1) after talking to my wife and my doctor I got a counselor. Well really a team of mental health professionals. My counselor and a psychiatrist to help with meds really helped. I started out by taking some medication and doing weekly one on one therapy. Over time I actually got off of medication and the therapy reduced to every other week and then monthly. I still see my counselor every month. He’s amazing. I am so glad I sucked up my pride and met and talked to him.
2) through therapy I realized that I didn’t have an identity outside of being a software developer. That’s what was burning me out. I wasn’t Tim the person who has a family and interests and develops software. I was Tim: software developer. The end. This turns out to be really bad. I had to remember who I am other than software developer. All I ever did was work or think about work or work on other things that were just like work.
3) in discovering who I am I remembered my other passions in life. I spent more time with my family and enjoy the time more. I spend a little time with just myself and that is ok too. I enjoy hobbies (mine are recreational math, reading legal briefings (I’m aware this is weird), crocheting, and writing short stories). I do these by myself or with my kids and wife. It’s nice.
4) now when I sit down to code it’s deliberate and I don’t feel passion towards it as much. I'm okay with that. Coding is work and pays bills and makes me happy in that way. And when I’m done with it for today I’m ok with that too.
Ironically enough I’m more successful in coding and business than I have been in many many years. It’s great. It hasn’t harmed me at all.
So I would suggest not giving up on coding. It pays the bills well and it’s a good career. I’d suggest going to talking to a professional. Figure out what the underlying issues are and fix those.
I’d be glad to answer any questions you have.
I assume it's because there is a bias on technology-focused communities such as HN. The bias of solving problems with technologies (be it languages, books, life hacks, ...), even if the problems are of a social or psychological nature.
You can't solve all problems with technology.
Yet somehow we think we should be able to work out personal issues (burnout, marriage issues, depression, etc) by ourselves. It's bizarre.
If you can afford help, get it. If you can't, often you can get a discount (sliding scale) or work something out.
... Like if it was a superpower.
Superheroes doesn't need advice. At least in the comics I read as a kid.
So this superhero syndrome, hurts more than having no superpower at all.
What are you talking about?
If you're able to understand or at least start troubleshooting computer relates stuff, you look like you hace a superpower to them.
I also can’t seem to stop thinking about work. Maybe it’s related to that point. I can’t enjoy anything since there is always “but you should be solving problem X” in the back of my mind. Maybe it’s the type of personality I have - if there is a problem, I can’t stop ruminating about it. It’s mostly work related since that’s why I do 95% of the time, but other problems too, especially when dealing with people.
I know I am not adding any value to the discussion - just wanted to thank you for your insights and to the person that asked the question.
It also has helped my mental toughness - if I have a bad day (or week, month, year) at work, I still have other things to fall back on, things that bring me joy and help define who I am as a person. Before, if something went wrong at work, it crushed me. Now I have more perspective, and work issues don't have as much weight as they used to.
Only took me a few decades to figure it out! Hope yours works out more quickly.
Edit to add: The therapist I have in mind is a former engineer and engineering manager, and works almost exclusively with engineers and their spouses/families.
I feel like this is exactly my problem at the moment - how did you solve it?
Mindfulness helps with this so much. And very quickly problems started to go away and I felt so much better. I became significantly more productive. I was having fun. I felt relaxed. I felt confident. I’m absolutely amazing.
It wasn’t very easy and it wasn’t a fun process at all. But I am so glad I did it.
On the other hand, I live in a country with high unemployment rate, people barely have enough to get by day to day. A friend complained to me recently that he did not get paid for 2 months (he works in the public health sector). Compared to him, I’m living a dream. But I feel misserable.
1) You find your job fulfilling, inspirational unto itself, or...
2) Your job enables you to enjoy other things.
Ideally you want friends and a hobby (and ideally friends who share the same hobby) -- a hobby that happens to not be primarily software.
If you don't know where to start, maybe look for a list of active meetups in the area.
It's very counterproductive and stops many from doing something that has the potential to completely turn things around.
I had no idea what it would be like. I was honestly scared to death to see someone. I was a fool. Rich, my counselor, is a kind, intelligent, and friendly man. I said “what are we doing?” And he said “you’re paying me by the hour to be your best friend. Just let me help guide you into a happy relationship.” He did. I complained. I cried. I got mad. We laughed our asses off. And honestly it helped. He made me feel like I was normal for my feelings. He let me know when I was wrong and how to rethink things. He let me vent. He smacked me emotionally. It is fantastic. It helped almost immediately.