Hi, Fellow Travelers - My Story
I procrastinated posting my first post, thinking: This is way too long. No one's going to read this tripe!
But for those of you who prove me wrong, thank you in advance for your empathy, feedback, and support.
Here is my response to pro's question, "Why do you want to join this website?"
Walker (<= one who takes steps, both forward and backward, but eventually reaches her desired destination)
. . . . . . .
What a surprise and a relief it was to google "procrastinators anonymous" and find your well-organized site, complete with subsites! You have created a beautiful, accessible resource for sufferers like myself. Were you once a procrastinator? If so, I salute you for your productivity and compassion-laced action. I feel grateful and hopeful that finally... FINALLY I will find the support and impetus I need to follow through on the steps I must take in order to DO the things that need to be done WHEN they need to be done.
I *know* what needs to be done. At least I have that much insight. Yet I am baffled as to why and how I -- unlike "normal" people -- can distract myself with eating, reading and posting online, and any number of enjoyable but useless activities. I get myself over-the-top anxious about something as innocuous as writing a check for an overdue bill, calling my health insurance companies (yes, plural, because I put off canceling the one after I got my latest job) to settle a medical claim; scheduling a dental appointment for a moldering toothache; checking and opening any mail whatsoever (snail mail, email, voicemail); doing my laundry; cleaning my apartment; calling friends and family (yes, even people who LOVE me, I put off staying in touch with!)... the list is endless. I even put off taking off my clothes, washing my face and going to bed, so I am chronically exhausted. It's bedtime as I write this.
My life is completely out of control. The bill collectors will soon be sending the cops after me; I should probably be in jail as I type this. I spend my days and nights in an avalanche of worry. worry, worry. No. This is not funny in the least. It's self-torture. I rip myself off over and over with late fees, a POOR credit rating and a secret shame that forms a wall between me and every other human on the planet. I can't have close friends and loves because of it.
Procrastination has been the bane of my existence for as long as I can remember. I was even born two weeks late. My perfectionistic tendencies and poor organization and planning skills made me a loaf-and-crammer for my entire academic career. I often missed deadlines for projects. I got high grades, but the cost to my health and sanity was great. Procrastination is the main reason I had to give up my job as a Chemistry teacher (aside from my fear of those teenage cretins I had to teach, who all knew my secret shame).
My master's degree is rotting in a closet, and I now make $12 an hour at a warehouse. Somehow I have to make payment arrangements for the scholarship and student loans I won and lost to go to x-ray school, which I flunked the clinical part of, due to my procrastination. I also have to pay credit card bills for tens of thousands of dollars worth of computer courses I bought to teach me how to make money at home online -- but I procrastinated learning the material, and it's too late to go back and learn. I've paid for years' worth of unused subscriptions for computer courses and health club memberships, simply because I put off canceling them. I almost died because I put off a surgery until it was almost too late.
Am I dumb or what?
Actually, I know it doesn't matter why I've done this to myself. It matters that I stop calling myself names like lazy, stupid, worthless, etc. It matters that I recover as soon as I can, one baby step at a time. It matters that I use this site to my utmost as soon as possible and contribute to the community here.
It is long past time to do something about MY less-than-excellent choices. I don't like the results of those choices, and there is only one person who can do something about that.
How ingenius of you to require all who want to benefit from your site to explain to you -- and to themselves -- why they want to join this site. Writing such a manifesto is a catapult to action.
Well here goes. I want to join this site because I want peace and serenity in my life. I want to respect myself, to bring my actions in line with my values. I want to be a loving, responsible, considerate, well-taken-care-of, effective and honest person, someone with nothing to hide, someone in a position to share with and help others instead of obsessing about the latest fire that needs to be put out, and scratching around in chronic poverty, with the bill collectors in hot pursuit.
I want to transform into the kind of person who I would like to be with. Not this child in an adult's body! It's like I'm stuck in a car with a 2-year-old driving!!
No way. No more.
I look forward to meeting you on the other side.
Best wishes. And thanks from the bottom of my heart for reading my story and understanding. Somehow I know that you do.