Running away from life
When I finally stopped drinking, bacon cheeseburgers and chocolate milkshakes became my emotional crutch. When I dropped meat/dairy/eggs, I began using the Internet as my "drug" of choice: there have been countless hours of thinking "I'll just look at one more thing and then I'll get started working..." It's funny: I could at least get work done with the assistance of wine and/or chocolate. The Internet is less effective as an anxiety-reducing substance and it takes up far, far more of my time!
With one year of sobriety under my belt, it's high time that I stopped running away from my life. That's why I'm here. Even though I've stopped drinking, I've never stopped "using."
I still have a job, but I have made a huge mess of things. I can't ever undo the damage I've done in the past, professionally and personally. It's time to accept that and move forward in a resilient, wholehearted way. I can't stop the anxiety, but I can stop running away.
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Welcome and good for you that you found this site. I hope that you will find a litte comfort and strength in knowing that your not alone. I've been here for a while, and can't say I'm "clean", but finding this site started a process, and recovery is always a process. We have after all trained our minds to some seriously f...ed up habits. Staying too much on the internet has made my ability to concentrate a lot worse, so that's what I'm working on. Taking small steps and focusing only on that little step until it's done, no matter how silly and simple.
I hope you will find tools and support here to get more out of life.
'The best way to get something done is to begin.'
It's all true
I know exactly what you mean, except I went straight to internet without going via drink and eating.
I don't even know what it is I'm frightened of, except there's a little voice at the back of my head that whimpers "Too complicated!" whenever I try and get anything done that involves other people.
My little voice whispers "Overwhelmed! Can't handle this! Too anxious to think straight..."
Just like you, I can't fathom what's so frightening that it's producing this sort of reaction in me. I've spent a long time trying to sort that out, with very limited success. Insstead of constantly analyzing myself and trying to force myself to be reasonable, I'm going to try some made-up variant of exposure therapy -- just keeping on working on tasks while the little voice is registering its dismay. There are many things I can currently do without troublesome anxiety. With practice, perhaps there can be many more.
Best of luck to you, elvira, and thanks for your post. Your "little voice" helps me keep "my little voice" in perspective!
Welcome to Piqued!
Signs of Compulsive Procrastination
procrastination - addiction or not?
Withdrawal symptoms? The First 90 Daze
Dopey for dopamine
It's fascinating that you describe yourself as "self-medicating on internal substances like brain chemicals and hormones." Sometimes when I flip between websites while procrastinating, it feels like I'm a rat pressing a lever repeatedly to get still more hits of dopamine or some other pleasurable brain chemical.
Thanks for the suggested reading. I'll report back once I've taken a look at them. For now, though, I need to log off and get some work done.
Best of luck tackling your current challenges. It is a relief to feel less alone with the struggle avoid procrastination. This group seems really promising!
... and bravo! I like the way you're making a positive decision to smash this thing (or chip away at it til it's a manageable size, as it's likely to be a long process with lots of small victories, not the instant hit we'd all prefer it to be!).
You've inspired me to write my own intro today. I have been lurking about for about a month, uncommited, commenting but never doing check-ins, and this has to change today!
I'm also glad to hear you guys talking about feeling like a rat in a Skinner box - I'm not alone! :grin:
Something wonderful ...
Ah! That makes perfect sense to me!
I realised a while ago that I believe with all my heart that if I stay on my computer just a little while longer, something unspeakably wonderful will happen ... or sometimes I just know that one of my desktop icons leads to this experience, only I'm not sure which.
So I keep clicking, and waiting, clicking and waiting ....
The rational part of my brain knows this is nonsense - but how do I put that part in control?
rational, reflective vs experiential, impulsive brain areas
I really know how you are feeling. Sometimes when I'm at my worst, I feel if someone even held a gun to mine or a dear loved one's head to compel me to do a task, I think I'd still nonsensically & irrationally rather procrastinate than take any frigging action. My compulsive task avoidance behaviour can feel like a mainifestation of pure evil inside of me ...
It is with some relief I've started reading the book that 'pro' recommends
"The Procrastination Equation".
This seems to explain how certain behaviours are indeed hard wired into separate areas of our brains, which can sometimes clash. The stronger emotional part that seems to have developed first through evolution can often sabotage & suffocate the rational part that developed later.
This partly explains the often awful & debilitating effect this brain struggle has wreaked on my own life. Ok, I've not finished the book nor have any definite ideas yet on how to deal with this aspect which is potentially one of the sources of my procrastination. But it's a relief to finally get some answers after a lifetime of feeling hopeless & not know if I'll be able to do a task one day or just be flat out zonked out and feeling either total despair or utterly defeated both intellectually & emotionally.
Here's to a light at the end of this long, long tunnel.