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Programmer "Burn-in"

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Oct 12th, 2015
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  1. I'm having a bit of an emotional issue that I'm trying to work through, and I believe programming is at the core of it. I've been fortunate enough to work for the past decade on very complex and creative programming projects, all of which were works of passion that were very mentally challenging and rewarding. The "carrot at the end of the stick" was always this experience of "algorithmic/mathematical beauty" that would occur from writing an original algorithm that displayed some kind of geometrical pattern or efficiency in the midst of a complex problem. I've only ever experienced this feeling watching technical jazz musicians or seeing something very beautiful in nature. This will sound elitist to most, but I hope some people can relate on the level I'm trying to express this at. Last year I had trouble enjoying things I had enjoyed my whole life. I felt that I had this "burned-in" addiction to complexity that made it very difficult to talk about normal human being things, or spend time on things that didn't seem very complex or mentally challenging. I always want to be somewhere else, solving something important or difficult or having a challenging conversation. Conversations seemed very redundant and I couldn't keep my attention on anything, like I had some late stage ADHD or something. I took this as the normal programmer "burn-out" so I took the advice of many people and took a 6-month break. I traveled, spent time with friends and family and women, drank beer, relaxed, and just generally let-loose; but I couldn't shake this underlying lack of mental stimulation, and haven't been able to since. It's like I'm addicted to programming, or complexity, or something I can't describe, but I find it hard to connect with regular every-day people and worst of all, I'm finding it increasingly hard to be interested mentally in romantic relationships. I am posting this hoping to find some other people that understand this and may have found a direction to steer in when feeling this way.
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