What's wrong with my brain?

Warning: this is gonna get whiny, and really rambling.

I’ve been thinking about writing something about my mental illness for a while. I am generally pretty open about it with people I know, but it’s not something I’ve made a huge deal about publicly. However, today something happened that really makes me think I need to address it.

I was kind of having a bad morning. I was having a heck of a time getting an application to do what I want. What application and what I wanted to do are not really relevant. The fact that it put me in such a spiral of frustration and anger is, though. One that led me to throw an embarrassing, childish fit on IRC, aimed at someone who was at worst offering a couple suggestions to help. Now I’m left wondering why, at 35 years old, I still can’t control my emotions properly.

The most challenging thing with writing this is just how hard it is to articulate what happens to me. I definitely think I feel emotions more strongly than normal, no matter what it is: fear, excitement, happiness, anxiety. When it’s at its worst, I’m completely crippled and feel unable to control how I react to things. I have to cut myself off from seeing or reading things that will trigger it. There’s no way I can be productive when I’m like this.

I’ve taken meds for depression since I was 13. Mostly I think they’ve helped; without them, things are harder; darker. When I was 27 or so I was diagnosed with adult ADD, so I take something for that too (Strattera, a non-amphetamine treatment). And in the past couple years I’ve taken Klonopin as needed for anxiety. Mostly that seems to go pretty well.

But some days it doesn’t. Lately it seems like it’s happened more; when I take things ridiculously personally; when I worry far too much about what people think of me. Always had a problem with that; always thinking the worst about it, too, which just leads into more anxiety and fear. All that stress ends up with me lashing out at strangers on the Internet, and colleagues, and my family. None of whom deserve it.

Times like this, I wish more than anything that I hadn’t made Spaz, or started speaking at conferences, or any of that. I wish I just had a normal, stable job where I could hide and do what I should do and just be. I’ve come close to deleting all my source code repos and web site and just killing all of it, because it feels like an unbearable source of stress. If I get so upset and worried that I’m hurting myself and others over it, why do I keep doing it?

And I wonder whether I’m posting this just because I want pity or attention. I suppose I probably do. And that’s pretty sad too.

I just wish my brain didn’t work like this.