People Explain How They've Seen Someone Ruin Their Entire Life In A Single Day

Man leaning forward into prison bars
Photo by Pablo Padilla on Unsplash

We're human, and we can acknowledge that we all make mistakes.

But there's a limit to how much grace any person can be shown for their slip-ups.

In fact, there are some mistakes that a person could make in a single day that could ruin the rest of their lives.


Redditor TunaSaladWithBeans asked:

"How did somebody you know ruin their life in one day?"

Second Chances Included

"Not a barn burner but still pretty bad considering the 'adult' involved. TLDR (Too Long; Didn't Read): So-called adult failed to adult after numerous warnings and went off a metaphorical cliff."

"The clown was a senior married reserve Naval officer who also had a job at a nuclear power facility that required a Top Secret Clearance. He got deployed as a reservist to do classified work in Europe. Nothing James Bond but still not something the US wanted people to know about. It was plenty cushy too: living in a luxury hotel with lots of paid time off base to check out the sights."

"But the clown decided to hook up with a German woman and have an affair. The military doesn't care about that so long as you're above board with them about it so you can't be blackmailed. They don't even tell the spouse. This is spelled out once you get a security clearance."

"He didn't tell the military; they found out another way. But the unit went easy on him. His commander told him either tell his wife or stop seeing this German woman. If he did that, there'd be no consequences; if he didn't, there'd be h**l to pay."

"This warning was repeated to this clown on multiple occasions. The clown said he'd stop. Then he went off to Germany on vacation to, you guessed it, hook up this German woman."

"The commander took it personally that the clown ignored his warnings, disobeyed orders, and lied to him. Go figure. The commander fired him from the cushy job and revoked his security clearance, which ruined the clown's reserve military career."

"Because he needed a security clearance at his civilian job, he lost that too. And of course, his wife found out and divorced him."

"I suppose the clown recovered from this and is doing OK. But I imagine it's just as possible he's living in a van down by the river."

- Eric_da_MAJ

A Life-Changing Drive

"A dude I met was 18 and had been drinking. He was driving down a rural road when he lost control of his car, and flipped it. "He killed his passenger, who was his best friend."

"He was charged with a felony DUI and manslaughter. He was really messed up by this and knowing that he killed his friend haunted him."

"He was also an avid hunter and had to give that up because he was banned from owning firearms as a felon."

"He was in his thirties when I met him and he was pretty messed up."

- teaching-man

Over Before It Began

​"Had a friend in college. We were both training to be Pilots. His dad owned an insurance company and gave him the company's credit card to pay for all his flight hours with."

"He got about two years in when he finished his first license. ($30k-50k) Got a DUI halfway through his second license."

"Pilot career down the drain. On top of that, his father's company will be paying for it."

- taylorman8181

Keep Checking In with Friends

"A childhood friend who relapsed from drug addiction. He ingested fentanyl and died all alone in a filthy basement."

"He had been looking healthier, we reconnected, and he was planning his life going forward sober. That hurt a lot, that hope being taken away in a few minutes."

"F**k opiates, fentanyl, and those who deal it. Too many lives are lost every day."

- TheBklynGuy

Hot Off the Press

"My boss had his dream job as a sports editor of the local paper, a nice family, and a young daughter. He called one day to say he wasn’t coming to work."

"Turns out he was busted trying to meet up with a girl he met online for sex, and the girl was actually a cop."

- esmerelda_b

Celebratory Loss

"My friend's wife was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors said she had about a 10% chance of surviving."

"She scheduled her surgery for a month out, and without telling him, took out several credit cards in just her name. She ranked up $100,000 in debt in that month flying around the world and doing everything on her bucket list."

"She had the surgery and chemo after and... lived. She was fine. That debt completely f**ked up their lives for about 10 years."

"The husband, my friend, knew she was traveling. He saw the roughly $10,000 added to their joint credit card. He did not know she had taken out credit and was hiding an additional $90,000 in debt."

"And his wife honestly thought she would die, and then the credit cards would close the accounts and the family would owe nothing. Which is not exactly how it works. So luckily that did not happen."

"It f**ked up a lot of things. He lost his DoD security clearance because of it (people with a lot of debt, can be bought). And he took a less-paying job as a federal contractor, where I met him. But he honestly does not regret it, and is happy to have his wife and kids all alive."

- Bug1oss

Serious Matters

"I knew a guy my freshman year of college. Easily the most socially awkward person I've ever met. Not necessarily a bad guy but a really weird one."

"He was expelled for making a bomb threat. No idea what happened to him after that but I can't imagine anything good."

- cfbethel

Mob Mentality

"Brother of a friend went out drinking with some scumbag 'friends' people had warned him to stay away from. Late into the night, there was an argument with one of them. My friend's brother ended up being part of a group that beat this poor guy to death. He won’t see the outside of a prison for a good 20 years now."

- MargotChanning

Tragically Anticlimactic

"Guy I went to high school with was diagnosed with testicular cancer when we were about 25. For months, maybe years, I would see updated posts about the progress he was making with treatment."

"Then one day he posted on Facebook that he was cancer free. The next day he was dead."

"To celebrate, he'd gone out that night and got absolutely wasted and fell down a flight of concrete steps outside his flat in the early hours of the morning. By the time he was found in the morning, he was gone."

- vicki5150

Just Heartbreaking

"A friend of my parents was a good family man who loved his family. One day he was playing with his toddler and was playfully tossing her on the bed. She would get back up giggling and he would toss her again."

"In one of the tosses, he threw her a bit too far and she hit a bedpost. She lived but became bedbound, unable to even talk."

"He went to jail for child abuse. He lost his wife, his job, and his little girl would never be the same."

- IIVIIORTAL_K

Losing Roulette

"An old coworker went to Vegas, felt really good about his odds due to the liquor, and ended up betting his entire life savings on roulette and lost. He ended up losing his house, his wife, and kids, and from what I've seen he lives in a tiny apartment and works a min wage job."

- Dire-Dog

New Work-From-Home Fear Unlocked

"He ate dinner alone, choked, and died."

- waterloograd

Holy Debt, Batman

"Some kid in our senior year of high school pulled the fire alarm every day. He was getting away with it for a while."

"The school had town officials and the chief of the fire department and the police come in and talk about the dangers."

"The town would send trucks and be without them if there was another emergency. None of that worked."

"When they offered a reward the kid’s friends ratted him out. His family had to pay for all those calls, he was expelled from school and didn’t graduate."

- JediMasterPopCulture

Prescriptions Needed

"A week ago, my little sister slipped on the ice getting out of her car and hit her head. She didn’t think much of it when she had a pounding headache later, figuring she just whacked herself good."

"Her friend told her to just sit down and take it easy until she started slurring her words roughly 10 hours after the fall."

"They called an ambulance for her, but she was going into cardiac arrest. Turns out she’d stopped taking her blood thinners she was supposed to be on for clotting issues. The headache wasn’t the fall, it was the clot in her leg cutting off blood to the brain."

"At the age of 26, she never recovered and leaves behind a four-year-old and two-year-old."

- KearneyZzzyzwicz

Hero Status

"A day horribly altered my life. I was a teacher and coach. For a field trip, the principal 'could not afford two busses,' so I had to walk about ten girls to the field trip location, and back to school, while the one bus was filled with the rest of the junior high students and faculty."

"It would be about a mile each way. I chose the girls of my team because they would listen to me outdoors, unlike lots of middle school kids."

"While crossing the street in the crosswalk, with the walk signal in our favor. All the kids went first, and like girls, they were clumped together and chatting while walking."

"I noticed a woman made a left turn into our crosswalk and never saw us as she tried to accelerate to beat an oncoming car. I knew she was going to run right through the girls."

"I pushed the kids forward, very forcefully. Most of the girls fell onto the pavement in front of other vehicles waiting at their red light. (They were badly scraped up, like road rash from me pushing them. But no hospitals or doctors were needed for their scrapes.)"

"I don't remember the impact. I remember seeing a Pontiac symbol between the headlights. I came to, and I was in a whole different lane, facing where I had just come from. I could not get up. They say my body went up the car, and off the driver's side, tearing the side mirror off the car and breaking her windshield."

"Horror and sobbing from my student-athletes. The girls raised me onto a backboard when the ambulance came, which must have been traumatic."

"Now, 20 years later, I am still an ambulatory wheelchair user. I can't teach or coach. I can't work at a desk. I have chronic pain. Yes, my life can be really sucky, but I would not change what I did that day."

"When I get low emotionally from all my limitations, I remember those girls. I watched them go to college, get married, grow into mothers, and hold impressive jobs in their fields. And when they show a photo on Facebook of their happy moment, it recharges me to know they are safe, healthy, and happy. And it reaffirms my decision to save them from harm."

- CannaBeeKatie

Most of the subReddit shared stories of drug and alcohol use or negligent driving. But some of the stories were far more tragic than gross, and there were even some heartwarming stories thrown in.

But the conversation is an important reminder to be mindful of our actions since they truly could change our lives in a moment.

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