People Share How They Have Seen Someone Ruin Their Life In Record Time

In life the slightest wrong turn can cause the biggest impact and unfortunately a swift turn won't reverse the effects. Hopefully, we can all make the right turns more often than not. 

The following Ask Redditors shared their responses to the question, "What's the fastest way you have seen somebody mess their life up?" 

As a disclaimer, a few of these stories may be triggering or difficult to read - reader discretion is advised. 

Find the original thread at the end of the article.

I had a friend in high school who got a full ride athletic scholarship to a regionally-prestigious college. He was all set to go when his mom and girlfriend begged him to stay in town instead because they loved him so much and couldn't bear for him to be away. So he gave up his full scholarship and stayed home instead.

Within a year his girlfriend had dumped him and his mom had kicked him out of the house. The opportunity had passed and now he was living in town without the things he'd sacrificed that opportunity for.

Granted, it looks like he's happy based on current Facebook posts. But who doesn't look happy on Facebook, really? 

Things really went to crap for him quick.


A former teacher friend ruined her marriage, her career, and social life by sleeping with a student. 

A student who her and her husband had legally adopted together a few years prior.


A member of E-8, the Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System of the army got drunk and tried to have sex with my then fiance. He knew I was on the road that night as military police and that my fiance had been drinking and was in my barracks room. 

He got in the room somehow (still haven't figured that one out) and started performing oral sex on her while she was asleep on the bed. When she realized it wasn't me, she screamed at him but he kept trying.

Apparently, he was drunk because he was celebrating his retirement.

Instead of happily retiring with full benefits as an E-8, he was court- martialed, demoted to E-1 and dishonorably discharged. I also heard his wife divorced him.


A friend I met during freshman year of college came in with thousands of dollars saved from refereeing for youth sports which seems to pay pretty well. He spent all of that money in about a month because he did drugs nearly every day and had a 2 week heavy binge. Despite my and others' efforts to get him to get his stuff together, he was kicked out of the school with a .28 grade point average by the end of his first year.

From there he was kicked out of family homes for stealing money and prescription medicine and ended up living out of a yellow convertible someone sold him for $300. From all this was born some sort of eating disorder. I met up with him and bought him some food and he couldn't even fit 3 garlic knots in before he felt sick. His skin was basically purple with a yellowish sheen. It was awful. 

We lost touch because he kept being a jerk and did some pretty bad things on the friend-scale. But I ran into him a few years ago and he was actually doing pretty well, a girl had helped him clean up and he had some fat and life in his face again.


A kid in school decided to show off by jumping off the school roof on to a mattress. 

He slipped and fell 20 feet on to his head. He can't move anything below his neck now.


To preface this happened over a few months span. He was super successful working for an oil and gas firm and was 24-years-old. For some reason, he goes through a recruiting service to find a better paying job. He ends up finding one but the deal was not 100% done yet. He takes a few months off and decides to quit his job knowing that he's about to start a better paying one. He also buys a flipping house in the middle of all this, again still believing he's about to make more money. A week before he is supposed to start they say, 'oh by the way we filled this position so you should probably just stay put until further notice.'

He burnt bridges to leave his old job so he was not able to go back to work there. He had about $500 to his name with over $3000 plus in bills and a new mortgage. He had to work for a $10 and hour job and sell off all of his stuff to get back on his feet. Again this is just the worse I've seen personally, he seriously had it made before this. He didn't get an offer letter, he didn't get an offer letter. Let me repeat, he quit his job without receiving an official offer letter. 


I worked in construction when I was 19. This electrician would do drugs right before work in the parking lot (he was my ride and he would shoot it up right in front of me as if it was nothing).

He was such a professional at it, he would shoot the perfect amount to still be functional. The guy had almost perfected the art of sleeping (really passing out) on top of 14 ladders until one day he falls and destroys his spine. Now he can barely walk, lives in shelters, shoots drugs and his family and life are gone.


This girl I knew cheated on her husband and graduating one drug to the next.

She went from being queen bee socialite to outcast within 2 years.


One summer, my younger brother's friends were partying at a lake. They were all in their mid-20's. I think they had rented a pontoon or house boat, I can't remember for sure. But one guy dives off the boat into shallow water and hit bottom. He was instantly and now permanently paralyzed from the neck down. That's means he needs to be fed, bathed, clothed, everything and by somebody else. My brother and friends still take him out to movies and restaurants, hell even amusement parks, and they take turns pushing his wheel chair and feeding him.

My worst fear is being paralyzed like this. I am such a fiercely independent person that death would be better. Stay safe while partying, gang.


A girl I know overcame a household destroyed by drugs, did really well, and eventually became a physician's assistant. 

But then she had surgery and got hooked on opioids like her parents.  She started writing and filling fraudulent prescriptions with a couple other PAs at the hospital she worked in. 

She got caught, arrested, did her time, and then cleaned up. She got off probation and immediately started doing drugs again with people she met in a rehab program. 

When I knew her, she was such a kind, smart, funny person. It's really sad.


I've worked on and off as a line cook. And someone I worked with hurt his back and got hooked on painkillers. He lost everything and killed himself - all in about a year. 

There was nothing anybody could do. It was just a downward spiral.


This wasn't directly seen but my cousin got too drunk one night. His brother put him in a taxi home and told the driver he would get paid once he got dropped off at his moms. 

My cousin was so drunk that he didn't realize this and starts freaking out about having no money and demands the taxi driver let him out. My cousin got very angry about it so the taxi driver let him out.

The road he is out on is the M8, the biggest motorway in Scotland - quiet at night but still has cars coming down.

My cousin was walking ON the motorway and was all over the place. Two cars swerve round him, one of which pulls over and rings the police. While on the phone to police hears a massive thud and screeching breaks.

Some poor guy on the way home from work, on the same road he always drives down, at the same time, hit him.

My cousin is dead, if he hadn't of drank so much or reacted in such a way he would be alive. The driver who hit him will be scarred for life and the taxi driver will now also have the "what if" feeling for ever. My aunt is severely depressed, a recluse who doesn't go out, after 10 years she still hasn't cleared out his room. Four lives were screwed up quite quickly. 


My mom got a 'Driving Under The Influence.'

She's a Pepsi merchandiser who drives 60 plus miles a day.


I know a guy who decided to scare some people who tried robbing him in a drug deal. So he fired some warning shots at them. Only one shot went straight through a 17-year-old girl's neck and she died right there in a McDonalds parking lot in Gary, Indiana. 

He was 18. He gets out in 2063.


My cousin's husband got into a drunken fight outside a bar and punched the other guy pretty hard. The other guy fell, hit his head on the curb and died. 

My cousin's husband is now in jail, she took their kids and got remarried. What makes it even worse is that the new husband is a total jerk so not only did those kids lose their dad, they're now stuck with a loser as step-dad. 


My cousin had a kid when she was 15 and it was an accident. Then she decided to have another child when she was 17. 

Now she's very poor, can't hold down a job, and does some pretty heavy drugs. She lost one kid but still has her youngest.


My college buddy was a regular guy but got a little angry when he drank.

One night he went next level and a few of us were holding him back from a girl he was literally trying to fight. It went downhill from there and soon the cops came. He ended up swinging on a cop, wrestling his gun from him and managing to fire it.

I didn't know the guy well. We hung out and he was part of my weekend party squad but I can't speak to his normal mental state or any sort of issues he may have struggled with. He was basically a friend of a friend. 

On the night in question, I think the fight started with another guy defending his girlfriend's honor because the guy I knew probably bumped into her or something. That turned into a dozen of us trying to separate each other, and at one point the boyfriend actually got separated from his girlfriend, who was mouthing off pretty bad to my guy. So he squared up on her and raised his fists before a few of us damn near tackled him. I was not sure if he was gonna hit her or not, but in hindsight that seems like a safe bet.

A single cop showed up and tried to break everything up. At some point the cop and my dude were locked in on each other and I kind of don't know what exactly happened next. They went to the ground and he came up waving a gun moments later. A shot was fired. I have no idea if he was aiming at anyone or not. By now, more cops had arrived and gang-tackled him rather than shooting him dead. 

No one was hurt but the last I heard he was still in prison.

Numerous charges were filed, more charges were added while he was locked up cause he regularly fought guards and jail doctors. He finally got sentenced and from what I heard, got more attempted murder charges added due to several knife incidents in prison. I stopped following his saga over 10 years ago, but I can only assume things have continued to go poorly for him.


A doctor in an Emergency Department writing prescriptions for oxycodone and diazepam to be filled by their partner in crime who would then sell them for recreational use. 

They were caught when a patient in the Emergency Department shouted out "That's my dealer" as the doctor walked past.


A guy I knew from high school is in the process of screwing his life now. He just got engaged to a girl he met a week before the engagement. It's been 17 days and he has now:

  • bought a car with (for) her

  • bought a 7 karate diamond ring for her

  • moved in with her

  • taken several days off work spending time with her (we work for the same company so I've been seeing when he was last online).


A former friend of mine decided that it was a good idea to hide his phone in the bathroom to get a video of his girlfriend's 13-year-old daughter coming out of the shower. 

The daughter found the phone and needless to say he will be paying for that mistake for the rest of his life.


This guy brought a BB gun to school and was waving it around in the parking lot. 

He was a senior and just a couple months of school to go before he would embark on an athletic scholarship to a decent school. All of that - gone because he wanted to look cool with his friends.


A rich kid shot a parking attendant and killed him. 

The short story is he went to a basketball game and wanted to park in a spot for the disabled and then tried to bribe the parking attendant. The guy wasn't having it, so he got out of his car and tried to start something. The rich kid ends up getting beat up by the parking attendant, goes back to his car and gets his gun and shoots him dead. The dude had a young son.

Anyhow, he's in prison now but his old man owns a business. So, he'll get out in about 10 years and have a lucrative job waiting for him. His life is just temporarily on hold unfortunately. 



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When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.

These are those stories.

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