i'm glad it went so well for you. i think you needed that and it will be a good milestone.
about your friend - chances are, it was just what he needed too. it can't have been easy - most likely he's never talked about it out loud in a group of regular guys - but sounds like you were all supportive and will be there for him when he needs it. this could very well be a very healing moment for him, too.
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9