What´s the scariest expirience you´ve ever had?

I´ll start:

Once while on vacation in Orlando I caught a fever. I felt horrible and weak and at the same time I stopped taking my anxiety medications because I was afraid of any possible negative interactions between my fever medecine and my anxiety pills. Turns out it was not a good idea to stop taking the pills cold turkey. I remember waking up one night, about the 3rd day I had stopped using the pills, and I felt rather dizzy. It took me a while but I managed to get out of bed and started heading to the bathroom as I thought I was going to puke.

My mother was watching TV in the living room and she saw me pause halfway between the hall and the bathroom. The room started spinning, I felt as If I was going to puke my guts out. She asked me “are you okay?”. I told her I didn´t feel too well. And all of a sudden I remember that everything around me started getting dimmer by the second. Next thing I remember is both my parents yelling at me “get up!, get up!”. I looked at them and asked, “why the heck are you guys waking me up?”.

Then I felt a bruise on the side of head. Turns out that some chemical reaction in my body happened when I stopped taking the pill and it caused me to faint and have a brief seizure. What saved me that night was that when I fell, my head hit the wall of the hallway first, before hitting the ground. Had there been no wall, I would´ve fallen head first into the ceramic tiles and would have cracked my head.

So, what the scariest expirience *you´ve *ever had?

Any number of severe panic attacks. Especially after not having had one for awhile. You can’t explain it to someone who has never had one. You just can’t.

An experience that is almost equally scary every time is when I wake up before my body does. Being unable to move any muscles other than my eyes and eyelids is… worrying to say the least.

A long-time bully coworker walked up and threatened to kill me after I had informed the boss of his use of company computers to download pornography (and to stalk me!). I left that job a year-and-a-half ago, and I am delighted to be free. I worried a lot, though, for the first several months. So, it wasn’t so much of a terrifying moment, but it was a lasting creepy experience.

I was chased through a field by a crazy chick on acid wielding a knife once. That was pretty scary. Fortunately, I could run pretty fast back in those days.

When I was a kid, a cottonmouth came within an inch of striking my arm when I reached down to pick up a stick.

I didn’t come down off the adrenaline for a week.

I found out a fear I didn’t know I had when attending the Grand Prix at Montreal a few years ago. I going to visit a few friends at a bar in the city centre when I got caught up in a crowd trying to squeeze their way in, it started to get more and more packed with people and there was less and less room, I began to have difficulty breathing and could feel the panic and claustrophobia rising. With a supreme effort of will I managed to calm myself and very slowly work my way out of the crowd and into the open air.

The feeling of relief was indescribable and while I’ve had more than a few scary experiences that’s one that sticks out in my mind, because as I said I had never experienced claustrophobia before and it is not something I want to experience ever again.

I never did meet my friends that night…

While I was studying abroad in England I spent a week in Italy. Half the time I was with my girlfriend (at the time) and the other half I was going to meet friends in another part. To make a long story short, My train came in at 5PM, I thought theirs was gonna come at 7, but it didn’t. So I sat at that train station until midnight when the last train came in. They never came. I ended up sitting there in the middle of the night, in a country I’ve never been in, a language I don’t speak, surrounded by Italian homeless people, with no clue as to where my friends were (we didn’t have international cell phones). I ended up taking that last train to a nearby town (oh, did I mention the town I was meeting them in was in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE), and found a random hotel that was open and spent the night.

I ended up finding them the next morning when I went back to the train station and just waited for them to show up. Turns our their train came in like 4 hours before mine, they assumed I missed the train and would just find me “tomorrow”.

I have never been more scared in my life.

When the brakes failed on my car. I did manage to use the emergency brake in time and avoided a collision and didn’t have to run off the road. But the first few instants after the brake pedal hit the floor and I realized the brakes were gone were terrifying.

Hmm. The most recent scariest thing was just a week or so ago when I was driving the same route I drive three times a week to get to school and I got lost. I made this turn, the same turn I’ve made about a billion times, and realized I had absolutely no idea where I was. I had to pull over because I didn’t even remember how I got to the point I was at or if I was even in the right county and nothing looked familiar at all and my vision was sort of “crisp” and weird. Then I convinced myself I was having a stroke and things got a little worse but I calmed down after a bit, figured out where I was going, and made it to school.

This was after a full day of feeling plain weird and I spent a couple days after that still feeling sort of off and confused. I’m still not sure what happened there but, Jesus, that was awful.

Before that, the scariest thing is probably the first time I got robbed at knife point as a convenience store clerk. The second time wasn’t quite as bad since it was the same guy and I kind of assumed if he was going to stab me he would have done it last time. Plus, my mom was there.

When I was a lot younger – I would guess around 10 – I went with my dad and my little sister (about 8 at the time) to the bank, where my dad got out to use the ATM. At one point, I thought I wanted to get out and watch him press the buttons (What can I say? A money machine is cool when you never have any money) but as soon as I unlocked and opened the door, he started back, so I closed the door again and locked it.

As we drove home, I was sitting in the middle of the seat and my sister was leaning against the door – the one I just opened and closed. And, when we turned the corner and she leaned against it a little harder because of the centrifugal force, we found out that I wasn’t strong enough to close and lock that door properly.

I’ll never, ever forget seeing her go from being right next to me to being a blur, and the door flapping open. I screamed, “Dad!” and my dad looked over and instantly began to cry, pulling into a parking lot and running back to get her.

Luckily, she just scraped up her hands and face a little, but for a minute, I thought that because I wanted to watch my dad use the ATM, I killed my little sister. sniffle

Probably when I was attacked by a bear.

Probably when I woke up alone at night(my husband was at work), and a stranger was there. Having your life threatened with a knife unless you…well, life sucks sometimes.

Sleep paralysis! I hate that.

Anxiety attacks and depression at the same time. Back when we were building our house, life was stressful. I drove every day to take my daughter to school, then to work, back to pick her up, and back to the claustrophobic small house that we were renting. We had to keep the shades down because the houses on each side were thisclose. We drove out to the new house a few times a week; a trip that took 45 minutes. I was used to getting anxiety attacks, and thought that taking Xanax to help me sleep would be enough.

You would think that the fact that I had to pull the car over to throw up at least once a week on my way to work would have given me a clue as to how stressed out I was getting. I was also irrationally scared of Y2K (this was in 1999, obviously). We were at a Christmas party at my BIL’s house when I felt myself breaking down. I took our then 10 year old daughter and went home. After that night I went downhill fast. I couldn’t eat, barely slept, and was in an almost constant state of anxiety. I’ve never experienced depression before to that extent, and combined with the panic attacks the experience was completely frightening.

I was lucky. I began to recover after a few weeks, but was very shaky for months afterward. I had lost 15 pounds pretty quickly and my body (and mind) took a while to heal.

I’m still afraid of going back to that. Sometimes it feels as if it’s lurking inside of me, waiting to come out again. It’s bad enough to have stress in your life, but to fear the return of panic and depression sucks.

That sounds awful, Baker, my sympathies. I hope you’re OK now.

My own: Long story short, 20 years ago estranged husband of a woman who lived in my building broke into my apartment by mistake while trying to get into her apartment to see his child.

He had been outside the building throwing rocks at it for 20 minutes before he got in. I had no idea who he was and thought I was about to be raped or murdered. In the end he didn’t lay a finger on me, but I became more or less paralysed for a few days afterwards just from the shock and it caused a lot of problems (PTSD?) for some years afterwards.

…jump? skydiving…

I live in a cold part of the world and we’d been waiting for the sky to clear for some time. So we’re in the plane on the ride up to altitude. The plane is all students and the jumpmaster, so we’re mostly all terrified.

I’m sitting right by the door and the JM opens it to “spot” the dz. This consists of hanging out of the door and conversing with the pilot.

They made a mess of it and the pilot had to make another pass. Same thing all over again!

So I’m first to climb out since I’m right by the door. I slip on the step and miss the strutt of the plane (we’re supposed to grab onto that!), so I have an unstable exit which scares the hell out of me!

Anyways, I get a good canopy, fully inflates, but there are lots of line twists and I’m having serious difficulty kicking out of them. Persistance sees the end of those and I grab my toggles, finally able to steer my parachute.

Canopy okay, locate the dz. Which is fine, except I find myself in a rain cloud! Now our instructors say, whatever you do, don’t get your canopy wet! So I’m hanging there, I can’t see a thing, gettin’ soaked!

I eventually find my way out of said cloud, locate the dz and make my approach. The grass is wet, and I slide into land through 20 yards of sheep shit!

All I can do is laugh, exhilarated, and I can’t wait to get back in the plane! But oh boy, while that was going on, it was hairy! Seems I take some kind of wierd pleasure out of stressful situations…
Okay, that was one incident. Now I cast my mind back many years. I’m on some relatives farm, and I fall into a slurry pit ( a big pit full of pig poo! )

I’m in over my head, I’ve got a mouthful of the stuff and I can’t breathe.

I tell myself, okay john, swim out of this, or you’re dead! That’s petrifies me and I begin moving toward the surface.

Pig poo has the consistency of em, well, it’s thicker than custard, viscous but still liquid…think quicksand.

No matter how hard I kick, I’m going nowhere and I have the realisation that it’s probably game over. I’d been in there for a while and lack of oxygen would take it’s course soon. I was terrified.

Just then, my cousin puts his hand on my shoulder and I grab his arm…

…which is why you’re able to read this!

I stink to high heaven (obviously!) and after I’ve spat out the poo and washed my mouth out, they hose me down like some animal!

Funny how you always remember the details of the scary stuff…

Taking a local bus down the Himalayas (Gangotri to Rishikesh) during monsoon season. Not only was the bus driver more suicidal than your average Indian bus drivers, but the road was washed out, there were falling boulders everywhere, and the road was slippery from all the mudslides. Picture screaming downhill around blind curves on a one lane road, with the picturesque valley floor so far below you that you can’t see it through the swirling mist. The bus was full of holy men, and they prayed the entire time. There have been a few times in my life where I have looked at the people around me and said “these are probably the people I am going to die with” and this was one of them.

Malaria (falcipurum) was pretty scary. I fell asleep one afternoon. When I woke up I was in a lot of pain. It felt like my whole body was a bruise, and my bones ached. Then my head started hurting, and delirium started to set in. Suddenly the pain in my head increased, I couldn’t think straight at all, and I had the realization that I was very, very ill and I knew with all certainty that it was fatal. I stumbled outside and collapsed on to a large rock just outside my compound. I could barely form sentences, much less communicate what was wrong in the local language. My neighbors figured it out and arranged for a motorcycle to take me to the hospital. Malaria is pretty easy to treat if you catch it on time, but I never want to have that “I’m seriously ill and it will probably kill me before tonight is over” feeling again.

Man, thinking about it, I’ve had a lot of pretty scary experiences.

Drowning in pig shit ::shiver::

The two of mine that come to mind both happened on the same trip. I was filming the 2000 elections in Zimbabwe for a Kenyan news agency. One day we went out for a drive into the boondocks with the local MDC candidate. We stopped by a farm entrance which was barricaded by some ‘war veterans’. They recognised the MDC guy and started a vigorous argument with him whilst waving machetes around. Now MDC guy is driving and I’m sat beside him, cameraman and sound guy are in the back. Machete wielding people are on my side of the car and the argument is going on over me through the open window. This is bad enough until my cameraman tells me I’m blocking his shot so could I get out of the car!? I have to, politely smiling all the while, squeeze out of the car and past the machete guys. I spent 10 minutes hanging around the back of the vehicle, ready to jump on if it had to roar off, surrounded by about 20 more of them. It didn’t help that I was the only white guy in this whole scenario.

After the elections, to pick up some extra cash, me and a mate did a feature for a UK magazine on adventure sports in Africa. We did a bunch of nutty things like wrestling crocodiles and jumping out of planes, but my worst was the gorge swing. This is like the mother of all rope swings. Check it out on Youtube. You freefall for 2-3 seconds and when you start to swing the jerk is horrific (you are on a rope, not a bungee cord). Anyway, I’m scared of heights, but I had to do this as my mate was the photographer. I was hyperventilating big time, and the only reason I went in the end is that they basically pushed me off. Amazing adrenaline rush afterwards, however.

I was 15, Knew Everything, and was mad at the world. So of course it was fine for me to skip church, tresspass on private property, and freehand rock-climb a cliff face alone and without anyone knowing where I was. In sneakers. In the rain.

Care to guess how many hand-hold slips 50-75 feet up it takes to make you see the error of your ways? I found scary to be when I realized that I’d climbed to a point where I really couldn’t go further up, where the only hand holds right or left were wet or loose rocks, and when I knew I had to braille my way back down (but didn’t exactly remember where all the holds were).

I turned around and tried to crab my way back down, butt to the wall. I couldn’t really see too well through rain-soaked glasses though. I only had one 5-foot fall, and I landed hard butt-first on a small ledge below me. (“Levi’s Jeans back pockets; saving most of my butt since 1978”) I limped home and bandaged together/up what probably should have been butterflied and I sat gingerly for a week.

Its one small scar my wife never asks about…