I found this forum and was hoping to find someone who can relate to the way I feel. I’m a full stack developer with several years of experience, although apparently not enough to be called a senior yet, but I’m certainly not a junior. I’ve developed large and complex features on my own, and come up with clever solutions in the past. I’ve been able to pick up languages and frameworks quickly and adapt really fast.
I’ve been working for the same company for the last couple of years. The company I work for has been doing pretty good, I am well compensated and I can say in general I like their products and the work I do, but lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, unhappy, and stuck.
Even thought the structure of the company has always been pretty much flat, recently they introduced different levels for developers. Achieving a higher level doesn’t really mean higher hierarchy or that you have any sort of authority over those in a lower level, but it may mean a better pay, more credibility, and recognition inside the organization. The only problem is the requirements to reach the next level are incredibly hard to achieve and depend on opportunities that may or may not come to interact with other teams in the organization. I expressed my desire to climb that ladder some time ago, but now I almost regret it, as I feel that simply expressing that desire has put me in the spot. I feel like everything I do, say or don’t say or do is now being evaluated to determine if I deserve to advance or if I’m not worth it. And the worst is I’m beginning to feel like I’m not worth it, like maybe I’m not smart enough or creative enough or just simply don’t have what it takes.
Maybe it’s just bad timing, I don’t know. I have a child at home that has a mental illness. We didn’t notice until it was too hard for her to cover it, but she suffers from OCD and other behavioral issues. In a few months, life has gone from normal to a real living hell as she resists treatment and is often aggressive towards my spouse and me. Everyday there’s a meltdown and she’s constantly trying to control everything and everyone at home. This leaves me feeling drained and hopeless. We have tried getting help for her, but no clinic will take her in unless she agrees to do the treatment. Meanwhile, the struggle continues and she won’t go to school and we are the ones that have to deal with the problem.
I’m feeling overwhelmed, depressed, defeated, and it’s starting to show at work, because I don’t feel very social or creative, in fact I feel unhappy and sometimes even resentful when I encounter more of an uphill battle to ever grow in level. I have to force myself to go on some days. It’s not that I don’t care. I still like programming, I still like what I do, I’m just not enjoying myself these days, I’m just so tired and sad, and angry and confused.
My boss keeps acting like he means to help, but treats me like I’m suddenly unable to do my job or even make good decisions. Keeps insisting that I take vacation, even though I’ve said many times I don’t need to right now, that I can do my job, plus I’m saving those days for the emergencies derived from dealing with my daughter’s issues. I am a good worker and I’ve proven that time and time again already, but now I feel like I’m losing it.
I am afraid if I go on like this or show too much weakness that I will be perceived as incompetent and that my projects will be given to other developers in the team, until I become irrelevant. I feel like I just keep falling down a spiral and I can’t stop, and I’m constantly afraid of losing my job, which makes everything worse, because then my desperation shows up, and I act paranoid.
I’m not suicidal, but I often think of how much I would like to simply run away from everything and everyone, and not have to deal with life anymore. How much I would like to checkout of life. What can I do? I’m the bread winner of the family so I can’ t be out of a job right now, but I feel like nothing will help and nothing will ever change in my life, that there’s no hope.