Quite a few crypto enthusiasts are feeling down, depressed about the overall market, toxicity, infighting. In response to a social media challenge, one ecosystem veteran dared tell his story three years in the making. Call it crypto kum ba yah, the feels, etc. However, reading it and sharing similar experiences seems to be helping a lot of people.
Crypto Community Shares Stories, Trying to Uplift
Unhashed podcast host Mario Gibney responded to venture capitalist Tuur Demeester’s call to “share some of our positive, uplifting stories to counter” mainstream media focusing on the community’s “toxicity.”
In more than two dozen tweets, Gibney went into detail about the ups and downs of being in the space. Those feeling the pinch of infighting, prices plummeting, and general FUD are finding his words comforting.
”Can’t communicate this in 280 characters, so here’s a long one,” Gibney began. “*Deep breath* When I look back over the past 3 years, it is staggering how much my life has changed, and Bitcoin was a huge factor in that. Late 2015/early 2016 was the darkest period of my life.”
Suicidal and Seoul
“I was falling further into debt failing out of a university program I didn’t yet realize I hated, my social life was little more than getting drunk several nights a week, and I had no constructive hobbies – nights alone were often spent compulsively playing computer games,” he confessed. “I felt like I hadn’t made progress on any long-term plans in years. Serious depression had started to take hold, which led to increasingly erratic sleeping patterns. My ability to focus was almost non-existent, as was my appetite.”
“I knew things had gotten really bad by January 2016 when I found myself contemplating suicide,” Gibney candidly confides. He stresses a kind of recovery through therapy and friends. Still, not much had gotten better. Something was missing, something deep and pressing.
“That spring, this thing called ‘bitcoin’ popped back into my mind. About a year earlier, a guy I’d met at a bar had raved about it. I hopped on meetup and was excited to find an English-speaking bitcoin group only a 15 minute walk from my apartment. (In a city like Seoul, that’s basically next door.) I showed up to @seoulbitcoin for my first meetup in May 2016, and was hooked from the start.”
As a lot of Bitcoiners can attest, it is helpful in early learning to have a mentor. He found one, alongside a generous and warm community. He began to draw on previous computer and coding knowledge, and the meetup attendees encouraged him, filling those critical gaps in knowledge so many remember having.
“I suddenly had friends and a hobby that challenged me intellectually,” Gibney relates. “Instead of obsessively slamming beers and hoping to get laid, weekend hours were spent huddled in a cafe, figuring out why the UTXO set was important, or why deploying SegWit was so complicated.” Down the rabbit hole he went, reading and watching and listening to everything and anything crypto.
“There were still dark periods during those months. I grappled with visa uncertainties and the aftermath of a traffic accident. I would fall back into my old ways at times. But I always had something constructive to come back to,” he assured. “By 2017, things had started to look up a lot more. I had found myself a stable day-job teaching English again, and I rarely felt the urge to go clubbing on weekends.”
Payoff, Korea Mania, Deeper Drive
Prices were rising, and he’d managed to make the right choices. He paid off debts, and everyone can attest to that glorious feeling of been financially freer. “As crypto-mania gripped Korea in 2017, our meetup grew more popular, and I built confidence as we took turns presenting to larger and larger groups of enthusiasts or curious visitors. I began to think maybe I could make a career out of this bitcoin thing.”
An innocent question to a crypto businessman led to a quasi job offer, working for a well-known Bitcoin Core (BTC) company. He didn’t feel yet qualified nor worthy, and didn’t know if the offer was serious or just being polite. “As it turns out, Warren saw more in me than I did – he had been quite serious. Within two months, I was on a flight back to Canada for my final interview. That was January this year,” Gibney retells.
“As the new year approaches, I look back at where I was less than three short years ago, and it’s overwhelming.” He admits to depression coming and going, and how “startup life can be immensely stressful. Less than I month ago, I came close to fully burning out. But I have a deeper drive these days, and I can pick myself back up faster each time.” Comments within the thread are generally positive and affirming. Who knows. It just might be exactly what someone needs right now.
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