Life has a steep learning curve and one poor decision can drastically alter the course of your own.
This isn't to say that it's impossible to get back up even stronger––many people do this each and every day––but many more will have to settle for being older and wiser even if the way they originally wanted things to go didn't come to pass.
After Redditor TheSeventhRome asked the online community, "What has been your biggest f**k-up leading up to this point in life?" many people bared it all. Some stories are more serious than others, but we each learn in different ways.
Warning: Sensitive content ahead.
"I tried to walk..."
I tried to walk across a guard rail and ended up slipping and hitting my gooch in just the right spot that it tore my urethra. Had a catheter for about 3 months after that.
"On my 16th birthday..."
On my 16th birthday my much older brother killed himself. My regret is that I had called him to ask him to come out with my friends and I to celebrate at a local restaurant. But on the first ring thought "He probably doesn't want to hang out with a bunch of 15-16 year olds" and hung up the phone. They found his body the next morning. I will never be whole again.
"Quitting a job..."
Quitting a job before I had another one (long story), which led to my savings being drained and my credit card debt soaring through the roof.
I've recovered about a year later, but my savings are basically non-existent as I spent all of my excess paying down debt.
"I was 25..."
Staying with someone for way too long because I thought I could help them.
I was 25 when I met her, she was broken and very needy. She had a lot of issues with herself, mainly she always felt insecure and inadequate. For those times when she was ok, everything was amazing and she was the best person to be around with. But those times were rare, she was jealous about anyone and everyone. I didn't even hang around my friends anymore because she would make me feel guilty later on and she could never get along with them. I always thought I could help her, but only after everything fell apart did I realize that in my effort to always be there for her I broke myself.
We broke up 2 years ago, I'm now 33 and just starting to fix relationships that I've abandoned because I was too focused on her. I don't blame her at all because that was my choice, but it's been hard.
"I helped a team..."
2.5 years ago, in my last semester at college to become a props and paint person for tv and film. I went to college at 30 when I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life.
I helped a team lift a very heavy set piece. It was too heavy, we didn't have enough people, but we got it to where it needed to be.
Turns out that lift messed up both of my wrists. For life. Spent the next two years after graduating trying to fix them, figure out what was even wrong. End result? "We don't know what's wrong, we can't fix it. Look into long term pain management."
So now I can't work the industry I wanted to be in, and I also can't even do a lot of the stuff I used to do. Can't lift anything more that 15 lbs without it hurting.
I finally got a part time job at an escape room.
I could have been working in TV, or at the very least, theatre. But I can't bend my left wrist and any sort of repetitive actions hurts like a mother.
Guess what needs full mobility and functionality of my hands? MAKING PROPS AND PAINTING SETS.
"It led to..."
Getting married to the wrong person. It led to a lengthy divorce in which time my ex tanked me financially . It took me years to recover.
"Nobody tells you..."
Losing friends because I didn't put effort into maintaining the relationship. Nobody tells you when you're a kid just how hard it is to make new friends once you're past your college years.
Starting smoking at 16. I'll be 27 in May. I haven't touched a cigarette in 9, ALMOST 10 months. I couldn't stand the smell of them when I did, and I sure as hell hate it more now that I quit.
"Such is life."
Took a very large dose of a research chemical thinking it'd be like acid, went clinically insane for like a year and require inpatient hospitalization. Took me two years after that to build my life up and have a career, but I was never totally the same. Such is life.
"Life is exponentially better now."
Alcoholism from age 19-23. 5 years sober now. Life is exponentially better now. Glad I made it through all that.