February 18, 2020 | Melissa Budish

People Share Their Biggest Screw-Ups In Their Lives So Far

Life is a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes we go up, sometimes we go down, and sometimes we go through terrifying loop-de-loops. The hardest part is when we actually have control over a situation, but fail to make the right decisions. Here are some of the biggest screw-ups ever, as explained by online users around the world:


#1 Too Cool For Friends

Losing friends because I didn't put effort into maintaining the relationships. Nobody tells you when you're a kid just how hard it is to make new friends once you're past your college years. I was very self-conscious of how clingy and needy I could be. I overcompensated by being distant, cool, and unbothered. I hope this year will be a year of new friendships for me.


#2 The Pond Grows

As I've gotten older, I've realized that it's always one-sided. Usually, one person makes the effort until they realize it's only them trying to make things work. Then they slowly drift off. People are so busy these days or don't want to seem like a bother trying to get people to hang out, so the pond begins to grow and the distance widens between others.


#3 It's All One-Sided

I  spent much of the last decade being the guy who puts in the effort to include older friends in my life over thee summers and holidays with little reciprocation. Now that I've stopped doing that for the last two years, they're bitterly telling everyone else in our old circle about the fact that I'm selfish and haven't paid them any mind. It's gotten harder to tell who's going to be a manipulative narcissist given the level of narcissism we generally allow from people.


#4 The Health Gamble

I took a very large dose of a research chemical and went clinically insane for like a year. I even required inpatient hospitalization. It took me two years after that to build my life up and have a career, but I was never totally the same. Such is life. It was 25c if I recall correctly. I've avoided research on the subject for obvious reasons.


#5 A Huge Surprise

Having a kid with the wrong person. It really ends your life for the most part. I was 16 and the girl was 15. I didn't find out until the kid was born. I was a freshman in college because I had skipped some grades and dropped out to join the army at 17. That was the only way I could pay child support. I went to Germany and after four years I came home to a huge surprise. There is now a kind of stepdad in play, but he is cool. I play an uncle's role.


#6 No Spark Left

I  met my daughter's mom in college and we had our daughter, which was a whoops. We decided to stay together and make it work, but as time went on, we just hated each other. It’s now been four years and I’m finally stepping aside and moving out because it’s not healthy. We have slept in different rooms for a year now and don’t even have that spark of love. We fight a lot, which is the worst and we really are holding each other back.


#7 The Right Perspective

I don't resent my child. I regret giving her this life. I regret my choice of thinking that having her was the smart thing to do and that her father was a "good" man. I love my child and yeah, the thought of "if I never had you" pops into my head, but it's not because of her and I realized this. It's taken me a long time to accept this and not feel guilt over it. I love my child without a doubt but if I went back in time I would make sure she didn't exist yet.


#8 Just Break Free

We tried to make it work for all the right reasons, but we can’t go a day without yelling at each other. At some point, it becomes not healthy for the kids to be around two people that are basically roommates. Your child will be able to tell you're not happy. I don't know about anyone else, but I’m a better father and person when I’m not depressed and angry all the time about my living condition with my daughter's mom.

1024px-Father_and_Daughter_(Unsplash)Wikimedia Commons

#9 A Win-Win

We were so thankful that my cousin didn't get pregnant with her first husband before they divorced. It was not an easy break. I think my aunt and uncle had to give the guy a bunch of money to go away. But it's really good that now that he's gone, he's gone with no attachments. I guess in some ways, you could look at this as a total win-win.


#10 Up From Rock Bottom

Getting married to the wrong person. It led to a lengthy divorce in which time my ex tanked me financially. I lost my house, car, credit and eventually my dog because I couldn’t care for her myself (my parents took her). Now I have a career, I live in Hawaii, my credit is great, I have an amazing partner and a nice car (although I doubt I will ever buy a house again). Feels good! It took me years to recover.


#11 A Daily Regret

Probably dropping out of my dream college to be closer to my now ex. I regret that decision every single day... The thing is, my dream college is still very much an option, but it's nowhere near viable with my current situation. That was a very trying time in my life and it kind of destroyed me on the inside. Now, I have fears of going back and failing again just like last time.


# 12 I Broke Myself

I was 25 when I met her. She was broken and very needy. She had a lot of issues with herself, mainly personal insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. For those times when she was okay, everything was amazing and she was the best person to be around. But those times were rare... She was jealous of anyone and everyone. I didn't even hang around my friends anymore because she would make me feel guilty later on and she could never get along with them. I always thought I could help her, but only after everything fell apart did I realize that in my effort to always be there for her, I broke myself.


#13 Treat You Better

My girlfriend broke up with me last week and I've been devastated this whole time, but what hurts the most is realizing that I was to blame. I have a lot of issues with myself and she tried to help me. She was always there for me, but I just kept giving her problems... My problems. I know she'll be okay, but I'll always regret the way I treated her.


#14 Ex-Soulmate

In my last relationship, my ex was seemingly my soulmate. We loved all the same things and when it was great, it was great. But we both had issues we needed to address within ourselves separately. He put all the blame on me, and it took me a while to take him off the pedestal. We were great together but the timing was off since we hadn’t addressed our insecurities and issues at that point. I haven’t dated since because how often does life give you someone that ticks ALL the boxes? And I’m so aware of my failings that I don’t want to mess up again.


#15 Just Keep Going

Quitting a job before I had another one, which led to my savings being drained and my credit card debt soaring through the roof. I've recovered about a year later, but my savings are basically non-existent as I spent all of my excess paying down debt. We are brainwashed to think being happy is the default. That's not true. Happiness is just one component of life, and being a whole person means experiencing all emotional states. This is a win for me.


#16 Poverty Is No Fun

I didn't take high school seriously and dropped out of community college when I ran out of money. Now I'm 31, halfway through the program, and on track to pay it all off. I spent six years in retail during the housing crisis and four in woodworking. Seriously, if I could take back those six years and put them toward something that would help the world, I would now. You have a chance to turn it around. You don't want to spend your 20s poor as I did.


#17 Get That Paper

Choosing the wrong degree multiple times. A few years ago, I  finally decided on Computer Science... and I freaking hate it. I only have like eight classes left so I would be stupid for me not to finish it, but I have no desire to do anything computer science-related. I guess at this point, I just need to get that piece of paper and then I can figure it out.


#18 Bad Decisions

Having an existential crisis that led me to drop out of college, quit my job, let my car get repossessed, rack up crazy debt, get in trouble with the law, and ride my bike across the country until I ran out of money. My parents had to buy me a plane ticket home before I starved... That was over a year ago and I'm still in limbo.


#19 I'm Not Spineless

I should’ve stood up for myself and others multiple times instead of worrying about what others were thinking of me. Now when I look back on it, it wouldn't have made much difference for them, but it would have made a lot of positive difference in my life. Actually, I would have gained respect instead of appearing as a spineless creature.


#20 Bitcoin Investment

I was going to buy $100 worth of bitcoin in 2010, which at the time would've been somewhere around 1200 bitcoin. I was fairly poor at the time, so I decided I should spend the money on bills and food instead. Looking back on it, I should’ve starved for a week and let some bills go to collections... That would still be 120k. A decent amount for sure.


#21 A Great Betrayal

I wanted to take six months off to volunteer before going to college. I was dating a girl I loved who was a senior in high school. When she graduated, she was going to join the army. So I decided I'd take 18 months off for volunteer, to hang out with her, and to work odd jobs. Then, my school messed up my grant paperwork for a $750 book scholarship. They said they would not be able to fix it before the enrollment deadline, so I had to put it off another six months.

Since I wasn't working to save up money, I started school two years behind my friends and peers without a cent gained. the volunteering hasn't been much of a resume booster, either. On top of all this, four months after I started school, my girlfriend, who I was putting it all off for, dumped me.


#22 Teeth Love

Not taking care of my teeth. I didn't take dental health seriously for a lot of my life and now my teeth aren't in great shape, especially my two broken molars. I'm going to need a lot of dental work done to correct that screw-up. Even with my company's insurance plan, it's going to cost me a lot of money to get all my problems addressed.


#23 I'm Not Fine

Going well out of my way to do something for my family. My grandfather passed away and I turned down signing the lease of a new apartment with my best friends around the corner from school to help support my grandma an hour and a half away in traffic. I would end up in a car accident falling asleep on the freeway because of how exhausting the drive was. My grandmother ending up moving to another home and I was left to tend to my knee injuries all by myself.

I hurt my shoulder using crutches and at one point, I even used a rolling chair to pull myself back and forth to the kitchen. I lost my job, racked up some medical debt, felt the onset of mental disorders from weeks of solitude, dropped classes, resented other family and friends for leaving me alone, and suffered a plethora of compensation injuries. No one came to make sure I was okay. No one.


#24 Slowly But Surely

Trying to pursue a career in professional gaming... It led to three years of homelessness, struggles to find work, and losing my relationships with my friends and family. I'm now sleeping on a couch, doing temp work and rekindling things with my family. I've also somehow got a girlfriend. I guess things will be fine soon enough.


#25 Kleptomaniac Tendencies

When I was 13, My sister began dating a girl who was older (about 15 or 16) who had a habit of stealing. I’m not talking about stealing a pack of gum from the corner shop, I’m talking hundreds of dollars worth of clothes, perfume, jewelry, the lot. Our mom caught us a few times. It is still my biggest regret. Only a few people know about it. To this day, I get annoyed at myself for it. I knew it was bad but I did it anyway. I don’t do it anymore, but it still bothers me that I did t in the first place.

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#26 Loans, Loans, Loans

Student loans. I got into the same private university that my dad attended back in the '70s. They have a great engineering program, and he was so excited for me to follow in his footsteps. Of course, the tuition rates had skyrocketed though, as they all have. The money that my parents had saved for college was gone very fast, and the student loans began. I ended up with $100k of student loans at the end of undergrad. Then, I accepted a position in their master's program with a full scholarship. Two years later when I finished, the interest had ballooned my debt to $115k, and the master's degree truly isn't more useful than two years of job experience.


#27 Love Yourself

Not having self-confidence from middle school all the way until I was 27. I'm doing a lot better now that I have some self-confidence, but I really set myself back in terms of personal life. I missed out on a bunch of stuff that is long gone. Screw it, though— the only way to move is forward. I'm looking forward to where my life goes from here on out.


#28 The French Fries Fire

I put leftover french fries in the microwave once. Only, I wasn't sure how long I should put them in for. The microwave had a button that said "potato" on it, and somewhere in my mind I thought, "French fries are made from potatoes, perfect!" I went back to the microwave three minutes later and it was on fire. I had to evacuate the dorms at 2:00 a.m.


#29 When It Gets Tough

Not quitting my job when it got to be too stressful. The last two years have been horrible, working on nights in a large grocery store. Previously, I was at a smaller store hating my job as well. I thought getting promoted and a change of scenery would make things better, but it’s just made me more bitter. I also should’ve probably taken up one of the higher-ups on his offer of recommendation like, five or six years ago, but now it’s too late. I don’t even see higher-ups with the hours they work me and I feel unrecognized for my work abilities. Thankfully, the rest of my life isn’t bad or I’d be in a really dark place.

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#30 Spiraling Out Of Control

DUI. Graduated from college without having learned a lot about life. I couldn't find a job and spiraled into bad habits. I got wasted one night and crashed my car into a mailbox that punched through my driver's side window. My BAC was 0.32%. Legal repercussions followed and I had the pleasure of digging myself out of that hole. It ended up turning out well though. It caused me to get my life together and see a bit more clearly. An employer took a chance on me eventually which got my foot in the door for the industry.


#31 Math Problems

In third grade, I started homeschooling. That's not the bad part—my mom who was teaching me decided to go back to university for her degree shortly after,  so my schooling was entirely up to me with online work. I procrastinated for like five years. I have a fourth grade understanding of math. I should never have relied so much on my mom's help.


#32 Nevermind Monks

I used to have really bad anxiety and I was always trying to fix it so I could "improve myself." I'd read about monks and how clearing their thoughts made them healthier and live longer. I'd stress out trying and failing to be more like a monk until one day I was thinking about it and thought, "Wait a minute. Nevermind monks. They don't have my life." That debilitating level of anxiety is a thing of the past for me. I just embrace my racing thoughts. I'm 35 and living the best years of my life.


#33 A Machiavellian Side

My parents taught me not to trust anyone. I didn't. Them included. Life was paranoid and lonely. I have worked to get past this, but still leaves me with a Machiavellian side where I bank weaknesses and flaws in the event of duplicity or betrayal. I hate that part of myself as no one is exempt. I doubt I will ever be a full person. It's a dark and lonely life, but I'm hopeful things will change for the better.


#34 Taken For Granted

Leaving my ex-husband. We had a good life. He treated me well, we were financially stable, we enjoyed traveling, and we had many things in common. I took it for granted. I pretty much had a midlife crisis. I thought it wasn't exciting enough and that I wanted more; I wanted "passion." I'm now going into the second half of my life financially insecure, shocked by how bad the dating pool is, and living in a space the size of my previous bedroom. Not to mention I caused him a lot of pain in the process. I wish I could have had an Ebeneezer Scrooge-like premonition of what life would be like three years later. I would have been a much better wife and much more grateful for how "boring" my life was.


#35 Many Regrets

Oh boy, there are lots. Some tattoos, some girls that I dated, leaving some careers, basically everything that my brain reminds me of when I try to go to sleep. Now that I think about every mistake I have made, I have a better understanding of who I am and I am happy now. Sometimes, you need to screw up in order to grow.


#36 Biggest Shame

I cheated. She didn't deserve it—she's the greatest human I've ever met. Helping her through her illness is probably my proudest achievement... but I stopped being in love with her, despite loving her dearly. I never communicated this to her. It built up to a point where I started getting tipsy and I eventually cheated. Biggest regret, biggest shame, biggest screw-up.


#37 Never Back Down

Losing my house to foreclosure. I work freelance and go through slow periods, so money gets tight. I fell a bit behind on the mortgage at a time when the house needed a new A/C system and the roof started leaking. I let the pressure overwhelm me a bit and even though I made some moves to save the house, I didn’t fight as hard as I should of or learned enough about what all my options might have been.

Leaking_roof_in_Science_Library,_UCSCWikimedia Commons

#38 Choosing Love

I turned down a major career and life-changing opportunity in the film industry in a city close to my family because I "chose love" as my live-in partner didn't want to move cities (she wasn't even from the city we lived in, we had few friends there and no family). We broke up five months later, and the guy who took the job I turned down is now mega-rich and successful. I'm doing alright as well, but what a dumb choice that was.


#39 I Tried

Moving to a third world country with little savings, trying to "make it." Fast forward three years later with nothing to show for it besides debt, jail in a third world country and dealing with corrupt cops. I've also had four failed startups, an abusive business partner and an abusive significant other. Well. I tried.

1024px-Aadhaar_-_Biometric_Data_Collection_-_Chirantani_Vidyapith_-_Howrah_2012-08-10_01547Wikimedia Commons

#40 A Single Moment

My mother worked at an elderly care facility as a hairdresser. She was friends with a lady in her 80s who was wheelchair-bound. This lady’s son came to visit her one day and took her outside for some fresh air. He didn’t set the brake on the wheelchair properly, and they were on a hill. He turned away for a moment and when he looked back, his poor mother was flying down the hill and ended up in one of their small ponds. She passed within a day of the incident. It’s crazy how everything changes in one moment and screw-ups happen no matter how attentive you try to be.


#41 A Missed Opportunity

There was this girl in high school that I had a huge crush on. She was my close friend, but definitely out of my league. She was very beautiful and popular and people always asked her why she hung out with me. I never made a move because I was certain she’d reject me. At graduation, she gave me a nice card and a box of assorted chocolates. I’m allergic to nuts, so I couldn’t eat any but I really appreciated the gesture. To thank her, I bought her some socks that said “best friend” all over them.

After that, she acted very strangely to me. I thought maybe she didn’t like my gift or that she wanted to focus on college or something. Eventually, we just drifted apart. Since I couldn’t risk eating any of the chocolates, I left them in my parent’s fridge. About six months later, my mom texted me asking if they can eat them. I said sure. Then she sent me a picture.

“This was underneath the chocolates, I think it was meant for you.” It was a photo of the girl and me, cut into the shape of a heart. On the back of the photo was a message from her, professing her secret feelings for me. By this time, she had a boyfriend who she’s now married to. I had a shot and I blew it. I’ve thought about it every day since.

Dark_chocolate_barWikimedia Commons

#42 Medical Mistake

I gave myself really bad food poisoning in 2018. I wasn't paying attention. BIG mistake. I was severely unwell with a bad stomach ulcer. After two months of suffering, I began to develop this insidious anxiety and depression. Two different doctors did a whole bunch of tests on me and concluded I had pretty much nuked my gut biome, introduced something called H. pylori and that the anxiety and depression were a result of that due to the brain-gut relationship.

So they prescribed me some meds. I took one pill and immediately felt excruciating pain. I threw up a load of blood and my heart started racing faster than it ever has before. Long story short, the medication was eating through my stomach through the ulcer. It took me seven months to recover. Now I suffer from OCD because I'm terrified I will poison myself again or my family. The depression went but the anxiety has remained along with a bad case of emetophobia. Cooking meat is a big deal for me now.


#43 Work Ethic Is Everything

Not putting effort into school. I didn't do the homework. I didn't study. I barely even went to school. I always tested well and skated through school with passing grades. Anyway, what I really cheated myself out of was developing a strong work ethic. And that has repeatedly bitten me in the bum. Nowadays, accolades mean nothing if you don't have a strong work ethic.


#44 A Blatant Weakness

Not getting help for my mental health issues. I was so terrified of people seeing there was something wrong with me, that I had such a blatant weakness. I held out for so long that now I don’t know how I’m supposed to explain to anyone how many things have piled up. I know it's not too late, but there's still this lingering fear that I deal with every time I get an urge to try getting help.


#45 Blessing In Disguise

Biggest screw-up? Whilst working on an account for a company, I accidentally emailed a batch of documents to a client which included our whole project profit database. The client went mad... And the company went mad. It was a genuine mistake but I was forced to resign and apologize to the business directors. Turns out, it was a blessing in disguise. I went freelance after that point and I'm now earning more money with a more relaxed work-life balance.


#46 Far Too Much

I bought a house far too big for what we needed, far away from anything or anybody we cared about, far away from even a small town, and for far too much money that needed far too much in maintenance. I owned that money pit for a year and hated every second of it. Lost $200K in net worth at that time. Always think twice before making important financial decisions.


#47 Me, Myself, And I

Spending 14 years of my life with a man who claimed he loved me more than anything. He treated me like gold until he suddenly claimed he fell out of love with me. He proceeded to abandon me and take up with the side chick he had for who knows how long. Looks like he lied to me for a long time and took advantage of my blind love and trust. He took off without any warning and completely blindsided me. I don't think I'll ever fall in love again, it's just a freaking fairy tale. You can only rely on yourself.


#48 It Can Only Get Better

Being a gang member in my teens. I started at 12 years old and was in and out of jail for the next 12 years. If I tally it up, I must have been only out two years total out of those 12. As a result, I was super anti-social, I didn’t know how to live amongst normal people, I had no education, and I was very bad-mannered. Happy to say the last time I was in jail was five years ago and even though I’m struggling today, I’m on the right path. Life can only get better from here.


#49 Worst Boyfriend Ever

Boozing too much in my youth and losing genuinely good women. Not because I was abusive, mean or nasty, but because I neglected them in the sense that I didn't wanna do things that I deemed boring, even though they meant something to them. "Wanna go see my mom?"... "I sure don't, have a good time." That sort of stuff. Worst boyfriend ever?


#50 Never Again

I lived with my abusive family. I moved out and cut contact. My mom came to my house and apologized. She was crying and suggested I moved back in. I was sick and couldn't work for a month, so rent was going to be hard. I agreed to come back home. The same minute I moved back in, all chaos broke loose and I regretted it immediately. My dad went off and my mom reminded me of why I cut contact in the first place. I plan to move out again at the end of February. And I never plan on coming back!




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