imagine being a 17 year old kid with this memory.

And then people from your religious community declaring that if you don’t do XYZ you’ll be suffering eternal torment!!

And that you MUST do ABC in order to get into the Heavenly Choir.

*puts down magnifying glass*

“I see no evidence, Watson, that these claims have merit”

Most of my story is one of shrugged shoulders and endless head scratching. Did that happen? Did this person do that thing I thought they did? Can I trust my memories to properly tell the facts?

What if I’m wrong?

*shrugs shoulders*

Living in a constant state of I-don’t-know is something that will take some getting used to in my new Two World™ reality.

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6 responses to “Afterthoughts Vol 2: Hovering™”

  1. TeeJay Edwards Avatar
    TeeJay Edwards


    Well done.

    Just discovered your blog on May 16th and ravenously consumed it, reading from start to now on the May 20th


    Full applause

    CLAP!!!!CLAP!!!!CLAP!!!!CLAP!!!! CLAP!!!!CLAP!!!!CLAP!!!!
    CLAP!!!!CLAP!!!!CLAP!!!!CLAP!!!!CLAP!!!! CLAP!!!!CLAP!!

    It has been an enlightening journey, a dark emotional vortex, a rending of conceived ideals.

    A mirror whose reflection calls out the funhouse reflective image so many have been looking into and calling it “normal”

    At so many in the last few days I’ve wanted to leave messages…. but was fully “in it” and decided to wait till the most current post.

    You are a Very brave and Strong man. Your past work and current work truly mean A LOT

    There are so many aspects of your life, and experience both as an artist and a formal FuckingEvangelical™ that are so similar to my own, which I won’t delve into here. (This is about your story not mine) If you ever need a person to talk to, or want to participate in a cathartic “share your story” time I’d love to chat.

    You are making a difference.

    Thank you.

    1. dave Avatar

      Thank you thank you thank you!!!

      *returns for curtain call*
      *blows kisses*
      *makes sure to credit stagehands and sound and lighting team*


      This was such a wonderful message to receive and I’ve been glowing all week and want to apologize for taking so long to respond.

      I would LOVE to chat and hear other folks stories! That’s the goal. To get us all talking to each other.

      Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. Welcome to the journey! 😊

  2. Julie Avatar

    Wow. I just discovered your blog yesterday and could not stop reading until I finished. Masterful storytelling. And now “fucking evangelicals” is a refrain in my head. So one mission accomplished?

    I’m an exchristian and former AIO listener. Anabaptist flavor, evangie adjacent. My faith died the death of a thousand cuts. The existence of mental illness was one of those cuts, my psych rotation in nursing school really sealed that for me. God did nothing to help my family members with bipolar 1 disorder either. God never answered any of my prayers. So much of fucking evangelicalism is about believing the right things but how can a person do that when their brain isn’t functioning?

    I’m an obgyn nurse and I’m lucky enough to work in a hospital where we can administer IV brexanolone for postpartum depression and it’s about as close to a miracle drug as it gets. Science 1, God 0. I’m sorry your nurses sucked; the day I stop caring I swear I’ll quit.

    1. dave Avatar

      Your opening paragraph makes me swoon.

      The second paragraph… oof. That’s why we’re here, eh? In 30 years of being a mental health patient I have never seen god cure a schizophrenic or bipolar or OCD or Severely Depressed patient.

      Not. Ever. Not a single time. Isn’t that amazing? Why would god heal other diseases but not these?… Or maybe what people are perceiving as god healing them is them getting lucky with ailments that can go into remission or have healing be a possibility. It’s either that… or god is a real dick.

      We are the forgotten and neglected. By humanity and by god as well.

      Shit. How do I get that brexanolone? Do we meet up in a dark alley? Never even heard about that stuff…

      I did have a few good nurses here and there as the years go on. They do exist and things have gotten better in 30 years. But back in the day…

      Thank you for caring about your patients <3

      And welcome to the journey!

  3. Deborah Avatar

    Like other commenters— I started reading this from the beginning about 20 hours ago and could not stop. I stayed up way too late & when I woke up, I couldn’t put my phone down.

    As someone who also has OCD, it’s heartrending and so familiar to see it described from the perspective of an evangelical kid like I was. Evangelicalism is so, so destructive to people with OCD. Or it gives them OCD. I’m not sure.

    Thank you for writing this. I listened to AiO a bit when I was a kid at my friends’ houses (we never owned any bc my parents apparently thought it was too “liberal” or “secular” or the kids were too badly behaved, lololol- I think we were more fundie than evangelical!), and reading about the episodes is like a hazy memory rising from my childhood.

    You were amazing, and you are amazing. I am extremely invested in the rest of your story so please keep writing!!

    1. dave Avatar

      Love it when it works and hooks people. That brings me so much artistic satisfaction and joy. ❤️ Thank you for sharing!

      Man, the OCD… I’m convinced this is what is at the heart of the entire religious thang. So many times I see people in deconstruction threads and exvangy threads and it is constantly brought up.

      This is my core theory:

      Are people with OCD attracted to the church? Yes!
      Does the church make people OCD? Yes!
      Is OCD an inherited trait? Yes!
      Are generations of OCD families endlessly living in the same feedback loop for 2,000 years? Yes!
      Is a system full of people who have OCD creating and reflecting back an OCD experience to everyone who participates? Yes!
      Are those people driven insane by the idea that people do NOT believe in the OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE WORLD THEY OBSESS COMPULSIVELY AND OBSESSIVELY ABOUT? Yes!
      Is this why they’ve become an OCD MAGA cult determined to destroy the world unless we all think and behave exactly as they do?… *sigh*… yes.

      I genuinely believe that at the core of the most ideologically devout we find a diagnosable condition which is why these cults deny the reality of mental health/psychiatry/therapy…

      This is the heart of where the journey is headed.

      Welcome to the journey! So glad to have you here Deborah!

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