When something extreme happens in life, it’s hard to believe it’s actually happening. There’s a surreal aspect to these moments where it almost feels dream-like, especially if it’s something very shocking.
I’m sure a lot of you have had these experiences before. Perhaps it was a death, or a phone call about sometimes awful happening, or maybe an accident of some kind.
Here are some true stories from AskReddit users for you to check out.
1. That’s gotta be wild.
“The first time I walked up to a plane I’d rented for the day, signed off, did a preflight, got in and took off.
I legally took an airplane out for a spin, and no one was monitoring me. It just seemed like an insane thing.”
2. All kinds of bad news.
“That would probably be having a conference call with my boss and HR telling me I was one of 50 people being laid off due to restructuring, while my (now ex-) wife was in the other room packing her things to move out of the house.”
3. Good thing you were there.
“I live in an apartment with a balcony overlooking a canal. One evening my partner and I were out on the balcony having a smoke, there was nobody around except for a drunk guy stumbling down the path along the canal.
My partner commented that he’d fall in if he wasn’t careful, and sure enough, he did. We immediately called an ambulance and my partner ran outside to look for help – the guy was twice our size and if we’d tried to help by ourselves, we all would have drowned.
Emergency services arrived in less than ten minutes and pulled him out. He lived. Still gives me shivers to think about what would have happened if we hadn’t been outside.”
4. Keep fighting!
“Diagnosed with an incurable cancer at 33.
I was given 2 months to live. One year later almost and I’m still kicking it. As sick as I was, I’m glad I’m standing here being the bad ass I am. My prognosis is much better now.
I won’t beat this, but it’s really given me a push to live life and love big.”
“I got a message one day from a stranger that said “there’s something we need to talk about that is important to both of us”.
The stranger called me. “Hi. You don’t know me, but I think it’s important that you know that my husband is sleeping with your wife. I know this, because he left his Facebook logged into our computer at home, and I see everything they have been chatting about for months.” BOOM. Life upended.
I was good to my wife. Really good. Then my life exploded. Children were involved, and families destroyed on all sides. That was the start of the worst year of my life. Over the next 6 months, I lost 40 pounds of weight and probably shortened my life by 10 years due to stress.
Bonus points: it turns out that in my appointed position with the local government, I had given the guy an award the year before for his service to children.
Good news: it’s all good now. It was bound to happen, as I learned later she was a serial cheater before me, so it’s not like it wasn’t going to happen at some point. I am with a great person now, and family life is great.”
6. That is scary.
“Head on collision with my motorcycle and a sewage drain. I had 1 second to decide to super man off the front.
The I cant believe this is happening right now moment came when I was mid air.”
7. In the ocean.
“I got caught in a rip-tide, a current that drags you deep into the ocean away from shore. I’ve never experienced one, so I fought the current and swam against it.
I’m a poor swimmer, so I ended up exhausting myself. I’m out in the ocean with two of my friends when I realized Im too exhausted to float.
I remember that thought going through my head and was 100% prepared and expecting to die. I turned to them and said “guys don’t panic but I have about 30 seconds left”
Thank God a surfer saw me stuggling and helped my friends throw me on his board. A lifeguard boat came a few minutes later.”
“My best friend was murdered.
I found out from a phone call from a detective. It really hit me when I saw her picture on the news that evening.”
9. Very sad.
“When I was 14, just playing the newly released Arkham City, the doorbell rang and the police came to our house in order to tell us our dad died in a car accident.
Just ran into my room to have the loudest and longest holler of my entire life.”
10. Not normal.
“I was 9, my mother and step father had gotten into a fight and she decided that everything that caused them to argue had to go, including me.
She got the rifle and chased me, I hid for hours until she lost interest. As I hid in the barn, I was wondering if this was a normal thing or not.”
11. Rising water.
“Watching the water slowly creep into my house during Hurricane Matthew…I had taken every measure to block the doors with sandbags etc…it was in vain as the water came in through my foundation.
Scariest experience of my life and not knowing how to answer my 8 year old son when he asked “mom, are we gonna be ok?””
“A while ago at my college we were put on lockdown for a potential gunman on campus. When they announced over the loud speakers “There is a gunman on campus, shelter in place.” I had a surreal “I can’t believe this is happening right now moment.” Its always something that you think will never actually happen to you.
Thankfully there was never any actually danger on campus ( just a potential threat ) ,but sending those texts to my family/ friends is something that I never wanted to do. The scariest 2.5 hrs of my life was not knowing whether someone was gonna come into my lecture hall to shoot it up.”
After 20 years as an alc*holic and trying many many times to quit on my own, I finally decided to get help. I went to a doctor that does surgical implants of naltrexone, which eliminates the craving for alcohol. The idea is that if you can get rid of the cravings, you have a chance of staying sober long enough (like a year) to kick the habit.
Before they do that though, they do a rapid detox session where you stay in a room on an IV drip for like 8 hours. I remember sitting in there with my wife and just thinking I never thought I’d fall this far. I was really and truly and the bottom. I was hopeless and truly suicidal.
But the implants helped me stay sober, I got into weekly therapy to deal with the CSA, and I got my antidepressants dialed in. I also started exercising regularly and eating healthy.
Now I’m 2.5 years sober, and I’ve largely healed the emotional trauma from the CSA. I’ve also lost a bunch of weight and finally have a decently muscular physique going. The depression (which was later identified as bipolar type 2) is under control as long as I stay vigilant. Life is actually looking pretty good now.”
“The February 2010 8.8 earthquake in Santiago, Chile. I was on the 9th floor of a high rise building, my wife about 5 months pregnant at the time.
At first, I didn’t think much of it. When I had moved to Santiago a few years prior, I’d felt the first tremor I’d ever felt in my life, a little 3.1 rumbler that barely shook the bookcase, but to me felt like the birth pangs of the great apocalypse.
I walked around all day long with a fevered excitement asking everybody I saw what they thought of the morning’s earthquake. Nobody else had apparently even felt it, despite my insistence that the US Geological Survey’s website did in fact prove that it happened.
“This is Chile, we don’t get out of bed for anything under a 6.”
So when my wife had nudged me awake upon feeling the first perceptible waves of the coming megaquake, I calmly informed her that “It’s not big deal honey, go back to sleep, nobody gets out of bed for anything under a 6.”
A couple of seconds later the plaster began raining down from above and I knew this one meant business. We scurried out of bed and began fumbling around with the door handle like fish attempting to pick the lock.
After we got it open, I realized I’d left my cigarettes inside (I used to be a smoker), so before the door slammed shut I risked digits to hold it open, dash back in, and grab my stumps, only later in the aftermath realizing that I’d left the keys on top of the microwave.
Once we got out into the hallway to make it to the staircase, the horror of the quake began in earnest. The building was literally jumping up and down, the floor felt like walking through marshmallow like the stairs in Nightmare on Elm Street, it was the only time in my life I was ever honestly convinced that I was going to die.
My wife tells a tale—and I have no recollection of this—that once we reached the end of the hall, she froze and grabbed onto the wall, refusing to move. Apparently I grabbed her, threw her over my shoulder, and carried her down 9 flights of stairs, bearing in mind she was 5 months pregnant.
I’m not going to say it happened, as her perception of the events could be equally as skewed by all the excitement and fear as my own, but that would classify as the “I can’t believe this is happening moment”, because I literally can’t believe it actually happened.”
Wow. Life sure can change in an instant, huh?
Now we’d like to hear from the readers out there.
In the comments, please share a true story with us where you could hardly believe what was happening.
We’d love to hear from you!