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Search - "anxiety and focus"
This rant is a confession I had to make, for all of you out there having a bad time (or year), this story is for you.
Last year, I joined devRant and after a month, I was hired at a local company as an IT god (just joking but not far from what they expected from me), developer, web admin, printer configurator (of course) and all that in my country it's just called "the tech guy", as some of you may know.
I wasn't in immediate need for a full-time job, I had already started to work as a freelancer then and I was doing pretty good. But, you know how it goes, you can always aim for more and that's what I did.
The workspace was the usual, two rooms, one for us employees and one for the bosses (there were two bosses).
Let me tell you right now. I don't hate people, even if I get mad or irritated, I never feel hatred inside me or the need to think bad of someone. But, one of the two bosses made me discover that feeling of hate.
He had a snake-shaped face (I don't think that was random), and he always laughed at his jokes. He was always shouting at me because he was a nervous person, more than normal. He had a tone in his voice like he knew everything. Early on, after being yelled for no reason a dozen of times, I decided that this was not a place for me.
After just two months of doing everything, from tech support to Photoshop and to building websites with WordPress, I gave my one month's notice, or so I thought. I was confronted by the bosses, one of which was a cousin of mine and he was really ok with me leaving and said that I just had to find a person to replace me which was an easy task. Now, the other boss, the evil one, looked me on the eye and said "you're not going anywhere".
I was frozen like, "I can't stay here". He smiled like a snake he was and said "come on, you got this we are counting on you and we are really satisfied with how you are performing till now". I couldn't shake him, I was already sweating. He was rolling his eyes constantly like saying "ok, you are wasting my time now" and left to go to some basketball practice or something.
So, I was stuck there, I could have caused a scene but as I told you, one of the bosses was a cousin of mine, I couldn't do anything crazy. So, I went along with it. Until the next downfall.
I decided to focus on the job and not mind for the bad boss situation but things went really wrong. After a month, I realised that the previous "tech guy" had left me with around 20 ancient Joomla - version 1.0 websites, bursting with security holes and infested with malware like a swamp. I had never seen anything like it. Everyday the websites would become defaced or the server (VPN) would start sending tons of spam cause of the malware, and going offline at the end. I was feeling hopeless.
And then the personal destruction began. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat. I was having panick attacks at the office's bathroom. My girlfriend almost broke up with me because I was acting like an asshole due to my anxiety issues (but in the end she was the one to "bring me back"(man, she is a keeper)) and I hadn't put a smile on my face for months. I was on the brink of depression, if not already there. Everyday I would anxiously check if the server is running because I would be the one to blame, even though I was trying to talk to the boss (the bad one was in charge of the IT department) and tell him about the problem.
And then I snapped. I finally realised that I had hit rock bottom. I said "I can't let this happen to me" and I took a deep breath. I still remember that morning, it was a life-changing moment for me. I decided to bite the bullet and stay for one more month, dealing with the stupid old server and the low intelligence business environment. So, I woke up, kissed my girlfriend (now wife), took the bus and went straight to work, and I went into the boss's office. I lied that I had found another job on another city and I had one month in order to be there on time. He was like, "so you are leaving? Is it that good a job the one you found? And when are you going? And are you sure?", and with no hesitation I just said "yup". He didn't expect it and just said "ok then", just find your replacement and you're good to go. I found the guy that would replace me, informing him of every little detail of what's going on (and I recently found out, that he is currently working for some big company nowadays, I'm really glad for him!).
I was surprised that it went so smoothly, one month later I felt the taste of freedom again, away from all the bullshit. Totally one of the best feelings out there.
I don't want to be cliche, but do believe in yourself people! Things are not what the seem.
With all that said, I want to give my special thanks to devRant for making this platform. I was inactive for some time but I was reading rants and jokes. It helped me to get through all that. I'm back now! Bless you devRant!
I'm glad that I shared this story with all of you, have an awesome day!17
Sort of !dev
I can't do school anymore. I get so many panic attacks. I was shaking the entire time I was writing my essay today. It's hard to focus when your brain is fucking freaking out. I'm missing deadlines, failing tests left and right.
Real talk, I'm not dumb. This was never a problem. My University fucked me up and now I can't even look at an assignment without an electric feeling and I don't know what to do.
I had a panic attack during the opening crawl of Star Wars. I had to leave the theater. My anxiety is going to give me a heart attack one of these times. I'm 18, why am I experiencing health issues like this?
School isn't done right. How could this be the intended effect?8
My gf left me, it's been a month.
I still can't focus on anything. Suffering panics and anxiety.
Couldn't code for a month. Still can't.32
not universal, but works for me:
1. start listening to long video/podcast/talkshow i'm interested in
2. (optional) think about all the physical things i should do, such as cleaning the house, running errands, etc. conclude "nah, i'd rather stay at the computer".
3. open the project i'm working on, thinking "while i listen, i might as well muck about with this for a bit". the key is for the thought to be duration-indeterminate and non-commital, so it feels like an idea for a voluntary idle activity.
4. start mucking around with the project, starting with the simplest smallest tasks, to slowly shift my focus away from what i'm listening to, so it gradually becomes the background thing as the work gets into foreground of my concentration without me even noticing. this also naturally shifts me towards the more important and complicated tasks in the project
5. naturally lose track of time, realizing i've been working for 2 to 3 hours without break only after what i'm listening to ends (sometimes not even then)
6. at that point, take a break, stretch my legs, get some food, watch some 20-30 minute thing with full attention.
7. find a new long-form mostly audio thing to listen to, and go to step 4. repeat.
8. i found i can work like this 8 to sometimes 20 hours straight in a nice atmosphere, without feeling like i spent the time working with all the mental exhaustion it brings, instead it feeling like "i was listening to interesting/entertaining things and mucking around with some stuff on the side", with all the feeling of "i've been idling the whole time" except the work is actually done, or at least i made a progress. it feels almost like procrastinating except without the guilt because i can see i've done a lot through that time. kind of a good compromise between total procrastination and working your ass off into complete anxiety/depression2
Someone did something right - i sometimes get anxiety and this little wonder helps tremendously....
Holding it while it spins....thats all it takes and "poof" - anxiety gone and am 110% able to focus9
The more I'm on here the more I remember all the shit I have had to deal with in the past.
Anyway, lets rant! I just moved cities after college to be closer to my family, I didnt have any work lined up at that stage but started job hunting the moment I was settled in, I did some freelance for smaller companies to stay afloat.
Eventually I got a job at this agency startup where "SEO" was there main focus, still very inexperienced they put me on frontend and data capturing but will teach me how to code using their systems in due time. At this stage I was getting paid minimum wage, but I was doing minimum work and it wasnt that bad.
A new investor bought 49% of the company and immediately moved into the office space to focus more on marketing (He was one of those scaly marketing guys that will sell you babies if he could get his hands on enough to make a profit).
This is where everything starts going to shit. He hires a bunch of "SEO Gurus", fills up the small office with people like sardines squished together. Development was still our main money maker at this stage, so there where 3 new more senior developers at this stage and I started learning a lot really fast.
Here are some of the issues we had to deal with:
1. Incentives - Great more money, haha! No, No, you where 5 minutes late so you only get half of the promised amount.
2. For every minute you are late we will deduct it from you paycheck (Did I mention I was getting paid minimum wage).
3. If you take a smoke break we will dock it from your pay.
4. Free gym membership to the gym downstairs, but you can only go once a week during your lunch.
5. No pay raises if you cant prove your worth on paper.
He on purposely made up shitty rules and regulations to keep us down and make as much profit as he could.
Here are some shitty stuff he has done:
1. We arent getting a 13th check this year because the company didnt make a big profit - while standing next to his brand new BMW.
2. Made changes over FTP on clients work because we where too slow to get to it, than blames me for it because its broken the next day and wants to give me a written warning for not resolving the issue Immediately. They went as far as wanting to fire me for this, gave me 1 day notice for meeting and that I can bring a lawyer to represent me (1 day notice is illegal, you need 5 days where I am from), so I brought a lawyer since my mom was a lawyer. They freaked the fuck out and started harassing me about this a week later.
3. Would have meetings all the time about how much money the company is making, but wont be raising our pay since no one has proven they are worth it yet.
4. Would full on yell at employees infront of the entire office if they accidentally made an mistake on a clients project.
One one occasion I took a week off for holiday, my coworker contacted me to ask a question and I answered that I will handle it when I am back the following week. Withing 2 hours my other boss phones me in a rage, "he is coming to fetch the company laptop from my house in 5 minutes, he will let me know when he arrives. Gives me no time to talk at all and hangs up - I have figured out what has happened by now so when he showed up he has this long speech about abandonment, and trust and loyalty to the company. So I pass him my laptop once he shut up and said: "You do know I am on holiday leave which you approved, right?", he goes even more silent and passes me back my laptop without saying anything, and drives off.
While the above was happening Douche manager back at the office has a rage as well and calls the whole office (25 people) to a meeting talking about how I abandoned the company and how disgraceful that is.
Those are the shitty experiences I can remember, there where many more like this. All of the above eventually led to me going into a deep depression and having panic attacks weekly, from being overworked or scared to step out of line. Its also the reason I almost stopped coding forever at that stage. I worked there for 2.5 years with the abuse.
I left 2 weeks after the last shit show, I am ok now and have my anxiety and depression well under control if not almost gone completely.
Ran into Douche Manager a few months ago after 9 years, the company got bought out and the first person they fired was him. LOL! He now has his own agency and is looking for Developers (They are hard to find he says), little does he know I spread his name far and wide to all and every Dev I knew and didnt know to avoid working for him at all costs. Seems like word of mouth still works in this digital age.
Thanks for reading this far!5
I've come to notice that mindful meditation does some good things to me.
And by "mindful meditation" I mean my subjective experience based on the shitty articles and videos I saw online, aka, I close my eyes and focus on how my breathing feels...
spoiler: it doesn't fix my depression and anxiety. The good thing that it does to me is that I seem to be more focused and to bump into simple solutions to problems I have everyday instead of freaking out about them.
So while it doesn't fix it, it does help a bit with anxiety.
The problem is that it's very, very, very goddamn hard to meditate to me.
I try to focus on my breath and not think for like 10 minutes. Even for 10 minutes, the experience is jarring.
I have this insane urge to just do something immediately. It's not a painful experience or anything or bad for my mental health so far, I just get massive urges to start doing something else, like, for example, I can't wait to start working.
So it's as if it decreased anxiety, but increases adrenaline or whatever? I dunno.
Disclaimer: I don't care much about the religious aspect at all, which is kind of problematic because 95% of what you find online is just biased religious marketing, and I avoid that like the plague.8
I'm noticing that installing a new distro and making it your main distro tends to be very stressful to me.
Here's a couple of reasons why:
There's this anxiety I get that is just crazy, like I need to set this thing up perfectly, meanwhile I have work to do.
And the thing you estimated to take 2 hours at most ends up being a full week.
Work starts to pile up but can't just shake the obsession with setting this thing up.
Another reason is that usually my main distro instance tends to be VERY customized.
So much that when you switch, you need to configure those things again, and troubleshoot a lot.
Troubleshooting isn't a problem in itself. The problem is that you're trying to troubleshoot with a machine that needs troubleshooting.
the shell, the editor, the terminal, the window manager, tmux, the notifications, the custom kb layout. it was all so neatly customized that fixing problems on the machine was manageable.
but without all that I feel like an idiot.
Even something as simple as keeping having youtube music to focus is now intermittent because you need to restart the X server.
Maybe my problem is that I don't do well for bootstrapping.
Anyhow, I'm really stressed right now, but I think it'll be worth it.2
My mind seems to be a mess. I think it's stress related. I have really high anxiety and its making me make stupid mistakes.
For example I used instanceof to check the class in a number of places in code. Originally the class I was checking was a base class. Later on I decided to extend the class but I didn't change my instanceof's so they became always true. This went to prod and only was caught due to severe slowness on a part of the app. Failing PHP 101 seriously. I know how instanceof works just couldn't focus enough to catch my mistake.3
Being jobless for a long time is frustrating, but when you're now in a situation where you really need a job within the month, life has become a horror story. My anxiety is off the charts. I can't even focus on learning and improving my skills. I don't have any savings to be able to afford more time.6
I hate relatable/anxiety/cringe posts, but I need to talk about this.
Sometimes when I try to sign and focus on hitting notes and making it sound good, I get a sudden flashback to something weird I did in the past.
It's either something extremely cringey/embarassing or just plain out asshole'y, mostly from when i was a teen.
It's weird how sudden and vivid the memory of these actions get. One second I'm singing, the other I'm clenching my stomach thinking "oh god why did I do that?"
I also make the signing turn into making weird fucking noises and going very off pitch.
Some people find it easy to let go of the past. Not this guy.
I need help.
I don't know if I can do this anymore.
As much as I love coding, what I do and making new things, I feel like I can't handle it as well as I used to be able to. I was diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression and anxiety (amongst other things) and it's taking a toll on me. I can't work on problems as well as I used to. I overlooks simple errors and typos and spend hours trying to fix it. I can't focus on anything or even remember what I was doing a minute ago. I seem to constantly miss deadlnes. My performance has taken a nose-dive and I'm in constant fear of losing my job. I'm the breadwinner for my household (dad doesn't work, mom doesn't make enough) and much of my salary goes towards my family and rent.
I have a couple of attempts, and one of my recent ones got me fired from my previous job. I've tried to get help. I've gone to therapy, I'm on a shit-load of anti-depressants and trying to change the outlook of my life, but nothing seems t work.
I don' know what to do. I needed to vent out. What do you think I should do?4