Here is why I have worked really hard to keep myself to myself.

I often tell people that I have no vices, other than worrying but that isn’t fully true. For decades of my life I have had a real issue with over sharing. I would compulsively tell people much more than they should know about me. More than they would like to know about me and more than I was really comfortable sharing in the first place.

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

I felt like I had no control over it and I never really knew why I did that. I thought it was sort of just part of who I was. I wasn’t particularly happy with…

Hi, I’m Sharon and sometimes, I write

I’ve never really been asked to describe myself before outside of cringey icebreakers at work meetings. You know how it goes.. “Hi, I’m X, I am a Y and I’ve worked at Z for…”

I am intrigued to see how it goes when I introduce myself here. Hi, I’m Sharon and sometimes, I write.

There are other details of course. I’m 31, married to my best friend, I’m a mum and I work full time as a software engineer. I play video games, I colour, I crochet and bake. I have a totally healthy interest in my cat.

I used…

It probably is but my mind really hates me

Several aspects of anxiety are really difficult to deal with.

One of the worst parts as an adult is navigating relationships. Work, friends, family — even just neighours. Overthinking, catastrophising, compuslively asking if everything is ok.

For all my counselling, medication and working on myself, I don’t really know how to deal with that part.

I used to carry a worry journal with me everywhere I went. It looks a bit like this, and I still use it sometimes:

I have had mixed results. It was in heavier use a couple of years ago and just recently I have started…

I need to write it down before I forget!

4 year olds are something special. My little girl has so much sass and I have no idea where it comes from, but I encourage it! If they are not happy with their current reality, they will invent their own. They say what they like, when they like and to who they like. There is no filter.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Here is a list of the most recent things my little girl has said that warrant immortalising.

As she is wearing her Elsa from Frozen costume

Me: “Sweetheart it’s chilly, put on your coat…

And other ways in which I am a “terrible” parent

I don’t really know what it is about my generation of parents but we face crippling guilt over almost all of the decisions that we make. If we don’t experience that guilt then we must be awful, despicable, cautionary-tale-worthy failures because only good parents worry about every little thing they do, right?

Feel free to roll your eyes now. I’ll start us off shall I?

I will put a disclaimer here before you read any further; I am absolutely 100% one of those people who worries about everything, including my…

You can’t apply the same best practices as before and expect them to work now.

Hands up who has tried to pair program 100% of the time while working from home? I know I have. At some point or another it becomes exhausting. You feel this overwhelming urge to carry on as normal, because we all know that this is the best practice and “I’ll be damned if my productivity suffers just because I’m working from home now”.

Iteration 2 of my working from home setup, and incredibly depressing

Even at the best of times, in a pre-covid world, no-one enjoyed pair programming all the time. There are exceptions to the rule, obviously, but before covid hit and the world was turned upside down — pair…

I’ve had this conversation before, more times than I can remember, whenever a friend or a colleague finds out that I play video games.

Hi, my name is Sharon and I play video games every single day. I am a 31 year old woman with a full time job and a preschooler.

Reactions usually vary from “Oh cool, what games do you play?”, and “How do you find time for that?”, to “That’s a waste of time”.

I explain that I find time for it because it’s something that I enjoy, and outside of working full time and being a…

I used to write all the time.

Often my friends ask me why I’ve stopped writing… I don’t really have a great answer aside from “I don’t have anything to say right now”.

This year hasn’t been a good year for many people, putting it mildly, but, for me at least, it has been so much better than the previous one in an overwhelming way. 2019 was the year of mental health challenges, difficulties at home and challenging times in my professional life. I lost friends and self esteem and I made a lot of mistakes. …

A smiley face we made on one of our daily bouts of “exercise” (slow walking) in the village

It has been quite a while since my last attempt at writing something down. I guess because it was not really clear to me what I could say to make things better. Everyone is doing their bit by staying home, watching the news, worrying, calling loved ones and trying to keep busy and most importantly, sane.

I am happy to say that I am largely OK. …

I can’t really remember when I first recognised that I felt anxious, but I was always known as a sensitive child, and a bit of a crybaby. I now know that mental illness usually manifests in childhood or adolescence but at the time I just thought that this was just “who I was”

My parents told me how I would watch the news as a child and that there was this one story of a child who was having a heart transplant. I followed the story for weeks, crying every time the news was on and worrying for the child’s…

Sharon Russell

Software Engineer, expert worrier and mum

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store