Two years ago, my girlfriend since four years ago left me. I never saw it coming and it broke my heart. Half a year later, after losing 10kg rapidly and feeling generally terrible, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 27. It’s the kind of thing you don’t expect. At the same time, there was a whole lot going on at work. I was promised a new position but the details dragged out. Eventually I got it but there was a transition period where I pretty much did the job of two.
I never really recovered from the blows of losing my girlfriend and being diagnosed with diabetes. There was also a bunch of other things going on which effected me in a bad way. Some of my best friends decided to leave to Australia for a year which left me feeling more isolated. So, I escaped it, shut it off, buried myself in work – and never got any help. It was a terrible idea. Anxiety started building up inside me. It led to frequent panic attacks forcing me to work from home – which in turn led to social anxiety. It was spiraling out of control.
Four months ago, this had grown into serious thoughts of suicide. To the point where I told a few friends goodbye. I don’t think it took more than 15 minutes before they were at my place and took me to an emergency psychiatry where I got something for the anxiety attacks. Three months ago, I woke up one day and was unable to do anything. I just laid in bed for the entire day staring at the ceiling. And for the next day, and the day after that, it was the same.
I sent an email saying I was home sick but that was about it. Then I stopped replying. After a week they contacted my family at which point I had to tell them how I felt after which they set me up to see a doctor. I was put on sick leave. Thoughts of suicide remained. I was seeing a psychologist and was put on anti-depressants but I didn’t feel it did that much. It was slowly feeling worse and worse.
Then one day I got to meet a new psychologist. She could read me like a book, or at least so it felt. We spoke for about three hours and it was the kind of talk that made an immediate change for the better. One thing we spoke about were hobbies. I told her I used to build websites a couple of years back. She encouraged me to start doing it again.
For a while I had had an idea for a website. But I was sure I could never build it myself. But being on sick leave and after being encouraged to pick it up I went home and started searching for domains. I found a perfect one for my project, ggnow.tv, and started working on it immediately. I made a very simple design at first and started on the code.
As I built it I realized more and more features I wanted. Which made the database a bit of a mess at the time. It sort of evolved organically. After having the basic features down I went back to the design. It went through several iterations before I finalized it. Doing all of this, I loved it. I felt energized for the first time in ages. So I kept on going. But after a while I lost pace, I started doubting my idea and my skills. Work on the site slowed down.
I had talked a lot with my friends and family about the site. They told me I had to finish it, and pushed me to complete a version good enough to be released. Two days ago I had a few beers and mustered the courage to post about the site on a few forums.
The feedback I got was overwhelming, making the site alone had made me feel a lot better - doing something creative that I enjoyed. And then... pretty much every comment was kind and encouraging, telling me the site was great. It’s been a great experience for me and it has restored a lot of confidence in myself. For the first time in a long time I believe there is a bright future. And even though I am not fully well yet, I will do my best to get there.