"Reddit user metalnxrd asked: 'Who are some people you know personally, or otherwise, who ruined their own lives, and how?'"
Life can be destroyed in an instant.
Every single moment of every single day we make choices that can further our existence or ruin it.
Sadly, it often feels like a majority of us choose the latter option.
We only get one life.
Why is it so hard to make the most of it?
We're all guilty of poor decision-making.
That's okay, as long as we learn from it.
It feels like there is always time to right wrongs.
The truth is, there's not.
That clock eventually runs out.
Redditor metalnxrd wanted to hear about the people who have brought personal wreckage to themselves, so they asked:
"Who are some people you know personally, or otherwise, who ruined their own lives, and how?"
I've watched too many people self-destruct.
It all starts in the mirror.
Don't be afraid to look.
All-InSeason 17 What GIF by America's Got TalentGiphy
"Took out a mortgage on his house and leveraged all his other assets to go all-in on Luna coin. It worked beautifully until it didn't."
"Had a buddy who got scouted by professional baseball when we were in high school. They wanted him in the farm system, his mom wanted him in college. So the team allowed it."
"Dude found meth before leaving for college. He never made it there."
"He's now homeless and on his last legs."
"Family member addicted to shopping. She & her husband made really good money and could have had a very comfortable life. Every single year she decided she didn’t like their house, sold at a loss, and then renovated and bought all new designer furniture for every new house. On top of that, she constantly bought multiple pieces of the same designer clothes and jewelry (why?), art, cosmetic procedures etc."
"Eventually they couldn’t even get a mortgage anymore and were in an insane amount of debt, lost their cars and everything else they owned. She ended up stealing her mother’s credit card to use for restaurants and attempted to make a bunch of frivolous lawsuits which just resulted in more legal debt."
Out of Recovery
"I helped an old friend of my mother-in-law for some time, she was in recovery for some years. She had drunk so heavily for so long that she developed a neurological disorder that left her debilitated. She gradually lost her balance, her motor skills and coordination, and is now hospitalized and unable to care for herself."
"She is almost a decade younger than me and her life of independence is over. She will remain bedridden and rely on others for her most basic needs for the remaining years of her life. This is neither far-fetched nor the worst-case scenario, people die from addiction every day."
"Staying in bad relationships, doubling down and marrying and having children. Now they have the same relationship problems that they had ten years ago but with children involved."
Being alone by yourself is better than being alone in a relationship.
If you need a reminder please listen to Ms. Whitney Houston's "It's Not Right, But It's Okay!" on repeat daily.
Tainted LoveShaking Head Reaction GIF by GIPHY NewsGiphy
"SIL is a trainwreck. Ruined her marriage, ruined her relationship with her kids, lost her house and car, all to be with some abusive piece of crap."
"A friend from HS won a thousand a week for life. Never went to college. Never held down a long-term job. Always worried some lady was trying to take his money by getting pregnant or or stealing it through marriage. Has had a very mediocre life without much progression or new relationships."
"The rest of the friend group used to think he was the luckiest guy alive. Now we all just try to keep his spirits up when we get together and keep our advice to ourselves. He is aware of the solutions to his problems at a 10-mile view but the $1000/week has sapped his will to execute any self-improvement plan."
"Midlife Crisis... Came to a realization they didn't have something they really wanted in their life. Abandoned everything they already had (job, family, friends) to chase that dream. Finally forced to realize what they were chasing was an unobtainable illusion but the damage was already done."
"Someone in our friend group keeps having kids with people and then leaving, screwing him financially because of child support. He can't hold any jobs and has stolen from friends. Right now he's crashing on one of my friend's couches. I dunno why they are allowing him to stay there."
Make better choices.
Do you have any similar stories? Let us know in the comments.
Reddit user Kai6180 asked:'What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?'
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." ~ The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Life is full of choices. Each one we make can send our lives in entirely different directions.
Sometimes our decisions work out for us and sometimes disaster ensues.
But let's focus on the positive.
Reddit user Kai6180 asked:
"What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?"
"In 2012 I got an offer from Amazon. It meant leaving Arizona and all my friends and family to move to Seattle. I stressed about it for a long time and finally decided to take it for a year and then move home."
"Met a girl my first week here and married her 5 years later."
"I found [what I thought] a US Army grenade simulator as a kid. It had a pull string."
"I held it and was going to pull it but changed my mind. Instead I tied it to tree and got more string until it I had about 10 feet."
"It blew a hole in the pine tree about the size of pie tin and about 2 inches deep. The cops came. I would have lost my hand or worse."
"The year was 1968."
"Changing my major."
"I have so much more motivation for school now that I actually love what I’m studying."
Isn't It Romantic?
"I don't give a f'k if it’s cheesy, but proposing to/marrying my wife."
"Right there with you, buddy."
"If this answer is cheesy then call me Mr. Rella."
"Was going to say same. 34 years happy."
"Accepting an accidental friend request from the woman who'd eventually become my girlfriend."
"I agreed to snap with a girl who texted me first on an Online Dating site last December. Just reached 8 months with the woman that will most likely become my wife."
"I thought she was a bot or something when she first texted me."
"A bit over a year ago, I decided it was time to lose weight. Now, I had the yearning to lose weight before that, because being fat sucks."
"But I got a haircut that looked really good and I looked in the mirror and it was as if I were seeing myself for the first time. I looked at myself and thought 'I could be pretty. I really could. You know what? I'm going to give this an honest try'."
"So I did. I researched the hell out of weight loss, began calorie counting and I am proud to say that Ihave lost 127 lbs... so far."
"Now it isn't even a matter of 'Gee, will I ever reach my goal weight?' It is a matter of WHEN."
"My whole life has changed, and 95% of those changes have been positive. I have met a version of myself I never knew existed. And it is f'king beautiful."
"At 30 years old with a wife and two kids, go to college."
"My standard of living dramatically improved after graduating."
"I’m 36 and in my second year."
"My daughters will know a better life than I had."
"Leaving my ex. We were horribly toxic together and I'm so much happier now."
"Give yourself time to grieve and process. Even when it's the best decision, the pain from the loss is still there. It will be ok. A new kind of ok."
"Needed this, just left a very one way relationship where everything was about her and now I am free but still hurts to lose that talk every single day aspect."
"Leaving and going no contact with my abusive family."
"Congratulations on that, ❤️ people have no idea how hard that is."
"I just did this. I knew I had to get away from them. COVID made things worse."
"I hired a company to help me fix my credit and I bought a house in a small town in a different state."
"Right now the heat is keeping me indoors but once fall comes it's going to be heaven."
"Right there with ya'."
"I feel much more relaxed."
"Divorcing my husband just short of 50 years!"
"No more negative influence."
"My aunt divorced her husband after 38 years and she has been a new person ever since."
"You can tell the weight was lifted."
"Stopping drinking alcohol."
"Today I have my life back and I am very grateful."
"Getting sober from alcohol - 1,290 days but who’s countin!"
"Quit smoking and drinking, started to exercise!"
"I quit drinking and smoking on the same day about 14 years ago....it was a rough couple of weeks..."
"After college I started interviewing for graphic design jobs, and I realized 'Oh, this would be excruciating corporate bullsh*t'.”
"I had a moment in time where I knew I needed to decide between a miserable “grownup” job that pays well after a few years, or just working wherever and focusing on enjoying life."
"I wanted to live life, not devote myself to joyless adulthood and a career. I ended up meeting a lot of awesome people, including close friends I still hang out with a decade later, and making countless memories I cherish."
"Recently I started focusing on making more money and being a serious adult, and it feels like the right time for that."
"Getting a Golden Retriever puppy.
"That was 11 years ago and now I have 3. So much happiness and love."
"Animals help in ways I don't think some humans really understand."
"My girls [cats] act like they hate me but they are always there for me...for one minute."
Like we said, life is full of choices.
So which ones worked out well for you?
Life can be viewed as a series of moments in quick succession each influenced by a preceding event.
At any given time, things can go awry, but somehow things manage to fall in line much like an elaborate maze of dominos.
But one misplaced domino can cause the whole rigorous set-up to come to an unsatisfying end–unless the faulty piece is corrected just in time before the domino in front of it squarely taps it.
If you've been lucky, a last-minute decision in your life has been properly adjusted to avoid catastrophe.
"What split second decision have you made in your life, that if you hadn't made it you would have died?"
Life can be treacherous in the fast lane.
Unwarranted Lane Change
"Driving 80 miles per hour on a lonely interstate in the middle of the night. Decided to change lanes for no reason, and ended up missing a crumpled car in the middle of the lane I just left. It looked like a professionally crushed car that had fallen off of a truck. No light lenses or reflectors."
"I was driving through Dallas on I-20 at like 2am once and had a similar experience. No other cars, just me doing 80mph, and I just absentmindedly changed from the middle to the right lane for no real reason. Suddenly there's a blacked out sedan just parked in the middle lane, no lights on and no people in sight. I thought I was hallucinating, it happened so fast."
Why Coffee Is Essential
"Fell asleep at the wheel, woke up and corrected my steering without panicking."
"Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Never again !"
T"his happened to me when I was in my late teens. I was burning both ends of the stick and was driving home from working and falling asleep. I remember it so clearly. Nodding off, waking and being thankful I didn't crash and then nodding right back off again. I'm amazed I didn't kill myself. I did eventually hit a divider and popped two tires. I must've been going very fast. I don't know why I'm not dead."
You never know when a pedestrian is where they shouldn't be. Or when a car is traveling where it shouldn't.
"I'm from Northern Ireland and my brother and I were coming home from a night out, he was the designated driver. We were doing 70mph on the motorway and he moved into the fast lane and missed a guy walking on the motorway, dressed in black, by about a foot. So scary 😰."
"Grabbing a middle schooler's backpack as she was about to cross without looking and staying on the sidewalk instead of crossing the road. (I was in high school at the time)"
"The red car that had almost ran me over a few weeks before was barrelling down the street at high speed."
"Car zooms past at the moment the kid and myself would have been in the middle of the road."
"Same driver. I recognized the shade of blonde hair."
These people survived a terrorist attack.
At The Time Of Signing
"Was in a bombing. Knelt down to sign something when the detonation happened. Glass shards were a hair away from killing me. The person who gave me the paper to sign technically saved me, they’re fine too."
"Story time! My grandfathers family lived in Halifax at the time. My great uncle George was a newborn. They had him in his pram facing the window. For some reason my aunt went in and turned his pram around so it wasn't facing the window anymore, then she left the room. As she was leaving the room, the windows blew in. If she hadn't turned the pram he would have been shredded by glass."
These individuals continue counting their blessings.
Retrieving A Forgotten Item
"I went to ride my bike and almost forgot my helmet, I honestly debated grabbing it since I was only planning on doing a few miles; last minute I decided I might as well have it and then half a mile out I got hit by a car. Helmet was busted as hell but other than a concussion I was fine"
"Nowhere near as extreme as some of these, but I used to go for walks in a nature park right behind my neighborhood, usually with headphones. On one such walk, I happened to look down to see the foot I was currently stepping with was about 6 inches from coming down on a diamondback rattlesnake. It was arched back, ready to strike, rattle going, but I couldn't hear it over my music. Leapt back immediately and walked around it without issue, but holy crap, it gets my heart going just thinking about it."
"I was caught in a bar brawl. Tumbled to the bottom of a crowd and was pressed to the floor when some psycho was on my back choking me. Couldn't move and couldn't breathe. I thought that was it. I was gonna die on the floor of a New Jersey nightclub. Suddenly I remembered a move my wrestling coach taught us to break grips. I found his thumb, folded it like a fist and squeezed as hard as I could. It cracked like a stick. I could hear him scream in my ear and he hopped off. I pushed up and swung my way out. I was choked so hard that both of my eyes were full blood red, no whites and I cracked a molar. That was a close one and who knows what would have happened if I didn't recall that one random move or if I never wrestled to begin with. Scary."
A moment that still sends shivers down my spine was when I nearly avoided a head-on collision with an 18-wheeler that had been zig-zagging between the different sides of a busy street.
The presumably drunk driver was speeding and towards me and I had to decide whether to swerve into the parked cars on the street or steer the other way and risk driving into cars careening toward me.
I decided for the former and turned the steering wheel towards the parked cars, just as the truck clipped the back corner of my Nissan Maxima.
My vehicle spun 180, but thankfully, I managed to slam onto the curb where no cars were parked.
The semi-kept going. It was a hit-and-run. And I count my blessings that I live to tell about the fact that I didn't steer my wheel towards the left which would've had me on a collision course, head-on, into the semi.
Not a day goes by when we won't have to make a decision of some kind.
On rare occasions, we might even have to make an extremely serious decision which we know will have major consequences down the line.
These might include accepting a job that would require you to move cities, whether or not staying in your relationship is good for you, or almost literally life or death decisions about your own health.
Most of the time however, the decisions we are forced to make day in and day out are fairly minor, such as whether to walk or take the subway, or coffee or tea with your breakfast.
Whatever we choose, it won't end up having any major effect or ramifications on our lives.
Or will it?
Redditor his_Check_4267 was curious to hear if anyone ever made what seemed like a minor decision that ended up having a major effect on their life, leading them to ask:
"What's a small, seemingly insignificant decision you've made that ended up having a huge impact on your life?"
When The Wrong Train Ended Up Being The Right One...
"Took the wrong train in a new city to a job a minimum wage job that I didn't want but needed at the time."
"Asked a random guy for directions when phone GPS still kind of sucked."
"He happened to be going in the same general direction."
"We rode a train together and nerded out on films we were into."
"He was an aspiring filmaker (very beginnings of aspirations), and I was just a film nerd without any post high school education or thought of 'breaking into the industry'."
"We ended up becoming roommates and collaborators eventually."
"Sold our first film to IFC like 2 years ago."- SrgtSquarePants
Right Place, Right Time
"Worked in a kindergarten during my gap years between high school and university."
"I didn't even plan to go at the time."
"A kid with speech and social issues happened to take a special liking to me, resulting in me agreeing to work closely with his speech therapist, despite only being the teachers assistant."
"This reignited my interest in language and made me apply to be a linguistics major."
"My high school grades made it a long shot, but it turns out that very year they tested out a new system of accepting 50% of students based on motivational essays, to try to combat a high drop out rate in linguistics."
"I made it in on that, they ditched it the next year cause it didn't work."
"I now have masters in Language Psychology and start teaching at the same university this semester."
"If I had applied literally any other year, my chances would have been like lottery odds."- MonsieurRudGraduation Graduate GIF by Reba McEntireGiphy
Secret Setup Maybe?...
"Me and 2 other coworkers decided to grab some dinner after our shift."
"One ended up cancelling, so I thought my other coworker would cancel too."
"We were both hungry, so we decided to still grab dinner together."
"We'd been coworkers for over a year and have always gotten along, but this dinner truly felt like a first date."
"It was so enjoyable and we talked so much that we didn't realize the restaurant had been closed and that the workers had been cleaning up around us."
"Servers were too nice to interrupt our conversation."
"Him and I ended up falling in love soon after that."
"Been together for over 6 happy years and wouldn't change a thing."- stereotypedhonesty
Cracked The Code
"I had a blog where I couldn’t figure out some HTML code, so I emailed the blog of another person who had figured it and they sent me the code."
"They lived about 1,000 miles from me and had never spoken before."
"Four years later we’re married, bought a house, and have a child together."- Manejarart evolve GIF by ashleyrobertsGiphy
Some Bad Habits Pay Off...
"Was at a conference and stepped outside for a smoke."
"Bumped into a friend of mine who introduced me to the man he was walking with."
"That man encouraged me to apply for an opening in his office and, six months later, he hired me."
"It was the job that jumpstarted my career, changing my trajectory."
"And all because of a bad habit."- The_Dude311
Closer And Closer To The Action
"I took a job in an Emergency Room doing insurance paperwork."
"I thought 'Okay but what happens before they get to the hospital?"'"
"That exposure lead to a career as a 1st Responder."
"I never would have imagined I would be helping people in Emergencies been doing it every day for decades."- YerekYeeter·
There Is Always A Way Back...
"I went to prison for a robbery."
"I did it."
"I was a heroin addict."
"After almost 5 years in, at a work center, I got a write-up which would make me stay in for a few months longer."
"The warden offered a deal if I would paint a mural at a local high school of their mascot, they'd forgive the writeup."
"I had always been good at drawing (they knew that which is why they asked) but had never done a mural."
"I figured out how to scale it up in my head and did it."
" I got out about 6 months later and made it my career."
"I'm now married, happy, and fully booked until summer of next year for work, owning my own business."
"In September, I will have been out for 10 years."
"I also hid my initials in the high school mascot mural."- therealbiggravyrainbow painting GIFGiphy
Home Is Where The Heart Is
"I was flying to Costa Rica to go backpacking south from there, my sister told me to fly into Guatemala, I had to see it."
"So I did, and here I am still 10 years later, with a son and a life I never imagined."- Old_Insect
Some Things Are Worth The Risk
"I was doing online dating with no success and I was ready to give up."
"I almost canceled my date just out of pessimism but figured it was already scheduled, I’ll just go and if it doesn’t work out I’ll just take a break from dating."
"The date lasted about 8 hours and 15 years later we’re still together."- Rolling_Beardo
Hey, You Never Know...
"Entered the green card lottery."
"Friend was trying to figure out how to do it, so I downloaded the instructions and completed an application to show them how."
"Since it was easier than asking them for all their info, I made a dummy application using my own info."
"When I was done I thought 'meh, might as well' and dropped my application into the outgoing mail."
"Then forgot all about it."
"I was highly confused when, nearly a year later, I got a letter from the state dept."
"I’ve been in the US for 20 years now, married, kids, the whole thing."
"Biggest change I ever made, and it was just a random 15-minute thing I did to help a buddy."- dbpnzLottery Lotto GIFGiphy
It Pays To Share
"On a night out I went to Burger King and at the last second decided to get chicken nuggets with my burger instead of chips."
"I ate the burger but didn't feel like the nuggets by this point (and wished I'd gotten chips instead) so I asked the person opposite me on the bus if he wanted them."
"My exact words were 'ay lad do you want my chicken nuggets?'"
"He said yes and we got talking."
"That was 16 years ago and now we are married with a beautiful daughter."- gembob891
Even when it seems like it doesn't matter in the moment, it's always worth thinking carefully before making any decision.
As sometimes, taking the long route or ordering a second round could end up being the very decision that changes your life forever.
No two people have the same relationship with money.
There are those who grew up learning the true value of money, saving every penny whenever possible, and spending as little as they possibly can and need to.
Then there are those who see money as no object and spend large amounts without a second thought... even if they aren't nearly as good at making money as they are at spending it.
As a result, these people often find themselves looking back at some past, ill-thought financial decisions with nothing but regret, wishing they listened to the warnings of their concerned friends and family members.
Redditor BasalTripod9684 was eager to hear the most ill-advised financial decisions the Reddit community ever witnessed someone else do, leading them to ask:
"What's the worst financial decision you've seen someone make?"
Did The Wedding Even Happen?
"I knew someone who got a loan for their wedding, but decided to blow it all at a casino."
"Now they have a loan for 20k to pay off and nothing to show for it."- armbar222
Has He Ever Head Of Brita?
"A friend of mine who is very bad with money and his girlfriend bought some sort of water filtration system from a door to door salesman."
"He has to pay something like $300/month for this filtration system."
"He was all stoked because it came with a free set of pots and pans."
'Fast forward a year and his girlfriend has broken up with him, moved out of the house, and he's had to sell his home because he can't afford to live there."
"The water filtration system is now sitting in a storage unit where he still pays $300/month for it because he's on a 2 or 3 year contract (sorry the details are fuzzy)."
"We have great water quality in my area."- Anin1987
Overtime and Salary Are Two Different Things...
"A coworker I used to have worked every second of overtime he could for several years to save up for a house."
"When he applied for the house loan, he based his mortgage payment on all of the overtime he had been working."
"I tried to tell him that wasn't a good idea but he didn't want to hear it."
"He ended up divorced a few years later because his wife got tired of him always working."- rubysundance
No One Is Invincible, Even The Yankees...
"A guy in my fraternity got 30k for an undisclosed reason, I’m guessing a family death or something and he bet it all on the Yankees winning one game."
"They lost."- bulbipicg
Collecting Dust, Right Next To Their Pogs and Tamagotchis...
"A dude who owned a small convenience store in our town spent like $20,000 on fidget spinners."
"He was posting for like a year begging people to buy them as he would lose his business and his marriage was falling apart due to it."- Solid_Internal_9079
Kind Of Amazing This Loan Was Approved...
"My supervisor took out a loan against their 401k to pay their rent because 'their credit cards were maxed'."
"Two weeks later, they bought a brand new 60k Lincoln with basically nothing down because 'her daughter just had a baby and I need a bigger car for that'."- ErraticA09GIF by Matea RadicGiphy
Jealousy Isn't A Good Color On Anyone...
"My maternal grandmother bought an 8-plex to avoid capital gains when she sold her large house."
"The apartment complex was in the red and needed a lot of repairs."
"She hired my father to do them and be on-site manager."
"The place started making money."
"My mom (divorced from my dad) was mad that my grandma bought it in the first place, then hired my dad, then was proved wrong because it was making money."
"My grandma was in her 90s and my mom pressured her for years so my grandma finally sold it."
"That place is in a high market area and is now worth millions."
"My mom made a poor financial decision based on petty spite."- Sensitive-Umpire2375
Shopaholics Are Real...
"Ran up credit card debt requiring bankruptcy."
"Once they were able to build credit again (7 years later) they proceeded to run up a massive amount of debt again, but couldn’t go bankrupt again, so they used 'debt consolidation'.”
"The debt didn’t come from sudden expenses."
"They just needed to buy things to feel better."- Left-Star2240Fashion Shopping GIF by T.J.MaxxGiphy
Those Who Keep Running Eventually Get Caught...
"Put everything in his gf's name to hide assets as he owed the IRS, the gf sold his business, cashed out his accounts and ran."- RavenBear2005·
One Can Only Hope He Was Happy...
"Had a co-worker with 5 kids who could all go to USC for free once he has worked there for 15 years (even if he quit)."
"He quit at 14.5 years for a job that barely paid more than he made at USC."
"Cost all 5 kids a free education at a top school since he couldn't wait 6 more months."- theangryburrito
Never Buy Something On Blind Faith...
"My brother's ex fell for a Craig's list scam."
"She found a motorcycle and the guy 'needed money up front to pay bills' before she even saw it."
"We told her don't do it, it's a scam."
"She said she already sent $1000."
"Of course, he was never available to show her the bike and we found out from my brother after they broke up she actually continued sending him money in hopes of getting the motorcycle."
"I think she was out $3,000 by the end."- XCCOcrash fail GIFGiphy
We All Have Our Collections...
"My coworker has 25k in anime figurines."
"He is in mega debt right now."- tankurd
Where To Even Begin?
"My former sister-in-law had a thriving medical practice."
"She got so stressed that she joined the Scientologists and started taking their classes."
"She opened up five-six credit cards without telling my brother, maxed the cards out with hundreds of thousands in cash withdrawals, and gave it to that cult."- AnybodySeeMyKeys
"My friend bought a used Hellcat Challenger yesterday at 10.5% APR and $380/mo insurance."
"He lives in my other friend’s spare room."- chriss1111george costanza ladies GIFGiphy
Have They Ever Heard Of Leftovers?
"My roommate buys doordash almost every day."
"They’ll maybe cook for themselves once or twice a week but other than that they order food in 5-6 times a week."
"I know how much they make and I have not a clue how they can afford that."- TeHNyboR
It's no lie that life is much easier when you don't have to worry about money.
That being said, it's also possible not to worry about money while still being careful with it.
As one can worry about money a little less when you know you have money to worry about.