Sure. This is a great personal anecdote, but it not unique. There have been many other similar stories on these and other boards.
What no one here can assess is how hard did you really work during the time you fattened up. Sure, you went to the gym and you lifted weights and maybe your lifts progressed, but did you really, really, I mean really hit the weights?
I travel all over the country and go to gyms wherever I am for the job and I'm starting to rack up a pretty good population of people who I've talked to male, female, big, strong, weak, skinny, young, old, in addition to the 3 gyms I go to home-- the one observation I can say conclusively is that most people aren't working as hard or as intense as they think they are.
The funny thing is (unsurprisingly) is that the one's who legitimately LOOK like they're working hard LOOK LIKE they've been working hard for awhile.
Just because you seemed to have failed or have had poor results or didn't meet your own or other's expectation doesn't mean the theory of what you tried is wrong. It's worked for others.
Instead of starting threads about your failings contributed to things that have worked for others, why don't you start a thread that illustrates what's worked for you.
This is about finding what works for you. Sounds like what I have to tell my kids "You worry about you, don't worry about him/her."
Boo hoo, someone told you your face got fat-- is it a means to an end? So what? I've gone up several sizes. Not all muscle for sure. I'm "morbidly obese" for some on these boards. So what?
I'm just getting close to what I think is a limit for fat and will adjust accordingly when I reach a more important goal than "keeping visible abs" or "worrying about what other people think".
I've PM'd several people on these boards (aside from asking actual physical people that I see in person) for candid assessments. My feelings don't get hurt with such objectivity. They, and I, understand that real goals for getting bigger/stronger involve a level of sacrifice, like lifestyle level sacrifice.
I've sacrificed 'hot abz' a few years to get weight/lift numbers that I wanted. After knowing that my body at my age requires me to 'bulk up', that's the path I took for the most gains in a short amount of time. Now that I'm coming back down (slowly), I wouldn't have done it any other way (given my age and genetics).