Updated: Why is your name white, gdude?

13 minute read

Some of you are probably confused. You might be wondering why my other posts are gone, or why I’m no longer on Python Discord or its related servers. This post is intended to serve as an explanation - but first, let’s take a look at how I got to this point.

Update: If you want to hang out, feel free to join the The Archives server, which is where most of my friends and the members of my old community hang out.

Where it all began

I’m a classical Reddit lurker. Hanging out in seedy alleys, watching and remaining hidden, peeking around corners - and one day, I noticed a new post on r/Python from this guy named Joseph who was advertising a Python community on Discord.

Up until this point I was wondering why I’d never seen a Python Discord server around before - and since I was right in the middle of my love affair with Discord, I decided to join and see what was going on.

I think the term “organised chaos” is pretty appropriate for what I found. Still, the staff seemed nice for the most part so I decided to stick around and help out. Within a few weeks, I ended up on the staff team.

One of the current staff members at the time was a real piece of work. A huge bully that let power run to his head, and that thought he was above everyone else. Once I joined the team, he didn’t last long - with the help of an admin, I made a complaint and he was removed from the team. I would later end up banning him at the start of our first code jam.

Growth and achievement

Since then, the community has gone from strength to strength. The staff team has evolved to a large group of like-minded and extremely skilled individuals who all have the best interests of the community at heart. We went from a single absentee owner to three highly active co-owners, looking after a staff team of around 50 members and a userbase of almost 12,000 users.

This community has been amazing (despite the threats and few bad eggs) and I couldn’t be prouder of it. I definitely feel like I’m a better person because of my participation there, and it’s helped me grow both personally and professionally - but the world isn’t all flowers and unicorns, and that applies here too.

So, what’s your problem, man?

If this were a video or podcast, I’d be telling you to go get a drink or something. It’s story time!

About 7 years ago, Minecraft was in its prime. I ran a generally successful community, and around this time a new user joined up - we’ll call her J.

J was an excellent builder and a generally warm and kindhearted person, and we quickly became friends. She became a moderator and later an admin, and she was an amazing member of our staff team.

As her building skills grew, she began to make new friends within our community and she became known in some of the professional building communities. Things were going well online - but a few years after we became friends, something happened.

Soon after, J was diagnosed with depression - something that can sneak up on the best of us. Since then, we’ve been extremely present in each other’s lives - supporting each other through everything, and generally growing closer.

Nine months ago, things started getting tough for J. I started spending huge amounts of time supporting her and generally being there for her - and while I don’t regret a thing, this did mean my activity on Python Discord suffered. Everyone was very understanding after I explained, of course - that was never a problem.

It’s been a complicated ride, and J and I have gone through a lot of personal changes in this time - and while I wouldn’t change anything about J for the world, things have occasionally been tough.

What does this mean for PyDis?

Over the last few months or so, I’ve been considering my position on the server, as well as the things I do and follow online. I’ve been feeling pretty bad as a result - in my personal life at home, during some of the time I spend online, and during my time on the Python server as well.

In general, I’ve been unhappy with my levels of activity when it comes to server projects. I’ve felt bad because I’ve been unable to motivate myself to help out. I feel like I haven’t been able to contribute anything of substance recently - not even a single objectively good idea - to our projects.

I have my own issues, of course. I’ve talked about them at length in the staff channels and people have mostly been receptive - but as my mood and psychology have shifted, it felt like some members of staff were unwilling to take the time to listen to me, and understand what I was dealing with and the things they could do to help with them. I felt like I wasn’t being taken seriously and my mental health has suffered as a result.

Now, I don’t entirely blame the other staff members for this. At the end of the day I’m responsible for my own mental health, and some of the things I was struggling with were basic personality traits of some of the staff members. I’m sure anyone else would have struggled to change in these ways too - but the fact remains that I need to take care of myself.

So yesterday, after another example of the above, I decided to leave the server. I’ve transferred everything I possibly could think of to Lemon, who is an excellent staff member and will have no trouble handling the few small things I was still helping out with.

To be clear, there have been other things that I’ve needed to deal with - I’ve recreated or cleaned up all of my social media accounts, for example. The people I consider closest to me have been a huge help - to B, E, G and J (you know who you are), I could not be the person I am today without your support. I love you guys, and I would be totally screwed up without you - more than I already am, at any rate. Some of you have suggested I seek professional help, and I am looking into that. I hope I can continue to rely on you guys as much as you rely on me.

So, what now?

That’s a great question. Unfortunately, I don’t have any real answer for you. I’m sure many people will be pondering the big question: Will you be back?

Right now, I just don’t know. It’s far too early to say what’s going to happen. But one thing is for sure - I need to look after myself and spend time with the people closest to me.

With or without me, I know Python Discord will remain as a pillar of the Python community at large, and I’m sure it will be even more successful as time goes on.

If you’ve read this far, congratulations - and thanks for caring. You can still find me on Discord as gdude#2002, so feel free to send me a friend request.

And as the meme goes…

Thanks for flying with me.