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.

Procrastination and depression

I'm a long term procrastinator, but everything has been made much much worse by developing severe depression following the death of my husband 5 months ago.  I've been sitting in my office this morning having cleared all the easy bits of work, and then totally failing to get going on the backlog of report writing.  I finally got started on one report, but it's like wading through treacle.  My bosses are being very supportive and saying "do what you can", but that's not very much.

I know there are others on here who also have a depressive illness.  I guess I'm looking for mutual support, and maybe sharing of ideas on how to cope with the mixture of Procrastination and depression.


I'm back

So it is almost exactly 8 years since I last posted here.   My husband died 8.5 years ago - my subsequent depression lasted 4 years, most of it spent off work sick, and led to me retiring from work as soon as I could.  Reading through today  the wonderfully supportive replies posted at that time, I am really sorry I never replied - I think I went on sick leave very soon after that post.

I've muddled through since retirement, with variable amounts of procrastination and some real successes.  But with the increased time at home because of the pandemic I've become aware just how much I am still procrastinating on specific topics.  The final trigger was that I am treasurer of my local church, and have completely failed to sort out the 2019 accounts which should have been handed in by now.  I managed to commit to starting work on them this afternoon, and then remembered this site, and how helpful it was when I was at work. So I'm delighted to see it up and running, and that my log-in still works.

Thank you for having me back


glad you're back

Depression is a well-known for making people unable to move or do things. I'm glad you're back and feeling better.


Monica's picture

I'm also grateful we're all able to be back!

Pressing on

I wish I had something clever or insightful to say.  I cannot imagine what this must be like.  Truth be told, it makes me feel a little sheepish about my own struggles, which pale by comparison, yet seem so overwhelming to me.  I wish you the very best, and encourage you to please keep doing the things you are doing to make peace with that which cannot be changed and to continue the process of healing.  For whatever it's worth, I send you my most positive thoughts.

You're Welcome, Hypatia

And thank you, too, for really getting this.  I've broken up with sweethearts and felt "loss" before, but this is its own species of dark lonely hopeless pain.  I know that time will heal us, as will actively living and connecting with others and using our gifts and seeking joy in the moment.

For instance, right now I am so grateful to be here and to have met you.  So grateful to have a place to live and a computer to help me communicate with self and others and to stay on track in my life.  I am grateful that B was not and is not alone, and neither am I alone in reality.  And neither are you, Hypatia!  

Have a wonderful day.  Do some good stuff.  And don't worry about replying to these posts if you don't feel like it.  You have enough on your plate.  We understand. 

“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result”  -Mahatma Gandhi

my thanks to all

Thank you everyone for your wonderful supportive posts, and lots of things for me to think about.  It's going to take me a while to take everything in, so this is only a short reply.  I'll post more later.

 And to those who are grieving like me, especially to Walker in the rawness of your recent loss, my special love and a lot of virtual hugs


That's so sad

One of the scary things of growing up is that I sometimes think about how the people I know could die. I can't imagine what it's like for them to actually.

wow totally moved

hypatia, God loves you and so do we. I have been in grief-related depression and it is horrible, I know. Every morning I got on my knees to pray and slowly sank to a prone position on the floor where I lay until afternoon, unable to get up. After a few weeks of this, some internal shift occurred that I can't really define. Somehow I moved from passively observing myself, to being aware that I really needed help, to becoming a bit alarmed about the depth of my condition.  Then one morning I just fled the house the minute I was awake, and drove to a 7am open AA meeting someone once mentioned (open AA meetings welcome anyone). Then the next day I did the same thing. And the next day, and so on.  Those wonderful folks never judged me or pushed me, offered all kinds of help and friendship, and eventually put me back on my feet emotionally.  

I wonder if HP is using your post to remind me about that wonderful 7am meeting and how it always started my day on the right note.  I didn't procrastinate as badly after sharing an hour of fellowship and 12-Step recovery with other friendly folks. 

Thank you for sharing your need; your post and the responses have been very moving and my heart is full for you. 

"My boundaries enclose a pleasant land." Psalm 16

Big Hugs to You, Hypatia

My heart goes out to you, having lost your husband 5 months ago.  I aspire to surviving as long with this illness of ours.  Yes, it's an illness to work through, to multitask our entire lives with, an illness that refuses to be procrastinated.  To live is to deal with it.  That's why we are called "survivors."

Like you, I felt a need to reach out today in my own grief, and to my astonishment, I connected with your post, which speaks directly to my heart.  My most Significant, most Important Other died on Sunday night, April 29th.  No pain I have felt before compares with this broken heart:  the burning aching squeezing tears-just-beneath-the-surface friend that is always with me, if not searing on the front burner, ever simmering on the back burner.

I totally agree that connection with others is a healing agent, if not THE healing agent.  I can't merely think this pain away for myself.  Kindly human contact, a simple awwww, hugs (including cyberhugs) any kind of acknowledgement of my suffering, simply giving me space to jabber and giving an indication of understanding seems to help.  And crying, the more the better, the more intense the better.

Today I want to say It has a name:  Homesickness.  I miss being with B and the comfort of our old routines, the feel of him and the surprise of his many considerate, thoughtful, sweet ways that made me feel loved.   Its middle name:  Regret.  I wish I had done more for him and been a better human being than I was, than I am.  

It's tempting to romanticize who We were together.  But it's just ancient history now.  What's done is done and I can't change it or get it back.  My brain knows he's dead, of course, but my heart can't accept it.  Yet.  Maybe this obsession with him and the intensity of my feelings is partly my wanting to keep him with me somehow.

So, Hypatia, I'm feeling raw, too.  And folks around me seem to think, well, it's been almost a month, she should be moving on by now.  Alas, I have been a lifelong procrastinator.  This grief work could be a way of procrastinating more -- or it could be a way of getting it done as soon as I can at my current stage of development and awareness.  This is the best I can do, and I am being kind to myself, repeating This is the best I can do.  I am a survivor.

Some things that are helping me:

Make sure to eat, even though I really, really have no appetite.  Dizziness, weakness and headaches from not eating enough make the pain worse and all activities of daily living that much harder.

Force myself to get ready for bed and get in bed at a reasonable hour, even though I still wake early and can't get back to sleep.

Get out in nature and breathe fresh air, commune with the trees, birds, water and wildlife... and the people and dogs who are doing the same.  Exercise till I breathe hard and break a sweat.  Move those buns.

In general, increase my "cruising speed."  Whatever I am doing, do it more mindfully, more quickly, more efficiently, thinking ahead, planning ahead, enjoying it as much as possible, being grateful for the task and for the rewards that doing the task represent, if not grateful for the process itself.  Something about the quicker rhythm makes me feel better.

Talk to him in my mind and let him comfort me.  He's still in my heart, and I still hear his voice in my head.  Sometimes my "conversation" with him makes me smile and even laugh.  (I KNOW I'm cuckoo.  I've heard it said that that's a good sign of sanity, actually.  Really crazy people don't think they're crazy.) 

Acknowledging that B was not All That.  He was just a man, with imperfections like the rest of us.  I am so grateful for the privilege of having known him and loved him, and for the absolute knowledge that he knew and loved me, too.  He was precious.  I am a better person for having shared this good earth with him for a time.  I already love myself and others better because of his presence in my life for the past 12 years.  

Maybe someday the Universe will give me another immensely Significant Other, whom I will love even better.  B was my greatest love and joy so far; I dare to dream that there is even more in store for me.  This loss was necessary so that I could experience an even greater love and joy.

Now I will tackle my Mt. Everest of paper and boxes.  I am cleaning up both B's and my detritus, stuff I could not handle during the past almost year of his decline, illness and death.

You remain in my thoughts and prayers, Hypatia.  

Keep reaching out.  Your fingertips will touch others of us who can help your Higher Power heal you.  

Thank you both, Hypatia and Movingalong, for your poignant posts.



“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result”  -Mahatma Gandhi

reaching out to others is a form of "prayer" to higherpower

Grieving is like this huge project at the office that keeps growing -- one of those huge development projects with unclear parameters and a very long timeframe, and something we haven't done before, and we don't know how things will be at the office when the project is completed because it will rearrange the departments.

Of course it's overwhelming!  Just like any difficult project, we have to recognize that grieving is a learning process, and a LONG process. It take as long as it takes -- to go through it.

Here are some things I've found helpful:

Regardless of what anyone's perspective is (atheist/agnostic/believer) ... we all recognize that we need support/friendship/mentoring.  A greater perspective than our own.

I have found that simply expressing aloud (in voice or online) what is in my heart ... is a form of reaching out.   And our higherpower (whatever each of us conceives that to be) ... witnesses or participates in our reaching out process.  One could call that type of "communication with a perspective greater than my own" to be a form of "prayer" (regardless of one's philosophy or belief system).  Viewing it from that concept, I've discovered the following: Sometimes crying tears ... is a form of prayer.  Sometimes posting a message on an internet support forum is a form of prayer.  Sometimes yelling at the Universe is a form of prayer.  Sometimes an email or phonecall to a friend is a form of prayer.

Our "highest and best self" witnesses the trials and despair of our daily self.  Our "highest and best self" participates in the process.  And through all that process, we are sending out a message to the Universe that we need support. Simultaneously, we are sending out a message to ourselves that we are willing to accept support. This causes something to shift ... but very gradually.

When I do this process "mindfully" (with conscious awareness) ... I begin to become aware of little things that can help.  I *notice* things I might not otherwise have seen.  I happen to open a book to the middle, and come across some wisdom that helps. I find myself at home just when a needed phonecall comes through to me.  I notice a poster on a bulletin board outside my favorite coffee shop, which announces a support group that would be helpful. Those may seem like little things, and my concept may sound superstitious; however, I think what is *special* about the process is my willingness to find help, and see help when it presents itself.

When I'm in deep despair, everything feels like walking through grey fog and thick glue.  That's when being open to the little things is especially helpful to me.  Why? Because I don't have to shift my entire mood to be happiness-rainbows-joyjoy ... to see the little things. I can notice the little things even when depressed.

When I *allow* the energy to be expressed in this unconventional form of "prayer"; and when I am *willing* to be open to the small things ... then small shifts happen.

So by making this request for help, you've made a "prayer" and a statement of "willingness" or "interest" in finding whatever is helpful.  A small but important step.

The small shifts do eventually add up.

From PA, we have learned that ... for a big project at a job, or in school, or doing housekeeping ---  it helps dispel procrastination-overwhelm by breaking down the project into smaller pieces, and using small blocks of time.

The same principle applies to the big "project" of healing from depression.  We can heal one tiny step at a time, in little spurts. And that adds up to healing in the long term.

I've been in deep grieving this past year ... and sometimes I do go into shutdown mode.  But it really helps me to allow the grief out, expressed a little bit at a time ... so that the healing can come in to my heart, a little at a time.

By the way, I was feeling completely lost in grief today, and I uttered something incoherent to the Universe, and then I came to the chatbox here at PA, and typed in that I was willing to welcome hope. Just that one sentence. And then I looked at the forums and saw your post. Your post was already here, but I was now open to *seeing* it and reflecting upon it.  Typing a reply to you -- has now become part of my healing process today. I'm not completely fixed -- far from it.  But I have now one moment of hope in a grey day. And I have faith that more  moments of hope will come.  This will help me in the next hour to get some practical paperwork done, which I had been too overwhelmed to face an hour ago.


So sorry for your loss. In addition on comments, I found the connection factor helpful, even if it is only electronic, better than isolation. Ho[e you find peace today.

actually, one thing: thanksgiving

Actually for the last 4 days i have been taking the advice i have heard for years: thanksgiving. I've been writing out 10 or so things that i am thankful for. It does at least help a little to change my perspective. It wasn't enuf on Tue, but it did have some positive effect especially right after.

the touch of the master's hand:

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb


hi hypatia

your depression is 100% justified. Mine is just because i'm not as good as i think i should be. Mine is self-inflicted. Yours is not.

The best advice i have discovered for myself is "Wait on the Lord." That means i have not found anything that works for me. I have to just wait for something to happen to me or my circumstances to change things.

But i can offer to join you here to, what? be together in sadness? Jointly wait for someone to offer good advice? Be understanding of how you feel? I guess that's about it.

the touch of the master's hand:

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb