When it comes to safety, some people are very "Better Safe Than Sorry" and others are entirely "Safety Third." Almost all of us, though, have had that moment where we did something we normally may not do just to be on the safe side.
A little extra precaution never hurt anyone, in fact, it can be the thing that saves our collective rumps. Need proof?
Reddit user OvertOperation asked:
The responses vary from little things to major game changers, but they've all got one thing in common. Sometimes "just to be safe" does exactly what it's supposed to. Check out these replies:
Because Hers Was Crappy
About 10 years ago when I was married, my wife's best friend kept on flirting with me. One time when she was being super aggressive, I recorded it on my cell phone. A few months later, she accused me of saying to her the very things that she said to me. One listen from my wife to my phone completely exonerated me and shut her down completely. She was trying to ruin my marriage because hers was crappy.
Flipped over my shoe and shook it just to make sure, cause I had found a spider in it the night before.
There was another spider in there. And yes, I'm in Australia.
That European Bonus
I was offered a job in Europe, where I was promised a bonus that was x% of my salary, paid twice a year. When the offer was sent, there was no mention of the bonus and when I questioned why, I was told, "don't worry, it's in this email with my official company signature." I put that one into the saved folder, "just to be safe."
Fast forward to moving, on the first payout period I was told I needed to be with the company for 90 days first before a bonus would be paid. Ok, I was annoyed, but I guess that makes sense.
On the second bonus payment, they mentioned that the company hadn't had a great year and nobody would be getting bonuses. More annoyed, but if the company isn't doing great, what are you going to do? I should add this was in 2008.
The following year rolls around and the company announces that things have really taken off and they will pay out the previous bonus period, in addition to the current bonus period. Only problem is, I literally handed in my resignation that day. I inquire to find out if I'll be receiving my bonus from the previous bonus period, and they say "are you kidding? You just quit."
I call a lawyer. I dig up the email from the start of this post, hand that over, and the lawyer says it's a slam dunk case. She goes after both bonus payments from the first year, and both bonus payments from the current year, even though one of them hasn't happened yet. Company HQ calls me and tries to get me to drop it, and I refer them to my lawyer.
A week later, at my new job, the lawyer informs me that they've paid all 4 bonus payments, and she also went after her own fees, so it cost me nothing.
Glad I saved that email. Cover yourself, and do not let others push you around.
4 students of mine won the 1st prize for a project they did and we all got a free trip to London.
We had spent the day sightseeing and were exhausted, so we got an ice-cream and sat on a bench in a park to relax. A couple of minutes later I notice this couple walk by slowly, staring at us. My spidey-senses go mental. I do not like these people for some reason. She walks by and sits on the bench next to ours and he sits on the bench across from hers. They aren't talking, just looking at each other.
And that is when I notice her reaching into her pockets.
I jump up, grab my students and run out of the park. My poor students are confused and wondering what on earth is wrong with me, when all of a sudden we hear screaming. Turns out she stabbed a couple walking through the park, trying to rob them.
It scares the ever-loving crap out of me knowing that had I not gotten my students out of there, we would have been stabbed and robbed. For all those will try to turn this into a racial issue, everyone involved in this incident was white.
That Shady Fire
Was remodeling my house, took out a loan and had to get the house appraised to get the loan. Found that my house was worth 100k more than i had it insured for.
Raised my limits on the home insurance. To 50k more than the appraised value in anticipation of completing renovations.
2 weeks later house burned to the ground due to a faulty bathroom fan that i did not touch.
City, insurance company and loan company all sent separate investigators due to how shady it looked.
The Moose TestGiphy
I took one of those extra driving classes you always hear about to get the discount on your car insurance. I was in college and my premium was killing me. The one I signed up for was an 8 hour course that I knocked out in one day. The focus was maintaining control of your vehicle in bad weather. I took it over spring break which is still a pretty snowy/icy time of year around here.
The big test at the end to determine if you got the certificate was to pass the "moose test" though some places call it the elk test or the deer test. Either way, to pass the course you had to successfully swerve around some cones on an icy road and regain control of the car on the other side of the cones.
So my first day back at school from spring break, I'm driving myself and my roommate from the liquor store back to our dorm in some bad weather conditions. I try to turn left into our parking lot and my car just slides straight past it, and down a hill. I try to turn the wheel right to get into a different parking lot and get closer, but not quite where I need it to be. I'm heading straight for a telephone pole.
My roommate is panicking but I looked at it and I realized this is just the moose test. I managed to swerve around the pole, narrowly missing a wall of parked cars next to it, and regained control on the other side, finally bringing my car to a stop in an empty section of the parking lot. Then we walked back to the dorm and drank our faces off.
So the moral of the story is, those extra driving classes you might take for the insurance discount may just save your life.
A Deadly Dipstick
I was undergoing pilot training and was pretty new to the whole thing feeling the pressure to perform, etc.. I walked out to preflight a plane for a solo flight (you do this completely alone... instructor was back at flying school doing something else).
After doing my walk around it's time to check the oil. Cessna 172's have a dipstick that is attached to a cap that screws into the engine. You unscrew cap and remove dipstick along with it and check the oil. Except, after I unscrew the cap there doesn't seem to be a dipstick attached to it.
I have this thought: "Well, the engine is still warm from the dudes who just flew before me so ... they flew it like this.... maybe they had a separate dipstick? They must have checked the oil then some other way ....". Then I have the "well, to be safe, I should actually pack this up and go ask someone at the flight school exactly how to check the oil in this case". Note: This takes quite a chunk of time out of my supposed flight and will cut my "lesson" for the day short by quite a margin, but I do it anyway.
Long story short (info gleaned from subsequent investigations): The dipstick had broken off during the previous flight, that had landed just minutes before, and had slid straight into the engine, where the crank-case had been chomping away metal from the tip, that metal now circulating in the engine. The aircraft was grounded, it was extremely dangerous to fly, and at massive cost had to be stripped down, the entire engine disassembled, and they actually had to find every bit of metal missing from the dipstick and "re-assemble" the dipstick before plane could be re-assembled and made flight worthy again.
If, in a moment of stupidity, I'd taken off in that plane I'd probably be dead.
Thanks, Ghost Grandpa
I was 19 and home for the summer from college. I had a contraband bottle of Bacardi stashed in my bedroom under a pile of clothes and other stuff between my bed and the window. My grandfather appears in a dream and sits me down with this bottle to chew me out...not for having booze as a kid/teen, but for hiding it so poorly.
I wake up, a bit disturbed by this dream and throw the bottle of Bacardi in a duffel bag and toss that in the trunk of my car as I leave for work. Get home that evening, and the pile it had been stashed under was moved as my mom had set up a table with a fan by the window to get air moving (grew up in northern WI without AC). Wouldn't have been a fun rest of the summer had I been busted with that.
Wild Nights With Wild Turkey
Very minor, but once I was going out drinking in San Francisco with some friends. We loved going to this kinda dive bar in the tenderloin (rough neighborhood). Anyway, I had just bought a new car and was worried about parking it in the Tenderloin, all my friends assured me it'd probably be fine.
As we parked on the street about two blocks from the bar, a homeless guy came up to me and said "Man, you don't wanna park that new car here! Somebody gonna smash them windows and steal your stereo! Your sunglasses!"
On a whim I just said "Yeah, but we're kinda late. Wanna keep an eye on it for me?"
He pauses for a sec and goes "Like a security guard? Yeah, man. I'll watch your car. You got $10?"
My friends, confused, started mumbling about just walking on, but I thought it couldn't hurt much, so I gave the guy $10.
"Here's your $10, keep an eye on it, man. If it's still in good shape when I get back I'll give you another $10."
"Damn! $20? All I gotta do is sit here?"
"And make sure nobody smashes my window. There isn't anything inside anyway it's new."
"I got you, man. I got you!" He took a huge swig off this bottle of wild turkey.
Anyway, the night progresses, we drink and have a good time, and now we're all proper drunk except for my friend Mary who was our DD. I gave her my keys and we start walking down the block. One by one we notice almost every parking spot has shattered glass next to it. Somebody went through the area and smashed each window to get into the cars. I get this sinking feeling in my stomach. I'm already mentally prepared to have to shell out a few hundred bucks to replace the window of a car that wasn't even mine a week ago.
But lo and behold, we get to the spot and my car is fine - and the homeless guy is bundled up in a sleeping bag and he sees me and goes "HEEEEYYYYY! You back! You won't believe what I did for you! Check THIS out!" and he shows me this huge bruise on his face and pulls off his gloves and shows me his knuckles, which are scraped to hell.
"What happened?" I said.
"Some motherf-, some tweaker cracker mother, he come around here smashing windows and grabbing stuff He gets to your car and I'm like 'Yo, pass that one. That's MY RESPONSIBILITY' and he turned around pulled back on this big ol' brick he's got in his hand, and I JUMPED HIM from behind and he hit me in the head with his damn brick but I knocked him good, man, I changed his MIND man. He was all strung out and he run off down the block!"
My friends and I are staring at this guy incredulously. My car is fine, spotless. I reach into my pocket for $10 but I realize I don't have cash. "Dude, thanks so much! Give me a second I gotta get your cash." I say as I walk into the liquor store on the corner to use the ATM. As I'm checking out I realize they've got 750's of Wild Turkey in there for like $10. I buy one for him. I give him the $10 and the bottle. "Thanks for keeping an eye on the car for me."
You would have thought this dude just won the lottery.
"OOOHHHH SHOOT!" he kept screaming. Then he kicked the pile of blankets on the side and I realized he had a girl there sleeping and he goes "WAKE UP LOOK WHAT I GOT!" and she rubs her eyes and looks confused at us, then at him, then at the bottle, then at us.
Wordlessly she reaches for the bottle. He hands it to her. He's still screaming and hollering like it's the best day of his life.
Opted For Mom
I was at a party when I was 16. It was in a small farm town about 20-25 minutes from my actual town and everyone was out partying in somebodies parents barn and having a real good time.
I didn't realize that our DD had been drinking all night. When it was time to go, I couldn't even tell she was tipsy. But something wasn't right so I didn't want to drive back with them. For whatever reason I decided to get the verbal tongue-lashing from my mom when she came to pick me up.
Well, my friends in the first car were apparently veering across the road. Got picked up by the cops and all of them got to spend the night in jail.
Glad I opted for my mom.
I was at collage and was having a bad time. I had started a new anti depressant a week or so before, but was also using sleep aids because without them I had not been sleeping at all.
So one night I'm laying in my dorm room after having taken my sleep aid, and sleepy me notices that I have oddly shaped spots on my arm.
and my legs.
and my belly.
"What the - why am I a leopard?" sleepy me thinks. I want to roll over and lay down, but for some reason the fact that I looked leopardy bothered me.
Just to be safe I stumbled out of bed to talk to the RA. I remember very little of that part.
Anyway. She took me to the hospital and it turns out I am DEATHLY allergic to one of the ingredients in that new drug I was taking. It just took a few days to build up in my system. By the time we got to the hospital my throat was closing and I could hardly breathe - but because of the sleep aid this seemed like no big deal to me.
I remember like 5 doctors/nurses around me. They had oxygen on my face, were rubbing my chest trying to help me breathe. I got like 7 shots in the hip.
Eventually they let me rest.
When I woke up they made it very clear that had I gone to sleep in my dorm I would not have woken up.
Washing Machine Bat
Was about to put a new load of laundry into my washing machine in the dark, saw what looked to be a large sock still in the washing machine. Put my hand halfway into the washing machine then pulled my hand back up and thought huh, I usually don't leave things in my washing machine. Turned on the light, and it was a bat sitting in there...
I put him in some Tupperware and brought him outside. Left the container open and left him a bag of Doritos; he was gone in the morning.
The Chicken Truck
when I was about 15 I was visiting my dad way out in the country, and we went to my aunt's ranch to help with baling hay or something. My dad lived right down the road from my aunt (literally, she owns over a thousand acres of land and had let my dad have a patch of it in exchange for help with basic upkeep on the fences) so it was just a couple of minutes' drive up the gravel road to get to her place. Once we got there, I realized I'd forgotten something at Dad's, but he was already busy and didn't have either the time or the desire to take me back to get it. So I borrowed a 4-wheeler from my aunt and headed back down the gravel road.
Now, if I had gone the other direction along that road, further away from the main highway, there was a big commercial chicken farm, and it wasn't uncommon to see 18-wheelers barreling at very unsafe speeds up and down that gravel road, collecting chickens for slaughter and/or eggs for transport to grocery stores.
As I was nearing Dad's, I randomly thought of the chicken trucks and imagined how awful it would be if one came around the blind corner up ahead just as I reached it. I briefly considered moving as far over to my right as I could, to give any potential truck as wide a berth as possible, but dismissed the idea because both sides of the gravel road were lined with bigger, bulky rocks that had been kicked off to the side by tires over the years, and I wanted to stay in the center of the road where it was smoother instead of bouncing all over those chunky rocks. Anyway, I reasoned that the odds of a chicken truck coming around that blind corner just as I reached it were pretty low. But as I got closer, I got more and more uncomfortable.
I knew I wouldn't even be able to hear one coming over the noise of the 4-wheeler, and at almost the last possible moment, decided to get over to the right as far as I could, just in case. No sooner had I done this than a huge 18-wheeler zooms around the corner at terrifying speed, partly crossing into my "lane," and misses me by about 18 inches. If I'd waited literally another 2 seconds, I would have been killed instantly.
The reality of how close I'd just come to death didn't really set in until I got to Dad's and collected whatever I had forgotten. Then I remember standing there in his kitchen, shaking, staring out of the window at the blue skies and sunshine, and thinking in awe "I almost missed all this. I almost never saw anything ever again. I almost DIED!" That was a pretty terrifying realization.
Saved the "group" project a couple hours before my moron partner decided to make some "beneficial" changes. One of those changes was, and I quote, "You forgot to cite Wikipedia."
Citing Wikipedia was an immediate ZERO, which was underlined, bolded, italicized, and UPPER CASED on the rubric.
A few weeks ago I stubbed my toe on the coffee table on my way to bed. Instantly I had a feeling that something was wrong as the pain was much more substantial than a normal stubbed toe. I was fairly sure that it was broken, which seemed odd as I hadn't hit the toe particularly hard (I'm somewhat clumsy and hit my limbs on furniture regularly). As I was laying in bed googling broken toes I confirmed my suspicion that there was really little a doctor could do for a broken toe in most cases. I drifted to sleep secretly hoping that I was wrong and that it would feel better in the morning.
It did not. For whatever reason, I decided to go to the hospital for an x-ray even though I was fairly certain it was broken and that the doctor wouldn't be able to anything to speed the healing.
The x-ray and subsequent conversation confirmed all of my suspicions, but also found something else: a bone tumor which had weakened the bone of that toe. I am waiting for more testing to determine whether or not it is benign. Regardless, if it wasn't for the broken toe and my decision to get an x-ray, they would likely have never found it so early.
The New Kid
New kid in school offered to take me to San Francisco to hang out with him and his friend on Saturday. Thing is, he gave off a weird vibe especially since it was like his third day; so I politely declined.
Well on Monday I find out he and his friend ended up going to a small town near ours, stealing a gang members car, and joy riding. They didn't leave that area and the person whose car they stole got fellow gang members and went looking for them. The gang member found them, shot and killed the new kid ,and shot one of his friends in the butt.
This isn't really a story I'm comfortable telling in real life, so I'll vent it here, in the company of strangers. I found a high school friend on some random social media site. We'd share dumb memes and chat from time to time. One day I was mindlessly browsing at midnight when noticed something strange; her posts seemed to be disappearing...I'd try to look at a picture or something she shared, and when I clicked it didn't exist anymore. In fact, nothing on her page existed anymore.
Something about the situation felt really off to me, so I messaged her and asked why all of her posts were gone, if she was quitting the site, etc. She just responded that she was cleaning stuff up, and that she wasn't going anywhere, so I shouldn't worry. We chatted for a while well into the night, but at some point she stopped responding.
The next day, I got a text from her. Being a salty kid at the time, I didn't like being ignored, so I just ignored her back. Then she told me that last night she swallowed a bunch of sleeping pills. She was set on killing herself that night, but after chatting about fun times in middle school and other stuff she didn't really feel like dying anymore, so she went to the ER.
I don't think anything's changed my worldview as much as talking to her. The idea that the difference between life and death was some random, seemingly innocuous sign. I try my best to remember that anyone I meet could very well be having the worst day of their lives. Just try to be kind to others.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
The Annoying ThumpGiphy
Heard a thumping noise in my dryer. Sometimes my dryer thumps when it has a large load and is thrown off balance, so I let it go for a few seconds. Then I figured I might as well adjust it rather than deal with the slightly annoying sound.
Yeah you know where this is going. It was my cat. Little dunce had climbed inside in the few seconds it took for me to empty it out and walk the dry clothes to the living room. I then loaded the front facing dryer with wet clothes. She made not a sound. Then closed the door and ran the tumble dryer for about 30 seconds.
I sobbed uncontrollably as I clutched my uninjured cat. And then sobbed again every time I looked at her for the rest of the night. I'm obsessive now about checking the washer and dryer for her stupid behind.
The Winter Kit
Had a bad snowstorm a few years ago. My husband always laughed at my winter trunk kit because it reads like a preppers stash. Til we (myself, 9yr old and the newborn) got stuck in a sudden white out for 6 hours and had to be rescued by national guard. We were fine. They were shocked we weren't panicking. Why should we??? We had clean hot water for tea and cocoa, food, blankets, extra battery packs for my phone, a jumper for the car and my diaper bag with diapers and wipes.
He doesn't laugh at it anymore.
Was at an airport. Went to the toilet to pee. Finished up, went out. "You know what, I'll go back in to see if I can poop too in case I won't be able to on the plane".
Had left my ticket on the sink.
Working landscape with my dad. Pulling dead leaves from a plant pretty much blindly and quickly to get it over with (also no gloves on since my dumb self never used to use gloves) and I realize At some point I should probably stop and check just in case there's a spider since they love hiding in plants. Voila! I find a rattlesnake coiled up right next to where my hand was pulling dead leaves from. Was pretty lucky that day.
Prepping For The Street Cleaner
3 years ago I lived in Brooklyn. If anyone here is from New York then you know there's street cleaning on almost every street in which the drivers need to move their vehicles before a set time. I needed to move my truck before 8am.
I walk to my truck and before I enter to start it I decided to do a walk around and make sure everything is fine (no scratches, flats, etc) Under my truck directly behind the rear tires I see a guy sleeping. He is literally pressed right against the tires!
I tried waking him up but he reeked of alcohol and had most likely passed out. I called 911 and they handled it from there. I can't imagine what it would've been like if I drove over the poor guy.
I was at a church function about 12 years ago. It was the 4th of July and they were shooting fireworks off. They had been very careful in choosing these fireworks and closely inspected them beforehand as well. Anyway, my step-cousin asked me to hold her 3 year-old while she went to the bathroom. I took her spot close to the fireworks because the baby actually was enjoying them. I started feeling too nervous where I was standing since I was holding someone's child. So I decided to pick up her chair and move back at least 20 feet.
Right after I got re-situated, one of the fireworks exploded and started shooting out of the sides. I ducked, protecting the baby, and took off running as far away and as fast as I could go. Once everything calmed down and my cousin returned, I went to go look at the damage done. There was shrapnel and a small fire right where her chair was. Her bag of food she brought caught fire as well. If I hadn't decided to step back, we would probably both be dead.
When I was twelve I was really into magic tricks. One was a finger guillotine. The plastic blade would bend around your finger and pop out the bottom, making it look like it went through your finger if you pushed really fast. Done slow and one could see the gimmick.
ANYWAY one day we were at a family friend's house. And, lo-and-behold, the dad happened to have one over by his bar! Except, since he was an adult, this one was much fancier. And in fact the blade even looked real!
I stuck my finger in and brought the blade to my finger and pushed lightly.
"Hrm," I thought. "The blade doesn't look like it's giving at all..."
I figured this one might had a special switch to activate the trick blade that I didn't know about, so I decided it was best to leave it alone.
It was a cigar cutter.
Still gives me chills.
The Balkan Train
Went on a road trip with the ol' girlfriend through all of the Balkan countries. We sometimes stayed in ho(s)tels but mostly wild camping.
So we're in rural Romania and it's getting dark so we leave the highway, leave the main roads and search for a small farm road. Driving in the dark through acres of corn we pass a really old train track with the lights and signs all overgrown and rusted.
There was a nice flat grassy field there so we set up camp. As I'm about to enter the tent I notice the car is partially on the track but it's obviously out of use. But just to be safe I move it a few meters.
Guess what came barreling down the track at 3 AM, a few meters from our tent.
How many people do you know battling addictions?
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is "a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual's life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences."
Hearing from those who have battled addictions––and come out the other side––can be remarkably eye-opening, as we were reminded once Redditor YoshBotArmy asked the online community,
"People who have beaten an addiction... what's your secret?"
"I'd then check off..."
"Alcohol. The "one day at a time" approach was too much. I made a chart with a 24 hour day broken up into 15 minutes. For example: 8:00-8:15. [ ]
8:15-8:30. [ ]
8:30-8:45. [ ]
I'd then check off a box for every fifteen minutes I didn't drink. This really boosted my confidence because although I may have only gone two hours without drinking, my brain focused on the 8 boxes I checked off.
Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into days, etc.
It's now been 8 years."
"You need to want to quit..."
"You need to want to quit, otherwise, it will be a fight against yourself. I quit smoking about 15 years ago after being a smoker for like 18 years. I decided to quit several times but never stuck, always found a reason to fall back into the habit. One day my 4yo daughter told me that she was going to find a way to save me from cancer because smokers are bound to get it. After that, I couldn't stand cigarettes anymore and quit within the week. Never again. I wanted to be there for my girl more than anything else."
"The lesson to take away from this..."
"I realised my binge eating was due to a general lack of self-control. I developed bulimia (exercise is my poison) trying to counteract it, and I still struggle with that.
I struggled with it for years and tried everything under the sun to stop it. It wasn't until I started practicing Stoicism that I started seeing life differently. Then a couple of years into that, I overheard a colleague say "it's all about finding balance" in a conversation about the challenges life throws at you. That quote stuck with me for about a year until I realised I have no sense of balance because I used to be an extremely black and white/all or nothing character.
It's now been 2 years since I completely stopped binge eating, and it was all due to having that epiphany. Took practice to get into good eating habits and a routine with meals but I'm all good now.
The lesson to take away from this - teach your children self-control and the ability to say no to themselves. My parents gave me everything I wanted so I had to teach myself this throughout my early 20s."
"That does not mean..."
"You have to learn to give yourself grace.
Relapses happen. I self-mutilate. I will do incredible for months. Then one negative thought can send me into a spiral and I harm myself.
That does not mean that I undid any of the hard work I had done up to this point. I acknowledge that I made a mistake, identify my triggers, and make an effort to start clear of them. Take a deep breath and try again."
A valuable observation.
"I kicked the habit..."
"I wasn't physically addicted to marijuana, but I had such a mental dependency on it that it was pretty much like being addicted. I couldn't function without it.
I kicked the habit by pursuing a girl. I really wanted to date her, and I didn't want her to know that I was actively smoking weed. I stopped smoking weed because I'd fallen in love with a girl. I'm now married to her, and I haven't smoked weed in over 4 years."
"The most important thing..."
"The most important thing I ever learned was not to fight cravings. I don't mean to give in and use when a craving strikes but for a long time simply feeling the craving was awful. I tried so much to avoid the feeling because I was scared of it.
I saw the suggestion to actually indulge the feeling and just let it wash over you. When I tried it, it was still uncomfortable to want to use but by letting myself feel the craving fully I was able to let it go and move on with my day more easily. Fighting the craving just made me suffer."
"I wore a rubber band..."
"I wore a rubber band around my arm and anytime I thought about my addiction, I would snap it and hurt myself. That way, I associated my addiction with pain and eventually broke my body's natural desire for it."
It turns out this has merit.
"I have no idea..."
"Coffee. I was a serious caffeine addict (like 12 cups a day), and one day for no reason I just woke up and ... didn't feel like having coffee. I've had maybe 5 cups of coffee in the 10 years since then.
I have no idea why it happened, but I haven't felt a craving for it in years. I wish that would happen for my other bad habits."
"I don't think..."
"I don't think it's a secret. Understanding the addiction. Knowing that it takes time for the chemicals in your brain to reset. Knowing it's gonna suck. Being prepared as best you can. Knowing it's going to be a battle."
"I'm not very far..."
"It was really taking a toll on my overall health and one day I woke up and said never again. I'm not very far into recovery and I've never been to a meeting or anything. I know I can't have it around me or I'll relapse."
We are proud of anyone who manages to beat an addiction and who can speak about their experience so candidly. And if any of you out there are struggling, we're rooting for you.
Have some of your own stories? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below.
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I'm just spitballing here, but it seems to me that pretty much that weapons of war are among humanity's worst creations. Sure: We live in an anarchic world. States can never be certain of another state's intentions. Conflicts are bound to break out. But in a perfect world––and a man can dream––none of this would be necessary.
It seems I'm not alone in this, either. People had opinions of their own after Redditor Questwarrior asked the online community,
"What was the worst human invention ever made?"
"Cheap and easy to make..."
"Landmines. Cheap and easy to make, but they remain active and people forget where they put them."
"Styrofoam. It's toxic, can't be recycled, and there are better alternatives."
It also sounds horrible when rubbed against another piece of Styrofoam. Torturous.
"Now idiots can connect to each other..."
"Social Media - It gave people the ability to find others and create echo chambers. Before, idiots were isolated to dealing with just a few in their immediate radius of existence. Now idiots can connect to each other across the world and validate their thoughts/feelings."
This is very true. We're seeing the consequences, aren't we?
Ain't built like they used to - because they can't sell you a newer model if the old one is still performing like new.
If companies didn't have this in mind we wouldn't be running out of resources and messing up the planet in search of more. This would create less conflict and way less pollution. Imagine companies actually making insanely good, long-lasting products instead of cheap ones that needs replacing more often than it should."
"Heroin destroys people's lives every day."
"As a medical student..."
"As a medical student, I basically see people every day whose lives have been wrecked by smoking. Kids and unborn babies get messed over by tobacco smoke. Stupid and plain evil."
A great film about the tobacco industry: The Insider (1999). Really makes you think about the cost we all pay for Big Tobacco.
"I can't believe..."
"The concept of Flat Earth. I can't believe people are still stuck in the seventeenth century and still believe in that crap and try to defend it with their misunderstandings of science and physics, as well as pure ignorance."
People believe the most ridiculous things.
"They exist solely..."
"Torture devices. They exist solely to cause harm."
"How am I going to pay you..."
"Overdraft fees. How am I going to pay you EXTRA money when I don't have money?!"
Human beings are capable of so much innovation, beauty, and joy, but threads like these remind us of all the horrors in the world. There's a lot of darkness in humans, too.
Have some of your own contributions to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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Homelessness is an unfortunate and all-too-common occurrence in the world, particularly in the United States. Homelessness has grown to a huge degree, and while most countries have the resources to help their homeless, many choose not to.
It is also difficult to break the cycle of homelessness once you have entered it. It creates a never-ending loop of failed job searching, lost or stolen goods/items/things of value, and stigmatization by society. More often than not, homelessness is begotten by another condition wherein the state or country fails to provide resources--such as mental health.
"Ex homeless people, what are some things people don't know about the streets?"
Here were some of those answers.
A Sad Reality
"My stint on the streets was about six months and due to some bad decisions I made. But what sticks with me the most was the crushing boredom."
"No intellectual stimulus at all because it's safer to keep your distance from other homeless, and you're not going to have a chat with civilian out of the blue."
"So you're completely alone all the time. And to avoid putting yourself in risky situations you stay on the move as much as possible."
"Most cities you can get some day labor work for quick cash but then you have to be careful about people knowing you have cash. You're always on the lookout."
"The only sound nights sleep I ever got was when I could manage to scrounge up enough cash to get a room in a transient hotel for a night and basically pass out from exhaustion."
"Other than that you're sleep deprived most of the time. And of course all this is made worse if on the streets in winter."-HardALee99
The Worst Side Of A Woman's Life (TW: Rape)
"I'm a psychiatric RN who works with mostly homeless people."
"I have heard SO MANY TIMES where women who tested positive for meth have said they use it to stay awake 24/7 to avoid being assaulted by other homeless."
Lucky To Be Alive
"People can and often do develop PTSD from being homeless, especially in rough areas. BF was kicked out at 14 in what was, at the time, the heroin capital of the Northeast, and he very quickly realized that selling drugs was the easiest way to make sure he had food/water/shelter as someone under legal age to work."
"But bouncing from crackhouse to crackhouse— especially as a kid— creates this state of constant hyper-vigilance, possessiveness over your belongings, a lot of hoarding behaviors, etc."
"Basically you wind up living in survival mode the entire time so you don't get assaulted/arrested/kidnapped/shanked."
"To this day if you touch him while he's sleeping he freaks the f**k out. Loud noises at night freak him out, car engines outside, lights in the window, etc."
"He still sleeps better on a couch in the corner of the room than a bed, because 'at least then you have something at your back, makes it harder for people to surprise you.'"
"Nightmares, too. Just... a whole bunch of sh*t, some of which I won't get into because he's embarrassed by it. Here are a few of the choice events he went through, though, just in the first two years or so:"
"He's almost had his throat slit with a half a DVD, woke up with a fork in his chest from some crazy chick, had all his food stolen, even had somebody inject him with heroin against his will while he was sleeping. Sad to think about."
"He's off the streets now, kicked a drug addiction, found a good-paying job, and is about to go to college. But the damage being homeless for his adolesence/early adulthood did..."
"It's going to be a while before he really feels safe. Not to mention he feels like a failure going to college at 30, but... I mean, how many people could have gone through all the horrific sh*t he went through, lived to tell the tale, AND somehow managed to keep going and eventually recover?"-vishuual
Homelessness is even expensive for the country because it leads to more and more problems that resources have to be expended upon in order to deal with the mental health and physical trauma it causes.
Over And Over
"One thing that f**ked me up was my concept of time. Often I'd be up late as f**k trying to sleep and before I knew it, the sun's back up."
"You gotta plan your day differently to use the restroom and it's hard to even find anything 'normal' to do because there are so little resources."
"People don't realize that being homeless is a situation in which no one is really looking to help you to find a sustainable life. It's truly being otherized and ostracized until you die or miraculously get back on the work grind."-SuperDuperChuck
Not An Addict
"I guess the worst part for me was the lasting trauma."
"Sure walking around in sandals because it's all you have when it's raining sucks. Sure sleeping in public is terrifying. Yeah homeless shelters are packed out. Borderline impossible to get a job."
"But the worst part was realising I'd lost some fundamental part of myself and I wasn't getting it back. Innocence maybe?"
"But it's more than that, it's like that Lily Allen music video where she's walking around with rose coloured glasses but the audience sees what's real. Yeah well, you lose the glasses and you never get them back."
"There's nothing that fixes the trauma of knowing people who you thought were your friends or family were fully aware you had nowhere to go and didn't do anything about it."
"You can't fix that feeling of your best friend not returning your texts until you're back on your feet. Or the stares you get in the street when thousands of people walk past and don't stop."
"I'm physically ok now but I'll never see people the same way again. I don't know how to. I used to be a really sociable person and now I steer clear of most people. I don't trust anyone."
"Also as an aside, the people who were kindest to me were always working class. A construction worker who bought me lunch. A taxi driver who got me a blanket. Rich people treat you like utter filth and disappear ASAP."
"I was homeless due to domestic violence as well, but people just assume it must be drugs. I literally barely drink let alone use drugs, but in people's minds homeless = addict."-SunnydaleHigh1999
Stop Stigmatizing Homelessness
"The amount of 'ordinary' people there are that are homeless. I was homeless for about 6 months but you would have never known."
"I had job where I could make just enough to stay fed and get a gym membership. I kept all my clothes in the gym/ back room of the restaurant I worked at."
"I'd hide and sleep in the back office of the restaurant. A lot of homeless people have cars and can sleep in them."
"Gym memberships are the easiest ways to stay clean/ not look homeless. Once my boss found out I was homeless, he let me move into a room at a hotel he managed for free. That man saved my life."-SeamanTheSailor
Food Or Money?
"People seem to have this perception that food is the only thing a homeless person would need to use money on and so they will give food in place of money."
"While giving food is nice, it isn't some one-to-one replacement for money. Food can't help you get cleaned up for job interviews, for example."-CattyPlatty
And homelessness is caused by a number of things--most of which are failures of the government. There are enough vacant homes in the United States for every homeless person to have 6.
Policing Your Own Cleanliness
"What's really important is staying clean. But not so clean people won't give you money if you have to panhandle."
"Don't let people know where you sleep if you can help it."
"Don't take work offers alone, you never know what kind of sicko's there are out there, especially once they have you alone in their environment."-Tired_of_yer_ish
Read That Part Again About How Close You Are To Homelessness
"Former homeless person here (as a child and an adult) and someone who used to work helping folks who were unhoused due to violence get housing:"
"-You are more likely to become homeless than win the lottery. Most Americans (around 60%, that number has probably changed in the pandemic) are one missed paycheck away from homelessness."
"-As shared above, lack of quality jobs, affordable inventory (meaning not enough affordable housing), and integrative and trauma-informed heath care services are the leading causes that keep people unhoused."
"All this to say, you have far more in common with people on the street than you think you do. Please see them as people. I will never forget what it felt like to have someone's eyes slide right past me like I was invisible. "
"No one is expecting you alone to end homelessness, but you can give someone $10 for a laundromat or shower, or say hello."-AbolitionistCapybara
Why Is It Illegal To Have The System Fail You?
"I was homeless with my single mom at the age of 9. In the US it is basically illegal to be homeless but it is definitely illegal to be homeless and have a homeless kid."
"My mom was a great mom. We just hit a really rough patch in the 2008 financial crisis in the US causing my mom to lose her job."
"She could not get another one and we ended up living in her mini van. However she was always able to get me food and get me to school. I am not sure how she was able to keep our situation a secret but I was so ashamed of living in a car that I wasn't about to tell anyone about it."
"I think it is twisted that the government would rather place kids with strangers and give those strangers money to take care of the kid than to help that kids family find stability."
"Furthermore my boyfriend was in the foster system for a number of years and has a few horror stories from it. I feel lucky that I was homeless with my mother and that we were able to get out of that situation in comparison to what my boyfriend went through in his childhood living with abusive foster parents."-psychologicalfuntime
The bottom line is that homelessness is not the fault of the homeless. It is the fault of a system that criminalizes a lack of resources and support, especially in the USA, the wealthiest country in the world.
What would we gain by continuing to criticize and stigmatize homeless people across the country?
It's amazing what the legalities are from place to place. I live in New England, and in Connecticut, passengers are allowed to drink alcohol in the car, as long as they aren't driving. Weed isn't legal there, but open containers in the car? Totally fine. At least we have something to look forward to as we cross the border.
There are some truly strange laws depending on where you go. Here is a list of the weirdest ones.
Did you know that murder is allowed in certain instances, depending on where you go? Talk about scary.
I’m sure no one will test these laws.
Not sure how much of it is true. But apparently if the Swedes cross the border by walking over the ice given its frozen over, (which it hasn't in like more than 100 years) we are allowed to kill them.
The exact gates they have to be within are defined but I don't remember what they are.
Dying is illegal in France.Kate Mckinnon Snl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Oh boy. France has some history and a love of regulation. Perfect mix for absurd laws. Quick examples:
It's still technically mandatory to have hay at home in case the king's horse is nearby and needs some... Horses have been a pretty rare sight, let alone kings.
A mayor made it illegal to die in his town. The initial problem was an overcrowded cemetery, but he kinda reached the wrong solution.
This probably isn’t enforced anymore.
There is a medieval law here that has never been repealed: all males over the age of 14 are required by law to practice longbow for at least two hours per week.
Some of these laws are so silly, they make you wonder what event happened that put them in place.
I think everyone has done this.
"Forbidden to pee in the ocean". I live in Portugal.
'Like a piss in the ocean' is literally a euphemism for something not mattering. What's the problem?
Tigers are fine, though.film history GIF by DiggGiphy
It's illegal to bring a lion to the movies.
Somebody better have a conversation with MGM.
You can't carry a salmon suspiciously.
"No officer, I was going to eat it later"
"Seems suspicious you were carrying it around in public. I'm gonna have to take you in for questioning."
What is the backstory here?
It's illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors here.
I know this is Pennsylvania, but I forget the exact reasoning, but I think it has something to do with homeless people.
These next few laws will definitely make you question these towns’ legitimacy when it comes to lawmaking.
Poor raccoons.raccoon stealing GIFGiphy
In Virginia, it's illegal to "hunt or kill any wild bird or wild animal, including any nuisance species" on Sundays. However, it is permissible to kill raccoons.
How the heck is this enforced?
I don't know if this is still a thing anymore, but in Texas it used to be illegal to own more than six dildos.
It's illegal to own any at all in Alabama unless the owner has a letter from a doctor claiming a legitimate medical need.
Granted, most of these laws were written a very long time ago. But it makes you wonder, what the heck were these original lawmakers doing? And what event happened that needed these laws to be enforced at all?
If some of these laws don't make you want to be a criminal, then I don't know what will