It’s good to be back…

Well it’s nearly been 4 or 5 years since I last blogged and it’s good to be back writing again as I have found twitter to be too limited recently with it’s 140 characters. Here I can ramble on for as long as I like without any worries.

A hell of a lot has changed since I last put down my pen on the Creative Web Specialist blog. So what has happened in the last 4 or so years?

Firstly I moved out of my parents and bought a house with my other half, joined Norwegian Umbraco agency Xeed to join Kenneth Solberg & his team to build Umbraco websites.

Next up was a new and exciting move from Xeed to join the Umbraco HQ team and help with organising the annual developer conference CodeGarden along with helping it to make it easier for beginners to the platform to get up and started with Umbraco. This was an ideal & dream job for me especially as I have been working with Umbraco as a platform for over 6 or so years. So to work alongside Niels, Per & their talented team was an honour and a lot of fun. Unfortunately this came to an end suddenly due to unforeseen circumstances and was a big disappointment to me to have to end this position, but it was unfair to Niels for me to continue with them, a little more on this later on.

So after two successful CodeGarden’s at the Umbraco HQ, my next move was to join the wondeful team over at The CogWorks, who so happen to be an Umbraco Gold Partner. So this has allowed me to continue to specialise and work in the field of work that I love the most, which is Umbraco of course.

So along with a few job changes, nearly a year a go (14th July) I got married to my fabulous wife, which so happens to be my best friend!

Unfortunately after our honeymoon I didn’t give her a great present. Shortly after I had a psychotic and depressive dark episode which had me admitted to hospital into a mental health unit for about a week. After being allowed to leave after they were safe to know I wasn’t a threat to myself or anyone else, I tried to shrug the whole ordeal off and get back to work as quickly as possible at the Umbraco HQ, but In hindsight this probably wasn’t the best thing for me to have done for myself and the guys over at the HQ.

After coming out of hospital I had a big depressive episode and struggled massively to get out of bed without the help of my partner or my family having to get me out and keep an eye on me. At the time of this state I was given a lot of help and I am truly thankful for it all, the Umbraco HQ was highly supportive during this time, I had a lot of help from my family and partner, along with the help of doctors and NHS staff such as psychiatrists, without them all I wouldn’t be in the good state of mind that I am in today.

During this depressive episode I attempted to work at the HQ and this was not good, it was affecting my work and the rest of the team around me, which was highly unfair as I was a struggle to work with during this period. Hence I had a swift exit at the end of last year and regretfully parted ways.

Nearly a year on since the entire ordeal and its bee quite a turn around in my mood and health, I am still on anti depressants and attempting to slowly come off them, but I am now OK with the fact that I may need them for the rest of my life, I just see them as a daily vitamin that I need to take.

During my dark period as I often refer to it, I was discussing with many people that I hated computers and programming and that I should throw it all in and try and find a new career. I now know that it was just my frame of mind at the time.

As some of you may have seen that I have become quite active again in the Umbraco community, be it by collaborating with developers such as Tim Geyssens from the HQ to create Optimus – The bundler & transformer package for Umbraco,and trying to start a new project Umbraco Extension Methods project on GitHub within the last week or so. So it’s probably good to say I haven’t lost my spark for hacking away at little projects.

So to wrap this lengthy post up, it’s been roller coaster off few years with some real high and some real lows. But without any lows you cannot appreciate any highs you get in life!

Please spend a few minutes and watch this great video from Ruby Wax at TED Talks on mental health, as I would love to try and break down the barriers and stigma related to mental health.

So it’s good to be back….

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31 thoughts on “It’s good to be back…

  1. Good to have you back! I’m glad we’ve been here to support, help you through and get you back on track. The Umbraco community would be an emptier place without you…and we’d have no one to clean the microwave as well….;-)

    1. Yes a big thank you for putting up with me and without you guys I wouldn’t be back on the track that I now. So for that I am very thankful!

      Now I must refer you to the employers handbook you given out today, to stop harassing me about the microwave 😛

  2. Warren,

    Awesome stuff mate looking forward to even more Umbraco goodness from you.

    From personal experiences my late father had a mental break down and my brother is bi polar we have had some challenging times when he has had episodes in the past thankfully now very much under control with medication.

    1. Hey Ismail
      Thanks for the comment, yeh I look forward to write some more tech Umbraco posts too.

      Yes as you know mental health can be challenging for all involved including family.

    1. Hi Fuji,
      Thanks for the comment.
      Yes i agree things normally happen for a reason and to be honest this has probably made me stronger as a person and has given me some new confidence.

  3. In our world everybody has to be “OK”… but it would be a better place if we just admitted that many of us have their “dark periods” which come and go, and yes the pills can be a wonderful help. Wishing you all the best, and hoping to read more from you.

  4. a very courageous post Warren, thanks for sharing what must have been hell on earth for you. Really happy to know you’re back on your feet and that you’ve got good people around you!

    1. Hey Tim,
      Thanks for the comment.

      Yes it wasn’t the best of times but like I have said before I have learnt from it and can see the warning signs alot earlier now and know how to deal with them.

  5. Courageous post, Warren. I have some experiences with people going through what you did, and I’m really happy you’re on the right track. Looking forward to continue working with you on cool projects after the summer! 🙂

    1. Hey Ove,
      Thanks for the comment.
      Yeh as you know it can be tough, but good to be coming through it. I look forward to hacking away together on some more projects as well.

      Cheers,
      Warren 🙂

  6. Warren! I remeber the energy that you added to the boat trip att CG this year kind of contrast to what you are writing about here. It’s strong! I really hope that you keep the sparkle for coding because you rock! =D Thank you for a great and very personal blog post!

    1. Hey Markus,
      Thanks it’s always great to chill out and have fun at the CG Boat Parties with some drink, sunshine & good company.

      Thanks for the comment, its really nice to hear.

  7. Powerful post buddy. As I said the other day, I’m loving you and Tim just because you named your package Optimus – there’s a project codename I can get on board with. #h5yr

  8. Ballsy post Warren and sorry to hear about the troubles you were/are going through. FWIW I try to follow the community pretty closely and none of it was obvious (at least to me from an outside POV). I can’t pretend to understand what it’s like but I understand the desire to walk away from it all myself and change career but it usually passes when something spikes my interest again and makes all the negatives fade away once again.

    Onwards and upwards – keep up the good work and I have to say that the Umbraco community is the only one I have ever been involved in that offers the level of personal support and relationships you would only expect to find offline!

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