In Need of a Real Addiction
This will likely come across as crass, but I have pondered it for a long time and feel there is some merit in these words. I don't feel like I have a legitimate addiction, or even one at all. Many are recovering alcoholics, drug users - even potheads have a claim to dependency. I don't use drugs or stimulants of any kind. The most I can claim is an Internet addiction; it's a pathetic attempt to seem legitimate in the midst of these horror stories. I attended an open AA meeting yesterday and was encouraged by the amount of recovery there, but my shame was even greater. Here were people whose minds and organs were assaulted through constant drunkenness who managed to turn their lives around. They raised families and held jobs in the midst of their alcoholism. And I can't get my house in order because of Internet addiction and procrastination? It's laughable. There's nothing hard or legitimate about my so-called addiction. I have considered becoming a drug addict for the sole reason of having an excuse for failure.
The general public doesn't understand why some people don't or can't "JUST DO IT," "it" being whatever assignment is at hand. I dropped a client last year because I failed to complete their website; in truth, I worked no more than 15 minutes on it over the course of 11 months. It was an assignment I never should have agreed to, but I'll do pretty much anything to save face. Rather than saying, "I can't or won't do what you require" I postone the inevitable with specious updates of "progress" that satisfy the client for a few days longer. But it's all a distraction from the ultimate truth: that nothing is getting done and there's no plan to do so.
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LaVida and Skinner
Thank you both for your responses. It is good to see that people are not put off by the idea, by the real struggle I have to frame procrastination as a legitimate disorder. It has become more apparent that ADHD - which I denied for my entire life as too cliche and unsubstantiated - is the likely culprit in all this. After all, I thought, how could a person with ADHD stay in the house? Be introverted? Aren't ADHDers impulsive and fidgety most of the time, hyperactive to the core? Aren't they practically pulled out of the house by their hyperactivity?
There is an explanation for this discrepancy in ADHDers. There is the acquired fear of getting involved with anything, in taking on responsibility and new tasks that results in chronic avoidance. It is the ostensibly pathological aversion to new projects, effort, or anything that might infringe on our integrity and personal interest. Overall, it should be well-known to PAers that our problem is not a cause but a symptom of another disorder.
We have in procrastination a non-chemical addiction. It is at least a defence mechanism. The sheen of this argument is all over this site: many of us here do not start things so we never get 'too deep,' so we never have to say we didn't finish something or deal with other failures. In my case, hypersensitivity is the root of the desperate struggle to avoid the stares after a faux pas; the outbursts of frustration; the careless mistakes; the embarrassing non-sequiturs; the projects and books started and then discarded, the contemplative nights of despair and self-doubt that in my case have driven me to isolation. After all, in not trying we can be assured we'll never have to face our limits, will never discover how much we need to overcome and avoid the cringing depression that follows a real challenge.
There are doubtless thousands if not millions of people in the great Internet landscape questioning whether their inability to start things, focus, continue, etc are simply a lack of discipline or some ingrained habit. I doubt it.
- "'It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.' - da Vinci"
Re: In need of a real addiction
Glad I saw this post ... thank you Vientir for putting into words what I've thought/felt many, many times.
How do you tell people that your life is screwed up because you're a codependent, procrastinating, underearner/under-be-er? I mean, really? I've often wished I was a drug addict or alcoholic too, but no such luck. Instead, I've had to face my neuroses my entire life SOBER, and what for? So I can go through what feel like faux 12-step groups, for compulsions that seem ridiculous ... (no offense intended toward anyone as this is just how I honestly see my own problems, as illegitimate compared to the people with substance abuse problems).
Are things like procrastination only reserved for the "good" boys and girls who didn't have circumstances quite severe enough to lead them to drugs/alcohol, but just severe enough mental patterns to think in similar addictive terms? I don't know, but sure feels like it.
My main issue is that people with substance abuse issues get SUPPORT. People like me live a live of invalidation every day, because on the surface we appear normal or as if our lives should be functional because we're actually sober. I don't "act out" ... I "act in" until my very life implodes. Does that count?
It would be a LOT easier to explain to the people in my life why I'm currently homeless if I could blame it on being an alcoholic. Instead, I get to just look like a complete loser who needs to be taught a few lessons.
RE: In Need of a Real Addiction
I don't think you're being crass, but I do think you're being very very hard on yourself. I know it's not as destructive as heroin or alcoholism, but smoking is supposedly more addictive than both of them. I smoked for almost 20 years. I've now given up, and compulsive procrastination, for me, is a much much harder habit to break.
Basically it's a logistical problem. You've got to take active steps to get hold of cigarettes, illegal drugs, or alcohol and it palpably costs you money. It's not a trivial thing to break a drug/alcohol/nicotine habit, but these habits at least need you to take action to keep them going. If you need to break a smoking habit you can avoid the environments in which you smoke, and you can stop yourself from stocking up on packs of cigarettes when you're not hurting for nicotine so that when you do run out it's harder to get hold of a cigarette when your addiction would otherwise compel you to smoke. I remember "giving up on giving up" several times in moments of weakness, but I was unable to buy cigarettes as my earlier self had cunningly tricked my later self into running out when it was too late at night to get hold of any. I wouldn't have quit successfully if I'd had cigarettes to hand. You can see where I'm going with this...
Procrastination requires no special tools, you can do it anywhere, and it is (don't laugh) something that's "essential to life". I know some people who don't seem to need 'down time'; who appear to be constantly on the go (I think they must see 'exercise time' or 'playing musical instrument time' as their 'down time'), but they're very rare. Everyone feels fatigue and needs a break, and there is no way of getting away from it.
I have TV and internet habits, but when I've made a concerted effort to break them I've ended up doing something else that's equally useless, like reading books, eating or sleeping. Never the thing which I know I should be doing. Procrastination isn't just a compulsion that makes me "do" things, it's one that "stops me doing things" - the motivation to procrastinate is therefore always present. I can't get away from it (except possibly by changing my environment to break my habits - I keep thinking of leaving the house and going to a library or coffee shop to try and do work, in the hopes that this would make me more motivated - pathetically, I haven't had the energy to try it yet). If I had someone to stand there and witness me waste time, like in the chatbox, I'd get a lot more done. too. When I have a job and am surrounded by people I have very little trouble working
So in that sense procrastination is one of the most difficult forms of addiction, because you can't easily remove yourself from the cause of it. If by "not hard or legitimate", you mean that procrastination is not destroying your life in a dramatic enough manner: have a think about what it's doing to your opinion of yourself, to your self esteem, to how stressed you are, to how you interact with people and to how your business and livelihood are suffering (they could be doing much better if you weren't a hardcore procrastinator, right?). I know it pales when compared to some people's experiences with alcoholism/crack/meth/heroin addiction, but just cos other people have worse problems doesn't mean that yours is not real or legitimate.
You're probably not talking to other people about your procrastination, not just because you think they "won't get it" (who cares if they don't?) but also because you think they'll look on you with disgust, call you lazy and potentially shun you; not try and help you. I'm guilty and ashamed all the bleeding time. I don't know how bad it's got for you, but I bet you are suffering from your procrastination habit to a greater extent than you give yourself credit for.
Basically, I hope this helps you take it easier on yourself, cos thinking that overcoming procrastination is "easy compared to what everyone else goes through", and that you're "pathetic and weak" can lead to a bad place. I had a similar train of thought when I was depressed: "What's your problem? You've got nothing to complain about! There's people who are bereaved, homeless, dying of cancer, kids starving in Africa... you're being pathetic and self-indulgent... you're a whiner, a worthless POS...". That did wonders for my self esteem, I tell you!
procrastination - addiction or not?
I was so surprised and relieved to find out about PA and this website a few weeks ago, to hear that procrastination and compulsive task avoidance could be identified, analysed and be treated (slowly!) as an addiction.
Finally after so many years of wondering what on earth was wrong with me and then counselling and not seemingly getting anywhere, perhaps now there is a way out of this unknown 'thing' that's been crippling me from doing simple to complex tasks and moving forward with my life.
I think pro's words in the following article really struck a chord with me:
Chronic Procrastination is NOT a Time Management Problem!
Extract: "I am a chronic procrastinator (with graduate training in psychology) who
has also had to deal with a variety of other addictive problems. I've been
clean and sober for nearly a decade, and I've resolved addictive problems with
food and relationships as well. I know what addiction feels like.
Procrastination feels like addiction, and it's the very hardest addiction I've
ever had to deal with. It's harder to stop procrastinating than it is to quit
drinking, drugging, smoking, compulsive eating, and romantically obsessing all
The counsellor I first started seeing a few years ago didn't see my maladaptive behaviour as an indication of some sort of addiction. Thank goodness I persisted in gettng the support I needed, and my present counsellor finally has finally started to acknowledge and look at my living in limbo hell as compulsive task avoidance and a procrastination addiction that is sabotaging just about every area of my life. His knowledge of sexually compulsive addiction and how one can learn about and eventually break the addictive cycle has actually been very enlightening and gives me some hope we can move forward working on my deeply painful and debilitating addiction to procrastination.
Researching the addiction cycle in its different forms has been fascinating, these articles really jumped out for me:
There is also this interesting series of videos explaining how dopamine works in addiction here.
Following on from the comments in this post about attending 12-step meetings and how they can support one's recovery from addictions, I haven't been to face-to-face meetings for AA or DA. But I am exploring UA which seems to overlap a lot with PA and am seeing how this goes. The first symptom of UA is Time Indifference, which may be closely related to Procrastination. There seem to be lots of face-to-face UA meetings across the USA, in London UK, and some around the world.
I see that this has lots of comments and I'm a newbie, so maybe what I say has been said to you before...
Anyways. I don't think you need drugs. I think you've already got something that does the same thing as drugs. There must be a part of your brain -- our brains -- that gets some sort of a high from not doing stuff. I'd never thought of it that way, but I'm starting to believe that's how it works.
Having said that, it does suck big f***ing time that people out there think we're, simply put, stupid. Whatever happens to us feels like it's just no big deal. Which is why I'm so happy that I've found this website.
Oh, and I'm sure if you dig a bit deeper you'll find some more things about yourself that have to do with procrastination... For example, I binge eat. I'd always thought it was just anxiety, but I've realised now that this anxiety actually comes from procrastinating -- or rather by being unable to meet my own expectations.
Just like someone told me once -- don't you think that having a headache is okay. Your body's natural state is to not hurt. If it hurts, something is wrong. If procrastinating hurts, something is wrong.
Vaaskat - "Why" is not the most important question
God knows I've spent years calling myself names like addicted, irresponsible, immature, deadbeat, disorganized, liar, pathologic procrastinator, hedonist, abnormal, depressed, ADHD, impulsive, out-of-control, foolish, self-destructive, self-hating, ashamed.... (the list goes on to infinity). The truth is that for whatever reason, I have wired my brain with much practice to put off things till the last microsecond and beyond. It is a deeply ingrained habit to create drama for myself and keep my brain bathed in stress chemicals.
I DO always have a choice; nevertheless, for the past 50+ years I have repeatedly chosen short-term pleasure/distraction over long-term benefits, to my detriment. It took a long time to create these neural pathways, and I can expect to feel strange, anxious, fearful, inadequate (list goes on to infinity) until I create some new pathways. Feelings are not facts. Once I have created a history of new behaviors, the unpleasant feelings will be replaced by more pleasant ones: confidence, joy, peace, fulfillment, love for self and others.
The most important question for me -- and for you, Vaaskat -- is not: Why are we the way we are?
Who do we want to be?
How can we behave more lovingly to ourselves and others?
What will we do differently now?
What do we really want out of life?
I don't know about you, Vaskaat, but just for today I CHOOSE to open my mind to the possibility (in fact, the probability) that yes, I CAN accomplish what I set out to do. Today I will do a reasonable amount of work in a reasonable amount of time. Today I will emphasize action as much as planning. Today I will replace my wallowing and excuses with small actions, one after the other, and dare to experience the rewards of a job done well enough, if not perfectly; a job done, if not done efficiently. Whatever it takes, I'll do it to rise above this "bottom."
Sending healing vibes to all. We have hurt ourselves badly over our lifetimes. Let's each walk our path, this beautiful path we've created for ourselves from what we were given.
Grateful to be here with you all. You understand me more than anyone else in my life.
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result” -Mahatma Gandhi
So you've gone through the "labelling game" too, eh? Always looking for a certain diagnosis, a certain way of framing your psyche that will unravel all the problems in life by getting at the root of the actions. Alright, I still have that tendency; it seems like the right thing to do. But as mentioned below even if there is merit to that approach it doesn't help to move past the daily procrastination.
You presented good objectives. They don't demand what one "ought" to be doing but rather the ultimate goals. Thinking that life has to be done a certain one has only led to demand resistance. So maybe I will choose to do more today. The old adage of living in the moment isn't wrong, but I and countless others don't accept it too easily. Thanks for your input.
- "A procrastinator's work is never done."
V - So you read The Power of Now, too, eh?
I suspect none of us would be here if we accepted the adage of living in the moment and made our decisions based on outcomes instead of immediate gratification/comfort. It might be helpful and stress-relieving to keep a running tally on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is least pain and 10 is most pain and track how we feel as we climb our Mt. Everests.
"Why" is a question 2-year-olds and teenagers ask authority figures when refusing to do a task assigned to them that they do not want or intend to do -- as if they think they can get out of doing the task if they can convince mommy that her reason is not good enough.
Unfortunately, it seems I haven't yet outgrown this phase. Now I'm starting to ask myself: "Do you really want your inner 2-year-old or inner adolescent to rule your life? (= ruin your life) Has this worked for you in the past? What are the chances it will work now?" Now my answers are no, no, and nada. That's why I'm here. (i.e., not just to put off climbing my Mt. Everest!)
Wish I knew where I read about or saw this study in a documentary: Researchers presented a group of toddlers with a choice of having one marshmallow now or three marshmallows in an hour (something like that). Then they checked the children's achievement over a period of years. You guessed it! The children who delayed gratification for a greater reward were more successful in school and in life than those who chose a smaller but immediate reward.
Praying for us all that we will tap our higher powers to master this very important skill: the ability to base our actions on our truest goals, rather than on temporary relief of anxiety, fear, or whatever other emotional barriers we have in the past avoided, rather than worked through. Maybe the only way out of this fire is through it.
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result” -Mahatma Gandhi
why is not the question discussion
I read your posts, Vaaskat and Walker... solidarity.
I've often been struck by ways that various aspects of Buddhism/ mindfulness sort of complement the approach of the steps, and there's another parallel here, about the search for enlightenment, it might come from a Zen story, I can't remember exactly. Anyway, the basic idea is that when you see the house is on fire, you don't ask why at that moment, you just get out. I don't know if this speaks to others, but it tells me, and i still need to repeat it, that each moment I need to do the right thing for that moment and the next one, and understanding why I didn't before won't help. And yet--I don't think that is completely apt, because the self-awareness (about why my fear or anxiety or other resistance makes me not want to take the next step) can also help--to understand the fear, accept it, move on...
The burning house analogy makes sense. Doing what's effective in the moment to survive or just to get things done is more practical than uncovering why things went wrong in the first place. My issue is that self-awareness isn't a means to an end, it's another way to make excuses. "Oh, I have such and such disorder; life can't be what I want it to be." If knowing what's causing the problem becomes a tool against it, then use it. Otherwise there's a good chance it will lead to fatalism (thinking that what's happening is inevitable, as per Hidden-Motives' thread a while back, I think) or intense pre-occupation.
- "A procrastinator's work is never done."
what other people think
"It's none of your business what other people think of you." - I've heard in 12 step meetngs. That helps me. Also, I'm powerless over what people think of me.
I have fought this tooth & nail, so I figure you can probably argue reasons why it is your business what others think of you. But "Argue For Your Limitations, And Sure Enough They're Yours.” -Richard Bach.
You need to take care of your "side of the street". In other words, take care of what your part is. Don't worry what anyone else is thinking, doing, etc.
Also, you can try all you want, but you can't read people's minds! When you think you know what other people think of you without actually asking, you're ASSUMING. When you assume you make and ass out of u and me.
Thinking that procrastination is not a real addiction will only hurt you. You came here to get help for procrastination.
So, whether or not it is a "real addiction" doesn't matter. You can choose to get help for real procrastination.
Btw, You sound like an addict to me. Addict thinking makes justifications and rationalizations for why a person "isn't really an addict" or their problem "isn't that bad" or "so & so is a REAL addict and I'm not because I've only smoked pot". I've heard all of those many many times. :)
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over compulsive procrastination, that our lives had become unmanageable.
Be honest with yourself, is your life unmanageable?
Then maybe you should go to step 2:
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
If you don't believe in a "higher power", you can use PA or the PA Chatbox/website as a power greater than yourself, which it is...
Good luck, my friend.
Other peoples' opinions are ultimately self-projection. Those troubling opinions are just reminders of my own defects. It's easier to attack them than fix myself.
I don't know if my life is unmanageable. I will say that my procrastination, my avoidance are so ingrained that even small breaks in that habit don't amount to a continuous upward projection. I know what it's like to be productive; most people on this site probably do as well. And every evening I go to bed wondering what happened to those days.
PA has been an enormous help. But I'm sorry to say that I don't believe or expect someone else to restore me to sanity, only to enable me and anyone else to help themselves. And without nitpicking over semantics, there is something cathartic about admitting that things are unmanageable. It means that even for a few seconds - the time it takes to make that admission - the reality of the situation came to light.
Thank you, and good luck as well.
- "A procrastinator's work is never done."
I understand what you are
I understand what you are saying. I've only been on this site for a couple of weeks. I know I procrastinate, I have clutter, I am deeply in debt. I had never been to any type of 12 step program - don't drink, don't do drugs, don't gamble. So about a month ago trying to deal with being so deeply in debt that I wasn't sure how I was ever going to get out, I went to a DA meeting. As I listened to them, I realized my problem was not compulsive spending, but underearning. So I listened to telephone meetings for UA. Then I realized my underearning was really because of procrastinating. I have had leads for clients that I never got around to calling. I over-promised and under-delievered to clients because I just didn't get things done.
As humans, we go toward pleasure and try to avoid pain. I remember a quote (this is just the gist of it): We all have to pay either the price of discipline, or the pain of regret. Discipline is measured in ounces, and regret in tons.
As I have been doing my soul searching, I'm trying to figure out how and why I have gotten to this point. I think procrastination is my "drug" in a way that it allows me to postpone discipline and pain, and keep experiencing the positive feelings in a way that a drug user or alcoholic might be high. I have not always been this way (although I think I did have the tendency), so I try to figure out why. I didn't have the discipline or accountability in place, so it snowballed. Now I have put myself in this hole where it feels like there is no way out. I know it is 1 day at a time, and I am doing a little better.
I really only have 1 friend who knows what a mess I am in; most people think I am organized and "together". I lie by omission to them. I am hurting myself by denying myself the kind of life I want to have. I don't invite people over because the house is such a mess, I rarely go out to socialize because I don't have the money.
Initially I thought if its just procrastinating, I can get organized and get busy. But it is more that that - it is my way of escaping reality and punishing myself. It certainly has become a habit that this is how I deal with stress in my life. While there may or may not be a physical component like alcohol and drugs, I feel that it is an addiction for me at this point. (I think there may some physical component in that the "good" endorphines are released when we are doing something we like). I can't just fix it on my own. For me, that is an addiction - just in a different form.
Thanks for letting me ramble on, it is really therauptic for me to "talk" some things out. And reading other people's thoughts and concerns help me understand more about myself.
Luckily I found this site.
other face-to-face 12-step meetings
Following on from the comments above, I haven't been to face-to-face meetings for AA or DA (http://www.debtorsanonymous.org/). But I am also exploring UA (http://underearnersanonymous.org/) which seems to overlap a lot with PA and am seeing how this goes. The first symptm of UA is Time Indifference (http://bit.ly/PpUIrW), which may be closely related to Procrastination. In case it's of interest there seem to be lots of face-to-face UA meetings across the USA, in London UK, and some around the world.
It'd be good to hear what other face-to-face meetings might be helpful!
Your story is my story too!
I'm also in debt up to my ears.
I lost a job a few years back, partly due to procrastination in not getting things done on time and partly because I procrastinated in loking for another job while I was working.
I hated my boss from day one, but had to take the job because I was unemployed at the time. This job loss was not my fault. I worked for a politician (the best boss I ever had) who was defeated so I lost my job at the same time.
I have a poor paying part-time job that doesn't even pay my rent. I keep taking out cash advances to pay for necessities.
My problem is that I'm self-employed but don't want to be. I want to go to work and meet new people that I have something in common with. I have a Master's degree and most of the people I work with are students, recent immigrants or women who may not even have high school.
There was a time when I spent too much. It was a problem of overspending to compensate for the pain in my life. For about six months after losing my job my spending habits were not the greatest as I thought I would get a well-paying job right away.
My place is a pigsty. I cleaned it up three weeks ago because my sister was coming to stay with me when her place was being painted.
I haven't filed my income tax since 2007. I probably will get money back.
It's a little over two weeks until tax filing day (April 30) in Canada. It's going to take hours to go through all my files and bags of paper to find everything.
I have a volunteer project that I should have done two months ago and want to finish this weekend. Starting on Monday evening, I will start to tackle the mounds of paperwork to file my back taxes.
I need to call someone about a job opportunity but feel frightened to do it. It's a real good connection with the head of the department who knows my work as I wrote the newsletter for our volunteer association.
Nobody knows what a pathetic situtation I have put myself in.
I find that if I can't get going, going to the Chatbox helps. The pople have been very supportive.
I can relate when you say you have a possible job opportunity but you're frightened. In a way I too am afraid of being given a great opportunity because I figure if I can't even handle things now...know what I mean? I too, am self-employed and knee deep in debt. I must say the thing that has kind of kept me honest lately is the fact that I have a friend who comes in and checks on me regularly so I'm somewhat keeping my crap together to save face, but it's worked a bit so we'll see....hang in there! I'm right there with you...
@getting it done
We seem to have a lot in common. You've mentioned nearly all the things I struggle with and the consequences of inaction. I am afraid to spend recreationally because of a lack of money. I would rather not get into the habit. It's great to have people who actually understand what's happening. At the very least it interrupts the cycle of chronic avoidance of, well, nearly everything. Thank you.
- "A procrastinator's work is never done."
i really feel where you're coming from
As I read your story, I felt like I was reading my story (kind of). This is going to sound crazy but here's the truth: i cannot admit to anyone who knows me the mess I have created for myself in terms of debt, and wasting time and opportunity away. I am so ashamed. I always said tomorrow, tomorrow, then next year...well I'm not getting any younger -_-
My addiction to escapism, I can actually pinpoint back to my childhood. Having grown up in an unhappy home, the only way for me to leave the house was to have a legitimate excuse i.e. going to the store. I started to equate buying things and also watching TV as escape and here I am.
Thanks for letting ME talk some things out. I'm just taking things one day at a time.
You can always admit these things to us. PA has always been supportive and extraordinarily helpful. I hope it's been helpful so far and that it continues to help.
- "A procrastinator's work is never done."
Thanks that means a lot!
Kim & Vaskaat
Yep. We totally get it!
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett
Kim - thanks for your
Kim - thanks for your comments. It amazes me how much i have in common with people here when I felt like I was so alone. I too feel so ashamed and guilty.
But we do deserve to have the life we want. I get so overwhelmed sometimes. But I try to remember something I heard about dealing with clutter - but it works with everything. That is, make a decision to not _____(clutter) any more starting today. Then deal with the old stuff a little at a time. While it may take a while to clean up the old stuff, you are not adding to it. I beat myself up for not being perfect and getting it all done, but that is just not realistic.
I am trying to do this and plan my days to deal with current stuff, and build in a little time each day to start cleaning out the backlog...This is certainly a process for me - trial and error until I find something that works.
The support here means so much to me.
Believe me, not every alcoholic has the horror story you may think.
Many are functional, many have hit a high bottom,many are rich and successful, not ever person in oa
is fat, many are bulemic, anorexic There are many versions of
"legitimate addictions" , but the way I see it one thing we have in
common is the loss of choice.
with your statement
The general public doesn't understand why some people don't or can't "JUST DO IT," "it"
people say the same of someone who picks up x, y, or z
people who drink, gamble, eat or whatever hear the same thing and they
are as baffled as anyone in PA when they do the very thing they do not
want to do, they lost that choice that normal people seem to have and
take for granted.
I remember praying, please God, give me
anything else, but please do not let me go back to x,y and z. Well, here
I am. I thought I procrastinated because of x,y,z. Now I have
recovery/daily reprieve in substances and guess what, I still
procrastinate against my will. The other addictions do not help me
understand it any better or give me any sort of edge.
In fact my
thought was, maybe if I did not have all these "legitimate addictions"
then I could recover in pa. So it can go both ways, it is just as
confusing because there is no explanation, but here there is hope. (my
opinion only- take what you want and leave the rest) My sponsor would always tell me to focus on the similarity's instead of the differences, that always worked for me, becuase there are different consequenses and experiences in eash issue and it can keep you in your head and not the solution. Keep coming back.
Hello, here is my
here is my concern with what's going on here. You've lied to others in order to cover and condone your procrastination. Now lying about something often means it's a problematic issue in your life. To me this means that your procrastination has become a problem in your life because you've allowed it. And delegitamizing your problem will not help you solve it. Rather it will only make it easier to ignore and increase your frustrations. Recognize that virtually anything in life can become an addiction. Let's follow a simple dictionary definition from google
devoted or given up to a practice or habit or to somethingpsychologically or physically habit-forming.
Procrastintion is a psychological habit which you practice by resisting high priority taks in your life. Bam and if you constantly do it, I.E. you can't control your impluses with your own willpower and address these tasks then well you are by definition addicted.
Now to me I understand what you're saying I find procrastination as more of a bad habit than an addiction. But within a normal range procrastination is almost nessecary. Imagine if you always had to do something. That would be draining.
To me it's more of a continuum real life and it's components are often based on a continuum. I'd only really call it an addiction if it interferes with your ability to function in your day. I.E. you really can't get anything done.
Now by no means are these medical defintions or diagnostic criteria, these are just my own personal beliefs. I think you need to look at how you view procrastination more intimately. Learn what about it makes you tick, and then stop resisting it mentally and being angry at it. Instead focus on replacing it. Replacing it with something better.
I use to have this same issue, I would wonder if my problems were really problems and then feel ashamed about them. I'd think "well there are millions of people in Africa starving and I'm complaining about my insecurities." But then I've come to recognize that your problems no matter how small are big are here in order for you to learn from them. There is a solution and finding that solution will help you grow. I think one of the biggest problems though is that often times we do make many of the problems in our lives. However, after reviewing your post I feel like this is something worth addressing.
and forget drugs, drugs are bad.
I appreciate your responses. Those thoughts of whether my problems were worth addressing and whether they were legitimate in the face of so much human suffering have never left. I have never been attracted to drugs or alcohol, but I have accomplished so little in my life without a detracting force involved that others are forced to conclude that I'm simply an incompetent moron. Rather than allow that reputation to flower I'd sooner have a reason for my failures. Drugs would do that. It's too late for most people to salvage their lives; one can never become a young success story once they reach a certain age. Since it appears to be too late for any reconciliation, I'd rather not have to deal with the riducule of people questioning my intelligence for the rest of my life.
This isn't the way.
Vaskatt you know as well as I do that this isn't the way. Drugs will only dig a deeper hole. One that will be harder to climb out of.
Deep down I know it isn't the way. But it's part of this twisted thinking that makes me want to invent clever reasons for failure rather than work towards success. And it is kind of pathetic that my life has been one big mound of mediocrity. I've always gone out of my way to show people how little I try so they wouldn't take me for some boob. Hypersensitivity is an issue as well: any failure is magnified to the extreme, causing avoidance of any sort of responsibility in order to avoid those failures.
Thanks for taking the time to respond and reading this snivelling drivel.
- "A procrastinator's work is never done."
i get what you are saying. all my problems are weird ones, that leave people wondering what my deal is. they know i'm bright, but why can't i do things?
having a socially unrecognized problem rather than a really well known one comes with its own set of problems. not trying to make a positive out of alcoholism, but i see that at least it is an acknowledged social problem... though that is about the only bonus i can think of, and let's be real, it's not a great bonus at all and it's a frigging horrible illness.
there's no reason to pick up a new problem -- you've already got one and you need to be kind to yourself about a) acknowledging you can make some improvements (or reconciliations as you call them) and b) letting yourself know it is a valid problem. all of us here are proof of that and we can relate. i don't think we'd wish our plights du jour on anyone, but i take comfort in knowing i'm not alone via this site.
take care :)
It is you, who must know
It is you, who must know you have a legitimate and serious problem. Others won't understand (at least most of them won't). That is why I deal with my procrastination here anonymously on the internet.
The only way is to find the strength in you. Not others.
Don't even think about getting another addiction. Procrastinators usually have a weak willpower. Drugs would destroy you completely.
Finding strength in yourself and not others - that is my credo. I hate getting help from anyone else. But I freely admit that empathy and commiseration do help on occasion. The real issue is whether someone's emotional investment in another person will draw interest; most of the time the person - having been locked into a self-defeating pattern for so long - will brush off advice anyway. They may turn their lives around, but it's not by being attentive listeners.
echo fermiona & vaskaat
ditto to both of you. It is my experience that people really, truly do not understand the procrastination addition. Most people can just say, "alright, time to get my butt in gear," and they get up and do things. Most people get up in the morning and just do stuff all day long. They might be tired at the end of the day, but they do not have a struggle to get themselves to do each of those tasks. Well, my life is like that. Task after task, i have to reach deep inside and find the motivation to do it. Actually, i usually can't, so i have to pray and ask god to give me motivation. To put motivation in me.
So i think "normal" people really can't conceive of what it would be like to have to overcome a hurdle to do so many things each day.
vaskaat, i hate getting help from ppl too. Of course, i have had to give that up and i have to depend on this fellowship and divine intervention, cuz i simply have proven that after 30 yrs i can't do it myself. It's sad in a way, but at least there's hope in the external.
And i certainly have been there ignoring ppls advice ;( usually to my own detriment ;(
fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb