What's WRONG with me?
I’ve been asking myself a lot in recent years - what's wrong with me? - but also my whole life (I’m in
my 40s). My earliest procrastination memory is from middle school, when I asked the guidance
counselor why I didn’t do my homework. He gave me information on time
management. Last year I worked with a psychologist for six months to address my
procrastination and she basically told me not to be so hard on myself. It
wasn’t as bad as I thought it was and all I needed was some
encouragement. To be fair, we did figure out that I had internalized one of my
parent’s critical voices. (How we talk to children becomes their inner voice. –
Peggy O’Mara) Since then I have managed to extinguish that voice, which has changed the way I view things, but the
weird now, but occasionally I would realize, oh yeah, it’s just procrastination
and many people struggle with it. But this fall I happened upon an article on
procrastination and at the end it mentioned that in extreme cases there could
be compulsive or even addictive behavior at play. Which fits my family background.
So instead of googling procrastination
for the umpteenth time, I googled compulsive
procrastination and finally found this site and terms like OCD (in terms of procrastination), compulsive task avoidance, and demand resistance. And I said, “that’s
me!” So after all these years of wondering, I finally know what’s wrong with
me. And I found it on my own, without a therapist.
makes sense now: the last-minute stress in
high school, the late-night papers in college, the long to-do lists in my
various jobs since then. (Maybe it’s not so bad that I had no interest in grad
school!) But since I quit my job and started my own business from home, it’s
gotten really bad. I waste whole days, scrambling at the end to hide my
behavior and make sure I had food for dinner for the family. Feeling guilty and horrible and
confused. I read somewhere on PA that people like us never learned how to
divide our time into productive, relaxing, etc. I want to be able to do that:
to be realistic and balanced in how I structure my time.
I’m so sick
of the endless lists, last-minute stress and always feeling so overwhelmed by
everything. I’m missing out on life this way. Holidays, vacations and birthday
parties (the milestones in our lives) are not particularly fun, especially the
preparation; they’re overwhelming and threatening and sometimes a challenge to get
through. I’m so envious of people who have their lives, home and work under
control and can relax and enjoy life. Maybe one day I’ll reach that point.
But since I’ve
discovered PA things are already a lot better. In the past few weeks I’ve finished
some projects that were really blocking me, by checking in on PA but mostly just
by finally knowing what this block is – this beast called demand resistance that
takes over my day. It wasn’t in time for the holiday season:
the decorating, baking, writing Christmas “cards” (= emails) and socializing that I would like to be able to enjoy. But
boy, do I have some resolutions for 2013! I’m hopeful that I will continue to overcome
the procrastination beast on a daily basis. And that way I can catch up on the
back-log in my work, my house and my life. I’m looking forward to becoming a more
balanced person with a balanced life. Where I can be lazy if I choose to because
it’s my decision, not the beast’s. I know I have more reading to do, both books
and on PA. I’m hopeful I’ll be successful!
Thanks for reading and good luck to everyone!