There is a reason why we hide our most vulnerable selves from friends and family. We don't want them to worry.
Because who wants to be around a Debbie Downer?
But suppressing your darkest secrets is not good for your well-being, and there never seems to be an appropriate social situation to have a deep conversation that could bring rain clouds.
Fortunately, Reddit offered the perfect place for people to anonymously lighten their burdens.
Strangers divulged a dark part of themselves when Redditor creativusername69420 asked:
Some people prefer to be alone. Others don't.
"I talk to myself when I'm alone all the time. Mainly when driving. People say it means you're crazy, but it's just how I like to process my thoughts."'
Happy Birthday To Me
"I sang Happy Birthday to myself on my 16th birthday."
"My mum works interstate, so she wasn't home much. My stepdad was in jail. I had severe trust issues. No one that I called friend."
"So on my 16th, I was just hit with one of my more depressive and lonely episodes as I laid in bed home alone. I got up and went to the bathroom, and I stared at myself in the mirror, not recognising the face that stared back. And sobbingly sang happy birthday to myself."
"No one in my real life knows, and most likely, no one ever will."
All By Myself
"I don't consider it sad anymore but I've been single my entire life. Before anyone asks I'm 37 and no I'm not a virgin. I've just never been in a relationship."
Presence Of Death
Death is inevitable. That doesn't mean it's easy to talk about.
"I'm scared that when my dad dies, I'll have to give the eulogy. I have nothing good to say about him."
Words From A Cancer Patient
"I have been diagnosed with cancer and nobody in my family knows. My Dad is an elderly hypochondriac (not clinically) that makes a huge deal out of every little thing. Having him know and having to listen to him continually ask about it, give me advice and explain why I should feel like sh*t about having cancer would be worse for me mentally than actually having cancer. I was diagnosed 18 months ago and I am just under observation at the moment. Fortunately it is not progressing, so I got that going for me. Advice: when someone is sick acknowledge it, let them know you are thinking about them and don't make it the center of regular conversation. A couple of my friends know and I update them after my screenings. Other than that we rarely even mention it. Which is perfect."
First off, thank you for all the kind words and well wishes. I really was not expecting it. I am not sure if this is the best way to answer some common questions or comments I received, but here it goes. I was diagnosed with Lymphoma and it was caught very early. I had swollen lymph nodes in my neck that never went away, so I went to the doc. A few scans, bloodwork and a biopsy later I was diagnosed. My type of lymphoma frequently progresses very slowly. It could be years before I have any significant cancer-induced medical issues. Since the treatments have risks themselves, it is normal to watch it closely rather than jump right in to treatment. Surprised me as well, so I got a second opinion. They agreed. I thought any cancer diagnosis means you will be rushed off immediately. Nope. My doctor is awesome, so I am in good hands. 2. I think people like my Dad mean well, they just can't help themselves. He took care of my mother 24/7 for years until she passed away. He is a caregiver at heart, but DAMN can he smother you with concern. 3. My wife and I have a good sense of humor about it."
"When it is my turn to empty the dishwasher I hold my neck and tell her I can't because it makes my cancer hurt..... she is not buying it. Thanks again for the kind words and awards. It really brightened my day."
"I went to see my nan in hospital before I went to Canada. I knew in my heart it was probably the last time I'd see her. (It was.) Because my father was with me - and because of how he was - I didn't let myself say everything I should have."
"She knew I loved her. I know that. But I wish I'd said goodbye better than I did. Love you, nan."
Grieving A Best Friend
"I still reach for my phone to call and text my best friend who died in November of 2019. Then I get angry. I also compare all of my friends to her, find them lacking, and avoid them, even though it's not their fault. I'm bitter as hell. F'k cancer."
The following Redditors need to know they are loved for who they are.
Struggle With Self-Hatred
"I struggle with self hatred pretty badly. I'm a grown adult and it's a common struggle with wanting to self harm. I want to get help, but at the same time I don't because I feel like I deserve to feel pain."
"It's obviously not something you disclose to friends and family. Nobody even knows. I hide all my cuts and scars in plain sight because I do parkour and combat sports. Cuts and bruises are expected."
The Side We Show
"I feel like my outward personality is just a character I play."
"I know I'm not the only person who feels like this but I think its hard to be open and honest to someone and let them get to know me because I don't want them to hate me."
While the comments above are depressing, they are real struggles and feelings people choose to deal with on their own.
It is ultimately up to them to open up and discuss their vulnerabilities, and we should never pressure our friends to open up at the first sign of internal struggles.
A general good rule of thumb should always be to treat people with kindness.
Living in New York City, I see a lot of things that a lot of people elsewhere might not remotely think about. Things like... pigeons that know to hop onto the train at 14th Street only to disembark at Fulton Street. Things like... grown men fighting in the street over the color of an umbrella. Things like... Subway "showtime" dancers who dropkick other passengers and initiate a fight as we're careening through the tunnel. You know, the usual.
After Redditor True_Madness asked the online community, "What's your 'Well, you don't see that everyday' story?" people told us about the odd, quirky instances they've stumbled upon.
"The second train pulls into the station..."
On vacation in London, my wife and I were waiting for a train in a tube station. Two trains arrived at the station before ours showed up. As a native New Yorker, I was comforted to see that pigeons live in subway stations everywhere.
The first train pulls into the station and the doors open. As people enter and exit the train, one pigeon flutters down from the ceiling, lands on the platform, and calmly walks onto the train like he's off to work or something. My wife and I laugh about this a little as the doors closed and the train pulls away from the station.
The second train pulls into the station, the doors open, and people shuffle out. After a moment a different pigeon walks out of this train and then flutters up to the spot vacated by the first pigeon.
Anyway, seems like London pigeons have the tube pretty much figured out.
What'd I tell you?
"I helped a German guy..."
I helped a German guy at CVS jump his car and to thank me he gave me a fancy bottle of shampoo.
"A big ass old ceramic tub..."
A big old ceramic tub flew off a flatbed truck and exploded into a million pieces on the interstate.
That sounds dangerous.
Beats the silly bouncing logs in Final Destination 2, though.
"While jogging slowly..."
While jogging slowly up a steep hill, I got cheered on by the driver of the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.
You're not a loser, you're a weiner!
Sorry, couldn't resist.
"I had just pulled out..."
I had just pulled out of my office parking lot when a lady hit my rear passenger side with her SUV as she pulled out of a rail station parking lot. Ugh. So we both pulled over at the Taco Cabana to do the typical fender bender rigamarole, but to my surprise, a pick-up truck followed behind us. I don't think too much of it and get out to exchange info. As I approach her car, I notice she's avoiding my gaze completely. I'm standing there knocking on her window like wtf lady? And then a man gets out of the aforementioned truck.
He demands to know what happened, and why I hit her, to which I retort, excuse me but who are you?! And she hit ME are you joking or are you blind? I'm growing more livid by the second because I just want to go home.
Out of nowhere, a van with a local Mexican restaurant's branding pulls up, and ANOTHER man gets out and starts yelling at the pick-up truck man. They seem to know each other. The woman in the SUV now LOCKS her door (I heard her power locks). I turn back to address the van man and he's arguing with the pick-up truck man. A security guard from the neighboring rail station is walking over and as I'm flagging him over for help, van man HEAD BUTTS pick up truck man. Full on. I'm in total disbelief and now the security guard is frantically running and jumps a hedge of bushes lmao. He comes and breaks up the fight. I'm not sure why but it was only at this point that I feared for my safety but I was also now deeply invested in this drama that was unfolding.
It turns out the woman who hit me was having an affair with the pick-up truck man and they were having a rendezvous at the rail station parking lot. Van man is her husband, and he had just caught them in the act. The worst part is their teenage son was with him. Van man is practically giddy telling me to contact him at all if I need a witness to the accident get my car fixed, presumably so she can get slammed with a hefty fine or premium or whatever.
So yeah, you just don't see a grown man headbutt another grown man in a Taco Cabana parking lot every day.
"A bride in her wedding gown..."
A bride in her wedding gown running in the train station being chased by two women holding the train of her dress.
Paging Julia Roberts...
...is this the sequel to Runaway Bride we've been waiting for?
"I once saw a squirrel..."
I once saw a squirrel carrying an entire pomegranate around a cemetery.
"Watched a guy..."
Watched a guy on a quad drop his hat, look back and decide to leave it behind. About 2 minutes later, some guy in a tan car drives up, swerves around it, stops, leans out of the car, picks up the hat, puts it on, and then just drive away like nothing happened.
"Neutering a dog..."
Neutering a dog the other day, he appeared to be a cryptorchid - that is, one normal testicle, and one not descended, retained somewhere in the abdomen. Well, we can still neuter these - in fact, it's even more important to do so, since the retained one can later develop cancer if left behind - so, into the abdomen I went, looking for that retained testicle, which I was expecting to find somewhere between the kidney and inguinal ring.
Found a uterus.
"I saw a dude..."
I saw a dude absolutely BOMBING a hill on a skateboard, joint in hand, and a crossbow on his back. Not like a little one. Like a medieval reenactment crossbow used for storming the gates of Helms Deep.
If you remain observant...
...you'll see all sorts of interesting things happening. I always seem to find something cool to take notice of.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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Years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman who had spent a few years in prison. He was remarkably kind and open about his experience, particularly about the support he had on the inside that he had thus far been unable to replicate on the outside. It was hard not to reflect on that, the immensity of that privilege.
After Redditor Rizkozrout asked the online community, "Ex-convicts of Reddit, what is your most pleasant prison memory?" people shared their stories and opened our eyes even further.
"About 15 years ago..."
About 15 years ago when I was released from prison, I had nothing to my name, only my $40 gate fee. A dear friend of mine on the inside made sure I had clothes, shoes, and a job to go to. Harold, if you're out there, love you, bro.
"Over the following weeks..."
I spent a little over a decade in prison, from the early 90s to the early 2000s.
In the state where I did my time, all of us had to work a semblance of a job inside the compound (kitchen, inside grounds, maintenance, painting, cleaning, etc.). Being in a program of any kind, including education, counted as having a job (and thus had waiting lists to get into). Programs also needed better-educated inmates to work there as clerks and tutors, and these were the sorts of jobs that the smart inmates tended to gravitate towards (involving more hours than a menial job, but cleaner and less distasteful). Often it meant we had access to older computer hardware (no Internet or anything, though).
PC video games occasionally made their way onto the compound, usually brought in by one or another of the freeworlders (i.e. prison workers who were not guards) who had a soft spot for his clerks. My boss in the education classroom where I worked was like this, though he had something of a policy that the only games he would bring in would be education, strategy, or puzzle-oriented - such that if he ever got asked about it, he could say that it was a critical thinking tool that was part of his teaching curriculum.
The happiest day of my prison life was the day that he brought in Myst. I had read articles about it and wanted to play it someday, but never imagined that I'd get to play it before I got out. It was an absolutely groundbreaking game for its time, with beautiful graphics, soothing music, imaginative puzzles, and an intriguing storyline. I had never seen anything like it; the articles/reviews didn't do it justice!
Over the following weeks, I would lose myself in that world for maybe an hour a day, living out an alternate life in a beautiful and magical world so far removed from the horrible reality of my current existence. I was disappointed when it was all finally over... though in a way it led to my second-happiest prison memory, which was the day (a year later) when he brought in Riven: The Sequel to Myst.
Video games can provide an excellent escape...
...and quite a few video games can spur your critical thinking. I can confirm that Myst is excellent.
"It was a low-security prison farm..."
I wasn't your usual inmate. I was in for a truck accident where someone died. First ever offence, no violence, didn't take drugs, very rarely even drank alcohol, never committed a crime in my life. So I was a polar opposite to pretty much everyone in there.
It was a low-security prison farm, and one day I decided to walk along the boundary fence to the library. Going on the wrong side of the fence technically meant that you escaped, so it was watched... As I'm casually wandering along, two guards drove up and told me to get into the car. They took me for a strip search and demanded to know why I was on the other side of the fence. I wasn't. I asked them if they had cameras, and they said yes, so I told them to double-check the footage because I'm not a nitwit trying to escape. They checked, and let me go.
Everyone in the prison wanted details on what happened. I was a minor celebrity for the afternoon, and I had a bit of respect amongst the other inmates because even someone as straight as me copped shit from the screws.
"This kid in my pod..."
This kid in my pod was being transferred to another prison located clear across the state.. he had no clue why they were moving him.
He started crying uncontrollably, which you would think is the last thing you'd wanna do in jail/prison.
All of the inmates in my pod immediately went to console him. He was hugged and made to feel as comfortable as possible.
A heartwarming moment.
It's important to remember that prisoners are people, too.
"I was in solitary..."
I was in solitary for three months and they allowed cd players there. I had only one disc - DMX, Ruff Riders. I listened to it endlessly and somehow it inspired me to write something, too. I started with rhymes and short poetry and 15 years later I own a copywriting agency and writing makes me a living. Peace DMX, inspiring me for change!
DMX would have no doubt appreciated this.Through their work, artists have the ability to make us question and challenge our own lives.
"It was amazing."
Late to the game here, but I did time at Maine Correctional Center for Women. I had some of the best laughs, most questionable food, and met some of the strongest women I'll ever meet in there.
My favorite memory was coming 'home' (back to the center) from work release and our taxi driver asked if we could keep a secret. Four girls all doing bids because we didn't roll on our codefendants. Yes, sir, we can.
He stopped and bought us all banana splits on the ride home. It was amazing.
For me, the best feeling is every time that you are placed on a new unit, or transferred to a new jail/prison, and you see some people that you know and are good with as soon as you get there. Landing on a unit where you know nobody, especially if you aren't from the area and have no mutual friends/acquaintances with anybody is the exact opposite of a pleasant feeling. With nobody to vouch for you, it's going to end up in an altercation half of the time, and the other half it takes a while before people will be comfortable socializing with you due to lack of trust.
"I don't know..."
I don't know if I would say pleasant, but I will say there was a weird comradery and mutual understanding amongst most of the inmates that I've never felt again in the outside world.
"It was so refreshing..."
I would say seeing my son but no child should have to see their parent in prison. So I would say the Friday Buddhist meditation sessions we would have. It was so refreshing to sit with a group and quiet our minds and sit in stillness.
Speak to some former prisoners sometime.
You might learn something valuable. Prison is not what you might see on television; I daresay television shows give us the idea that everyone in prison is out to get each other, but that is far from the truth.
Have some of your own stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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Price and quality don't necessarily correlate.
You can pay an arm and a leg to come home with a piece of junk that craps out after only a couple weeks.
But, thankfully, sometimes you only spend a few bucks--or nothing at all--on something that turns out to last forever and even go on to occupy a special place in your heart.
Truly, sometimes the most inexpensive items hold the highest value.
Some Redditors describe their most cherished possessions that didn't break the bank.
String_Variable asked, "Whats the coolest thing you own that ISNT expensive?"
Some opted to highlight the objects in their lives that draw their value from the backstory behind them. The origins of these items bolster them with meaning and value unmatched anywhere else.
A Parting Token
"A poem book that I got recently. It's called Años maduros And it was part of a competition for poets that never got the chance."
"My dad passed from cancer when I was six and he died before knowing if he won. He did. And his poem was dedicated to me."
A Well-Traveled Watch
"When my great-grandfather died about 30 years ago, the only thing he willed to anyone in particular was his watch, which he gave to me, his oldest great-grandchild."
"It's not a fancy watch, just a working-man's Bulova wind-up, but it was gifted to him by his (notoriously stingy) father-in-law in the early '70s. It still keeps perfect time."
"I work at NASA and managed to get it flown on a Space Shuttle mission."
The Knife That Keeps on Giving
"I have a family owned machete, I don't know much about it. I asked my father where did it come from and all he remembers was getting it from his dad."
"He tried getting it back, but I told him I use it to cut coconuts open.....haha"
From a Wonderful Day
"An old pirate cap gun. My most prized possession. Given to me when I was 11 by an older sibling after she visited Disney World via make a wish."
"The following year she passed away."
Others chose to describe the random items they've grown attached to. These were often acquired during travel, or from some stranger.
But they all share a common theme: they were something simple that the owner never knew they wanted.
"When I visited the Dead Sea, I found a string that had been tied into a loop, that had a lot of salt stuck to it, so it looks like a necklace made of salt."
"It might not sound like much but I thought it was a pretty unique souvenir."
Right Place, Right Time
"A kepi blank (the classic white hat of the French Foreign Legion) given to me by a person in the process of deserting. I was on a train when this giant guy tells me that he just deserted from the Legion.
"He said 'don't believe me? Here's my uniform' and opened up his duffel bag. I said 'Cool! How much for the hat?' to which he replied 'I don't need it anymore -- here' and handed it over."
"It's my favorite hat from my collection."
Bent Into Shape
"A guy made my name out of a wire coat hangar."
"Was just waiting in line at the store one day and he said he did it has a hobby, pulled out a coat hangar and twisted it until it spelled my name in cursive. It's part of my key ring now."
And some people discussed the useful items they purchased long ago, and have enjoyed for years since. These items were simply well made, so they've stood the taste of time.
"My early 2000's Toyota Corolla."
"It's definitely seen better days but it has this 'never die' attitude that I love. When I bought it, I paid 14k dollars. It's probably worth a couple hundred dollars now. It has 250k + miles on it and it still keeps going. Never had to replace anything, except tires."
"The paint is chipped, there's a bunch of dings and dents and rust spots. The air conditioning doesn't work and the CD player is busted."
"But it starts every time with zero lag, it never complains, and has been my trusty steed. Sure, I've had other cars since then that are still around. But my Corolla, though it might not be cool to some, it's definitely a trusty bucket of rust and bolts that is way beyond cool to me."
More of These!
"I have woman jeans with huge pockets. They're the greatest thing ever." -- ScrewTheCouncil
"That's a national treasure. Keep it safe" -- 2baverage
"I don't know why this is still a thing. Is there a massive silent majority of woman that actually like having no pockets?" -- sometimes_interested
"Fun fact: anyone with a little DIY streak can make their own large pockets! I sewed pockets so big I can fit my nintendo switch in my sweats!!! :D" -- catfart-
Stylish and Functional
"I bought a bucket hat for $10 last spring. On the inside of the hat there's a small velcro pocket. It's big enough to put like cash and your ID and a credit card in."
"It keeps the sun out of my eyes and off my neck/ears, I look sexy AF in it, and I have a secret pocket. What more could you want for $10?"
I'll bet you have at least one object that fits the bill. It's a nice activity to sit down with the item, actually hold it, and reflect on the long, winding road it took to become yours and stay yours for as long as it has.
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The finite nature of a hotel stay can lead guests to behave in ways they wouldn't normally. And where there is saucy behavior, there are the artifacts left behind.
And who is there to pick up those pieces on the following morning? The hotel staff--cleaners, maintenance people, technicians, even managers when things get unruly enough.
Some Redditors who've occupied those positions recently shared the wildest things ever left behind by guests.
Some were gross, some exciting, and some just downright puzzling.
MichaelJCaboose_ asked, "Hotel cleaners of Reddit, what's your most memorable find left behind by a guest?"
Many people chose to share the times they came upon the disgusting remnants of an uninhibited night before. The guests responsible left a collage of artifacts that looked more like a still-life picture of hedonism than a living quarters.
"Three empty bottles of wine, about two dozen cherry pits scattered all over the floor and under the furniture, and red-colored puke all over the bedspread."
"There was only one guy staying in the room."
The Consequences of Fame
"Found a human poo in the kettle once. Worse part was it was a 'celebrity' (crappy uk reality show) doing a guest appearance at a local club."
"Him and his mates filled the rooms iPad with di** pics too. Hotel got rid of the iPads shortly after that."
No Closet Is Too Nice
"Friend worked a 5-star hotel and found a turd in the closet." -- Boganvillia
"That's not a very nice thing to call your guest, but as someone that worked in customer service, I agree. They are turds." -- theassassintherapist
"Closet poopers are what happens to shy poopers if they don't face their poop anxiety." -- Stunning_Honeydew201
"I do maintenance. Had a group of part time housekeepers that are mentally handicapped working with their job coach go into a suite with adjoining door. There were 3 construction workers staying, 2 and their supervisor."
"In the one side with a pull out couch and DVD player, they found a full size blow up doll, empty small bottles of lube, used condoms, several beer bottles, and a stack of porn on DVD. Doll was on the pull out couch and everything else was all over the bed."
Other former cleaners described the times they came to a vacant room to find some very unexpected objects. These weren't as gross as the previous examples.
But the mysteries of what exactly the guests did with these items are still unsolved.
Steer Clear of Gadgets
"Almost tazed myself with a 'tube of lipstick' that I found under the bed." -- Naprisun
"insert lipstick taser gif here" -- georgiomoorlord
"so nobody's talking about this person using hotel bed lipstick" -- ST4R3
Back on the Road
"My friend's family owns a motel. He tells me they once found an auto transmission in the bathtub of a room." -- smorkoid
"Yup, I've heard of this before. You go to the town on a bachelor party, take a pill and then wake up and your transmission is in the bathtub full of ice and 3rd gear was removed" -- cavegoatlove
Making it Cozy
"I worked as a hotel cleaner during undergrad."
"My first day of work someone left a hatchet in the bathtub."
"Also, someone completely decorated the room with framed family pictures.. and left them all there. I think their stay was only 2 days. They set some up on the furniture.. but also legit hung some on the walls."
Finally, some people shared about the times they were pleasantly surprised to find that guests left behind some really nice stuff.
And, of course, finders keepers was in full swing.
"I worked for a hotel that had cabins, so I would be in and out all day in the hot sun. On one of those hot days I opened the fridge to find an unopened bottle of Dr. Pepper in the freezer part.. it was perfectly slushed."
"It made my day. This was years ago, too!"
As If They Knew
"A whole box of magnum ice creams. My fave!" -- nightcana
"If this was in Melbourne, you're welcome. I bought them but got invited out. Checked out the next day and left them in the freezer and I couldn't stand the thought of putting them in the bin." -- hemansteve
"My partner gets apartments ready for the next people renting them out after leases are up, they've found so, so many bdsm toys. One of which (a flogger) is my cats favorite toy over all others now including her very expensive cat toys hahaha"
It's a fun idea to think back on all your hotel stays and recall anything you've left behind over the years.
And then, depending on what exactly it was, you can imagine what the other side of that story turned out to be.