Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

GeorgeSmiley: Another major relapse

I couldn't really find another more suitable heading for this so I opted for here. It felt "too big" to go in the daily check-in list.

Bottom line: I've experienced some major regression in the last several weeks. Prompted by what? Probably stress [mounting unmet deadlines again]; political distraction; stress with the youth class I teach with Mrs. GS [alluded to in some check-ins]. 

And what happens when this builds up: I deliberately turn away from the tools that are available to me to help me manage things, and instead pursue escapes.

And that includes this place. Which means, I realize, that in turn away from here I am dissing my sisters and brothers here who are facing up to the same struggle I'm hiding from.

So, first off, my apologies to you all. Please forgive me.

And second, a pledge to resume regular check-ins and then stick by them.




Thank you to all, once again...

Some have referred to the importance of accepting and calling on a higher power. I think this is a very challenging step for me.

I respect belief in God very much and have an understanding of God that is frankly quite a bit different from many conventional creeds. I find most religious doctrine--from whatever theology--to be a metaphor for mysteries that we can't really comprehend this side of the grave. Yet I also envy those friends of mine who have experienced a more personal concept of God, and it's something I aspire to--although perhaps, I'll admit, from a sort of cold, intellectual perspective.

So it's a big leap for me to consider this sense of a more personal God embedded in the Higher Power concept. I feel like it would help, yet I find myself resistent to embracing it conceptually.

That said, I warmly appreciate and hold in my heart the testimony of others--clement, Agnus, and others--who are trying to show me this way of being.


The Hero's Code:

Show up. Pay Attention. Speak the Truth. Let Go of the Outcome.

the god metaphor

i was just reading The Problem of Pain by c.s.lewis and i came across a passage that made me think of you. He's talking about hell, first as a sentence inflicted by a tribunal, then as a kind of non-existence. And he says, since jesus talks about hell both ways:

We are therefore at liberty--since the two conceptions, in the long run, mean the same thing--to think [of hell in the other way]

This is just another example of that metaphor, if i get your meaning. two conceptions--in this case of hell--but i think the same can be applied to all divine concepts--can both be right, because neither one has enuf dimensions to express the whole idea.

Like a shadow of a 3-D object. depending on how you hold it, you get a different picture.

Unless it's a sphere, of course. :) But then you still get "circle" and it would be hard to guess--from the shadow--about the 3-D spherical nature of the object causing the projection.


Higher Power

 I identify with your resistance to be boxed in by others' definition of higher power: for a long time I could not acknowledge it. A friend from another program had similar issues and with her permission, i share her initial definition of higher power as she was initially able to define it. She could not acknowledge that there could be a power greater than herself in any traditional sense of the word, so she defined her Higher Power as the ocean, as she could not imagine anything else larger than herself. I have heard others define the whatever-it-is-that-moves-one-in-the-right-direction-in-12-step-programs as the group consciousness. I don't know what it is,  but the longer I hang around the more I find that if I keep coming back and surrender to that undefined HP, knowing that I cannot do it by myself, a switch is sometimes triggered. I get out of my way. And when I know that I have no will to do so, it truly seems miraculous.  All I know is that I am not doing it. I rail against other people telling me what to do. I rail against myself telling me what to do. So why is it that it is only in here that reading the experience, strength and hope of other persons who are unable to do that this release comes? I don't know, but I have come to think of that as HP. The more I get out of my way, the more I find myself doing what I would never do. 


unconventional notions of god

As told by Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous: From Chapter One of the Big Book of A.A. :

{begin quote} The word God still aroused a certain antipathy. When the thought was expressed that there might be a God personal to me this feeling was intensified. I didn't like the idea. I could go for such conceptions as Creative Intelligence, Universal Mind or Spirit of Nature but I resisted the thought of a Czar of the Heavens, however loving His sway might be. I have since talked with scores of men who felt the same way.

My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?"

That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last.

It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. {end quote}


re: god

i get where you're coming from.

> I find most religious doctrine--from whatever theology--to be a metaphor for mysteries that we can't really comprehend this side of the grave.

yeah, me 2. i often describe my faith as a hope that god is there, that god loves me. because there's no way to prove it. If there were, only fools would be atheists. And that's not the case. Humans trying to understand god is like ants trying to understand humans. We just dont have enuf neurons.

Your use of the word metaphor is...exciting. sounds silly but that's what i feel. One of my favorite works of literature: _the never ending story_ by michael ende seems to say that the world of human imagination is at least as important as the real physical world. Could it be that absolute truth is in metaphor somehow? Or maybe we can just get a taste of it from the metaphor? I guess this is where i am on this. the metaphor for me gives me a taste of the Great Love beyond.

As for my personal relationship with god, it is important to say that it comes from my personal surrender (step 3). For me, this surrender has been the key. Surrender to a god i hope is there. If not, i'm lost.

Now i really have to stop procrastinating and put my money where my theological mouth is ;)


re: understanding of God that is frankly quite a bit different

Step 3 says:
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to God as we understood Him 
"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?"-Henry Ward Beecher

welcome back

 nothing like relapse to bring you to your knees: the good part of relapse is when you come to believe you are powerless. What a gift, to find step 1. I am exactly where you are at and am thankful to have you come and speak about it here. This fellowship has so much to offer, and so many great tools embedded just within this website. It is great to have you here.

Go for it, George!

Hi George!

You are on the right way now!

Good luck with everything, and keep coming back!!!


Thank you, gals & guys, for being here! :)

relapses, finished things that could have been even better

Hi George,

a couple of things spring to mind after reading your post. First, congratulating you from your post on the regular CI forum about the thing that went well.

Then, about relapses. I have a hunch that, for me, part of the positive reinforcement for procrastination is that some of the procrastinated stuff does get appreciated and then I  feels a reward for having procrastinated. At the same time, there's the chagrin and negative self talk. (" I always go about it wrong, it would have been even better if I'd started sooner".) And that part is the famiiar negative self-talk and high expectations/perfectionism and never being satisfied. And that too of course fuels the next avoidance and time-binging by upping the anxiety and stress.

I know for myself that I also have a deep need for forgiveness around procrastination, stressful projects and deadlines...and I have several avoided deadlines looming.

And what happens when this

And what happens when this builds up: I deliberately turn away from the tools that are available to me to help me manage things, and instead pursue escapes.

Yup, classic escapism, sounds all too familiar :)
Good on you for facing up to it and giving yourself a mental check, George :) You're doing it right :* Don't give up.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson