Procrastinating right now.
Hi everyone. I procrastinate right now by introducing myself. But at least it's useful procrastination. I've realised I've got a procrastination problem a while ago and by now it has become so bad that I decided I have to do something about it. So I googled for procrastination (until a newspaper article last year I didn't even know the word...) - and found you. And for that I'm really thankful! I haven't had any experience with addictions so far, but the way it has been described here seeing it as an addiction makes so much more sense of my behaviour!! Being a very rational person, until now I could not really understand why I'm acting so irrationally.
In general I am a very optimistic, forward-looking and ambitious person. I'm about to finish my studies, and I'm good at what I'm doing. Once I get myself to do something, whatever it is that I have to work on, I enjoy it. Paradoxically, as you all know, nevertheless, I just won't do it. Because I don't feel like it or I'm having a bad day or working conditions are not right, or I'm afraid to fail, that is, not do it good enough. I also set myself quite high standards which I'm unable to tune down unless I'm forced to by the time limit - when getting the major part done the night before the deadline between the occasional panic attacks... But being a perfectionist is not the core of my problem. Although I am one. The core is that I just don't do my work. Even if I'm feeling like it (at least a bit), having a good day and being optimistic. But in the end it is because I just "don't feel like it". I just don't do it. I do other things. Usually more or less useless things. Like playing on the computer. Or reading the news. And the familiar consequences set in, feeling guilty, being angry at myself, being unable to enjoy things any more, trying more or less desperately to do something, failing again, feeling even more guilty...
This has led me now to a point at which I am about screw my master's degree because for a year now I have busied myself with my master's thesis but still have written only 13 pages. I have four weeks to finish. I've lost money having to pay extra tuition fees. I think I'm disappointing my family because they can't understand why I won't just finish it and get on with my life. Especially since I've got excellent marks (despite procrastination and underperformance the professors miraculously still thought my work was above average, which did not provide any incentive to change, so far). And I really just can't imagine telling my family "My problem is that I am a procrastinator - and it is an addiction." I think they would not understand it. Like before people would not understand that depression is a psychological disease and not just a "I'm not feeling good"-phase you'd get over at some point.
My procrastinating behaviour already started while I was still in school and became worse and worse over the years. It became especially apparent during my studies when I had to do longterm written assignments. I just wouldn't start them until it was almost too late. It was not a matter of not planning or organising my projects well, but of just not working on them, ignoring schedules I had set and readjusted over and over again. However, by now, apart from messing up my thesis, I have a feeling my procrastinating behaviour starts to spill over into my private life as well. So I really, REALLY hope I'll be able to get better by joining you.
Finding this website has given me many useful insights already and I'm really glad I've found people who know what this problem is like. So after putting it off for weeks still thinking I could manage without it, today I decided to introduce myself and start to participate in the check-ins to see how it works for me. Wish me luck! I've got four weeks (and the rest of my life but that's different matter)!