People on Reddit were asked: “What is the worst permanent life decision that you’ve ever made?” These are some of the best answers.
1. Voluntary amputation.
Tattoo with my wife’s name. She got mine too. We had been together for 6 blissful years. Stayed for 8 more. Today, I just want to chop my arm off.
2. That’s why Sesame Street did a song about it.
I didn’t take brushing or flossing seriously and now a bunch of my teeth are in pretty bad shape.
3. You either conquer the mountain, or the mountain conquers you.
I tried to climb the highest mountain in my country. My father took me and my brother there with some friends. The problem is that I have sickle-cell anemia, and due to the low oxygen I just couldn’t go further; but I did anyway. Bad idea. My spleen and appendix almost burst, and I had to wait for 24 hours in agonizing pain before a helicopter rescued [me].
Had to get my spleen and appendix removed. And now I can’t do any “hard” exercise, ever.
4. I was gonna clean my room, but then I got high.
Missing the party that Bill Gates threw when I was in college before Microsoft took off because I got high.
5. Five-finger discount?
When I was 20 or so I was poor, my family was poor, and things got really bad that year. I decided I could make some quick money flipping stolen items (buy cheap, sell for a profit). I was an idiot and got busted. I got a felony for it, and 7 years of probation. Now I’m 28, can’t get a job anywhere, and life is nearly pointless at this juncture.
I’ve been on the good side of the law since that all went down, and with each month that passes where I wonder if I’ll eat tomorrow or have a roof over my head I think more and more “I could solve this by getting back into crime…” It’s a vicious cycle, and I’d rather be shot in the mouth than go through all of it again. I have no clue how I’ll ever get my life back on track.
6. Hardcore parkour!
I decided to try and be a parkour expert.
My [bad] coordination didn’t kill my motivation… Until one evening, I was at a local park, and decided to do a massive wall jump that failed epically. I fell on top of a jabbed surface and tore my intestines. Due to this injury, I now have a permanent colostomy at the ripe age of 16. Mistakes man, they suck.
7. I can make friends when I’m dead.
Decided to not socialize when I was younger, didn’t go to a 4-year college, and I work full time.
Now I have no life.
8. That’s more than most people make in ten years!
I inherited $600,000 from my grandpa when I was 18 years old. I wanted to invest it in the stock market, but instead it actually ended up paying for drugs, gambling, a BMW and the club lifestyle. I was broke by 22 and now I’m 26 and hate my younger self. At least I helped my other grandpa and my mom out with the money while I still had it, but I could have done so much more good if I wasn’t such an idiot.
9. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
Volunteering to go to war.
I didn’t even have to go, could have finished my contract out and never have went. I feel like it cost me my sanity and happiness most of the time. Definitely took more out of me than I ever expected it to.
10. You gotta know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em…
Rolling the dice with unprotected sex.
11. Forever regretful!
Buying that World of Warcraft subscription and game in 2004.
12. Your brain ages too…
Screwing around in high school and not going to college.
I’m not saying college is necessary for everyone, but I think I would be in a much better place overall if I had gone. I have a decent corporate job that I am very good at. I’ve been employed by the same company for 10 years. My life is not horrible, but the ceiling is getting so low that I have to crouch in my cubicle.
I am already 10 years into a middling career that can’t ever really make me happy.
What I’m saying is I would have much preferred, in retrospect, if I had just buckled down and worked hard and gone to college right after high school when learning was still fresh and I still remembered a bit about high level algebra. The ability to learn at the rate you currently do goes away. Use it while you have it.
13. Caskets don’t look that cool.
Smoking… I have done irreversible damage to my body. For no reason other than to get a nicotine fix for a problem I created for myself.
God I was stupid, I quit 2 years ago and I still think I want to smoke on a weekly basis but I know better.
14. “I’ll marry the next perfect girl who comes along.”
Breaking up with that awesome girl in college because I wasn’t ready to settle down. Been trying to find a girl that awesome ever since (or remotely close).
15. Location, location, location.
I turned down my dream job because of location. Then, I ended up getting another job elsewhere that was the right location and a high salary, and those were the worst 5 years of my life.
16. Skinny doesn’t mean healthy.
It was a very gradual shift over the course of a year from “if I eat a little less and exercise more” to “if I eat absolutely nothing and exercise for 4-5 hours a day” that did it to me. The entire time I felt like I was making a conscious, independent choice as I slipped further and further into a mental illness that kills 20% of its sufferers. Now I have a serious heart problem, osteopenia, and people still do not think I am sick, just “in control”. I would have less health problems if I were overweight. My doctors had to let me go once I was a “healthy” weight but that didn’t help my mental health at all. Every day I struggle with putting the food I need to live into my body. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
17. You don’t get do-overs in life.
To not be more there for my grandparents before they passed.
18. One stain didn’t come out in the wash.
Not breaking up with my ex-wife while we were in college. One night we were doing laundry and we were right on the verge of breaking up. We almost broke up, but I backed down. We ended up getting married and had a couple of kids. My life is very [messed] up because of her now 15 years down the road…but I have two wonderful kids from the relationship, that would not exist if we had broken up that one night.
Funny how so much of my life seems to pivot around that one night and that one decision. Without making the decision I made I would not have my kids. But my life would not be [screwed]. I think about that night a lot.
19. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
I decided to break up a fight.
It was a success at first, but then some guy came from behind and tackled me. I was stronger than him and gave a few good ones, but he was obviously a trained a fighter. He put my leg in some type of jiu-jitsu hold and tore my ACL. I was an uninsured student at the time. Ten years later, I still cannot play any sports and I have to be extremely cautious in the snow.
20. Cosmetic surgery: not just for celebs.
I have a large birthmark on one side of my face, and when I was around 8 years old, when my father was still alive and we had a decent income, my mother informed me of a simple procedure and asked if I wanted to have the birthmark removed. I said no because it “Gave me character.”
As it turns out, that “Character” is a socially awkward hermit.
21. When someone throws you a rope…
Lying through my teeth (“I’m okay”) to my high school counsellor when she asked me how I was doing. 4 years of severe depression and many failed college classes later, so many doors in life are closed to me forever. If you’re a young adult reading this, please get the help you need if you need it. Today.
22. Misery pays.
Choosing a degree for the money, not for what I’m interested in. Now I’m stuck with a major that I don’t even like.
23. “I need a hot cash injection, STAT!”
Going to med school because it was the next logical step. I didn’t take it seriously, and now I’m $300+k in debt, waiting tables, horribly over-educated and under-skilled/licensed for everything, living with my parents and trying to figure out what’s next.
24. But I thought “Teen Moms” was supposed to be instructional!
“I don’t need a condom, I’ll just pull out.” – 19 yr old me
Despite MTV’s efforts to glamorize teenage parents, it really sucks. It’s hard trying to raise someone when you yourself don’t even have direction in your life. You’re already poor, kids are expensive, and you alienate yourself from your friends because no 19-21 year old really wants to hang out with you and your kid on a Friday night. You drop out of school because you can’t handle working 40 hours a week, being a parent, and trying to be a full-time student, or even a part-time student.
All this being said, I love my son to death and he is probably the best thing that happened to me. Without him I truly believe I would have drank or partied myself into a really bad place. Took me a lot longer to get back “on my feet but 12+ years later I’m finally back in school and really happy with my life.
25. College is about making mistakes.
I messed up my first semester of college pretty badly. I wasn’t used to the freedom of having the option to show up to class. I ended up getting kicked out, and I think the reason that this is the worst permanent life decision I’ve made is because I know how much I disappointed some of my family members (especially my dad).
I’m going to a community college now, and I told my dad my grades and GPA and he did say he was proud of me, which was good.
26. But who gets custody of the tattoos?
I got married and we got matching tattoos instead of wedding rings because tattoos are permanent like marriage …..right?
27. It’s hard work failing.
Going to University of Toronto for 2 years. I wasted 2 years of my life, $16,000 and now, I don’t even want to put it on my resume because I’d have to explain to the interviewer why I didn’t finish. Damnit I knew the first semester I was there that I wasn’t smart enough to graduate. I studied 5-8 hours per day and got the same grades as someone who studied 5-8 hours a month.
28. You can change your name, but you can’t change your ink…
My best friend was a tattoo artist, and she was my platonic life partner.
I thought it would be funny to tattoo “Insert her name here was here” on my inner thigh. There is no way we’re not ever gonna be friends right? Well I was right, years later we are still friends but turns out she wasn’t a she. Now my best friend is a man that no longer goes by that name. We plan on scratching it out and putting his new name there.
29. Inaction Jackson.
Mine is inaction. I should have played an extra sport in highschool and I should have created a local non-profit organization for kids with Tourette’s syndrome (which I have and therefore relate to).
If I had done both of those, I KNOW I could have gotten a full ride to my dream college. Which would have then allowed for my two brothers and sister to for sure go to college without my parents going so far into debt.
Then my parents wouldn’t have been so stressed which would have made home life easier. And my siblings would have a much easier time in their lives.
Inaction is just as permanent as action.
30. If it hurts, stop doing it.
Stare at the sun, it turns all sorts of cool colors! Thats what someone told me when I was 4 years old.
I got off lucky and just have minor far-sightedness. I’ve never told anyone this because it’s so damn stupid.
31. Sharing is caring.
Got married twice. The first time I was young and dumb; the second time she was young and I was still dumb. There will be no third marriage in my future. I’m tired of losing 3/4 of my stuff.
Judge: They can keep all their stuff and you give them half of your stuff, oh and you get to pay all the bills.
32. Well, that really paints a picture…
Stretching my ears. One of them is stuck with a 10mm hole in that I have to have a plug in permanently or else it looks like a cats butt.
33. Got his doctorate at the University of International Waters.
Trusting a sketchy dentist because he was in the neighborhood and took Medicaid. For every filling he gave us, he drilled out entirely too much healthy tooth, and gave us each one root canal. In each of our mouths, the tooth that had root canal treatment completely broke off to the gum and all the teeth that he filled ended up breaking. He has since been put out of business and been charged with malpractice.
34. Great conversation piece at family functions.
I got my girlfriend’s name tattooed on my calf in fairly large, bold, black letters. She is now my sister-in-law.
35. THIS IS WHY RINGS ARE FOR FINGERS!
Bought a penis-ring to have sex with my ex-GF. The first (and only) time I used it, I set the ring size way too small – basically choked my penis from lack of circulating blood. Completed sex, but the next morning my penis was shrivelled (like half its normal flaccid size)and looked like it was covered in really tiny veins everywhere. Went to the ER and it turns out that I caused ischemia in parts of my penis, burst a few blood vessels, and basically destroyed my ability to get an erection for the rest of my life. I am only in my 20’s.
36. Should have checked the label.
Took my doctor’s recommendation to take a drug without questioning it.
Ended up taking paxil to help with my anxiety at the time and it didn’t chemically work for me. Ended up going crazy for a week.
That culminated with me jumping off a parking garage, from about 70 feet onto the street below. Now i have a wrist plate, replacement elbow joint, metal rods in both legs and a half cage in my spine that was put in wrong initially, causing me to lose function of my legs.
37. Does this ring a bell?
Playing in a band without ear plugs. Tinnitus is a pain in the butt.
38. Temporary problem, meet permanent solution.
Cutting the majority of my penis off with scissors when I was about 4. I had chicken pox and my penis was so itchy that apparently I decided it was a good idea to just cut it off. I can’t pee in urinals, I have to sit on the toilet and reach behind my back and pull my balls back to pee correctly.
39. Say it NOW.
When I was 14, I was getting ready in my room for school and from my window upstairs I could see my dad putting stuff into his truck to leave for work. I thought about opening the window and telling him “have a good day, I love you” and then thought “nah, that window is hard to open and I’ll see him tonight”.
I did see him that night… in a hospital bed. He was a contractor working on a 2 story roof and fell onto a brick patio. He was in a coma for 23 days and then we had to let him go. He knew I loved him and all that, but I still had one last chance to tell him and I didn’t take it for laziness.