Hi I'm Rita
and I'm a compulsive procrastinator. I'm also active in three 12-Step recovery programs as an alcoholic (27 years sober), compulsive eater (10 years) and living with another's alcoholism (20 years). I admit I am powerless over my lifelong addiction to procrastination and demand resistance, and that my life has become unmanageable...again.
Although it has been over a year since I first found this website, I am just getting around to learning how it works and using it as a resource. I use a computer and Internet extensively for work and for stupic timewasting stuff, but I have avoided chatrooms and interactive websites largely because I know my tendency to communicate compulsively as a way to procrastinate. So I'm not very smart about how to post online, and I ask your forgiveness in advance if I post things in the wrong place(s) or anything.
It is very embarrassing to admit my powerlessness over my procrastination. I've been living the 12 Steps and sponsoring others to do so, for more than 2 decades. You'd think I would have it down by now! But though I've made progress in some areas (going to bed most nights, getting places on time more often), I continue to be haunted by feelings of resignation and defeat. In fact, some days these thoughts are downright tormenting. I will be 56 years old this summer and have not accomplished half of what I should have done with my life. I was full of potential that I never lived up to. And now I worry that it's too late.
Sometimes I cry alot, but usually I just waste more time, accomplishing small unimportant tasks and avoiding the big ones. For example, I am self-employed and have not billed my clients since February. But my living room has a new throw rug, and the cat litter is very clean.
Even writing this, I feel beset by shame and hurry-up/get-it-right anxieties. I want to absorb and apply immediately everything that is on this site!! And these feelings are making me think about erasing everything I've written, canceling the post, and going to get something to eat...
Anything but that darn billing.
How do I start working this PA recovery program?
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re: Rita's cat litter
Welcome, Rita! You'd be surprised how many of us have problems getting that cat litter changed . . .
"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright
you appear to have come to the right place. There are several people here who have the exact same issue with billing clients. i dont have that particular issue, but your experience seems very similar to mine.
ESPECIALLY the "shame and hurry-up/get-it-right anxieties...absorb and apply immediately everything that is on this site". That really resonated with me.
I feel like my 12 step approach--step 3--has led me to give up on that feeling. I still get it routinely, but it's becoming easier to let it die. And that's how it feels to me. I feel attached to it, but when i turn my life over to HP, it's easier to let go of it. And this is my life now. This day to day letting go.
It sounds so defeatist, even today as i write about it, but the results in my life are actually MORE power, not less. I still to this day marvel at the irony...and i would say miracle...of it. By giving up my power, i get more power. Power to pick the most important thing to do, and just do it. Something i've been lacking nearly all my life.
Welcome. And i hope you find recovery here.
From your 12-Step background, you might find the following helpful:
Especially read the "tools".
We have a chatroom here in which we work on stuff. Yup. People type: Now I'm going to phone "X". Be back in 5 minutes. Back. Now I'm going to start filing a stack of papers, be back in 15 minutes ... etc. We kind of each do our own stuff, simultaneously. Sometimes, if nobody is there, we go in there and talk to ourselves to talk ourselves through a project. Link to chatbox by hitting the "chat" button at top of any page. Note that there are two rooms. The "Check-in" room is for the process I have just described.
Billing clients can seem overwhelming. So just tell yourself, I'm getting out the papers onto the desk now. That's all. Achieve a pattern of success. Then do one small step on the billing.
Don't think of doing the billing all at once, as that is obviously overwhelming for you. Just try working for 30 seconds or 5 minutes at a time - which seems silly but actually does help. Then work your way up to 15-minute intervals. Then make yourself stop, even if you're doing well or "on a roll". This will help you later, because you know that if you start, you can stop, and you won't be stuck doing it all day long.
You can "bookend" about steps in your process on the daily check-in threads -- (each date has its own thread) or in the long-term "project" check-in threads.
We have online 12-Step meetings here once a week.