Expect the unexpected. No one can truly ever tell how their life is going to turn out, which is simply the beauty and the tragedy of it. However, what you can do is roll with the punches and learn from your experiences just like these AskReddit users did when they opened up about their 'I thought this would never happen to me' moments. So remember 'Surrender to what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.'
Source list available at the end.
Losing Loved Ones
“My son was born 3 months early, lived for 3 days, and then died after. Eight months later, my husband died in a work-related accident. I was 28 at the time. I thought those kinds of things only happened to others and then it happened to me. I’m 44 now. When I look back at those times, I can’t believe how my life has changed because of them. I’m a kinder, gentler, and more forgiving person. I always look to ensure that a person walks away from an encounter with me looking forward to the next one. I miss my son and my husband, but they prepared me for the family that I have now, and I am grateful for that.”
“I had to shove my fingers down my sister’s throat to pull out pills and force her to throw up during a suicide attempt. I sincerely hope (to anyone who is reading this) that you never have to go through watching someone you love attempt suicide. It’s heart-wrenching, and it will mess you up. I was crying and begging her to ‘stay with me’, while she was physically trying to fight me off. Those moments are something that will never leave me for as long as I live.
My sister is doing better now. She’s getting the help that she needs, and she’s slowly getting better. Some days are still hard, but small steps are better than nothing, Small steps still progress.For anyone out there who is suffering, please please please reach out to someone. Anyone. You are not alone, even though it may feel like that sometimes. I may be a stranger, but I’m always here to listen if anyone needs an ear. Stay strong.”
“I got pregnant four times in one calendar year (2016). I was pregnant in January and had an early miscarriage in February. I was then pregnant again in March and had a miscarriage in April. Pregnant again in August, but I was given an ectopic diagnosed that same month. Finally, I was pregnant in December and welcomed the most amazing baby boy ever on August 31st, 2017. No one ever talks about miscarriages/losses until they happen to you. I never thought I would lose one pregnancy, let alone three all in one year. But, it happens…”
Woke Up Blind
“I woke up blind in one eye on May 1, 1992. After five hospitalizations in a year that left me temporarily completely blind, unable to walk, talk, hold objects, and a new MS diagnosis, all of which were things that I thought would never happen to me, I went on to take Tae Kwon Do for seven years and work in radio. I speak for a living. Speech therapy really came in handy for me. Nothing surprises me anymore. Anything can happen to us at any given moment and for any given reason. So, enjoy life anyway.”
“I received a suspicious text message from my mother one night that said something along the lines of: ‘I love you so much. You’ve made me so proud.’ My mom never texts me out of the blue like that, and it would never be something so sappy and finite. I logged onto Facebook to see if she was maybe having a bad day or something. Instead, she had just put up a status that read: ‘Thanking all of her friends and family for all of the love over the years.’
I immediately called my dad because my mom wouldn’t pick up the phone. He told me that she’d just gone to bed and that she’d been fine all night (He doesn’t use Facebook or text). I told him to check on her, and he said that he would.
She had swallowed all of her medications in hopes of passing away in her sleep. He immediately rushed her to the hospital, and she’s alive today. Her attempt was a result of a larger issue compounded by alcohol, gambling, and debt (All of which came to light after this attempt).
I never thought I had the ‘perfect family’ until this incident and a series of incidents afterward. I, especially, never thought that I would be facing these kinds of issues with my mother. I was pretty naive.”
Hit The Brakes
“When I was probably 16, my parents and I were driving through Yellowstone Park. We were in a pretty desolate area (near the Lamar Valley) going 50mph when we saw ahead of us two groups of people. Apparently, they were all two parts of the same family with half of them staying by their parked car and the other staying half across the road trying to get a picture of something. My dad slowed our truck down, but one of the adults saw us and waved us ahead, so we sped up again.
Well, right at that second, apparently, this kid (probably somewhere between 10-12) decided that he wanted to be across the road with his other parent and ran full-tilt out in front of our truck. My dad slammed on the brakes, and everything in our truck went flying. We couldn’t see the kid and thought for sure that he was under the wheels. I even ended up hitting my head on the dashboard because of how suddenly we had stopped.
Thank god that when we looked up, the kid had actually made it across the street. His mother was crying and asking him over and over again, ‘What the heck were you thinking?’ I couldn’t even imagine what must’ve been going through her head watching that situation unfold. It probably took five years off of all of our lives.”
“I experienced my campus going on lockdown. A friend and I had stayed late to study for our finals. Around 6:30, both of our phones went off. Turns out, it was an email from the Campus Police saying that ‘… There was a man with a gun on campus and to stay away from a certain area.’ Of course, we were in that exact same spot, but we didn’t really worry about it. All of a sudden, there was some yelling and sirens, and they had us evacuate the building. There were cops everywhere with guns, and they made us drop everything as they also searched all of us (easily 70-100 people). We were freezing and were freaking out. After a couple hours, we were able to leave. It was a scary walk back to our cars, and we’ve been hesitant to stay late ever since. They never found the guy so that didn’t help our nerves either.”
“I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My therapist told me I had probably had it since I was in middle school, which came as a real big shock to me because I had always just thought that ‘feeling the way that I did’ was normal.”
“I never thought I would personally be affected by a mass shooting. My dad used to work as security at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas, and he was working that night in October. I got a frantic call from my mom around midnight saying how there was a shooting at his work and that she couldn’t get ahold of him (He never carried his cellphone), but I never really thought much of it. That is, until I turned on the news. I, like so many people, was glued to the news, and it just kept getting worse. I have to say not knowing what is happening to your loved one is the absolute worst feeling. We didn’t hear from him for 14 anxiety-filled hours until he came home. Unlike so many other people that night, though, he was (thankfully) okay. I would’ve never guessed that something like this could hit so close to home.”
“My girlfriend got roofied at a party we were at. Luckily, I was there. Normally, she’s a tank when it comes to drinking, but she was gone after maybe about half a glass. She had no idea where she was. At one point, she didn’t even know who she was. It was really scary. She tried to get out of a moving car on the freeway. She was crying because she didn’t know where I was taking her even though we were actually walking to our apartment. After she stripped down to her underwear in the hallway of our complex about ten doors down from ours. She was the equivalent of hungover for almost two days and had her head in the toilet for an entire day.”
“I was a pretty good kid growing up. I came from a really great, supportive family. When I was about 13, I started abusing a friend’s ADHD medication which must have triggered something in my brain because, about 2.5 years later, I was already doing harder drugs for the first time. Looking back on everything, it was unreal how quickly my drug addiction had progressed and how much it had completely consumed me.
When I was about 17, I felt the walls closing in on me I worked up the nerve to talk to my dad about what was going on. Obviously, he was heartbroken, but he and my mom helped me get into a treatment program that was catered towards young people. The general philosophy at this place was that it was possible to control our drug addictions and that if I took care of my issues with the harder substances, then I could realistically return to alcohol (or even pot) at some point in my life. I followed that advice with pretty disastrous consequences, and I’ve recently learned that the founder of that program had an unfortunate surgery, got readdicted to painkillers, and died a couple of years ago.
After getting out of my first stint in rehab, I started drinking and using lightly again while I was still finishing high school. However, by the age of 18, I had been introduced to IV heroin. One of the common misconceptions about drug addicts is that we destroy our external lives immediately. While that’s certainly the case for a lot of people, I managed to be a relatively high functioning heroin addict and even got into a state college in Colorado. I fully immersed myself in the party life and built up a reputation for being a hard drinker/drug user. However, despite all of this, I ended up getting mostly A’s and B’s in my first year of college.
By my sophomore year, my using had intensified drastically. I was drinking and using six days a week and only stopping when I couldn’t physically go on. I paid for my habit by stealing books from college bookstores and reselling them to second-hand places. My grades dipped somewhat, but I still managed to keep a respectable GPA. But on the inside, I could feel myself dying more and more with each use. The scariest part of it, at first, was that despite the unimaginable anguish that I experienced, I felt cold and dead inside at the same time. It was hard to explain, but anyone who has been there probably knows.
Anyway, I joined a study abroad program and took out a pretty large student loan with no intention of coming back to the states anytime soon. What was supposed to be a 3-month program turned into an about 14-month stay in South America. I got hooked on some drugs (again), dropped out of college, and moved into a small apartment with seven other people. I eventually left that apartment and more or less rambled through South America for months. I slept on the streets or in abandoned buildings, hitchhiked, etc. It was the lowest I had ever been in my life up until that point. During my time down there, I ended up getting robbed or beaten up six times. I had a knife put to my throat, and I was stuffed in the back of a taxi and driven to an ATM at gunpoint, etc. All of these incidents were directly or indirectly related to my drug and alcohol use.
One more time, my loving parents bailed me out and helped me buy a plane ticket home when I couldn’t go on. I got home and ended up returning to school after a while. However, I kept using even after everything I went through. I became a daily drug user once more. Long story short, I made a series of awful decisions and lost my housing, was arrested, and ended up in the hospital with an overdose. It wasn’t my first overdose, but this time, I stopped breathing.
Still, I couldn’t stop. There’s this line in the movie Candy (which is the best drug depiction) that goes something like: ‘When you can quit, you don’t want to. When you want to quit, you can’t.’ That was my life. I was no longer a human being. One of the most surreal moments in my entire life was when I got into a five-car pile-up on the highway and dug through the carnage and broken glass to find a rig and the baggies in my glove box and stuffed them into my sock before the cops could arrive. Many of the people I knew died horrible deaths. Some were arrested. A few of them killed themselves.
And then my life changed. My cousin, who I had confided in earlier that week, talked to my family. They got me back into rehab, and this time I vowed to quit everything and actually work to get better. That was five years ago last week.
I got sober in the mountains in Colorado and then ended up doing an extended-stay program in Washington State. I stayed in a halfway house for about six months after that. After everything, I was in treatment or a halfway house for a full year.
But since getting sober and changing my life, I’ve been so blessed. I finished college online, and now I’m about halfway through a Masters in Predictive Analytics. I got a job at one of the biggest tech companies in the country and have a wonderful life in Seattle. I just celebrated the one-year birthday of my most precious baby boy. I’ve managed to repair my relationship with my family through several years of hard work and am happy to be spending the holidays with them this year. I don’t deserve any of it, but life is mysterious sometimes.
If, by chance, anyone who is struggling with addiction reads this. It’s never too late to turn things around and claim your life back. It’s never too late to try and make right the things you’ve done that were wrong.”
“I always wanted a baby. Since as far back as I could remember, my husband and I would talk (which was since we got engaged). I had no delusions about it being east, etc. Now, they would talk to you about postpartum depression all throughout your pregnancy, and ask you a bunch of screening questions in the hospital and during the baby’s one-month checkup. I had a nurse call me after two months to ask the same screening questions. I was fine and happy. And then, suddenly, I couldn’t bring myself to change her diaper. I was just standing beside her at the changing table watching her cry, and I was just totally unable to lift my arms. I cried whenever I was alone. I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted not to be (Not in a suicidal way, I just hoped I could blink and it would all be over).
I was afraid to tell my husband. I thought he’d think I was lying. He didn’t, and he was incredibly supportive. My doctor was incredibly supportive, and I was put on meds and they kicked in to help two days later.
Postpartum depression can happen to any mom, at any point, in a baby’s first year. It does discriminate.”
My dad passing away before I could turn 18.