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60 Seconds That Changed My Life

By Alyson Smith Published 2 months ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
'Journey' oil on canvas by Mick Smith


In just 60 seconds, my life changed forever. A decade later, the defining minute is still vividly imprinted in my memory. Some may mock as I share this story, even though some of those who laugh will be religious and have their own belief in their afterlife.

As a teenager I often thought about what it would feel like to take drugs. Strong curiosity and age-related angst led me to try and that’s how it happened. We stood behind the abandoned youth club, its windows boarded up and graffiti covering the walls. The smoke from our cigarettes drifted lazily into the night air as we whispered and laughed, Ironically, I have never felt so alive. A hand reached out and offered me a spliff, the tip glowing like a tiny ember in the dark. As I inhaled, I tasted more than just cannabis - there was something else mixed in, something that made my head swim and my senses hum.


A peculiar sensation washed over me. It was like someone had doused me with icy water: a tingling feeling freezing my scalp and traveling all the way down to my feet. My skin erupted in goosebumps and my heart raced.

I tried to look at my friends and tell them what I was experiencing, trying to get someone to understand and help me. I began to lose control of my nerves.

20.20 and 5 seconds

My body started gradually collapsing until I lay crumpled on the ground.

20.20 and 15 seconds

I looked at the group standing over me, my mind resigned to it being the last time, then closed my eyes bracing for the expected darkness. I could hear the sound of my friend’s voices calling out to me. I became aware that their words were floating up from below me and I looked down to see my body lying on the ground, the group kneeling around me trying to wake me up. One of them had taken out his ‘phone, whilst the youngest took my hand lifting it up then letting it go, watching it fall without any resistance. He told the others he thought he felt a pulse, but I knew my heart had stopped and that I was dead.

20.20 and 30 seconds

As my soul started to ascend, my friends' voices drifted away, fading into the peaceful stillness of the universe. The air was infused with soft orange and yellow hues and a calming scent that reminded me of my grandmother’s sandalwood perfume. My surroundings were speckled with tiny diamond shaped lights, and I felt a sense of warmth and peace that words cannot fully describe. As I turned my head to take in my surroundings, I caught sight of what I think was the moon looming close by me. I reached out to it excited by its familiar presence in the unending abyss.

20.20.and 40 seconds

I now realised I wasn't alone. I had become surrounded by ethereal shapes. Although they had no identifiable traits, I instinctively knew they were human. We were all rising towards a radiant opening that shone brightly in the sky. I reached out, content to continue until I faintly heard familiar voices calling out my name.

20.20 and 50 seconds

I felt as if I was caught in the whirlwind of a hurricane, tossed and turned in every direction, with no control and no sense of where or when I would land until I crashed into my physical body with a jolting force that blurred the world in front of me for a brief moment before everything came back into focus.


I woke up with a loud gasp, my mouth and eyes falling open, whilst I struggled to breathe.

I’ve told you everything that happened, but as I said I expect you to mock me. No one believes, but I know. I know 60 seconds changed my life.

Young AdultShort StoryPsychologicalMicrofiction

About the Creator

Alyson Smith

Writer & Artist with Level I Autism & a whole lot of Bipolar. Based in Newcastle- upon - Tyne, works as an administrator in a Nursing Home. MA in Creative Writing.

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Comments (2)

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  • Mika Okaabout a month ago

    Everyone has different experiences in life. I will not mock but will listen with open heart

  • Alyson Smith (Author)about a month ago

    Enjoyable and a bit scary at the same time. Nice painting too!!

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