To The Brink and Back

A Memoir by Neal Raymond

Dedicated to my 3 musketeers without whom there would be no long, delirious, burning blue.

Preface

The events described in this book are true in every detail. This is a TRUE STORY. It is not based on a true story; it is not inspired by true events. It IS the story as it unfolded beginning on July 10th, 1999 at 1:10am.

I have changed names where I feel I should; in most cases I’ve used initials (fake ones) to name people that were involved in the story at that point. I’ve not changed names where family members are involved nor those of some of my very closest of friends. There would be no point in that exercise: You’d figure it out anyway just from the context. I circulated this book to all who are named in here (and to those whose names I’ve disguised) asking them to read through and get back to me with objections, ideas or suggestions and that process, having been carried out over the year-long period that this book was being written I now release it to you and the public space.

The events depicted describe a phase of my life when I was presented with a fork in the path that brought many new roads less traveled by others. I grabbed the bull by the horns and chose the paths as they were presented to me. In most cases I took the paths that I had to take not out of choice but because life ‘forced’ me down those paths. I have not regretted for one minute the way things have unfolded. From the trauma of the bullet wounds to leaving the country of my birth to the return of the prodigal son, these have been the things that made my life what it is today.

My greatest wish now is to record these events for my readers, my friends, my family, my daughters and my soulmate. If even one single person gets one single thing out of this work it will be made a road worth traveling. If one of my musketeers gets anything out of it I will have toiled to great effect and it will have all been worth it.

On the 9th of July 1999 I would not have suspected that something would come at me out of left field and that the next morning I’d be fighting for my life battling two bullet injuries, a shattered right arm both radius and ulna bones broken into more than 33 pieces and an inch-sized hole in my chest just above my heart. This is the story of that day, the immediate aftermath and the longer-term struggle I went through and what I learned from the saga. From the actual traumatic events of the attack on my family by a group of seven thugs, to dealing with post traumatic stress disorder to leaving Kenya, the country of my birth, through my transformations from my Buddhist leanings to my non-theistic, science-based, transhumanist and singularitarian stance I will pour it all out. I do this because you my readers have asked for this time and again.

Yes, I have been through a lot but I have been lucky to have learned a ton via my journey. There are terrible, terrible things I’ve been through and then there are triumphs, great moments of deep happiness and joy and power that has come from it all. My wish now is to share these thoughts with my friends and readers, to keep my fingers crossed that there is something in here, even one single little thing, that you will glean from these words that will help you in some way. Something that will trigger in you even a part of what has happened to me and will bring to you the wonderful and fabulous changes that this journey has brought to me.

So with that intro out of the way welcome to my life, my thoughts, my struggles laid bare before you. I trust you’ll enjoy this and hope that it will become an inspiration for somebody ‘out there.’

Download options

I provide these links to my memoir. This is the full, unabridged version and is free to you to download read and even to distribute. I only ask that you support my efforts to help those with PTSD, with a small donation. You can find details of where to send your donation in the book and here. I prefer bitcoin but cash via MPESA or through PayPal (dr.neal.aggarwal@gmail.com) is also fine. If you go through the small effort to send me bitcoin you’ll also gain a valuable skill in a financial instrument that is the future for all of us.

Here now is the book as a downloadable option. I find the epub version best for mobile devices but pdf is also good. All the links work – even the Tables of Content. I have for a whle now stopped publishing Kindle versions as I just can’t get proper rendering to mobi or azw3 formats. Feel free to download either or both of these versions — the’re FREE!