Ben Leander Willgruber | Visual Designer and Writer

Pros and Cons of the – possibly – Worst Year of my Life

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that this year was tricky. But to be honest, calling it the ‘worst year’ of my life may be a slight clickbait. Some really bad things have happened this past year, but there were just as many great experiences I am very thankful for. So, I’ve decided to write a Pros and Cons list to find out how bad it’s really been.




  • Earlier this year I’ve been diagnosed with Diabetes Type I.
  • As a consequence of having late-onset Diabetes, I was sick more than two months of 2018. I also had to take 5 rounds of antibiotics.
  • My new tattoo, which I love very much, became inflamed and will have to be touched up in autumn.


  • On July 20th of last year my favorite singer and youth idol, Chester Bennington, committed suicide.
  • I haven’t sold many of my t-shirts making me debate if it’s even worth the hustle.
  • I still have no clue of what I actually wanna do with my life.



  • I’ve finished my studies in psychology last year.
  • I’ve made more progress in battling my anxieties (aka OCD) than the last five years combined.
  • I’ve rekindled my passion for Yoga, swimming and climbing – things I couldn’t do because of my OCD.
  • I’m starting to feel like myself again.
  • I traveled to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and had some amazing experiences.


  • I was able to lose a lot of weight and shape up.
  • I started freelancing for the Austrian magazine VICE (new article due next week!).
  • I’ve contributed an illustration to one of my favorite publications, the new ‘Gay Men Draw Vaginas – the Coloring Book’ (out in early August!).
  • I’ve fallen in and out of love again (but I will mostly remember the good parts).
  • I’ve met some truly amazing people. I have the feeling that I have finally found friends I feel comfortable enough to be myself around. I think they are here to stay.


  • Together we had an amazing ski-holiday in Carinthia I will remember dearly.
  • Besides new people, I am also very glad about having some friends I’ve known for a very long time still in my life.


  • With these lovely people, I had the best possible birthday celebration. It was everything I could have ever wished for. I even got a rainbow cake and a jar of wishes for next year. I’ve never felt more loved.
  • I’ve received some amazing feedback for this blog, both offline and online. From my heart, thank you, to everyone who takes the time to stop by and read my ramblings.
Even if you don’t believe me, I promise we weren’t stoned.

In the end, I don’t know if this was the ‘worst’ year of my life or not. At least I wasn’t bullied, so I guess it was better than most of the time I spend at school. I’ll probably call it a year of extremes. And you know what: I’ve wished for life not to be boring and that’s exactly what I got.



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Btw if you wanna check out my summer collection of shirts – now is the time 😉

10 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of the – possibly – Worst Year of my Life

  1. First of all, Happy Belated Birthday!
    Second of all, your tattoo looks amazing (the colors are so vivid).
    Third of all, while I was reading the cons, I felt bad for you, but then I started on the pros and I was like: “Do these ever end? There is so many of them. How can be calling it “the worst year”? So yea, I bet from further and further perspective, that year won’t seem so bad pretty soon.
    Fourthly, I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t see too many responses to responses to responses of comments, but your comment section seems alright now (no more comments off to the side, etc.

    1. First, secondly and fifth, thank you very much for your kind words and the nice feedback. Always a pleasure seeing your thoughtful comments. I do love my new tattoo very much as well.
      You are right about the Pros, there were a lot. However, most of them were just short glimpses of happiness while I was kinda going through hell in another way. I haven’t been depressed in a long time before last years birthday and some things that happened the following year really pushed me close to the edge. That being said, I feel great as of right now. Maybe it is true what they say that you shouldn’t fear the storm but that there’s no more storm coming.
      I had to work a bit on my comment section. I think it works really good on a computer but it still causes some problems on phones. I guess that’s the bad thing about 😉


  2. Any year that has some pros mixed in with the cons can’t be your worst year. I think that’s a more normal year than you realize right now. I hope you will take this the right when when I say I hope this is the worst year you’ll ever have.

    Keep on keeping on, buddy!

    1. Well, if there were Cons only I guess that would have sucked. The positives is what got me through and I do believe that things are about to get better. They already are 🙂

      You too, mate!

  3. My older brother is a T1D and was diagnosed nearly 11 years ago. While I’ve only been an observer of his journey, I do know that although the beginning is rough, things will get much better. Not that that negates how much it sucks currently. I hope things become easier soon!

    1. Hi there Alyssa! I hope you are right. I’m still very confused because it’s such a complicated disease. But I’m happy again even with T1D and even though I don’t know what the future holds. All the best to you and your brother! 🙂

    1. Eventful seems fitting and you’re right. I wanted things to change because I was bored. I feel more lively than past year even with all the shit going on. Thanks! Clothed hugs back (I’m at work after all^^)!

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