Hello everybody, I'm Pedro.
Just over a year ago, I was losing control of my life, having been fired from three good jobs where I performed very well but was unable to meet deadlines and was ALWAYS late. I chose a job with flexibility in scheduling but eventually, arriving late and later everyday caught up with me and I was asked to leave.
I finally accepted that something was wrong and got myself a family doctor. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and was put on Escitalopram (Lexapro/Cipralex). After dealing with the initial side effects, I was feeling amazing. I was more focused and had my goals set. Nonetheless, I felt like the procrastination urge continued.
I managed to open my own business (freelance photographer) and began doing well.
I met the woman of my life. We were just perfect for each other at every turn. Nonetheless, my need for reassurance spooked her. After only dating for a few weeks, I pressured her into titles and plans. She left me.
After that, it's as if the Escitalopram lost effect completely. Compulsive procrastination with the added side effect of somnolence from the Lex were a bad combination and I lost at least two months of my life.
Like many people here, my days fly by at home. I forget to eat. When I do get the urge to eat, I'll make something quick like cereal and milk. If at all, I'll have maybe two hours of productivity per day. The rest of the day is filled with sleeping, lying in bed or the couch, doing useless stuff, viewing porn.
Well, I found this site and this describes me to the tee!
1. Disappointment is a way of life. We constantly disappoint other people and ourselves by not keeping our promises.
2. We have enormous difficulty getting started on new projects, or transitioning from one project to another.
3. We have a very poor sense of time, chronically underestimating or overestimating how long a task will take us to complete.
4. We have difficulty organizing projects by breaking them down into steps; we don't know where to start, even when we're willing to start.
5. We are surrounded by clutter and disorganization in our homes and work spaces.
6. We are regularly late for appointments.
7. We are acutely aware of what we should be doing, or think we should be doing, and oddly out of touch with what we actually want and
8. We feel uncomfortable saying "no" to requests from others, and instead express our resentment through the passive resistance of
9. We suffer from Demand Resistance, causing us to do anything and everything except the one thing we most need to do.
10. We are short-term thinkers, focusing on short-term pleasure while ignoring long-term well-being.
That is me summarized. Well, now I think I've been misdiagnosed. The more I read about GAD, the less I think it's me.
I don't worry about things constantly nor do I have many of the symptoms of GAD. My symptoms are more consistent with OCD instead.
As a child, I was obsessed with symmetry. I couldn't touch one hand without touching another. I got rid of that habit but avoiding stepping on cracks on the sidewalk took its place.
I'm constantly in a state of near flight or fight, often grinding my teeth or biting my tongue. I feel that way only when I'm alone. I live alone so that doesn't help. Perhaps that's why I'm always seeking reassurance. I do everything to please others. I pick my girlfriends based on what people close to me will say. I try to be successful in life so that other people will pat me on the back.
I've decided to get off the escitalopram since the somnolence side effect is harming me further. I've gone down from 30mg (the max is 20mg but my doc prescribed me 30mg for some reason) to 20mg and now I'm at 10mg. Within a few weeks, I'll drop to 5mg and then quit altogether.
Currently, I'm feeling a bit more motivated since I'm not sleepy all the time anymore and I've managed to get stuff done by going to a coffee shop instead of trying to do my work at home.
I find that it's helping to schedule working days and time even though I work for myself. Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 7pm bring me to my local Starbucks where I get an amazing amount of stuff done. It's incredible the difference!
I'm also joining social activities such as snowboarding once a week with a friend and I'm thinking of joining a dodgeball league. All this is helping tremendously.
Finally, today I'm planning on going to the local mental health institute to inquire about group therapy since I can't afford a personal therapist.
Now, while I'm completely in sync with what is said on this site -- and I am very thankful for those of you who have come forward to share your stories -- the solution that you propose, the 12 step program similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous, is based on God and faith.
I hope that my thoughts on this don't get me outcasted here but I am a devout atheist. I'm very sure of my beliefs and I don't believe in God nor do I subscribe to organized religion.
With that in mind, where does that leave me? Can the therapy you speak about be applied to an atheist?
I thank you all very much in advance for your replies and thoughts on my case.