I Choked. (Oh, and I’m Back.)

I was working on some stuff in the house when I heard my daughter yell from the other room, “I brought you a chicken sandwich. We’re gonna run some more errands.” And she was gone.

Most of the family was in town for the weekend, and out-and-about running errands. I found myself alone to enjoy the peace and quiet. I headed out to the kitchen and saw a Chick-fil-A bag on the table. Inside was a chicken sandwich and two Chick-fil-A sauces. Perfect. Chick-fil-A makes one of the Top-5 fast-food chicken sandwiches out there.

I applied a generous portion of sauce, put the bun back on and took a big bite. At that very moment, out of nowhere, I sneezed. The sneeze, itself, was merely inconvenient, but the resulting intake of air was more than inconvenient: Somehow I inhaled the entire un-chewed bite. It went in with the gasp of breath and lodged securely in my trachea, completely stopping the airflow.

A few attempts at coughing did nothing to help. Most of my air left my lungs when I sneezed, and there just wasn’t very much to force the bite up. I tried clearing my throat and coughing some more, but nothing helped, so I did the next obvious thing:

I started getting scared.

But, I am pleased to say that I kept my wits about me and did not panic. I remember reading that you could perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself, so I stood up, clasped by hands together and started forcefully driving them into my stomach. Nothing. All I got from that was the awareness that I looked like a complete idiot jumping around the kitchen, slamming my fists into my gut.

At this point, it started becoming obvious that I needed some air – now. Luckily, I remembered seeing a video where they taught how you could use the back of a chair, instead of your hands. I leaned over the chair and tried to slam my belly against the back. It was stupidly awkward and did even less than my hands. It would have made a great Instagram reel.

Panic entered the picture. I needed to breathe! I was alone. I knew that even if I was able to call 9-1-1, I’d be blue and dead before they could get there. I could feel my accelerating pulse pounding in my ears.

The thought occurred that this might be and equally dumb version of me “checking out,” as what had happened just two years earlier. (link) I could envision my spirit hovering over my lifeless body muttering, “What an idiot.”

I progressed from panic to abject terror, realizing I probably only had a short time left, so I started getting more aggressive with my neck. I jammed two fingers in the little “V” where the collarbones hook up with the sternum and dug in…hard. I could feel the cartilage rings around my trachea as I poked and prodded my windpipe. I was hurting myself, but I was out of ideas.

Suddenly, as I pressed down and up, I dislodged the chicken a tiny bit and tried to hold it in place as I gently drew in enough air to muster a cough. One tiny little cough. But it was just enough to propel the chicken sandwich up…and out.

I sat back down in my chair, trying to not do that whole “bursting into tears” thing that happens sometimes when things get dicey. After a few minutes of deep breathing, I calmed myself, said a blessing of gratitude for my life, and for the food.

And then I sat there in a stupor and ate a cold chicken sandwich.

Now I told you THAT story so that I could tell you this one…

Back in January I wrote a couple of posts, then I stopped. Cold. Other than my General Conference reports, I didn’t write a single post until today: Over 200 days. 200! Do you know the last time I went more than a month without writing on my blog? Never. I have been blogging since December, 2010, (Yes, over 12 years and 1500 posts.)

  • I would like to take a minute to thank those of you reached out to see if I was okay. I really appreciate your love and concern. Also, those who let me know they missed me touched my heart.

For the record: I am fine!

Some people thought I had run out of ideas and had writer’s block. Nope. That has never happened to me. Instead, my reasoning behind my sabbatical was this: I had been focused on writing for this blog for a long time, and decided to take some time off to focus on other things. For example…

  1. I have numerous books (novels and non-fiction) that have been taking up space in my brain for years. I decided to use the time off to finally write them down.
  2. Like most writers, I have a stack of books that I have been meaning to read for ages taking up space on my nightstand. I decided to knock some of those out as well.
  3. I also had some ideas to expand my business. That takes time, too.

I believe those were all legitimate reasons to step back from the blog for awhile.

How did I do?

I choked.

200 days later and I haven’t done any of this things. Not.A.One. It sounded so good in theory, and the intentions were noble, but the sad reality is that extra time got filled with things like Netflix and sleeping in on Sunday mornings.

Am I proud of choking on my intentions? No. But it gets worse: For the past twelve years, when something occurred in my life – for good or ill – I would make a point to take a hard look at it and try and find meaning in what had happened. “A message,” if you will.

Sadly, after about six months, when something happened, not only did I stop saying to myself, “Hey! That would make a good blog post!” I stopped looking for messages and the spiritual ramifications of the things that happened to me, and around me. When I realized that, it stung. Going through that process for twelve years was a tremendous blessing in my life and fuel for my testimony – and I had shut it all down along with my blog.

With this realization, I decided to dig a little deeper into what actually led me to back away from that process and the blog. I am loathe to report that a most of it had to do with my ego.

  1. My blog traffic had dropped quite a bit during the last few years. Not as many readers.
  2. The participation via discussions and comments has slid as well.
  3. My arch-nemesis Facebook was making it harder and harder to get my voice out where people could see it, let alone like it or share it. Even Facebook’s traffic was dying alongside mine.
  4. And my wise wife pointed out that a lot of it probably had to do with my disappointment that my 2nd Christmas novella didn’t sell as well as my 1st. (Yes, that did sting a bit.)
  5. Facebook had lost its charm and become a cesspool of negativity. I always felt obligated to maintain an active presence to keep my algorithm up and I was tired of the thought police.

To sum it up, I felt like my time had passed, and there was no longer enough interest out there in what I was writing to make it worthwhile.

Yet here I am!

Why? Because I was dumb for making it all about “ME-ME-ME,” and statistics, when the bigger concern should have been “Who am I helping?” My ego made me selfish with my time and talents, and instead of blessing the lives of friends, family, readers and my own spirituality, I simply walked away. (Feeling a bit petty.)

I’m sorry.

As I move forward, I have decided to not even track my analytics. It doesn’t really matter how many people read this, or comment on it. But I do hope that there is someone out there who reads it and feels like it helps them on the crazy journey we call life.

I know it helps me on mine.

Love you all – see you next Sunday!

PS: It might be harder to find my posts now that I’ve been out of the algorithm for so long. If you have trouble finding out about new posts, here are the best ways to be informed:

  1. Go to the website and sign up for emails: www.thuswesee.com. Near the top it says, “Subscribe to Blog via Email.” That.
  2. Follow the blog page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thus.we.see
  3. Follow me on Instagram, ff you can scroll through the ads. http://instagram.com/bradmcbride_thuswesee/ (I’m going to start using it more.)

About the author


  1. Your writing has made a difference to me and my testimony. I am not a man of many words, but I truly appreciate what you have shared. Thanks.

  2. I’m glad to see you are back writing again! I did check every 2-3 weeks to see if anything new had been posted, so imagine my excitement when I saw not just one, but a few new posts! Your insights are great and have always touched my heart, so I will enjoy reading them again.

  3. Honestly I really have missed your posts! You’ve had good insights into life and the church and I have written several good church talks with the inspiration you provided. Thank you!!!

  4. It is amazing that you get back to it as there is a push for Unit History and new modules for leaders to use to record our small plates.

  5. I was pleasantly surprised and cheered to see your recent post. I’ve missed your great insights. I have always read it to learn yet another way to apply good, common sense, spiritual ideas to my life. And I could always count on your message for a spiritual thought. (I had to sometimes shrink-wrap them, but they’ve provided me with many good ones!) Thank you!

  6. I’m sticking up my hand and saying I’m glad your back. Your comments about life and the gospel have been thought provoking and enjoyable. Keep up the good work!

  7. SO grateful you didn’t die!! That experience sounded terrifying for sure…I honestly cannot imagine how you handled the whole situation?!
    I know that God just isn’t done with you yet because He needs you to help keep the rest of us inspired and hopeful.
    Thank you for sharing your testimony of the every day things of life that help increase my faith in Jesus Christ…I look forward to every single thing you send out and wish you all the best as you continue to utilize the God-given talents you’ve been given that will help further Heaven’s work.

    (PS…I bet you don’t want to eat Chic-Fil-A any time soon, right? 😉

    Glad you’re back!!

    Much love and respect,
    Tami Peterson

    1. Finally! You have been so missed! I can’t tell you how many times I have been uplifted and edified by your blog posts…every single one. It is so good to hear you didn’t choke and that you’ll be back sharing insights from every day life. It actually helps me to look for those things too!

  8. Ditto to all the other comments! I was very excited to see you in my email inbox. Thanks for “coming back.” I really appreciate your insights and analogies!

  9. I am one of the silent followers till now. Have followed you for years and so appreciate your insights, which strengthen and spiritually educate me. Your parables are relatable and uplifting. Like the church’s emphasis on personal spiritual growth your words add depth to that journey we each walk. Happy for your inspired actions that saved you to continue your inspiring words.

  10. So good to have you back! And even more glad that you weren’t taken out by an errant sneeze and an unlucky bite of the Lord’s chicken 😉

    Funnily enough, I cut waaaay back on my Facebook usage not long after your hiatus started. I certainly got a lot more done and I was actually happier. Right after Conference (and President Nelson’s talk about avoiding contention), I swore off Facebook completely. It was only after my dad had a health scare a few weeks ago that I got back on to let people know what had happened. But other than that… nah. I’m good

    I used to be part of a blog that relied on Facebook for traffic, but FB is so fickle about who they promote and who they hide. Long story short, that job didn’t last. I think people are turning more toward newsletters and email subscriptions so they can be more discerning about the online content they want. So it’s good to know about the email option. I’d rather do that.

  11. So glad you are back! I have faithfully checked your blog at least once a week to see if you had more words of wisdom for us. I don’t comment often, but I always read, which leads me to ponder what you’ve written and often delve deeper into the scriptures. You are a force for good in my life. And many others.

  12. I didn’t know how much I missed you until you came back. Thank you. I sent this post to my Facebook page adding that we have choking in common. No, so far I’ve avoided sucking in too large a bite — little things, yes. My choking point is also writing or rather, not writing when I should be. I spoke in Sacrament meeting about a month ago. It was the first time in about five years. My talk turned out to be about recording evidences of spiritual blessing and giving God credit for all He’s doing. I’ve managed a few notes since then. Sigh.
    Here’s praying that we all get back on track.

  13. It was so good to see your new post! I certainly have missed your messages and insights on day to day life. Many times it seemed like they were written just for me so thank you for coming back!

  14. I’m glad you’re back! I have always enjoyed your blog and was fortunate to discover it when it was new. Your insights have taught me, edified me, comforted me, gave me a new perspective, strengthened and deepened my testimony, and made me laugh for many years now. I discovered your blog about the time I started following another Sunday School Facebook page. After time I realized this other page that I thought was full of light had a different agenda…that out me in edge and a heightened awareness of who I’m following. Through your posts I felt a grounding to true discipleship of Christ and church principles and doctrine and sustaining and love for our prophets and church leadership. I’m very grateful for your perspective and your shared experiences and finding messages in there somewhere 🙂 I used what I learned in your blood throughout my mission and was happy to continue when I got home and have continued to read ever since! Glad to have you back and always fun to catch you in your guest podcast episodes! Something you shared this post resonated with me as its something I’ve been struggling with the past couple of weeks – of doing things to help whoever is out there that we may not know about and not gauging our success on the followers and likes. It’s a principle I’m learning and it was good to hear your perspective on it to drive what the spirit has been teaching me this week home. Thanks again!!

  15. I will continue to revel in your humor and spiritual insights for as long as you care to share! Thanks for all you have done for your community of followers, including me.

  16. To borrow some computer programming parlance,

    As a reader and owner of both Christmas books and “There’s A Message In There Somewhere” (which I enjoyed so much I gave a copy to my father who then commented on how much he enjoyed it), I got excited when you mentioned taking time off for the book ideas you have in your head. But I understand about life getting in the way.

    I’m glad you find personal fulfillment in sharing your insights with us through your blog and that you’ve missed it enough to revive that pattern in your life. We are all the better for it. Social media is an ever-changing landscape so I’m glad you’re willing to continue to provide a place where light and peace can be found.

  17. Personally, I love your posts and enjoy the insights you share. I’ve used many of your ideas in my teaching and talk preparation, always giving you credit for the genesis of thoughts. Thank you for coming back!

  18. What you haven’t posted for 200 days? That can’t be! Only joking. Your number 1 fan from British Columbia has missed your wisdom and your humour (notice the Canadian spell). I am looking forward to your future postings. BTW I am so glad that you are okay after the chicken incident.

  19. So happy you are back writing again and also that you are still with us and didn’t get taken out by Chick-Fil-A!!! I have always gotten great insight from you, even before the blog…you have been a part of many of the experiences that our family has had over the years. I was just looking at pictures the other day of you officiating a wedding. I always love that I still get to “hear” you in my mind as I read your blog posts. I too do not comment often but really enjoy your perspective!!! Love you Bishop!!! and look forward to seeing more posts!!

    1. Hey Brad! I’m glad you are back and glad you are safe! Since I have moved from Arizona to Utah I have read all of your blogs. I was a bit worried when I didn’t see them anymore, but same time I was sure you were very busy with your business. I look forward to your wishing you give in your blogs. Say hi to the ladies in the office for me and I look forward to more insight from you!

  20. So grateful for all the posts over the years and your books! My husband and I loved them and we read yours posts together every time one came. We are older than you and most of your fans, and not very tech-savvy! This is my 1st attempt to post here! My sweetheart passed away very suddenly 4 1/2 yrs ago, and your posts were a great source of inspiration and peace for me. Now I face my own health problems, and it looks like I’ll be joining him sooner than I expected. I’m so glad you’re back to posting again! What a day brightener! (Sorry – Chick-fill-A – I’m not a fan!). God bless you!!

  21. I’m glad you are ok and glad you are back. I have missed your wit and insights. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  22. It seems almost as long since I last responded to you. Health matters, moved far too far from grandmonkeys whom I miss desperately, busier callings, and no longer able to transport myself. WordPress now seems to block Duck Duck Go, which is the only way I’ve found to stop data mining. The usual excuses.
    As age 69 pops up in 2 months, I see an email from you pop up, telling me that you are still here. Thus (see what I did there?) if you’re back, I’m back. For however much longer I have.

  23. So glad to have you back in my inbox. I pin and reread your articles, some several times. I rarely comment but that doesn’t mean I’m not here and growing because of you. Thank you!

  24. So glad to see you are back! I thoroughly enjoy your posts, and share them with friends and family often. Watch out for those chicken sandwiches! Look forward to more of your inspiring thoughts soon.

  25. After church today I watched the Angel Studio’s movie Testimony, which somehow got me to wondering what happened to Brad McBride. So I checked my email, and low and behold, an update. Ditto on all the other comments about your not choking to death and how your comments (blog) have been missed. Thankful you are okay and plan to continue to enlighten us. Do not bury that talent.

  26. Your prolog was one of the scariest stories I have ever heard! I missed your words of wisdom and humor. I am happy for your return and hope it sticks!

  27. So glad you’re back! I’ve missed your posts. Also, I completely relate to why you stopped. I’ve been dealing with/thinking about all of that same stuff with my writing career. So glad you worked though it. Maybe I need to reframe it too.

  28. Welcome back! I hope you stay! I’ve always appreciated your writing about deep thoughts, light thoughts and everything in between.

  29. Glad your back! Always enjoy your posts. Grateful that you share your writing talents in any form. Glad you survived the choke, have you had Chick-fil-A since? 🤔

    1. Thank you for coming back. From my perspective there is nothing to apologize for… just know you are loved and appreciated, whether you continue to write or not. You’ve already brought a lot of peace and introspection into my life… thank you for the “virtual friendship.”

  30. I’m very grateful your back writing your blog . I always enjoy it & learn from it . ‘‘Twas hard to read about your chocking incident, glad your here to tell about it , very scary .Looking forward to your writings .🥰

  31. Your posts fill me with hope. You write things that are very similar to what I am thinking. I sometimes wonder if I am alone in my thoughts. When I first stumbled on to your blog about 5 years ago, I was relieved and happy to find that there are other members out there who have a perspective and testimony of the gospel like I do. It was comforting to read your words again today.

  32. SO-O-O glad you’re back and still alive. Yes, Chick-fil-A food is delicious, but I didn’t know it was good enough to literally take your breath away!

    Since you didn’t send a farewell post, I figured you’d just gotten really busy and would write again when you could. Even though it doesn’t count in any social media metrics, you have still been making the rounds. I recently quoted you in a talk I gave a few weeks ago at church–and people are still commenting on it. You’re a great influence for good. Glad you’re going to write more and will continue to bless lives with your insights!

      1. Your post from several years ago linking lawn care to obedience–a great idea to introduce myself in a new ward with your help! I also often find myself repeating something you’ve written in my conversations with family and friends. I love the way you can tie everyday events to gospels concepts.

  33. Brother Brad, I’m one of those very casual readers. I do occasionally add my 2 cents when your thoughts touch my heart, though. But, like so many others, I noticed the big void left from not receiving your weekly write-ups. I was quite excited to receive a Sunday email this morning and had to tell you how appreciative I am that you’re back in the saddle. (And you are absolutely right about Facebook – nothing but negativity and a lousy influence.) Thanks for lifting us up each week!

  34. Glad you are “back at the wheel” being vulnerable and helping readers also look for the message/lessons in our daily lives.

  35. Amen…to all the other comments.
    I firmly believe in the ONE!
    I am glad you are back, alive and movin’!!!
    I find that I will go through times when I also think that I’m not making a difference; and then Heavenly Father will remind me is some small way that all I have to do is make a difference in one person’s life!

  36. I’m glad you’re back too. And wow…scary story abt the choke. Scary, too, how our lives can change in an instant.

      1. Glad you’re back. You’re the only one who can make me chuckle while you recounted a truly scary “near death experience”

  37. I’m adding my two cents, which I don’t do often enough – I actually care so much more than I comment, and have appreciated your posts for years! I did miss your posts, and I’m sure many other silent viewers did as well. I hope you always continue to share your thoughts and perspective on life! So glad you’re back!

  38. It was so good to see your email this morning! I was still in bed and instead of going back to sleep for another 15 minutes, I was so excited to read your post that I chose that over sleep! That might not mean much to many but sleep is a huge priority for me! It was so good to hear from you again! I’ve really missed your posts and insights. You are one of my favorites.
    I’m so happy you’re back!! (And more importantly, ALIVE)!

  39. Life is funny. What WE think we’re doing something for and what GOD thinks we’re needed for! If you share your thoughts and it helps just one person..is it worth our effort….for that one person it is. The world’s algorithm vs God’s algorithm. Welcome back.

  40. I am so happy you’re back. I only wish I had sent a note to you before now. I am a mission leader in Querétaro, México and I write a weekly newsletter too. I haven’t been doing it since 2010, but still . . . there are days when I wonder if it’s worth it too — especially when I notice that the links I include aren’t getting clicked as often or I notice that someone has unsubscribed. That hurts and it’s tempting to just stop. It takes SO MUCH TIME, after all (at least it does for me).

    And, then, in the midst of my conversation with myself about it, I’ll receive a sweet reply by someone who tells me how much they look forward to reading it every Sunday morning and my resolve is renewed — to not only write the newsletter every week but to get it out in time for this woman to read it before she goes to church each Sunday.

    Anyway . . . I don’t know what will make this effort “worth it” to you; hopefully, realizing what it has done for you, personally, will be enough to keep you going. But, I’d like to add my voice to many others (most who don’t take time to write) and tell you, “thank you.” You have inspired me and made me laugh and think for years. I really do appreciate you and your every effort to make the world a better place.

    As my Swedish great grandmother used to say, “keep a vigglin’ and a verkin’!”

    Hermana Debbie Stapley
    Misión, México, Querétaro

    1. Thank you for the sweet note. Perhaps I needed to step away for a bit to realize that it had evolved poorly. Glad you are out there saving the world. My best to you.

  41. Losing focus has happened to me more than I like remember or admit. Sometimes it was necessary to actually get myself on track with the right things, other times it was just laziness.

    Glad that you are back.

  42. Glad you are back. I just assumed that grandkids wer taking your time and was just waiting till October

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