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People Describe The One Event That Divides Their Life Into 'Before' And 'After'

People Describe The One Event That Divides Their Life Into 'Before' And 'After'
Image by Rondell Melling from Pixabay

Life changes on a dime. Every second we breathe can lead to a new plan. "Before and After"... that is more than a title, it's a truth.

We can wake up in the morning and then in mid-afternoon, the life we knew is a history lesson.

Just one car ride, a simple left turn instead of right can all lead us to the unexpected.

And then there are the MASSIVE life changes that leave the Earth leveled.

Redditor u/Metroidude47 wanted to hear about certain life turning points that changed people by asking:

What was a moment or event that clearly divided your life into "before" and "after"?

I feel like my life changes with every strike of a minute on a clock. Of course I have had many life altering situations that turned my course in the most shocking ways. And each taught me survival at its most basic. Who can relate?



"Traumatic Brain Injury."

- Zeliv

"Me too! This was five years ago. There is just Before and After."

- GloomyCamel6050


"Having to break the news to my mother that my brother passed away in an accident."

- SereneNectarine

"Man... I had to tell my mom when my brother was shot and in emergency surgery. I can't imagine having to actually tell her that. Thats terrible. You did something incredibly strong though. Godspeed."

- GanonSmokesDope


"First brain surgery. It lead to me losing the career I had spent years training and studying for. I had just made it to the point where I had people calling me to offer me work. (Dream come true, that.) I remember the last such phone call, "No, I cannot come work for you next month. Craniotomy. Sorry." I had just enough neural deficit that I could no longer do that type of work. I lost the replacement career I had built after the second brain surgery."

- TimeSovereign


"The death of my mom when I was 14. It's such a clear divide that it seems like that was a completely different person."

- madcats323

"I lost a parent at 15. It's hard to put into words how fundamentally you shift from that kind of experience. I'm fortunate to have had another before and after: when I completed my first round of EMDR."

"It sounds weird, but it felt like someone untied a knot that I had in my brain - a knot that had been there for so long that I hadn't even realized there was tension so deep inside of me. I hope healing has come your way too. 🖤".

- pennywhistlesolo


New Beginning Sunday GIF by Chippy the DogGiphy

April 26, 2018. My sober life began. (I now consider that to be my birthday).

- 93WhiteStrat

Each new day, is a new chance. Maybe we should lead with that idea. What can we learn about life before and after is more valuable that elementary education. Anyone agree?


Treat Yourself GIF by blackbearGiphy

"Definitely after losing my dad in 2016. There is a clear distinction of who I was before he died to who I am now, I had to rebuild myself because the grief absolutely destroyed me."

- MsScarletsLeadPipe

Same Boat

"Failing a marriage and the subsequent realisation of all my mental problems that both caused it and were heavily exacerbated by it. It's a really strange feeling of being completely alone yet at the same time being in the same boat as literally millions of people. I guess thanks for being alone with me, guys."

- Mister_McGreg

March 2016

"I escaped my adopters in March 2016. They were psychopaths who emotionally and mentally (and sometimes physically) abused me. The male adopter was a drunk and he would often drag me out of bed even on school nights to wrestle with me. I was adopted at 15 after going through foster care. I am 26 now and left that life behind. That was certainly the before. I am now engaged to marry my fiancé soon and living with her in a few weeks. I am doing so much better. Idk where I would be if I had stayed there."

- AdrianValistar

Best Excuses For Late Assignments That Were Actually True | George Takei’s Oh Myyy


"At 17 when I told my social worker, I wanted to leave my "family" who did their best to impose their backward honor culture on me. I knew I would be human trafficked at 18 (arranged marriage against my will). Within 6 weeks I was in a group home and never looked back, this was in 1992."

- stubbornasf**kNL


I Love You Reaction GIF by DemicGiphy

"My husband getting cancer and dying changed EVERYTHING. There was a before and I am living in the after."

- wickedrelatable

Crap Away

"When I realized how little I meant to my "family" and decided to not accept their crappy behavior anymore."

- ibetammi

"I left 80% of my crap family behind 25 years ago. I haven't missed them, and they've gone on being crappy people without me. I haven't missed any of them."

- rushaz

Move On

"Finding out my husband cheated, finally leaving, raising two kids alone."

"It was really rough… But I did it."

- Dianachick


Black Boy Reaction GIFGiphy

"Losing 160 pounds."

- rosetintedmonocle

Like Barry

"Got dumped, decided to give college a try to meet women. Now it's 2 degrees and a wife later. Just to clarify people, not like I had this great ambitious plan to get educated in a hot field. I started college to meet women. If the women were in barbershop quartets, I'd have found 3 other guys and dressed like an old time barber. It's kind of like Barry when he found he liked acting. I found I was pretty good at these math, engineering and IT classes."

"My best advice is don't follow my path to success. Remember step #1 to my plan is the be deeply, madly in love and be headed to the altar for marriage after 3 years when she calls it off and you give her a few days and then go to talk to her but find her with another guy already. I'd have gladly skipped step #1 if I could have."

- mayoroftheed

Charter Abuse

"Working in a charter school. I am mentally scarred from that experience. It was severely underfunded, like many charter schools. The teachers had to cover just about everything themselves. More than teachers already do. I was there just over a year and we went through 4 principals, one of which was fired for beating up one of the children. They would implement procedures and force us to use them and then would forget about them a week later."

"They treated the children like prisoners. The children were wonderful, but they needed much more help than the teachers were able to provide with the resources they had. All of my students lived in poverty and many of them had behavioral problems. I regularly had students destroying the classroom or starting fights."

"One child set another child on fire (though to be fair, it was an accident and no one got hurt. We were able to extinguish the fire before it burned more than his clothes.)n I did the best I could with what I had but by the end of it I was so burned out and exhausted that I became a shadow of myself. I was living in a fog. It took over a year for me to really be able to feel human again and another year after that for me to consistently feel happy."

- talibob

Love Story


- tobeornotobe

"Same here. I tried for years to "learn to love myself before I love someone else", but then I realized that is total nonsense for a person like me."

"Without a partner, I'm not complete. I don't function at full speed or ability."

"I can be okay as a single person, but I can never be great. I have good memories from before marriage, but the reason I remember them so fondly is that the rest of my life was so difficult. Now every day is a new good memory."

- CrushHazard


robert downey jr ok GIFGiphy

"Finally getting sober March 29, 1987, age 34."

- letterzz

A few thoughts...

  1. My parents divorce.
  2. Moving the hell out of Florida for good... on my own. Twice with the second time sticking.
  3. My little brother's death.

"Each of those moments sticks out in my mind as different versions of myself and to look back and see the person I've become now... It's kinda mind blowing."

- Pranksterette

The Light Went Out

"The death of my best friend. I'm happy. I've got a good life. It's been long enough that I remember him with smiles and laughter rather than tears. But his absence has colored everything since. After nearly 11 years, I still see something funny and my first thought is to send it to him. I got married in 2019, and it was wonderful... but he wasn't there to be my fabulous Maid of Honor like he'd always said he would be. A light went out in my life that day that will never be rekindled."

- Lachwen

The Not Fun

Season 10 Hug GIF by FriendsGiphy

"There's 'before my mom got sick' and 'after my mom passed away.' There's also 'before I got hit by the car' and 'after I got hit by the car.' I'm fun at parties."

- SagiTsukiko

Life is precious. Let's just walk away with that truth, if nothing else. Who we are will always change.

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People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.