An Introduction

Hey all,

I really like the idea of Devpressed and I hope that this goes on to help a lot of people who are in situations like some of the stories already described here. I decided to join and share my own story so that maybe it will help someone as well or maybe someone will have some advice for the things I still struggle with.

For a long time, I suffered from a pretty severe case of Imposter Syndrome (IS). Nothing I did felt good enough and I felt like I was terrible at things people would tell me that I was great at. Over time, my IS became sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy as I became completely demotivated to practice my craft and I slipped into a state where I was afraid to do anything because I felt like I was worthless and anything I tried would also have no value. I still struggle with this a lot, but I recently had a breakthrough that’s sort of helped me realize that I’m not as bad as I tend to think.

I recently started pair programming occasionally with some friends and just the presence of another person doing what I was doing at the same time, being available to talk out problems, and have a little bit of extra accountability to my peer made me move past some of my mental barrier and realize that I’m still a pretty capable programmer. I still struggle quite a lot if it’s been awhile since the last pairing session and my mind has had a chance to convince me that I’m no good again.

My biggest struggle these days is with motivation related to not being able to focus and being completely unable to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. I bought some melatonin to try to help me regulate my sleep, but I still haven’t managed to get myself to take it. I realize that this is a problem, but for some reason I still keep myself up until ridiculous hours of the night and then sleep in for half the day. At some point, I know I have to just do something about it, but knowing and doing are different and I’m having trouble committing to action to fix the things I know are wrong about my current lifestyle. I’ve used the Pomodoro technique with pretty good success for helping my focus, I’m just still having trouble committing to it on a consistent basis.

Yet, despite all of the above, I still think that I’m doing relatively okay, personally and professionally. I have a wife that I love and our relationship is solid. She’s very supportive of me and my endeavors as an entrepreneur. I would say that, if I’m depressed, it’s relatively mild and generally only applies to the professional side of my life. The personal side of my life, I’m quite content with and happy with everything I’ve accomplished up to this point.

Anyway, thank you for creating a place that I can feel pretty comfortable just expressing what’s on my mind regarding all of this. I hope that I can maybe offer some words of encouragement, support, and advice to others who might be experiencing similar problems.

This website is a great idea and a much needed venue.
Throughout my life I had small scale depression events, but about 9 months ago I began working on a project where I put so much pressure on myself that I think I really hurt myself psychologically.

Since then I have become extremely moody sometimes although I’m quite fun other times.
Most people who know me think I am a happy, carefree, joking person. They don’t know the other side of me that is sad and stressed.

I have done a lot of damage to my relationship with my girlfriend of 8 years. Basically I am unbearable to live with most of the time, although I keep a good public face.

I believe that this problem (my stress and depression) is fixable. I am treating it like a science experiment.
Looking forward to sharing with others here and finding out others solutions.

Can you expound on treating it like a science experiment?

Thanks so much for sharing this. Awesome that you’ve got a wife who’s supportive. I wouldn’t have made it out of my hole if it wasn’t for her. Have you come up with any good methods for communicating to her your state of mood on the days when you’re feeling down? Does she recognize it and not take offense?

Now that you mention it, no. My wife doesn’t really see the side of me that gets down very often. I probably could do a better job of communicating with her when my mind is turning against me, but I think the biggest reason why she’s so supportive is that I just handle things and keep a very optimistic attitude, despite how I feel sometimes. My mantra has always been “It’ll be alright” because we usually find some way to get through every challenge that we face.

It’s just really strange, because I’m typically positive and optimistic, but very frequently lacking general motivation. I love what I do and the people I work with, but it’s still hard to make myself go due to struggling with self-worth a lot. I think all my optimism comes from always managing to push through and make something happen when it matters most, but I feel like my situation could be so much better if I could make small bits of progress every day instead of a giant leap at the last possible moment.

I’ve found it useful to tell my wife “I’m feeling depressed today.” It’s not a fun thing to admit, but it lets her know that if I’m withdrawn, it’s not because of her. Less room for miscommunication (which seems to be where 80% of our marital difficulties begin), and it “helps her help me,” which is something she truly wants to do. If I was feeling nauseous and she asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner, I’d tell her.

I understand how hard it is to do small steps every day when you don’t know if you’ll have enough emotional energy left over at the end of the week. I used to feel that I needed to do everything right now, because I didn’t know when I’d feel up to the task again.

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