The Fastest Ways People Ruined Their Lives

A man sits with a forlorn look while the blurry city bustles behind him
Photo by whoislimos on Unsplash

A simple bad decision can cost you everything:

Your relationships.

Your reputation.

Your home.

It can all be gone faster than you know.

Or maybe it wasn't fast... perhaps it was a pattern of behavior with more red flags than the United Nations.

Redditor lost-in-earth wanted to hear about the people we know who decided to throw their life away, so they asked:

"What was the fastest way you have seen someone ruin their life?"

Maybe we can learn some lessons for ourselves on this thread.

Immediate expulsion...

"Knew a guy who took a gun to our high school the day after Columbine. Immediate expulsion: The full spiral took a bit longer, but that decision ruined his life at 16 years old."


"I was in high school at this time, and a guy in my class started talking about doing the same things out loud in class one day. He was never seen again after that day. I'd known him since kindergarten and wasn't afraid of his statements. He was just talking sh*t. Probably for attention."


Youth Destroyed

"A 16 year old (at the time) murdered my friend's dad for money. He tried to hide his face but didn't hide his tattoos. He was tried as an adult and last I checked, he got something like 40 or 50 years. Sometimes I think about that and imagine what it's like to spend your youth in prison. Not that I feel bad for him."



"I'll start this by saying this is all info told to me by a mutual friend.

An old friend, who was 20 at the time. he was spoiled, but he wasn't an a**hole. He's usually super chill and non-confrontational. He got crazy drunk at a party one night. everything was fine and fun until his younger sister started telling him to slow down his drinking."

"She apparently either tried taking his keys or taking a drink out of his hand. Whatever she did, my friend ended up punching her in the face and breaking her nose."

"As far as me and our other friends knew, this guy had never been violent or the type to lash out to say this shocked the people who knew him would be an understatement."

"Someone at the party took her to the emergency room while he tried to get in his car. Thankfully, someone else managed to keep him from driving, and he ended up drunkenly walking down the sidewalk crying."

"That same night, his parents called the cops on him and had him spend the night in the drunk tank. The next morning, they kicked him out of their house, stopped paying for his car, tuition, and cut off his allowance completely."

"He was broke within a week and was couch surfing for a few months. He allegedly got drunk and got into a fight with whoever he was staying with at the time and was back on the street."

"The last I ever heard about him was that he got arrested because his car was getting repossessed, and he thought it was a good idea to smash the windows of the tow truck taking his car."


The Neighbor

"A 16 year old murdered my neighbor. He was drunk, breaking into houses to steal stupid things like flag poles. He was friends with our roommate and came to my house after. Thank goodness we were vacationing out of town. They caught him the next day. I feel guilty for having a roommate in the first place."


A Master Welder

"A neighbor in his early 30s. He was a Master Welder, had bought a new house, had just opened his own shop, and was engaged. He worked hard and we were very impressed and happy for him. Was on his way to the cabin for the weekend when he hit some loose gravel on the highway, dropped his motorcycle and was hit by a passing car. Although he was wearing a helmet he suffered a very severe brain injury."

"After recovery he had lingering brain problems and his personality changed. He forgot how to weld, his fiancée left him and he lost the shop and house. He had to move in with his parents and couldn't work again. He lost everything from that one event. Very sad outcome for this amazing guy."


The world can really be a depressing place.


"Being seduced into a cult. Quit her job; disowned her family; disowned her boyfriend (me); lost her home and savings; was reduced to 'evangelizing' in the street; i.e., begging for 'donations;' got hooked on drugs; fried her brain; ended up inpatient in a behavioral health care facility (i.e. a mental hospital)."

"It was a local thing, something like the Twelve Tribes with a heavy Pentacostal flavor to it. The leader of the thing had a direct channel to God and was infallible; the way to salvation was to give everything to the church (a big house in Detroit) and obey the head honcho without question on pain of being disowned and condemned to Hell."

"She dumped me when I refused to go to an 'awakening' where they spoke in tongues and such. I got the rest from a mutual friend who for some reason she was allowed to be friends with despite being an outsider."


A Mighty Fall

"Dude I knew was a successful architect. When the office started doing drug tests he quit smoking weed and started smoking harder stuff. (Weed is detectable for several weeks, other stuff 2 days). Lost his job, sold his house, burned thru 80k in a year, and ended up with a heroin habit."

"He's dead now."


Stay the Course

"Stopped taking his bipolar meds because he was 'feeling good.' His wife held out impressively long while he threw away what was essentially his dream job and ruined many other relationships. Now divorced ‘surviving’ from manic episode to manic episode. Ex-wife still lets him see his son but he seems to be making every effort to burn that bridge."

"Getting more attention than I expected so I wanted to add a PSA. If you are taking Dr prescribed meds and feel good, please keep taking them. The meds are helping you feel good. If you are taking meds and don't feel good, keep taking them but discuss with your Dr ASAP."

"There are different kinds of meds available and they don't all work the same for everyone. Don't feel bad about taking meds. It doesn't make you a bad person in any way. Please reach out if you need help with mental health issues. It is 100% ok to need help."


One Bad Night

"Not long after I got to my first unit in the Army we had an E7 (ranks are E1 to E9) get busted for drug use. 17 years in, 3 years till he could retire."

"Punishment handed down was reduction in rank to E1 and dishonorable discharge. Because of maybe one night of bad decisions, he threw away 17 years and got booted with what amounts to a felony conviction."


"It’s remarkable how many stories like this exist. I was a new private in Korea and saw an E6 with 10+ years in and a good reputation, forge paperwork to make E7. He was caught. He pathetically sulked around as an E4 for a while before getting discharged. Truly bizarre to see people make such terrible decisions."


You're Out

"I was hanging out with a lot of weird insufferable geeks as a teenager (I was one too). We were kind of in a band. We had a lot of fun skipping school and making music. One of my friends was a musical genius, amazing guitar player, his band was actually taking off - they had just released a CD on a pretty decent label."

"He started doing amphetamines, got kicked out of the band, sold all his guitars, amps and computers and then set his house on fire and stabbed his grandpa all in the span of about 2 weeks. Last time I met him randomly he told me he was out of jail and living in a derelict van with his boyfriend."


We really have to be more careful with our lives.

Do you have any similar stories to add? Let us know in the comments below.

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