Major life changes sometimes come at unpredictable times. Sometimes, these changes are for the worse...but others are for the better. These people and their stories, share how they were affected by such a major life change that really did separate their life they knew before, until now.
When Going Outside To Vent Turns You Into A Parapaligic
“So I got into an argument with my best friend while on vacation, last April, and went out onto the balcony of my hotel room to call somebody and vent about it.
I sat on the railing and ended up falling three stories onto the ground below me.
Now I’m adjusting to life as a 23-year-old paralyzed chick in a wheelchair.”
“The Woman He Married Is Almost Completely Gone”
“A hit and run Easter 2012.
Before that day I was active and happy. I was a newlywed, my husband and I loved to camp, go to the beach, hike, etc…I was alive and truly living.
That morning I was headed to work, it was about 10 am with clear sunny skies. I was waiting at a stop sign 2 blocks from my house. A truck on the main road started to swerve, sped up and rammed right into my driver side door. I stayed conscious but things were hazy. He looked right at me through my windshield and backed up and sped off.
I woke up that day a normal 25-year-old, I went to bed with a shoulder and spine injury. I take 12 different meds a day. I haven’t been camping or hiking or anything in 4 years. No activity equals weight gain. Weight gain equals self-consciousness. Every day, I live with unbearable pain. I’ve since been diagnosed with major depression and don’t even feel like a person anymore. I feel anger and guilt, my husband didn’t sign up for this, he vowed for better or worse but didn’t know ‘worse’ would be less than a year later. The woman he married is almost completely gone. My husband has always been supportive, he is what keeps me going, he is what keeps me alive but I don’t think anything will ever make me feel like I’m living.”
“Who Knew Downloading A Stupid App Would Lead To This”
“Some background – I met my boyfriend on Tinder (I know, I know), on a whim. I met up with him, and he was 45 minutes late to dinner. When he did show up, he was dressed in a nice suit and brought me a rose. He explained that he was a truck driver, and he wanted to shower and be cleaned and groomed when he was to meet me. When I dropped him off that night, he was staying at one of those truck stop lot things where there’s a shower and food, but you sleep in the cab of your truck.
We quickly fell for one another. He was very respectful of me and didn’t touch me until I touched him, and even then, he was respectful. We talked constantly on the phone, and I was able to see him almost every weekend when he passes through town. He loved being a truck driver because he loved to travel. He took the most beautiful pictures, and they’re still on Instagram.
Valentine’s week, he said he wanted to meet my family. I told my family, and they were so excited. We were planning Sunday dinner. He was driving from California that night, so he could arrive on Valentine’s Day.
The last text I ever sent him was the time the Natural History museum closed – we were going to go because we were nerds.
I woke up Valentine’s morning to a Facebook message from someone I didn’t know. It said, ‘Call me when you get this, XXX-XXX-XXXX.’ Upon quick investigation, I saw that it was from his mom. I got really nervous, because they lived in Florida, and I’d never met them. What could she have to say? Was she going to tell me to stay away from her son? Maybe tell me he’s a psychopath? I had no idea.
I finally plucked up the courage to call her, and that’s when she told me over the phone that he’d died in a rollover in the middle of the night in Nevada. I was completely devastated. And worse, I blamed myself completely. Who knew downloading a stupid app would lead to his demise?
I remember sobbing together with his mom on the phone, and between my gasps, I asked if she was upset with me. She reassured me that she wasn’t, and we ended the call a short time later.
This has affected every one of my relationships since then. I treated my next boyfriend like he could die any day, and I made him promise (multiple times) not to drive distracted, and text me when he got wherever he was going. This was a tad ridiculous, and we didn’t last long.
I still have a deep fear of letting someone drive to get me. I volunteer whenever I can drive or go to them, and it all attributes back to that earth-stopping moment.”
Life-Threatening Event That Pushed All Her Resentments Away
“About 15 years ago, doctors discovered a tumor in my sinuses, which had blocked a sinus infection. The sinus infection had nowhere to go, so it ate its way out of my skull and into my eye socket, where it started to push my eye out of the socket. At the same time, it began to eat its way backwards and was leaning against my brain.
Before that, while I was most certainly an adult, I was emotionally immature, struggled socially, and had an almost undefinable sense of humor.
Going through a life-threatening event like that caused me to grow up a great deal. It helped me let go of some things that I had disliked and that were holding me back, and it allowed me to reexamine my life.
Perhaps most dramatically, it helped me discover how to make my sense of humor work for other people, and it helped me to learn how to overcome my social shortcomings and start connecting with people and make friends.
While traumatic, it ended up being the most rewarding and educational experience of my life.”
The Horrible Doctor That Changed His Brain, Forever
“A possible bout of serotonin syndrome and/or drug-to-drug interaction related psychosis? No one was ever able to tell me what the f— was happening to my body and mind, which made it all the more troubling and life altering.
I was sixteen and it was mid-December. I had just been let go of by a psychiatrist that I was seeing for 1 year and was taking it pretty hard.
I was miserable and couldn’t stand one more minute in my own skin on my current medication regimen (Effexor XR 450mg, Concerta 36mg) so I booked an appt with my family doctor who was supposed to assume some continuum of care after my psychiatrist gave me the boot.
I explained to him that I would like to start the process of weaning off Effexor, as I was taking a very high dosage for years.
He explained to me that I did not have to wean or taper myself off Effexor whatsoever; that it would not be necessary and he wants to start me on something else.
I pleaded with him that I thought weaning off of it slowly would be the best way to go. I get so passionately enraged whenever I think about this. At 16, I knew better. But after all, he was the DOCTOR and I figure there had to be some legitimacy to this if he was so adamant about it.
So he instructed me to stop taking Effexor cold turkey the following day, and begin Remeron RD 45mg (not even the smallest dosage of this medication??) He was the doctor and this was his expert advice to me, even after I practically begged him to be tapered off.
The next day and the events that followed form a divide between the person I used to be (still unhappy, but I would have given anything to return to that person) I was at work at a coffee shop when something started to wreak havoc in my brain. It was like all of the emotions that the antidepressants were keeping from me all these years just came flooding out my eyes, nose, mouth.
It was every physical unpleasantry imaginable combined into one day with every mental unpleasantry imaginable. I tried to function at work in front of people but couldn’t, so my supervisor put me in the back to do the baker’s work and put the poor baker in the drive-thru. I still couldn’t function. Bashed my head against the soap dispenser and hand dryer in the bathroom until someone heard and went and got me. Then I got sent home.
Cue months of weird behavior at high school that I could not explain…So most of the time I just wouldn’t go. Almost got charged for truancy until I mustered a good enough sobbing explanation. Teachers took mercy on me after receiving their explanation for why a former A/B student would be reduced to this mess in such a brief amount of time. I passed most classes that semester with 51%s and I don’t think that’s coincidental. I still appreciate everyone who cut me slack and helped me through this.
I am still not the person I was before and it took me almost a full year to feel like I had achieved a new ‘normal.’
I feel like what happened to me has directly contributed to my mistrust towards most Healthcare professionals. So I ended up becoming one.
I ended up in pharmacy and it brings such meaning to me, as I am quite literally all that’s standing between another person going through what I did, especially at such a fragile age. Because of what I went through, I exercise my authority to question doctors on dose changes that seem questionable, abrupt medication discontinuation that should be tapered, etc.
I hope to find myself in some position of notoriety someday where I can really advocate for this. I’ll forever refer to this incident in my life as the one that changed it forever.”
He Used To Be My Best Friend…Until He Turned Out To Be A Huge Criminal
“When my best friend was arrested for taking advantage one of his 12 years old students…at knifepoint. This was also a week before his wedding. I legitimately thought it was some kind of mistake because he never drank, smoked or anything like that. He was the first person to help out anyone when they needed it. He was also suspected of a murder of an 8-year-old…but they couldn’t prove it.”
The Image Doesn’t Erase From Her Memory
“When my then boyfriend of 6 years committed suicide in our living room and I found him.
7 years later I have a new life and married a wonderful man, but that thing won’t ever disappear and there’s no single day that the horrible image doesn’t appear in my mind for at least one second, some days longer. Regrets and questions run through my mind. Since then I have to deal with anxiety, which I have almost 100% controlled but I will never be the same as before.”
Her Living Environment Sounds Atrocious
“My mother was, and still is, a hoarder. My family lives in an apartment building that we own, spread out into two apartments. She had filled up one apartment with newspapers and moved down into my apartment and filled it with junk. I never got any privacy or place of my own, I slept in a six foot by three foot space surrounded by books and newspapers.
I had problems with roaches and had no place to eat or cook or store my belongings. The newspapers were about five feet high with narrow paths across the living room (no place to sit) and one of the two bedrooms was completely closed off with junk.
This was my living situation until my father hired three men to clear out both apartments in 2013. I moved into my father’s apartment but my mother continues to hoard in her place.
Now I have a clean bedroom for myself.”
The Transition That Led To Much More Than Imagined
“There’s actually two of them.
Six years ago, I finally got to begin the process of transitioning from being male, to living my life as a woman. Which was the biggest change in my life, something that everything from my youth and years of crippling depression had led up to. Everything was finally looking up, and I could focus on living my life, though moving forward was still going to be a very daunting task.
Four and a half years ago, I found that the guy that took advantage of me, after a party, had infected me with HIV. All my confidence, all my self-worth, and all of my happiness vanished from my life the very moment that the doctor told me my results. I was basically a joyless shell of my former self, and I considered myself very lucky to have anyone that still wanted to be my friend, much less to date me. I ended up in an unfulfilling relationship for about 2 years after the fact, just because I felt that I should consider myself a living biohazard, undeserving of love and happiness, and thankful for any amount of interest and affection that came my way.
Somehow though, I found love in the most unlikely of places. On an awful game, most of us have heard of, called Second Life. Someone that loves me in spite of the disease, and who has learned enough about my sickness to know that I’m no risk to her in my current, well-medicated condition. And someone who shares my situation with the first life-altering event of my life, and started her own hormone therapy just this year.
It’s been a wild ride, but I believe I’ve finally found someone that’s worth every second, and that I want to spend my life with. Even if it’ll never really be ‘normal,’ I’m not really worried about that as long as I’ve got her.”
Guess She Preferred The ‘Old Him’
“I ended up quitting the band that could have potentially made it big because my wife was leaving me.
I was on the road all the time having a blast. She was home alone in a strange city bored and jealous. She finally had enough and said that she was moving with or without me. I quit and went with her.
It pretty much ended my dream of making it in music. She ended up being a total c—.
Once I stopped being a ‘rock star type,’ cut my hair and started getting serious about my life, she lost interest in me and started cheating, so I dumped her a–.”
He Got His Career And Life On Track
“When I was 21 I moved to NYC with $800 to my name and no job. I wasn’t going anywhere in life, a high school dropout, and never had a real job. I was drinking too much, doing too many drugs, and suffering severe anxiety issues (daily panic attacks). I was delivering pizza and doing odd dishwashing jobs. All my friends were at college and having a life. I was doing nothing important and depressed.
I went to a shrink to deal with the anxiety, (my dad very kindly paid to send me) and told him I always wanted to live in NYC. I saw the shrink for a couple of months and he gave me some tools to deal with my anxiety and told me I should move to NYC. I saved money for about 5 months and left. It wasn’t easy…I still had panic attacks, but less frequently, I got a low paying, but awesome job, at a used bookstore in the Village – OK it was a pretty incredible job and I loved every day I was there.
I read everything I could get my hands on and wandered around the city. I was lonely the first year or so, I called my mom crying once because I was so lonely…it was pathetic. It takes me a while to make friends, and I lived in squalor – the special NYC kind.
All I had was a CD player and a table I found on the street. I slept on the floor for six months because I couldn’t afford a mattress – but I was really happy. I got to redo my life.
I was eventually promoted at the bookstore to a manager position and started to make a decent salary. I moved to a better neighborhood – and got a bed.
I dated, and went out, and had fun.
A few years later I went to college and got a degree in English Lit, met my wife and got married, got my Master’s degree, and started a family. Hooray!”
Always In The Back Of My Mind
“Before the birth and death of my son. Time keeps ticking away, yet part of me is always standing still on that day. I relive it all the time.
I now have a beautiful daughter, who I love very much, but I still have an emptiness in me.
Before his death, I had no real fears. Just everyday struggles and stress. After his passing, I now fear I’ll lose everything all over again. When I put my daughter down for a nap, I always wonder if this is the end for her. Death is always at the back of my mind.
I’ll never really move on from what happened, but I do try to live to my fullest. It’s hard to explain what the loss of a child does to you.”
Living A Double Life
“One day, last September, when I found out my extremely loving, moral, kind, thoughtful, husband and best friend of 30+ years had been an extremely active member of Ashley Madison for over 6 years and was living a second life I never knew about. It changed every aspect of me and every aspect of my life. I don’t look anything the same. It changed my personality.”
His Big Risk That Led To A New Fulfillment
“I packed my bags from Sydney and got a one-way ticket to San Francisco to pursue the start-up dream.
3.5 years later, I have the best co-founder in the world, and the best team (12 employees) and great investors, and amazing partnerships.
Literally, I went to live my dream and am currently fortunate enough to say I’m in the middle of it now!
Before this, I was working a great job but had zero fulfillment in my life. Now I make nearly no money ($2500 per month) but have so much self-satisfaction for what my team has helped us, as a company, accomplish so far!”
The Break-Up That Gave Him A New Life
“I went through a really bad break-up. After that relationship ended, I lost 130lbs. It’s seriously like starting a new life, every day I have new social experiences that never happened when I was heavy.”
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She Gave Her The Motivation She Needed
“One day at work, my boss decided to rudely tell me to ‘Get on Weight Watchers,’ to cut costs on shirts.
I’m glad she said that actually. Since then, I have lost 175 lbs! I really should thank her for the motivation.”