Funny how things turn out. I haven't talked to this person since 2000...
When I met Mr. X, he was a near-suicidal closet-case writing really crappy fiction. I helped him get some self-esteem. I was there every night when he called me at 3 AM, blasting Nine Inch Nails on his stereo (and making his neighbors want to kill him), weeping and declaring how he wanted to die. Hours on the phone... hours.
When he turned in his interactive fiction game, and it had the world's most infantile plot and over-used tropes, I counseled him to cut the plot way down, improve the story-telling, and get the characterization up to speed. Gave him VERY specific suggestions, on hundreds of things. All of which he implemented.
He won an award for his game.
When he moved to a big city after college, I spent hours on the phone every other night, counseling him and helping him overcome his fears and insecurities. When one of his friends, only partly as a joke, put his name into the "Personals" column of the local newspaper and he freaked out, I told him, "Take advantage of it. You can't lose anything by it." He did.
He met his future husband that way. When he met his future husband, he kept telling me, "Oh, ZZZ isn't my type. ZZZ isn't that sexy. ZZZ isn't this, he isn't that." I said, I think you're wrong -- but you should retain him as a friend. Mr. X didn't even want to do that.
Now they've married. They married in 2013, actually, having been together as boyfriends since 2003. Through their joint love of role-playing and card games, they've published several games -- and every review mentions that first interactive fiction game of his. Through their joint love of fantasy, they've published two books (one of which got excellent reviews).
It's all turned out amazingly well for him. He has a great job, he has a house, he has a husband, he has great praise from the gaming and fantasy literature community.
I haven't talked to this person since 2000. But it's interesting how his life has turned out. He wasn't worth anyone's attention way back then. Almost everyone gave up on him, because he was such a self-absorbed, down-in-the-dumps, weepy, fucked up person. And now look at him.