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.
Think this is just what I need!
Hi all, this is my first post. I have been struggling with chronic procrastination for about ten years, which was when I was diagnosed with 'depression' because of living in an abusive relationship. I've been three years away from abuse now but the 'depression', 'brain deadness' persists.
The results of my procrastination makes me feel SO embarrased and pathetic and stupid!!!! But by just reading some of your forums i have had a more productive and positive week.
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I discovered that by leaving my alcoholic family of origin, where I was emotionally abused, I then became my own Abuser- manifested in so many ways, including procrastination. To stop abuse, I must first stop abusing myself through the 12 step programs and support of it's members.
Keep coming back.
Welcome Sal :-)
I'm a pretty new member myself :-) I am finding the check-ins help me to organize for the day.
You said you were diagnosed with depression so I was wondering if you have talked to your doc/counselor about procrastination too? You'll get lots of support here.
Self-improvement is the name of the game, and your primary objective is to strengthen yourself, not to destroy an opponent. Maxwell Maltz
Have mentioned the term 'chronic procrastination' to both gp and psych. Both times it took a lot of courage to even mention it, both times I got 'the brush off', they minimised or ignored its signifigance.
I have been in AA for many
I have been in AA for many years. I live in an upscale town on the California coast where the doctors seem generally to be excellent. But even here I am constantly amazed how ignorant doctors are about alcoholism even when it is all over town. So what hope is there that they will understand us procrastinators? Even in one of the AA standard books it says "Procrastination is just a five syllable word for sloth". I disagree TOTALLY. It is clear many alcoholics drink to deal with fear and I know I for one procrastinate from fear, not from laziness.
One of the things I remember most strongly from early days in AA was hearing the "We will love you until you can love yourself". I have never forgotten the encouragement that gave me and I am sure you will find the same unconditional support here.
My husband (from whom I'm separated) called me lazy. I tried to explain to him that I wasn't not (double neg, I know) doing the housework because I didn't want to; I wanted to - I really, really wanted to! His disbelief of this was so hurtful! I am still so sensitive to the thought that I might actually be lazy, but, then I remind myself that a lazy person doesn't 'care'; but I 'care'!
Re: Doc brushoff
I founded a face-to-face PA meeting in my area. When I talked to my counselor about it, he cracked up. This happened a couple of times.
Here's the thing about my counselor - he is amazing and I trust him completely. He has been both my individual AND my couple's counselor. I consider myself a recovering rage-aholic, and the thing about him that I most appreciated when working on my anger issues with him was his complete lack of judgement. He never judged me or thought poorly because I would rage. He always had compassion, never made me the bad guy (when I was in couples' counseling raging at my husband), and just - overall - made me feel safe. Always.
My therapist would never, Never, NEVER do anything to purposely belittle me, or make me feel bad. I worked with him for, like, two and a half years.
When we talked about him laughing at PA, he explained that it just escaped him. That, he hadn't meant to, it just--came out! That old SNL -type skits of Procrastinators Anonymous meetings flashed through his head...you know, no one shows up, or everyone's late. He said he hadn't meant to, that it was NOT judgement on his part, that...it was a kneejerk reaction. In consequent sessions, when I continued to talk about PA, it didn't happen again.
But, here's my point - I learned a very valuable lesson from this. That is - people don't get it. Even people who GET it (i.e., my counselor) still have a hard time getting it. There seems to be a cultural sort of "shrug and laugh it off" mentality around procrastination.
And I've experienced it in other settings, too. When I would announce the PA meeting I was establishing publicly - in order to get the word out - people (who I KNEW, mind you), would laugh. Just about every time. It just...happens. It's something people do.
HOWEVER, when I talked to those SAME people about having overwhelming, crippling anxiety...about being paralyzed and unable to get myself out of the door (a core problem area of procrastination for me - a daily struggle at this point)...about not being able to complete school assignments and then having obsessive, looping negative thoughts where I beat the sh-t out of myself and feel like a failure and sit on the couch for days staring at my computer doing nothing but not letting myself get up, or do anything else...about the way I would trap myself in shame, and blame, and guilt and self-hatred for days at a time...
When I talk about these things, people understand. They have empathy. They don't laugh. SAME people, mind you. Same info, too - just presented in different terms.
My (long-winded) point is - if your gp and therapist are there to help you, you can make it clear to them what it is like for you. I'm guessing they just aren't connecting the word "procrastination" with the actual debilitating EXPERIENCE of procrastination. Share that with them - or find a post on PA that captures your experience closely enough, and share that - and you may get a different response. I'd bet you do.
If you don't...may be time to seek out different professionals to work with!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I'm sorry it was so long.
I wish you the best. Welcome to PA!
Yours in fellowship,
"[People] need to be connected to each other. Courage comes out of relationship; it doesn’t come out of willpower." Peter Block, author of Servant Leadership: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest.
Re: Doc brushoff
Thankyou, MC for your insight. I guess the concept that procrastination could be 'chronic' is fairly abstract for most people,'surely it couldn't be that bad'! My Doc's didn't laugh at me or the idea, they just dismissed it as if I were exagerating. My sister, on the other hand, who suffers with chronic pro as much as myself if not more so, did have the 'kneejerk reaction' joke!
Welcome to PA! Sounds like the site is already helping you. You'll find people here in many stages of recovery. Glad you're here.... Keep coming back!