I have decided to explain to you what it’s like sometimes in my head. I used to think I have some sort of mental imbalance, whenever I have felt frustrated during my teenage years I have usually turned that frustration in on myself, this is why I said that frustration is one of the worst things I usually have to deal with. Imagine if you will that something frustrates you and instead of finding a way to deal with it you turn the subject over and over in your head in order to find an answer and in time that actually makes you more frustrated. It’s almost as if my rational thought is water in a bath and somebody comes and pulls the plug and then I have no choice but to get washed away with it.
One of the biggest causes during work is not being able to concentrate. One of the reasons programmers work better at night is because they can normally take very long periods of time to construct and envision the problem they are trying to solve in their head it’s a bit like trying to memorise and route your way through a city. There is a great article on holding a program in your head, imagine trying to do this with people constantly interrupting you. It’s even worse when you have a programmer who is into what they are doing and wants to write the solution to your problem. Trying to understand these things is hard and for me as soon as you interrupt that train of thought it’s gone and I have to spend several minutes trying to piece the puzzle back together. Not everybody is like this I am sure but for me it really is like that, the plan I am making inside my head needs to become solid and for that to happen I need to spend time either proving a theory, drawing process flows, making notes, writing psuedocode and generally turning my thoughts into something more solid. When people disturb me during this time it’s like the plan crumbs into dust and floats away on the wind and then I have to start all over again, you can imagine how frustrating this is.
I am not saying at any point in time I don’t and cannot talk to you and I generally find it difficult to tell people to go away but I have been at work sometimes and wanted desperately to progress with a problem and have found it impossible to do so because of interruptions. This has in extreme cases needing to leave the office to deal with my frustration which then clouds all thoughts which really does not help matters. There are times at work I have wanted to punch walls and have a little scream to make me feel better, as futile and childish this sounds (like I am throwing a tantrum) because I have an underlying need to cause self harm the energy needs to be dissipated somehow. What can make matters worse is that if I do cause harm to myself in someway or another I then have feel deeply guilty and disappointed with myself, even the thought of self harm can bring on guilt and disappointment so you can see how this all snowballs out of control.
So yeah, frustration is my enemy and it continues to be so. Counselling has given me a few tools to cope with it and I would like to say I am technically ‘cured’ but I know that would not be the truth. I need to keep working on it, it’s not going to be easy