New member - former(?) procrastinator turned chronic liar needs help (LONG)
here's my story. I'm 30, and currently still in college and living with my family. I spended 7 or 8 of the last 10 years in a weird state, basically paralyzed, wasting my days doing abolutely nothing and periodically lying about the state of my life, my studies, and my relationships to anybody who dared to ask. My academic life was struggling terribly: in 8 years I attended approximately 12 exams out of 26 I was supposed to pass (in 5 years, btw).
Last year in februray, I got a phone call from the university office. I discovered - with horror - that several of the exams I had completed were going to be canceled since I never sent in a paper I was supposed to send in at the beginning of each academic year telling which courses and which exams I was going to take during the year (gotta love burocracy).
I also discovered that, since I took so long, I was basically forced to change my "study course", going from our old national system (26 exams, 5 years) to the "new" (and improved?) european-style system, composed of 24 exams for a basic, 3 years, degree and another 12 exams for the "specialistic" degree.
I was destroyed. My delusions of being able to work my a** off and magically be able to fix things were shattered.
I really though several times about suicide and/or running away (even if I never did it seriously).
This triggered two different reactions in me: the first one is that I immediately broke free of the procrastination cycle and started to work as hard as I ever did. In the last 11 months, I took a lot of courses and attended (and passed) 13 exams, which is basically twice as much than the "standard" course load, while also often working part time. This was the positive side. The negative one was that I also started to lie a lot more, creating a ridicolous web of lies in which I was the poor victim of a system that just didn't work, and that I couldn't get the degree just because of burocratic/administrative issues, even If I already had all the exams done. I lied, lied some more and lied to cover my lies. I went as far as making up full time job while going to the uni just to get a break from my family. Things went from bad to ridicolous. I even tried to get therapy, but quit when I realized that I was lying to my therapist as well!!
But somehow, and against all odds, the web of lies held up.
I should complete my final 3 exams in april and have my degree wrapped in june (finger crossed).
But I've still got 2 huge issues I need to deal with right now: the first one is my lying. I keep on telling myself that once I'll close the distance between the person I've been pretending to be (my "ideal" self, or just my "acceptable" self) and the person I really am I'll be able to stop this circle. But the more I think about it, the more I'm not so sure about it. Because I just know I'll never be my "ideal self", and that there's something bigger, since I just cant stand telling people who I really am.
The second problem - the bigger one at the moment! - is that my web of lies is about to collapse: my father, sick of the situation, asked a highly influencial friend of his to pressure the university because "...he already passed all the exams and needs to get his degree, damn it!". Now I should be getting a phone call by the university about this issue shortly (oh lord).
I seriously don't know what to do. I tried to come clean with my family a couple of times but I just cant face them. Admitting that I've been lying for god know how many years is just too much, and I know it would just destroy them. Also, I'd feel like s**t having to admit being such a letdown, and I know I would lose their trust forever.
At the same time, the stress is killing me: not just feeling guilty, I have developed some serious stomach issues due to the awful situation I've put myself in.
Thanks for reading, I'm looking forward to some answers.
I'll also try to help out others while I'm on this forum, sharing what I've learned about procrastination in my long and difficult road.
ps: english is not exactly my first language, so please bear with me