Have you ever hovered between life and death?
Well, I have two days ago.
Yeah, I was lucky enough to get away with it, so you read this.
About one week ago I started to live in Kilyos, Istanbul near the Black Sea.
I have always been a sea lover and I swim since I was 2 years old.
My family always tells this story in our reunions.
When I was 4, we went to the beach for having a good time. (including my uncles, cousins, etc.)
They always say I was willing to get into the water and swim as further as I can.
For a moment, my family noticed that I was not around there.
They immediately checked the sea and saw other people yelling as: “Whose kid is this? He keeps swimming further like crazy!”
Then, I remember that my youngest uncle came and stopped me, and we turned back to land safely.
I cannot forget this memory.
I don’t know why but I always wanted to expand my horizons.
The sea always represented freedom for me
It was one of my strongest desires to live nearby the sea, so I could swim every damn day.
I always imagined living in a sea region almost every day. Finally, God rewarded me and I was in heaven Kilyos.
One side of my home was a green forest, the other side was a deep blue Black Sea. There was one problem and it was the weather.
Here, every day was too windy. But hey, that was not enough to prevent me from swimming right?
I packed my stuff and decided to go to the beach. There were no people around, but there were a lot of waves in the sea.
I checked the warmth of the water and it was cold. That was not a problem because I regularly take cold showers. So, my nervous system was used to it.
I dived into the water and moved away from the land and I continuously swam further like a shark. About 30 seconds later, I was tired. Then, I decided to lay down and rest.
But, the waves were bothering me, so I decided to go back. I looked back and I was too much away from the land.
That was no problem, I have been there before. I started side stroking slowly towards land. A few seconds later, I checked where I am again.
Surprisingly, I was still in the damn same place. The waves were too strong, they were pulling me backward all the time.
This was the moment where I panicked.
I started to increase my speed and used more power in my strokes. A few moments later I checked my position again. Still, I was too far away from the land…
This was it.
I either make it to the land, or I was going to die. The possibility of drowning in the wild waves was real. I felt it in my veins that I was in fight or flight mode anymore.
I had no choice but use my all power as far as in me lies in my strokes.
This was the moment of my life.
It felt like everything I have done so far was the preparation for this single moment.
The rest… The rest was meaningless.
I started swimming again with the hope of coming closer to the land. When I raised my head up to check my position again, I was devastated.
I was still too far away from the land and had no energy left. Even worse, I could barely keep myself on the water anymore.
That was the moment I started swallowing water with each upcoming wave.
My muscles were also too damn sore, they were tightened up because of lactic acid accumulation.
A single word to explain my situation “Despair”.
I have never felt so desperate in my whole life.
I was in the middle of life and death situation and I did not have enough strength to make it.
The death was smiling at me.
It was so close that I heard it talking to me like a close friend. I faced death and accepted it. These could be my last seconds on this planet earth.
Wow, I never planned on dying in the wild waves. Then, I reminded myself that I should not be thinking of death right now.
I focused on preserving energy and stay on top of the water as much as I can. All I do was praying God in that moment of total misery.
“Please, save me, Lord. If you want me to die, I know that will happen, but I beg for your mercy.”
After a while, hope arose right inside me. There were 2 guys passing from afar. As soon as I noticed that, I started to scream like a mad man, “Help! Help! Help!”
I don’t even remember why I screamed in English. The word in Turkish was “İmdat” and I guess my subconscious thought it was harder to say it aloud.
They were not paying attention.
I increased my volume and shout at the top of my lungs by raising my one hand, “Help!!! Help!!!”
One of them finally saw me. Yeah, he looked at me with a smile and raised his hand. But wait, I said to myself, “why don’t you come and save me!!!”
He kept walking. I guess he did not understand that I was dying. He thought I was saying hi or something.
I started to swing my both hands start diving in the water while shouting. They both understood it then and started running immediately.
Thankfully, they started swimming toward me fast. Soon, they both were near me.
The guy: “Relax”
Me: “I’m alright”.
They hold my hands and we started swimming together towards the land.
The guy: “Come on! With the waves”
He wanted us to use our power when the wave hits.
It worked, we were waiting until the wave came and we made our moves when it was right behind us.
A minute later, I felt that my feet were touching the ground. Yeah, we made it…
The guy still pushed me behind because I literally had no energy to walk. The waves were still too strong to overcome.
He gave me some powerful pushes synchronized with the waves.
We could make it to the land. They saved my life.
He told me, “I thought you were okay there first, but when I hear you scream I understood something is wrong”.
The other guy: “Yeah, actually we decided to leave 10 minutes ago, but for some strange reason, we stayed”.
He said: “You are very lucky because we are experienced for these situations.” The other guy added, “Yeah, we are good swimmers”.
They were not good swimmers, they were great swimmers with a body in perfect shape. Otherwise…
I was dead.
He said: “Fortunately, you did not attend to hug us immediately. People generally do that when they are scared and that leads to drowning both of us because the other person cannot swim in that position”.
At least, I knew that from my past experiences.
He added: “You were looking fine and I wondered why you could not swim back. When I came near you and hold your muscles, I felt that they were too tight. You panicked and your muscles tightened themselves up”.
He was right. I was too scared of dying and probably squeezed my muscles more than necessary.
I hugged them on the land and showed my gratitude.
He asked me what I am doing here and I answered him “I don’t care. I am just happy to be alive right now”.
They both laughed.
Really, being alive was a bliss…
I felt the importance of staying alive up to the hilt. About an hour, I thought of nothing. I just stared around blankly while walking slowly.
I just faced death and narrowly escaped from it by a chance. Not a typical everyday event, right? I learned many lessons from this bitter experience.
Now, let’s share it with you.
1- You Need Other People
No matter who you are and how strong you are, you cannot make it in this world without other people.
There will be a point where you are not enough and asking for help. If there is no anyone backing you up at that moment, you die.
7 billion people are put on this planet earth. If God wanted us to live single, there would be a planet for each of us. For a creator who has limitless power, creating 7 billion planets would be a piece of cake.
But, we only have one.
We can only make it if we unite and become one. The integration is a must for our ultimate salvation.
Now, look around and tell me what you see. You must realize all the discriminatory elements.
Women & Men
White & Black
You & I
Rich & Poor
Elementary School & High School
1st Grade & 2nd Grade
Old & Young
We started to become more isolated in modern life and we forgot that we are responsible for each other.
If I hurt you, I hurt myself. There is no separation.
Our ego wanted to see ourselves as a separate element.
We are connected to the internet but disconnected from the real world. We looked for solutions in the virtual world rather than asking for help from a real person.
It can be too late if we don’t build strong and intimate relationships while we still have time.
This is what all strong relationships are built on. You cannot build trust by using money, fame, or reputation…
You can have all the money in the world, but you might lose it.
Don’t say “I don’t”. I would never be able to guess that I found myself in the middle of wild waves.
It is life.
Nobody is stronger than life. But, you can still make it if there are people willing to support you in those hard times.
They can provide you what you need at all costs. The real strength comes from strong relationships.
2- Never Fight Against Nature
There was a high chance of making my way back if I’d use my energy wisely.
Out of fear for death, I moved too fast and unnecessarily quick. All of the energy I used against waves were wasted.
I had to wait for the upcoming wave and become synchronized with it. Like the guy said: “With the wave!”
The waves were the power of nature that is way stronger than me. If something is stronger than you, you must bow down.
What if you don’t? You just die, there is nothing you can do. Nature has no conscience, it just does what it needs to do.
If you are wise, you do not make nature your enemy.
3- Never Be Overconfident
Overconfidence might kill you.
I thought as “I am a great swimmer, what the hell can happen to me?” I was in shape and strong…
There was one thing I missed, that is…
Nobody is stronger than the sea.
I learned it when the waves kicked the shit out of my ass. Your confidence must be based on a solid foundation.
The sea is not a place where you need to show courage. Only fools show courage in places where they don’t need it.
Like King Mufassa said: “I am only brave when I have to be”.
There are a time and place for everything. If you have courage, keep it for the real times.
4- Nothing Worths Caring Too Much
After I nearly survived, I felt a different emptiness.
Every problem or issue suddenly became smaller. They were such tiny pieces in my eyes.
Just breathing, feeling the fresh air, experiencing life was amazing.
Nothing, literally nothing worths caring too much and making yourself upset. Life needed to be lived more joyfully.
You can eat pizza, candies, or chocolates sometimes. I won’t feel any regret doing that.
It does not mean, you should make pleasure your ultimate purpose. But, it is too stupid to limit yourself from the pleasures of life.
Balance is the key.
Other than that, your time should not be wasted through aimless entertainment.
5- Death Is Certain
Your time is coming and you don’t have much left. You must know the preciousness of every little second.
We all live as we’ll never die. Death seems like a remote possibility for us like it’s there for only other people.
We delay our dreams of unknown dates. For what reason? What do we fear the most?
We will only understand how much time we wasted when the moment of death visited us. That day has already come, it is here.
I can see it, smell it…
I can live it right now…
Here, right now I am telling you…
You will be in such a regret with a lot of “What if”s.
You will say “If I had only one more chance…”
No, no, no.
You are given enough time to make it. There will be no turning back at that point…
6- Number Means Power
Like Khabib said once, “This is not trash talking, this is true. Irish 6 million, Russia 150 million.”
I easily understand the importance of the population for a country right now. The more people you have, the stronger you are.
Those guys could help me easily because they were two people. If there was one guy coming up to save me, maybe we could not make it our way back to land.
This is why you always see animals live with groups because that increases their survival chance a lot.
Be a lone wolf, but do not stop searching your real teammates.
7- You Find God In Misery
There is a saying in Turkey.
“Feminism lasts when you find the husband, communism lasts when you find the money, atheism lasts when the plane starts shaking.”
I was not an atheist, but I felt the fear of God at that moment because I was so desperate.
There had to be a power, a force that could save me from this misery… I had no other chance but believing in that.
However, hard times humble you. The power of nature whispers in your ear as “You are not that strong, baby boy”.
Impotence is an inevitable part of being a human.
8- Muscles Mean Shit
My muscle mass could not save me from death. At the point of fatigue, they were all useless…
I felt the importance of being trained for fight or flight mode.
My training regimen was nothing close to handling those big waves and powerful stream. It is not the muscles or cardio that does the work, but it is your mind.
If I had the right mindset there, I could make it to the land by myself.
9- Life Is Preparation
You have to prepare yourself for that moment before it actually happens.
- find yourself in the middle of wild waves.
- lose all your money
- break up with your girlfriend
- find yourself in the middle of a fistfight
- lose your family and friends
Life will not ask you for permission before throwing disasters to you. It is your responsibility to train yourself for that moment.
Whoever is prepared will survive in the end. Otherwise, you are gonna get crushed.
10- End Comes Before You Know
The time is changing so fast. Who knows how long it lasts.
You fill in time for what its worth. And you end up in the end before you know.
We will struggle to find the answers, but the time is not enough to find all of them. You are not meant to created to know everything.
We only need to know what we need to know.
11- Noone Can Escape Than Destiny
What is meant to happen will eventually happen. If I had to die right there, I would die. The destiny said, “You’ll live”.
Now, I continue to live and write this article. Whatever you lived had to happen to you. But, for what?
It is your job to find out.
I believe that I had to figure out some answers after this event. There must be something the God, Universe, Allah tried to teach me.
I think I learned it… Did you learn?
Why did you run into this blog between billions of others?
Can you answer that?
Yeah, I thought the same.
Start paying attention to every small detail before it is too late.
Nothing, literally nothing happens for no reason.
There is a reason I write this and there is a reason why you find these words.
So, what are you waiting for?
Let’s find it out.
I will do my job by writing, but you must focus on doing yours.